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COMELEC PROCLAIMS SENATE 'MAGIC 12'


MAY 19 -The Commission on Elections behind the newly proclaimed senators of the 17th Congress. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando
 The Commission on Elections, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), on Thursday proclaimed the 12 elected senators in the May 9 elections. Five first-timers will occupy seats in the Senate - former TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva, boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, former PhilHealth Director Risa Hontiveros, Valenzuela Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian and former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. Meanwhile, four former senators will return in the upper House - former post-Yolanda rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson, Philippine Red Cross Chair Richard Gordon, former Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri and former food security czar Francis Pangilinan. Three senators will retain their seats in the Senate - Franklin Drilon, Vicente Sotto III and Ralph Recto. The poll body proclaimed the 12 senators according to their rank in the recent polls: 12. Leila Norma Eulalia Josefa de Lima (Liberal Party) 11. Ralph Recto (Liberal Party) 10. Sherwin "Win" Gatchalian (Nationalist People's Coalition) 9. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan (Liberal Party) 8. Ana Theresia "Risa" Hontiveros (Akbayan Citizens' Action Party) 7. Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao (United Nationalist Alliance) 6. Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri (Independent) 5. Richard "Dick" Gordon (Independent) 4. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson (Independent) 3. Vicente "Tito" Sotto III (Nationalist People's Coalition) 2. Emmanuel Joel Villanueva (Liberal Party) 1. Franklin Drilon (Liberal Party)
The poll body will also proclaim the elected party-list groups on Thursday evening. On May 23, the House of Representatives and the Senate will convene and hold a joint session to start their work as NBOC for the canvassing of presidential and vice presidential votes. VIEW INFOGRAPH...RELATED, 4 senators eye Senate presidency...

ALSO: Who's who: Duterte's anointed ones


MAY 22 -Presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte has started drawing up a list of potential Cabinet members to form his incoming administration. AP/Bulilit Marquez
Rodrigo Duterte, set to become the 16th president of the Philippines, is starting to form his administration ahead of his oath taking on June 30. How will the next Cabinet look like under a Duterte administration? Here's a guide to who's who in Duterte's Cabinet:READ MORE ROM RAPPLER.COM 'INSIDE TRACK REPORT...

ALSO: Ombudsman to file raps vs Binay once term ends
[RELATED: Axed PNP chief Purisima, 10 others ordered arrested]


MAY 19 -In this file photo, Binay arrives at the Phinma University of Pangasinan in Dagupan City for the presidential debate on April 24, 2016. Philstar.com / Efigenio Toledo IV
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales on Thursday said her office is prepared to file criminal charges against Vice President Jejomar Binay upon the expiration of his term in June.
Morales said Binay, whose failed presidential bid forces him to return to the private sector, will be stripped of his immunity after June 30, the last day of the current government. She said Binay can be held liable for malversation, falsification and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act over alleged anomalies in a construction project in Makati City. Asked if there is a possibility that Binay can be detained, Morales said it would depend on the strength of the cases. "If the charges are bailable, and he posts bail, he will not be incarcerated, but if the charges are non-bailable and the evidence is strong, whether or not he will go to jail would depend on how the Sandiganbayan or any court for that matter determine it," Morales said at a televised press conference in Quezon City. The Constitution grants the seating president, vice president and ombudsman immunity from criminal charges. The officials can be removed from office through impeachment. READ MORE...Axed PNP chief Purisima, 10 others ordered arrested....RELATED,  Purisima arrested at airport, posts bail...

ALSO: Ombudsman Morales: Duterte will observe rule of law


MAY 19 -Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales. INQUIRER PHOTO / JILSON SECKLER TIU
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales sees no reason to be alarmed over the plan of presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte to get rid of corrupt officials and of criminals by killing them and throwing their bodies into Manila Bay to fatten the fishes.
The head of the anti-graft body, who admitted to having ties with the Duterte family, expressed confidence that the tough-talking Davao City mayor, being a lawyer, will observe the rule of law amid fears that he will resort to summary executions when he becomes President. “He being a lawyer, I know he will observe the rule of law,” Morales said in a press conference on Thursday. READ: Duterte vows to continue killing criminals ‘in accordance with law’ Duterte earlier threatened to execute criminals and corrupt officials and dump them into Manila Bay. “That is his warning, but whether or not he will actually do it remains to be seen,” she said. READ: Duterte to order ‘shoot-to-kill’ for criminals, reinstate death penalty Duterte’s remarks Answering questions from the media with candor, Morales weighed in on Duterte’s rude manner of speaking, which she said may have brought Duterte to fame. “Mga patutsada niya, during election period lang ‘yun eh (His quips were only during the election period), and that’s what clicked I think. People wanted to hear something different,” she said. READ: Why people like ‘Dirty Duterte’ With his tough image and speeches peppered with profanity, Morales said Duterte “made a phenomenon.” READ MORE...

ALSO: FUN TIME NOW! Basking in Davao’s beauty amid the breeze of Duterte’s victory


MAY 21 -Tourism-sponsored media familiarization tour with Manila media participants on Buenavista Island.
All roads lead to Davao City for many reasons. Well-wishers, job applicants and hangers-on hoping to take selfies with Mayor Rodrigo Duterte have come in droves. Turncoats, tycoons, celebrities, diplomats and heads of states have also lined up to congratulate the big winner in this year’s elections. But there are enough rooms for all of them, said Robert Alabado III, Department of Tourism-Southern Mindanao's director. “We are expecting more tourist arrivals especially since the city’s No. 1 promoter is the incoming President,” he said. Davao City has at least 8,000 rooms, ranging from five-star accommodations to backpackers’ hostels. The mayor's seeming aversion to travel to Manila, the country's capital located some 1,000 kilometers to the northwest, has drawn tourists, travelers and VIPs to head down to this southern city. A member of the staff of Marco Polo Davao, for instance, said the hotel currently has a 92-percent occupancy, and they expect the rate to continue “as long as Duterte keeps holding meetings here.” Whatever reason you may have for visiting Davao, be sure to savor the beauty and blessings of the region from islands to highlands, as we did during the Department of Tourism-sponsored media familiarization tour held early this May. Here are the things you will surely enjoy while in the city: Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) The famed Public Safety and Security Command Center of Davao. A visit to the city is never complete without dropping by the PSSCC. There, the guests would have a glimpse of how the urban Davao became one of the safest places in the world. Created to provide protection, security, safety, and risk management assistance to Davaoeños, the center operates under the Office of the City Mayor. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Comelec proclaims Senate 'Magic 12'


The Commission on Elections behind the newly proclaimed senators of the 17th Congress. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando

MANILA, MAY 23, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Patricia Lourdes Viray May 19, 2016 - 3:57pm 8 359 - The Commission on Elections, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), on Thursday proclaimed the 12 elected senators in the May 9 elections.

Five first-timers will occupy seats in the Senate - former TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva, boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, former PhilHealth Director Risa Hontiveros, Valenzuela Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian and former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

Meanwhile, four former senators will return in the upper House - former post-Yolanda rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson, Philippine Red Cross Chair Richard Gordon, former Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri and former food security czar Francis Pangilinan. Three senators will retain their seats in the Senate - Franklin Drilon, Vicente Sotto III and Ralph Recto.

The poll body proclaimed the 12 senators according to their rank in the recent polls:

12. Leila Norma Eulalia Josefa de Lima (Liberal Party)

11. Ralph Recto (Liberal Party)

10. Sherwin "Win" Gatchalian (Nationalist People's Coalition)

9. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan (Liberal Party)

8. Ana Theresia "Risa" Hontiveros (Akbayan Citizens' Action Party)

7. Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao (United Nationalist Alliance)

6. Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri (Independent)

5. Richard "Dick" Gordon (Independent)

4. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson (Independent)

3. Vicente "Tito" Sotto III (Nationalist People's Coalition)

2. Emmanuel Joel Villanueva (Liberal Party)

1. Franklin Drilon (Liberal Party)

The poll body will also proclaim the elected party-list groups on Thursday evening.

On May 23, the House of Representatives and the Senate will convene and hold a joint session to start their work as NBOC for the canvassing of presidential and vice presidential votes.

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RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE

4 senators eye Senate presidency Written by Gerry Baldo and Angie M. Rosales Saturday, 21 May 2016 00:00


Drilon, Sotto, Cayetano and Pimentel look for allies By Angie M. Rosales and Gerry Baldo

The opening of the 17th Congress is still more than two months away but the race to the Senate presidency is on, and in earnest.

At the same time, in the House of Representatives, the Speakership appears to be a done deal, with the Duterte-anointed candidate for speaker, incoming Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, saying even the Liberal Pary members have left the side of current Speaker Sonny Belmonte, who, however, promised Alvarez a good speakership fight.

In the Senate, aside from incumbent upper chamber leader, re-elected Sen. Franklin Drilon, who topped the Senate polls, is expected to attempt exerting all means to retain his post as Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel yesterday announced plans to take a bid for the top post as well.

“As president of the party, I will aspire to be Senate president so that the agenda of the party and the president can be shepherded to the Senate,” Pimentel said to reporters in Makati where his party, of which incoming president Rodrigo Duterte is part, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) signed a coalition agreement with the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).

Pimentel announced his bid for the Senate presidency, although he admitted that he still does not have the blessings of Duterte, even as he had already informed Duterte of his bid for the top post in the Senate.

Sen. Alan Cayetano, who is said to have been lobbying with Duterte for several politicians to be appointed to the Duterte Cabinet, such as Rep. Mark Villar for the post of Department of Public Works and Transportation.

Mark is the son of Sen. Cynthia Villar and real estate magnate, former Senate President Manny Villar.

Duterte has been quoted as saying that he does not want to hire anyone who is being lobbied for a post by politicians.

READ MORE...

It seems the incoming president can’t keep his word, since he went along with the lobbied choice of Cayetano, who is a confirmed politician.

Sotto being groomed for Senate presidency

As this developed, a “large group” of senators is bent on fielding Deputy Minority Leader Vicente Sotto III to be their leader when the 17th Congress opens in July.

Sotto himself broke the news to Senate reporters in a phone-patched interview, when sought for his reaction on his party, the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), on forging an alliance with PDP-Laban, even saying that his group is only two votes short in forming the majority bloc.

“I have been considered. What can I say? I am being considered. I am not aspiring for it but the group we are talking about is considering me as a possibility,” he said.

“Right now, we are talking to some 11 senators, old and new, who are sure to back me up. But we are a solid bloc of nine,” Sotto said.

“They are considering me. If they elect me as Senate president, then yes of course, I will accept it. Not for anything, I will be the most experienced of the 17th Congress. I’m the only one senator re-elected since 1992,” he said.

He begged off from naming names at this point.

Sources in the Senate said if Sotto vies for the top Senate post, he is likely to get Senators Nancy Binay, Gregorio Honasan, Grace Poe, Chiz Escudero, incoming Sen. Win Gatchalian, Loren Legarda, JV Ejercito and maybe Panfilo Lacson, plus Sotto himself.

Would give him nine votes. Sen. Manny Pacquiao may join in if Sotto gets 12 senators behind him.

If accurate, Drilon’s group will have only about five senators behind him, and between Cayetano and Pimentel, there would be no chance for either to assume the presidncy of the Senate as each of their supporters will be split.

A vote of 13 is needed to seal the ascendancy to the Senate presidency of the chosen senator, under the rules of the upper chamber.

Another name, Senator Cayetano, who stood as running mate of Duterte in the just-concluded elections, is said to be also eyeing Drilon’s post.

Sen. Sonny Angara took note of the names of those aspiring for the plum post in the Senate, saying that all four of his colleagues are qualified to take on the position.

Angara’s statements practically confirmed Sotto’s claims on the ongoing moves of some senators to form, this early, a majority bloc and install the latter as president.

Angara even said that there’s a lot of “jockeying” and negotiations taking place among groups, parties and individuals.

“There is no single party with a sufficient number of senators to form a Senate majority in itself right now,” he said.

“The first aspirant who is able to cobble together a coalition of 13 or more senators will win the top post in the chamber. If any of the above mentioned aspirants fails to get 13 then Senate President Drilon stays on, similar to then Senate President (Juan Ponce) Enrile in 2010.

“All are also qualified to take on the other three positions which comprise the officers of the Senate — majority leader, minority leader or Senate President Pro Tempore — since all are senior senators who command the respect of our colleagues,” said Angara.

The NPC is the second biggest political party in the country and second this week to forge an alliance of sort with PDP-Laban. The Nacionalista Party (NP) was the first to formally form ties with Pimentel’s party.

But the ties with PDP-Laban, as far as the Senate is concerned, will have no bearing, according to Sotto.

Pimentel is the lone member of PDP-Laban in the Senate. The other is Sen. Sergio Osmeña III who failed in his re-election bid.

“Maybe that’s what they want (extend the partnership in the Senate) but as far as I know, the coalition agreement applies only to the House of Representatives. Whatever agreement they have, that is as far as the House of Representatives is concerned,” Sotto said.

As a matter of fact, the NPC’s move was not known to him and he got to know about it only after reporters tried to get a statement from him Thursday when the holding of the said event in Makati was announced through media advisory.

“There’s no coalition as far as the Senate is concerned. If you would like to include the Senate, then you talk to the senators first. You already know that in Senate, we are 24 different republics,” he said.

“Anybody can aspire for the Senate presidency. There is no limitation to anyone. You don’t have to be a member of any political party to aspire for it. The bottom line is, whoever gets the support from at least 13 members of the Senate, then you can aspire for Senate presidency. Otherwise, if you don’t have the numbers, that remains to be an aspiration,” Sotto added.

Pimentel practically acknowledged Sotto’s assertions on the matter of PDP-Laban’s ties with NPC being not applicable in the upper chamber.

Despite the agreement with the NPC, Pimentel appears to be eyeing a partnership with the Liberal Party (LP) in the Senate.

“I know the history of the party. Once upon a time, we had an LP-PDP coalition in 1992 and I have good memories of that partnership. So I am friends with the LP. This is different from the equation in the Senate. Let’s see what happens.

Turncoatism, the name of the game

In a wink of an eye, the NPC, has turned its back on Senator Poe, whom they vowed support during the recent presidential elections.

Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao, president of the NPC, who had earlier announced the party’s unequivocal support for Poe and her running mate Senator Escudero, is now saying that the entire apparatus of his party is going to support Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. He said the same thing when he claimed the NPC was supporting Grace Poe.

“This is to support President Rodrigo Duterte and Congressman Pantaleon Alvarez as the next Speaker of the House. It binds as well the entire apparatus of the party in support of their programs,” Aggabao told reporters in a press conference in Makati yesterday.


Pantaleon Alvarez

Also present during the press conference were Senator Pimentel and Davao del Norte Rep. Alvarez. Both supported Duterte’s presidential campaign.

According to Pimentel, president of the PDP-Laban which adopted Duterte, the NPC should start adopting to the legislative agenda of Duterte.

“We expect the NPC siding with his (Duterte’s) core legislative agenda which is not objectionable.

Maybe the NPC can start adjusting its perspective on federalism, give it a chance to be adopted,” Pimentel said.

“This is not a cosmetic agreement,” Pimentel said.

Pimentel explained that the legislative agenda of Duterte could be gleaned from his support for federalism, all out search for peace, all out war against crime, drugs and corruption; expansion of the middle class, tax reform, addressing the concerns of the common man, and inclusive growth so that economic growth will be felt at the lower level of society.

Pimentel said that he is very optimistic Duterte’s agenda would be carried out by the 17th Congress.

He said Duterte’s anointed speaker would win by a landslide over his opponents for the speakership race.
“He has 180 out of the 300-member Congress. That should be enough; more than enough,” Pimentel said.

“I am very optimistic that since we have new partners, we can pursue the agenda of the President and Bebot Alvarez will be the new Speaker of the House of Representatives,” he added.

Alvarez, who has been acting as if he is already the speaker, said that he has had meetings with political parties like the National Unity Party.

He refused to reveal how many have jumped into his ship.

“I won’t have a head count, but I already talked to Speaker Belmonte yesterday. I would say we have more than 100,” Alvarez said.


PHILSTAR

Who's who: Duterte's anointed ones (philstar.com) | Updated May 21, 2016 - 7:14pm 27 92 googleplus0 0


Presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte has started drawing up a list of potential Cabinet members to form his incoming administration. AP/Bulilit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines – Rodrigo Duterte, set to become the 16th president of the Philippines, is starting to form his administration ahead of his oath taking on June 30.

How will the next Cabinet look like under a Duterte administration? Here's a guide to who's who in Duterte's Cabinet:


COLOR CODED CIRCLES: UNDER DIFFERENT PRESIDENTS SINCE CORAZON AQUINO

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FROM RAPPLER.COM INSIDE TRACK

Duterte’s Cabinet choices ruffling feathers in his own circle Pia Ranada @piaranada Published 8:30 AM, May 21, 2016 Updated 8:30 AM, May 21, 2016

What happened to the Cabinet inspired by Justin Trudeau's?
What happened to Pia Cayetano as adviser for women appointees?


CHOICES, CHOICES. Duterte witnesses the signing of the 'Coalition for Change' agreement between Nacionalista Party and PDP-Laban. Photo by Manman Dejeto/Rappler

There seems to be discord in Davao City.

Rody Duterte’s choices for his Cabinet have been generating mixed reactions from the public for the past few days. But it seems even members of his own circle are not too happy about his choices.

(LIST: Who's who in the incoming Duterte Cabinet)

The first to speak out in public is Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, Duterte’s friend for 3 decades, who seems disappointed that he has not been invited to help select Cabinet members.

Quiboloy’s spokesman Mike Abe called Duterte’s selection process “turo-turo” (point-point).

“Turo-turo lang. O, ikaw ang secretary dito, ikaw ang may hawak dito. Nawala na 'yung proseso. 'Yun ang ikinagugulat ng mismong malalapit kay Mayor,” Abe told Rappler.

(It’s just point-point. You be secretary here, you be in charge of this. There is no process. That’s what shocked those close to Mayor.)

One such surprising appointment was that of lawyer and Duterte fraternity brother Vitaliano Aguirre II for the post of justice secretary.

Aguirre himself said he didn’t expect the appointment when he came over to Matina Enclaves to congratulate Duterte for his victory.

Michael Dino, Duterte’s chosen presidential assistant for the Visayas, also said he was offered his position on the spot when he had just visited to congratulate the President-elect.

Mark Villar's appointment

But the most controversial appointment of all was that of Mark Villar to lead the Department of Public Works and Highways. It stank of conflict of interest because of the Villars’ real estate and public utility businesses.

A source says Villar was indeed expected to be in Duterte’s Cabinet by members of his transition committee, but as trade and industry secretary. It would have been a better fit because Villar chairs the House committee on trade.

Villar made his appearance at Matina Enclaves with his parents, Manny and Cynthia, and Duterte’s running mate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.

(READ: Inside the clubhouse where Duterte holds court)

That day, the Nacionalista Party, of which Manny Villar is president, agreed to enter into a coalition with Duterte’s PDP-Laban.

Later that night, Mark Villar released a statement saying he had accepted Duterte’s “offer” of the DPWH post. No such announcement of the offer was made to media at Matina Enclaves, however, even as Duterte’s spokespersons were announcing other appointments.

Assuming the rumors are true, who convinced Duterte to appoint Villar as DPWH head instead of DTI?

Word is the whisperer was Cayetano, who perhaps wanted to do something for the president of his party.

So what happened to Duterte’s public declaration that he would automatically reject candidates suggested by politicians?

Cayetano has not responded to Rappler's request for comment as of writing.

Where is Trudeau-like Cabinet?

But one doesn’t have to look far to see there are differences between Duterte and his transition committee composed of his campaign manager, campaign spokesman, lawyer friends, and executive assistant.

For one thing, where is the Justin Trudeau-inspired Cabinet promised by campaign spokesman Peter Laviña during the days the transition team had been meeting to form a list of candidates?

Duterte was not present in these meetings, choosing to recuperate “in the mountains.”

But the team claimed to have the blessing of Duterte to go ahead and vet candidates for him.

Instead of the gender-balanced and youthful Trudeau-like Cabinet, most of the appointees are former Cabinet secretaries or else “buddies” of Duterte.

So far, there is only one woman out of the list of official appointees, even if the transition team announced outgoing Senator Pia Cayetano would be their adviser on appointing more women. How involved is Cayetano now that Duterte is in the picture?

Cayetano's staff says she has yet to discuss women appointees with Duterte since she had to fly out of the country immediately after the transition committee asked for her help.

While some members of the transition team have received positions (Bingbong Medialdea as executive secretary and Sonny Dominguez as finance secretary), others appear to have been passed over.

Take Peter Laviña, Duterte’s campaign spokesman who, some say, would have been a logical choice for presidential spokesman given his background in journalism. Instead, the post went to Ampatuan lawyer Salvador Panelo.

Laviña and Panelo chose not to respond to Rappler's request for comment.

Duterte's campaign manager, Jun Evasco, has said he is not keen on joining Duterte’s Cabinet. He declined the post of interior and local government secretary, saying he wants to help the Duterte administration in other ways.

There are appeals to the public to give Duterte's Cabinet appointees a chance to prove their worth.

And, after all, the appointments are not final until June 30 when Cabinet members take their oath.

Will Duterte still change his mind? – Rappler.com

Inside Track is Rappler's intelligencer on people, events, places and everything of public interest. It's a take-off from Newsbreak's Inside Track section. Contributions are most welcome. Just send bits of information to investigative@rappler.com.


PHILSTAR

Ombudsman to file raps vs Binay once term ends (philstar.com) | Updated May 19, 2016 - 4:25pm 3 92 googleplus0 0


In this file photo, Binay arrives at the Phinma University of Pangasinan in Dagupan City for the presidential debate on April 24, 2016. Philstar.com / Efigenio Toledo IV

MANILA, Philippines — Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales on Thursday said her office is prepared to file criminal charges against Vice President Jejomar Binay upon the expiration of his term in June.

Morales said Binay, whose failed presidential bid forces him to return to the private sector, will be stripped of his immunity after June 30, the last day of the current government.

She said Binay can be held liable for malversation, falsification and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act over alleged anomalies in a construction project in Makati City.

Asked if there is a possibility that Binay can be detained, Morales said it would depend on the strength of the cases.

"If the charges are bailable, and he posts bail, he will not be incarcerated, but if the charges are non-bailable and the evidence is strong, whether or not he will go to jail would depend on how the Sandiganbayan or any court for that matter determine it," Morales said at a televised press conference in Quezon City.

The Constitution grants the seating president, vice president and ombudsman immunity from criminal charges. The officials can be removed from office through impeachment.

READ MORE...

Lawyer Rico Quicho, spokesperson of Binay, said the ombudsman has always been partial against Binay despite evidence saying otherwise.

"Binalewala nito ang mga ebidensya, due process at ang batas upang gipitin si VP Binay habang nagbulag-bulagan ito sa mga reklamo laban sa mga kaalyado at kapartido ng kasalukuyang administrasyon," Quicho said in a statement issued following the Office of the Ombudsman's press conference.

"In a fair and impartial venue, we are confident that the so-called cases against the VP will be dismissed for being frivolous and baseless. We shall exert all legal remedies to prove the Ombudsman wrong," he added.

In February, the Office of the Ombudsman affirmed its order to file criminal charges against Binay and his son, dismissed Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay Jr. over the P2.2-billion Makati City Hall parking building project was completed in five phases and one design phase. It spanned through the terms of Binay Sr. and Binay Jr. as mayors.

Ombudsman investigators said there was no public bidding conducted prior to the Binays engaging the services of MANA as project designer. Probe report also showed that the procurement process was manipulated to ensure that the contract would be awarded to a firm Mana Architecture and Interior Design. — Camille Diola

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Axed PNP chief Purisima, 10 others ordered arrested (philstar.com) | Updated May 19, 2016 - 5:15pm 1 277 googleplus0 1


For police chief Director General Alan Purisima faces graft charges over an overpriced courier service deal in 2011. In this February 2015 file photo, Purisima examines documents at the start of the Lower House probe on the Mamasapano incident on Jan. 25, 2015 wherein 44 elite police commandos known as SAF (Special Action Force) were killed allegedly in a clash with Muslim guerrillas AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan ordered on Thursday the arrest of former Philippine National Police chief Director General Alan Purisima and other police officials over an anomalous courier service deal.

The warrant, signed by Associate Justices Rodolfo Ponferrada and Oscar Herrara Jr. of the Sixth Division, stated that the pleas earlier filed by Purisima and other respondents in the graft case are considered moot and academic.

The magistrates said the content of the motions are "matters of defense" and are better raised during trial.

Along with Purisima, ordered accused were Gil Meneses, Napoleon Estilles, Allan Parreño, Melchor Reyes, Ford Tuazon, Mario Juan, Salud Bautista, Enrique Valerio, Lorna Perena and Juliana Pasia.

Four other respondents, former police officials Raul Petrasanta, Eduardo Acierto, Nelson Bautista and Ricardo Zapata Jr. , posted bail of P30,000 last week.

READ MORE...

The Office of the Ombudsman filed graft charges against the respondents tagged in the questionable contract between the PNP and Werfast Documentation Agency Inc. (Werfast) in 2011.

Ombudsman investigation bared that Werfast had no corporate existence and juridical personality when the PNP engaged its services for the delivery of firearms licenses through an agreement in May 2011 without conducting a public bidding.

The probe report also showed that Werfast engaged the services of LBC, another courier service agency, and collected P190 for deliveries within Metro Manila and P290 for outside of Metro Manila.

The Office of the Ombudsman argued that the fees were overpriced as courier services normally only ask for P90 within the metro. — Camille Diola

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Purisima arrested at airport, posts bail By Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 21, 2016 - 12:00am 0 2 googleplus0 0


Former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima is escorted by PNP-CIDG and graft court security officers to the Sandiganbayan, which ordered his arrest for alleged graft in a gun license courier deal the PNP entered into in 2011. BOY SANTOS

MANILA, Philippines - Dismissed Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima posted bail at the Sandiganbayan yesterday after he was arrested at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) over charges of graft.

He arrived at the anti-graft court at around 3:15 p.m. escorted by Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) operatives.

Purisima went straight to the Sandiganbayan Sixth Division in Quezon City to undergo processing or booking procedure and posted the P30,000 bail for the graft charges filed against him and several other police officers in connection with the alleged anomalous courier service deal that the PNP entered into in 2011.

His lawyer Ponciano Corpus arrived earlier at the anti-graft court to prepare the former PNP chief for the posting of bail, which will grant him temporary liberty while undergoing criminal trial.

Purisima and his co-accused will be arraigned June 20 on charges of graft.

The Sandiganbayan issued an arrest warrant against him and other respondents to the case on Thursday after finding probable cause for the issuance of the same.

READ MORE...

Magistrates of the anti-graft court junked his motion for judicial determination of probable cause, which was rendered moot by the ruling.

The Sandiganbayan said the grounds or arguments relied upon in the pleading “are matters of defense” and are “best raised and threshed out during trial.”

Purisima is accused of involvement in an anomalous courier service contract for firearms licenses with Werfast Documentation Agency Inc. five years ago. The contract was deemed overpriced and questionable.

The Office of the Ombudsman filed criminal charges against him and a handful of other former police officials led by then Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) chief Raul Petrasanta.

Other respondents to the case were able to avoid being arrested by posting bail as soon as the criminal case was filed and shortly after the arrest warrants were issued against them.

Purisima was whisked to the Sandiganbayan after he surrendered to agents of the CIDG National Capital Region at the NAIA Terminal 3 after his arrival from Butuan City.

“Let’s go,” Purisima told Supt. Tom Ibay, deputy chief of the CIDG-NCR, who served the arrest warrant issued against him by the Sandiganbayan.

Wearing a gray t-shirt, walking shorts and sunglasses with a bull cap covering his head, Purisima was led into a waiting vehicle of the CIDG and brought to the Sandiganbayan where he posted bail.

Purisima was on vacation in Butuan City when the Sandiganbayan issued an arrest order against him and 10 others due to the anomalous gun license courier service.

Upon learning about his arrest warrant, Purisima contacted Senior Supt. Ronald Lee, head of the CIDG-NCR, and arranged his surrender, including his posting bail at the Sandiganbayan.

The former PNP chief relayed to Lee the schedule of his plane’s arrival and CIDG agents were posted at NAIA Terminal 3.

Upon disembarking from the plane, Purisima was escorted by agents from the Aviation Security Group who turned him over to the CIDG agents at about 1:45 p.m., said Lee.

The arrest of Purisima saddened his former subordinates but they are duty-bound to enforce the law.

“It pains us that we have to arrest a former boss but we have to do our job. We are mandated to enforce the law without fear or favor. If we turn our back and did not arrest him, we will be accused of being biased. We are all professionals to do our mandated task,” said CIDG chief Director Victor Deona.

“He did not resist arrest. Our men approached him and informed him about the order of the anti-graft court and he voluntarily went with them and the group directly went to the Sandiganbayan,” Deona added.

Purisima and his co-accused were indicted for violation of Republic Act No. 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, over the contract for the delivery of gun licenses nationwide that the PNP granted to Werfast Documentation Agency Inc.

Deona said the case against Purisima and several police officers is bailable and he does not expect the former PNP chief to be brought to the PNP Custodial Center. With Non Alquitran, Cecille Suerte Felipe, Jaime Laude


INQUIRER

Ombudsman Morales: Duterte will observe rule of law By: Julliane Love De Jesus @JLDejesusINQ INQUIRER.net 04:26 PM May 19th, 2016


Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales. INQUIRER PHOTO / JILSON SECKLER TIU

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales sees no reason to be alarmed over the plan of presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte to get rid of corrupt officials and of criminals by killing them and throwing their bodies into Manila Bay to fatten the fishes.

The head of the anti-graft body, who admitted to having ties with the Duterte family, expressed confidence that the tough-talking Davao City mayor, being a lawyer, will observe the rule of law amid fears that he will resort to summary executions when he becomes President.

“He being a lawyer, I know he will observe the rule of law,” Morales said in a press conference on Thursday.

READ: Duterte vows to continue killing criminals ‘in accordance with law’

Duterte earlier threatened to execute criminals and corrupt officials and dump them into Manila Bay.

“That is his warning, but whether or not he will actually do it remains to be seen,” she said.

READ: Duterte to order ‘shoot-to-kill’ for criminals, reinstate death penalty

Duterte’s remarks

Answering questions from the media with candor, Morales weighed in on Duterte’s rude manner of speaking, which she said may have brought Duterte to fame.

“Mga patutsada niya, during election period lang ‘yun eh (His quips were only during the election period), and that’s what clicked I think. People wanted to hear something different,” she said.

READ: Why people like ‘Dirty Duterte’

With his tough image and speeches peppered with profanity, Morales said Duterte “made a phenomenon.”

READ MORE...

“Ang dami-daming bumoto sa kanya, so some analysts think, what made him click? Mga sinasabi niya, which they think is alarming, baka ‘yun ‘yung nakaattract sa mga tao who voted for him,” she said.

(So many people voted for him, so some analysts think, what made him click? The things he said, which they think are alarming, could be what attracted people who voted for him.)

The husband of Duterte’s daughter Sara, Atty. Mans Carpio, is the son of the Ombudsman’s brother Atty. Lucas Carpio, whose wife is Court of Appeals Associate Justice Agnes Reyes-Carpio.

“In other words, he (Duterte) is the ‘balae’ of my brother,” she said.

Asked if she had spoken with Duterte, Morales said if she would be given a chance, she would certainly greet the mayor.

Duterte is currently in Davao City where several politicians, celebrities, personalities and supporters flocked to meet him.

READ: VIPs fly south to Duterte’s new seat of power

“But for me to go out of my way and personally visit him in Davao, I will not do that,” Morales said, drawing laughter from reporters.

If she personally visits the mayor, Morales said her enemies would just take advantage of the opportunity to create an issue against her. JE/rga


GMA NEWS ONLINE

Basking in Davao’s beauty amid the breeze of Duterte’s victory Published May 21, 2016 6:23pm By LEONILA GARCIA


Tourism-sponsored media familiarization tour with Manila media participants on Buenavista Island.

All roads lead to Davao City for many reasons. Well-wishers, job applicants and hangers-on hoping to take selfies with Mayor Rodrigo Duterte have come in droves. Turncoats, tycoons, celebrities, diplomats and heads of states have also lined up to congratulate the big winner in this year’s elections.

But there are enough rooms for all of them, said Robert Alabado III, Department of Tourism-Southern Mindanao's director.

“We are expecting more tourist arrivals especially since the city’s No. 1 promoter is the incoming President,” he said.

Davao City has at least 8,000 rooms, ranging from five-star accommodations to backpackers’ hostels.

The mayor's seeming aversion to travel to Manila, the country's capital located some 1,000 kilometers to the northwest, has drawn tourists, travelers and VIPs to head down to this southern city.

A member of the staff of Marco Polo Davao, for instance, said the hotel currently has a 92-percent occupancy, and they expect the rate to continue “as long as Duterte keeps holding meetings here.”

Whatever reason you may have for visiting Davao, be sure to savor the beauty and blessings of the region from islands to highlands, as we did during the Department of Tourism-sponsored media familiarization tour held early this May.

Here are the things you will surely enjoy while in the city:

Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC)


The famed Public Safety and Security Command Center of Davao.

A visit to the city is never complete without dropping by the PSSCC. There, the guests would have a glimpse of how the urban Davao became one of the safest places in the world.

Created to provide protection, security, safety, and risk management assistance to Davaoeños, the center operates under the Office of the City Mayor.

READ MORE...

It boasts of a "coordinative approach" in addressing crime, terrorism, traffic jams, health and emergency services, and disaster risk reduction by using information, technology, and "intelligent solutions."

The Davao City 911, for instance, takes calls 24/7. During emergencies, try dialing 911 even from your cellular phone and you can expect help will surely come.

As you tour the PSSCC, you will also witness how its personnel monitor so many CCTV cameras installed around the city. They don’t just monitor the traffic, they also monitor the crimes.

Those with criminal activities and who violate the anti-smoking ordinance better beware. You can't hide from the almost omnipotent eye of the CCTV cameras.

Beach within a banana plantation

A property of Hijo Estate Resorts, Banana Beach is touted as the only beach resort within a banana plantation, thus its name. But the place is not all bananas. It has other crops, mostly coconut. The 760-hectare plantation offers day tour packages such as forest tour and cruising which our group both tried.

On the way to the forest, be awed by long-tailed macaque monkeys and wild boars greeting you. Then get ready for a 700-meter elevated walk through the forest with century-old trees.



Part of the 700-meter elevated walk in Banana Beach.

Overlooking Davao Gulf, the Banana Beach has a spacious outdoor facility with a restaurant and infinity pool.

Own an island for a day or overnight

If you want to go to the beach but you hate crowded places, the Island Buenavista in Samal, Davao, could be yours for a day or more.

Just pay the price and the four-hectare island could be yours exclusively for days.

Enjoy nature and adventures

Don’t miss the eco-adventure activities at Eden Nature Park where you will be surrounded with so many greens and flowers during a tour. A mountain resort that is 3,000 feet above sea level, the park offers not just a peaceful surrounding, but a cool breeze that filters through thousands of pine trees.

Aside from horseback riding, there are other activities for adventurous souls like the Skycycle, zipline, and Skyswing.

With Skycycle, you’ll literally ride a bicycle on a cable wire and if you’re not yet satisfied you can do the zipline afterwards. Or you may opt for the Skyswing where you are lifted very high slowly and thrown to the wind in a jiffy!

Do the 'Pub Crawl'

Try the Davao Pub Crawl, featuring five homegrown pubs in Davao City that aim to promote the urban night life. It’s Davao’s version of bar hopping in Manila with a twist. For one, they promote native rums: santol, sili, mangosteen, durian, ginger and chocolate—which they sell buy-one-take-one-free at P80 per shot during happy hours.

DOT Region XI wants tourists to know that there is night life in Davao despite strict ordinances on curfew and wine selling. This is why, for the second year of DOT’s Visit Davao Fun Sale (VDFS) campaign, the agency has included it in its offerings.

Kalumon Performing Arts

Kalumon Performing Arts is a very talented group. Witness its various song and cultural dance numbers at the Matina Town Square (MTS), the entertainment hub of Davao City.

This group creates performance pieces rooted in indigenous Filipino culture. Its shows will make you appreciate the beauty, talents, and culture of Davaoenos.

Selfie, groufie with eagles


Philippine Eagle Center

Simulating a tropical rainforest environment, the Philippine Eagle Center is home to 34 Philippine eagles, 18 of which were bred in captivity. It also houses 10 other species of birds, four species of mammals, and two species of reptiles. A major tourist attraction in the region, the eagles have become tourist-friendly over the years. They pose for the cameras, too!

Don’t forget to drop by the nearby Malagos Garden Resort for wine, cheese, and chocolate tasting activity afterwards. It is also home to the Waling-Waling, dubbed the Queen of Philippine Orchids, as well as stately pine trees and a collection of pieces by National Artist Napoleon Abueva.

Davao is a great place to live in, truly a promised land: Clean. Progressive. Peaceful. Modern. If you’re searching for a city that capitalizes on the outdoors, fresh harvests, affordable food and lodging, Davao would surely be a pleasant surprise. — LBG/KG, GMA News Photos by Leonila Garcia


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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