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INFIGHTING BEGINS: QUIBOLOY - DUTERTE AIDES SHUTTING US OUT


MAY 21 -Friend’s counsel. President-apparent Rodrigo Duterte is all ears as Christian evangelist Apollo Quiboloy whispers into his ear in a meeting in Davao City before the election when it was not yet clear that the Davao City mayor would become president. JOHN PAOLO  BENCITO In fighting over Cabinet posts in the incoming administration surfaced Friday, after the spokesman of an influential religious leader complained that he was being shut out of the discussions about who should serve in the new government led by president-in-waiting Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. A spokesman for Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, a long-time friend and campaign financier of Duterte, expressed disappointment Friday about being eased out of the transition, and being rejected several times when he offered to help select members of the new Cabinet. “There are many instances that [Quiboloy] wanted to talk with the mayor, but it seems that the message isn’t reaching the mayor,” said Mike Abe, Quiboloy’s spokesman during a TV interview. “We tried to reach out, but we cannot reach out to the mayor. [In the past], Pastor [Quiboloy] and the mayor would often talk, but there’s already an apparent gap now.” At the center of the controversy is Christopher Go, Duterte’s top aide, who vets all incoming communications. “Somebody is blocking him,” Abe said. “Everyone knows that Duterte’s aide, Mr. Bong [Christopher] Go is the only one who’s holding the cellphones, all incoming and outgoing communications for the mayor. That’s the problem.” Abe said Quiboloy only wanted “to help the mayor.” Quiboloy and Duterte’s friendship go back to 1988, when the former was the latter’s vice mayor. READ MORE...

ALSO: The Dutertes are a family of public servants


Like everyone else, Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte wants to spend Christmas with his family. The mayor kisses his grandson Uno. FROM RODY DUTERTE 2016 Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte had been a public servant long before he became the officer-in-charge of Davao City after the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution. After all, he came from a political family. His father, Vicente Duterte, was governor of a then undivided Davao. And before that, Duterte’s father also served as the mayor of Danao City in Cebu. Duterte's mother Soledad Roa Duterte, or Nanay Soling, led the yellow movement in Davao during the Martial Law period. She also fought for the rights of the indigenous peoples, a cause that her son Rodrigo also took up when he became mayor. “I miss her, always,” Rodrigo Duterte said of his mother, who died two years ago at the age of 96. His attachment to his mother became evident when it became likely that he had won the presidential elections, the tough-talking mayor wailed at his mother's tomb, “Ma, tabangi ko [Ma, help me].” 
Footsteps Given the pedigree, it was not surprising that Duterte’s children followed in his footsteps. READ MORE...

ALSO: No BBL - Next Congress to focus on federalism, says Speaker Alvarez
[RELATED: Ties that bind: Duterte and Alvarez go back a long way]


MAY 22 -The incoming 17th Congress will not tackle the controversial Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which outgoing lawmakers have tried but failed to pass, according to Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.
Alvarez, who is the choice for speaker of incoming president Rodrigo Duterte, yesterday said the BBL would be subsumed by the planned shift to the federal form of government that the Duterte administration would prioritize. He said the BBL would give way to federalism “because they are the same concept.” “While waiting for federalism, the Duterte administration can fully implement the Tripoli Agreement,” he said. The Tripoli accord led to the establishment of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Alvarez said ARMM would function better and prosper under a federal system. “They can manage their own natural resources and economy,” he said. The draft BBL is the product of peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Alvarez accused the Aquino administration of “taking the MILF for a ride” because it agreed to certain provisions in the draft BBL that “were unconstitutional.” The bloody encounter in January 2015 between commandos of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force and Muslim guerillas mostly belonging to the MILF stalled congressional consideration of the proposed BBL. READ MORE...RELATED, Ties that bind: Duterte and Alvarez go back a long way...

ALSO: In Congress, LP losing power quickly; MORE ALLIES JUMP SHIP, ABANDON BELMONTE
[Belmonte, however, has not yet made up his mind whether to be the minority leader or join other LP members in the majority coalition. But a source told the Inquirer that Belmonte himself brokered the transfer of the bulk of LP members to the majority bloc when he met with Alvarez at his home a few days ago.]


MAY 22 -Speaker Feliciano Belmonte. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO The Liberal Party (LP) is losing power swiftly and drastically as more than a dozen of its members from the Visayas have abandoned Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. to join presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s emerging coalition in the House of Representatives. Negros Oriental Rep. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez, a former LP member who ran for reelection as an independent in the May 9 elections, was the lead signatory among members of the Visayas bloc who signed a declaration of support for incoming Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez in the race for the Speaker of the House in the 17th Congress. READ: Belmonte: Alvarez is next Speaker Alvarez is a member of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) and Duterte’s personal choice for Speaker of the House in his administration. Benitez arranged a meeting between Alvarez and Visayas bloc members on Wednesday to enable the comebacking representative (Alvarez served one term in the House together with Duterte, from 1998 to 2001). Benitez was aiming for at least 45 names on the declaration. “We, the members of the Visayas bloc, extend our cooperation and support to the incoming Duterte administration in its pursuit [of] development and enactment of propeople and developmental policies and programs for our country,” said the declaration signed by 30 lawmakers from the Visayas region, a third of whom were from the LP. Signatories The LP members who have signed the declaration were Representatives Jerry Treñas, Richard Garin and Arthur Defensor Jr. of Iloilo City; Ben Evardone of Eastern Samar; Lucy Torres-Gomez of Leyte; Rene Relampagos of Bohol; Cesar V. Sarmiento of Catanduanes; Paolo Javier of Antique, and Gerald Gullas of Cebu. READ MORE...RELATED, Palace tells public: Let’s go easy on new administration...

ALSO: Mindanao witnesses: LP men rigged polls


MAY 22 -ZERO VOTES FOR MARCOS, NON-LP BETS New witnesses to fraud in the recently held elections surfaced yesterday alleging electoral sabotage that favored the incumbent administration’s Liberal Party (LP) in Basilan province on election day.Speaking yesterday in a media forum in Quezon City, supposed witnesses from Basilan told reporters that they are preparing to file charges with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) saying that they will bring witnesses who were physically present when the actual rigging of the votes happened.Claiming that most of these incidents happened in far-flung barrios, it gave other candidates, including close vice presidential contender Sen. Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., zero votes. An affidavit sworn by a certain Amina Muarip who ran for a seat in the municipal council of Hadji Mohammad Ajul town in Basilan province noted that although she won in the elections Muaripstill finds it irregular that she wasn’t allowed to vote herself and even her supporters.She narrated her case saying that the LP manipulated the polls, at least, in her area.“The supporters of the Liberal Party in precincts 27A, 27B, 28A, 29B and 30A (in Baranggay Candiis, Hadji Mohammad Aju, Basilan) orchestrated the locking of votes in favor of all the candidates of the Liberal Party,” Muarip said.She also noted that LP supporters were doling out P1,000 per voter in the said barrio which obviously constitutes a violaton of the Omnibus Elections Code.Muarip, who is affiliated with the Nacionalista Party, added that “another fraud committed during the election was the shading of ballots by random people who were picked by the supporters of the Baranggay Captain of Candiis... to vote for the candidates of the Liberal Party”.READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Infighting begins: Quiboloy - Duterte aides shutting us out


Friend’s counsel. President-apparent Rodrigo Duterte is all ears as Christian evangelist Apollo Quiboloy whispers into his ear in a meeting in Davao City before the election when it was not yet clear that the Davao City mayor would become president. JOHN PAOLO  BENCITO

DAVAO CITY, MAY 23, 2016 (MANILA STANDARD) posted May 21, 2016 by John Paolo Bencito —In fighting over Cabinet posts in the incoming administration surfaced Friday, after the spokesman of an influential religious leader complained that he was being shut out of the discussions about who should serve in the new government led by president-in-waiting Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

A spokesman for Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, a long-time friend and campaign financier of Duterte, expressed disappointment Friday about being eased out of the transition, and being rejected several times when he offered to help select members of the new Cabinet.

“There are many instances that [Quiboloy] wanted to talk with the mayor, but it seems that the message isn’t reaching the mayor,” said Mike Abe, Quiboloy’s spokesman during a TV interview.

“We tried to reach out, but we cannot reach out to the mayor. [In the past], Pastor [Quiboloy] and the mayor would often talk, but there’s already an apparent gap now.”

At the center of the controversy is Christopher Go, Duterte’s top aide, who vets all incoming communications.

“Somebody is blocking him,” Abe said. “Everyone knows that Duterte’s aide, Mr. Bong [Christopher] Go is the only one who’s holding the cellphones,

all incoming and outgoing communications for the mayor. That’s the problem.”

Abe said Quiboloy only wanted “to help the mayor.”

Quiboloy and Duterte’s friendship go back to 1988, when the former was the latter’s vice mayor.

READ MORE...

Two days after his landslide finish in the May 9 polls—Duterte had formed a five-man team consisting of former Agriculture secretary Carlos Dominguez, lawyers Salvador Medialdea and Loreto Ata, Maribojoc Mayor Leoncio Jun Evasco, Go and his spokesman, Peter Laviña, to handle the transition to his assumption of office on June 30.

Duterte has been in marathon meetings every day with well-wishers and people looking for one of 400 positions up for grabs.

Since last Sunday, Duterte and the people around him have named members of his prospective Cabinet.

Duterte’s spokesman, Laviña, acknowledged that some people who helped the mayor were not happy after being eased out of his inner circle.

“There has been negative reactions on the nominees and the appointments, and we welcome them. Some have expressed their disappointments, we have been receiving [reports]. It is unfortunate that some people did not like the nominees and maybe the process. We welcome their suggestions yet we have not completed our work. Certainly we are open, democratic and participative,” Laviña said at a press briefing at the Royal Mandaya Hotel.

Laviña, a former Davao councilor who also served as Duterte’s campaign spokesman, played down that there were splits in the Duterte camp.

“There’s no rift [within the team.] But I’m not in constant touch [with the others],” he said.

Laviña also apologized to Quiboloy and assured him that he was not being eased out, but said the pastor was never part of “the selection process.”

Laviña said Duterte has been entertaining “all possible guests” since last Sunday, but due to the volume of the well-wishers, many of them could not be accommodated.

Since 2014, Duterte has been engaging in so-called “listening tours” around the country explaining his position on federalism and its advantages along with some close supporters who were actively convincing him to run as president.

Sources within the Duterte camp, however, said some politicians who were not even part of the listening tours were being accommodated.

One recently announced Cabinet member, a source said, was given a post because a Manila politician close to Duterte had lobbied for him.

“Depending on your level of access, [you can get earmarked for a position], but some were being kept out,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Many well-wishers, including present Aquino Cabinet members, some politicians, and even showbiz personalities have sought audiences with Duterte in marathon meetings held at Davao hotels such as the Royal Mandaya Hotel, Mandaya Enclaves and the Dominguez-owned Marco Polo Hote. But many returned home with nothing, the source said.

On Sunday, Duterte said he would be picking the “best and the brightest” to form his Cabinet.

But even his spokesman, Laviña, has been criticized because he served as the lawyer of the Ampatuan clan, which was accused of the Maguindanao massacre in which 58 people—including 34 journalists—were slaughtered.

Speaking to ANC on Friday, Salvador Panelo confirmed that Duterte tapped former Civil Aviations Authority of the Philippines chief Alfonso Cusi as Energy secretary, and former Justice secretary Jose Calida as solicitor-general.

But Panelo said none of the appointments were official until Duterte took his oath.

Laviña confirmed on social media that a four-man team had flown to Manila to meet with Malacanang officials led by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa to arrange for the transition.

“A four-person team from the Davao City mayor’s office is now on its way to Malacañang for an initial ocular inspection and briefing from the Palace protocol office. Godspeed!” he wrote on his Facebook page.


GMA NEWS ONLINE

The Dutertes are a family of public servants Published May 21, 2016 12:26am


Like everyone else, Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte wants to spend Christmas with his family. The mayor kisses his grandson Uno. FROM RODY DUTERTE 2016

Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte had been a public servant long before he became the officer-in-charge of Davao City after the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution.

After all, he came from a political family. His father, Vicente Duterte, was governor of a then undivided Davao. And before that, Duterte’s father also served as the mayor of Danao City in Cebu.

Duterte's mother Soledad Roa Duterte, or Nanay Soling, led the yellow movement in Davao during the Martial Law period. She also fought for the rights of the indigenous peoples, a cause that her son Rodrigo also took up when he became mayor.

“I miss her, always,” Rodrigo Duterte said of his mother, who died two years ago at the age of 96.

His attachment to his mother became evident when it became likely that he had won the presidential elections, the tough-talking mayor wailed at his mother's tomb, “Ma, tabangi ko [Ma, help me].”


SCREENGRAB FROM YOU TUBE, VIDEO BELOW.

Footsteps

Given the pedigree, it was not surprising that Duterte’s children followed in his footsteps.

READ MORE...

Paolo Duterte is now on his second term as the vice mayor of Davao City.

Sara Duterte-Carpio, who is also a lawyer, is also going to serve another term as mayor of Davao City. Before that, she served as her father's vice mayor.

“Nakita ko iyong trabaho niya, from nine years old ako hanggang ngayon," said Sarah Duterte. "Mabilis na akong mag-decide kung may issue may problema, parang second nature ko na.”

Duterte has two more children: Sebastian Duterte and Veronica, his 12-year-old daughter with his partner Honeylet Avanceña. — Trisha Macas/DVM, GMA News -

 
THE DUTERTES


PHILSTAR

No BBL: Next Congress to focus on federalism By Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 22, 2016 - 12:00am 0 32 googleplus0 0


Alvarez, who is the choice for speaker of incoming president Rodrigo Duterte, yesterday said the BBL would be subsumed by the planned shift to the federal form of government that the Duterte administration would prioritize. Philstar.com file

MANILA, Philippines – The incoming 17th Congress will not tackle the controversial Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which outgoing lawmakers have tried but failed to pass, according to Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.

Alvarez, who is the choice for speaker of incoming president Rodrigo Duterte, yesterday said the BBL would be subsumed by the planned shift to the federal form of government that the Duterte administration would prioritize.

He said the BBL would give way to federalism “because they are the same concept.”

“While waiting for federalism, the Duterte administration can fully implement the Tripoli Agreement,” he said.

The Tripoli accord led to the establishment of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Alvarez said ARMM would function better and prosper under a federal system.

“They can manage their own natural resources and economy,” he said.

The draft BBL is the product of peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Alvarez accused the Aquino administration of “taking the MILF for a ride” because it agreed to certain provisions in the draft BBL that “were unconstitutional.”

The bloody encounter in January 2015 between commandos of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force and Muslim guerillas mostly belonging to the MILF stalled congressional consideration of the proposed BBL.

READ MORE...

However, the MILF has blamed Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who chairs the Senate committee on local government, for the failure of Congress to pass the measure.

The MILF claimed that Marcos did not have the time for the draft BBL in the latter part of 2015, as he was already busy preparing for his vice presidential run. Marcos denies the accusation, tossing the blame to the administration and its allies in the House of Representatives.

Reached for comment on Alvarez’s statement that the draft BBL would be shelved, reelected ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman said it does not augur well for peace in Mindanao.


Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez. Alvarez, is the choice for speaker of incoming president Rodrigo Duterte.

“It sends the wrong message to the MILF and those of us who want to resolve the decades-old conflict in Mindanao so that peace and development could finally be attained,” he said.

He said party-list group Anak Mindanao, which his wife heads and which has won two seats in the House, will re-file the proposed BBL at the start of the term of the next Congress.

Hataman also foresees a problem with ARMM under a federal system if regions or states would be entirely autonomous and would be required to generate their own finances.

He said the Muslim region would receive this year about P30 billion in subsidy from the national government.

“The annual income of ARMM is very much less than that. If ARMM will not get subsidy from the central government, it will become poorer. The same will be true with other poor and underdeveloped regions,” he stressed.

In a related development, senator-elect Sherwin Gatchalian urged the incoming administration to study federalism “holistically to be able to come up with the best form.”

Like Hataman, the neophyte senator said a wrong approach would make rich areas richer and poor areas poorer because of uneven income distribution.

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

RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Ties that bind: Duterte and Alvarez go back a long way By: DJ Yap @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 03:10 AM May 22nd, 2016


Incoming Davao Del Norte Rep. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez. INQUIRER.net PHOTO

House Speaker-in-waiting Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez is not only a trusted friend and confidante of Davao Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte. He is the presumptive next President’s travel buddy, political adviser, fellow adventurer and, above all, cheerleader.

The ties that bind the two men go back two decades, during the 11th Congress, when both were junior congressmen idling away their time at the House of Representatives.

Duterte, who got bored with legislative work, served only one term in Congress, while Alvarez’s first term was interrupted in January 2001, when the fledgling Arroyo administration picked him to be the secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications, a post he held until July 5, 2002.

In one of the lunchtime chats between the Davao del Norte lawmaker and Duterte, the congressman turned to his older colleague and told him, “Pare, you should run for President. You’d surely win.”

Duterte snickered. “He told me, ‘who are you kidding? Find someone else to flatter,’” recalled Alvarez, who won another mandate as district representative after a 15-year absence from the House.

That light banter in 1998 helped solidify the budding friendship between the two sons of Mindanao, and would prove prophetic 18 years later.

In an hour-long interview with the Inquirer on Wednesday, Alvarez gave a revealing portrait of his relationship with the 71-year-old Duterte, the godfather of one of his children.

More than just a friend, Alvarez is a true believer who talks of the incoming President in the same glowing terms and worshipping tone often heard among die-hard Duterte fans. “I will give him 100 percent support because I believe in him,” the congressman said. “I believe in his leadership. He has no other objective except to change the nation.”

Alvarez added: “I have seen his character as a leader. I think this man is the right fit to be our President. He is a very sincere person. He is not a hypocrite.”

In fact, added the congressman, that’s how he earned Duterte’s trust. “There’s no fakery between us. I’m sincere with him. I can say what I want to say to him.”

Now entrenched within the Davao mayor’s inner circle, Alvarez, a transportation secretary under the Arroyo administration, has been tapped by Duterte’s PDP-Laban party to challenge current Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. for the House leadership.

Loyal lieutenant

The presumptive President-elect, after all, needs a loyal lieutenant in the House—first, to foil any impeachment attempt against the Chief Executive and, second, to advance his legislative agenda.

“I thought he was kidding,” said Alvarez, whom Duterte had started referring to as “Speaker” in the early days of their campaign.

“In the last two weeks of the campaign, he told me at Marco Polo [Hotel in Davao], ‘pare, it looks like we’re good to go. Start working on the speakership,’” he recalled.

“I told him, ‘pare, I haven’t even won yet!’” he said with a laugh.

So can anyone say “no” to Duterte?

“As long as you explain to him why there is a better solution,” Alvarez said. “He has an open mind… Just don’t tell him ‘this is what you should do,’” he added.

As scores of old, new and returning lawmakers cozy up to the Duterte camp, Alvarez claims to have secured at least 180 votes, enough to seize the leadership from Belmonte in the 290-member chamber.

Weeping

Away from the public’s prying eyes, the congressman-elect describes the outgoing Davao mayor as a toughie who has a soft core. Once, he saw the mayor sobbing after a visit from a cancer patient. Another time, he caught the official weeping upon seeing the size of the rapturous crowd at a campaign rally.

The two buddies love going on adventure trips together. Recently they flew an ultralight two-seater plane over Pampanga. “(It was) like riding a motorcycle in the air,” Alvarez recalled.

Despite Duterte’s macho image, the mayor “doesn’t drink or smoke,” the congressman said. “But he loves to talk. We talk about so many things… women, light moments… girlfriends,” he added.

Duterte, whose political career has capitalized on his man-of-the-masses persona, has simple joys, one of them eating his favorite dish, “inun unan” (fish stewed in vinegar), with his hands, Alvarez said, adding that on a recent trip to Australia before the campaign period, they spent time just “walking around, eating.”

But as close as Alvarez is to Duterte, his hold on the mayor is not absolute.

“He’s a tough person to influence,” Alvarez said. “He has his own mind. No matter what you say, he would just nod as if he agreed with you. Then you’d realize later he did not follow your advice.”

Plunder complaint

The man who might be Duterte’s whip in Congress is a graduate of Ateneo Law School who practiced law from 1984 to 1986. He then shifted to a career in public service as a member of Sen. Wigberto Tañada’s staff from 1987 to 1992.

Alvarez worked briefly at the Manila International Airport Authority as senior assistant general manager and chief operating officer from March 1995 to September 1997.

It was for this stint that he, along with five other officials, faced a plunder complaint in 2001 for awarding in 1996 the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 build-operate-transfer contract to Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc. (Piatco).

‘Lack of evidence’

According to sources, Alvarez’s wife owned 33 percent of Wintrack Builders Inc., the company that did excavation work with Piatco, and profited immensely from it. But the case was dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman that same year for “lack of evidence.”

“I really had nothing to do with that,” Alvarez said of the plunder complaint. “I was just harassed… I was in the technical working group, which had no discretion to award the contract.”

He added: “I had no role in it, which was why, during the hearing, no evidence was presented. No witnesses testified.”

Alvarez is married to Emelita Apostol, with whom he has four children. He also has two children from a first marriage. The family lives in Makati City.

Resistant

One could say that Alvarez had a crucial role in Duterte’s storybook ascension to the presidency.

READ: A reluctant presidential candidate

It was he who convinced PDP-Laban in October last year to have one party member file a certificate of candidacy (COC) on the last day so that Duterte, who was resistant to the idea, could substitute for him should the mayor change his mind later. That member turned out to be Martin Diño, who filed a COC for Pasay mayor.

But Duterte was so vocal against running for the top post that at one point, Sen. Koko Pimentel told Alvarez: “Bai, wag na natin pahirapan. Ayaw nya talaga (Let’s not make this tough for him. He really doesn’t want to run).”

To which Alvarez replied: “Hayaan mo na (just let it be), so we’d have a chance. We have until Dec. 8,” he said, referring to the deadline for substitutions.

In the end, three men made the decision for that last-minute filing which, in hindsight, became a turning point in the 2016 election: Alvarez, Pimentel and Duterte’s right hand man, Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, who ultimately gave the go-signal for Diño to file his COC on the mayor’s behalf.

Alvarez recounted how, as the tough-talking Duterte hemmed and hawed about a possible presidential run, the congressman showed him a YouTube clip of the “Takbo (run) Duterte” music video, urging him to enter the presidential fray. “I saw he was tearing up. I thought, ‘patay ka ngayon (you’re dead).’ We’re getting close,” he recalled, chuckling.

READ: Duterte: My candidacy for the presidency is now on the table

No rubber stamp

In the next six years, the friendship between Duterte and Alvarez will be closely watched and severely tested, as the former assumes the No. 1 post in the land and—if all goes according to plan—the latter secures No. 4.

“It will definitely not be a rubber stamp, but an implementer of the program of the Duterte administration,” Alvarez said of his vision for the House.

“As Speaker, I will be guided by the advocacies and promises of the President during the campaign. He was elected on the basis of those platforms,” he said.

There are three priorities, said Alvarez: The shift to a federal form of government through constitutional amendment, the revival of the death penalty and the restoration of the Ledac, or the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council, which did not see action during the Aquino administration.

Like Duterte, Alvarez demonstrated during the Inquirer interview a propensity for blithely dismissing questions about specifics on certain issues.

Asked how he could muster the absolute three-fourths vote required to change any part of the Charter, Alvarez said: “I don’t see a problem because we have explained it to the people. Members of Congress are there because they represent the sentiments of the constituents.”

Dismissive

Asked how the House leadership could maintain unity in the ranks in the absence of pork barrel as bargaining chip, Alvarez shrugged, saying: “That’s not a problem. What is pork barrel for? It’s for the people, right? Besides, every year, Congress will have to provide a budget for infrastructure, education and health projects.”

He was also dismissive of the opposition by church and human rights groups to the death penalty, saying: “What is their solution to heinous crimes? If they are so opposed, why don’t they offer their own solutions?”

The Ledac, Alvarez said, would be vital in pushing Duterte’s programs and creating a smooth flow between Malacañang and the two chambers of Congress in enacting priority bills. He said President Aquino’s reluctance to convene the Ledac, a brainchild of the Ramos administration, could be “because he’s lazy.”

Alvarez said his friend Duterte would show “a different leadership” from the ones before him. TVJ

RELATED STORIES

Alvarez backs Charter change to allow federalism, 2-party system

Alvarez a cinch for speakership as Belmonte sees possible loss


INQUIRER

LP losing power quickly-MORE ALLIES JUMP SHIP, ABANDON BELMONTE By: Gil Cabacungan @gilcabacungan Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:45 AM May 22nd, 2016


Speaker Feliciano Belmonte. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The Liberal Party (LP) is losing power swiftly and drastically as more than a dozen of its members from the Visayas have abandoned Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. to join presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s emerging coalition in the House of Representatives.

Negros Oriental Rep. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez, a former LP member who ran for reelection as an independent in the May 9 elections, was the lead signatory among members of the Visayas bloc who signed a declaration of support for incoming Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez in the race for the Speaker of the House in the 17th Congress.

READ: Belmonte: Alvarez is next Speaker

Alvarez is a member of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) and Duterte’s personal choice for Speaker of the House in his administration.

Benitez arranged a meeting between Alvarez and Visayas bloc members on Wednesday to enable the comebacking representative (Alvarez served one term in the House together with Duterte, from 1998 to 2001). Benitez was aiming for at least 45 names on the declaration.

“We, the members of the Visayas bloc, extend our cooperation and support to the incoming Duterte administration in its pursuit [of] development and enactment of propeople and developmental policies and programs for our country,” said the declaration signed by 30 lawmakers from the Visayas region, a third of whom were from the LP.

Signatories

The LP members who have signed the declaration were Representatives Jerry Treñas, Richard Garin and Arthur Defensor Jr. of Iloilo City; Ben Evardone of Eastern Samar; Lucy Torres-Gomez of Leyte; Rene Relampagos of Bohol; Cesar V. Sarmiento of Catanduanes; Paolo Javier of Antique, and Gerald Gullas of Cebu.

READ MORE...

AAMBIS-OWA Rep. Sharon Garin, a sister-in-law of outgoing Health Secretary Janette Garin, also signed the declaration.

Other representatives who signed the declaration were Lucille Nava of Guimaras; Henry Ong of Leyte; Raul Tupas of Iloilo; Melecio Yap and Manuel Sagarbarris of Negros Occidental; Greg Gasataya of Bacolod City, and Arnie Teves of Negros Oriental.

Alvarez has already gained more than enough support to win the race for the speakership even though the PDP-Laban has only three members in the House—Valenzuela Rep. Eric Martinez, Lanao del Sur Rep. Jun Papandayan, and Alvarez.

Just 12 days after the elections, Alvarez has obtained the support of the Nacionalista Party, Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats, the 45-member party-list coalition, the Nationalist People’s Coalition and the National Unity Party.

Alvarez earlier said that he expected at least 50 members of the 114 LP members in the House to join the coalition.

READ: Alvarez says 50 Liberals jumping to PDP-Laban

Belmonte’s plan

Outgoing Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, an LP stalwart, on Saturday said the future of the party in the House depended on whether Belmonte would challenge Alvarez for the speakership.

Abad said he expected some of the 114 Liberals in the House to fall out, and that President Aquino, the titular head of the party, would be “concerned” about that.

“There has to be a meeting first where the Speaker would have to tell us what his plans are, if the decision is to support the incoming administration and join the House majority in a coalition with PDP-Laban,” he said.

But with LP members defecting en masse to PDP-Laban in the mad scramble for juicy positions, Belmonte conceded defeat in the battle for the speakership a day after gathering close to 100 party members at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel on Thursday.

Joining the majority

Belmonte, however, has not yet made up his mind whether to be the minority leader or join other LP members in the majority coalition.

But a source told the Inquirer that Belmonte himself brokered the transfer of the bulk of LP members to the majority bloc when he met with Alvarez at his home a few days ago.

The source, an LP member who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak for the party, said Belmonte decided that it was better for the bulk of LP members to join the majority coalition but remain in the LP.

The source said Belmonte feared that if the LP took a hard line and force members to remain with the minority, many of them might choose to abandon ship and join the PDP-Laban or other parties.

Belmonte, the source said, agreed to the bulk of the members joining the majority to prevent the disintegration of the party.

‘Bite size’ minority

Alvarez said there was no need for the Liberals to move to PDP-Laban if they wanted to join Duterte’s coalition for change.

But if Belmonte and the LP would choose to be the minority bloc, then the Liberals who wanted to join the majority would be required to pledge allegiance to PDP-Laban.

Alvarez said he expected to reduce the minority bloc in the 17th Congress to “bite size” or just 20 members at most. With a report from Nikko Dizon/TVJ

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Palace tells public: Let’s go easy on new administration SHARES: 155 VIEW COMMENTS By: Nikko Dizon and Leila B. Salaverria @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer
02:17 AM May 22nd, 2016


A large tarpaulin bearing the face of Presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte has been set up as Duterte starts to accomodate guests and well wishers at the Matina Enclave in Davao City.INQUIRER PHOTO / MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

In this May 17, 2016 file photo, a large tarpaulin bearing the face of presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has been set up as he starts to accommodate guests and well wishers at the Matina Enclave in Davao City. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

Malacañang on Saturday steered clear of reports of bickering within the camp of presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, saying that instead of fanning intrigue, everyone should support the incoming administration.

“It’s best if we give our whole support, and other sectors of society should give their support, to the incoming administration. It’s better if we don’t fan the intrigue, speculation and talk about that (the intramural dispute among Duterte’s supporters),” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

Coloma was asked on state-run Radyo ng Bayan for comment on reports of a misunderstanding among Duterte’s supporters, including the camp of Apollo Quiboloy, a self-styled evangelist and a close friend of the Davao City mayor.

READ: Quiboloy hurt in selection of Duterte’s Cabinet members

READ MORE...

Quiboloy’s spokesperson, Mike Abe, complained to reporters on Friday that Quiboloy had been shut out by Duterte’s “cordon sanitaire,” preventing him from taking part in the selection of new Cabinet officials.

READ: Sidelined, Quiboloy is hurting

“We don’t have anything to do with it and we are not taking part in it. But as observers… we were once an ‘incoming administration’ and had gone through the process, it would be very helpful if we will all give our support to them (the incoming administration),” Coloma said.

Smooth transition

Coloma said the Aquino administration was hoping for a smooth transition to the Duterte administration, helping the new officials prepare to assume their new roles and responsibilities.

Coloma met with incoming presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Friday.

He said he briefed Panelo on the organizational structure of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) and the responsibilities of a communications secretary.

Coloma also said he explained to Panelo how the PCOO worked with the media for coverage of presidential events.

Give them a chance

“[M]ost important, we briefed him on the interaction between the mass media and the Office of the President, because [journalists are] our partners [in relaying] information to the people,” Coloma said.

Duterte’s allies also appealed to the public to give the incoming leader’s chosen officials a chance to prove their capabilities before judging them.

Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, president of Duterte’s party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), said the nominees should not be condemned immediately because of their failures as officials in past administrations.

“Let us say that this person said something five years ago that you did not like. But that is five years ago or three years or two years ago. Their performance in the Cabinet is a different thing. Let us judge them on their performance,” Pimentel told reporters on Friday.

He said the new Cabinet officials would go through the prescribed process, mainly vetting by the Commission on Appointments.

Sen. Cynthia Villar aired a similar appeal for Duterte’s nominees.

“It is his prerogative to choose whoever he wants to serve in his administration,” Villar said in a radio interview.

Her son, Mark Villar, has accepted Duterte’s offer to head the Department of Public Works and Highways.

No conflict of interest

The appointment has drawn criticism because Mark Villar has just been reelected Las Piñas representative. Conflict of interest is also seen in his taking the job, as his family is a big-time real estate developer.

But Senator Villar said the family was not bothered by the criticisms, adding that she was very proud of her son.

She also disputed the claims of conflict of interest.

“We are not into the construction business. We are in the housing business. We build houses, we don’t build roads. We are not a contractor of the DPWH. So what’s the conflict there?” she said.

Panelo’s appointment as presidential spokesperson has also drawn criticism because he had served as lawyer for the Ampatuan family, whose members are the main accused in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre where 58 people, including 32 journalists, were murdered, in the worst political violence in Philippine history. TVJ

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VIDEO: PH feared to lose sense of right, wrong under new admin INQUIRER.net INQUIRER.net


TRIBUNE

Mindanao witnesses: LP men rigged polls Written by Tribune Wires Sunday, 22 May 2016 00:00 By Ted Tuvera and Charlie V. Manalo



ZERO VOTES FOR MARCOS, NON-LP BETS

New witnesses to fraud in the recently held elections surfaced yesterday alleging electoral sabotage that favored the incumbent administration’s Liberal Party (LP) in Basilan province on election day.

Speaking yesterday in a media forum in Quezon City, supposed witnesses from Basilan told reporters that they are preparing to file charges with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) saying that they will bring witnesses who were physically present when the actual rigging of the votes happened.

Claiming that most of these incidents happened in far-flung barrios, it gave other candidates, including close vice presidential contender Sen. Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., zero votes.

An affidavit sworn by a certain Amina Muarip who ran for a seat in the municipal council of Hadji Mohammad Ajul town in Basilan province noted that although she won in the elections Muaripstill finds it irregular that she wasn’t allowed to vote herself and even her supporters.

She narrated her case saying that the LP manipulated the polls, at least, in her area.

“The supporters of the Liberal Party in precincts 27A, 27B, 28A, 29B and 30A (in Baranggay Candiis, Hadji Mohammad Aju, Basilan) orchestrated the locking of votes in favor of all the candidates of the Liberal Party,” Muarip said.

She also noted that LP supporters were doling out P1,000 per voter in the said barrio which obviously constitutes a violaton of the Omnibus Elections Code.

Muarip, who is affiliated with the Nacionalista Party, added that “another fraud committed during the election was the shading of ballots by random people who were picked by the supporters of the Baranggay Captain of Candiis... to vote for the candidates of the Liberal Party”.

READ MORE...

“That more supporters of other candidates decided not to vote anymore in fear of being intimidated by the supporters of the Liberal Party,” Muarip said.

Also, according to Victor Abillo, who prefers to be recognized as a ‘peace advocate’ based in Basilan, voters themselves and even poll watchers were not allowed to vote in Basilan and Lanao del Sir provinces.

“Many were deprived of their human right to suffrage. They were barred from entering school premises to proceed to precincts and, really, there were some 5 to 10 people in their who were shading ballots for others,” Abillo told reporters.

“There were (Iglesia ni Cristo) voters there. There were volunteer watchers for President-elect Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Marcos. But why were there precincts that made them absolutely zero?” Abillo added.

Also, Abdurasad Teodoro, a volunteer for both Duterte and Marcos, said that they have sufficient proof to affirm their claim that they were harassed and, at all, barred from exercising their right to vote.

“We will not present our evidence publicly yet. We have pictures and cellphone videos reserved for this,” Teodoro said.

Both Abillo and Teodoro said that the case of Ms. Muarip is just one of the other complaints that is being gathered to prove the LP’s maneuvering.

Filing the case, however, is up to the discretion of no less than Marcos Jr.’s chief political strategist Abakada Partylist Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz.

For his part, dela Cruz claims that he is ever ready to push Comelec to scrutinize this “great fraud”.

As of the last unofficial tally, LP vice presidential bet and Camarines Sir Rep. Leno Robredo leads Marcos by nearly a 200,000 difference.

Meanwhile, former Senate President Aquilino ‘Nene’ Pimentel Jr. said that though “cheating is intolerable”, he cautioned the public not to “generalize everything”.


NENE PIMENTEL

Pimentel told the Tribune in an interview yesterday that the voting public should still be critical and not accept accusations as facts at once.

“Proof is still better than talk. Many can fabricate affidavits and notaries if they wish to,” Pimentel said.

“Not to offend the backers of Mr. Marcos, but it is also the job of Comelec to verify if these complaints are true or not first,” the old statesman said.

Pimentel also criticized the Comelec for dealing with what he sarcastically called as the “very credible” Smartmatic and the vulnerability of it’s transition system.

“I challenge (Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista) to explain how impossible or rather safe is the voting system at all. You see, a young lad can hack your website once how can they not hack it again if they wish to?” he added.

The former senate president thus asked Congress to investigate the said case.

Marcos welcomes IT experts for audit

The camp of Vice Presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr., meanwhile, said all Information Technology (IT) experts as well as representatives of winning candidates are welcome to participate in the system audit of the transparency and central servers of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

This was the statement today by Abakada Rep. Jonathan Dela Cruz, Campaign Adviser of Senator Marcos, who said should the Comelec allow an audit of the central and transparency servers, all IT experts are welcome to take part as well as those coming from winning candidates.

“We would like to urge all IT experts to go there (Comelec), to have themselves accredited and take a look and see for themselves what happened. And we are requesting all groups including the winners to join as the credibility of the election is at stake. We are only after the truth here,” he said.

Earlier, Marcos formally asked the Comelec to allow his own IT experts, with the supervision of the poll body to conduct a system audit to determine what transpired after Smartmatic personnel admittedly changed the script of the transparency server on the night of May 9.

In addition to the audit, his camp also filed another letter before the poll body asking Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista to provide additional information concerning other components of the Automated Election System (AES) like the transmission logs, the white list (vote counting machines, USB devices, BGAN or Broadband Global Area Network); digitally-signed election returns (ERs), and the public and decryption keys to open the transmitted files.

Marcos also wants to know the number of CCS (Consolidation and Canvassing System) laptops/servers that were reported to contain rogue votes coming from the Pre-Election logical accuracy test and mock elections on election day; the municipalities, cities and provinces affected and the measures the poll body took to rectify the supposed error.

Dela Cruz pointed out that the system audit that they are pushing for is not directed at a particular candidate but at the integrity of the elections. He said the poll body should welcome this move because every Filipino deserves to know the truth behind the system change employed by Smartmatic personnel on the night of the elections.

“We have to have a system audit. We have to see the transmission logs because that is the only way we can see what really happened. This has nothing to do with the results. This has everything to do with the integrity of our elections and the violations committed of our election laws,” Dela Cruz pointed out.

He further stated that people should not just accept Smartmatic’s excuse that the change was merely innocuous because in computer technology, everything can change with just one push of a button or a single letter or icon.

He further stated that they also found out that all vote counting machines (VCMs) did not transmit a single election result at around 10 p.m. on the same date.

“We also found that after they changed the system, at 10 p.m. on the same day of May 9 the VCMs all over the country stopped transmitting for a period of one hour. After which, something incredible ensued. Thus, the need for a system audit so we could uncover the truth,” he said.

Dela Cruz had also earlier filed criminal complaints against Smartmatic executives Marlon Garcia and Elie Moreno, project director, for introducing a new script in the transparency server of the Comelec without proper authorization. Also included in the complaint were Neil Banigued, a member of the Smartmatic Technical Support Team and Rouie Peñalba, IT officer of the Comelec who were involved in the script change.

Specifically, the respondents were charged for the violation of Sections 35 (b) and (c) of R.A No. 8436, as amended by R.A. No. 9369, otherwise known as the Automated Elections Law which prohibits interfering with “the generation, transmission of election results, data or information.”

Dela Cruz said the law also prohibits “gaining or causing access to, using, altering and destroying computer data, program and system software, network, or any computer-related devices, facilities, hardware or equipment, whether classified or declassified.”

Meanwhile, more evidence of electoral in Mindanao allegedly perpetuated by members and supporters of the Liberal Party (LP) surfaced to prove that there was massive cheating in the region.

Appearing during the weekly Anabel’s Forum in Quezon City, members of the ALDUB or the Alyansang Dutere-Bongbong after Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Bongbong Marcos, faced the media and presented themselves as witnesses to several incidents of electoral fraud in Basilan.

Victor Abillo and Abdurasad Teodoro, provincial coordinators of Aldub in Basilan said their watchers in the municipalities in the province have reported to them that many voters were preventing from casting their votes by armed men who controlled the precincts.

“No actual election transpired in many parts in Basila as people were prevented from voting as they were told thre woiuld be no election as early as 6:00 in the morning,” he said.

In many of these areas, he pointed out, all the presidential and vice presidential candidates except former Interior Local and Government Secretary Mar Roxas and Rep. Leni Robredo had zero votes.



Abillo and Teodoro came with three witnesses who could attest that indeed no voting was done in many parts of Basilan. They, however, refused to speak for fear of their lives but said they were execute sworn affidavits if required to do so.

Abillo also presented the sworn affidavit of a winning councilor, Amina Muarip, who stated that she and her supporters were prevented from voting in Brgy. Candiis in Hadji Mohammad Ajul in Basilan by supporters of the Liberal Party.

“The supporters of the Liberal Party in precints 27A, 27B, 28A, 29B and 30A orchestrated the locking of the votes in favor of all the candidates of the Liberal Party. The supporters of the Liberal Party also gave the amount of P1,000 to the voters of Brgy. Candiis, Hadji Mohammad Ajul to vote for the candidates of the Liberal Party, which acts obviously constitutes a violation of the Omnibus Election Law and other existing laws in the election,” Muarip said.

She also witnessed who the same LP members handpicked people in their precincts to shade ballots. “That another fraud was committed during the election was the shading of the ballots by random people who were handpicked by the supporters of the Brgy. Captain of Candiis to vote for the candidates of the Liberal Party,” she asserted.

Muarip added that poll watchers of the Nationalist People’s Coalition and Nacionalista Party were also prevented from entering the precincts. Because of intimidation employed, Muarip said she and her supporters were not able to vote anymore.
She later learned, much to her surprise, that she won as councilor in her town.

Abillo said Muarip could have easily turned a blind eye to the electoral fraud in her town because she won in the election despite her failure to cast her vote but she decided to expose the violations in order to let the whole country know the kind of system that was employed in her province.

Abillo added that many witnesses from other provinces like Lanao Del Sur and Maguindano are willing to surface because they would like to change the system in their province.

Two witnesses of wholesale ballot shading in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao also surfaced before the media showing video footages of the ballot shading in favor of Robredo.

Bassir Utto, who ran for vice mayor under the United Nationalist Alliance and his watcher Normina Taha said they were prevented by supporters of incumbent LP Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom from entering their precincts. LP supporters, they alleged, also engaged in ballot shading in favor of Robredo.

Abiillo then urged the Comelec to immediately investigate the allegations of cheating in many areas in the country.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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