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SEPARATE INAUGURATION OF PRESIDENT, VP A FIRST, IN RECENT HISTORY[RELATED: Duterte seen breaking traditions]
[Duterte will take his oath at Malacañang before a schoolmate and fraternity brother on June 30, guests limited to 500 diplomats, officials and 'maruya' and coco juice, in austere rites seen as historic.]



JUNE 17 -The inauguration of president-elect Rodrigo Duterte and vice president-elect Leni Robredo will be the first in recent history where the two highest elected officials will be sworn in to office separately. AP file/Leni Robredo Facebook page The inauguration of president-elect Rodrigo Duterte and vice president-elect Leni Robredo will be the first in recent history where the two highest elected officials will be sworn in to office separately.
Special circumstances aside – such as when then vice president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took her oath alone at EDSA Shrine on Jan. 20, 2001 – the president and the vice president always took their oaths at the same venue. Arroyo’s first vice president, Teofisto Guingona Jr., took his oath following the congressional confirmation of his selection on Feb. 9, 2001. On Feb. 25, 1986, following the snap elections called by dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr., his challenger, former president Corazon Aquino, took her oath with vice president Salvador Laurel in Club Filipino. On the same day, Marcos – who also claimed victory in the said election – took his oath at the Rizal Ceremonial Hall in Malacañang without his vice president Arturo Tolentino. Reports cited conflicting reports for the latter’s absence. It was Aquino and Laurel who served the full six-year term as Marcos fled from the Palace during the 1986 People Power Revolution. Aquino’s successor, Fidel Ramos, took his oath of office with then vice president Joseph Estrada at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park on June 30, 1992. READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte seen breaking traditions...

ALSO: Why separate inaugurations?
[WHY A separate inauguration? So she’ll get the celebration she deserves. The camp of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte made this clarification of its preference not hold a joint inauguration with incoming Vice President Leni Robredo, saying it was not a snub but a decision reached out of consideration for her and her supporters.]
[RELATED: READY FOR VP ‘BORACAY MANSION’ - Leni ‘feels at home’ but QC Mayor ‘Bistek’ Bautista unhappy]


JUNE 17 -WHY A separate inauguration? So she’ll get the celebration she deserves. The camp of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte made this clarification of its preference not hold a joint inauguration with incoming Vice President Leni Robredo, saying it was not a snub but a decision reached out of consideration for her and her supporters.
In a statement, Duterte’s special assistant Christopher Go, also a member of the inaugural committee, said the incoming President’s choice of having austere celebrations with a limited number of guests may be an unfair imposition on Robredo. Duterte will take his oath at Malacañang on June 30, the first President in recent memory to begin his six-year term at the official residence. Philippine presidents usually hold inaugurations at Quirino Grandstand, allowing the public to take part in the rites. “As promised during the campaign period, his inaugural celebration will be a simple yet meaningful one, consistent with his principles on austerity. This is also intended to cause the least disruption to the public,” Go said in a statement sent to reporters late Wednesday night. READ MORE...RELATED, READY FOR VP ‘BORACAY MANSION’: Leni ‘feels at home’ but QC Mayor ‘Bistek’ Bautista unhappy...

ALSO: Rody’s ‘midnight appointments’ (not quite midnight)


JUNE 17 -COMPOSITE PHOTOS: ABELLO AND PANELO They are not quite midnight appointees, as the Cabinet meeting ended before Cinderella hour, but lawyer Salvador Panelo and former pastor Ernesto Abella emerged from the meeting as the newest officials in what promises to be the nocturnal administration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte. Panelo is not so new, as he was Duterte’s presidential spokesperson-designate until the longtime Davao City mayor, who is most active at night, announced at the Cabinet meeting that he had given him a new hat. “I have just been named chief presidential legal counsel. Actually that has been my position all along and my being presidential spokesperson was temporary, as he announced and explained to the Cabinet tonight,” Panelo told reporters. Abella, a former pastor who was kidnapped by bandits in Davao City in 1996 but was rescued by Duterte with the help of the Moro National Liberation Front, is taking the place of Panelo as presidential spokesperson. He debuted earlier this week to announce fresh appointments to the Duterte Cabinet, but made his first official appearance as presidential spokesperson after Wednesday night’s meeting at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). Closed to the press The meeting was closed to the press, which Duterte, already playing the role of Punisher in Chief, banned from his events after being scoriated by the international media in late May for saying that corrupt journalists were legitimate targets of assassination. READ MORE...RELATED -EARLIER NEWS FROM DAVAO TODAY, Duterte’s second spokesperson named...

ALSO: PNoy's last Vin D’ Honneur - 118th Philippine Independence Day (WATCH VIDEO)
[President Aquino leads Independence Day celebration for the last time]

 
 VIDEO: RTVMalacanang RTVMalacanang Subscribe22,051 Add to Share More 8,071 views 40 5 Streamed live on Jun 12, 2016 Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace 12 June 2016 Connect with RTVM FROM YOU TUBE.
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Benigno Aquino III on Sunday led the 118th Independence Day celebrations, his last as head of state. During the flag-raising rites in Luneta, the president served as a flag-bearer. He was joined by Vice President Jejomar Binay and former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada. Wearing the military uniforms designed by hero and painter Juan Luna, soldiers honored the president and escorted him during the wreath-laying ceremony. President Aquino thanked the troops for honoring him with a snappy salute. The outgoing president also offered flowers to the monument of National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal. According to historian Xiao Chua, the wreath-laying or offering of flowers is a practice of showing respect “which is understood in all cultures.” Xiao added, the flower-offering is not just for Rizal, but for all the Philippine heroes who fought for independence — and those who are continuously fighting for liberation from many forms of oppression. The wreath-laying was followed by a 21-gun salute, which is the highest form of honor given only to heads of state, men in uniform, and heroes of the country. There were also simultaneous flag-raising ceremonies at historical landmarks in the country. READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte skips Independence Day celebration in Davao (WATCH VIDEO)....REPORT FROM RAPPLER.COM, Davaoeños on Independence Day: Duterte can free PH...

ALSO: Singing the blues? - LP party turns into Noy concert


JUNE 3 -From ‘Buttercup’ to ‘The Impossible Dream’ and finally ‘Bayan Ko,’ President Aquino entertains the crowd during the Liberal Party thanksgiving event in Cubao, Quezon City the other night.
He sang his heart out and even grooved to the beat while cracking jokes in between the songs he chose to render in three sets.
The music lover in President Aquino came to the fore Wednesday night as he joined the Liberal Party (LP) thanksgiving event at its headquarters in Cubao, Quezon City. It was the first time for Aquino to let his guard down fully as he agreed to do a “mini-concert” to the delight of the crowd. In some closed-door events, Aquino would sing but perhaps his being president put him on guard. Now the Chief Executive seems to be starting to enjoy the impending end of his term. The President’s appearance was a surprise for guests at the thanksgiving party, who included LP presidential bet Manuel Roxas II, vice president-elect Leni Robredo and supporters of administration candidates. The party was extended for hours after Aquino arrived at 7 p.m. to join the fun. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Separate inauguration a first in recent history


The inauguration of president-elect Rodrigo Duterte and vice president-elect Leni Robredo will be the first in recent history where the two highest elected officials will be sworn in to office separately. AP file/Leni Robredo Facebook page

DAVAO CITY, JUNE 20, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Jess Diaz and Paolo Romero June 17, 2016 - 12:00am - The inauguration of president-elect Rodrigo Duterte and vice president-elect Leni Robredo will be the first in recent history where the two highest elected officials will be sworn in to office separately.

Special circumstances aside – such as when then vice president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took her oath alone at EDSA Shrine on Jan. 20, 2001 – the president and the vice president always took their oaths at the same venue.

Arroyo’s first vice president, Teofisto Guingona Jr., took his oath following the congressional confirmation of his selection on Feb. 9, 2001.

On Feb. 25, 1986, following the snap elections called by dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr., his challenger, former president Corazon Aquino, took her oath with vice president Salvador Laurel in Club Filipino.

On the same day, Marcos – who also claimed victory in the said election – took his oath at the Rizal Ceremonial Hall in Malacañang without his vice president Arturo Tolentino.

Reports cited conflicting reports for the latter’s absence.

It was Aquino and Laurel who served the full six-year term as Marcos fled from the Palace during the 1986 People Power Revolution.

Aquino’s successor, Fidel Ramos, took his oath of office with then vice president Joseph Estrada at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park on June 30, 1992.

READ MORE...

Estrada, meanwhile, took his oath with vice president Arroyo at Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan in honor of the centennial of Philippine independence on June 30, 1998.

After winning her second term in 2004, Arroyo took her oath with vice president Noli De Castro in Cebu, also on June 30.

Outgoing President Aquino took his oath with Vice President Jejomar Binay also at Quirino Grandstand on June 30, 2010.

Binay congratulates Robredo


Outgoing Vice President Jejomar said that he is looking forward to personally meeting Vice President-elect Leni Robredo. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando, Efigenio Toledo IV Philstar headline news photo

Outgoing Vice President Jejomar Binay has extended his congratulations to his successor, vice president-elect Leni Robredo.

In a letter dated May 31, a copy of which was posted by Robredo’s daughter Aika in her Twitter account yesterday, Binay said he has instructed his chief of staff to coordinate with her team to discuss the transition at the Office of the Vice President (OVP).

“I look forward to personally meeting you. For the past six years, and despite its modest budget, the OVP has extended assistance to thousands of poor and marginalized Filipinos, including our brothers and sisters working abroad,” Binay said in the letter.

“I am confident that with you as the next vice president, the OVP will continue to be an instrument for social justice,” he added.

Robredo’s daughter thanked the outgoing Vice President for the support in the transition.

“Thank you very much for being so gracious, @VPJojoBinay! Your team has been very helpful and accommodating,” she said in the tweet.

Yesterday, Robredo was the main guest at the Department of Education’s “Kariton Klasrum” culminating activity where she thanked outgoing Education Secretary Armin Luistro and outgoing Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman for their commitment and dedication to serve the youth.

Binay and Robredo’s transition teams met last week to discuss the smooth turnover of the functions of the OVP.

A meeting between the two will also be set up prior to the inauguration of new government officials on June 30.

Binay ran an unsuccessful campaign for president under the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

Robredo, meanwhile, was the runningmate of administration bet Manuel Roxas II, who also lost the race.

P500-million budget of the office for 2016

During the transition meeting, OVP chief of staff Benjamin Martinez said Robredo would inherit the bulk of the P500-million budget of the office for 2016.

Robredo’s chief of staff Boyet Dy expressed gratitude to the Binay camp for giving them the financial flexibility to pursue the programs that the new vice president would want to pursue.

“She wants to use it as a platform to engage as many stakeholders as possible around anti-poverty programs, pushing for her key advocacy of women’s empowerment, making sure that development is not just in the urban areas but also in our provinces and regions and making sure that we win the fight against hunger,” he said.

VP loser better treated by Duterte

Meanwhile, defeated vice presidential bet Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is allegedly receiving better treatment from Duterte than the vice president-elect, reelected Ifugao Rep. Teodoro Baguilat Jr. said yesterday.

He said Marcos, unlike Robredo, has already met with the incoming president in Davao City to discuss his concerns on the burial of his father and possibly serving in the Duterte administration in the future.

In the case of Robredo, he said she is getting snubbed by Duterte despite the latter’s call for unity and healing.

“Previous vice presidents served in the Cabinet. In the case of Leni, there is no offer of a Cabinet post. To add insult to injury, the incoming president has announced that he wants an inauguration that is separate from that of Leni. It’s as if they still consider us in the Liberal Party as political enemies. The trust is not there,” he said.

ROBREDO AS OPPOSITION LEADER IN DUTERTE ADMIN

Baguilat suggested that Robredo should no longer expect any Cabinet post from Duterte and that she should instead lead the opposition.

“Our candidate for president lost to Mayor Duterte, so we should expect to be in the opposition,” he said.

Duterte said offering the vice president-elect a Cabinet job has not crossed his mind.

Besides, it might hurt Marcos, who is his friend, he said.

It might also hurt his supporters in Ilocos Norte, where he won, he said.

Duterte lamented that he “lost miserably” in Bicol, Robredo’s region.

On another issue, Baguilat said he is disappointed by the failure of Roxas and the Liberal Party to file their respective statements of contributions and expenses on time.

“I hope that we will not be affected,” he said, referring to speculations that such failure could prevent LP winners from assuming office.

But he said he is not ready to agree to rumors that some LP insiders were trying to sabotage Robredo.

Marcos has announced that he would file an election protest against the vice president-elect with the Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal on June 28. He lost by a slim margin of 263,473 votes.

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Duterte seen breaking traditions By: Tarra Quismundo @TarraINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:36 AM June 18th, 2016


Surrounded with security personnel, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte leaves the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City after meeting his incoming cabinet members for the first time outside Davao City,INQUIRER PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

FROM his venue of choice to the magistrate he picked to administer his oath, incoming President-elect Rodrigo Duterte will be breaking traditions in his inauguration.

Duterte will take his oath at Malacañang before a schoolmate and fraternity brother on June 30, in austere rites seen as historic.

Duterte, the first politician from Mindanao to be elected President and the first city mayor to jump straight to the highest office in the land, will be sworn in as the country’s 16th President by Supreme Court Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes, according to the Davao City mayor’s executive assistant, Christopher Go.

Go did not specify Duterte’s reason for his choice, but both Reyes and Duterte are graduates of San Beda College of Law. They are also members of the same fraternity, Lex Talionis.

Duterte had earlier appointed schoolmates to his Cabinet: Vitaliano Aguirre as secretary of justice and Arthur Tugade as transportation and communications secretary.

Presidents traditionally take their oath of office before the Chief Justice. But President Aquino famously broke tradition in 2010 when he took his oath of office before then Supreme Court Associate Justice Conchita Carpio Morales in protest against what he believed was the midnight appointment of then Chief Justice Renato Corona.

But Mr. Aquino kept the tradition of being inaugurated at Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park.

Malacañang rites

Duterte is the first to break that tradition since Vice President Carlos P. Garcia, who first assumed the presidency through succession following the sudden death of President Ramon Magsaysay. He took his oath on March 17, 1957, in the Council of State Room at Malacañang’s Executive Building.

Duterte’s inauguration will be held at Rizal Hall, the largest room in the Palace where special state events are held.

The President-elect has refused to be inaugurated together with Vice President-elect Leni Robredo, who belongs to a different political party.

But former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr. on Friday said Duterte and Robredo should be jointly inaugurated as a symbol of unity after the highly divisive national elections.

“It will relay the message to the people that the President and the Vice President, even if they belong to different parties, have one common goal and that is the good of the people,” Pimentel, chair emeritus of Duterte’s party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), told reporters.

Incoming Presidential Communications Operations Office head Martin Andanar said Cabinet members would take their oaths together during Duterte’s inauguration.

‘Maruya,’ coco juice

Up to 500 guests, including foreign diplomats and lawmakers, will be invited to the event.

Andanar said maruya—fried battered cardava banana—and coconut juice would be served for snacks.

He said Duterte’s speech was already being prepared, and that the incoming President might use a teleprompter. The longtime mayor of Davao City is used to speaking extemporaneously and is notorious for profanity-laced rhetoric. With a report from Jovic Yee


INQUIRER

Why separate inaugurations? By: Tarra Quismundo @TarraINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer
05:08 AM June 17th, 2016

WHY A separate inauguration? So she’ll get the celebration she deserves.

The camp of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte made this clarification of its preference not hold a joint inauguration with incoming Vice President Leni Robredo, saying it was not a snub but a decision reached out of consideration for her and her supporters.

In a statement, Duterte’s special assistant Christopher Go, also a member of the inaugural committee, said the incoming President’s choice of having austere celebrations with a limited number of guests may be an unfair imposition on Robredo.

Duterte will take his oath at Malacañang on June 30, the first President in recent memory to begin his six-year term at the official residence. Philippine presidents usually hold inaugurations at Quirino Grandstand, allowing the public to take part in the rites.

“As promised during the campaign period, his inaugural celebration will be a simple yet meaningful one, consistent with his principles on austerity. This is also intended to cause the least disruption to the public,” Go said in a statement sent to reporters late Wednesday night.

READ MORE...

“This imposition will not be fair to Leni as the limited slots would restrict her prerogative to invite more guests and supporters as a good number of the slots are to be allotted for members of Congress, judiciary and to the diplomatic corps,” he said.

He said Robredo’s family and supporters “who worked hard for her” deserve to be in attendance during her inauguration “to celebration her victory.”

“And this can only be possible through a separate inauguration,” he said.

Boyet Dy, who heads Robredo’s transition team, said early Wednesday that plans for a joint inauguration had been scrapped after the Duterte team informed them of their preference for separate rites.

He said the Robredo team respects Duterte’s wishes and “will begin our own preparations for a simple and modest ceremony.”

“The ceremony will be conducted in Metro Manila, where Vice President-elect Leni Robredo wishes to be sworn in by Capt. Ronaldo Coner of Brgy. Punta Tarawal, Calabanga, the smallest, farthest and poorest barangay in Camarines Sur,” Dy said.

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

RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

‘BORACAY MANSION’: Leni ‘feels at home’ but QC Mayor ‘Bistek’ Bautista unhappy By: Erika Sauler @erikasauler Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:39 AM June 18th, 2016


READY FOR VP The “Boracay Mansion,” a 7,000-square-meter property located at No. 100, 11th Street, New Manila, Quezon City, is undergoing renovation for Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo’s inauguration and assumption of duties as the country’s 14th Vice President.


VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT Leni Robredo “felt very much at home” the moment she stepped inside what used to be the controversial “Boracay Mansion” in Quezon City.

But even before she moves in at the former opulent residence at No. 100, 11th Street, in New Manila on June 30, it’s quietly causing a stir at City Hall.

Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte’s offer for Robredo to hold office at the property, now called the Quezon City Reception House, was made without the prior knowledge of Mayor Herbert Bautista, according to a city official close to the mayor.

The Reception House, originally called the Quezon City Executive House, was a pet project of the mayor and was intended to be the official residence of the local executive.

“It’s his baby,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Inquirer. “The mayor was unaware that the vice mayor offered the Executive House to Leni. He could no longer object because he would look like the villain.”


'BISTEK' BAUTISTA

Bautista, a party mate of Robredo and Belmonte, was unavailable for comment on Friday. He did not respond to text messages and calls by the Inquirer.

But, Belmonte said, the mayor was aware of it.

“We cannot do anything without the blessing and permission of the mayor. It’s really his pet project. The mayor loves this, he oversaw it himself. We really had to make sure that we got his blessing [to lease the property]. All those times he said it’s OK, it would be an honor for the city to host the OVP (Office of the Vice President),” Belmonte told the Inquirer on Friday.

Bautista would have to pack up his belongings from the Reception House before June 30 when Robredo’s team is supposed to move in.

“We’ll have to instruct the mayor to remove his personal belongings there. We have no choice. The Vice President is higher than the mayor,” City Administrator Aldrin Cuña said during a city council hearing on a resolution authorizing a lease contract between the city government and the OVP on Wednesday.

The 7,145-square-meter property once boasted of a mansion and a wave pool—a kind of swimming pool equipped with a machine that produces artificial waves.

It was said to be once the residence of then President Joseph Estrada’s mistress, one-time starlet Laarni Enriquez, with whom he has three children.

After it was foreclosed and demolished by the city government, a two-story Mediterranean-style building was constructed. The white sand pool had been covered with concrete and now serves as parking area.

Perhaps, the only remnant of its former splendor was the grand staircase incorporated in the new structure. Construction began in 2013.

It was Belmonte who offered this to the team of Robredo, who loathed the idea of holding office in the ostentatious Coconut Palace by Manila Bay.

“Ma’am Leni liked it. Since it’s custom-made for the city government and the seal of the city is a triangle and the seal of the Office of the Vice President is also a triangle, she felt very much at home,” Belmonte said.

“And the house is very presentable, very appropriate for somebody of her stature, but it’s very simple and not intimidating for those in the fringes of society whom she wants to serve,” she added.

Robredo and her team have thrice visited the Reception House. Robredo even brought along a feng shui expert who gave advice on the doorway positions and which crystals to put up to block bad energy, the vice mayor said.

The city council on Wednesday passed on first reading a resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into a contract with the OVP for the lease of the Executive House.

The resolution, filed by Councilor Julienne Alyson Rae Medalla on June 1, is expected to be approved on second and third reading on Monday, the last session day of outgoing councilors.

The rate for the lease could not be determined yet since the Reception House is only 80-percent complete, and has not been turned over by the contractor, Marigold Development Corp., to the city government, Cuña said.

Only after the turnover could the Commission on Audit (COA) appraise the property and prescribe a rate for the lease, he said.

“The basis for determination of the price of the lease contract shall be based on the appraised value of the property. The problem is the property cannot be appraised yet for its final value because the property is not yet complete and it is not yet accepted by the city as a completed project,” Cuña told the Inquirer.

“Until such time that the project is completed, and the COA appraises the property as to its value then that’s the time the COA will prescribe the appropriate rate of lease. Anything lower than the prescribed rate of the COA is considered disadvantageous to the government,” he added.

Because of the issues raised by Cuña during the city council hearing, the councilors sought Bautista’s opinion and the latter confirmed he was in favor of the contract.

During the period of amendments, a clause stating that the mayor “graciously offered the 7,145 sq m property” to the OVP was eventually deleted.

Otherwise, documentary requirements for the turnover, such as fire, sanitary and occupancy permits, have been completed, Belmonte said.

“The COA later told us we can be the one to decide the rate since it’s a government-to-government contract. The price is not an issue for the city government because we never intended to make money from it. We would’ve lent it for free, but it’s not allowed,” Belmonte said.


JUNE 14, 2016 HEADLINE NEWS: 'BISTEK'S "BABY": Guarded by a tall iron gate, this two-story house in the upscale neighborhood in New Manila, Quezon City will serve as the office of the Vice President-elect Leni Robredo. JULLIANE LOVE DE JESUS/INQUIRER.net

Boyet Dy, head of Robredo’s transition team, said they were willing to pay half of the rate for Coconut Palace, where outgoing Vice President Jejomar Binay held office, Belmonte said.

The price and other terms of the lease would be the subject of the mayor’s negotiation with the OVP, she said.

“I hope the term Boracay Mansion would be erased from people’s minds because it has a stigma of corruption and opulence. I don’t want VP Leni to be associated with something like that because it’s not her personality,” Belmonte said.

The property was forfeited in favor of the city government for nonpayment of real property taxes, according to Regina Samson, head of the Office of the Mayor’s Communications Coordination Center.

“The place became a problem because it was abandoned. There was an infestation of rats and mosquitoes, especially since there was a pool. The neighbors complained. We tried to trace the ownership. St. Peter Holdings seemed to be the owner but they did not present themselves when the place was being assessed,” Samson said in an interview.

The Executive House, which features Machuca tiles, also displays the portraits of previous city mayors.

The second floor has five rooms that were meant to be the living quarters of visiting dignitaries and other VIP guests of the city.

The ground floor hosted the Christmas party of the city department heads in 2015. Several meetings have been also conducted in its conference room.

On Monday, Bautista is set to hold a press conference in the Quezon City Reception House.


INQUIRER

Rody’s ‘midnight appointments’ SHARES: 5838 VIEW COMMENTS By: Tarra Quismundo @TarraINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:39 AM June 17th, 2016


COMPOSITE PHOTOS: ABELLO AND PANELO

They are not quite midnight appointees, as the Cabinet meeting ended before Cinderella hour, but lawyer Salvador Panelo and former pastor Ernesto Abella emerged from the meeting as the newest officials in what promises to be the nocturnal administration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

Panelo is not so new, as he was Duterte’s presidential spokesperson-designate until the longtime Davao City mayor, who is most active at night, announced at the Cabinet meeting that he had given him a new hat.

“I have just been named chief presidential legal counsel. Actually that has been my position all along and my being presidential spokesperson was temporary, as he announced and explained to the Cabinet tonight,” Panelo told reporters.

Abella, a former pastor who was kidnapped by bandits in Davao City in 1996 but was rescued by Duterte with the help of the Moro National Liberation Front, is taking the place of Panelo as presidential spokesperson.

He debuted earlier this week to announce fresh appointments to the Duterte Cabinet, but made his first official appearance as presidential spokesperson after Wednesday night’s meeting at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

Closed to the press

The meeting was closed to the press, which Duterte, already playing the role of Punisher in Chief, banned from his events after being scoriated by the international media in late May for saying that corrupt journalists were legitimate targets of assassination.

READ MORE...

It was the first time that Duterte set foot in Manila since his election on May 9, and the Cabinet meeting, according to Abella, was held in the capital for practical reasons.

“A number of people were already here anyway,” he said.

“[T]he whole meeting basically is just about hearing from the various sectors so that the incoming administration will be able to be more systematic and more coordinated, and that the departments will not act as silos,” Abella told reporters after the meeting ended at 11 p.m.

Getting to know you

Martin Andanar, incoming chief of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, said all of Duterte’s appointees were present at the meeting, which was the first outside Davao City for the incoming administration.

As it was simply a “getting to know you” meeting, Abella said no policies were laid down or official statements made during the gathering.

Abella said another Cabinet meeting might be held next week, before Duterte’s inauguration, but it was still unclear whether it would be held in Manila or in Davao City. With a report from Yuji Vincent Gonzales, INQUIRER.net

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RELATED EARLIER NEWS FROM DAVAO TODAY (JUNE 14, 2016)

Duterte’s second spokesperson named Jun. 14, 2016 ZEA IO MING C. CAPISTRANO


ANOTHER DUTERTE SPOKESPERSON. Ernesto Abella will be sitting as one of the designated presidential spokespersons of incoming president Rodrigo Duterte. Abella, a native of Davao City is the president and founder of the Southpoint School. (Ace R. Morandante/davaotoday.com)

DAVAO CITY – President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has appointed a former religious leader and a school owner, Ernesto Abella, as his spokesperson on Monday night, June 13 in Davao City.

Abella, who met with reporters here on Tuesday afternoon, said Duterte appointed him “to act as a conduit between himself and the people through the media.”

Abella said he has not yet talked with Atty. Salvador Panelo, who was also appointed as Duterte’s spokesman.

Abella said he has not worked with Duterte before, but described himself as “a great believer” of what Duterte has done in Davao City.

He said he did not apply for the post. Abella actively campaigned for Duterte in social media.

“I’m a fan boy,” he said.

He said he was not part of the media warriors for Duterte. “I wasn’t part of the organized team. I was simply a citizen voicing my own opinions,” he said.

Abella also refused to comment further on Duterte’s policies with regards to media coverage and told reporters that he has not yet received any guidelines.

However, he said he believes the “media is meant to really represent the true intentions of the people, to be a voice of the people, that is where I’m coming from.”

Saved by Duterte

As a former pastor of a charismatic group in 1996, Abella said Duterte was very instrumental in his freedom from “ethnic bandits” who kidnapped him in Davao for 24 hours.

“It was short but traumatic,” he said.

Abella said they were looking for a piece of property behind what was now Monteritz place when the group took them for ransom. He said they only paid for “board and lodging”.

“The kidnappers told my companions, that they were not supposed to go to the police. But somebody suggested that they go to the mayor. The mayor was very decisive. As far as I know, the presence of the MNLF was very strong here during that particular time and he asked for their captains and he informed them to do all that they could to rescue me,” he said.

Abella recalled his captors, “claimed to be MI, but they were ethnic meaning to say they were not lowlanders, part of the 13 tribes.”

“They claimed that they were political, but actually they were just bandits,” he said.

Past experiences

Abella was a former board member of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, Philippine Missions, Association, and the Koinonia Theological Seminary. He was the founding head of the Hope of Asia, Inc and the Jesus Fellowship, Inc.

In 2002, Abella left the ministry and worked as the CEO of AZ Agri-Products from 2004 until 2011 and F&P Agri-inputs from 2011 until 2013.

Abella also served as a former instructor of Ateneo de Davao College from 1978-1979. Presently, he is the founding member of the One Accord Credit Cooperative and the secondary school, Southpoint school. (davaotoday.com)


CNN PHILIPPINES

President Aquino leads Independence Day celebration for the last time By Fiona Nicolas, CNN Philippines Updated 10:57 AM PHT Sun, June 12, 2016 AddThis Sharing Buttons63410 


President Benigno Simeon Aquino III leads the 118th Independence Day celebration at Luneta Park.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Benigno Aquino III on Sunday led the 118th Independence Day celebrations, his last as head of state.

During the flag-raising rites in Luneta, the president served as a flag-bearer. He was joined by Vice President Jejomar Binay and former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada.

Wearing the military uniforms designed by hero and painter Juan Luna, soldiers honored the president and escorted him during the wreath-laying ceremony. President Aquino thanked the troops for honoring him with a snappy salute.

The outgoing president also offered flowers to the monument of National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal.

According to historian Xiao Chua, the wreath-laying or offering of flowers is a practice of showing respect “which is understood in all cultures.” Xiao added, the flower-offering is not just for Rizal, but for all the Philippine heroes who fought for independence — and those who are continuously fighting for liberation from many forms of oppression.

The wreath-laying was followed by a 21-gun salute, which is the highest form of honor given only to heads of state, men in uniform, and heroes of the country.

There were also simultaneous flag-raising ceremonies at historical landmarks in the country.

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Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales led the rites at the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit , Cavite. The shrine used to be the residence of Emilio Aguinaldo, the First President of the Republic of the Philippines. Aguinaldo made the Declaration of Independence at his residence in 1898, where the Philippine flag was officially unfurled.

Morales called on the people to “fight for the institutions of democracy, for human rights, and fight criminality within bounds of law.”

The Philippine flag was also raised in Pinaglabanan Shrine in San Juan, with Mayor Guia Gomez and senator-elect Sherwin Gatchalian leading the ceremonies; and in Veteran’s shrine in Manila North Cemetery, lead by National Defense Usec. Ernesto Carolina.

Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno meanwhile led the flag-raising ceremony in Quezon City Hall, and Sen. Cynthia Villar in Barasoain church.

118 years of Independence

It was June 12, 1898 when Philippines’ first president, General Emilio Aguinaldo, declared independence from Spain and officially presented the Philippine flag that Filipinos know and use to date.

Despite debates of whether or not it is the “real” Independence Day of the nation — with some historians arguing that the country was also colonized by the Americans and conquered by the Japanese during World War 2 — Chua said it is important to celebrate June 12 as Independence Day.

“June 12 was the day when we said ‘we were independent.’ That was victory for us… We won the revolution, and that we emphasize,” Chua said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

Chua also said Independence Day is when Filipinos claimed their ‘identity’ as a nation — a nation of gallant people.

Chua emphasized, Filipinos are still “a gallant people,” and that “we must carry it in our lives even if it’s not Independence Day.”

Fiona Nicolas
President Benigno Aquino III
118th Independence Day

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

Duterte skips Independence Day celebration in Davao By Joyce Ilas, CNN Philippines
Updated 11:57 AM PHT Mon, June 13, 2016 AddThis Sharing Buttons4371

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Davao City celebrated the 118th Independence Day of the country but its chief executive and President-elect Rodrigo Duterte was a no-show in the festivities.

FROM RAPPLER ONLINE

Davaoeños on Independence Day: Duterte can free PH Paterno Esmaquel II @paterno_ii Published 2:01 PM, June 12, 2016 Updated 4:46 PM, June 12, 2016

On Independence Day, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte's long-time constituents say he can save the Philippines from different kinds of bondage

'
LAST HOPE.' A woman walks with a child under a banner for Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, at a street in Davao City, Philippines, on May 11, 2016. Photo by Ritchie Tongo/EPA

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – More than Philippine flags, banners honoring President-elect Rodrigo Duterte continued to adorn Davao City on Sunday, June 12, as the country marks its 118th Independence Day.

Duterte, too, remains the talk of the town in restaurants and coffee shops in Davao City. In a place called Duterte Town Square, even a little boy can be seen posing with a life-size cut-out of Duterte on Saturday evening, June 11 – a sign of the president-elect’s rockstar status here.

Indeed on Independence Day, what reverberates here is Duterte’s victory, as Davaoeños believe he can free the Philippines from different kinds of slavery.

"It is an honor to be part of the national celebration of the 118th Independence Day. This year, Davao City is celebrating it with high spirits as we commemorate not just freedom from bondage and oppression. This year, we celebrate it knowing that in a few days' time, a Davaoeño will take the highest seat of the country," Davao City Councilor Marissa Abella said in a speech during their Independence Day rites on Sunday morning.

In an interview with reporters, Davao City Administrator Jesus Melchor Quitain said Duterte can help the Philippines uphold its gains on June 12, 1898, when it declared independence from Spain.

"This is a time for us to reflect on whether we have remained true to the promise of the revolution in 1898," Quitain said.

Referring to Duterte, the city administrator added, "He can do a lot of things to make things different not only for Davaoeños but for the entire citizenry."

Quitain led the Independence Day celebration in Rizal Park, Davao City, as Duterte did not attend it.

On where Duterte is, Quitain said, "Sa totoo lang, hindi ko alam kung nasaan siya ngayon. Pero alam ko tulog, dahil umaga pa e." (To be honest, I don’t know where he is right now. But I know he is asleep, because it’s still early morning.)

Known as "The Punisher," Duterte has served as Davao City mayor for more than two decades. (READ: The Rapture of Rodrigo Duterte)

He won a landslide victory in the May 9 elections, on a platform of a ensuring peace and order as he did in Davao City. His critics have warned, however, that Duterte is showing characteristics of a dictator like Ferdinand Marcos.

'Kaya niya 'yan'

Like their city officials, many Davao City residents believe Duterte can help free the Philippines from crime, corruption, and illegal drugs as he assumes the presidency on June 30.

Rappler interviewed some of them on Saturday, June 11, about their thoughts on Duterte and Independence Day.

Regina Cabaral, a 48-year-old woman selling Duterte T-shirts outside the Davao Cathedral, said Independence Day this year is special because Duterte won the presidency. She is hopeful that Duterte can replicate his success in Davao across the Philippines.

On criticisms that Duterte will find it hard to fight crime and corruption nationwide, Cabaral said, “Alam ko, sir, kaya niya ‘yan.” (I know, sir, that he can do it.)

Asked to explain why she believes this, Cabaral said, “Ewan ko, sir, basta alam kong kaya niya ‘yan.” (I don’t now, sir. I’m just sure that he can do it.)

Ken Badiang, 20, said of Duterte’s performance as Davao City mayor: “Sobrang epektibo po.” (He is very effective.)

Badiang cited Duterte’s fight against illegal drugs.

Duterte, after all, has minced no words against drug pushers. He has said that policemen and even ordinary citizens can kill any suspected drug pusher if he or she resists arrest.

"Those among you in your neighborhoods, feel free to call us, the police, or do it yourself if you have the gun. You have my support," Duterte earlier said.

Badiang himself has seen at least 3 people dead in his community. “Involved daw sila sa maraming krimen at saka sa droga,” he said. (They were reportedly involved in many crimes as well as drugs.)

'Yes to Duterte, no to death penalty'

Teresita Pascua, for her part, said she hopes other parts of the Philippines can be as safe as Davao City is.

A 65-year-old Davao City resident, she recounted her experiences in Pasay City in the 1980s, when she lost necklaces to robbers in two separate instances.

Once, her neck even bled after a robber snatched the necklace she was wearing. She said she will never forget this as proof that Metro Manila is unsafe compared to Davao City.

In Duterte’s city, she said: “Ni minsan hindi pa ako nagano'n. Kahit gabi hindi ako natatakot.” (Not once have I experienced that. I’m not afraid even at night.)

Pascua’s companion, 50-year-old Priscilla Cabungcal, agreed that Duterte can do for the Philippines the things he did in Davao City. “Maraming tauhan si Mayor,” she said. (The Mayor has many people.)

Cabungcal, however, disagrees with Duterte on one thing: the death penalty.

Duterte wants to reimpose the death penalty, but Cabungcal, like many others, believes in giving people a chance.

“Hindi tayo Diyos,” she said. (We are not God.)

In any case, 24-year-old Jed Mozar said he is happy that the Philippines, for the first time, is having a president from the southern island group of Mindanao.

Mozar also said Duterte can uphold the independence that heroes gained for the Philippines in 1898.

For one, he said, Duterte can free the Philippines from illegal drugs. “Mas uunlad ang kalayaan ‘pag wala ang mga krimen, walang mga droga.” (Our freedom will bloom if there is no crime, if there are no drugs.) – Rappler.com


PHILSTAR

LP party turns into Noy concert By Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 3, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


From ‘Buttercup’ to ‘The Impossible Dream’ and finally ‘Bayan Ko,’ President Aquino entertains the crowd during the Liberal Party thanksgiving event in Cubao, Quezon City the other night.

MANILA, Philippines - He sang his heart out and even grooved to the beat while cracking jokes in between the songs he chose to render in three sets.

The music lover in President Aquino came to the fore Wednesday night as he joined the Liberal Party (LP) thanksgiving event at its headquarters in Cubao, Quezon City.

It was the first time for Aquino to let his guard down fully as he agreed to do a “mini-concert” to the delight of the crowd.

In some closed-door events, Aquino would sing but perhaps his being president put him on guard. Now the Chief Executive seems to be starting to enjoy the impending end of his term.

The President’s appearance was a surprise for guests at the thanksgiving party, who included LP presidential bet Manuel Roxas II, vice president-elect Leni Robredo and supporters of administration candidates.

The party was extended for hours after Aquino arrived at 7 p.m. to join the fun.

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Wearing a yellow shirt, Aquino gamely went up and down the stage to join Roxas, his Cabinet officials, his favorite singer and friend Noel Cabangon and members of a band for a performance.

The opening song “To Love Somebody” was followed by many other tunes that included “Boogie Wonderland,” “September,” “Pumapatak Ang Ulan,” “Manila,” “Can’t Smile Without You,” “Awitin Mo, Isasayaw Ko,” “Buttercup” and “Always Something There To Remind Me.”

The President also belted out “The Impossible Dream,” after singing “Tie a Yellow Ribbon,” which were the favorite songs of his late father senator Benigno Aquino Jr.

“It’s the signature song (The Impossible Dream) of my father, he might visit me later (and say), why are you taking away my song from me?” he said.

He begged off from singing “Sana Dalawa Ang Puso Ko,” a song about a man wishing he had two hearts because he was torn between two lovers, as he quipped that it definitely would not fit him.

The President also avoided singing a song that, he joked, might outrage the late composers with his rendition and make them rise from their graves.


ANG BAYAN KO! AQUINO'S LAST SONG......

After being egged on, the crowd joined Aquino and company in singing. The President also accepted song requests and even sang “Happy Birthday” for one of the guests.

The crowd turned emotional when the song “Bayan Ko” was played as Aquino’s last song for the night.

On stage, Aquino was very relaxed and happy. He teased Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, saying his long-time friend might have lost his hair because of too much head banging in his younger days as a rocker.

Abad shot back, describing Aquino as quite a rocker and head banger himself, judging by his pate.

“There’s still some (hair) left,” Aquino countered.

Roxas, for his part, said: “It’s not true we’re auditioning for our next career.” – With Paolo Romero


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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