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DU30 INAUGURAL: MARCOSES IN, LENI OUT IN INAUGURAL


JUNE 30 -  ALMOST TIME
There’s no room for Vice President-elect Leni Robredo in today’s oathtaking of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte but two of the children of former President Ferdinand Marcos, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, are expected to be among Duterte’s main guests. The presence of the Marcoses in Duterte’s list of 627 guests was confirmed by no less than Duterte’s aide Christopher Go and Davao del Norte Rep. Anton Lagdameo. Duterte has not hidden his animosity towards Robredo whose victory at the recent polls is the subject of a protest from Marcos filed yesterday. Marcos accused the LP of being behind a massive cheating operations to assure the victory of Robredo. At a media forum about a month ago, Marcos revealed that Duterte himself was convinced that cheating occurred on elections day which allegedly caused Marcos’ defeat. Robredo won the VP race by a thin 260,000 margin against Marcos. Reelected Governor Imee Marcos confirmed her attendance in Duterte’s inauguration. From Laoag City, she flew to Manila yesterday. Taking a cue from Duterte’s wish to have simple inaugural rites, the governor is expected to wear a recycled red terno with Abel Iluko fabric designed by local designer Amor Albano who is based in Laoag City. Marcos is known for her advocacy to promote local products in the province such as the use of the local fabric. Meanwhile, a staff of outgoing Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos said the latter was also invited to witness Duterte’s inauguration at the Rizal Hall in Malacañang but there is no confirmation yet if he could attend. For her part, Rep. Imelda Marcos of the second district of Ilocos Norte said the province is blessed for having a newly-elected president who is generous to Ilocanos. Incoming Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar has revealed preparations have already been finalized from the program down to the food. READ MORE...

ALSO: Binay cries in last 'boodle fight' with security detail


JUNE 29 -GOODBYE LUNCH. Outgoing Vice President Jejomar Binay delivers a speech in front of his security detail on June 28. Photo from the Office of Senator Nancy Binay
 It was an emotional last meal for outgoing Vice President Jejomar Binay and his security detail. Rappler obtained photos of Binay’s farewell boodle fight with the Vice Presidential Security Group on Wednesday, June 29. According to Binay’s son, dismissed Makati mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr, the boodle fight was held at around 11 am at the Coconut Palace on Tuesday. “Late ako kahapon pero inabot ko ‘yung nagbibigay ang dad ng certificate of appreciation para dun sa mga tao niya (I came in late yesterday but I witnessed my dad giving certificates of appreciation to his security detail),” said Junjun. He said Binay tried to deliver a thank you speech to the men and women who protected him and his family over the past 6 years. But soon after, the outgoing Vice President began crying. “Before the boodle fight, nag-speech siya, pero wala pa yatang one minute. Nagpasalamat lang siya tapos naiyak siya. Nag-iyakan ‘yung mga tao, ‘yung mga security, lalo na ‘yung mga babae,” shared Junjun. (Before the boodle fight, he gave a speech, but it lasted around a minute only. He thanked them then he cried. His security then cried, too, especially the women.) READ MORE...

ALSO: EDITORIAL - Looking ahead


JUNE 30 -AS a new administration takes over today, it is an opportune time to consider what Filipinos want.
A recent study of national aspirations by the National Economic and Development Authority suggests that 80 percent of Filipinos want to have a simple and comfortable life—marked by a stable job, and ownership of a house and a car.
To achieve this goal, Neda suggests, a household of four would need a gross monthly income of P120,000 per family. The amount, the agency adds, assumes that a comprehensive tax reform program is already in place. Neda Director-General Emmanuel Esguerra suggests that the “simple and comfortable” lifestyle is a middle class goal. The P120,000 monthly figure, he says, factors in amortizations that would have to be made for a car and a house and lot, as well as taxes that would need to be paid, and allowances for emergencies. Begun last year and completed in February, Ambisyon Natin 2040 used face-to-face interviews with 10,000 people across all economic classes to determine the medium-term and short-term aspirations of Filipinos regarding their standard of living, finances, security and ease of transacting with the go vernment within one generation. READ MORE...

ALSO: AT THE COMELEC - Poll chief’s going Awol prompts call for probe


JUNE 30 -BAUTISTA
ELECTIONS Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said Wednesday she would ask the Commission on Elections en banc to review the rules on trips by members of the poll body, after she criticized Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista for leaving for a vacation in Japan without a travel authority. Guanzon’s call came as Bautista said he was willing to sit down with the six other commissioners to discuss issues they raised against him in a memo that accused him of a “failure of leadership.” “I will write a request today for a review of our travel policy [for] the en banc meeting next Tuesday,” Guanzon told the reporters, noting that Bautista had approved his own trip. Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista “This is so that we can avoid such instances like now where we have these misunderstandings and humiliations,” she said. Aside from the appeal to investigate the legitimacy of Bautista’s travel, Guanzon said she will also urge her colleagues to return to the previous policy where all remaining members of the seven-man en banc will sign the travel authority of the poll chief. “During the time of Chairman [Jose] Melo and [Sixto] Brillantes, the travel policy was like that... so we should just go back to that rule, where it is the en banc that will sign the travel authority,” Guanzon said. “We can also meet halfway. How about the travel authority only needing to be signed by the majority, which is four members. That is acceptable I think,” she added. On Thursday, the poll chief left the country to accompany his son to Tokyo, Japan and returned last Sunday, claiming that his personal trip was approved by himself. Bautista’s trip came at a time when the six commissioners issued a memorandum accusing him of incompetence. READ MORE...

ALSO: COMMENTARY - Easier said than done
[He will have to contend with bureaucracy and politics, and will soon also realize that the Philippines is not Davao City. In any case, I wish him well. I also wish that he would metamorphose “like a butterfly” upon his inauguration into a leader we can all be proud of. by Emil Jurado]


JUNE 30 -TWO things will happen today. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will be sworn in as the 16th President of the Philippines, and an era of incompetence and insensitivity under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III will end. Expectations of Duterte are high. He vows to end criminality, illegal drugs and corruption within six months. He wants to restore the death penalty—by hanging, mind you. I doubt if these can be eradicated within the time period promised. The most seasoned law enforcers, like former Philippine National Police chief Panfilo Lacson, say this is simply not doable. Unless, of course, Duterte declares martial law or establishes a revolutionary government.
There’s also Duterte’s upcoming peace agreement with the communists. This would entail the release of political prisoners identified with the National Democratic Front and the Communist Party of the Philippines, and a ceasefire between government forces and the New People’s Army. This is something devoutly to be wished. The insurgency has claimed thousands of lives. If Duterte achieves this, this could well be his legacy. Duterte also vowed to end the Abu Sayyaf’s activities in the Southern Philippines. The ASG is an international embarrassment for us because foreigners get kidnapped here. Some end up being beheaded. But ending the Abu Sayyaf’s movements is easier said than done. Especially now, with the Abus getting material assistance from the IS. And then, there is the problem of China. It continues to bully the country by occupying islands in the West Philippine Sea. Duterte wants to end the tension through bilateral talks. We also wish him well. Duterte wants a shift to federalism, which he thinks will solve the problem of poverty in Muslim Mindanao. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Marcoses in, Leni out in inaugural

SIMPLE CEREMONY, MENU EXPECTED

MANILA, JUNE 30, 2016 (TRIBUNE) Written by Ted Tuvera Thursday, 30 June 2016 00:00 - There’s no room for Vice President-elect Leni Robredo in today’s oathtaking of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte but two of the children of former President Ferdinand Marcos, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, are expected to be among Duterte’s main guests.

The presence of the Marcoses in Duterte’s list of 627 guests was confirmed by no less than Duterte’s aide Christopher Go and Davao del Norte Rep. Anton Lagdameo.

Duterte has not hidden his animosity towards Robredo whose victory at the recent polls is the subject of a protest from Marcos filed yesterday. Marcos accused the LP of being behind a massive cheating operations to assure the victory of Robredo.
At a media forum about a month ago, Marcos revealed that Duterte himself was convinced that cheating occurred on elections day which allegedly caused Marcos’ defeat.

Robredo won the VP race by a thin 260,000 margin against Marcos.

Reelected Governor Imee Marcos confirmed her attendance in Duterte’s inauguration. From Laoag City, she flew to Manila yesterday. Taking a cue from Duterte’s wish to have simple inaugural rites, the governor is expected to wear a recycled red terno with Abel Iluko fabric designed by local designer Amor Albano who is based in Laoag City.

Marcos is known for her advocacy to promote local products in the province such as the use of the local fabric.

Meanwhile, a staff of outgoing Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos said the latter was also invited to witness Duterte’s inauguration at the Rizal Hall in Malacañang but there is no confirmation yet if he could attend.

For her part, Rep. Imelda Marcos of the second district of Ilocos Norte said the province is blessed for having a newly-elected president who is generous to Ilocanos.

Incoming Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar has revealed preparations have already been finalized from the program down to the food.

READ MORE...

Digong wears a barong

The program drafted by Malacañang estimated the day’s activities to begin before 10:30 am and end sometime before 4 pm.

For Duterte’s inaugural rites, Davao-based fashion house Chardin has created a barong Tagalog made from piña jusi fabric to be paired with black pure cotton pants.

“His wardrobe is the least of the President’s concern, but he went to fit his barong. He is raring to start with work right after the inauguration,” Andanar added.

Last Tuesday, June 28, it was known that Duterte went to Chardin to try on his barong designed by Boni Adaza. The designer gave clues citing ecru as the barong’s color with light brown and beige details to highlight its embroidery, which will depict a pattern iconic of Mindanao’s minority, the Manobo tribe.

“He wanted to incorporate a symbol to represent the 11 minorities in Mindanao. The tribal prints of the Manobo is the least complicated that’s why we have chosen that. It also shows the President’s simplicity,” Adaza explained.

As for the food, Malacañan Palace-accredited concessionaire Via Mare will prepare a reception that reflects the simplicity of the incoming administration yet still boasts of the rich Filipino culinary heritage.

The menu consisting only of five types of food include: lumpiang ubod (coconut pith spring roll), pandesal with kesong puti (white cheese made from unskimmed carabao’s milk) and Vigan longganisa (sausage from Northern Ilocandia) grilled on the spot, monggo soup mixed with smoked fish and alugbati (malabar spinach) in demitasse cups, fried saba (Carbava banana) slices, and Durian tartlet.

ROBREDO INAUGURAL

For drinks, guests will have a choice between homegrown delights pineapple-mango cooler and dalandan juice.
Going along with Duterte’s “simple” inaugural ceremonies, Robredo will also be preparing simple Filipino meals in her separate ceremony in Quezon City.

Robredo’s team say that the tentative menu included only five items: sotanghon, maja blanca, pichi pichi, different kinds of pandesal and buchi with chocnut.

Among her guests are her defeated LP running mate Mar Roxas and her highest campaign donor celebrity Kris Aquino, outgoing President Aquino’s youngest sister.

Rhetorics over, time for action

Usually hogging the headlines for his controversial remarks, the 71-year-old Duterte, known for his rather irreverence and toughness that resulted in his being branded as “The Punisher”, attributes his win to his being unconventional.

“I won. Why? Because I was the person carrying the right message – corruption in government, criminality. I will fulfill my promise regardless of who will be affected. I will stake my honor my life and presidency itself,” he said during his last flag ceremony as Davao City mayor last Monday.

Over a period of 20 years, he claims that he turned Davao City from the “murder capital of the Philippines” to what tourism organizations now describe as “the most peaceful city in southeast Asia,” and was evenly reported as the world’s fourth safest place.

London School of Economics fellow and political analyst Ernesto Gonzales, in an interview with the Tribune, said that Duterte’s promises should go along with the practical matters that the country has to deal with.

“The main points he pointed during his campaign are apparently urgent such as criminality of which he presented himself as the most efficient for handling it. But he should be reminded that there are concerns that are relatively more important,” Gonzales said.

“The campaign season is over and now he’s the President. As they say, campaign rhetoric is easier said than done,” he added.
As Duterte wants himself to be called as the “Mayor of the Republic”, Gonzales pointed that the challenge on him is to apply his successful local government leadership style into a nationwide scope.

“Being Mayor or Baranggay Captain, with all due respect, is not as complicated as how the presidency works. But seemingly, since the people voted him for his approachable appeal to the masses, he should stay true to the mandate given to him,” he said.

But for human rights advocates Duterte’s “change is coming” was more identified with his iron fist leadership which is similar to martial law.

Officials of the United Nations (UN), London-based Amnesty International, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has slammed Duterte’s insistence on reviving the death penalty and the impression generated by his “I will kill you” slogans that accordingly promote vigilantism.

By way of killing suspects, the incoming president promised that he will lessen crime in the country in his first six months. He also wants Congress to prioritize the revival of death penalty.

According to public interest lawyer Jesus Falcis, Duterte’s brand of justice manifests his “fascist tendencies”.

“Duterte’s brand of justice, philosophy, or “strategy” or whatever you will call it, inspires a sector of society that is authoritarian-leaning, potentially and actually violent, and takes justice into their own hands,” Falcis said.

Falcis also scored Duterte’s stubbornness toward critics who articulate oppositions toward his supposed policies.

“Duterte is attacking the credibility of all institutions that could go against him. Duterte is the only man and institution you should believe in,” he said.

On the other hand, Duterte’s style is his way of packaging himself as deliverer of change, whereas claiming that his government will be “revolutionary”, he said.

The incoming president who is pushing for federalism that requires a change in the constitution, admitted that he is actually a “leftist socialist” as he is often tagged as an ally of the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People’s Army - National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

In fact, CPP founder Jose Maria Sison lauded Duterte and even hinted that the communist insurgents might be convinced to end their nearly 50-year rebellion.

“President Duterte is known to spontaneously make abrupt or sometimes tentative statements, especially in the economic field. But he is also known, especially by those who know him enough, to listen to what is just and reasonable and is capable of changing or adjusting a previous position. He is said to be never deliberately unjust and unreasonable,” Sison said.

Duterte has appointed NDF-recommended leftist personalities in his government.

Sison added that Duterte “has long demonstrated that he has the strength of character, the political will and determination to engage the revolutionary forces and what is good for the people. Duterte is also inclined to finalize the government’s negotiation efforts with rebel groups in the Moro region.”

Also, Duterte portrays himself as the president of the masses saying that he’ll open the gates of Malacañang to the public.

Also a trapo

But Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo is apparently not convinced by the new president’s presentation of himself as the “man of the masses”.

“In a way, he (Duterte) is also a trapo (traditional politician) because he is also a member of a political dynasty. But he is not traditional in terms of style as well as the issues he wanted to address in the national level like criminality, (labor) contractualization and mining,” Pabillo said.

“That’s what the people are looking for. That was his promise – Change is coming. The next question is: Is it better or for the worse?” he added.

As new president, however, Duterte will have to finish or rather correct the supposed legacies ought to be left by outgoing President Aquino.

Apart from the perennially sweeping issue of corruption and his usual outbursts against criminality and illegal drugs, Duterte could be bombarded by matters such as the territorial disputes with China, potential terrorist activities by Islamic militants and other issues with respect to economy.

In an interview with the Daily Tribune, incoming Kabayan Partylist Rep. Harry Roque said that Duterte’s electoral win proves how the public is disgusted with the inefficiency of Aquino.

“Duterte is challenged to be better than his predecessor who’s either insensitive or mentally problematic over the last six years since it is in him that the people saw hope for change,” Roque said.

Roque explained that the public’s frustration that paved the way for Duterte’s win is Aquino’s failure to do his campaign promises when he ran for presidency capitalizing on the popularity of his parents especially that his mother former President Cory Aquino died a year before the 2010 polls.

“Aquino promised heaven but what happened was hell!” Roque said, naming some of the outgoing President’s unfulfilled vows.

“In fact, this regime has repeatedly distorted the Constitution again and again just to fit his capriciousness,” he added.
Relatively, though, one of the incoming administration’s top promises is to pass the elusive law on government transparency, the freedom of information (FoI) bill.

Unlike Aquino who prefers legislative efforts in attaining the FoI, Duterte on his first meeting with media after his victory last May said that he will sign the FoI measure as an executive order.

“If Congress refuses to pass such a law, I will start on it progressively. Let’s cut to the chase. From day one, although this will not be retroactive since ordering so will create a very chaotic situation. FOI, I will impose it on my department, executive department,” he told reporters.

LP warns Duterte

The greatly diminished from defections Liberal Party (LP) warned that Duterte should not violate the laws and the Constitution if he does not want to be impeached.

Akbayan party-list Rep. Barry Gutierrez, spokesman of the Liberal party, said Duterte has nothing to fear if he would just abide by all the legal and constitutional processes in his campaign against crime and corruption.

“Hopefully, he will not commit any of these serious offenses (grounds for impeachment) and Congress will not have to exercise this power,” Gutierrez said.

“Congress’ power to impeach only comes into play if the President commits culpable violation of the Constitution, graft and corruption, betrayal of public trust, treason and other high crimes,” Gutierrez added.

Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco of the United Nationalist Alliance, who is reportedly eyeing the leadership of the minority bloc in the Lower House said that Duterte will not allow himself to be impeached.

“I think the reason President-elect Duterte is not afraid of any possible impeachment is because as a lawyer, he will ensure that all his policies and actions will be legal. He also has a good legal team to review all these policies to ensure its legality,” Tiangco said.

Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat of the Liberal Party said Duterte would be spared from an impeachment complaint given the support of the majority of the lawmakers.

“Well right now, he (Duterte) has his super majority to bank on to deter any impeachment moves. Rarely does the success of an impeachment rest on constitutional grounds. It’s a numbers game and politically, Duterte is on safe ground,” Baguilat explained.

Duterte on Monday said that he is not afraid of an impeachment complaint that could ensue over his policies.

In his first and last speech as mayor of Davao City in a flag-raising ceremony Monday, Duterte said: “Impeachment? Go ahead! That’s not a problem with me. I will insist what I promise to the people.”

Press freedom watchdogs also vowed to closely monitor Duterte’s every move despite the apparently cold ties between him and the media.

In a pooled editorial by various media organizations, student publications, and citizen advocates, Duterte was reminded that his conservative relations with members of the press is contradictory to his promise of transparency.

“The President is mandated by law to lead the nation and to promote transparency, accountability, and good governance,” the statement said.

“As “the people’s private eye in the public arena,” the news media serve as custodian and gatekeeper of some of these rights,” it added.

It also urged colleagues to continue doing its job of covering and reporting the new president.

“In truth, the news media must report more—and better—about him, his policies and his actions, with our reports guided by the best standards of accuracy, fairness and context,” it said.

“Whether intended or not, his volcanic language has dampened, indeed chilled, the daily reportage, so that journalists with valid, if testy, questions are seemingly forced to eat expletives by way of a response,” they added.

The statement was co-signed by some broadsheet and tabloid publications, the Philippine Press Institute, the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines, Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility and the UP College of Mass Communications.

Duterte’s relationship with members of the press began when he argued that media killings is a result of the institution’s being corrupt in one of his late-night press conferences earlier this month.

After drawing much flak and a call by Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Borders to boycott him, Duterte decided to cancel any media engagement with him, saying that it’ll last until his term as president ends and that all his statements will be exclusively reported through state-run media agencies.

Since then, reporters relied on his speeches and his designated spokesmen Ernesto Abella and former broadcaster incoming Communications Chief Martin Andanar. He previously appointed lawyer Salvador Panelo as spokesman but later withdrew it.

Furthermore, the pooled editorial entitled “The Prez and the Press” didn’t deny Duterte’s allegations that corruption do reign among media practitioners.

“To be sure, corruption in the news media is as real as the 16-million vote that secured the victory of the President-elect. To be sure, corruption afflicts both individuals and agencies in the news media, and has evolved into a subculture with a language all its own,” it said.

“As anywhere else, however, corruption in the news media is a supply-demand chain,” the statement added.

Those who are behind the statement rued that politicians and government officials are to be blamed for such corruption.
Gerry Baldo, Charlie V. Manalo


RAPPLER.COM

Binay cries in last boodle fight with security detail Mara Cepeda @maracepeda Published 1:04 PM, June 29, 2016 Updated 1:06 PM, June 29, 2016


GOODBYE LUNCH. Outgoing Vice President Jejomar Binay delivers a speech in front of his security detail on June 28. Photo from the Office of Senator Nancy Binay

MANILA, Philippines – It was an emotional last meal for outgoing Vice President Jejomar Binay and his security detail.

Rappler obtained photos of Binay’s farewell boodle fight with the Vice Presidential Security Group on Wednesday, June 29.

According to Binay’s son, dismissed Makati mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr, the boodle fight was held at around 11 am at the Coconut Palace on Tuesday.

“Late ako kahapon pero inabot ko ‘yung nagbibigay ang dad ng certificate of appreciation para dun sa mga tao niya (I came in late yesterday but I witnessed my dad giving certificates of appreciation to his security detail),” said Junjun.

He said Binay tried to deliver a thank you speech to the men and women who protected him and his family over the past 6 years. But soon after, the outgoing Vice President began crying.

“Before the boodle fight, nag-speech siya, pero wala pa yatang one minute. Nagpasalamat lang siya tapos naiyak siya. Nag-iyakan ‘yung mga tao, ‘yung mga security, lalo na ‘yung mga babae,” shared Junjun.

(Before the boodle fight, he gave a speech, but it lasted around a minute only. He thanked them then he cried. His security then cried, too, especially the women.)

READ MORE...


SHORT SPEECH. Junjun says Binay's farewell speech was cut short after he teared up. Photo from the Office of Senator Nancy Binay

Binay’s security detail as Vice President included military officers. Once their assignment with Binay ends on Thursday, June 30, Junjun said they will be assigned to new posts.

“Nung kumakain na, nagkukuwentuhan sila saan maa-assign. Tapos nagpaaalam na 'yung mga officers niya,” said Junjun.

(When they were eating, they talked about where they would be possibly be assigned. Then the officers said their goodbyes.)

While Binay held the second highest position in the land, he is known to share meals with just about anyone he meets – from politicians, his staff, to the common folk who supported him during his failed presidential bid. (READ: CAMPAIGN NOTES: 10 things I learned while covering Jejomar Binay)

On Saturday, Binay joined the staff at the Office of the Vice President for a thanksgiving mass as well. He prayed that they will continue serving the poor even after he steps down as vice president.


THE LAST MEAL. VP Binay and son Junjun lead a prayer before the boodle fight. Photo from the Office of Senator Nancy Binay 
– Rappler.com


MANILA STANDARD EDITORIAL

Looking ahead posted June 30, 2016 at 12:01 am


AS a new administration takes over today, it is an opportune time to consider what Filipinos want.

A recent study of national aspirations by the National Economic and Development Authority suggests that 80 percent of Filipinos want to have a simple and comfortable life—marked by a stable job, and ownership of a house and a car.

To achieve this goal, Neda suggests, a household of four would need a gross monthly income of P120,000 per family. The amount, the agency adds, assumes that a comprehensive tax reform program is already in place.

Neda Director-General Emmanuel Esguerra suggests that the “simple and comfortable” lifestyle is a middle class goal. The P120,000 monthly figure, he says, factors in amortizations that would have to be made for a car and a house and lot, as well as taxes that would need to be paid, and allowances for emergencies.

Begun last year and completed in February, Ambisyon Natin 2040 used face-to-face interviews with 10,000 people across all economic classes to determine the medium-term and short-term aspirations of Filipinos regarding their standard of living, finances, security and ease of transacting with the go vernment within one generation.

READ MORE...

Neda officials are understandably optimistic that these aspirations can be met, but the reality on the ground is that very few Filipinos can claim this “middle-class” income of P120,000 a month and are far from achieving it.

In fact, government statistics show that one in four families scrape by with only P8,000 a month, the ridiculously low income threshold that bureaucrats have set before a family can be officially described as poor. This enables the government to claim to be making headway against poverty by the simple expedient of lowering the threshold, but it does little to help those who eke out an existence, say, at P9,000 or P10,000 a month.

The previous administration took an ill-advised dole program from the Arroyo years and threw tens of billions of pesos more into the mix as a way of addressing poverty—without doing anything about generating better-paying jobs for blue- and white-collar workers, or higher incomes for agricultural families.

Even the Neda admits that these middle-class aspirations will only be possible if incomes grow and if inequalities are addressed such that not only the top 5 percent or 10 percent of the population benefit from economic growth.

President Benigno Aquino III, who steps down today, once promised on his campaign trail that he would eradicate poverty by wiping out corruption. This, we now know, was a big lie in more ways than one. First, he fought only corruption practiced by his political opponents and let his friends and allies misuse public funds with no danger of punishment. But the bigger lie was that licking corruption isn’t the silver bullet to eliminating poverty. Stable, well-paying jobs are—and we can only hope that the incoming administration will do a better job at encouraging this kind of employment than its predecessor did.


MANILA STANDARD

Poll chief’s going Awol prompts call for probe posted June 30, 2016 at 12:01 am by Sara Susanne D. Fabunan


BAUTISTA

ELECTIONS Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said Wednesday she would ask the Commission on Elections en banc to review the rules on trips by members of the poll body, after she criticized Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista for leaving for a vacation in Japan without a travel authority.

Guanzon’s call came as Bautista said he was willing to sit down with the six other commissioners to discuss issues they raised against him in a memo that accused him of a “failure of leadership.”

“I will write a request today for a review of our travel policy [for] the en banc meeting next Tuesday,” Guanzon told the reporters, noting that Bautista had approved his own trip.

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista “This is so that we can avoid such instances like now where we have these misunderstandings and humiliations,” she said.

Aside from the appeal to investigate the legitimacy of Bautista’s travel, Guanzon said she will also urge her colleagues to return to the previous policy where all remaining members of the seven-man en banc will sign the travel authority of the poll chief.

“During the time of Chairman [Jose] Melo and [Sixto] Brillantes, the travel policy was like that... so we should just go back to that rule, where it is the en banc that will sign the travel authority,” Guanzon said.

“We can also meet halfway. How about the travel authority only needing to be signed by the majority, which is four members. That is acceptable I think,” she added.

On Thursday, the poll chief left the country to accompany his son to Tokyo, Japan and returned last Sunday, claiming that his personal trip was approved by himself.

Bautista’s trip came at a time when the six commissioners issued a memorandum accusing him of incompetence.

READ MORE...

A source told The Standard that even before the elections, the six commissioners had sought an executive session with Bautista to discuss their problems, but the chairman consistently refused to meet them.

The source added that Bautista was playing the role of the victim, being ganged up on by his colleagues.

Guanzon earlier said they had held back their concerns and grievances against Bautista to give way to the successful conduct of the May 9 elections.

She also said that it took them more than a month to raise these concerns because Bautista continuously refused to deal with all the issues even before the elections.

In a separate interview, Bautista said he is now willing to sit down with his colleagues in the en banc and discuss on the issues raised in their memo.

He said he was willing to do this if his colleagues observe “courtesy and respect.”

“Anytime, I am ready to meet them as long as there is courtesy and respect... If there is anyone who wants to meet with me, they are welcome,” Bautista told the reporters.

“I already told them that if we meet, I don’t want to see shouting and disrespect just like what happens sometimes. That is not right. I told them we should have courtesy and respect to one another, not only to fellow commissioners but also to senior staff. We should treat each other with respect,” he added.

He also said that he in fact already met with some members of the commission regarding the issues raised in the memo.

“We had a good talk with some commissioners... I am asking their advice on how to move forward,” the poll chief said.

He also said he has already showed some commissioners his draft written response to the memo, which raised at least 15 issues.

“I showed them my answers to the memo and they said they will study it,” he revealed.


MANILA STANDARD (COMMENTARY)

Easier said than done posted June 30, 2016 at 12:01 am by Emil Jurado
 

TWO things will happen today. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will be sworn in as the 16th President of the Philippines, and an era of incompetence and insensitivity under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III will end.

Expectations of Duterte are high. He vows to end criminality, illegal drugs and corruption within six months. He wants to restore the death penalty—by hanging, mind you.

I doubt if these can be eradicated within the time period promised. The most seasoned law enforcers, like former Philippine National Police chief Panfilo Lacson, say this is simply not doable. Unless, of course, Duterte declares martial law or establishes a revolutionary government.

There’s also Duterte’s upcoming peace agreement with the communists. This would entail the release of political prisoners identified with the National Democratic Front and the Communist Party of the Philippines, and a ceasefire between government forces and the New People’s Army.

This is something devoutly to be wished. The insurgency has claimed thousands of lives. If Duterte achieves this, this could well be his legacy.

Duterte also vowed to end the Abu Sayyaf’s activities in the Southern Philippines. The ASG is an international embarrassment for us because foreigners get kidnapped here. Some end up being beheaded.

But ending the Abu Sayyaf’s movements is easier said than done. Especially now, with the Abus getting material assistance from the IS.

And then, there is the problem of China. It continues to bully the country by occupying islands in the West Philippine Sea. Duterte wants to end the tension through bilateral talks. We also wish him well.

Duterte wants a shift to federalism, which he thinks will solve the problem of poverty in Muslim Mindanao.

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It really depends on what kind of federalism can be achieved. Many regions nationwide have remained poor and neglected. But this could take time since it involves amending the 1987 Constitution.

In the economy, there is much optimism, especially in making the Philippines more competitive by cutting red tape and removing restrictions on foreign investments.

The two-day dialogue with business and industry leaders in Davao City augurs well for the economy. This shows we have a President who listens, and hopefully who acts immediately, on the concerns of business and industry.

When Du30 assumes the presidency at noon today, he will soon find out that winning the presidency is easier than actually being president.

He will have to contend with bureaucracy and politics, and will soon also realize that the Philippines is not Davao City.

In any case, I wish him well.

I also wish that he would metamorphose “like a butterfly” upon his inauguration into a leader we can all be proud of.

* * *

All of a sudden, my gulay, the Philippine National Police the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency have become active in zeroing in on drug pushers and users.

It seems that the police, the NBI and the PDEA have known all along who the pushers and users are. It’s only now that the authorities are acting.

The PNP itself has announced that 95 percent of Metro Manila barangays have been infiltrated by illegal drugs. And yet, under the Aquino administration, there was nothing done to eradicate this drug menace. It would even seem that BS Aquino tolerated the problem of illegal drugs.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the PNP, NBI and the PDEA are now cutting ties with drug pushers for fear that the Duterte government would also go after them for their involvement in the trade.

I used to be a police reporter myself. I know only too well that in every district, the police chief knows who are the criminals and where they are. At times, these criminals become assets or informants of the police.

Some of the authorities are also on the take. That’s the reason that during the six years of BS Aquino, nothing was done to eradicate this menace to society.

The irony of it all is that during his farewell speech before the PNP, BS Aquino even praised the PNP and especially outgoing PNP chief Ricardo Marquez for a “job well done.”

* * *

Santa Banana, in my over six decades as a journalist, I have never seen the Comelec is such disarray. Six commissioners have characterized Chairman Andres Bautista’s stint as a failed leadership.

I even consider it funny that even the Japan trip of Bautista is under question. There are reports that he signed his own authority to travel without seeking the en banc’s approval. And worse, without leaving an acting chairman to act on urgent matters in his absence.

My gulay, it was bad enough that the Comelec accommodate the Liberal Party and administration candidate Mar Roxas in the matter of the submission of the Statement of Contributions and Expenditures.

To top it all, Bautista seems unconcerned. Obviously, he doesn’t realize the gravity of the situation.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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