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(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

AQUINO SHOULD HAVE STOPPED KILLING WAVE IN DYING DAYS OF HIS ADMIN - CHR Chair
[“I wanted him [Aquino] to say ‘Stop that, I am still your president. Please be reminded that under my leadership, we do not commit these actions,” said Rosales who noted that the former President should have spoken at the first instance]. [RELATED: Graft raps filed against Aquino, Abad over DAP]


JULY 7 -Former Commission on Human Rights Chairwoman Loretta Ann Rosales. INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO Former President Benigno Aquino III should have taken a forceful stand against the wave of killings in the dying days of his administration. Former Commission on Human Rights Chair Loretta Rosales was concerned that Aquino had allowed the high number of casualties of alleged drug pushers and users even if he has not yet turned over his power to President Duterte for whom these actions were attributed. “I wanted him [Aquino] to say ‘Stop that, I am still your president. Please be reminded that under my leadership, we do not commit these actions,” said Rosales who noted that the former President should have spoken at the first instance. Rosales said that the President gave only a feeble statement on the killing wave by urging the police to hold on to democratic rights and uphold the law. “President Duterte appeared to have violated all of these international human rights instruments a few weeks before his actual inauguration. The police were energized and started doing what they thought Duterte meant [in his speeches],” said Rosales. Rosales explained that Aquino might have been reluctant to make a stronger statement because he was preparing to phase out of power. FULL REPORT, RELATED, Graft raps filed against Aquino, Abad over DAP...

ALSO: LP exec Erice denies Roxas links to 2 of 5 narco brass
[RELATED: Plunder graft raps filed vs Noy spokesman Coloma over printing deal]


JULY 7 -The Liberal Party (LP) flatly denied yesterday association with two of the five active and former Philippine National Police (PNP) generals named by President Duterte the other day as protectors of narcotics syndicates. Retired PNP Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo and relieved Chief Supt. Bernardo Diaz were reported to be among the high-ranking PNP officials who met with defeated LP presidential candidate Mar Roxas during the campaign in Novotel hotel situated in properties owned by the Roxas clan in Cubao, Quezon City. A former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) agent also indicated that the links of the generals were not limited to the LP but also to Palace officials of former President Aquino. In an exclusive phone interview with the Daily Tribune, LP Vice Chairman for Political Affairs and Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice said that he is not aware of any arrangements or ties between their party and the police generals particularly Garbo. “They are policemen who are encouraged not to be affiliated to partisan politics. There is no connection between the LP and Garbo,” Erice said. “I am not aware of any meeting between them. I have not personally met Garbo,” he added. It is widely known that Garbo, who retired from police service last May, was a vocal supporter of Roxas and was rumored to be Roxas’ bet as PNP Director General had he won the elections. Garbo was also the Department of Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) lead officer in the removal of former Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia in 2012, who was a critic of the previous Aquino administration. Diaz, meanwhile, used to be Police Regional Director of Western Visayas, which is major bailiwick of Roxas and where all its provincial governors belong to the LP. Garbo was the highest ranking general among the generals that Duterte had named. Garbo told reporters that Duterte was fed with wrong information in linking him to syndicates in the illegal drugs trade. “I cannot blame the President for making such an announcement. But I assure him and the Filipino people that he (Duterte) was fed with wrong and poisonous information,” he said. On the other hand, former PDEA agent Jonathan Morales, in a separate interview with the Tribune, said that former Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, who was the previous administration’s anti-crime czar, should also be investigated and charged. “Ochoa had all the resources and time to nab suspects. Why have they failed?,” Morales said. READ MORE...RELATED, Plunder graft raps filed vs Noy spokesman Coloma over printing deal...

ALSO: Leni gets housing post
[RELATED: Amid security threats, Leni tells Rody flying to Davao - Take care, PH needs you]
[RELATED(2): Robredo recounts events leading to Duterte’s ‘change of heart’]


JULY 8 -Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II announced in an early evening press conference at Malacañang that President Duterte called Vice President Leni Robredo yesterday to offer her a Cabinet post to address “persistent questions” on whether Robredo would be part of the official family. AP/Aaron Favila, file
After two meetings, President Duterte has had a change of heart and offered Vice President Leni Robredo a Cabinet post, as head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).
He immediately got “yes” for an answer. Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II announced in an early evening press conference at Malacañang that Duterte called the Vice President yesterday to offer her a Cabinet post to address “persistent questions” on whether Robredo would be part of the official family. In a statement, Robredo welcomed the decision of Duterte to appoint her as HUDCC chairperson, saying this would enable her to serve Filipinos who do not have shelter and at the same time fulfill her promise to support those in the fringes of society. While Duterte was on a live broadcast over government station PTV-4, he instructed his special assistant Christopher Go to call the Vice President. “He asked the Vice President if she would accept a Cabinet post, that of HUDCC. We did not hear the answer of the Vice President, but from the face of President Duterte, we knew that the Vice President accepted the offer,” Aguirre said. Duterte used the phone of Go during the call aired on PTV-4. “Pwede ba housing, ma’am? Can you be the housing secretary? Tanggapin mo, ma’am?” the President was heard to have said. “The executive secretary will hand you the appointment. Mahinto na ito (questions) ma’am, kai tanggapin mo kaya?”  READ MORE...RELATED, Amid security threats, Leni tells Rody flying to Davao - Take care, PH needs you...RELATED(2), Robredo recounts events leading to Duterte’s ‘change of heart’...

ALSO: Aquino's Press Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr  bids farewell
[ALSO: VP Robredo visits Lanao provinces]


JULY 8 -COLOMA
Press Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. bid farewell to the Malacañang Press Corps yesterday, recalling the many challenges he faced under the Aquino administration. “If I may quote Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, ‘Don’t be dismayed by goodbyes. Farewell is necessary so we can say hello again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends’,” he told reporters. Undersecretaries Rey Marfil, Jess Yu, Zandro Sison and Assistant Secretary Jo Paolo Espiritu joined him in the last press briefing he held at the second floor of the New Executive Building inside the palace. Spokespersons Edwin Lacierda and Abigail Valte were absent. Both left their posts before joining the presidential campaign of Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas. “As many of us will be setting off on new directions and new destinations, allow me to share with you this Irish prayer for travelers: may the roads rise up to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, and may the rains fall gently upon your fields,” said Coloma, who supervised the state media for the full six-year term of President Aquino. He recounted the challenges he faced as Aquino’s mouthpiece, including the infamous August 2010 Luneta hostage incident that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead; the November 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila; the January 2015 papal visit of Pope Francis and the controversial disbursement acceleration program and Mamasapano tragedy that led to the killing of 44 police Special Action Force men. READ MORE...ALSO, VP Robredo visits Lanao provinces...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

‘Aquino should have stopped killing wave’


Former Commission on Human Rights Chairwoman Loretta Ann Rosales. INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

MANILA, JULY 11, 2016 (INQUIRER) By: Gil Cabacungan @gilcabacungan July 7th, 2016 - Former President Benigno Aquino III should have taken a forceful stand against the wave of killings in the dying days of his administration.

Former Commission on Human Rights Chair Loretta Rosales was concerned that Aquino had allowed the high number of casualties of alleged drug pushers and users even if he has not yet turned over his power to President Duterte for whom these actions were attributed.

“I wanted him [Aquino] to say ‘Stop that, I am still your president. Please be reminded that under my leadership, we do not commit these actions,” said Rosales who noted that the former President should have spoken at the first instance.

Rosales said that the President gave only a feeble statement on the killing wave by urging the police to hold on to democratic rights and uphold the law.

“President Duterte appeared to have violated all of these international human rights instruments a few weeks before his actual inauguration. The police were energized and started doing what they thought Duterte meant [in his speeches],” said Rosales.

Rosales explained that Aquino might have been reluctant to make a stronger statement because he was preparing to phase out of power.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Graft raps filed against Aquino, Abad over DAP By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated July 8, 2016 - 2:00pm 2 128 googleplus0 0


In this June 30 photo, departure honors is being accorded to former President Benigno Aquino III at the Malacañan Palace Grounds before his successor, President Rodrigo Duterte, takes his oath of office. Presidential Photographers Division

MANILA, Philippines — Several groups filed charges of graft, technical malversation, usurpation of legislative powers and grave misconduct against former President Benigno Aquino III and former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad over the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate and Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes are among the group leaders who filed the complaint against Aquino and Abad before the Office of the Ombudsman.

The complaint argued that Aquino and Abad committed illegal use of public funds or property or technical malversation for misappropriating public funds in conspiracy with one another through the DAP.

The two accused allegedly committed usurpation of legislative powers for implementing the DAP which led to the diversion of funds appropriated by the 2011, 2012 and 2013 General Appropriation Acts.


ABAD, AQUINO

The funds were allegedly used for programs, activities and projects which Aquino and Abad approved from 2011 to 2016, according to the complaint.

The groups claimed that Aquino and Abad violated the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act "for causing undue injury to complainants and the various sectors of the public they represent, including the government, in the discharge of their official administrative functions through evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence, as a result of the implementation of the DAP."

READ MORE...

The former president and former Cabinet member are also being held accountable for grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and gross dishonesty.

Among the complainants are Alliance of Concerned Teachers Chairperson Benjamin Valbuena, Courage President Ferdinand Gaite, Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) President Dante Jimenez, Mae "Juana Change" Paner, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas Secretary General Antonio Flores, Gabriela Secretary Joan Mae Salvador, Kadamay Chairperson Gloria Arellano and Philippine Heart Center Employees Association President Bonifacio Carmona.

This has been the second set of criminal complaints filed against Aquino after stepping down as president. Last week, the VACC filed charges of multiple homicides against the former president in connection with the deaths of 44 Special Action Force commandos in the Mamasapano massacre.

READ: SAF 44 kin sue; Noy sees harassment


TRIBUNE

Erice denies LP links to 2 of 5 narco brass Written by Ted Tuvera Thursday, 07 July 2016 00:00



The Liberal Party (LP) flatly denied yesterday association with two of the five active and former Philippine National Police (PNP) generals named by President Duterte the other day as protectors of narcotics syndicates.

Retired PNP Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo and relieved Chief Supt. Bernardo Diaz were reported to be among the high-ranking PNP officials who met with defeated LP presidential candidate Mar Roxas during the campaign in Novotel hotel situated in properties owned by the Roxas clan in Cubao, Quezon City.

A former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) agent also indicated that the links of the generals were not limited to the LP but also to Palace officials of former President Aquino.

In an exclusive phone interview with the Daily Tribune, LP Vice Chairman for Political Affairs and Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice said that he is not aware of any arrangements or ties between their party and the police generals particularly Garbo.

“They are policemen who are encouraged not to be affiliated to partisan politics. There is no connection between the LP and Garbo,” Erice said.

“I am not aware of any meeting between them. I have not personally met Garbo,” he added.

It is widely known that Garbo, who retired from police service last May, was a vocal supporter of Roxas and was rumored to be Roxas’ bet as PNP Director General had he won the elections.

Garbo was also the Department of Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) lead officer in the removal of former Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia in 2012, who was a critic of the previous Aquino administration.

Diaz, meanwhile, used to be Police Regional Director of Western Visayas, which is major bailiwick of Roxas and where all its provincial governors belong to the LP.

Garbo was the highest ranking general among the generals that Duterte had named. Garbo told reporters that Duterte was fed with wrong information in linking him to syndicates in the illegal drugs trade.

“I cannot blame the President for making such an announcement. But I assure him and the Filipino people that he (Duterte) was fed with wrong and poisonous information,” he said.

On the other hand, former PDEA agent Jonathan Morales, in a separate interview with the Tribune, said that former Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, who was the previous administration’s anti-crime czar, should also be investigated and charged.

“Ochoa had all the resources and time to nab suspects. Why have they failed?,” Morales said.

READ MORE...

Morales said that while being a mere agent in the PDEA, it was no less than Aquino himself who invited him in Malacañang in July, 2013 to orient the President and the Executive Secretary on the evidence and documents gathered about major drug lords and their coddlers.

According to Morales, in the course of his presentation in Malacañang that lasted about four hours, he was able to name some Cabinet secretaries, a senator and some police and military generals whom he claimed to be protectors of big time drug syndicates.

“Ochoa and [former PDEA Director Arturo Cacdac] were defenders. They should be prosecuted as well,” he added.

The former PDEA agent also said that there could also be men from Duterte’s clique who should also be subjects of investigations on the drugs syndicates connections.

“The President is sincere. But we ask him not to be selective,” Morales said.

Generals, Roxas staff met

A month before the elections, the PNP was asked by then Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Chiz Escudero to relieve four police generals who met with the staff of then LP standard-bearer Roxas.

A report stated that Director Generoso Cerbo Jr., chief of the PNP directorate for intelligence, and Chief Superintendents Renier Idio, Diaz and Ronald Santos were spotted in Novotel in Araneta Center, Quezon City with Garbo.

A group of journalists was at the same hotel at that time and one of them claimed seeing a member of the staff of Roxas in a room with the police officials.

Then PNP Chief Director General Ricardo Marquez said the Internal Affairs Service of the PNP has launched a probe on the alleged meeting.

The generals, meanwhile, have denied attending a political gathering, insisting that it was a mere personal get together with a retired officer who happens to be in the Roxas camp.

Roxas has also downplayed the meeting, saying his staff met the generals by chance.

Roxas said his staff and the police officials previously worked together at the DILG.

Escudero then said he will file charges of violation of elections laws against Cerbo, Diaz, Idio and Santos but nothing came out of it.

In a letter sent to Marquez, Escudero said relieving the top-ranking police officials of their duties is in order, pending the outcome of a thorough investigation into possible violation of laws on electioneering or partisan political activity.

“We cannot permit a dodgy incident like the encounter of the four police generals to overshadow the integrity and credibility of the May 9, 2016 elections,” the senator said.

“Unscrupulous police officers bent on exercising partisan political activity for personal gain and self-aggrandizement have no place in the (PNP),” he added.

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

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Plunder, graft raps filed vs Coloma over printing deal By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated July 8, 2016 - 5:40pm 12 94 googleplus0 0


Former Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio "Sonny" Coloma Jr. claimed that the plunder charges against him and officials of Apo Production Unit are "pure harassment." News and Information Bureau/Rey Baniquet

MANILA, Philippines — The labor union of a government-owned and controlled company engaged in printing forms and materials for government agencies filed plunder and graft charges against former Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.

Asian Productivity Employees Association (APEA), the labor union of Apo Production Unit (APO), filed charges against Coloma, six APO officers and 11 John Does for plunder and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act 3019).

Coloma and the APO officers allegedly amassed more that P190 million from government funds, according to the complaint.

APEA President Conrado Molina claimed that Coloma and the other accused hired fraud sales specialists to acquire millions of APO revenues for five years ending Dec. 31, 2015.

"Accordingly, for the year 2015 alone, the total amount sacked by the Respondents in the guise of sales commission was P70,103,077.02, an aggregate amount already qualified for Plunder pursuant to RA 7080 (Anti-Plunder Law)," the complaint read.

The complaint also stated that APO remitted at least P500,000 to the National Treasury but the respondents released more than P191 million as sales commission for its printing deals with various government agencies.

Meanwhile, Coloma said that the plunder charges filed against him and senior officials of APO is harassment.

"Such allegations are false and baseless. Contrary to our detractors' claims, we have professionalized APO's management and restored its finances and operations to an even keel," Coloma said in a statement released on Friday.

Coloma added that APO has posted profits that have been turned over to the government.


PHILSTAR

Leni gets housing post By Giovanni Nilles and Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 8, 2016 - 12:00am 0 6 googleplus0 0


Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II announced in an early evening press conference at Malacañang that President Duterte called Vice President Leni Robredo yesterday to offer her a Cabinet post to address “persistent questions” on whether Robredo would be part of the official family. AP/Aaron Favila, file

MANILA, Philippines - After two meetings, President Duterte has had a change of heart and offered Vice President Leni Robredo a Cabinet post, as head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

He immediately got “yes” for an answer.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II announced in an early evening press conference at Malacañang that Duterte called the Vice President yesterday to offer her a Cabinet post to address “persistent questions” on whether Robredo would be part of the official family.

In a statement, Robredo welcomed the decision of Duterte to appoint her as HUDCC chairperson, saying this would enable her to serve Filipinos who do not have shelter and at the same time fulfill her promise to support those in the fringes of society.

While Duterte was on a live broadcast over government station PTV-4, he instructed his special assistant Christopher Go to call the Vice President.

“He asked the Vice President if she would accept a Cabinet post, that of HUDCC. We did not hear the answer of the Vice President, but from the face of President Duterte, we knew that the Vice President accepted the offer,” Aguirre said.

Duterte used the phone of Go during the call aired on PTV-4.

“Pwede ba housing, ma’am? Can you be the housing secretary? Tanggapin mo, ma’am?” the President was heard to have said.

“The executive secretary will hand you the appointment. Mahinto na ito (questions) ma’am, kai tanggapin mo kaya?”

READ MORE...

Robredo, Aguirre added, was told to attend her first Cabinet meeting on Monday. The date of her oath-taking, however, was not announced.

The HUDCC and other housing-related agencies were also given to former vice presidents: Jejomar Binay during the time of former president Benigno Aquino III, and Noli de Castro under the Arroyo administration.

“Many of the Cabinet members are happy (about) the development. At last the Vice President is no longer an elected officer without a Cabinet post,” Aguirre said.

He attributed the change of heart to the two “amiable” meetings that Duterte and Robredo had – first at the change of command ceremony at the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on July 1 and then at the Palace where the Vice President paid a courtesy call on Duterte on Monday.

Reminded that Duterte was previously opposed to Robredo’s appointment to the Cabinet because of his closeness to former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who was Robredo’s closest opponent in the vice presidential race, Aguirre said “it was a reason given by the President at that time.”

“With the passage of time, there must have been a reconsideration of that decision,” Aguirre added.

Reacting to her appointment, Robredo noted that addressing the problems concerning lack of housing had been an advocacy of her late husband, former interior secretary Jesse Robredo.

“Maisasakatuparan ito at mabibiyayaan ang mga nasa laylayan sa pakikipagtulungan ng lahat (We will be able to fulfill this and help those who are in the fringes with the help of everyone),” she added.

HUDCC was among the agencies covered by Duterte’s first executive order, which reorganized several offices to streamline poverty reduction programs of the government.

The agencies covered by the EO will be under the supervision of Secretary to the Cabinet Leoncio Evasco Jr.

Following their first meeting, Robredo said she was no longer expecting an offer of a Cabinet post from the President.

“I am ready that I won’t have a post. In fact, we already have a lot of discussions with the private sector,” she said in Naga City on Saturday.

She said it would be a bonus if given a Cabinet post, “but if there won’t be, we are also ready.”

On Tuesday, Robredo said she informed the President during her courtesy call that he would get her full support with or without a Cabinet post.

Against death penalty but for federalism

Earlier in the day in Marawi City, Robredo said she was against the revival of the death penalty being pushed by Duterte but stressed that any disagreement with the policies of the current administration would not affect her support for the President.

“Ever since, I have been an advocate against death penalty,” she stressed.

But Robredo said she was open to the proposal to change the system of government to federalism, noting that her late husband was an advocate for local autonomy.

However, the Vice President said some questions about the proposal must be answered, particularly on the readiness of some regions to stand on their own.

“A lot of municipalities are heavily dependent on IRA (Internal Revenue Allotment). The locally generated funds are small. I want to know how will that be resolved,” she said.

Robredo also expressed support for the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, noting that criticisms such as lack of consultation might be remedied.

“This is an important first step so we can move forward,” she added.

Speaking before local officials and supporters in Lanao del Sur also yesterday, Robredo paid tribute to the achievements of former president Aquino and expressed confidence that the current administration would continue to bring progress to Mindanao.

Robredo said Duterte would ensure that progress is achieved in Mindanao as he himself comes from the south. “I think he will not neglect us,” she said.

“The benefits that Lanao del Sur has received in the past five years, we can expect that (to continue) at least in the next three years,” she said in Filipino.

“The challenge to our local officials is how to maximize those that we receive,” she added.

Paying homage to Aquino, Robredo said a lot of projects were initiated in the province during the past administration.

“There is no reason for us not to expect (that progress will continue) because the new president is from Mindanao,” she added.

The Vice President went to Marawi City to lead the ceremonial oath taking of local officials and attend the celebration of 57th Araw ng Lanao.

It was the first trip of Robredo to Mindanao following her assumption of the second highest post in the land.

She thanked her supporters for helping her win in the province in the recent elections.

“The office of the Vice President is always here to support you,” she said, expressing confidence that the local leaders would work together for the benefit of the people.

“I will never forget that when I was in need, you were there to support me,” she added. “We will pay it off with service that you will not be ashamed of. You will not regret that you chose me.”

Meanwhile, Robredo on Wednesday called on artists to guide the government on how it could help them in their struggles.

“I understand that many of you are among those who are overworked and underpaid… The least the government can do is to help you out, make life easier for you without thinking so much on making a living,” Robredo said during the unveiling of an art exhibit at Solaire Resort and Casino in Pasay City.

“I am very honest that I need you to guide me and make me understand how we can help you,” she added.

Robredo urged artists to continue being a source of inspiration, saying their craft should be a unifying force for the Filipino people.

“We do understand the value that you give to society,” she said. “I hope that from now on, we will be able to work together.”

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

RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Amid security threats, Leni tells Rody: Take care, PH needs you By: Yuji Vincent Gonzales @YGonzalesINQ INQUIRER.net 06:15 PM July 8th, 2016


ROBREDO, DUTERTE


VP: PRESIDENT WANTS ME IN CABINET, SECURITY BRIEFINGS

Amid reported assassination plots and security threats against the new Chief Executive, Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo on Friday said President Rodrigo Duterte wanted her to be present in Cabinet meetings and security briefings.

“‘Yung pinakauna nung pagbisita ko sa kanya sa Malacañang, sinabi niya sa akin na he would prefer na umuupo ako sa Cabinet meeting tapos umuupo ako sa mga security briefings, at ‘yung mga bagay na nalalaman niya mas mabuti na alam ko rin, para handa rin parati,” Robredo said in a press briefing at her office in Quezon City.

“Tapos kahapon noong tinawagan niya ako to offer the Cabinet position, inulit niya. Sabi niya over the phone na maraming na-a-alarm, na increased security threats, sabi niya, ang sabi ko sa kanila bakit pa sila nag-aalala nandiyan ka naman,” she added.

Robredo, who was appointed by Duterte as housing czar, was reacting to a question on the President’s remarks that Filipinos should not worry over security threats against him as the Vice President will be there for succession.

READ MORE...

But shunning the thought of succeeding the President, Robredo said she told Duterte to take care of himself as the country still needs him, and that it would be best for everyone to finish his six-year term.

“Naaalala ko ‘yung sagot ko sa kanya sabi ko huwag naman Mr. President, mag-ingat pa rin. Kailangan pa rin kayo ng bansa,” Robredo said.

“Palagay ko ‘yun naman ‘yung pakiramdam nating lahat. Totoo na may succession under the Constitution, pero ‘yung binoto ng tao sa pagkapangulo eh si Pangulong Duterte. Ang mga Pilipino would prefer na kung sino ‘yung pinili niyang tao ‘yun ‘yung mag-finish ng kanyang term. Kung ako, totoong maraming threats, pero mas mabuting nag-iingat tayo,” she added.

In several instances in the campaign trail, Robredo said she had no ambitions of becoming President.

A P1-billion bounty was reportedly placed on the head of Duterte and police chief Ronald de la Rosa by top drug and crime lords.

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

RELATED(2) FROM THE INQUIRER

Robredo recounts events leading to Duterte’s ‘change of heart’ By: Yuji Vincent Gonzales
@YGonzalesINQ INQUIRER.net 05:54 PM July 8th, 2016


President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leonor “Leni” Robredo. PHOTO FROM LENI MEDIA BUREAU

Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo on Friday said she was not surprised with her appointment by President Rodrigo Duterte as head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

Robredo shared that Duterte first offered her a Cabinet post during their first formal meeting at Malacañang Palace last Monday.

“Hindi na ako nagulat nung tinawagan niya ko kasi (I was no longer surprised when he called me because) when I visited him in Malacañang he already told me, ‘I wanted you to be a part of my Cabinet,’” Robredo said in a press briefing at her office at the Quezon City Reception House.

READ: ‘Hello Ma’am Leni’: Duterte offers Robredo housing post via phone call

But Robredo said she told Duterte that seeking a Cabinet post was not her purpose for paying a courtesy visit, and assured him instead of her full support with our without an executive offer.

READ: Robredo: Meeting with Duterte reinforces message of support for him

Robredo added that Duterte told her to give him one week to come up with an appropriate Cabinet position for her.

The first formal meeting of the country’s top two officials came almost two months after being elected. They first met in person during the military’s change of command ceremony last week.

Fanning speculations of a supposed distance between them, Duterte previously said he was noncommittal about giving Robredo a position in his Cabinet as he did not want to hurt the feelings of his friend, defeated vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.


LENI, BONGBONG

Robredo said it was “understandable” that it took some time before Duterte welcomed her in his executive family, as the President had yet to get to know her.

“Kaya hindi niya ako kino-conosider before kasi hindi niya ako kilala. Nu’ng nakilala niya na ako, siguro ‘yun ‘yung nag pave the way for a change of heart,” she said.

(He didn’t consider me before because he did not know me. When he knew me, that probably paved the way for his change of heart.)

In a phone call, Duterte on Friday asked Robredo to head the government’s housing arm.

The Vice President accepted the offer, saying that it would allow her to do serve the marginalized sector as she promised in the campaign trail and when she formally took oath.

“Ang sabi ko sa kanya oo naman po kasi matagal na naming adbokasiya ‘yan ng yumao kong asawa… In effect he was offering the post…. Ang sabi ko sa kanya, okay po Mr. President lets meet po. Kung busy po kayo kahit si Sec. Bong Go. Sabi niya, hindi na kailangan, saka na. Tanggapin na lang, to that effect,” she said.

(I told him ‘sure’ because it has long been an advocacy of my late husband…In effect, when he was offering the post, I told him, ‘okay, Mr. President, let’s meet. If you are busy, I am amenable to meeting Sec. Bong Go.’ He told me there was no need, and we can meet some other time. ‘Just accept the post,’ to that effect.)

Robredo is set to meet HUDCC officials at her office on Friday. IDL


PHILSTAR

Coloma bids farewell (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 29, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


COLOMA

MANILA, Philippines – Press Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. bid farewell to the Malacañang Press Corps yesterday, recalling the many challenges he faced under the Aquino administration.

“If I may quote Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, ‘Don’t be dismayed by goodbyes. Farewell is necessary so we can say hello again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends’,” he told reporters.

Undersecretaries Rey Marfil, Jess Yu, Zandro Sison and Assistant Secretary Jo Paolo Espiritu joined him in the last press briefing he held at the second floor of the New Executive Building inside the palace.

Spokespersons Edwin Lacierda and Abigail Valte were absent. Both left their posts before joining the presidential campaign of Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas.


LACIERDA, VALTE

“As many of us will be setting off on new directions and new destinations, allow me to share with you this Irish prayer for travelers: may the roads rise up to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, and may the rains fall gently upon your fields,” said Coloma, who supervised the state media for the full six-year term of President Aquino.

He recounted the challenges he faced as Aquino’s mouthpiece, including the infamous August 2010 Luneta hostage incident that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead; the November 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila; the January 2015 papal visit of Pope Francis and the controversial disbursement acceleration program and Mamasapano tragedy that led to the killing of 44 police Special Action Force men.

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Status quo and reorganizations

At the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), outgoing Secretary Rogelio Singson said undersecretary for regional operations Romeo Momo, who is the most senior official left in the agency, would become the officer-in-charge while waiting for Las Piñas Rep. Mark Villar.


SINGSON, AQUINO

Villar would first have to take his oath as re-elected congressman of Las Piñas and relinquish it before assuming as public works secretary.

“Under the administrative code, whoever is the most senior (would be the OIC) and that is Usec. Momo… that is automatic even if there is no paper. I can no longer designate anyone because it would only be effective until noontime of June 30,” Singson said.

Villar and Singson have been holding meetings on the status and developments in the department.

“Mark is aware of the situation because I have been briefing him weekly and I have been introducing him to the regional directors, the management committee and the district engineers of the National Capital Region. I gave him a report on the pending projects and the projects that he could continue,” Singson said, adding that Villar was “rather uncomfortable” with the technical aspect of running the DPWH.

“I told him that I am also not a hardcore civil engineer. He is also a management graduate. He will rely on the technical people for the technical advice,” Singson also said.

He hopes Villar would “protect the integrity of the employees” and “would not remove our people just because a favored contractor wanted someone else. I am sure that he (Villar) would not do that.”

At the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), officials and employees can heave a sigh of relief for now as incoming secretary Silvestre Bello II assured them he would not call a reorganization when he assumes office tomorrow.

“Usually, when I come into a department, I live with the people there. Initially, my intention is to keep all of them,” Bello said, adding that he would call for a performance audit instead and wait for the results.

He said he would only call for a reorganization if the audit would call for it.

The other day, Bello met with outgoing Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, who promised to assist and guide the new secretary during the transition.


Labor & Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III receives from outgoing DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz the DOLE flag & PH Labor & Employment ..

They discussed measures to stop contractualization and other programs that would benefit millions of overseas Filipino workers, including the establishment of a separate department for OFWs that is currently being studied.

“We have to make a study and consult the appropriate sector before making a recommendation,” Bello said when asked to comment on president-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement to create a department for OFWs.

“She (Baldoz) said she will send me a one- or two-page briefer,” Bello noted.

He is yet to decide on whether to hold office at the Occupational Safety and Health Center in Quezon City or at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration in Mandaluyong City, both attached agencies of DOLE.

Meanwhile, the promotion of Antonio Sales triggered a minor revamp at the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), where he is director for Region 11 or Davao region.

DOST

Department sources told The STAR that Sales would become the undersecretary for regional operations.

Undersecretary Carol Yorobe would head the scientific and technological services while Undersecretary Rowena Guevara takes the research and development portfolio.

DEFENSE

At the Department of National Defense, outgoing Secretary Voltaire Gazmin remains confident that his successor – retired Army general Delfin Lorenzana – will sustain the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Incoming president Duterte earlier criticized the decision of the Aquino government to buy a squadron of supersonic FA-50 fighter jets.

He said the country could benefit more from modern helicopters with night operation capabilities that could be used as an anti-kidnapping instrument in relation to the spate of kidnappings done by terrorist groups against foreigners.

The procurement of the jets is a waste of funds, he added, as the military needs to bolster its internal defense capabilities, the same defense and military approach taken by the Arroyo administration.

Gazmin said he is confident that Lorenzana, who served as special representative for Veterans Affairs and headed the Office of Veterans Affairs of the Philippine embassy in the US, would be able to sustain the modernization programs done under the Aquino government. – With Evelyn Macairan, Mayen Jaymalin, Rainier Allan Ronda, Jaime Laude

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ALSO FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

VP Robredo visits Lanao provinces by Camcer Ordonez Imam July 8, 2016 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share7


Vice President Leni Robredo (center) reunites with former colleague in Congress and now governor of Lanao del Norte, Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo (2nd from right), during her visit to Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte, per invitation of town Mayor Rommel Arnado (leftmost) for a dialogue with former Moro rebels who surrendered years ago through the arms-to-arms program of the government. (Camcer Ordonez Imam)

KAUSWAGAN, Lanao del Norte — Vice President Leni Robredo visited the Lanao provinces, Thursday, July 7, 2016, her first in Mindanao as the country’s second highest leader.

Robredo first dropped by Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, Thursday morning, to personally thank her supporters there during the “Araw ng Marawi” celebration and later proceeded to Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte, to dialogue with the former members of the Moro rebel groups, who are now farmers through the LGU’s arms-to-farms program.

Robredo was accompanied to Kauswagan by her former colleague in Congress and now governor of Lanao del Norte, Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo.


NEWLY ELECTED GOVERNOR Imelda "Angging" Quibranza Dimaporo

Initiated by Kauswagan Mayor Rommel Arnado, the arms-to-farms program was designed to promote peace in Mindanao and to empower the both the Moro National Liberation Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and MNLF fighters to become food producers.

In the past years, Kauswagan has been one of the areas affected by armed conflict between government troops and the Moro rebels.

In her message, Robredo said she long wanted to visit the town when Arnado told her about Kauswagan’s transformation from being conflict-riddled to becoming Lanao’s sustainable agriculture model.

“Their success should be an inspiration to others and we can replicated elsewhere,” Robredo said.

Later in the day, Robredo left for Cagayan de Oro, where she spent a night before flying back to Manila Friday.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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