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(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

DUTERTE: PH CAN SURVIVE WITHOUT MINING
[RELATED: Miners claim they are ready to step up to President Duterte's challenge]
[RELATED(2): Mining firms take up Duterte's challenge]


AUGUST 2 -SCREENGRAB
THE PHILIPPINES can survive without revenue from mining companies, President Duterte said on Monday as he warned the firms to strictly follow environmental rules and regulations or face closure. Mr. Duterte said mining companies contributed about P40 billion a year to government coffers, but declared that he was willing to forego the revenue if they did not shape up. “You obey or we will survive as a nation without you,” Mr. Duterte told a media briefing where he fielded questions from the Malacañang Press Corps for the first time. “I can forego the P40 billion I collect from you guys and the Filipinos will survive without you. Either you follow strictly government standards or you close down,” he said. It was the boldest statement yet from Mr. Duterte against domestic miners whom he warned before he took office on June 30 to “shape up” and to “stop spoiling the land.” 7 suspended The government has so far suspended the operations of seven domestic nickel mines for failure to comply with environmental regulations. Environment Secretary Gina Lopez, who began an audit of all mining sites on July 8, last week vowed to close more mining operations as public complaints mounted against those causing environmental destruction. Leave Gina alone Mr. Duterte also told mining companies not to attack Lopez through publicity, and described her as a bright person and a crusader. “You try to castigate Gina Lopez for being strict and yet you destroy the land, destroy the soil. And then you get rich from it,” he said. Lopez has been tussling with business groups over her statements critical of the mining industry. She had said that mining had not lifted people from poverty, but that it had contributed to the poisoning of waterways and agricultural lands. READ MORE...RELATED, Miners claim they are ready to step up to President Duterte's challenge... RELATED(2), Mining firms take up Duterte's challenge...

ALSO: SC summons Leni to answer Bongbong's protest
[RELATED EARLIER REPORT: Marcos should be banned from public office, Robredo says]


AUGUST 2 -Vice President Leni Robredo attends the National Security Meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte at the Malacañan Palace. Office of the Vice President/Released
The Supreme Court, acting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), ordered Vice President Leni Robredo to reply to the electoral protest filed by former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. The tribunal asked the vice president to file an answer to Marcos's electoral protest within 10 days of receipt of summons. The high court also issued a precautionary protection order for the Commission on Elections to preserve the integrity of all election materials effective immediately. On June 29, the defeated vice presidential candidate filed an electoral protest before the PET to challenge the election of Robredo. Marcos initially asked the tribunal to set aside the proclamation of Robredo and declare him as the duly elected vice president of the Philippines. The final official tally of the National Board of Canvassers showed that Robredo won the vice presidential race by a slim margin with 14,418,817 while Marcos placed second with 14,155,344 votes. — Patricia Lourdes Viray FULL REPORT...RELATED EARLIER REPORT: Marcos should be banned from public office, Robredo says...

ALSO: SC ordered Comelec -protect integrity of ballots amid Marcos protest
[RELATED: Leni worried over legal fees in facing 'baseless' Bongbong case]


AUGUST 2 -Former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/LYN RILLON
The Supreme Court acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) on Tuesday ordered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to preserve and safeguard the integrity of all ballot boxes, its contents and other documents subject of the electoral protest of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. Covered by the protection order are the voter receipts and election returns; the lists of voters, particularly the Election Day Computerized Voter’s List (EDVCL), and voters registration records (VRRs), and the book of voters; the audit logs, transmission logs, and all log files; and all other documents or paraphernalia used in the May 2016 elections for the position of Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines, including the automated election equipment and records such as the Vote Counting Machines (VCM), Consolidation and Canvass System (CCs) units, Secure Digital (SD) cards (main and back up), and the other data storage devices in all of the ninety-two thousand five hundred nine (92,509) clustered precincts used in the May 2016 elections. At the same time, the PET also required Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo to answer the electoral protest of the former Senator. “The Tribunal resolves to issue summons and grant the prayer of the protestant for a precautionary protection order pursuant to Rule 36 of the 2010 Rules of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. The Tribunal’s resolution requiring the issuance of summons on the protestee, Maria Leonor Robredo with a copy of the protest, requires her to file an answer to the protest within 10 days from receipt of the summons,” the high court said. READ MORE...RELATED, Leni worried over legal fees in facing 'baseless' Bongbong case...

ALSO: Noy pays tribute to Cory, leaves for Singapore


AUGUST 2 -Former president Benigno Aquino III speaks at a mass marking the seventh death anniversary of his mother Corazon at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque yesterday.
Former president Benigno Aquino III leaves tomorrow for Singapore upon the invitation of the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) to talk about the prospects of investing in the Philippines. After a thanksgiving mass to mark the seventh death anniversary of his mother, former president Corazon Aquino, at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City yesterday, Aquino said that he would be accompanied on the trip by former finance secretary Cesar Purisima. It will be his first foreign trip and speaking engagement as private citizen. He expressed hope that his administration’s anti-corruption stand and policies would continue to spur growth in the country. “We hope that we developed that fertile ground wherein we give an opportunity for every Filipino to shine,” Aquino told The STAR. He said he was invited by DBS to talk to top businessmen in the Lion City about the prospects of investing in the Philippines, which saw sustained economic growth during his six years as president. “I’d like to tell you: I was in a conversation a few days ago with some businessmen and well, we’re beginning to see the fruits of all of the hard work. They were quoting a Malaysian businessman who was talking about the whole of Southeast Asia. He basically said that it’s the Philippines that is the one with the highest growth potential and that every investment is coming here or is focused here,” the former president said. He also paid homage to his parents, Cory and late senator Benigno Aquino Jr., for their selflessness and expressed hope their example would continue to inspire others. “In this world, there are people who continue to give and those who are most blessed are those who don’t even know that they are giving and that they’re really making such a positive impact on others. Unfortunately, we live in an imperfect world. There are those who take that which is not theirs. At the end of the day, I do believe that the good person will outlast and will thwart all of the efforts of those who take too much,” he said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Duterte assures military: "I’ll take care of you"
[RELATED: Rody tears up in visit to soldiers]


AUGUST 3 -President Rodrigo Duterte said he would take care of the military during his six-year term. Philstar.com/File photo
President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to prioritize the welfare of the military, telling that he will take care of them during his six-year term after a visit at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Medical Center along V. Luna Road in Quezon City. “I'll take care of you,” Duterte told one of the patients. The president comforted patients who were wounded in battle while defending the Constitution and pursuing the government’s peace efforts. Duterte interacted with patients at the country’s premier military medical facility, spending about five hours by going to the bedside of 69 soldiers wounded in battles. He also shared some jokes with them to ease their pains. A number of the soldiers tried their best to get off their beds to give a salute to the commander-in-chief as many of them cried and hugged the president. He inspired them by announcing his administration’s programs covering a wide range of medical, health, social services and educational benefits. WATCH EMOTIONAL DUTERTE ON VIDEO, READ MORE...RELATED,
Rody tears up in visit to soldiers...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Duterte: PH can live without mining


SCREENGRAB

MANILA, AUGUST 8, 2016 (INQUIRER) By: Leila B. Salaverria @inquirerdotnet 12:31 AM August 2nd, 2016 - THE PHILIPPINES can survive without revenue from mining companies, President Duterte said on Monday as he warned the firms to strictly follow environmental rules and regulations or face closure.

Mr. Duterte said mining companies contributed about P40 billion a year to government coffers, but declared that he was willing to forego the revenue if they did not shape up.

“You obey or we will survive as a nation without you,” Mr. Duterte told a media briefing where he fielded questions from the Malacañang Press Corps for the first time.

“I can forego the P40 billion I collect from you guys and the Filipinos will survive without you. Either you follow strictly government standards or you close down,” he said.

It was the boldest statement yet from Mr. Duterte against domestic miners whom he warned before he took office on June 30 to “shape up” and to “stop spoiling the land.”

7 suspended

The government has so far suspended the operations of seven domestic nickel mines for failure to comply with environmental regulations.

Environment Secretary Gina Lopez, who began an audit of all mining sites on July 8, last week vowed to close more mining operations as public complaints mounted against those causing environmental destruction.

Leave Gina alone

Mr. Duterte also told mining companies not to attack Lopez through publicity, and described her as a bright person and a crusader.

“You try to castigate Gina Lopez for being strict and yet you destroy the land, destroy the soil. And then you get rich from it,” he said.

Lopez has been tussling with business groups over her statements critical of the mining industry. She had said that mining had not lifted people from poverty, but that it had contributed to the poisoning of waterways and agricultural lands.

READ MORE...

Mr. Duterte noted that mining companies, such as Marcopper, had yet to clean up the mess they had made.

“I will not allow it,” he said.

He also warned that he would look for all mining pits without licenses and order the military and the police to close them.

‘Stuff you in hole’

“If you will not follow, I will stuff you in that hole and cover you up. You want to try it, fine, let’s do it,” he said.

As the companies bore holes in the earth, landslides occurred, he said.

“And then you will say mining is a critical component of the Philippine economy. Of course it is. It’s income. But you are also causing critical damage,” he said.

Some mining executives, however, said the sector was being unfairly targeted.

“The industry is using less than 20,000 hectares out of the 30 million hectares comprising the total land area of the Philippines,” said Dante Bravo, president of Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc., the Philippines’ second biggest nickel ore miner.

“And we are contributing so much to the national economy and local development. So I think we should be treated fairly,” Bravo told Reuters.

The Philippines is the biggest supplier of nickel ore to top consumer China, taking over from Indonesia after that country banned shipments of unprocessed mineral ore in 2014.

Mining contributes less than 1 percent to the Philippine economy, with a large chunk of minerals from gold to copper and nickel remaining untapped, according to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

Of the 9 million hectares identified as having high mineral reserves, only 3 percent is being mined, according to the MGB.

The suspension of nickel mines in the Philippines and the risk of more closures lifted global nickel prices to an 11-month high of $10,900 a ton on July 21. It peaked at $10,800 on Monday after rising nearly 13 percent in July, the biggest monthly gain since April 2014.

 

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS ONLINE

Miners claim they are ready to step up to President Duterte's challenge Published August 2, 2016 12:52pm

Following the warning of President Rodrigo Duterte that mining companies must strictly follow stricter environmental rules or close shop, the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) on Tuesday said its members are willing to step up to the challenge.

"We continue to take the President’s statements as a challenge for us in the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines to step up our efforts and practices in adhering to the tenets of responsible mining," the group said in a statement.

During his first press conference as President, Duterte on Monday warned miners to heed environmental rules or they will be shut down as the nation could survive without a mining industry.

"We will survive as a nation without you... Either you follow strictly government standards or you close down," he said.

COMP said it will abide by the stricter measures now in place.

"Us in the Chamber are covered by a strict edict to safeguard our people, environment and country’s interests and we will continue to abide by the law as the President has stressed to us in the industry and support his effort to weed out the irresponsible miners who conduct their business without regard for the law," it said.

Last month, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Regina Paz Lopez ordered a nationwide audit of the mining industry to ensure that all operations fall within international standards.

The audit has yet to be concluded. — Jon Viktor Cabuenas/VDS, GMA News

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

RELATED(2) FROM PHILSTAR

Mining firms take up Duterte's challenge By Louise Maureen Simeon (philstar.com) | Updated August 3, 2016 - 9:41am 14 1653 googleplus0 0


Mining companies, whom President Rodrigo Duterte and his environment chief Gina Lopez castigated over irresponsible practices, say they welcome the government's recent statements. Philstar.com/stock

MANILA, Philippines — The mining industry has taken President Rodrigo Duterte's recent warning as a challenge to continue keeping up with the standards of responsible mining in the country.

"We continue to take the President's statements as a challenge for us to step up our efforts and practices in adhering to the tenets of responsible mining," the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) said.

On Monday, Duterte issued a stern warning to mining firms as he vowed to be tough on businesses that are destroying the environment and violating government standards.

"If you refuse to obey, I will place you inside the mining pit and cover it. You want to try it, fine. Let's do it. You say mining is a critical component of the Philippine economy, of course it is, it's income. But you are also making a critical damage," he said.

Non-government organization Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) also welcomed Duterte's announcement to forego the P40-billion mining investments.

"We believe the statistical data that mining is not a significant contributor to the country's gross domestic product of less than one percent and 0.04 percent of the total jobs," ATM national coordinator Jaybee Garganera told The STAR.

"Mining directly threatens our agriculture, water and tourism economic activities, so it must be effectively regulated. If not, we risk compromising our food and water security and reduced eco-tourism potential," he added.

Meanwhile, listed Nickel Asia Corp. has stuck to its previous stand on the emphasis of the utmost need to follow the law and comply with government standards.

"Should be as it should be. There's no place in our society for the illegal or the irresponsible," Nickel Asia Corporate Communications vice president JB Baylon said.

"We are one with his call for full compliance with the law and international standards, as well as in his fight against illegal and irresponsible mining," Pangilinan-led Philex Mining Corp. added.


Environment Secretary Gina Lopez had a dialogue with the Lumads of Mindanao Sunday afternoon regarding the mining firms. Philstar.com MANILA, Philippines — Environment Secretary Gina Lopez has bared a new list of mining companies that would undergo extensive review following complaints from the indigenous people of Mindanao. Lopez had a dialogue with the Lumads of Mindanao Sunday afternoon to hear their sentiments. PHILSTAR HEADLINE NEWS JULY 26, 2016

The chamber also clarified that the Foreign Technical Assistance Agreement provides for a 50-50 sharing formula with government.

"And when there are windfall profits, government still gets an additional share of 60 percent when the windfall is over 50 percent," it said.

In the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement, the chamber said government gets a 45-percent share, depending on prices of commodities.

"But when prices are low, government still gets more than the companies. The prevailing assumption that government only gets 18 percent from mining operations is completely false and baseless," it added.

"We are covered by a strict edict to safeguard our people, environment and country's interests and we will continue to abide by the law as the President has stressed to us in the industry and support his effort to weed out the irresponsible miners who conduct their business without regard for the law," the COMP added. — Video report by Efigenio Toledo IV


PHILSTAR

SC summons Leni to answer Bongbong's protest (philstar.com) | Updated August 2, 2016 - 2:47pm 4 2870 googleplus2 0


Vice President Leni Robredo attends the National Security Meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte at the Malacañan Palace. Office of the Vice President/Released

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court, acting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), ordered Vice President Leni Robredo to reply to the electoral protest filed by former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

The tribunal asked the vice president to file an answer to Marcos's electoral protest within 10 days of receipt of summons.

The high court also issued a precautionary protection order for the Commission on Elections to preserve the integrity of all election materials effective immediately.

On June 29, the defeated vice presidential candidate filed an electoral protest before the PET to challenge the election of Robredo.

Marcos initially asked the tribunal to set aside the proclamation of Robredo and declare him as the duly elected vice president of the Philippines.

The final official tally of the National Board of Canvassers showed that Robredo won the vice presidential race by a slim margin with 14,418,817 while Marcos placed second with 14,155,344 votes. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER (EARLIER REPORT APRIL 12, 2016)

Marcos should be banned from public office, VP candidate Robredo says By: Julliane Love De Jesus
@JLDejesusINQ INQUIRER.net 05:40 PM April 12th, 2016


Liberal Party Vice Presidential bet and Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

Liberal Party vice presidential bet Leni Robredo believes that Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. should have been given a lifetime ban from working in a public office, given the magnitude of wealth the Marcos family allegedly stole and the human rights abuses committed during martial law.

Asked if she thinks the Marcoses should have been perpetually disqualified to run for public office, Robredo said: “With the magnitude of wealth that was robbed from us, dapat sana oo.

“Talagang naniniwala ako na if he (Bongbong) would be elected to office, lalo na for something as high as the vice presidency, parang laughing stock of the world tayo,” Robredo said in an interview with Karen Davila at ANC’s Headstart.

The Camarines Sur representative explained that the government might have failed in instilling into the people the “real clues about martial law and the real clues why EDSA (People Power revolution) happened.”

READ: Bongbong Marcos’s rise in surveys worry rival Leni Robredo

Robredo did not mince words as she criticized the Marcoses for “brainwashing” the Filipinos even before the start of the campaign period.

“It didn’t start at the start of the campaign period. Parang the brainwashing really started many years na. Maraming nakalimot eh. Tingin ko dapat sana after EDSA happened, naging very conscious tayo to instill this. Naging part siya ng kwento, Naging part siya ng mga tinuturo sa paaralan. Iyong consciousness nandiyan,” she said.

Marcos is now leading the latest Pulse Asia vice presidential survey commissioned by ABSCBN with 28 percent. Next to the senator is Robredo, who got 22 percent but is statistically tied with Senator Francis Escudero with 21 percent.

READ: Marcos rules Pulse Asia VP poll; Robredo rises

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano is still trailing behind with 15 percent, while Senators Gringo Honasan and Antonio Trillanes IV remained at the bottom with five percent and four percent, respectively. JE


INQUIRER

SC ordered Comelec to protect integrity of ballots boxes amid Marcos protest
By: Tetch Torres-Tupas @T2TupasINQ INQUIRER.net 05:03 PM August 2nd, 2016


Former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/LYN RILLON

The Supreme Court acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) on Tuesday ordered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to preserve and safeguard the integrity of all ballot boxes, its contents and other documents subject of the electoral protest of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Covered by the protection order are the voter receipts and election returns; the lists of voters, particularly the Election Day Computerized Voter’s List (EDVCL), and voters registration records (VRRs), and the book of voters; the audit logs, transmission logs, and all log files; and all other documents or paraphernalia used in the May 2016 elections for the position of Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines, including the automated election equipment and records such as the Vote Counting Machines (VCM), Consolidation and Canvass System (CCs) units, Secure Digital (SD) cards (main and back up), and the other data storage devices in all of the ninety-two thousand five hundred nine (92,509) clustered precincts used in the May 2016 elections.

At the same time, the PET also required Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo to answer the electoral protest of the former Senator.

READ: Robredo asked to answer Marcos protest

“The Tribunal resolves to issue summons and grant the prayer of the protestant for a precautionary protection order pursuant to Rule 36 of the 2010 Rules of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. The Tribunal’s resolution requiring the issuance of summons on the protestee, Maria Leonor Robredo with a copy of the protest, requires her to file an answer to the protest within 10 days from receipt of the summons,” the high court said.

READ MORE...

Marcos filed his protest against Robredo after the Vice President won by a margin of 263,473 votes.

Marcos wants PET to set aside Robredo’s proclamation.

READ: Marcos asks SC to set aside Robredo proclamation, files protest

Subject of his protest is the reopening of ballot boxes in each of the 36,465 clustered precincts in Cebu, Province of Leyte, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Masbate, Zamboanga Del Sur, Zamboanga Del Norte, Bukidnon, Iloilo Province, Bohol, Quezon Province, Batangas, Western Samar, Misamis Oriental, Camarnes Sur, 2nd District of Northern Samar, Palawan, Sibugay, Misamis Occidental, Pangasinan, Isabela, Iloilo City, Bacolod City, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City and Zamboanga City.

Marcos is also asking the PET to annul the election results in Lanao Del Sur, Basilan and Maguindanao where the ballots have been pre-shaded and a recount of votes in 22 provinces and five cities. RAM/rga

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Leni worried over legal fees in facing 'baseless' Bongbong case By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated August 3, 2016 - 12:23pm 34 5719 googleplus0 0


In this July 27, 2016 photo, Vice President Leni Robredo speaks at the 66th anniversary of Philippine Life Insurance Association on her experiences with the rural poor. OVP/Released

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday said she is more worried about the expenses to be incurred by the case filed against her by Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. than about his allegations' merits.

Marcos filed a case on June 29 against Robredo before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal claiming that he was robbed of thousands of votes in the May 9 elections.

Robredo said the legal fees for her lawyer, Romulo Macalintal, had a different arrangement during the campaign period and she might no longer sustain the representation even as vice president.

"Tingin ko magiging mahal masyado. 'Yung initial deposit ata P200K. Mahirap 'yun sa akin kasi wala naman akong pagkukunan," Robredo said at a televised press briefing.

"Hindi naman ako nagwo-worry sa pageexplain ng sarili kasi baseless naman. Mas worried ako sa costs," she said.

Robredo said she has yet to speak with Macalintal since the protest of Marcos before the Supreme Court (SC) sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal is an extension of his previous representation for the vice president when she was still a candidate.

"Baka 'pag siningil niya ako, sobrang mahal. I think si Atty. Macalintal alam niya naman 'yung limitasyon (of her financial capacity). Hindi ko pa siya nakakausap," Robredo said.

Robredo said that she just wants the poll protest to be over so she can focus on her new role as the country's vice president and as the new Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) secretary.

Aside from the cost, the vice president said she is worried about the time and effort it will take to answer the protest and might eventually require her to takes leaves from her official duties.

Marcos's petition filed the day before Robredo was sworn in includes 20,000 pages of annexes consisting of affidavits and other files. The main petition comprises 1,000 pages.


In this June 29, 2016 file photo, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. stands next to his 1,000-page petition questioning the victory of vice president-elect Leni Robredo in the May polls as he filed yesterday a protest at the Supreme Court, which sits as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. STAR/Miguel de Guzman

"Ili-leave ko na lang sa abogado 'yung pagsagot. Hindi naman kami naga-alala sa pag-explain ng sarili kasi wala namang tinatago e. Mas gusto ko sana makapag-concentrate sa trabaho lalo na ngayon na dalawa na 'yung assignment ko hindi na lang Office of the Vice President pero pati HUDCC," Robredo said.

"Parang gusto ko na rin to get it (the electoral protest) out of the way. 'Yung abogado ko na lang 'yung magasikaso pero siyempre maraming trabaho iyon. Kahit pa baseless 'yung accusation siyempre kailangan mo sumagot, kailangan mag-file ng pleadings, kailangan mag-submit ng ebidensya, so 'yun 'yung mas worry ko," she added.

Robredo held the press conference a day after Supreme Court summoned the vice president to answer Marcos's electoral protest within 10 days of receipt.

The high court also issued a precautionary protection order for the Commission on Elections to preserve the integrity of all election materials effective immediately.


PHILSTAR

Noy pays tribute to Cory, leaves for Singapore By Joanne Rae Ramirez (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 2, 2016 - 12:00am 8 1809 googleplus0 0


Former president Benigno Aquino III speaks at a mass marking the seventh death anniversary of his mother Corazon at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque yesterday.

MANILA, Philippines - Former president Benigno Aquino III leaves tomorrow for Singapore upon the invitation of the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) to talk about the prospects of investing in the Philippines.

After a thanksgiving mass to mark the seventh death anniversary of his mother, former president Corazon Aquino, at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City yesterday, Aquino said that he would be accompanied on the trip by former finance secretary Cesar Purisima.

It will be his first foreign trip and speaking engagement as private citizen.

He expressed hope that his administration’s anti-corruption stand and policies would continue to spur growth in the country.

“We hope that we developed that fertile ground wherein we give an opportunity for every Filipino to shine,” Aquino told The STAR.

He said he was invited by DBS to talk to top businessmen in the Lion City about the prospects of investing in the Philippines, which saw sustained economic growth during his six years as president.

“I’d like to tell you: I was in a conversation a few days ago with some businessmen and well, we’re beginning to see the fruits of all of the hard work. They were quoting a Malaysian businessman who was talking about the whole of Southeast Asia. He basically said that it’s the Philippines that is the one with the highest growth potential and that every investment is coming here or is focused here,” the former president said.

He also paid homage to his parents, Cory and late senator Benigno Aquino Jr., for their selflessness and expressed hope their example would continue to inspire others.

“In this world, there are people who continue to give and those who are most blessed are those who don’t even know that they are giving and that they’re really making such a positive impact on others. Unfortunately, we live in an imperfect world. There are those who take that which is not theirs. At the end of the day, I do believe that the good person will outlast and will thwart all of the efforts of those who take too much,” he said.

READ MORE...

Aquino ended his short message by thanking all those who continued to remember his mother on her death anniversary, even if he was no longer president.

He said his mother and himself would not have been able to serve the country steadfastly “without all of you standing by with us and helping us through the darkest periods.”

The mass was concelebrated by Fr. Catalino Arevalo, SJ, Fr. Manoling Francisco and Fr. Manny Domingo.

Aquino’s youngest sister and showbiz personality Kris posted on Instagram a short video of the choir singing “The Impossible Dream,” their father’s favorite song, during the mass.

His cousin, Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, for her part, shared an old Time magazine with Cory on the cover.

“Remembering Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, a woman mightily used by the Lord in so many ways, on her 7th death anniversary,” the former actress wrote on her Instagram account.

“I never really understood when she would tell me, especially in very difficult situations, ‘Just pray.’ She would probably be relieved if she knew that I eventually got it, do it and ask others to do the same! Thanks for that, Auntie Cory,” she said. – With Delon Porcalla


PHILSTAR

Duterte assures military: I’ll take care of you By Christina Mendez (philstar.com) | Updated August 3, 2016 - 10:43am 4 1139 googleplus0 0


President Rodrigo Duterte said he would take care of the military during his six-year term. Philstar.com/File photo

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to prioritize the welfare of the military, telling that he will take care of them during his six-year term after a visit at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Medical Center along V. Luna Road in Quezon City.

“I'll take care of you,” Duterte told one of the patients.

The president comforted patients who were wounded in battle while defending the Constitution and pursuing the government’s peace efforts.

Duterte interacted with patients at the country’s premier military medical facility, spending about five hours by going to the bedside of 69 soldiers wounded in battles. He also shared some jokes with them to ease their pains.

A number of the soldiers tried their best to get off their beds to give a salute to the commander-in-chief as many of them cried and hugged the president.

He inspired them by announcing his administration’s programs covering a wide range of medical, health, social services and educational benefits.

READ MORE...

The president emphasized that he does not want the lives of soldiers compromised, by making sure that health and medical attention are given on time. Before leaving each patient, he invited them to dinner in Malacañang in the coming days.

Duterte then met with around 500 officers and non-commissioned officers of the hospital and announced that he has allocated P500 million for the purchase of new and state-of-the-art medical equipment as well as the construction of a new building for the hospital.

He also gave a stern warning against corrupt activities such as bid rigging. The president lamented the current bidding process being implemented by government which is open to corruption.

Duterte also directed senior officials of the AFP to form a committee that would facilitate the release of retirement and pension benefits of soldiers. He likewise announced that he has approved the recruitment of 10,000 more soldiers.

Watch the video below of Duterte's visit to AFP Medical Center.

 
EMOTIONAL PRESIDENT DUTERTE WHEN HE VISIT AFP MEDICAL CENTER
AUGUST 2, 2016 FULL VIDEO
PRESIDENT DUTERTE UPDATES
Published on Aug 2, 2016 Video Credits to RTVM & PTV

President Duterte salutes then hugs blind soldier Jerome Jacuba at the AFP Medical Center Watch: President @Rody Duterte's visit to AFP Medical Hospital, General V. Luna, QC. The Commander-in-Chief President Rodrigo Duterte could not control his emotion when he visited the wounded soldiers at the V. Luna Hospital this afternoon. Category News & Politics License Standard YouTube License Source videos View attributions

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Rody tears up in visit to soldiers By Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 3, 2016 - 12:00am 3 477 googleplus0 0


President Duterte comforts 2Lt. Jerome Jacuba as the soldier cries on his shoulder during a visit to the AFP Medical Center on V. Luna Avenue in Quezon City yesterday. Jacuba was blinded when a bomb exploded as his unit was clearing the scene of a battle in Datu Salita, Maguindanao in March. KJ ROSALES

MANILA, Philippines – President Duterte could not hold back tears upon hearing the story of Army 2nd Lt. Jerome Jacuba, who lost his sight when an explosive device went off during a recent battle in Maguindanao.

Jacuba, 28, was among 69 soldiers confined at the Armed Forces of Philippines (AFP) Medical Center in Quezon City whom Duterte visited yesterday.

He told the President that he still wanted to serve the country, but the injuries he suffered from an explosion in Datu Salita town on March 2 made it impossible for him to do so.

Maj. William Recuenco, a member of the medical team that operated on Jacuba, said the explosion left the soldier permanently blind.

“His right eye is totally blind due to a ruptured lobe. He underwent retinal detachment. There is light perception in his left eye but his sight cannot be restored anymore,” Recuenco told journalists.

The father of two is undergoing visual rehabilitation and counseling, as life must go on. Soon he would learn the Braille system of reading.

Jacuba was waiting for promotion when Duterte arrived at the hospital’s Heroes’ Ward and talked with them.

The President gave the soldiers financial assistance.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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