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MORE PINOYS DISSATISFIED W/ HER WORK: ROBREDO's RATING DIPS - SURVEY
[RELATED: Robredo's 'fall-out' with Duterte factored in ratings drop: analyst]


DECEMBER 28 -STEEP DROP. Vice President Leni Robredo’s net satisfaction rating drops—in just three months—by 12 points this December based on the latest Social Weather Stations polls. From +49 percent in September, Robredo’s rating was down to +37 percent as shown in the survey conducted from Dec. 3 to 6, 2016. Manny Palmero
VICE President Leni Robredo’s net satisfaction rating fell 12 points in the latest Social Weather Stations opinion poll conducted shortly after she left the Cabinet on Dec. 4. The survey, conducted from Dec. 3 to 6, found that 58 percent of 1,500 respondents nationwide said they were satisfied with Robredo’s performance, as against 21 percent who were dissatisfied and 20 percent who were undecided. While she retained a “good” net satisfaction rating, Robredo saw her +49 score in the previous SWS survey fall to +37. Despite the lower rating, Robredo thanked Filipinos for their “continued trust and support.” “We assure you that we are listening to your voice so we can serve you better,” she said in a statement. READ MORE...RELATED, Robredo's 'fall-out' with Duterte factored in ratings drop: analyst...

ALSO: Martial Law, one-man rule not a joke, says Leni's camp
[RELATED: Robredo ‘seems to have amplified’ martial law concern — Palace]


DECEMBER 29 -Georgina Hernandez, spokesperson of Vice President Leni Robredo, said that Martial Law is never a "laughing matter." Hernandez is seen in the May 13, 2016 file photo. OVP
MANILA, Philippines — The threat of declaring martial law and the desire for a one-man rule is not a laughing matter nor should it be exaggerated, Vice President Leni Robredo's spokesperson said on Thursday. Georgina Hernandez, spokesperson for Robredo, apparently directed the statement to Malacañang after President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesperson, Ernesto Abella, said Robredo "seems to have amplified" concerns over a declaration of Martial Law. Hernandez said it was not Robredo's intention to make it appear that Duterte was going to declare Martial Law. "President Duterte did that himself," Hernandez said. "Every time President Duterte has been called out on his comments, it is either dismissed as a joke or said to be taken out of context," she added. READ MORE...RELATED, Robredo ‘seems to have amplified’ martial law concern — Palace ...

ALSO: ANALYSIS - What if President Duterte goes?
[RELATED Rody: Leni's presence in ouster protests reason behind Cabinet exclusion]


DECEMBER 29 -BY RICARDO SALUDO: espite Christmas cheer, many a partygoer worried about the 6,000-and-rising body count in the anti-drug campaign. People also griped about Duterte’s foul language, lately labeling the United Nations High Commissioner for human rights an idiot, along with three out of every five Americans. Oh, and he threatened to “burn down” the UN headquarters in New York. Of graver concern was his express wish for martial law minus congressional and judicial review now mandated by the Constitution. Leading critic Sen. Leila de Lima claimed that President Duterte was showing the mental effects of taking Fentanyl, a powerful painkiller normally prescribed to cancer patients. She then urged the Cabinet to declare him unfit for the presidency. De Lima’s ouster call came two weeks after Vice-President Leni Robredo quit the Cabinet, claiming a plot to oust her as VP, and her Liberal Party allies organized protests over anti-drug killings and the burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng Mga Bayani (Cemetery of Heroes). The latest report of possible regime change came two days ago in this newspaper. The Manila Times chairman Dr. Dante A. Ang cited material from an unnamed source alleging a US plan to remove Duterte, drafted by former Ambassador Philip Goldberg < http://www.manilatimes.net/us-ex-envoy-plotting-duterte-fall-source/303868/ >. READ MORE...Rody: Leni's presence in ouster protests reason behind Cabinet exclusion...

ALSO: OWWA'S NEW YEAR SALUBONG - Cash prizes, TV sets, gift bags greet vacationing OFWs
[RELATED: UNUSED POLL CAMPAIGN FUNDS: Rody spreads cheer to village officials in Davao City]


DECEMBER 28 -OFWs coming from Taipei, Qatar, Malaysia, Abu Dhabi, and Kuwait were greeted with gift bags and prizes. A P50,000 cash prize was not what some overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were expecting waiting for them upon their return to the Philippines for the holidays. But three OFWs lucked out in the raffle during the traditional OFW Salubong at NAIA Terminal 1 on Wednesday. During the event, dubbed New Year's OFW Salubong, over a thousand Filipino workers were given a surprise welcome and tokens of appreciation by the government upon their arrival at the airport. OFWs coming from Taipei, Qatar, Malaysia, Abu Dhabi, and Kuwait were greeted with gift bags and prizes. Aside from the P50,000 cash prize, 32-inch television sets were claimed by another set of winners, while 40 other OFWs were given gift baskets. READ MORE...RELATED,
UNUSED POLL CAMPAIGN FUNDS: Duterte spreads cheer to village officials in Davao City...

ALSO: 95% of Pinoys entering the New Year with hope - Survey


DECEMBER 29 -The SWS survey, taken from Dec. 3 to 6, found 95 percent of adult Filipinos who said they are entering 2017 with hope rather than with fear – up from 92 percent last year. AP/Aaron Favila MANILA, Philippines – Almost all Filipinos will enter the New Year with hope, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey. The SWS survey, taken from Dec. 3 to 6, found 95 percent of adult Filipinos who said they are entering 2017 with hope rather than with fear – up from 92 percent last year. Only five percent will enter the New Year with fear. The survey was based on face-to-face interviews of 1,500 adults 18 years old and above nationwide. READ MORE...RELATED,

ALSO: Rody gives rice to NPA, cash to barangay execs


DECEMBER 29 -The cash gift for the officials, many of whom he had known since the beginning of his more than two decades as mayor of this city, he claimed came from his unspent campaign funds during the May 9 elections. File photo
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – In his first Christmas as President, Rodrigo Duterte has given extra cash gifts to barangay officials here and sent rice and medicine to leftist guerrillas. The cash gift for the officials, many of whom he had known since the beginning of his more than two decades as mayor of this city, he claimed came from his unspent campaign funds during the May 9 elections. Addressing over 2,000 barangay officials Tuesday night at the Almendras Gym, Duterte said the aid for the New People’s Army (NPA) was given in the spirit of the holidays. “Yes, I sent them rice and medicine for Christmas,” the President said, stressing this was in the hope of boosting the government’s peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its political arm, the National Democratic Front (NDF). READ MORE...


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More Pinoys dissatisfied with her work: Robredo’s rating dips—survey


STEEP DROP. Vice President Leni Robredo’s net satisfaction rating drops—in just three months—by 12 points this December based on the latest Social Weather Stations polls. From +49 percent in September, Robredo’s rating was down to +37 percent as shown in the survey conducted from Dec. 3 to 6, 2016. Manny Palmero

MANILA, JANUARY 2, 2016 (MANILA STANDARD) December 28, 2016 at 10:01 pm by John Paolo Bencito and Rio N. Araja - VICE President Leni Robredo’s net satisfaction rating fell 12 points in the latest Social Weather Stations opinion poll conducted shortly after she left the Cabinet on Dec. 4.

The survey, conducted from Dec. 3 to 6, found that 58 percent of 1,500 respondents nationwide said they were satisfied with Robredo’s performance, as against 21 percent who were dissatisfied and 20 percent who were undecided.

While she retained a “good” net satisfaction rating, Robredo saw her +49 score in the previous SWS survey fall to +37.

Despite the lower rating, Robredo thanked Filipinos for their “continued trust and support.”

“We assure you that we are listening to your voice so we can serve you better,” she said in a statement.

READ MORE...

“Through the Angat Buhay, the Office of the Vice President’s poverty alleviation program, we are determined to continue our mission to uplift the lives of the poor and the marginalized,” she added. The SWS survey came weeks ahead of Robredo's visit to New York that drew severe criticisms.

NEW FOUND BFF


FIL-AM PHILANTROPHIST LOIDA LEWIS WITH VP LENI ROBREDO -PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BICOL STANDARD ONLINE

Opinion columnist Carlos Munda of mindanation.com said, “Bicolandia’s favorite daughter Leni Robredo is cozying up to her new found BFF [bestfriend forever] Loida Lewis in New York City.”

He wrote Robredo “is in New Yawk safely huddled in the comforts of a billionaire’s apartment overlooking Central Park.”

Munda was referring to philanthropist and community leader Loida Nicolas Lewis, a Filipino-American businesswoman and widow of founder and chief executive officer Reginald Lewis of the multibillion-dollar TLC Beatrice.

Nicolas Lewis, 74, who was born in Sorsogon, Sorsogon, supported Robredo in the May vice presidential race, and had called for the resignation of President Rodrigo Duterte for his bloody war against drugs.

LENI HIT OVER US VACATION

Blogger, singer and dancer Mocha Uson also hit out at Robredo over her US vacation trip at the height of typhoon “Nina” battering Bicol province.

But a netizen, a certain Claudia Gomez, however, said bloggers must stop amplifying the issue because Christmas is a time for people to spend quality time with their loved ones.

“Why are you overreacting? If she wants to spend her holidays with her family and sister in the US, there’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone’s entitled to spend the holidays with their family, same as you and everyone else,” Gomez replied in Uson’s comments section.

She said the Vice President cannot stop a typhoon, and that Camarines Sur Gov. Miguel Villafuerte and Naga Mayor John Bongat were already on top of the situation.

The same survey saw the net satisfaction rating of Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III staying “good,” but slipping seven points from +37 in September to +30 in December.

Some 33 percent were satisfied with House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s performance for this quarter while 23 percent were dissatisfied, yielding a “moderate” +10 net rating that was 13 points down from his “moderate” score of +22 in September.

Similarly, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s net rating stayed “moderate,” although down 10 points from +26 in September to +16 in December.

The SWS survey showed President Rodrigo Duterte had a net satisfaction rating of +63 or “very good,” just one point lower than his September +64 score.

The fourth quarter net public satisfaction poll has a ±3 percent sampling error margin.

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

RELATED FROM ABS-CBN

Robredo's 'fall-out' with Duterte factored in ratings drop: analyst Kimberly Jane Tan, ABS-CBN News Posted at Dec 28 2016 04:10 PM

 
http://news.abs-cbn.com/focus/12/28/16/robredos-fall-out-with-duterte-factored-in-ratings-drop-analyst

MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo's resignation from the Cabinet and public fallout with President Rodrigo Duterte were factors in the drop of her satisfaction ratings, an analyst said Wednesday.

Robredo's net satisfaction rating dropped to +37 in December, 12 points down from her +49 rating in September. Despite the drop, her net satisfaction rating is still at 'good', according to pollster SWS.

READ: Robredo, other officials' satisfaction ratings drop: SWS

Although its "normal" for ratings to drop at this time, analyst and University of the Philippines professor Ranjit Rye thinks the vice president's recent resignation as housing secretary affected her score.

"My sense is she took a hit because of that. I think had we been given by that survey I think that would have factored into my answers," he said in an interview on ANC.

Robredo announced her resignation after revealing she had been told to desist from attending all Cabinet meetings, adding she had been warned of a plot to steal the vice presidency.

Palace denied the plot and said Duterte just wasn't comfortable anymore with their conflicting political views. Robredo had spoken out against the bloody drug war and the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

READ: Duterte assures Leni: You will serve until end of your term

"The circumstances... how it happened, the loss of confidence...and of course the seeming disagreement with the very popular president. All of these I think had impact on people who were surveyed looking at the vice president," said Rye.

But the professor noted that Robredo could easily bounce back if she proves she is a "constructive" member of the administration.

"Ultimately her own political relevance will be on how she will construct a coalition of cooperation and collaboration with the administration on common agenda issues like poverty alleviation, social development which I don't think we have any debate about," he said.

OTHER OFFICIALS

Rye said it was only normal for the ratings of Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to drop.

"Expectations may not be met over the short period of time," he said, citing the government's only six months in office.

But the UP professor noted that there are certain incidents that probably contributed to the dip in numbers, just as in Robredo's situation.

In Alvarez's case, Rye recognized his achievement of successfully passing the President's budget for 2017. But he said this may have been overshadowed by the House's hearings on the proliferation of illegal drugs in the national penitentiary, which highlighted Senator Leila de Lima's love life.

"People are tired of the acrimony that they saw in Congress, especially the Lower House, especially how they dealt with the Sen. De Lima case, the perception of persecution," he said.

"Some people, for myself, that would have affected my own view of Congress spending so much time on noise instead of more substantive programs of government," he added.

Rye said Sereno was also put in a similarly "bad" situation when her chamber outvoted her to allow Marcos' burial at the LNMB.

"Did she take a hit? I'm sure she did for that," he said, although noting he expects her numbers to recover as she rolls out judicial reforms next year.

It's the same for Pimentel, Rye said, because he just needs to dole out legislative agenda relevant to people.

"I'm not worried about these numbers going down, the thing I am focusing on the next survey is when the programs begin to roll out... that's when we should be worried about the people rationalizing expectations," he said.


PHILSTAR

Martial Law, one-man rule not a joke, says Leni's camp By Kristian Javier (philstar.com) | Updated December 29, 2016 - 1:03pm 9 328 googleplus0 0


Georgina Hernandez, spokesperson of Vice President Leni Robredo, said that Martial Law is never a "laughing matter." Hernandez is seen in the May 13, 2016 file photo. OVP

MANILA, Philippines — The threat of declaring martial law and the desire for a one-man rule is not a laughing matter nor should it be exaggerated, Vice President Leni Robredo's spokesperson said on Thursday.

Georgina Hernandez, spokesperson for Robredo, apparently directed the statement to Malacañang after President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesperson, Ernesto Abella, said Robredo "seems to have amplified" concerns over a declaration of Martial Law.

Hernandez said it was not Robredo's intention to make it appear that Duterte was going to declare Martial Law. "President Duterte did that himself," Hernandez said.

"Every time President Duterte has been called out on his comments, it is either dismissed as a joke or said to be taken out of context," she added.

READ MORE...

Abella has said that the vice president implied that Duterte is planning to declare Martial Law even "if you read it in context, it was not in that way."

"In context, the President was saying that if Martial Law was taken for what it was supposed to be, which is to protect and preserve the safety of the people, then it should be facilitated," Abella said at a press briefing last Tuesday.

READ: Leni to Rody: Threat of martial law return 'worst Christmas gift'

Martial Law was declared in 1972 by then President Ferdinand Marcos over a supposed security threat by communist rebels. What followed were years of suspension of ordinary laws, rule of the military, human rights abuses and a strongman government.

Hernandez said the topic should not be toyed with.

"The threat of Martial Law and the desire for a one-man rule can never be a laughing matter. Nor can the threat be exaggerated. VP Leni’s statement was clear in one thing: no matter what is thrown at us, we will stand fast in defending our freedom and our rights as Filipinos," she said.

Hernandez urged the public not to let Martial Law happen again. "The sooner this message sinks in, the better for all," she added.

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

RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Robredo ‘seems to have amplified’ martial law concern — Palace By: Nestor Corrales - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ INQUIRER.net / 05:03 PM December 27, 2016


ABELLA

Vice President Leni Robredo seemed to amplify the fear for the return of martial law with her comment on President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law statements, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

“Vice President Leni seems to have amplified her concerns and seems to make it appear as if President was actively planning to do it. But if you read it in context, it was not in that way,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella told reporters in a Palace briefing.

Abella was reacting to the statement of Robredo who said she was appalled by the implications of the President’s recent martial law statements. Robredo said martial law “is the worst Christmas gift to the Filipino people.”

In a speech in Pampanga on December 22, Duterte said he wanted the declaration of martial law to be the prerogative of the Chief Executive without the approval of Congress and the Supreme Court.

“In context, the President was saying that if martial law was taken for what it was supposed to be, which is to protect and preserve the safety of the people, then it should be facilitated,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a news briefing in Malacañang.

Duterte has drawn criticisms for his recent martial law statements but his presidential legal counsel earlier said that Robredo “may have not understood the context under which the President made the martial law statements.” JE/rga


MANILA TIMES

What if President Duterte goes? BY RICARDO SALUDO ON DECEMBER 29, 2016 ANALYSIS


BY RICARDO SALUDO

Do you want President Rodrigo Duterte out?

Despite Christmas cheer, many a partygoer worried about the 6,000-and-rising body count in the anti-drug campaign. People also griped about Duterte’s foul language, lately labeling the United Nations High Commissioner for human rights an idiot, along with three out of every five Americans. Oh, and he threatened to “burn down” the UN headquarters in New York.

Of graver concern was his express wish for martial law minus congressional and judicial review now mandated by the Constitution.

Leading critic Sen. Leila de Lima claimed that President Duterte was showing the mental effects of taking Fentanyl, a powerful painkiller normally prescribed to cancer patients. She then urged the Cabinet to declare him unfit for the presidency.

De Lima’s ouster call came two weeks after Vice-President Leni Robredo quit the Cabinet, claiming a plot to oust her as VP, and her Liberal Party allies organized protests over anti-drug killings and the burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng Mga Bayani (Cemetery of Heroes).

The latest report of possible regime change came two days ago in this newspaper. The Manila Times chairman Dr. Dante A. Ang cited material from an unnamed source alleging a US plan to remove Duterte, drafted by former Ambassador Philip Goldberg < http://www.manilatimes.net/us-ex-envoy-plotting-duterte-fall-source/303868/ >.

READ MORE...

Why all the ouster talk now? Maybe because the election protest of losing VP candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is finally coming up in the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, after undue delay. If it prospers, it would derail plans for a Robredo presidency. Which may be why a usually prescient astrologer said that if Duterte rules till after March, he’s safe.

Undoing six months of Digong

But what if he bows out, and the Liberal Party regains power under Robredo? What do we lose by losing him?

Saturday marks six months of Duterte’s rule. In that time, he slashed crime and drugs, and recast relations with America, China and Russia. He also exposed hundreds of officials and police allegedly in cahoots with hoods, including two fraternity brothers just fired after receiving P50 million from a gambling lord.

All that could be undone if Duterte goes.

That would please drug kingpins and their millions of minions and clients, plus thousands of corrupt officials and police protecting narcotics. Also foreign leaders, nations and organizations unhappy with Duterte’s invectives and initiatives, especially the suspect killings and the swing to Russia and China.

What about Filipinos? They elected Duterte mainly to fight crime, and statistics show his campaign has achieved big gains and high approval.

Last week the Philippine National Police reported that total crime was down by 12.4 percent in July-November, compared with the same months in 2015. Index crimes dropped by almost one-third, and nearly all types of crimes against persons and property by double-digits, except killings.

Crimes against property plunged 42.5 percent; also down were rapes (-11.6 percent) and physical injury (-25.7 percent). But with more than 6,000 drug-related deaths, murders surged by half, while homicides dipped only by 1.6 percent.

Assuming the PNP has fixed its crime data mess (see < http://www.manilatimes.net/duterte-must-clean-pnp-crime-data-mess/290583/ >), it seems President Duterte has delivered much of his pledge to eradicate crime.

That performance contrasts with the tripling of incidents under then-President Benigno Aquino 3rd, from 324,083 in 2010 to more than 1 million a year in 2013 and 2014, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Now, imagine if an Aquino-backed leader takes over the presidency, restoring many of his policies and appointees. Would it curb crime?

And contraband, too: Smuggling also tripled to $26.6 billion by 2014, from $7.9 billion in 2009, based on International Monetary Fund trade data.

As Aquino himself admitted in his 2013 State of the Nation Address, guns and drugs flooded in among the thousands of untaxed, uninspected containers, including 2,000-plus vanished in 2011. How do you think recently busted shabu labs got in?

Back to Uncle Sam

Also back to square one if Duterte exits is foreign relations. Aquino’s Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, which allows US forces to escalate deployment and use bases in the country, would be fully implemented.

EDCA would make the Philippines a strategic threat to China, with the Seventh Fleet’s nuclear-armed ships, subs, and planes in our territory able to hit most of the mainland. The US Army-funded RAND think-tank believes American and Chinese forces have much incentive to strike first, with bases serving US forces among China’s top targets.

Plus: Aquino’s policy of prodding the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to take on China, would resume. That Asean tack and the EDCA threat would end the goodwill and assistance recently won in Beijing.

No $50 billion in Chinese projects, and no Filipino fishermen back at Scarborough Shoal. Instead, the People’s Liberation Army would probably start building military-capable facilities at the disputed lagoon 200 km from Subic.

Also resuming would be US-Philippines sea patrols and combat exercises provocative to China. And forget arms deals with Moscow and Beijing. We’ll continue to buy only Western armaments, whose ammunition and spare parts supplies are reportedly now restricted by Washington.

Protected by the President

Of course, Aquino-era politicos would be back in business, including those protecting narco-gangs, and engaging in sleaze, like the airport’s tanim-bala crooks. Investigations of anomalies in the past regime would stop.

Instead of being fired, as Duterte’s fraternity brods were over the P50-million immigration bribery, presidential allies would again enjoy Palace protection, like Aquino’s shooting buddies and partymates. So would shady police: Not the ones burying drug lords, but those backing them.

Now, if adversaries of Duterte’s reforms succeed in taking him out, would the next leaders have the daring, drive and determination to continue his law enforcement, foreign relations, and anti-graft initiatives? Or would they conclude that opponents of change are too tough to beat?

Bottom line: If President Duterte loses to the crime syndicates, corrupt officialdom, and Western powers that want him out, backed by defenders of verbal decorum and funeral propriety — so does the Philippines.

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

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Rody: Leni's presence in ouster protests reason behind Cabinet exclusion By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated December 29, 2016 - 9:58pm 4 16 googleplus0 0


President Rodrigo Duterte said he is not considering giving Vice President Leni Robredo another Cabinet post. File

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo was excluded from Cabinet meetings because she had attended demonstrations calling for his ouster, President Rodrigo Duterte revealed Thursday.

Duterte said he finds odd that Robredo would be facing him in Cabinet meetings after attending rallies of “sore losers” who want him out of office.

“Ang problema nito, pag nag-demonstrate sila nandyan yung oust, oust (The problem is whenever they demonstrate they would call for my ouster). Alam mo yung demonstrators diyan, ang left (the left) would never demand (that),” the president told CNN Philippines in an interview.

“Wherever you go, they are for Duterte. They will never ever demand for my (ouster). The yellows are the ones who want me out,” he added, referring to the color associated with the political opposition and the previous administration.

“These sore losers cannot accept defeat. She was with them and then the following day, we would face [each] other? Don’t you think it’s a very incongruous thing? Not really for anything. It’s just incongruity.”

Duterte was apparently referring to demonstrations condemning his decision to allow the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani

“He was with the yellow. In our dialect, yellow refers to ice. That yellow has long melted,” he told GMA News.

“I saw them in their demonstrations and then after that, we see each other in Cabinet meetings?” No new post for Leni

Asked by CNN Philippines anchor Pinky Webb if he is considering giving Robredo another Cabinet post, Duterte said: “At this time, I am not considering.”

Duterte reiterated that he is ready to leave the presidency if it is his destiny not to finish his term. He has a stern warning though to officials plotting his ouster.

“Don’t mess with me…Probably I’ll give you a good fight. You’ll have a bloody nose,” the tough-talking president said.

Early this month, Robredo resigned as chairperson of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council after she was barred from attending Cabinet meetings. She also claimed that plots to steal the vice presidency from her are now in motion.

Malacañang officials said Duterte excluded Robredo from the meeting because of “irreconcilable differences.”

Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella revealed in a previous press briefing that Duterte was “uncomfortable” with some of Robredo’s “engagement with certain political actions.”

Robredo has been a vocal critic of Duterte’s decision to allow the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, father of her political rival former Sen. Bongbong Marcos, at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Duterte maintained though that Marcos is qualified to be buried at the hero’s cemetery as a former president and war veteran.


GMA NEWS NETWORK

OWWA'S NEW YEAR SALUBONG -Cash prizes, TV sets, gift bags greet vacationing OFWs Published December 28, 2016 6:57pm By JESSICA BARTOLOME, GMA News

A P50,000 cash prize was not what some overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were expecting waiting for them upon their return to the Philippines for the holidays.

But three OFWs lucked out in the raffle during the traditional OFW Salubong at NAIA Terminal 1 on Wednesday.

During the event, dubbed New Year's OFW Salubong, over a thousand Filipino workers were given a surprise welcome and tokens of appreciation by the government upon their arrival at the airport.

OFWs coming from Taipei, Qatar, Malaysia, Abu Dhabi, and Kuwait were greeted with gift bags and prizes.

Aside from the P50,000 cash prize, 32-inch television sets were claimed by another set of winners, while 40 other OFWs were given gift baskets.

READ MORE...

Rafael Dela Cruz Marasigan, who works as a cashier in Abu Dhabi, said he was surprised and grateful for the cash prize he received.

"Napakasaya, hindi ko akalain... sa Abu Dhabi sabi nila ako ang napili pero hindi nila sinabi kung ano ang mangyayari dito," he told GMA News Online.

Marasigan is back in the country for an emergency vacation after his mother passed away.

OFWs treated to a surprise welcome by OWWA, DOLE OFWs were given a warm welcome by OWWA and DOLE at the NAIA Terminal 1 on Wednesday. Jessica Bartolome

OFWs treated to a surprise welcome by OWWA, DOLE Labor Sec. Silvestre Bello handed gift bags to the OFWs who just arrived. Jessica Bartolome

OFWs treated to a surprise welcome by OWWA, DOLE A child accepts a gift bag from Bello Jessica Bartolome

OFWs treated to a surprise welcome by OWWA, DOLE The OFWs were pleasantly surprised by the surprise greeting and gifts. Jessica Bartolome

OFWs treated to a surprise welcome by OWWA, DOLE They accepted the gift bags with wide smiles. Jessica Bartolome

OFWs treated to a surprise welcome by OWWA, DOLE The OWWA welcoming committee enthusiastically greeted the OFWs. Jessica Bartolome

OFWs treated to a surprise welcome by OWWA, DOLE OFWs thanked and shook the hands of OWWA and DOLE officials. Jessica Bartolome

OFWs treated to a surprise welcome by OWWA, DOLE 1,500 gift bags were given away to OFWs who arrived from five different countries. Jessica Bartolome

OFWs treated to a surprise welcome by OWWA, DOLE A band serenaded the OFWs who have returned to the Philippines. Jessica Bartolome

OFWs treated to a surprise welcome by OWWA, DOLE Dirty ice cream also awaited passengers who just arrived in the country. Jessica Bartolome

OFWs treated to a surprise welcome by OWWA, DOLE OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, along with Bello, was part of the welcome committee. Jessica Bartolome

OFWs treated to a surprise welcome by OWWA, DOLE Bello personally greeted the winners of OWWA's raffle. Jessica Bartolome

OFWs treated to a surprise welcome by OWWA, DOLE The six winners of the major raffle prizes Jessica Bartolome

OFWs treated to a surprise welcome by OWWA, DOLE Three OFWs won P50,000 in cash, while another three won television sets. Jessica Bartolome

OFWs treated to a surprise welcome by OWWA, DOLE 40 OFWs also won gift baskets. Jessica Bartolome

The event was hosted by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to express their appreciation for the hard work of OFWs. "Sabay sa pagsalubong sa Bagong Taon, salubong din sa ating nanunumbalik na mahal na OFWs," said OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac. "Para mahandugan ng mga tokens of appreciation, gestures of appreciation 'yung mga nanunumbalik na OFWs."

This year's theme was special because rather than the traditional Christmas "salubong," OWWA chose to set it before the New Year.

"Imbis na usual pamaskong salubong ay gagawin nating New Year... Paparamdaman talaga natin with a bang yung ating malasakit at pagsasaalang-alang sa kapakanan ng ating mahal na OFWs," Cacdac said.


SCREENGRAB

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello was present to personally greet the OFWs and award them the prizes.

OWWA said it started to meet and greet returning OFWs as early as December 19. —KBK, GMA News


INQUIRER

UNUSED POLL CAMPAIGN FUNDS: Duterte spreads cheer to village officials in Davao City By: Allan Nawal - Correspondent / @inqmindanao Philippine Daily Inquirer / 12:25 AM December 29, 2016


President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. KIWI BULACLAC/Presidential Photo

DAVAO CITY—President Duterte gave out cash on Tuesday night to village officials here in this season of gift giving, but the money did not come from his own pocket. Neither did it come from government coffers.

The money turned out to be a campaign contribution he did not declare to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
“I returned the money [to a tycoon], but he refused to take it back,” the President said, adding that the donor told him to use it any way he wanted.

Since the money was entrusted to him by the tycoon and he was given a free hand to spend it, he decided to give it to the people this Christmas, Mr. Duterte said.

The village officials, who gathered at the Almendras Gym, were ecstatic when he announced he would give them “probably” P50,000 in additional bonus. When he later said “maybe P100,000,” they were overjoyed.

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But when the Presidential Management Staff chief, Christopher Go, approached him and whispered something, the President announced that barangay captains would just get P10,000 and village councilors, P3,000.

Even as their bonus got drastically cut in less than 10 minutes, the local officials still applauded the President.

Mr. Duterte will be giving away P1.87 million for village chiefs alone. Davao City has 187 villages.

A village has seven councilors, so the President has to give P3,927,000 to the 1,309 councilors, or P3,000 each.

In his speech, Mr. Duterte said the money he was giving away as additional bonuses and Christmas gifts to officials and other recipients did not come from government coffers.

He said the money was given to him by the tycoon—whom he did not identify—as campaign contribution, but he had turned it down and ordered its return.

Mr. Duterte said he did not include the money, the amount of which he did not specify, in the statement of contribution and expenses he submitted to the Comelec because he had not formally accepted it in the first place.

Under the Omnibus Election Code, candidates are required to file a “full, true and itemized statement of all contributions and expenditures in connection with the election” within 30 days after the election.

Nondisclosure of donors is an election offense.

On Dec. 23, Mr. Duterte said during the Christmas party of the Office of the President that San Miguel Corp. president Ramon S. Ang had given him money during the campaign. He also thanked Ang for helping his administration.

During and after the election campaign, Mr. Duterte repeatedly said he had turned down offers by some businessmen to fund his run for the presidency.

Among those whose offers he had rejected were tycoon Lucio Tan and owners or officials of mining companies. He did not accept the offers because the donors have interests or business with the government, according to Mr. Duterte.

“I assure you that I never really accepted money from any mining company. That I can assure you,” Mr. Duterte said shortly after winning the presidency.

He said accepting campaign money from businesses with interests or deals with government was not only a bad practice but would also compromise his leadership.

Mr. Duterte then announced he was opening up the economy to more players, adding that “(t)he only way for the deliverance of this country is to remove it from the clutches of the few people who hold the power and money.”

He said oligarchs and capitalists, who have been in control of the country’s economy for so long, could not prevent him from doing so because he had no debt of gratitude to them.

“I do not owe you anything. That’s precisely why I was avoiding you during the last election. I am not trying to destroy you. You have the advantage. You’re here already. Be content with that. But let us open everything,” he told reporters last month. —WITH A REPORT FROM INQUIRER RESEARCH


PHILSTAR

95% of Pinoys greet New Year with hope By Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 29, 2016 - 12:00am 0 5 googleplus0 0

The SWS survey, taken from Dec. 3 to 6, found 95 percent of adult Filipinos who said they are entering 2017 with hope rather than with fear – up from 92 percent last year. AP/Aaron Favila MANILA, Philippines – Almost all Filipinos will enter the New Year with hope, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

The SWS survey, taken from Dec. 3 to 6, found 95 percent of adult Filipinos who said they are entering 2017 with hope rather than with fear – up from 92 percent last year.

Only five percent will enter the New Year with fear.

The survey was based on face-to-face interviews of 1,500 adults 18 years old and above nationwide.

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The 95 percent matched the all-time high 95 percent who were also hopeful in 2002, 2003, 2011 and 2012.

SWS said hope for the New Year has always been high, starting at 87 percent when the pollster first undertook such surveys in 2000.

On the other hand, the five percent entering the New Year with fear is the lowest since the four percent recorded in 2012.

This is three points down from eight percent in 2015.

SWS said New Year hope is widespread in all areas – 97 percent in balance Luzon, 95 percent in the National Capital Region (NCR), 95 percent in Mindanao and 92 percent in the Visayas.

Compared to last year, hopefulness for the New Year improved in the provincial areas but hardly changed in NCR.

In Mindanao, New Year hope rose in 2016 to reach all-time high 95 percent, up by seven points from 88 percent in 2015 and 91 percent in 2014.

In the Visayas, New Year hope improved by two points, from 90 percent in 2015 to 92 percent in 2016.

In Balance Luzon, New Year hope improved by four points, up from 93 percent in 2015 to 97 percent in 2016, matching the all-time high 97 percent recorded in the area in 2010.

In NCR, New Year hope hardly changed from 94 percent in 2015 to 95 percent in 2016.

By class, hopefulness for the New Year is high regardless of socio-economic class, the SWS said.

Almost all (99 percent) of upper to middle classes ABC are hopeful of the coming 2017, slightly higher compared to 95 percent among the masa or class D and 93 percent among very poor class E.

“Compared to 2015, the percentages of those who are hopeful of the coming New Year improved across all classes,” the SWS said.

Among classes ABC, New Year hope improved by six points, up from 93 percent in 2015 to 99 percent in 2016.

Among class D, New Year hope improved by three points, from 92 percent in 2015 to 95 percent in 2016.

Among class E, New Year hope improved by five points, up from 88 percent in 2015 to 93 percent in 2016.

SWS said New Year hope has usually been lower among class E, ranging from 82 percent to 94 percent.


PHILSTAR

Rody gives rice to NPA, cash to barangay execs By Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 29, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


The cash gift for the officials, many of whom he had known since the beginning of his more than two decades as mayor of this city, he claimed came from his unspent campaign funds during the May 9 elections. File photo

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – In his first Christmas as President, Rodrigo Duterte has given extra cash gifts to barangay officials here and sent rice and medicine to leftist guerrillas.

The cash gift for the officials, many of whom he had known since the beginning of his more than two decades as mayor of this city, he claimed came from his unspent campaign funds during the May 9 elections.

Addressing over 2,000 barangay officials Tuesday night at the Almendras Gym, Duterte said the aid for the New People’s Army (NPA) was given in the spirit of the holidays.

“Yes, I sent them rice and medicine for Christmas,” the President said, stressing this was in the hope of boosting the government’s peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its political arm, the National Democratic Front (NDF).

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The President announced the additional cash gift of P10,000 to each barangay chairman while councilors received P3,000 each during a gathering of village officials.

On top of the cash, the President said the barangay officials would also receive grocery packs.

“You have been with me for a long time, since I was mayor for 23 years and then vice mayor, three years and first district congressman another three years. That is my gift to you,” the President told the officials.

Duterte acknowledged the role the village officials played in his almost 40 years in public service, including the time he was still city prosecutor before he was appointed interim vice mayor before the 1988 elections when he first won as mayor.

“A friend gave me money during the election but I did not accept it. He did not accept it when I tried to return it. I did not report it as contribution because I did not accept it. He later said you can do whatever with it,” Duterte said.

However, he did not identify who exactly was the friend who gave him the money.

He said that there were others who accepted the campaign contributions when he returned them, but there were others who wanted him to hold the money in trust.

The President said he donated some funds to hospitals and other concerns but he reserved some amount for barangay officials.

“I could not have been mayor if you did not help,” he added.

The President likewise assured the barangay officials that the money he will give them did not come from government funds.

“Do not worry about corruption because this is not the money of the government. This is the money which is given to me that I tried to return,” Duterte said.

The President said he is being truthful about the money, which he said he actually did not accept but that he only held for his donors.

“It is not income on my part, that is not my money. I handled a lot of money, I returned some amount, some accepted the money back, some did not. I am just making public what is really the truth,” Duterte told the local officials.

Revolutionary taxes The President, however, lamented how the leftist rebels continue to resort to collecting so-called revolutionary taxes and destroying the properties of private firms and individuals.

“Sige lang gihapon sila pangayo. Sige lang gihapon panunog. Tama na pagka-small time ba ninyo (You still continue to ask and you still burn things. Stop it. It is small time.) Refrain from destroying things that are not yours. If you want, go to San Pedro Church and join the many people who are begging there,” the President said.

Militant group Bayan welcomed Duterte’s act of goodwill, describing it as “a good gesture.”

Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes said the socio-economic causes of the rebels’ unlawful acts must be addressed soon, perhaps threshed out at the start of the peace talks in January.

“He makes use of his peace panel,” Reyes said in a text message to The STAR. “The purpose of the talks is to address the root causes of the armed conflict.”

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, chief peace negotiator, last Tuesday led other government officials in marking CPP’s 48th anniversary by visiting one of the strongholds of the NPA in the hinterlands of Paquibato district in this city.

Bello spoke before 8,000 rebel sympathizers and supporters, sharing optimism for lasting peace with CPP founder Jose Maria Sison.

In an earlier video message, Sison said the prospect of achieving peace under the Duterte government is brighter than ever in the history of the almost five-decade communist rebellion.

Joining Bello in the trip to the NPA lair were Interior Secretary Mike Sueno, Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, National Anti-Poverty Commission chief Liza Maza and Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglungsod.

Bello assured rebel leaders of the sickly and elderly political detainees’ release from prison soon, one thing that the militant group Bayan mentioned as another plea to the Duterte government.

“It is just a matter of time,” he said. “The President will keep his word.” – With Elizabeth Marcelo, Sheila Crisostomo


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