EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK:
(Mini Reads followed by Full Commentary below)

FROM THE TRIBUNE

EDITORIAL: SELF IMMOLATION AT THE SENATE


His ambitions precede him. Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, as a result of his misplaced political goals which is his hallmark since his days as a failed putschist, is self-destructing right on national television. The other day, believing that most Filipinos were born yesterday, Trillanes launched his patented military-type interrogation of witnesses before the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee, launching a litany of unsupported allegations. Trillanes would have won wide public support with his claimed crusade against corruption in government but as the hearings wore on, it was clear that that the only target of two other anti-Binay senators, Alan Peter Cayetano, Koko Pimentel and himself, is the Vice President. The reason is too obvious, Trillanes and Cayetano are forming a tandem for the presidential elections next year and their biggest hurdle is Binay who remains the top contender for the presidency based on periodic surveys. Cayetano would supposedly run for the presidency with Trillanes as the vice presidential bet. Lately, realizing that seeking the top post would be futile, Cayetano has recalibrated his political plans and will likely seek the vice presidency instead thus getting entangled with Trillanes whose gameplan is the vice presidency as a launch pad for the top government position. Now it seems Trillanes is moving farther away from his ambition the longer he exposes his caliber to the public through the regular Senate hearings.But he may also be doing this witchhunt and demolition job against the VP, knowing that he will never win the second highest seat, in exchange for a Cabinet portfolio under a Mar Roxas regime. In the other day’s inquisition, Trillanes in facing off with Pag-IBIG Fund president and chief executive officer Darlene Marie Berberabe stupidly admitted that he is engaged in an all out demolition job against Binay, saying that he has been selectively picking out companies that have been engaged in contracts with Pag-IBIG for the sole purpose of looking for possible links with the Vice President.READ MORE...

ALSO EDITORIAL: Sinister undercurrents in BBL


Several steps are being taken furtively to shove the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) down the nation’s throat which includes the attempt to tinker with the Constitution, which is now the goal of the Palace allies in both chambers of the legislature, and to tamper with the votes primarily in the plebiscite if the BBL hurdles Congress through a Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) representative in the Commission on Elections (Comelec). Senators Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel and Teofisto “TG” Guingona filed a resolution last week reviving Charter change (cha-cha) through a constitutional convention (con-con). The resolution stated that cha-cha is needed to revise certain restrictive economic provisions in the Constitution and not to accommodate the unconstitutional clauses in the BBL. The MILF gave it all away, however, when it said in its Web site that cha-cha is a BBL fallback. In a meeting with BBL proponents, Guingona and Pimentel committed their backing for charter change “as a means to push the peace process forward.”  Guingona is from Bukidnon while Pimentel is from Cagayan de Oro City, both in Mindanao. The target would be to shift to a federal form of government who both believe will address the provisions in the BBL which conflicts with the Constitution. Guingona said “let’s change the Constitution, and make the whole system of government federal so that each region can be federal. Why limit these powers to the Bangsamoro, and not give it to the rest of Mindanao?”
Guingona said he thought of charter change when he read the BBL. “It says the sharing of minerals from mining is 75-25 in favor of the Bangsamoro so I said how come only they get that share, and not the entire Mindanao? Let’s just make the system federal so everybody will benefit, and not just one region,” Guingona said.
The quid pro quo then was that the MILF will have its Bangsamoro substate but the rebel group, in turn, would back a federal form of government particularly in Mindanao.READ MORE...


ALSO: China trouble Noy’s own doing



----------------Prior to the incident a status quo existed in which complaints over the conflicting claims are resolved through diplomatic channels.What made matter worse was Noynoy deputizing Sen. Antonio Trillanes as back-channel negotiator with China that, according to former Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile, did not contribute by any measure to improving the tense situation. The notes of former Philippine Ambassador to China, Sonia Brady, read by Enrile during a brawl with Trillanes in the Senate floor also in 2012 showed the following inputs from Trillanes: * That the Chinese wanted the Philippines to “tone down the rhetoric” on its incursion in Panatag or Scarborough Shoal; * That Trillanes suspected United States involvement in creating tension in Panatag Shoal and that Del Rosario was “committing treason”; * That Trillanes “was protecting the Chinese,” “was alarmist” and accused (Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert) Del Rosario of “creating a war event”; * That Trillanes asked businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan, a close friend of Del Rosario, to advise the secretary “to keep quiet, to quiet down” apparently because the secretary held a press conference decrying Chinese presence in Panatag Shoal; * That Trillanes stated “no one cares about Panatag Shoal in the Philippines”; * That Trillanes said the Philippines “cannot enforce coastal protection” since fishermen subsist only on fishing and cannot venture far out; * That Trillanes boasted that he was able to make 40 Chinese ships leave Panatag Shoal; * That Trillanes volunteered to become the “direct channel” between China and Malacañang; and * Trillanes asked Noynoy to replace Del Rosario with presumptive Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas. READ FULL REPORT FROM THE BEGINNING...

ALSO EDITORIAL: Opposition hunting season rolls on


University of the Philippines (UP) Associate Professor Harry Roque has an argument so simple that it can convince anybody that the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) allowed itself to be used for partisan purposes in prying into bank accounts of Vice President Jojo Binay and those associated with him. At first look, the total amount subjected to a freeze order, P600 million, appears big but Roque said if the number of persons involved and their stature are considered, the amount in the bank accounts are not even significant. The report in the yellow paper stated that the amount involves no less than 33 persons which, on the average, puts a bank account at P18 million each. Roque said that’s no big deal considering the declared net worth of public officials. Noynoy declared at least P50 million as his net worth in his annual Statement of Accounts, Liabilities and net worth while Binay declared no less than P60 million. If the declared amount of Binay’s financial assets is deducted from the P600 million covered by the AMLC probe, the amount is further reduced to 16 million per person. “Given that some of those in the list include Ten Outstanding Young Men awardee and Xavier Alumnus Antonio Tiu, I’m sure the P600 million in frozen assets is insignificant since Tiu alone should be worth at least P600 million,” Roque said.
The only clear outcome of the freeze order are the blown up news stories which were the goal of the political opponents of Binay and which would point only to one source, which is the Liberal Party (LP) of Noynoy and Mar Roxas. Roque described the latest smear job on Binay as a public relations (PR) coup for the handlers of Mar Roxas “who until today, must believe that the best defense is offense.”  READ MORE...

ALSO EDITORIAL: Say what?
[Both the OFW remittances and earnings from BPO are also the reason economists say that steady growth is being achieved in spite of the government.The government’s contribution to growth should naturally come from the budget but which, through the years, have been manipulated by Noynoy and his Liberal Party hordes to suit their political ends]

.
Then, Noynoy was being slapped down on his total disconnect with the plight of Filipinos.  Now it has gotten worse, since the President is totally confused on the economic situation under his term. The other day, just to headbash Gloria Arroyo anew, he criticized the labor export policy which nobody can recall on his having terminated this policy. When think tank Ibon counted last, there were more Filipinos who left the country for work compared to the jobs generated under Noynoy’s administration. In a Radio Bombo interview, Noynoy said that economic growth during the term of Arroyo was mainly based on remittances which he indicated is a wrong priority. No remorse has been heard from him, however, on the fact that the remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) now average $2 billion a month which is the highest ever for any administration but which reflects increased reliance of the economy on foreign transfers. Like the business process outsourcing (BPO) boom which is another driver of growth for the economy, OFW remittances have a limited productive effect on growth and as such are not self-sustaining. The BPO business solely depends on the business decisions and government policies of headquarters of the backroom offices in the Philippines. The boom is resulting in the setting up of new buildings for offices or residential developments for workers with their new found purchasing power.READ MORE...

ALSO DAVIDE's: Constitutional but unclear


The report of the Citizens’ Peace Council (CPC), a body that Noynoy himself constituted, predictably endorsed the constitutionality of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). But at the same time, the body, led by the disgraceful former Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Hilario Davide, whose endorsement of Edsa II that unconstitutionally removed former President Joseph Estrada from power, constituted a huge question on his fair judgment, also cited the need for “refinements.” The refinements are basically proposals for amendments that BBL critics said made the proposed law to create the Bangsamoro substate unconstitutional but which the Palace body now says are mere products of differences in interpretation. The premise laid down by the body pointed to only one conclusion that there is no other alternative but to pass the BBL. The CPC said in the opening statement of its report, addressed to the “Filipino people,” that “The exercise (BBL review) has brought home to us the conviction that the BBL should be passed; that to set it aside now would be imprudent and wasteful of various efforts.”  With the conviction to have the BBL passed as guiding principle, the findings of the CPC are predictable and that all are in support of the immediate approval of the bill. While seeking to debunk the argument that the BBL seeks to create a Bangsamoro substate, insisting that which is being created is a territory that is part of the republic, the CPC nonetheless sought the removal of a provision allowing the Bangsamoro to indefinitely grow by a periodic vote of 10 percent of voters. In one of the more controversial provisions of the BBL that sought to establish a parliamentary form of government for Bangsamoro, the CPC said that “the Constitution permits a parliamentary form of government in local government units” by implication, citing the provision in the Charter which said that on LGUs, the Constitution “only requires that the government of an autonomous region consists of the Executive department and the legislative assembly, both of which shall be elective and representative of the constituent political units.”  It is hard to reconcile the fact, however, that the chief minister of the Bangsamoro will have to be chosen, in accordance with a parliamentary system, and not elected through a popular vote with the constitutional provision. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA EDITORIALS & OPINIONS  HERE:

Editorial: Self immolation at the Senate

MANILA, MAY 18, 2015 (TRIBUNE) Written by Tribune Editorial 13 May 2015 - His ambitions precede him.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, as a result of his misplaced political goals which is his hallmark since his days as a failed putschist, is self-destructing right on national television.

The other day, believing that most Filipinos were born yesterday, Trillanes launched his patented military-type interrogation of witnesses before the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee, launching a litany of unsupported allegations.

Trillanes would have won wide public support with his claimed crusade against corruption in government but as the hearings wore on, it was clear that that the only target of two other anti-Binay senators, Alan Peter Cayetano, Koko Pimentel and himself, is the Vice President.

The reason is too obvious, Trillanes and Cayetano are forming a tandem for the presidential elections next year and their biggest hurdle is Binay who remains the top contender for the presidency based on periodic surveys.

Cayetano would supposedly run for the presidency with Trillanes as the vice presidential bet.

Lately, realizing that seeking the top post would be futile, Cayetano has recalibrated his political plans and will likely seek the vice presidency instead thus getting entangled with Trillanes whose gameplan is the vice presidency as a launch pad for the top government position.

Now it seems Trillanes is moving farther away from his ambition the longer he exposes his caliber to the public through the regular Senate hearings.

But he may also be doing this witchhunt and demolition job against the VP, knowing that he will never win the second highest seat, in exchange for a Cabinet portfolio under a Mar Roxas regime.

In the other day’s inquisition, Trillanes in facing off with Pag-IBIG Fund president and chief executive officer Darlene Marie Berberabe stupidly admitted that he is engaged in an all out demolition job against Binay, saying that he has been selectively picking out companies that have been engaged in contracts with Pag-IBIG for the sole purpose of looking for possible links with the Vice President.

READ MORE...
Earlier, Cayetano had admitted that the Senate inquisition which is on its 20th edition making it one of the longest if not the longest among such proceedings in memory, is being held to weigh Binay’s capability as a potential president and discarding all pretensions about the inquisition being in aid of legislation.

Trillanes admitted during the latest chapter of the anti-Binay crusade that the 30 companies he had picked out among the Pag-IBIG partners have some form of association with Binay and those not publicly named were excluded in his and the Makati City political opponents of Binay supposed exposes in the Senate proceedings.

He even bragged to Berberabe about his witch hunt on Binay and even enumerated the companies that he assumed to have links with the Vice President even as the Pag-IBIG official said that earnest efforts in the state agency to flag companies that may have conflicting interest with Pag-IBIG officials.

Trillanes claimed, again without any piece of evidence, that Pag-IBIG farmed out loans to political and business allies of Binay through the selective documents he amassed.

It seems that Trillanes got a crash course from former Commission on Audit Chairman Grace Pulido-Tan on how to conduct a selective audit to pin down political opponents such as what was done in the CoA Special Audit on the Priority Development Assistance Fund that covered only the years 2007 to 2009.

Nonetheless, Trillanes exposed the true character of the Senate inquisition which is a fishing expedition against Binay and members of his family.

Cayetano may have wised up as he saw the futility of pursuing unsubstantiated allegations against the Binays and has shifted to attacking the Bangsamoro Basic Law where he expects to collect more political brownie points.

Trillanes, conversely, is maintaining a steady course toward political self-destruction.


EDITORIAL: Sinister undercurrents in BBL Written by Tribune Editorial Tuesday, 12 May 2015 00:00


Several steps are being taken furtively to shove the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) down the nation’s throat which includes the attempt to tinker with the Constitution, which is now the goal of the Palace allies in both chambers of the legislature, and to tamper with the votes primarily in the plebiscite if the BBL hurdles Congress through a Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) representative in the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Senators Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel and Teofisto “TG” Guingona filed a resolution last week reviving Charter change (cha-cha) through a constitutional convention (con-con).

The resolution stated that cha-cha is needed to revise certain restrictive economic provisions in the Constitution and not to accommodate the unconstitutional clauses in the BBL.

The MILF gave it all away, however, when it said in its Web site that cha-cha is a BBL fallback.
In a meeting with BBL proponents, Guingona and Pimentel committed their backing for charter change “as a means to push the peace process forward.”

Guingona is from Bukidnon while Pimentel is from Cagayan de Oro City, both in Mindanao.

The target would be to shift to a federal form of government who both believe will address the provisions in the BBL which conflicts with the Constitution.

Guingona said “let’s change the Constitution, and make the whole system of government federal so that each region can be federal. Why limit these powers to the Bangsamoro, and not give it to the rest of Mindanao?”

Guingona said he thought of charter change when he read the BBL.

“It says the sharing of minerals from mining is 75-25 in favor of the Bangsamoro so I said how come only they get that share, and not the entire Mindanao? Let’s just make the system federal so everybody will benefit, and not just one region,” Guingona said.

The quid pro quo then was that the MILF will have its Bangsamoro substate but the rebel group, in turn, would back a federal form of government particularly in Mindanao.

READ MORE...
The resolution filed by the two senators provided that the choosing of the con-con delegates coincides with the elections next year.

Senate President Frank Drilon said there is not enough time for the cha-cha revival but it has been proven that Palace measures can move faster than the speed of light in both chambers if Noynoy orders it.

Speaker Sonny Belmonte, who had adopted cha-cha as his legacy pursuit, maintained that there is still time to push cha-cha within Aquino’s term.

The voting part seems already being worked out with the appointment of a practically MILF insider in Comelec who is Commissioner Sherif Abas.

Abas acknowledged his being the nephew of MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal which the Palace and the MILF are trying to explain as a mere coincidence.

Abas has become some kind of a mystery as lawyers can’t piece together the reason for his appointment to the poll body until his admission that he is Iqbal’s nephew.

Since Malacañang conceded a position in Comelec to the MILF, representatives of the secessionist group may have been installed in other agencies.

A provision in the BBL calls for one Bangsamoro representative in each of the government agencies and constitutional bodies as part of the power sharing agreement.

While it is expected for the partnership of Noynoy and the MILF to push hard for the BBL and for them to come with options to have the Bangsamoro substate created, what is troubling is the attempt to hide these efforts.

The sinister undertones on the BBL are only revealed with the Palace and its allies’ efforts to conceal its actions.


China trouble Noy’s own doing Written by Tribune Editorial Saturday, 09 May 2015


There is no logic in the conclusion of the administration that China is now the biggest threat to the country’s security but at the same time, Defense Secretary Volt Gazmin said before the Senate hearing the other day that he believes the Asian giant is not ready to go to war over small islands in the South China Sea.

The maritime rift with China only worsened after Noynoy escalated the situation by sending a Philippine Navy ship BRP Gregorio del Pilar to accost Chinese poachers in Scarborough Shoal.

Prior to the incident a status quo existed in which complaints over the conflicting claims are resolved through diplomatic channels.

What made matter worse was Noynoy deputizing Sen. Antonio Trillanes as back-channel negotiator with China that, according to former Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile, did not contribute by any measure to improving the tense situation.

The notes of former Philippine Ambassador to China, Sonia Brady, read by Enrile during a brawl with Trillanes in the Senate floor also in 2012 showed the following inputs from Trillanes:

* That the Chinese wanted the Philippines to “tone down the rhetoric” on its incursion in Panatag or Scarborough Shoal;
* That Trillanes suspected United States involvement in creating tension in Panatag Shoal and that Del Rosario was “committing treason”;
* That Trillanes “was protecting the Chinese,” “was alarmist” and accused (Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert) Del Rosario of “creating a war event”;
* That Trillanes asked businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan, a close friend of Del Rosario, to advise the secretary “to keep quiet, to quiet down” apparently because the secretary held a press conference decrying Chinese presence in Panatag Shoal;
* That Trillanes stated “no one cares about Panatag Shoal in the Philippines”;
* That Trillanes said the Philippines “cannot enforce coastal protection” since fishermen subsist only on fishing and cannot venture far out;
* That Trillanes boasted that he was able to make 40 Chinese ships leave Panatag Shoal;
* That Trillanes volunteered to become the “direct channel” between China and Malacañang; and
* Trillanes asked Noynoy to replace Del Rosario with presumptive Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas.

Del Rosario later decried the Noynoy maneuver in creating a back channel with China through Trillanes saying that it did more harm than good since primarily it showed division within the administration in addressing the China threat.

Enrile also suspected Trillanes of acting as a double agent for China and called him a “fifth columnist” or a traitor.

Noynoy’s need for a personal agent to negotiate with China was an indication of his being an iconoclast, similar to his action of placing suspended Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima in command of Operation Plan Exodus which eventually resulted in the death of 44 Special Action Force commandos.

Now an agitated China had enforced its South China Sea claims, the government of the severely under-equipped nation now says that China is now its biggest security threat.

The threat, however, appears self-perpetuated and the indication of an increased security fears, is obviously directed at a faster build up in defense capabilities which in turn translates to the acquisition of expensive military hardware that equates to huge commissions and kickbacks all happening in the years prior and into a presidential elections.

The real threat, however, is the Palace resident himself since he has irritated China non-stop from the day he assumed office all in accordance with the bidding of his US masters.

China from the start of the standoff at the Scarborough Shoal has been asking for an official dialog to discuss the dispute which Noynoy paid in kind by approaching the United States that predictably gave an advice to place the territorial conflict before the United Nations. China said it does not recognize third party arbitration for the regional problem.

Noynoy’s pelting stones at China while hiding at the back of the United States may have rendered the Asian giant no other choice but to enforce its long dormant claim.

The timing of declaring China as a primary threat is also too obvious when Noynoy is in the US for a visit.


Opposition hunting season rolls on Written by Tribune Editorial Sunday, 17 May 2015 00:00

University of the Philippines (UP) Associate Professor Harry Roque has an argument so simple that it can convince anybody that the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) allowed itself to be used for partisan purposes in prying into bank accounts of Vice President Jojo Binay and those associated with him.

At first look, the total amount subjected to a freeze order, P600 million, appears big but Roque said if the number of persons involved and their stature are considered, the amount in the bank accounts are not even significant.

The report in the yellow paper stated that the amount involves no less than 33 persons which, on the average, puts a bank account at P18 million each. Roque said that’s no big deal considering the declared net worth of public officials.

Noynoy declared at least P50 million as his net worth in his annual Statement of Accounts, Liabilities and net worth while Binay declared no less than P60 million.

If the declared amount of Binay’s financial assets is deducted from the P600 million covered by the AMLC probe, the amount is further reduced to 16 million per person.

“Given that some of those in the list include Ten Outstanding Young Men awardee and Xavier Alumnus Antonio Tiu, I’m sure the P600 million in frozen assets is insignificant since Tiu alone should be worth at least P600 million,” Roque said.

The only clear outcome of the freeze order are the blown up news stories which were the goal of the political opponents of Binay and which would point only to one source, which is the Liberal Party (LP) of Noynoy and Mar Roxas.

Roque described the latest smear job on Binay as a public relations (PR) coup for the handlers of Mar Roxas “who until today, must believe that the best defense is offense.”

READ MORE...
The AMLC is supposedly an independent body under the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). The only problem is that Julia Abad, daughter of LP chief strategist and Budget Secretary Butch Abad, sits as executive director of the AMLC. (PHNO NOTE: Wrong Julia Abad? Google produced: Budget Secretary Abad’s daughter Julia Abad Parker is the director-general of the Benigni Aquino III Presidential Management Staff, a very powerful office that has a lot of say on how the President's P1 billion pork barrel will be spent. In addition, her husband, Andrew Parker, is a senior rural development economist for the Philippine office of the World Bank, a major multi-lateral lender to RP.)

The story that came out in the yellow papers made it appear that all of the bank accounts were owned by Binay and thus create the impression of ill-gotten wealth.

“Unless the courts declare that the sum is actually fruits of a predicate crime under the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA), they enjoy the presumption of being clean money frozen due to political maneuverings,” Roque said.

Moreover, the act of freezing the assets of a sitting vice president is not allowed based on court precedents. Roque related that the Supreme Court (SC) has repeatedly refused his pleas to charge former President Gloria Arroyo for corruption and for crimes against humanity.

“In other words, the AMLA petition to freeze the assets of the VP, including the action of the tegional trial court to declare these funds as proceeds of predicate crimes under the law, violate Binay’s immunity from suits,” he said.

If the issue is brought before the SC, Roque expects the high court to immediately declare the freezing of the VP’s assets as being unconstitutional.

Moreover, Roque questioned the propriety of reporting on the freeze order, which according to the law should remain confidential.

“Here, the secrecy is for at least two reasons: one, to prevent the account holders from concealing their assets. Two, and more importantly, it is to protect the reputation of the account holders since the freeze order is not tantamount to a finding of guilt,” Roque said.

The yellow media reports of the freeze order, thus, is the main target of the supposed freeze order obtained by the AMLC from the Court of Appeals since it would have no other purpose considering Binay’s immunity from suit.

The confidentiality of the AMLC report is of little import for the anti-Binay bashers and media since the leaking of government documents has been the main ingredient of demolition campaigns against political opponents under Noynoy’s term.

The routine has always been a supposed expose from the yellow media, the contents of which were leaked or came from a paid blogger or social media hack. This is then blown up and becomes the immediate subject of National Bureau of Investigation probe and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s new preoccupation.

Noynoy stays silent through the process but it is plain that he and his LP horde are behind the demolition campaign.

When done, Noynoy credits the success to his “tuwid na daan” pursuit and hangs his trophy on the wall.


Say what? Written by Tribune Editorial Saturday, 16 May 2015 00:00

Then, Noynoy was being slapped down on his total disconnect with the plight of Filipinos.
Now it has gotten worse, since the President is totally confused on the economic situation under his term.

The other day, just to headbash Gloria Arroyo anew, he criticized the labor export policy which nobody can recall on his having terminated this policy.

When think tank Ibon counted last, there were more Filipinos who left the country for work compared to the jobs generated under Noynoy’s administration.

In a Radio Bombo interview, Noynoy said that economic growth during the term of Arroyo was mainly based on remittances which he indicated is a wrong priority.

No remorse has been heard from him, however, on the fact that the remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) now average $2 billion a month which is the highest ever for any administration but which reflects increased reliance of the economy on foreign transfers.

Like the business process outsourcing (BPO) boom which is another driver of growth for the economy, OFW remittances have a limited productive effect on growth and as such are not self-sustaining.

The BPO business solely depends on the business decisions and government policies of headquarters of the backroom offices in the Philippines.

The boom is resulting in the setting up of new buildings for offices or residential developments for workers with their new found purchasing power.

READ MORE...
Noynoy asked what happens to the OFWs when the country they are staying for work says they don’t want Filipinos anymore. Maybe he can ask the same question on the BPO boom, when Western countries end the outsourcing trend.

Both OFW earnings and the BPO boom are not dependent on domestic policies and whatever policy decisions there are in the government would have little consequence on the two main sources of growth.

Both the OFW remittances and earnings from BPO are also the reason economists say that steady growth is being achieved in spite of the government.

The government’s contribution to growth should naturally come from the budget but which, through the years, have been manipulated by Noynoy and his Liberal Party hordes to suit their political ends.

The Disbursement Acceleration Program tried to siphon off nearly P300 billion from the budget with P167 billion having been disbursed already until the Supreme Court ruled the acts creating the supposed stimulus program as unconstitutional.

Noynoy asked “before, what our predecessor said is that the economy grew in successive quarters. That’s true, but where does growth come from?”

He pointed out remittances then fed growth in the economy and Filipinos go abroad to work “because they can’t find work here.”

Noynoy claimed that the growth “we are experiencing today is from infrastructure spending, manufacturing and growth in agriculture.”

The latest figures from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed a record $6 billion in foreign direct investments (FDI) last year but which still lags compared to the double-digit figures of the country’s Asian neighbors.

FDIs are crucial to sustained growth of domestic industries which in turn are key to jobs generation.

In reality, it is still the billions of dollars in foreign transfers infused steadily into the country that is keeping the economy in good health and even his claim of creating 1.04 million jobs is just not enough since in the four years of his presidency he was expected to have created 1 million jobs a year to keep the unemployment rate down.

The jobless rate has been averaging six to seven percent under Noynoy’s watch which is the worst among major economies in Asia.

Five years, going on six, and it’s still all Gloria to blame and no real economic policy to show.


Constitutional but unclear Written by Tribune Editorial Thursday, 07 May 2015 00:00

The report of the Citizens’ Peace Council (CPC), a body that Noynoy himself constituted, predictably endorsed the constitutionality of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

But at the same time, the body, led by the disgraceful former Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Hilario Davide, whose endorsement of Edsa II that unconstitutionally removed former President Joseph Estrada from power, constituted a huge question on his fair judgment, also cited the need for “refinements.”

The refinements are basically proposals for amendments that BBL critics said made the proposed law to create the Bangsamoro substate unconstitutional but which the Palace body now says are mere products of differences in interpretation.

The premise laid down by the body pointed to only one conclusion that there is no other alternative but to pass the BBL.

The CPC said in the opening statement of its report, addressed to the “Filipino people,” that “The exercise (BBL review) has brought home to us the conviction that the BBL should be passed; that to set it aside now would be imprudent and wasteful of various efforts.”

With the conviction to have the BBL passed as guiding principle, the findings of the CPC are predictable and that all are in support of the immediate approval of the bill.

While seeking to debunk the argument that the BBL seeks to create a Bangsamoro substate, insisting that which is being created is a territory that is part of the republic, the CPC nonetheless sought the removal of a provision allowing the Bangsamoro to indefinitely grow by a periodic vote of 10 percent of voters.

In one of the more controversial provisions of the BBL that sought to establish a parliamentary form of government for Bangsamoro, the CPC said that “the Constitution permits a parliamentary form of government in local government units” by implication, citing the provision in the Charter which said that on LGUs, the Constitution “only requires that the government of an autonomous region consists of the Executive department and the legislative assembly, both of which shall be elective and representative of the constituent political units.”

It is hard to reconcile the fact, however, that the chief minister of the Bangsamoro will have to be chosen, in accordance with a parliamentary system, and not elected through a popular vote with the constitutional provision.

READ MORE...
The CPC, despite stating that the inter-governmental relation between the national government and the Bangsamoro government is consistent with the Constitution, said the report sought a clear definition of the asymmetrical relationship in the BBL.

The CPC added that the creation of various Bangsamoro independent bodies will not diminish the powers of the SC and the constitutional bodies over the substate but it still sought including the clause “subject to the review powers of the Supreme Court” to avert any confusion.

It also proposed adding the phrase “without prejudice to the powers of the Civil Service Commission and the Ombudsman” in the BBL in relations to the equivalent bodies to be crated under the Bangsamoro government.

The need for the clauses to be inserted indicated doubts even in the CPC about the supremacy of government institutions over the Bangsamoro.

The recommendations of the CPC become confusing when it comes to the so-called opt in provision that allows expansion of the Bangsamoro through a petition of 10 percent of residents in a province, in that it recommended its deletion but at the same time allowed the section providing for a plebiscite arising from such a petition to be maintained “as it is still consistent with the single plebiscite process.”

The CPC recommendations all sounded like the usual Palace arguments that are products of wild stretches of the imagination.

The recommended “refinements” will actually constitute a major revamp of the BBL since these constitute amendments to its key provisions.

In essence the Palace body said nothing was wrong with the BBL but at the same time it implied it can’t vouch for the clarity of its major provisions thus the need for the refinements.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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