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EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK:
(Mini Reads followed by Full news commentary)

FROM THE TRIBUNE

EDITORIAL The Grace Poe question
: WHAT IF.......


The most intriguing theory raised on the string of disqualification cases on independent presidential bet Sen. Grace Poe is, what if these moves are not coming from the usual suspects, such as the Liberal Party (LP) and instead are emanating from the Poe camp itself? Questions on her citizenship and her compliance to the 10-year residency rule will certainly be raised during the campaigns and the sooner the issue is resolved, the less uncertainty voters will have on the qualifications of Poe. The current doubts on Poe among both voters and supporters is about the issues revolving around her. Business backers would also want the issue resolved to be certain that they are not throwing away money on a candidate who would be disqualified later. The LP camp certainly would have its motive in demolishing Poe since the independent candidate is eating away at the yellow support base which solidly backed Noynoy in 2010 but is now divided between Poe and LP bet Mar Roxas. Yet it would be to the benefit of Poe if the issue is resolved early in the game since that would weaken the ammunition of the LP against her in the heat of the campaigns. It is usually the last few days before poll day that the most lethal demolition weapons are unloaded that the perpetrators hope will be in the mind of voters when they troop to the polling centers. The LP would have almost an endless resource in terms of funds and logistics including the use of the entire government machinery in support of Roxas who is miserably weak in inspiring voters. Poe is a natural target since she currently tops most of the recent massaged surveys, taking the spot from Binay, who initially was the subject of an unrelentless smear campaign shown on national television almost weekly through the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee hearings which have been continuing for more than a year now. The LP would have all the time during the campaigns to launch its dirtiest attacks on the opponents of Mar and if the LP may, just may, be telling the truth that it has nothing to do with the questions raised against Poe, then it is Poe and her camp that have been drumming up this DQ cases. Another argument that is plausible is that Poe may have wisened up to the ways of political maneuverings through her tandem Sen. Chiz Escudero, who she seems to believe, is always underestimated as a political tactician. Escudero is hardly known to play clean. READ MORE...

ALSO Editorial: Who else but Mar’s LP
[Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte also attributed the premature attacks against him claiming that he has throat cancer to dissuade voters from considering him as a presidentiable to the dirty tricks department of the LP. Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago exhibited her being street smart in the way of dirty LP politics when she announced her presidential bid on the day she filed her certificate of candidacy. She knows the LP would immediately be on her back once it sees another threat to its designs. Or maybe not, since Santiago is hardly a threat unless she starts annoying Mar Roxas, since Miriam is more of a political gadfly.]


Most of the presidential candidates consider the Liberal Party (LP) as the source of the smear campaigns being waged against them and this is logical since only the dominant party has the money and logistics to initiate such efforts. Motive also points to the LP since its standard bearer Mar Roxas, struggles in the periodic survey ratings for the presidency.The LP also employs government functionaries as its own such as Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales doing the party a favor in the plot to stop Vice President Jejomar Binay at all cost from being in the 2016 presidential race.Recently, Morales issued an order recognizing that Binay can’t be charged as an impeachable officer but it is informing the public anyway that charges will be filed after the expiration of his tenure.Where in the world of civilized society can one supposed magistrate threaten a sitting government official of a case once he steps down from power? The purpose of such a threat can only be considered political in nature.Morales also said Binay as vice president is an impeachable officer within the “investigatory power or jurisdiction of the Ombudsman.” Such investigatory power, however, was not applied to Noynoy with regard to her supposed probe of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) scam which covered only Budget Secretary Butch Abad and Undersecretary Mario Relampagos on the predetermined offenses of technical malversation and administrative charges. Binay is also the recipient of a venomous demolition campaign that had extended for more than one year and conducted through the chamber of the Senate. Sen. Grace Poe, whose presidential ambition is considered a major obstacle for the political perpetuity designs of the LP, also receives a severe beating from the Roxas camp. Poe, who poses as an alternative candidate of Noynoy, has become the chief target for elimination by the LP. Grace, during the launching of her presidential ambition for next year, said that Mar and the LP can’t claim ownership of “tuwid na daan” (straight path) as if this is fighting for a solution to what ails Filipinos. READ MORE...

ALSO: Moody’s sets Noynoy straight


It has been the primary spin of Noynoy through his “daang matuwid” (straight path) catchphrase that all reforms including those involving the fiscal system were all initiated under his term. The main claim was that fiscal transparency initiated by his Rasputin, Budget Secretary Butch Abad, resulted in making the government more responsive to the needs of Filipinos. Not so, says international credit watchdog Moody’s Investors Service which said in a recent report on the Philippines that it was during the term of former President Gloria Arroyo, who has been under detention on alleged irregularities for nearly the entire term of Noynoy, without any conviction which the United Nations recently brought up with the government. Noynoy specifically noted that reforms initiated under his administration had led to the country obtaining investment grade from key credit rating agencies that, aside from Moody’s are Fitch Ratings and Standard and Poor’s. The Moody’s report, however, acknowledged the Arroyo administration for having started the institutional reforms in the government of which in effect Noynoy has been the beneficiary. “Many of these changes resulted from a public financial management reform drive that was first mooted during the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the mid-2000s,” Moody’s said. Among reforms that Moody’s cited as having been initiated during the term of Arroyo were “institutional improvements” including “performance-informed” budgeting that has improved expenditure oversight, various tax administration measures that have boosted compliance, and enhanced procurement processes that have led to cost savings. Moody’s also called the attention of Noynoy that several measures that would have “institutionalized” reforms were not prioritized during his term such as the Public Financial Management Bill, the pending Tax Incentive Management and Transparency Act, or the revisions to the Build Operate Transfer Law. Moody’s is now looking at the next administration to cover lost ground. “Political noise has increased ahead of general elections next year, but we do not expect a reversal in the trend improvement in institutional strength. Reform momentum has been largely sustained, leading to improved assessments of competitiveness and governance,” Moody’s said. The report echoed worries of economists about underspending in the administration of Noynoy limiting growth prospects. It said bottlenecks in fiscal expenditure have continued to weigh on growth and could threaten the government’s capacity to meet its goal of increasing infrastructure spending to at least five percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2016.READ MORE...

ALSO EDITORIAL: Two-faced Morales


Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales’ impartiality is undergoing a litmus test with the various charges filed against government personalities both in the administration and those critical of it. And thus far, Morales has fared miserably which is genuinely surprising, considering that she is a former member of the Supreme Court. Her predecessor, Merceditas Gutierrez, was forced out of office through the same yellow pressure applied, which resulted in the impeachment and the eventual ousting of former Chief Justice Renato Corona. Gutierrez was accused of being partial to former President Gloria Arroyo. In a way Gutierrez guessed right then, that despite her constitutionally-guaranteed tenure, Noynoy and his yellow cabal would not stop until they get what they wanted as what happened with Corona.
Gutierrez resigned and escaped the yellow persecution which still hounds Corona up to this time, due to his dogged determination to resist Noynoy’s effort to take control of the Judiciary. Morales may suffer the same fate of Gutierrez with the way she is fawning over Noynoy and the yellow mob that includes the Liberal Party (LP). Her bias was too evident that the word selective justice was coined to describe it. Two of the more prominent cases before her, the charges of irregularities in the use of funds in the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II that supposedly benefited Vice President Jejomar Binay make for a study in contrast. Morales had already recommended criminal cases and perpetual disqualification against Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay in the Makati City case while the DAP case is still in the investigation case and even predicated in an entirely different realm as that of the plunder and graft cases sought by the complainants. In the DAP case, the Ombudsman said Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and Undersecretary Mario Relampagos are under investigation for “technical malversation” and administrative charges. The Ombudsman also unusually provided parameters to the probe, saying that it recognized the DAP funds were sourced from pooled savings as “a plan to boost disbursements” and “to jumpstart the implementation” of the government’s expenditure program. As authorized, the DAP projects were identified based on their “multiplier impact on the economy and infrastructure benefit, beneficial effect on the poor and translation into disbursements,” Morales said. READ MORE...


ALSO EDITORIAL: Question time turns to Miriam
Written by Tribune Editorial Thursday, 22 October 2015 00:00


No sooner than it was considered that surprise presidential candidate Miriam Defensor Santiago would receive the same dose of black propaganda as her earlier declared rivals, questions are being raised on her claim ofher having fully recovered from stage 4 cancer. The campaign against Santiago also involved her choice of Bongbong Marcos’s vice presidential candidacy, with the yellow mob raising the possibility of another Marcos as president should Santiago succumb to her disease which is illogical, since the presidency and the vice presidency are voted separately and Marcos will make it only if he gets the vote through his own efforts.The black operations against presidential candidates are believed to be originating from the Liberal Party due to the fact that these are unceasing, which in turn, requires an inexhaustible source of funds and that its LP bet Mar Roxas, is the only candidate impervious to the attacks. Again it was the Palace which was immediately confronted over the sudden challenge on her health. Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said the questions on Sen. Miriam Santiago’s health and medical records are better addressed to her. In an open letter to Santiago, Dr. Sylvia Claudio, director of the University of the Philippines Center for Women’s Studies, urged the presidential aspirant to release her medical records that would prove that she is already healed from stage 4 lung cancer. Santiago deflected Claudio, saying that forcing her to bare her medical records to the public would be a violation of human rights and that Claudio instead should go to St. Luke’s Global City to secure a copy of her medical records but noted that the doctor must abide by the hospital’s protocol. And that means a dead end, since no doctor will give out any medical record of his patient.
Santiago reminded Claudio about the doctor-patient relationship, where a doctor cannot be forced by the court to reveal the information relating to his patient. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Editorial: What if...


MANILA, OCTOBER 26, 2015 (TRIBUNE) Written by Tribune Editorial Wednesday, 21 October 2015 - The most intriguing theory raised on the string of disqualification cases on independent presidential bet Sen. Grace Poe is, what if these moves are not coming from the usual suspects, such as the Liberal Party (LP) and instead are emanating from the Poe camp itself?

Questions on her citizenship and her compliance to the 10-year residency rule will certainly be raised during the campaigns and the sooner the issue is resolved, the less uncertainty voters will have on the qualifications of Poe.

The current doubts on Poe among both voters and supporters is about the issues revolving around her. Business backers would also want the issue resolved to be certain that they are not throwing away money on a candidate who would be disqualified later.

The LP camp certainly would have its motive in demolishing Poe since the independent candidate is eating away at the yellow support base which solidly backed Noynoy in 2010 but is now divided between Poe and LP bet Mar Roxas.

Yet it would be to the benefit of Poe if the issue is resolved early in the game since that would weaken the ammunition of the LP against her in the heat of the campaigns.

It is usually the last few days before poll day that the most lethal demolition weapons are unloaded that the perpetrators hope will be in the mind of voters when they troop to the polling centers.

The LP would have almost an endless resource in terms of funds and logistics including the use of the entire government machinery in support of Roxas who is miserably weak in inspiring voters.

Poe is a natural target since she currently tops most of the recent massaged surveys, taking the spot from Binay, who initially was the subject of an unrelentless smear campaign shown on national television almost weekly through the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee hearings which have been continuing for more than a year now.

The LP would have all the time during the campaigns to launch its dirtiest attacks on the opponents of Mar and if the LP may, just may, be telling the truth that it has nothing to do with the questions raised against Poe, then it is Poe and her camp that have been drumming up this DQ cases.

Another argument that is plausible is that Poe may have wisened up to the ways of political maneuverings through her tandem Sen. Chiz Escudero, who she seems to believe, is always underestimated as a political tactician. Escudero is hardly known to play clean.

READ MORE...

The push for the Noy-Bi (Noynoy-Binay) tandem in the 2010 elections that pulled the rug out from under the LP and then vice presidential bet Roxas was credited to Chiz, although in truth, Binay’s share from the Noynoy voters tallied to 20 percent, while Binay’s share from then returning presidential candidate Erap Estrada’s voters was some 70 percent, which makes the Escudero propaganda of making Binay win having no basis.

The current questions raised on Poe not only keeps her in the headlines and the content of media and thus the constant consciousness of the public and these reports also paint her as an underdog heroine not much different from the characters portrayed by the late king of movies Fernando Poe Jr., her adoptive father.

The underdog image pays back huge in Philippine polls, just ask former military rebels Senators Gringo Honasan and Antonio Trillanes IV who are now both gunning for the vice presidency.

The usual suspects for the smear drives against all of the presidential bets is of course Roxas and until the moment, the suspect remains the LP but it can’t be helped to raise speculations on Poe creating a melodrama on her own on the issues being raised against her. After all, she did come up with that melodrama on her foundling story.

An assessment of the current imbroglio involving Poe showed that her tandem with Escudero may think the ploy collects more benefit than harm, but funds are likely to dry up, and questions on her disqualification can bring down her numbers, as it did FPJ’s in 2004.

If disqualified, she may still remain a senator until the SC rules on this issue, but the possibility of Escudero taking her place is remote, since neither Poe nor Escudero filed under a party.

Substitution can only happen if the party that fielded the candidate who withdraws permits another bet to be substituted.


EDITORIAL: Who else but Mar’s LP Written by Tribune Editorial Tuesday, 20 October 2015 00:00


Most of the presidential candidates consider the Liberal Party (LP) as the source of the smear campaigns being waged against them and this is logical since only the dominant party has the money and logistics to initiate such efforts.

Motive also points to the LP since its standard bearer Mar Roxas, struggles in the periodic survey ratings for the presidency.

The LP also employs government functionaries as its own such as Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales doing the party a favor in the plot to stop Vice President Jejomar Binay at all cost from being in the 2016 presidential race.

Recently, Morales issued an order recognizing that Binay can’t be charged as an impeachable officer but it is informing the public anyway that charges will be filed after the expiration of his tenure.

Where in the world of civilized society can one supposed magistrate threaten a sitting government official of a case once he steps down from power? The purpose of such a threat can only be considered political in nature.

Morales also said Binay as vice president is an impeachable officer within the “investigatory power or jurisdiction of the Ombudsman.”

Such investigatory power, however, was not applied to Noynoy with regard to her supposed probe of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) scam which covered only Budget Secretary Butch Abad and Undersecretary Mario Relampagos on the predetermined offenses of technical malversation and administrative charges.

Binay is also the recipient of a venomous demolition campaign that had extended for more than one year and conducted through the chamber of the Senate.

Sen. Grace Poe, whose presidential ambition is considered a major obstacle for the political perpetuity designs of the LP, also receives a severe beating from the Roxas camp.

Poe, who poses as an alternative candidate of Noynoy, has become the chief target for elimination by the LP.
Grace, during the launching of her presidential ambition for next year, said that Mar and the LP can’t claim ownership of “tuwid na daan” (straight path) as if this is fighting for a solution to what ails Filipinos.

READ MORE...

The string of disqualification cases against Poe revolves around provisions in the Constitution requiring a presidential candidate to be a natural born citizen and a resident of the Philippines for at least 10 years immediately preceding an election.

Poe, a foundling left at the Jaro Church in Iloilo before being adopted by Fernando Poe and wife Susan Roces, has repeatedly insisted she is a natural Filipino and that she has fulfilled the 10-year residency requirement when she returned to the Philippines following her father’s death in 2004.

Poe migrated to the US as a college student and became an American citizen.

To satisfy the residency requirement, lawyers said Poe must show a convincing act that will prove her intention to reside in the country on 2006 or prior to that.

Prior to her 2010 renunciation of her American citizenship, Poe continued the use of her American passport up until 2009 for at least 21 times, as Philippine immigration logs would show.

Lawyer Raymond Fortun said her continued use of a US passport could be taken against her.

A precedent was an SC decision disqualifying Rommel Arnado as mayor of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte in the 2010 and 2013 elections.

“Only natural-born Filipinos who owe total and undivided allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines could run for and hold elective public office,” the SC stressed in its ruling.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte also attributed the premature attacks against him claiming that he has throat cancer to dissuade voters from considering him as a presidentiable to the dirty tricks department of the LP.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago exhibited her being street smart in the way of dirty LP politics when she announced her presidential bid on the day she filed her certificate of candidacy.

She knows the LP would immediately be on her back once it sees another threat to its designs.

Or maybe not, since Santiago is hardly a threat unless she starts annoying Mar Roxas, since Miriam is more of a political gadfly.


Moody’s sets Noynoy straight Written by Tribune Editorial Monday, 19 October 2015 00:00


It has been the primary spin of Noynoy through his “daang matuwid” (straight path) catchphrase that all reforms including those involving the fiscal system were all initiated under his term.

The main claim was that fiscal transparency initiated by his Rasputin, Budget Secretary Butch Abad, resulted in making the government more responsive to the needs of Filipinos.

Not so, says international credit watchdog Moody’s Investors Service which said in a recent report on the Philippines that it was during the term of former President Gloria Arroyo, who has been under detention on alleged irregularities for nearly the entire term of Noynoy, without any conviction which the United Nations recently brought up with the government.

Noynoy specifically noted that reforms initiated under his administration had led to the country obtaining investment grade from key credit rating agencies that, aside from Moody’s are Fitch Ratings and Standard and Poor’s.

The Moody’s report, however, acknowledged the Arroyo administration for having started the institutional reforms in the government of which in effect Noynoy has been the beneficiary.

“Many of these changes resulted from a public financial management reform drive that was first mooted during the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the mid-2000s,” Moody’s said.

Among reforms that Moody’s cited as having been initiated during the term of Arroyo were “institutional improvements” including “performance-informed” budgeting that has improved expenditure oversight, various tax administration measures that have boosted compliance, and enhanced procurement processes that have led to cost savings.

Moody’s also called the attention of Noynoy that several measures that would have “institutionalized” reforms were not prioritized during his term such as the Public Financial Management Bill, the pending Tax Incentive Management and Transparency Act, or the revisions to the Build Operate Transfer Law.

Moody’s is now looking at the next administration to cover lost ground.

“Political noise has increased ahead of general elections next year, but we do not expect a reversal in the trend improvement in institutional strength. Reform momentum has been largely sustained, leading to improved assessments of competitiveness and governance,” Moody’s said.

The report echoed worries of economists about underspending in the administration of Noynoy limiting growth prospects.
It said bottlenecks in fiscal expenditure have continued to weigh on growth and could threaten the government’s capacity to meet its goal of increasing infrastructure spending to at least five percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2016.

READ MORE...

Moody’s said fiscal underspending weighed on overall growth earlier in the year, but should provide greater support to the economy in coming quarters.

Moody’s said the government-related components of GDP — comprising government consumption and public construction, which includes infrastructure development — contracted two percent in the first quarter compared to a year ago.

It noted that the resiliency of the economy was coming more from the private sector rather than government policies.

“While the fiscal impulse has been uneven, the private sector’s contribution to growth has been stable largely due to robust household consumption, which has been aided in recent quarters by lower food and fuel prices, and despite the negative contribution from net exports,” it said.

“Private investment — as defined by gross fixed capital formation excluding public construction — has also remained buoyant,” it added.

Moody’s added that remittance inflows have continued to support private consumption despite a slowing of receipts from the Middle East, whose petroleum and service industries rely to a large extent on Filipino labor.

“In the first seven months of the year, Overseas Filipinos’ Cash Remittances grew 4.8 percent year-on-year, slightly below the 5.9 percent increase recorded for the full year in 2014. Over the same period, the growth in remittances from the Middle East, which account for roughly one-fifth of all remittances, slowed to eight percent as compared to a 22.7 percent rise last year,” it said.


Two-faced Morales Written by Tribune Editorial Sunday, 25 October 2015 00:00


Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales’ impartiality is undergoing a litmus test with the various charges filed against government personalities both in the administration and those critical of it.

And thus far, Morales has fared miserably which is genuinely surprising, considering that she is a former member of the Supreme Court.

Her predecessor, Merceditas Gutierrez, was forced out of office through the same yellow pressure applied, which resulted in the impeachment and the eventual ousting of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Gutierrez was accused of being partial to former President Gloria Arroyo. In a way Gutierrez guessed right then, that despite her constitutionally-guaranteed tenure, Noynoy and his yellow cabal would not stop until they get what they wanted as what happened with Corona.

Gutierrez resigned and escaped the yellow persecution which still hounds Corona up to this time, due to his dogged determination to resist Noynoy’s effort to take control of the Judiciary.

Morales may suffer the same fate of Gutierrez with the way she is fawning over Noynoy and the yellow mob that includes the Liberal Party (LP).

Her bias was too evident that the word selective justice was coined to describe it.

Two of the more prominent cases before her, the charges of irregularities in the use of funds in the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II that supposedly benefited Vice President Jejomar Binay make for a study in contrast.

Morales had already recommended criminal cases and perpetual disqualification against Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay in the Makati City case while the DAP case is still in the investigation case and even predicated in an entirely different realm as that of the plunder and graft cases sought by the complainants.

In the DAP case, the Ombudsman said Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and Undersecretary Mario Relampagos are under investigation for “technical malversation” and administrative charges.

The Ombudsman also unusually provided parameters to the probe, saying that it recognized the DAP funds were sourced from pooled savings as “a plan to boost disbursements” and “to jumpstart the implementation” of the government’s expenditure program.

As authorized, the DAP projects were identified based on their “multiplier impact on the economy and infrastructure benefit, beneficial effect on the poor and translation into disbursements,” Morales said.

READ MORE...

The treatment of Noynoy and Binay in the two cases are also poles apart.

The Ombudsman completely absolved Noynoy from any culpability in the DAP by excluding him from the investigation on the pretext that the allegations raised on him based on the tame technical malversation being pursued by investigators “were not impeachable acts.”

The argument is based on the immunity from suit of a president which is not provided under the present Constitution.
Binay is also cloaked with such immunity but, nonetheless, Morales subjected him into investigation and found cause to indict him criminally.

“Being an impeachable officer does not insulate him from investigation,” Morales said referring to Binay.

Morales, however, said the recommended charges on Binay can only be filed after his term ends that raised the question of why she announced a move that is barred legally at the moment.

Binay complained that the basis of the recommendation for his indictment and that of his son was the “ministerial function” of a Makati City mayor of signing documents which is routine.

That same basis should have not freed Noynoy from the investigation of the Ombudsman since Abad himself admitted before a Senate budget hearing that it was Noynoy who has the ultimate signing authority for the release of DAP funds.

Moreover, the fate of those involved in both cases are totally different. The Vice President is threatened with a criminal suit once he steps down and the Makati City mayor permanently dismissed and disqualified perpetually from holding government office.

Noynoy, Abad and Relampagos are all in their same places as if nothing happened.


Question time turns to Miriam
Written by Tribune Editorial Thursday, 22 October 2015 00:00


No sooner than it was considered that surprise presidential candidate Miriam Defensor Santiago would receive the same dose of black propaganda as her earlier declared rivals, questions are being raised on her claim ofher having fully recovered from stage 4 cancer.

The campaign against Santiago also involved her choice of Bongbong Marcos’s vice presidential candidacy, with the yellow mob raising the possibility of another Marcos as president should Santiago succumb to her disease which is illogical, since the presidency and the vice presidency are voted separately and Marcos will make it only if he gets the vote through his own efforts.

The black operations against presidential candidates are believed to be originating from the Liberal Party due to the fact that these are unceasing, which in turn, requires an inexhaustible source of funds and that its LP bet Mar Roxas, is the only candidate impervious to the attacks.

Again it was the Palace which was immediately confronted over the sudden challenge on her health.

Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said the questions on Sen. Miriam Santiago’s health and medical records are better addressed to her.

In an open letter to Santiago, Dr. Sylvia Claudio, director of the University of the Philippines Center for Women’s Studies, urged the presidential aspirant to release her medical records that would prove that she is already healed from stage 4 lung cancer.

Santiago deflected Claudio, saying that forcing her to bare her medical records to the public would be a violation of human rights and that Claudio instead should go to St. Luke’s Global City to secure a copy of her medical records but noted that the doctor must abide by the hospital’s protocol. And that means a dead end, since no doctor will give out any medical record of his patient.

Santiago reminded Claudio about the doctor-patient relationship, where a doctor cannot be forced by the court to reveal the information relating to his patient.

READ MORE...

Santiago lashed back at Claudio saying that the latter was “out to ruin her presidential campaign.”

The question raised on Santiago’s would be as valid as the doubts raised on the citizenship of presidential candidate Grace Poe since the six-year term of the president would be taking its toll on the leader who gets the vote and fitness and qualification would always be a raised on the Palace occupant.

For one it would be cheating voters of the mandate they bestow if the candidate hides vital information about her health.
A more serious implication on the questions raised about Santiago’s health is the possibility that she did not have a serious cancer malady and she made this as her excuse to skip Senate sessions. She has said, more than once, that the Senate is a drag.

Santiago said it was the implication of Claudio’s letter as she said it is incumbent on her (Santiago) to prove that she was ill during those times she claimed she was suffering from the terminal disease.

“I don’t know that woman and her motive to scandalize me in my campaign. What did she mean when she said that I did not have cancer? Why should I absent myself from the Senate for one-and-a-half years? I do not have a record in being a truant.

In fact I was a consistent honor student and I was even given several awards for excellence, meaning for hard work in my profession. So I am not supposed to be on the defensive. She is supposed to present her case first,” the senator said.

Nonetheless the validity of the questions is hard to challenge since it came from doctors from no less than the state university who doubt the sincerity of Santiago about the state of her health either way on whether she is terminally ill or that she is merely feigning her supposedly difficult state of health.

Questions on the state of a presidential bet whether it be on the mental faculty or physical condition is always a valid question in favor of voters.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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