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

FROM MALAYA BUSINESS INSIGHTS

OPINION OF THE DAY By Amado P. Macasaet: THE BINAYS
[What did the country gain from the Binay investigations when he was run through the coals? I see nothing but waste of taxpayers’ money which would otherwise have been spent in deliberating on bills for the national welfare.]


NOVEMBER 4 -By Amado Macasaet The Court of Appeals could have issued a writ of preliminary injunction against the suspension of Makati Mayor Junjun Binay. It could likewise have denied the petition. The two possibilities lost their legal value when the Ombudsman decided to dismiss Binay. It took me time to understand that while the suspension could have been preliminarily lifted by the Court of Appeals, the Office of the Ombudsman may continue the investigation of the Makati Mayor. The injunction by the CA and the investigation are not related to the other. In this regard, the dismissal of the mayor did not usurp the powers of the CA. Consequently, a writ of preliminary injunction, if it was issued, became moot and academic by the act of the Ombudsman dismissing Binay as mayor of Makati. Unlike her predecessor in the time of Gloria Arroyo, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has been acting swiftly on complaints filed with her office. In fact, the law allows her to conduct an investigation without a complaint. She does it on her own. That in lawyers’s parlance is motu propio. Junjun Binay retains the right to appeal his dismissal to a competent court as he did on his suspension when he petitioned the CA for writ of preliminary injunction. The dismissal may not be considered final until a court -- the Supreme Court for that matter -- sustains the decision of dismissal. The six-month suspension is preventive. It was resorted to by the Ombudsman to prevent Junjun Binay and those similarly situated from further committing acts the Ombudsman believes violates the law. In the period of preventive suspension nothing can stop the Office of the Ombudsman from further proceeding with the investigation. The office must have found or discovered strong evidence to justify dismissal from the service of the Makati Mayor. Consequently, the Court of Appeals ruled the petition for writ of preliminary injunction lost is legal value. The CA had to declare the issue before it as moot and academic. All of that sits with law. It is unfortunate that Vice President Jejomar Binay was earlier investigated by the Blue Ribbon Committee for alleged misdeeds allegedly committed when he was mayor of the country’s richest city. The inquiry is heavily tainted with politics and vengeance coming as it did at a time when Binay had the highest trust and acceptability rating. The investigation was initiated by Ernesto Mercado, Binay’s former vice mayor. It is known all over Makati Mercado tried to serve Binay in the best way he could believing that the mayor would make good his word that he would support Mercado as candidate for mayor since Binay has served the full term of nine years by winning three consecutive three-year terms. Binay went back on his word. His son ran for mayor instead of Mercado. Mercado ran just the same. He lost to another Binay. I am narrating all these to point up the fact or possibility that if Jejomar Binay, who was elected Vice President, had supported the candidacy of Mercado his former vice mayor would not denounce him in the Blue Ribbon sub-Committee of the Senate. READ MORE...

ALSO  By Ellen Tordesillas: TAKE AN APEC VACATION


NOVEMBER 4 -By Ellen Tordesillas UNLESS you are a participant or in the support staff of the coming summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, this is the best time to go on vacation. Anywhere. Just leave Metro Manila. There will be 21 Leaders who will be coming for the Nov. 18 and 19 meeting to be held at the Philippine International Convention Center on Roxas Boulevard. U.S. President Obama will be here. So are China’s Xi Jinping (he has not said he won’t attend) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Canada’s new-elected Prime Minister, the young and very-good looking Justin Trudeau will also be coming. APEC is an organization of 21 Economies. Members are not referred to as Countries because Hongkong, which is part of China is a member. So is Taiwan, which considers itself independent but China considers its province. APEC members are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, and Hong Kong, Indonesia; Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru; Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei or Taiwan, Thailand, United States , and Viet Nam. The Leaders’ summit will be preceded by the Foreign Ministers meeting and the private sector APEC Business Advisory Council. Imagine the number of people who will be coming including the security personnel and the members of media who will be covering the annual summit. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific have canceled numerous flights from Nov. 16 to 21 as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport will be closed during the arrival and departures of each of the 21 Leaders. So if you are going on APEC vacation, you have to leave Nov. 15 and come back Nov 22. Or better yet go to places accessible by land transport: Tagaytay, Batangas, Bataan, Albay, Ilocos, etc. etc. Pacific Strategies and Assessments (PSA), a risk consultancy group, issued an advisory to its clients. With their permission, we are sharing to the public a part of their advisory. “Sources at the Philippine National Police (PNP) also note that it is possible that cell phone communications could be interrupted at times in the vicinity of the PICC and other APEC venues – as was the case during the Pope’s visit. “Most of the areas adjacent to the PICC in Pasay City will not be accessible to private cars or individuals that do not have the proper credentials. The southbound lanes of Roxas Boulevard will be closed entirely to private vehicles, from the airport to Luneta Park, from midnight on November 16, when world leaders start to arrive, until their departure on November 20. “The heightened security will virtually shut down major thoroughfares across Metro Manila. In an effort to reduce congestion, the national government declared November 18 and 19 special non-working days in the National Capital Region, including schools, businesses and government offices. Public schools and government offices will also be closed on November 17 and 20, though some private schools and businesses may remain open. READ MORE...

ALSO Editorial: PRESIDENT AQUINO VS. THE UN AND WB


NOVEMBER 5 -SOON-TO-BE ex-President Noynoy Aquino, whose administration has been already marked as incompetent, ineffective, and corrupt, seems to be acting strangely with just seven months to go before he bows out of his failed presidency in June 2016. After defying the United Nations over its ruling that the continued detention of his predecessor President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is illegal under the international human rights law, this time Aquino is challenging the World Bank’s unflattering report on the Philippines under his regime. The WB report “ranked the Philippines 95th in ease of doing business, 161st in starting business, 124th in dealing with construction permits, 108th in registering property, 104th in giving credit, 127th in paying taxes, 124th in enforcing contracts, 65th in trading across borders, and 50th in resolving insolvency.” The Philippine rankings by the WB report are “a disgrace and put a lie to the claims of Daang Matuwid” of President Aquino, as the BizNews Asia magazine’s cover story so bluntly put it. Actually, the report shocked Aquino and his officials who expected an upgrade of the country’s position from 97th to 65th in the 2016 report, to show the world that this country, under the Aquino regime, is an Asian economic miracle. Alas, this was contradicted by the rankings and findings of the World Bank report. Indeed, the new WB report that portrayed the Philippines as taking major slide in the rankings among the world’s economies, was embarrassing for Aquino’s administration, which is hosting this November the summit leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, which will be attended by the leaders of the world’s biggest and dynamic economies in the region. This time, President Aquino can’t blame anyone else but himself for his failure to prove that the Philippines is the “new and rising star” in the Asia-Pacific region. *** Now that the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague has ruled that it has jurisdiction over the case of the Republic of the Philippines vs. The People’s Republic of China, the international tribunal will now consider the “merits” of the Philippines’ territorial claims in the South China Sea, especially the West Philippine Sea. READ MORE...

ALSO  By Amado P. Macasaet: 'TANIM-BALA' IS SYNDICATED


NOVEMBER 6 -By Amado P. Macasaet
It now appears the “tanim-bala” happening in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport is done by a syndicate intended to embarrass President Aquino with his peers in the coming APEC meeting. What appears to be a chiseling effort on leaving or departing OFWs has not stopped. Another such incident happened on Wednesday, Nov. 4. Jose Angel Honrado, general manager of the NAIA, appears unmoved. He acts like he would not resign. President Aquino does not seem he has a mind to yield to the calls of lawmakers for Honrado’s head. I have heard arguments Honrado must be kept until the APEC meeting for what I believe is the stupid reason of the risks or dangers of appointing a new general manager who may not be as familiar as Honrado with airport security. Protecting passengers is part of Honrado’s security job. The tanim-bala is a security breach the President does not want to do much about except continuing investigation of the suspects. The tanim-bala borders on national security in the sense that it cannot be stopped. The image of the Philippines has been badly tarnished. Sadly, the President does not want to hold Honrado solely liable for the national shame. Honrado is incapable of securing the airport as shown by his inability to stop the airport policemen from planting bullets on the luggage of arriving and departing OFWs. Somebody in the intelligence community, in the police force, in the Armed Forces and in National Bureau of Investigation should be more capable than Honrado. In fact, the President should take a direct hand by appointing a ranking member of the Presidential Security Group to replace Honrado. If Honrado had a full awareness of his responsibilities, he might try ordering the entire security police force to go on leave or go back to their mother units after he gets help from officers in replacing the present crop with men of reasonable level of self-respect, honor and integrity. They are virtues hardly found in one man. But if their replacements had one of these three virtues, the act of shaming the President may be expected to stop. It is likely that a committee in either the House of Representatives or the Senate will call for an investigation. The effort will prolong the “agony” in the sense that Congress does not have the authority to a state worker. The airport policemen are employees of the state. The congressional investigation will complete the inquiry by recommending prosecution of those the lawmakers feel should be brought to court. Recommendation is not a punitive act. In fact, it is seldom recognized by the Department of Justice as proven by the fact that hardly anybody recommended for prosecution was ever tried. Why go that far and prolong the process? An investigation is underway. But the commission of the crime has not stopped. This is one of several reasons the unhappy shameful events border on national security. The responsibility of stopping this shameful series of events has fallen squarely on the shoulders of the President because , Honrado has failed him. Yet he wants to keep him. To secure the APEC meeting? Give me another reason maybe including the fact that a man so close to the President’s heart can only make mistakes but is never wrong. Is Honrado one of such close friends? READ MORE...

ALSO Editorial: COMELEC ON A SERVICE BINGE


NOVEMBER 6 -Comelec Boss Bautista THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) is well on the way to achieving an organized and credible nationwide elections in 2016. And this may be attributed to the transparent, no-nonsense management style of Comelec, particularly its new chairman, Andres Bautista. Under Bautista’s leadership, the poll body has conducted with dispatch the registration of new voters and those with registration infirmities. It has implemented the tedious taking of biometrics data from each and every potential voter, even soliciting the assistance of private malls to facilitate the process. Bautista’s rapport with the trimedia is also worthy of mention. With his tight schedules for meetings and office work, Bautista manages to set aside at least an hour a day talking with radio broadcasters, print reporters, and even guesting in media breakfast forums. All these he does to relay to the public the Comelec’s procedures, guidelines, activities and decisions, especially in connection with the candidacies of prospective leaders. It is Bautista’s luck that he comes to the Comelec at a time when information technology is already well developed in the Philippines, or at least in all urban areas of the country. He can then use the Internet, computerization and IT to the full advantage of the poll body and the public. Full automation of elections will again be the hallmark of the political exercise next year. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

THE BINAYS By Amado P. Macasaet


Amado Macasaet

MANILA, NOVEMBER 9, 2015 (MALAYA) November 04, 2015 The Court of Appeals could have issued a writ of preliminary injunction against the suspension of Makati Mayor Junjun Binay. It could likewise have denied the petition.

The two possibilities lost their legal value when the Ombudsman decided to dismiss Binay.

It took me time to understand that while the suspension could have been preliminarily lifted by the Court of Appeals, the Office of the Ombudsman may continue the investigation of the Makati Mayor. The injunction by the CA and the investigation are not related to the other.

In this regard, the dismissal of the mayor did not usurp the powers of the CA. Consequently, a writ of preliminary injunction, if it was issued, became moot and academic by the act of the Ombudsman dismissing Binay as mayor of Makati.

Unlike her predecessor in the time of Gloria Arroyo, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has been acting swiftly on complaints filed with her office. In fact, the law allows her to conduct an investigation without a complaint. She does it on her own.

That in lawyers’s parlance is motu propio.

Junjun Binay retains the right to appeal his dismissal to a competent court as he did on his suspension when he petitioned the CA for writ of preliminary injunction. The dismissal may not be considered final until a court -- the Supreme Court for that matter -- sustains the decision of dismissal.

The six-month suspension is preventive. It was resorted to by the Ombudsman to prevent Junjun Binay and those similarly situated from further committing acts the Ombudsman believes violates the law. In the period of preventive suspension nothing can stop the Office of the Ombudsman from further proceeding with the investigation.

The office must have found or discovered strong evidence to justify dismissal from the service of the Makati Mayor. Consequently, the Court of Appeals ruled the petition for writ of preliminary injunction lost is legal value. The CA had to declare the issue before it as moot and academic. All of that sits with law.

It is unfortunate that Vice President Jejomar Binay was earlier investigated by the Blue Ribbon Committee for alleged misdeeds allegedly committed when he was mayor of the country’s richest city. The inquiry is heavily tainted with politics and vengeance coming as it did at a time when Binay had the highest trust and acceptability rating.

The investigation was initiated by Ernesto Mercado, Binay’s former vice mayor. It is known all over Makati Mercado tried to serve Binay in the best way he could believing that the mayor would make good his word that he would support Mercado as candidate for mayor since Binay has served the full term of nine years by winning three consecutive three-year terms.

Binay went back on his word. His son ran for mayor instead of Mercado. Mercado ran just the same. He lost to another Binay. I am narrating all these to point up the fact or possibility that if Jejomar Binay, who was elected Vice President, had supported the candidacy of Mercado his former vice mayor would not denounce him in the Blue Ribbon sub-Committee of the Senate.

READ MORE...

Mercado admitted before the Senate Committee he accepted benefits from Binay when he was serving him as vice mayor. Therefore, he would not have denounced Binay as corrupt if he had become Makati mayor as promised by Binay. Therefore, there would have been two “thieves” in Makati. Binay and Mercado if the latter had been elected as mayor.

Political vengeance was the sole motive of Mercado in denouncing Binay as corrupt. He successfully disguised the act with the claim he had a duty to help expose corruption. The members of the Blue Ribbon Committee agreed. But they too did not exactly have public good as motive for investigation. They found an opportunity to promote themselves talking their heads off before TV cameras in grilling witnesses mostly against Binay.

What did the country gain from the Binay investigations when he was run through the coals? I see nothing but waste of taxpayers’ money which would otherwise have been spent in deliberating on bills for the national welfare.

The rating of Binay went down to third from the top. His political enemies believe they put Binay out of their way. We will decide his fate. Not them.

The case of his son Junjun is completely another matter. Coming as it did close to election time, the suspension and dismissal also had political undertones but I would not dare say Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales lent her hand to it. She just did her job. She placed other heads on the chopping block doing that job.


TAKE AN APEC VACATION By Ellen Tordesillas November 04, 2015


By Ellen Tordesillas

UNLESS you are a participant or in the support staff of the coming summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, this is the best time to go on vacation. Anywhere. Just leave Metro Manila.

There will be 21 Leaders who will be coming for the Nov. 18 and 19 meeting to be held at the Philippine International Convention Center on Roxas Boulevard. U.S. President Obama will be here. So are China’s Xi Jinping (he has not said he won’t attend) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Canada’s new-elected Prime Minister, the young and very-good looking Justin Trudeau will also be coming.

APEC is an organization of 21 Economies. Members are not referred to as Countries because Hongkong, which is part of China is a member. So is Taiwan, which considers itself independent but China considers its province.

APEC members are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, and Hong Kong, Indonesia; Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru; Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei or Taiwan, Thailand, United States , and Viet Nam.

The Leaders’ summit will be preceded by the Foreign Ministers meeting and the private sector APEC Business Advisory Council.

Imagine the number of people who will be coming including the security personnel and the members of media who will be covering the annual summit.

Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific have canceled numerous flights from Nov. 16 to 21 as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport will be closed during the arrival and departures of each of the 21 Leaders. So if you are going on APEC vacation, you have to leave Nov. 15 and come back Nov 22.

Or better yet go to places accessible by land transport: Tagaytay, Batangas, Bataan, Albay, Ilocos, etc. etc.

Pacific Strategies and Assessments (PSA), a risk consultancy group, issued an advisory to its clients. With their permission, we are sharing to the public a part of their advisory.

“Sources at the Philippine National Police (PNP) also note that it is possible that cell phone communications could be interrupted at times in the vicinity of the PICC and other APEC venues – as was the case during the Pope’s visit.

“Most of the areas adjacent to the PICC in Pasay City will not be accessible to private cars or individuals that do not have the proper credentials. The southbound lanes of Roxas Boulevard will be closed entirely to private vehicles, from the airport to Luneta Park, from midnight on November 16, when world leaders start to arrive, until their departure on November 20.

“The heightened security will virtually shut down major thoroughfares across Metro Manila. In an effort to reduce congestion, the national government declared November 18 and 19 special non-working days in the National Capital Region, including schools, businesses and government offices. Public schools and government offices will also be closed on November 17 and 20, though some private schools and businesses may remain open.

READ MORE...

“The Philippine government has advised residents to take advantage of the holiday and head out of town if possible. Metro Manila’s major exit points, including the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), are expected to be heavily congested in the days leading up to the event. PSA notes that clients should expect a high rate of absenteeism from among the local workforce.

“Aside from the closure of Roxas Blvd, travelers, residents and businesses can expect widespread disruption and delays along all major thoroughfares and at all major transportation hubs across Metro Manila. Most of the security measures and changes in traffic patterns will be concentrated in the cities of Pasay, Parañaque and Manila.

“From November 15-20, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will implement a “stop-and-go” scheme for official motorcades, which essentially means that all traffic will come to a halt until the VIPs pass. This scheme applies to parts of EDSA, Roxas Blvd, Skyway and SLEX, as well as roads around Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“The MMDA has announced the following traffic schemes for the week of the event:

“The innermost lanes of EDSA in each direction – two northbound and two southbound – will be reserved for APEC delegates. These APEC lanes extend from Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City to the Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

“The southbound lane of Roxas Boulevard will also be reserved for APEC dignitaries, while one of the northbound lanes will become a two-way thoroughfare for other motorists.

“Roads surrounding PICC will be closed, including Bukaneg St, Vicente Sotto St., Buendia Ext, M. Jalandoni St. and J.W. Diokno Blvd Bridge.

“Expect congestion on roads surrounding major hotels in Manila, Pasay City, Makati and Bonifacio Global City.”

What’s in this for Filipinos and why we should cooperate to make the Philippines’ hosting of 2015 APEC successful?

Started in 1989, APEC’s primary goal is to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Leaders will discuss ways to fully realize APEC’s vision of united, dynamic and harmonious Asia-Pacific community.

They hope to achieve the vision “by championing free and open trade and investment, promoting and accelerating regional economic integration, encouraging economic and technical cooperation, enhancing human security, and facilitating a favorable and sustainable business environment.“


PRESIDENT AQUINO VS. THE UN AND WB November 05, 2015

SOON-TO-BE ex-President Noynoy Aquino, whose administration has been already marked as incompetent, ineffective, and corrupt, seems to be acting strangely with just seven months to go before he bows out of his failed presidency in June 2016.

After defying the United Nations over its ruling that the continued detention of his predecessor President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is illegal under the international human rights law, this time Aquino is challenging the World Bank’s unflattering report on the Philippines under his regime.

The WB report “ranked the Philippines 95th in ease of doing business, 161st in starting business, 124th in dealing with construction permits, 108th in registering property, 104th in giving credit, 127th in paying taxes, 124th in enforcing contracts, 65th in trading across borders, and 50th in resolving insolvency.”

The Philippine rankings by the WB report are “a disgrace and put a lie to the claims of Daang Matuwid” of President Aquino, as the BizNews Asia magazine’s cover story so bluntly put it.

Actually, the report shocked Aquino and his officials who expected an upgrade of the country’s position from 97th to 65th in the 2016 report, to show the world that this country, under the Aquino regime, is an Asian economic miracle. Alas, this was contradicted by the rankings and findings of the World Bank report.

Indeed, the new WB report that portrayed the Philippines as taking major slide in the rankings among the world’s economies, was embarrassing for Aquino’s administration, which is hosting this November the summit leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, which will be attended by the leaders of the world’s biggest and dynamic economies in the region.

This time, President Aquino can’t blame anyone else but himself for his failure to prove that the Philippines is the “new and rising star” in the Asia-Pacific region.

***

Now that the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague has ruled that it has jurisdiction over the case of the Republic of the Philippines vs. The People’s Republic of China, the international tribunal will now consider the “merits” of the Philippines’ territorial claims in the South China Sea, especially the West Philippine Sea.

READ MORE...

This time the tribunal will next decide four primary questions raised by the Philippines in its dispute with China. First, the status of Beijing’s so-called “nine-dash line” claim in the South China Sea, which the Philippines considered as an “excessive maritime claim and not in line with the entitlements for coastal states under the UNCLOS.

Second, the Philippines argued that China’s occupation of various features in the Spratley Islands is illegal, and that “this is based on illegitimate claims to title or sovereignty over completely submerged areas, or historic rights to living and non-living natural resources, including control of maritime navigation.” ; third, that China is illegally exploiting natural resources within areas that would fall under the Philippines’ Exclusive economic Zone (EEZ) under UNCLOS; and fourth, that China has interfered with the Philippines ability to freely navigate its own EEZ.

The Hague tribunal can rule for or against the Philippines on specific claims and does not have to rule on the case as a single question. It also noted that the jurisdictional issue is not fully resolved on all of the Philippines’s requests. That is why the international court has requested the Philippines to clarify and submit evidence in support of its claims against China.

Although China has refused to formally participate in the court’s proceedings, it still issued a position paper on the issue of jurisdiction, and this was accepted by the arbitration court as a formal submission by China.

The Hague tribunal is expected to issue its final decision on the merits of the Philippines’ case against China sometime in 2016.

***

Lately, we have been reading the views of political observers, pundits and scholars about the enduring power of families in politics and business in the forthcoming 2016 national elections. They have warned against the perils of dynastic succession in Philippine politics.

As a democracy, the Philippines ought presumably to be able to dispense with dynastic families, and yet next year’s presidential election could very well become a family affair, such as the presence of members of Aquino and Cojuangco family, Binay family, Roxas family, Marcos family, and many, many other political families from Batanes to the Visayan islands, Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago.

Alas, these political families are here to stay. They have a powerful mixture of brand names and personal connections. They have also prospered from big social and economic shifts. However, family power has its dark side, especially where politics and business are entwined in an exclusive nexus of money and influence.

The question is how to ensure that members of such political families are a force for good!

***

Quote of the Day: “The new mass media – including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, cell phones and other social media, television and radio networks – can play a major role in preventing manipulation of the results of the 2016 presidential election by disseminating evidence of abuses by the ruling political regime.” – Anon.


TANIM-BALA IS SYNDICATED By Amado P. Macasaet November 06, 2015


By Amado P. Macasaet

It now appears the “tanim-bala” happening in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport is done by a syndicate intended to embarrass President Aquino with his peers in the coming APEC meeting. What appears to be a chiseling effort on leaving or departing OFWs has not stopped.

Another such incident happened on Wednesday, Nov. 4. Jose Angel Honrado, general manager of the NAIA, appears unmoved. He acts like he would not resign. President Aquino does not seem he has a mind to yield to the calls of lawmakers for Honrado’s head.

I have heard arguments Honrado must be kept until the APEC meeting for what I believe is the stupid reason of the risks or dangers of appointing a new general manager who may not be as familiar as Honrado with airport security.

Protecting passengers is part of Honrado’s security job. The tanim-bala is a security breach the President does not want to do much about except continuing investigation of the suspects.

The tanim-bala borders on national security in the sense that it cannot be stopped. The image of the Philippines has been badly tarnished. Sadly, the President does not want to hold Honrado solely liable for the national shame.

Honrado is incapable of securing the airport as shown by his inability to stop the airport policemen from planting bullets on the luggage of arriving and departing OFWs. Somebody in the intelligence community, in the police force, in the Armed Forces and in National Bureau of Investigation should be more capable than Honrado.

In fact, the President should take a direct hand by appointing a ranking member of the Presidential Security Group to replace Honrado. If Honrado had a full awareness of his responsibilities, he might try ordering the entire security police force to go on leave or go back to their mother units after he gets help from officers in replacing the present crop with men of reasonable level of self-respect, honor and integrity. They are virtues hardly found in one man. But if their replacements had one of these three virtues, the act of shaming the President may be expected to stop.

It is likely that a committee in either the House of Representatives or the Senate will call for an investigation. The effort will prolong the “agony” in the sense that Congress does not have the authority to a state worker. The airport policemen are employees of the state. The congressional investigation will complete the inquiry by recommending prosecution of those the lawmakers feel should be brought to court. Recommendation is not a punitive act. In fact, it is seldom recognized by the Department of Justice as proven by the fact that hardly anybody recommended for prosecution was ever tried.

Why go that far and prolong the process? An investigation is underway. But the commission of the crime has not stopped. This is one of several reasons the unhappy shameful events border on national security.

The responsibility of stopping this shameful series of events has fallen squarely on the shoulders of the President because , Honrado has failed him. Yet he wants to keep him. To secure the APEC meeting? Give me another reason maybe including the fact that a man so close to the President’s heart can only make mistakes but is never wrong. Is Honrado one of such close friends?

READ MORE...

To us the matter of securing the persons of the heads of state or ranking officials who will attend the APEC is a simple matter of providing maximum security. This is better assigned to the Presidential Security Group,

The President may not have given that simple idea a simple thought. He does not seem to have a healthy appreciation of the perniciousness of the problem. He does not seem to realize he is the biggest victim.

Who knows that can happen next? It is entirely possible foreigners – tourists and businessmen alike – can be the next victims of the tanim-bala. Should this happen, the suspicion the incident is managed at the top by a syndicate becomes credible.

But the President does not want to sack Honrado and replace him even if doing so would stop the continuing “drama” although the curtains are supposed to have been hauled down. The show is over, supposedly. The fat lady has sung.

Based on continuing events, the shame will be with us – with the President specifically -- for much longer than we suspect.

Sacking Honrado will impress our guests in the APEC that President Aquino acts swiftly against his own people. For that reason alone, Honrado should be sacked.

If it is necessary to go back as far as the investigators want to, it is absolutely necessary to identify the people responsible for the assignment to the airport of the “mulcting” policemen. The money they fleeced is no longer the issue. We may yet discover the inner dark plot behind what appears to be a simple racket that can be stopped with the preventive suspension of airport policemen who are unable to counter the evidence against them.

The matter sounds that simple to me. It sounds so complicated to the President. It is precisely for that complication that involves his person that Honrado must be sacked.


COMELEC ON A SERVICE BINGE November 06, 2015


Comelec Boss Bautista

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) is well on the way to achieving an organized and credible nationwide elections in 2016. And this may be attributed to the transparent, no-nonsense management style of Comelec, particularly its new chairman, Andres Bautista.

Under Bautista’s leadership, the poll body has conducted with dispatch the registration of new voters and those with registration infirmities. It has implemented the tedious taking of biometrics data from each and every potential voter, even soliciting the assistance of private malls to facilitate the process.

Bautista’s rapport with the trimedia is also worthy of mention. With his tight schedules for meetings and office work, Bautista manages to set aside at least an hour a day talking with radio broadcasters, print reporters, and even guesting in media breakfast forums. All these he does to relay to the public the Comelec’s procedures, guidelines, activities and decisions, especially in connection with the candidacies of prospective leaders.

It is Bautista’s luck that he comes to the Comelec at a time when information technology is already well developed in the Philippines, or at least in all urban areas of the country.

He can then use the Internet, computerization and IT to the full advantage of the poll body and the public. Full automation of elections will again be the hallmark of the political exercise next year.

READ MORE...

One of the poll body’s IT initiatives this election is the creation of a dedicated precinct portal that will enable voters to check their names, precinct numbers, and other voting details right at their homes or offices, before going to the voting centers.

This can be done even after the registration period, and before the final list of voters is available on line. Therefore, a voter who has some problems to fix in his or her registration is afforded the chance to make these corrections, with the help of the election officers concerned.

The poll body’s precinct finder feature in its website has been most helpful for most voters. But the precinct portal which will be established a couple of days from now will even be better and updated, making it easier for the voters to check their names. The Comelec will even provide computer kiosks in malls and similar places as assistance to voters seeking information.

What Bautista and his colleagues in the en banc are doing is to render the right and prompt service to the people now that preparations for the elections are under way. This is kind of laudable, considering the inefficiency and lack of concern being displayed by other government officials in the the matter of rendering service to the public -- with the DOTC as the prime example.

We hope the Comelec en banc will continue with even more better ideas to enhance and facilitate the voting process, and even the elections in general. The people are looking up to it help them well in choosing the true and deserving leaders that will govern the nation in the next couple of years.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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