PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE: Since 1997 © Copyright (PHNO) http://newsflash.org


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


FROM THE MANILA TIMES

EDITORIAL MEDAL OF VALOR: ONLY NOY AQUINO COULD TURN AN AWARD INTO A CHEAP STUNT


JANUARY 24 -AT long last, the sacrifice of the 44 brave men of the Special Action Force massacred precisely one year ago today is to be formally recognized. Malacañang has announced that President BS Aquino 3rd will personally confer the Medal of Valor on two of the troopers, Chief Inspector Gednat G. Tabdi and PO2 Romeo C. Cempron, while the remaining 42 men will all be awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. The posthumous awards are to be made at a ceremony at Camp Crame today. The awards are long overdue, having been recommended by the National Police Commission shortly after the Mamasapano Massacre last year, and they are more than deserved. We hope that their families will find some small measure of comfort in knowing that the nation honors and thanks their loved ones for their service. Whether or not they take any comfort in that recognition being handed down now, after he specifically declined to do so on at least one occasion last year, is a choice each of the families will have to make on their own. We would certainly empathize, however, if any of them chose to regard the timing and the personality behind the awarding ceremony as a bit of an insult as President Aquino increasingly appears to be the chief culprit in the SAF 44’s avoidable slaughter. Although the fact that today, January 25, is the first anniversary of the tragedy – which gives Aquino a plausible excuse for conducting the award ceremony now – it can hardly be a coincidence that the award was announced immediately after the prospect of reopening hearings on the Mamasapano debacle was raised, particularly after Senator Juan Ponce Enrile disclosed that he has information that would almost certainly put Aquino in a very uncomfortable position. READ MORE, PLUS READERS' RESPONSES...

ALSO: EDITORIAL - Our economy on edge
[Another factor that is somewhat alarming is the steady deceleration of the full-year GDP growth rate: From 7.2 percent in 2013, growth slipped to 6.1 percent in 2014, to just 5.8 percent for the full year 2015. The economy is still growing, but it is growing at a progressively slower rate – which, coincidentally, is exactly the same sort of problem that is being experienced by China’s economy, and which is obviously something that is regarded by the rest of the world as a serious economic problem.]


JANUARY 28 -THE announcement yesterday that the country’s GDP grew by 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter came as a pleasant surprise, and could be considered generally good news. The consensus of most analysts before the data were released was that growth in the last quarter would be rather modest, about 5.8 percent; the actual results exceeded expectations, and thus, are a positive outcome. Nevertheless, there are definite signs that our economy, while certainly not in bad shape, at least in the context in which national economies are compared with one another, is facing risks that are starting to have a negative impact. And in this sense, the government – both the one that we must still tolerate for another five months, and the one that will replace it – should be reminded that in the wake of the positive Q4 result, a strategy to deal with rapidly dimming economic prospects is far more important than a strategy to broadcast self-congratulations for having “one of the best economies in Asia.” The first indicator that should cause some concern is the modest quarter-to-quarter increase in the growth rate from the third quarter of last year to the fourth quarter. In a typical year, the difference, thanks to holiday spending, is usually close to one percent, if not more (the Q3-to-Q4 acceleration was 1.1 percent in 2014). For 2015, however, the gain was a paltry 0.2 percent (6.3 percent versus 6.1 percent in the third quarter). That indicates muted economic activity. Another factor that is somewhat alarming is the steady deceleration of the full-year GDP growth rate: From 7.2 percent in 2013, growth slipped to 6.1 percent in 2014, to just 5.8 percent for the full year 2015. The economy is still growing, but it is growing at a progressively slower rate – which, coincidentally, is exactly the same sort of problem that is being experienced by China’s economy, and which is obviously something that is regarded by the rest of the world as a serious economic problem. READ MORE...


ALSO: Lifting the ‘pain that cannot forget’ -Bongbong's privilege speech


JANUARY 26 -SENATOR BONGBONG MARCOS
[Privilege Speech at the Philippine Senate 26 January 2016] Mr. President,my esteemed colleagues:I ASKED for the privilege of addressing the chamber today, in order to share with you and with our people a few thoughts about the national tragedy whose anniversary the nation marked yesterday, and which will again be the subject of inquiry in the Senate tomorrow. It seems hard to fathom that a full year has already passed since that Sunday morning in January last year, when each of us, in our respective ways, was wakened to learn of a violent incident that was unfolding in the town of Mamasapano, Maguindanao.That day remains vivid in my mind because I still remember what I instinctively tried to do upon hearing the news. My first instinct at the time was, as I am sure it was for most of us, to get updated news, and then to look for Mamasapano in a map of Mindanao. Then I rang up friends in government and the police and the military, who might be able to tell me something about what was happening.Later, we got the second shock that for a fight that started at dawn, by mid-morning, fighting in the area was still going on.And then came the really distressing news that even by noon and way past noon, the exchange of fire was still continuing.In the end, the last of our surviving policemen rejoined his comrades, having fought his way back, on the evening of the following Monday.It was in those circumstances that we learned, hour-by-hour what a great and terrible tragedy our people and our nation had sustained in Mamasapano.Although a year has passed since that awful day, we Filipinos today are still grieve, still weep together over Mamasapano in a spirit of mourning and remembrance. The nation still mourns – not just the widows and the orphans, but all our people, because the slain commandos and civilians did not come from just one section of our country, but from all sections, without regard to geography, color or creed.In words that describe how many of us feel, the Greek dramatist Aeschylus wrote: “Even in our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.” In these difficult times in our country, may we achieve that wisdom and receive that grace.Tomorrow, it falls on us here at the Senate to review and examine the circumstances and the reasons why Mamasapano happened the way it did, and why so many of our best and brightest men in uniform were brought down the way they did.The purpose of the inquiry is not principally to find fault, but to gain understanding of the tragedy so that justice can be served and it will not be reenacted in our public life. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Erwin Tulfo -‘Blacklisted’ contractor awarded with P134-M project


JANUARY 28 -by ERWIN TULFO Further investigation of reports of alleged irregularities in transactions at the Region 12 office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Koronadal City showed that even notorious contractors get awarded with juicy projects. After I initially revealed in this column on Monday the “bizzare” conduct of biddings at that regional office, my report was confirmed by well-placed sources. I was even provided with information on the questionable awarding of contract to one contractor, the Saranggani Rock Mixer owned by one Catalina “Baby” Joven, who won last January 19 bidding for the road widening of General Santos Highway worth P134 million. It turned out that Joven’s construction company has had two “slippages” or negative reports, one in Cotabato City and one in Davao del Sur, in their previous road projects but were still allowed by Regional 12 Director Reynaldo Tamayo and Bids and Awards Committee Chairman Basir Ibrahim. Contractors with slippage or negative reports are supposed to be blacklisted and banned from participating in DPWH biddings. According to my informants, Ibrahim allowed certain contractors he favors to peek into the bids submitted by other contractors, enabling them to change their offered prices to lower bids. This is literally rigged bidding. Such is what allegedly took place last January 19 in the case of the P134-million road widening project on Gensan Highway, which is clearly a violation of Republic Act 9184 (Government Procurement Act). I say this project should be subjected to rebidding also for the reason that it was unduly awarded to Joven’s Saranggani Rock Mixer, a contractor with negative reports. “Saan ka nakakita nang bidding na nasisilip ng ibang kontratista ang bid mo tapos babaguhin nila yung bid nila ng mas mababa? Bakit ganyan ang ipinatutupad na proseso?” one contractor told me. My sources also said the Bids and Awards Committee proceeded with the recent bidding without the presence of an auditor from the Commission on Audit (COA). READ MORE...

ALSO: EDITORIAL - A bribe by any other name


JANUARY 26 -SA DAANG MATUWID, ASENSONG WALANG PATID. The new LP logo. SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA
THE Liberal Party of President BS Aquino 3rd is playing our whole nation of Filipinos for fools. This paper recently reported that the LP has been working to boost the floundering campaign of Aquino’s designated successor Mar Roxas by promising municipal and city mayors all over our country P100 million each in the form of government projects in exchange for their support for the party’s otherwise thoroughly unappealing candidate. After first denying that such a thing was happening, on Monday Malacañang confirmed the offer was in fact made, but protested that it was innocently done: Roxas was, both Presidential Mouthpiece Sonny Coloma and Budget Secretary Butch Abad said, merely assuring the local government leaders that Roxas would, if elected, “demonstrate his commitment to meaningful development” by using the “Bottom-Up Budgeting” program. In the wake of the scandal that erupted last year after Aquino and his sly budget manager were caught manipulating the national budget through the so-called “disbursement acceleration program” (DAP)—which the Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional—the “Bottom-Up Budgeting” program was hastily conceived as a substitute and pitched to the public as a “clean” program that eliminated the DAP and the “pork barrel” that is doled out to congressmen and senators. Instead of passing through congressional representatives, local government units would now deal directly with government agencies, which, or so the Aquino regime tried to convince everyone, would put a stop to development budget funds being used for political gain. Obviously, all the “new and improved” program has done is exactly what everyone assumed it would when it was first conceived, which is to concentrate the resources for political use in the hands of the President. Under the pork barrel system, deeply flawed though it was, there was at least a hint of non-partisanship in that each legislator was supposed to receive an equal amount (P50 million per congressman, and P200 million per senator), regardless of political affiliation. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

MEDAL OF VALOR: Only Aquino could turn an award into a cheap stunt

MANILA, FEBRUARY 1, 2016 (MANILA TIMES) January 24, 2016 9:48 pm - AT long last, the sacrifice of the 44 brave men of the Special Action Force massacred precisely one year ago today is to be formally recognized.

Malacañang has announced that President BS Aquino 3rd will personally confer the Medal of Valor on two of the troopers, Chief Inspector Gednat G. Tabdi and PO2 Romeo C. Cempron, while the remaining 42 men will all be awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

The posthumous awards are to be made at a ceremony at Camp Crame today.

The awards are long overdue, having been recommended by the National Police Commission shortly after the Mamasapano Massacre last year, and they are more than deserved. We hope that their families will find some small measure of comfort in knowing that the nation honors and thanks their loved ones for their service.

Whether or not they take any comfort in that recognition being handed down now, after he specifically declined to do so on at least one occasion last year, is a choice each of the families will have to make on their own. We would certainly empathize, however, if any of them chose to regard the timing and the personality behind the awarding ceremony as a bit of an insult as President Aquino increasingly appears to be the chief culprit in the SAF 44’s avoidable slaughter.

Although the fact that today, January 25, is the first anniversary of the tragedy – which gives Aquino a plausible excuse for conducting the award ceremony now – it can hardly be a coincidence that the award was announced immediately after the prospect of reopening hearings on the Mamasapano debacle was raised, particularly after Senator Juan Ponce Enrile disclosed that he has information that would almost certainly put Aquino in a very uncomfortable position.

READ MORE...

Aquino, or rather, the various apparatchiks who usually do his talking for him, will almost certainly deny that the growing possibility that Aquino’s grave liability for sending the SAF 44 to their deaths and refusing them reinforcements will be revealed has anything to do with his about-face on the decision to confer the troopers the awards for bravery. And just as certainly, very few people if any will actually believe him.

We certainly do not. From our vantage point, the award to the SAF 44 looks like nothing but a cheap, desperate stunt by which Aquino hopes to divert the clamorous questions about his moral and legal culpability for the tragedy. It is shameful that, having consigned their brave men to death, Aquino would risk causing the families of the SAF 44 even more pain by using them as props in an amateurish political drama.

If he was serious about giving the men of the SAF 44 their awards, then perhaps a better way to show it would be for him not to show himself at all: Let the commander of the PNP or some other high-ranking officer handle it, since those gentlemen, with very few exceptions, regard their fallen brethren with appropriate professional respect. That is a perspective Aquino is yet to learn, and maybe never will.

14 Responses to Only Aquino could turn an award into a cheap stunt
Samuel Santos says:
January 25, 2016 at 11:24 am
Nonetheless, PNoy – whatever he’s intentions are – can’t fool all of us Filipinos all the time.
Reply
Samuel Santos says:
January 25, 2016 at 11:28 am
“his” dapat sana yun, hindi “he’s.”
Bienb says:
January 25, 2016 at 9:44 am
With the BBL dead in the water, this is BS Aquino’s way of getting as much milk from the incident as he can, however he can. Truly despicable.
Reply
El Cid Fajardo says:
January 25, 2016 at 9:04 am
Exactly what i was thinking..but regardless of pnoy, the long overdue recognition of the heroism of the SAF44 is still much deserved.
Reply
alex says:
January 25, 2016 at 6:49 am
Sige NOYTARD gain mo ang lahat ng pagkukunwari.Alam naman ng lahat na wala kang pakialam sa kapakanan ng mga masa.Ang alam mo lang ay manuhol,maghiganti,magpaaabaya,magvideo game kasam mo ang kagaya mong retarded na pamangkin at manigarilyo putang-ina kang ABNOY.
Reply
Inocent says:
January 25, 2016 at 6:06 am
Cheap stunt, indeed. Hopefully the victims of the massacre know that PNoy is fooling them by this stunt, denied after the incident but now hurriedly done all because PNoy and his handlers are now so worried what will happen in the forth coming re-investigation. PNoy and his mafia, including Grace Llamanzares must be very worried what will result in this new inquest.
Reply
hector says:
January 25, 2016 at 6:01 am
“No commander in chief would ever say, ‘I’m not going to listen to the guys on the ground.'”
Claire McCaskill
When the bullets fly, men fight and boys flee.
Boy Aquino commited a number of cardinal sins.
He did not plan.
He interfered
He did no communicate
He did not listen
He panicked
He froze
He lied.
He did not accept responsibility.
He passed the buck
And as a result a lot of good men died.
Pnoy’s pathetic planning, prevarication, and panic produced a p!ss poor performance and pilipino personnel paid a permanent price.
And to add insult to injury he showed
No sympathy
No empathy
No responsibility
No courage
And instead instituted a cover up to save his scrawny hide.
He is a loose cannon which aimed fire at his own men.
Psychologically flawed, his reaction under pressure was classic, and predictable.
Playing war games on x-box with children is the height of Pnoy Aquino’s military prowess.
A disgraceful act by the epitome of a coward. Pnoy Aquino should be impeached.
Mar Roxas and Leila de Lima have already shown that they are of the same ilk as Aquino and should also hang their heads in shame.
And the sorry episode shows what happens when you pander to the US.
As the nation commemorates mamasapano, Pnoy Aquino will be having a quickie at the palace, with his girlfriend pia wurtzbach , about whom he says, “we have a mutual understanding”
Maybe he was too busy texting her on that fatal day a year ago.
Are there any men of courage and integrity. It seems not. Just lapdogs.
Reply
jeff jaramillo says:
January 25, 2016 at 4:19 am
It is Pnoy who caused the death of the 44SAF, as such, he should not be in the awarding ceremony. His presence is for political reason and hugas kamay. His presence surely will deface the true spirit of the event.
Pnoy is evil. He does not deserve a single space in this glorious moment intended for heroes.
Reply
leo-mar 111 says:
January 25, 2016 at 2:58 am
aquino has no choice but to do what is very insulting to the dead just to save his face. Unluckily the day of reckoning is at hand. Justice for theSAF44 this time will be given to them.
I agree that aquino never learn from Luneta massacre. He though he can go away with the mamasapano massacre like what he did to the victims of Luneta.
Reply
Conrado Alcantara says:
January 25, 2016 at 2:01 am
Bakit ba hanggang ngayon hindi ma intindihan nang mga bomabatikos ki presidente Aquino ang national Anthem nang Pilipinas. Ang mamatay nang dahil saiyo. Everybody should understand that the President does not do the planning he only approves it. The Presidents action was only menisterial. Like in America Obama does not do the planning he only appoves it. Kaya mga kalaban ni Presidente tumigil na kayo. Mahiya kayo sa sarile ninyo, sa taong bayan.
Reply
Carlos de Castro says:
January 25, 2016 at 1:37 am
If we are going to commemorate all military debacle., then Malacanag shoul appoint a cabinet secretary to monitor this. saff 44 is just the same as the massacre of Gen Bautisa and his men, and others, etc.What is the difference between one, two or five army killed in an ambushed tot his 44. The way I see it ang magulo ay iyong malayong kama-anak na umi-iyak pa kunwari para mabigyan ng pera. Ito mga ito na seguro hindi pa nila kakilala o pinagtatawanan pa nila iyong namatay kasi local lang hindi iyong kakilala nila sa state na US navy. I do not,kow what justice they want.To me they only want some money.
Reply
fyi says:
January 25, 2016 at 1:10 am
Aquino should present himself in front of the widows and let each one slap the taste out his mouth.
Reply
Ely says:
January 25, 2016 at 12:56 am
It is only a circus show. It is long overdue. It must havebeen done rigth after the incident. It seems to me thatthis is only an insult because when their remains were transported the Pres. did not even bother to give them a respect of salute and instead went to another unimportant gathering.
Reply
Larryebersole says:
January 25, 2016 at 12:24 am
Abnoy tlaga pinaiikot lang ng mga alalay akala lahat email kayang utuin


EDITORIAL: Our economy on edge January 28, 2016 10:21 pm

THE announcement yesterday that the country’s GDP grew by 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter came as a pleasant surprise, and could be considered generally good news. The consensus of most analysts before the data were released was that growth in the last quarter would be rather modest, about 5.8 percent; the actual results exceeded expectations, and thus, are a positive outcome.

Nevertheless, there are definite signs that our economy, while certainly not in bad shape, at least in the context in which national economies are compared with one another, is facing risks that are starting to have a negative impact.

And in this sense, the government – both the one that we must still tolerate for another five months, and the one that will replace it – should be reminded that in the wake of the positive Q4 result, a strategy to deal with rapidly dimming economic prospects is far more important than a strategy to broadcast self-congratulations for having “one of the best economies in Asia.”

The first indicator that should cause some concern is the modest quarter-to-quarter increase in the growth rate from the third quarter of last year to the fourth quarter. In a typical year, the difference, thanks to holiday spending, is usually close to one percent, if not more (the Q3-to-Q4 acceleration was 1.1 percent in 2014). For 2015, however, the gain was a paltry 0.2 percent (6.3 percent versus 6.1 percent in the third quarter). That indicates muted economic activity.

Another factor that is somewhat alarming is the steady deceleration of the full-year GDP growth rate: From 7.2 percent in 2013, growth slipped to 6.1 percent in 2014, to just 5.8 percent for the full year 2015.

The economy is still growing, but it is growing at a progressively slower rate – which, coincidentally, is exactly the same sort of problem that is being experienced by China’s economy, and which is obviously something that is regarded by the rest of the world as a serious economic problem.

READ MORE...

To be clear, the Philippine economy does deserve much of its reputation as a good performer. But there are signs that have become apparent over an extended period of time that the economy is slowly losing its resilience.

The time to act on that with effective spending, and measures to encourage capital investment and job creation is now, before the economy’s strengths are eroded.

At this point, we are not confident any of the aspirants for the presidency have properly considered this.

The Aquino Administration certainly has not, otherwise the alarming trend shown by the macroeconomic data would not be happening in the first place.

We cannot afford another six years of on-the-job training for the nation’s President and his or her Cabinet when it comes to the economy. Letting the current reasonably good condition of the economy decline further would be taking an even bigger step backward.

3 Responses to Our economy on edge
Mariano Patalinjug says:
January 29, 2016 at 4:31 am
Yonkers, New York
28 Jan. 2016
Even if the country’s economy should achieve a GDP growth of “just” 5.8% for the whole of 2015, that would still be quite impressive viewed in the context of China’s economy which is faltering and is having a negative impact worldwide.
President Aquino and his economic “brain trust” must be assumed to be aware of what’s happening in terms of the behavior of the GDP and must know what measures need to be planned and taken this year to try to get the country to maintain its average annual GDP at close to 7%.
This will require, of course, more spending by both the private and the public sectors. Those planned PPP projects should now be considered for implementation as soon as possible this year for the very purpose of giving the Economy the filip that it needs to keep the momentum going smoothly.
It is opportune that the 38-km commuter train line from Tutuban, Manila to Malolos, Bulacan, is now ready to be implemented, with the P97-Billion price tag to be financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency [JICA].
MARIANO PATALINJUG
patalinjugmar@gmail.com
Reply
hector says:
January 29, 2016 at 12:31 am
Inputs, Outputs, & Outcomes
The creator of the GDP Simon Kuznets in a 1934 report to the US Congress acknowledged the GDP’s flaws as an economic indicator, “The welfare of a nation can scarcely be inferred from a measure of national income. If the GDP is up, why is a country down? Distinctions must be kept in mind between quantity and quality of growth. Goals for more growth should specify more growth of what and for what.” GDP is a statistic that does not necessarily measure wealth creation or the quality of growth. It is a statistic that disasters, gambling, and useless endeavors can inflate.
A more holistic view to put GDP into context.
Pnoy Aquino has had the luxury of no constraints on INPUTS – young workforce, 3 trillion budget, rising Asian economic tide, 6 years, 1 million personnel/administration, compliant congress/senate, OFW remittances.
It is those inputs which drive the PROCESSES, and which themselves have been plagued by incompetence and corruption, and which in turn generate the OUTPUTS, including GDP growth which has been the only flag to be saluted by Pnoy Aquino, but GDP, whilst important, is a means to an end, not the end in itself.
Outputs should be considered as an interim factor which through POLICIES (lacklustre and outmoded), determine the end objectives, and the only things which really matter – OUTCOMES.
And it is the outcomes which paint the true picture, and one which is neither pretty, nor instils confidence in the future.
But most disconcerting of all is the continued dependence upon OFW’s and BPO’s, both of which could be prone to future changes ( foreign govt policies, disruptive technologies, etc), and no strategic vision to build up new skills/industries/value added services.
Diversification, rejuvenation, market expansion, sectirusation etc.
OUTCOMES:
Corruption – worse – dropped 10 places to 95th in 2015 Transparency International world rankings.
Poverty – worse – 45% rate themselves as poor (SWS), and 25% live below the poverty line, which is the highest rate in ASEAN, by far, and shameful.
Unemployment – highest in ASEAN
Inequality – far worse. The major economic issue, and resulted in no inclusive growth.
OFW’s – increase by 40% since 2010.
Education – philippine failed to meet UN Education for All targwts, and all PH universities gone down in world rankings.
Investment – FDI well below targets and a sign of little confidence by international investors
Millenium Development Goals –
PH ailed to meet main targets
Tax evasion/avoidance – no-one jailed. A major problem
Extra judicial killings/Human Rights – has become worse and a bad international image
Tourism – failed to meet targets
Crime – becoming a narco state. And considered a hub for human/sex trafficking
Traffic – horrendous and major cost to economy.
Infrastructure – all below par (airports, riads, internet)
And the only vision that LP can offer to the electorate is “more of the same”. Crazy.
“Insanity is doing the same thing, over again, but expecting different results”
Albert Einstein
The current crop of incompetents in Malacanan may be unconcerned and unfazed by anything and everything, as they continue to ignore reality, but the next administration will soon get a wake up call.
Pnoy Aquino was handed strong economic fundamentals by his predecessor, but he will be handing over a can of worms.
There will be a significant downturn end 2017/beginning 2018.
Reply
fgood says:
January 28, 2016 at 11:38 pm
So, what do you want to do? You can’t only talk. It is impolite to be a critic if you can’t make any change.


Lifting the ‘pain that cannot forget’ January 28, 2016 8:00 pm by SENATOR FERDINAND MARCOS, JR.
MARCOS20150615


SENATOR BONGBONG MARCOS

[Privilege Speech at the Philippine Senate 26 January 2016]

Mr. President,
my esteemed colleagues:

I ASKED for the privilege of addressing the chamber today, in order to share with you and with our people a few thoughts about the national tragedy whose anniversary the nation marked yesterday, and which will again be the subject of inquiry in the Senate tomorrow.

It seems hard to fathom that a full year has already passed since that Sunday morning in January last year, when each of us, in our respective ways, was wakened to learn of a violent incident that was unfolding in the town of Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

That day remains vivid in my mind because I still remember what I instinctively tried to do upon hearing the news. My first instinct at the time was, as I am sure it was for most of us, to get updated news, and then to look for Mamasapano in a map of Mindanao. Then I rang up friends in government and the police and the military, who might be able to tell me something about what was happening.

Later, we got the second shock that for a fight that started at dawn, by mid-morning, fighting in the area was still going on.

And then came the really distressing news that even by noon and way past noon, the exchange of fire was still continuing.

In the end, the last of our surviving policemen rejoined his comrades, having fought his way back, on the evening of the following Monday.

It was in those circumstances that we learned, hour-by-hour what a great and terrible tragedy our people and our nation had sustained in Mamasapano.

Although a year has passed since that awful day, we Filipinos today are still grieve, still weep together over Mamasapano in a spirit of mourning and remembrance.

The nation still mourns – not just the widows and the orphans, but all our people, because the slain commandos and civilians did not come from just one section of our country, but from all sections, without regard to geography, color or creed.

In words that describe how many of us feel, the Greek dramatist Aeschylus wrote: “Even in our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.”

In these difficult times in our country, may we achieve that wisdom and receive that grace.

Tomorrow, it falls on us here at the Senate to review and examine the circumstances and the reasons why Mamasapano happened the way it did, and why so many of our best and brightest men in uniform were brought down the way they did.

The purpose of the inquiry is not principally to find fault, but to gain understanding of the tragedy so that justice can be served and it will not be reenacted in our public life.

READ MORE...

I am troubled that in the days leading to the reopened inquiry, the public conversation has been wracked by so many wild stories and even claims of alternative truths and supposed conspiracies, secret testimony and the like that confuse rather than enlighten.

When I joined the SAF widows and families at Villamor Air Base in February last year as we brought home the earthly remains of the martyred and fallen, it struck me that the families’ one constant prayer was that their loved ones would receive the justice that they deserve.

They did not ask for money or benefits, or for medals or decorations or ceremony or even recognition – talk that is now uppermost in the minds of some today.

They to a person spoke only of justice for the martyred and the fallen. And that appeal has not changed up to now.

As a member of government and Congress, it fills me with shame that in all these months that have passed, despite the grand pronouncements of immediate action and investigation, our government has not moved forward in meeting this appeal for justice.

President Aquino himself has been forced by this great delay to acknowledge on the day of the anniversary, he himself is dismayed by how slow his government has been to bring justice to the families of the murdered victims in Mamasapano.

What the nation feels is beyond dismay, beyond impatience, beyond just sadness but a loss of part of our humanity as Filipinos.

We feel this when we see that we have failed our very own sons, husbands and fathers, our very own declared heroes. If this is how we treat those that have given their lives in defense of the country, what fate the ordinary citizen? What fate for those we love and care for in life?

For the heroes’ families, we reach for the words that will soothe their pain and sorrow, and for the gestures that might express the gratitude of the nation for the noble sacrifice of our SAF commandos.

But there are no gestures that will bring succor to the families, no grand words that will ease the pain of the families of our policemen. Only justice will bring that. Only justice will do.

The tragedy of Mamasapano is not a sectional issue – not a problem of Mindanao alone, or just one part of Mindanao. It is a problem and tragedy of the entire nation and all our people.


SENATOR BONGBONG MARCOS PAYS RESPECTS TO FALLEN SAF COMMANDOS AT VILLAMOR AIRBASE ---ABS-CBN TWEET

Mamasapano is not a partisan issue, as some have callously suggested. On this issue, men and women of goodwill and generosity should be able to unite regardless of politics in order to find common ground in forging a way forward, and in creating a future that all can share.

Regardless of our specific role or duty – be we high officials or just ordinary citizens — our shared task and obligation now is to reach across the divisions in our country and to create a sense of community and unity with one another.

We are one country and one people. So let us in this Senate ask our people to unite around this terrible tragedy.

Beyond this chamber are the people we serve. They have unspoken hopes in their hearts for a future in which all Filipinos, of every creed, every color and every walk of life, can find a future of opportunity, in which all of us can live in peace with one another, and share in the blessings of prosperity.

Success in this endeavor depends on our building new relationships, initiating new dialogue. And opening up new opportunities for citizens to take a stand or get together.

We cannot move forward to this bright future if we are unable as a nation to give the comfort and closure to the families of the murdered Forty-four.

We cannot bring our nation to that grand tomorrow if we fail our people in their protection, their wellbeing, and their confidence that whatever ills are visited upon them, society and the government will do all to right those ills; that government will give them justice.

So it is with our SAF Forty-four families. The proper time for that has long passed.

The past year of inaction and neglect has seen to that. We must move now and move quickly to bring them justice. It is nothing less than a defining moment for us as a nation.

From our Spanish heritage, there is a great saying. “La esperanzamuere al ultimo.” Hope dies last. Hope for whatever you want to do. There is always hope.

With that thought and in this spirit then, let us in this Senate strive to bring our people together, after all the pain and sorrow and memories of Mamasapano!

Justice, Justice, Justice is what the SAF families cry out for. Justice is what the nation needs if we should continue be the compassionate and loving race that all Filipinos aspire to be.

Thank you, Mr. President.

One Response to Lifting the ‘pain that cannot forget’
pakialamero na pinoy says:
January 29, 2016 at 8:55 am
It seems like this speech was addressed to the president, still asking for justice. People that are in the right frame of mind understand that his speech was not asking the Filipino people to unite and move on, but rather, criticizing or blaming the President still asking for justice. There was no honest intent or even suggestion to put closure on this nightmare. Marcos indeed, scored another political point to his political enemy, PNoy. at the expense of the Filipino people.


‘Blacklisted’ contractor awarded with P134-M project January 28, 2016 7:58 pm ERWIN TULFO


by ERWIN TULFO

Further investigation of reports of alleged irregularities in transactions at the Region 12 office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Koronadal City showed that even notorious contractors get awarded with juicy projects.

After I initially revealed in this column on Monday the “bizzare” conduct of biddings at that regional office, my report was confirmed by well-placed sources.

I was even provided with information on the questionable awarding of contract to one contractor, the Saranggani Rock Mixer owned by one Catalina “Baby” Joven, who won last January 19 bidding for the road widening of General Santos Highway worth P134 million.

It turned out that Joven’s construction company has had two “slippages” or negative reports, one in Cotabato City and one in Davao del Sur, in their previous road projects but were still allowed by Regional 12 Director Reynaldo Tamayo and Bids and Awards Committee Chairman Basir Ibrahim.

Contractors with slippage or negative reports are supposed to be blacklisted and banned from participating in DPWH biddings.

According to my informants, Ibrahim allowed certain contractors he favors to peek into the bids submitted by other contractors, enabling them to change their offered prices to lower bids. This is literally rigged bidding.

Such is what allegedly took place last January 19 in the case of the P134-million road widening project on Gensan Highway, which is clearly a violation of Republic Act 9184 (Government Procurement Act).

I say this project should be subjected to rebidding also for the reason that it was unduly awarded to Joven’s Saranggani Rock Mixer, a contractor with negative reports.

“Saan ka nakakita nang bidding na nasisilip ng ibang kontratista ang bid mo tapos babaguhin nila yung bid nila ng mas mababa? Bakit ganyan ang ipinatutupad na proseso?” one contractor told me.

My sources also said the Bids and Awards Committee proceeded with the recent bidding without the presence of an auditor from the Commission on Audit (COA).

READ MORE...

There have been occasions when the BAC canceled a scheduled bidding of a project when BAC officials happen to “dislike” the line-up of prospective bidders.

I’ve tried to get hold of Tamayo and Ibrahim for their comments but to no avail.


Rep. Ben Evardone (Photo from his facebook account). Nothing is left of Eastern Samar

In this connection, we are calling the attention of Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, chairman of the House Committee on Good Government, to check out these irregularities at the DPWH Region 12 Office.

Evardone, a former governor of Eastern Samar, has a sharp eye on this type of monkey business, which has no place in Matuwid na Daan.

I’ve also brought up this report with DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson and we are awaiting results of his action.

Singson has touted his agency’s billions of pesos “savings” resulting from its “transparent” bidding of projects and I acknowledge that his tight-fisted administration has reduced graft in one of the most corrupted agencies.

So we await positive outcome in this controversy about the DPWH Region 12 Office.

* * *

We welcome your reaction, comments and complaints. Please email them to etulfo2011@yahoo.com or personally visit us at the TV5 Field Office at 2nd Floor, Quedsa Plaza, Quezon Ave. corner EDSA, Quezon City, between 9am-4pm Monday to Friday.

3 Responses to ‘Blacklisted’ contractor awarded with P134-M project
pakialamero na pinoy says:
January 29, 2016 at 9:37 am
The Bids and Awards Committee (chairman and members) of the DPWH should be rounded up and turned over to Duterte for final disposition. Bid rigging is a very serious crime and government officials doing these should be punished. However, in the Philippines, money is a very powerful element that can work in wonderful ways.
As far as the contractors are concerned, don’t they require to have BOND when they submit their bidding package? like a performance BOND, in case the contractor fails to comply with the designs or specifications of a project, forfeiture of their bond would be a good motivation for them to do the job right
Finally, I think the responsible agency has the final authority to implement rules and guidelines and also to reward or punish contractors that are not complying with its directives.
Reply
Ed DeCastro says:
January 29, 2016 at 3:48 am
There will be no more bidding in case Binay wins the Presidency. It will be worst if Binay becomes the President for he will sell all islands including Palawan to China for a few 30% commission. And that’s the reason why Binay wanted (by any means) to become president. He and his family will hide all their cash assets with Limlingan and Baloloy in Canada. Worst of all: the Philippines will experience the worst coups and civil disobedience for everybody knows that Binay is CORRUPT.
Reply
cyril a. gerez says:
January 29, 2016 at 1:57 am
i have been in government infrastructure project bidding since 1987, i am a duly registered contractor with PCAB and DPWH, been part of BAC as an observer and likewise been on a seminar by Procurement Watch for observers in the early stages of RA 9184 and finally filled a case against a dpwh regional director and the entire BAC of a district engineering office.
my advice to the concerned contractor if you really have all the evidence to support your claim, work within the bounds of RA 9184, remember that there is a protest mechanism embedded in it.
this procurement law may not be perfect, but this works and is a lot more better that the previous procurement law that was a presidential decree during the marcos era.


EDITORIAL:

A bribe by any other name January 26, 2016 11:26 pm


SA DAANG MATUWID, ASENSONG WALANG PATID. The new LP logo. SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

THE Liberal Party of President BS Aquino 3rd is playing our whole nation of Filipinos for fools.

This paper recently reported that the LP has been working to boost the floundering campaign of Aquino’s designated successor Mar Roxas by promising municipal and city mayors all over our country P100 million each in the form of government projects in exchange for their support for the party’s otherwise thoroughly unappealing candidate.

After first denying that such a thing was happening, on Monday Malacañang confirmed the offer was in fact made, but protested that it was innocently done: Roxas was, both Presidential Mouthpiece Sonny Coloma and Budget Secretary Butch Abad said, merely assuring the local government leaders that Roxas would, if elected, “demonstrate his commitment to meaningful development” by using the “Bottom-Up Budgeting” program.

UNCONSTITUTIONAL

In the wake of the scandal that erupted last year after Aquino and his sly budget manager were caught manipulating the national budget through the so-called “disbursement acceleration program” (DAP)—which the Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional—the “Bottom-Up Budgeting” program was hastily conceived as a substitute and pitched to the public as a “clean” program that eliminated the DAP and the “pork barrel” that is doled out to congressmen and senators. Instead of passing through congressional representatives, local government units would now deal directly with government agencies, which, or so the Aquino regime tried to convince everyone, would put a stop to development budget funds being used for political gain.


INFO FROM GOV.PH --ABAD SAID: NEXT YEAR, in 2017, the government’s reform program, Bottom-Up Budgeting will be expanded to cover 42,036 barangays nationwide. Each barangay will receive a subsidy of P1 million to be used for the implementation of projects that they have identified. The program is expected to aid barangays in better formulating poverty reduction action plans and monitoring the delivery of basic services in the communities. Obviously, all the “new and improved” program has done is exactly what everyone assumed it would when it was first conceived, which is to concentrate the resources for political use in the hands of the President. Under the pork barrel system, deeply flawed though it was, there was at least a hint of non-partisanship in that each legislator was supposed to receive an equal amount (P50 million per congressman, and P200 million per senator), regardless of political affiliation. WWW.GOV.PH

READ MORE...

The DAP was contrived as a way for Aquino and his henchman to “legally” compensate for the opportunity for political opponents to control budget funds; with the “Bottom-Up Budgeting program,” the opportunity was finally removed.

The claim that the recent offers made on Roxas’ behalf were “not a bribe” is laughable, because the implied message was just as clear as what was actually said: Not supporting Roxas would mean P100 million would not be available to you, Mr. Mayor. If Roxas was serious about presenting the new budgeting program as a reform his administration would pursue, then he should have presented it in a different way, that is, to the public as a part of his platform, with an explanation of why it is better than other candidates’ ideas.

Of course, Roxas, through his own words and his activities on the campaign trail, has already assured everyone that he is nothing more than an avatar for Aquino and the champion of the twisted, self-serving concept of “daang matuwid.”

We cannot expect an ethically sound President in Mar Roxas and an uncorrupt Roxas administration.

10 Responses to A bribe by any other name
Carmen Rossello says:
January 28, 2016 at 10:07 am
The above is a misrepresentation of Mar’s election promise. If he becomes president, he plans to distribute government funds by adding 100million for programs in every city and municipality. On the contrary Duterte promises federalism where in 60% of each federal state’ funds will remain in the state and only 40% remitted to Manila. This is Duterte/Cayetano’s way to fight corruption in Manila, and to decentralize. So this are promises. Which one would we prefer? Something permanent that will not change with the next admin. Many Filipinos prefer federalism.
Reply
Emperor JC says:
January 27, 2016 at 10:00 am
Nope its not grace. It is binay all along. The savior of the yellow empire. A grand plan since 2010 courtesy of chevital
Reply
zak Pasiking says:
January 27, 2016 at 9:52 am
To insure that the 44 saf get Justice, vote Senator Miriam for president. She is the only hope..
Reply
Luzy Canilao says:
January 27, 2016 at 9:38 am
Even the tv ads of Mar Roxas are making us viewers as fools. The cash transfer benefits for the poor, PhilHealth and other in-placed benefits are already mandated under the law. These are not services only provided by this government under tuwid na daan. These are regular services by the government even under Gloria Arroyo. Whoever the next president will necessarily be required by current law to pursue these programs. Wala kasing maipakitang sariling accomplishment si Mar Roxas. Ang tagal niya sa government puro palpak naman. At yung kapalpakan na yun ang ipapagpatuloy niya. Credit grabber si P-Noy at ganun din si Mar Roxas. Mga manloloko!
Reply
Royce Ramos says:
January 27, 2016 at 9:32 am
Just like any suspect bill or government operation, they will just hide it under a different name, a new set of letters or a new set of acronyms. The pork barrel was something that never worked at improving our living conditions. They want to keep the money somehow from being part of collective National Treasury, so they will KEEP morphing the Pork Barrel’s basic scheme into something less recognizable, make it sound more legitimate. The same way they play letters around the BBL and call it BLBAR, to confuse and diffuse.
Reply
banong says:
January 27, 2016 at 9:00 am
Ito Na siguro nag pinaka-WALANGHIYANG administrasyon sa kasaysayan Ng pilipinas…bakit ba naupo itong mgaTULISAN Na ito????
Reply
ed1151 says:
January 27, 2016 at 7:29 am
if the mayors fall into this trap, they are worse that dreaming fools. the BuB (or P100M budget) being promised in exchange of support to Roxas is just a promise since these LP manipulators will just dribble the ball and in the end will revert to the congress to approved the BuB simply because giving the funds to LGUs without congress appropriations is technical malversation. the mayor who are fooled will wake up from a nightmare when Roxas wins and the promise thrown in the bottomless pit.
Reply
Leodegardo Pruna says:
January 27, 2016 at 7:13 am
The Filipinos are really fools if they could not discern that P-Noy is not sincerely behind MAR but rather behind disgraced GRACE. Reason, GRACE could easily be persuaded to tow the LP line because of the DQ case and inexperience. The fact that the LP admitted MAR promising P100M to the mayors as kitties for projects once in office was a trap and MAR is doomed. God bless the Philippines.
Reply
alex says:
January 27, 2016 at 5:50 am
Papayag pa tayo na isa pang anim na taong paghihiganti,panunuhol,pagpapabaya sa kapakanan ng masa,pagmamasaker sa mga SAF,na puro daldal at katamaran?
Reply
Inocent says:
January 27, 2016 at 2:02 am
Of course the Boy driver Mar offer is a BRIBE, what else?
Reply


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2015 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE