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 TRIBUNE

EDITORIAL: PRESUMPTIVE POLICIES


MAY 19 -What can be considered the first public insight on the plans of Davao City mayor and presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte for the country has resulted in a jaw dropping monologue where he dished out his most outrageous statements yet. Media will indeed have a grand time keeping track of Duterte since he leaves in his wake what can be considered as presidential droppings that make tomorrow’s newspaper headlines but which will not actually work.During his ramblings in the Davao City press briefing the other day, Duterte talked of reviving the death penalty with a twist, which is a double hanging, the first to kill the one being executed and the other a public viewing of the brutal fate of the Duterte target, whose his neck gets snapped and severed from his body. If Duterte wants to be this barbaric, why not go all the way in barbarity through the guillotine? He also offered four Cabinet seats to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) which would expectedly rankle the military establishment that is very sensitive on personalities in government with even the slightest red pigment.In just the first day of his public appearance after becoming the president-apparent, Duterte succeeded in welding an alliance among landlords, elitist businessmen and hard-line military groups against him.His offer of the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Agrarian Reform to the left would mean a thoroughly confiscatory socialist policies on business and land ownership.The government, for instance, installed the late Bobbit Sanchez during the term of President Cory Aquino, which was one of the reasons given by military rebels then in staging a string of failed coups d’etat.Duterte apparently is trying to lure the CPP into the mainstream by being a partner in government which he believes will be the fastest way to end the communist insurgency that has festered for decades but in the process he is creating a bigger threat of a possible military uprising.READ MORE...

ALSO: Duterte’s daily bread for vultures


MAY 19 -Nothing significant has been heard from Noynoy and the yellow mob as well, after it became clear that Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will become the next president from the results of just held national elections. And this is becoming a source of disquiet for many.Noynoy appears to have abandoned governance as he has not been seen or heard from since election day when he was shown casting his vote in his hometown in Tarlac City.Also out of character, the yellow mob is unusually quiet after the apparent Duterte victory, burying the mob’s bet Mar Roxas by about 5 million votes. The fact that Noynoy’s yellows were able to push Roxas as second preference in the polls and the operations to ram through Liberal Party vice presidential bet Leni Robredo appears to be a success, only the Davao City phenomenon Rodrigo Duterte stood in the way of the yellow grand design of an 18-year rule.For these facts alone, the yellow mob is not expected to rest easy and wait for another six years after Duterte. Duterte is also proving to be a huge liability for the ruling elite and is threatening the status quo with his plans for a social restructuring through his radical solutions to the nation’s long-standing ills. Duterte also seems intractable to the United States which has recently raised the ante on its involvement in the Philippines through the Enhanced Development Cooperation Agreement that in turn it needs for its Asian pivot policy to contain both the emerging superpower China and the loose cannon North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The resurgence and sudden media prominence of Communist Party of the Philippine (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison and the warm dialog between Duterte and Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua will likely be used as a catalyst of the elite to push a stronger American involvement in the recent political developments.READ MORE...


ALSO: EDITORIAL- No economic legacy


MAY 20 -The outgoing administration of Noynoy trumpeted the 6.9 growth figures in the first quarter of the year which the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) released yesterday. It was billed as the fastest expansion the economy has had since the second quarter of 2013.Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Emmanuel Esguerra said among Asian economies, the Philippines has the best growth figure followed by China at 6.7 percent, Vietnam at 5.5 percent, Indonesia at 4.9 percent and Malaysia at 4.2 percent.Noynoy’s chief economic whiz Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima proclaimed that “we are leaving the Philippines in a much better place than when we first found it.” The NEDA figures released, however, belied claims of the economy being in a better shape than before as agriculture contracted a dismal 4.4 percent during the period and growth was driven by industry’s 8.7 percent growth and 7.9 percent growth of the services sector. Esguerra blamed the El Niño dry spell for the shrinking in the agriculture sector but never was a satisfactory growth achieved in that side of the economy during the term of Noynoy. Esguerra said that the effect of election spending has not been quantified yet but based on past growth surges, the economic data spike up during the elections when money remains the determinant of victory for those seeking the people’s vote. To burst Noynoy’s bubble, the economy has retained a boom and bust cycle under his term which is hinged on the holding of national elections. In 2013, spending for the elections was the main boost for the economy to grow 7.2 percent. In recent years, gross domestic product (GDP) growth peaked in 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013, which were all election years. The country’s GDP per capita of $2,790 under Noynoy remains at five percent to that of Singapore’s $54,776 per capita with 25 percent of the population constantly below the poverty line under his watch. Also based on World Economic Forum data, of 144 countries, Singapore ranked ninth in terms of Human Development Index while the Philippines ranked 117th. From 2012 to 2013, Singapore gained three ranks compared to the Philippines advancing only one notch. READ MORE...

ALSO: Editorial - Making light of probable fraud


MAY 20 -Always it seems, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) makes light of various irregularities. There was that reaction from the Comelec, after the hash codes or computer commands were altered in the dead of the night by Smartmatic and yes, a Comelec officer, saying the change was merely cosmetic since there was only a change of characters from “?” to the letter “ñ” and that the integrity of the vote tally remained. This was assured, despite Comelec not even having conducted an audit, nor even questioned the character intercalation. Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista merely swallowed, hook, line and sinker, the suspicious explanation of the Smartmatic official. It had to take the feisty Commissioner Rowena Guanzon to demand a full probe on the intercalation and slammed Smartmatic’s defiance of protocol, of which Smartmatic is well aware. Now, yet another incident related to the dubious integrity of the election count has been dismissed by the Comelec. Confirmed reports that three election SD cards were thrown away in Kabankalan in Negros Occidental, were quickly dismissed by the Comelec. Poll body spokesman James Jimenez, in a press conference quoted officials as saying that the SD cards were placed in envelopes that were taken out as trash after the elections. “What happened was after the elections, election paraphernalia and the SD cards were gathered by the election officer and prepared for transmission... Those envelopes were missing. They rearranged the office and had already taken out the trash. It was not noticed that included in the trash were the envelopes that contained the SD,” he said, adding that the SD cards were found in a dump site and returned to the provincial office. Then came the assurance from Jimenez that the contents of the SD cards that accounted for three clustered precincts in a barangay there, had already been uploaded before reports of the missing SD cards were circulated.  There Comelec went again, taking the word of whoever told the poll body that the SD cards had been thrown out together with the trash, then found, but not to worry, as the SD cards content had already been transmitted.READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Presumptive policies

MANILA, MAY 23, 2016 (TRIBUNE) Written by Tribune Editorial Wednesday, 18 May 2016 - What can be considered the first public insight on the plans of Davao City mayor and presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte for the country has resulted in a jaw dropping monologue where he dished out his most outrageous statements yet.

Media will indeed have a grand time keeping track of Duterte since he leaves in his wake what can be considered as presidential droppings that make tomorrow’s newspaper headlines but which will not actually work.

During his ramblings in the Davao City press briefing the other day, Duterte talked of reviving the death penalty with a twist, which is a double hanging, the first to kill the one being executed and the other a public viewing of the brutal fate of the Duterte target, whose his neck gets snapped and severed from his body. If Duterte wants to be this barbaric, why not go all the way in barbarity through the guillotine?

He also offered four Cabinet seats to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) which would expectedly rankle the military establishment that is very sensitive on personalities in government with even the slightest red pigment.

In just the first day of his public appearance after becoming the president-apparent, Duterte succeeded in welding an alliance among landlords, elitist businessmen and hard-line military groups against him.

His offer of the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Agrarian Reform to the left would mean a thoroughly confiscatory socialist policies on business and land ownership.

The government, for instance, installed the late Bobbit Sanchez during the term of President Cory Aquino, which was one of the reasons given by military rebels then in staging a string of failed coups d’etat.

Duterte apparently is trying to lure the CPP into the mainstream by being a partner in government which he believes will be the fastest way to end the communist insurgency that has festered for decades but in the process he is creating a bigger threat of a possible military uprising.

READ MORE...

He also said that he would arm barangay tanods or watchmen to act as militias against crime in their communities as if there are not enough guns going around that only poses danger to ordinary citizens.

The mandate that Duterte holds through what some consider a landslide of votes in the past elections is useful to the extent of leveraging Congress to support his agenda but not to impose what he wills on the nation.

Duterte’s threat of summary executions and a bloody presidency was taken by voters as election bombast to put his message across on his determination in addressing the rise of criminality in the country which is a major failing of the laid-back Noynoy.

Duterte should go beyond campaigning now and face the real world of governance where bravado has little space to prosper.
There is no argument that most of those who voted for him wanted Duterte to apply what he did in Davao City that made it a model of a peaceful city in a rambunctious country but it should be done within the process prescribed under the law.

Duterte would be wasting time and effort, for instance, in espousing the death penalty and double hanging if he cannot muster enough support in Congress to amend the law to reintroduce capital punishment.

He did say that he would abolish Congress if it fails to give way to his wishes which will make him a dictator and for that to happen, he would have to impose martial rule.

Since the military is not expected to go with him as he made clear on where his sympathies lie, the only way that Duterte can do what he promises is to lead a revolution but since he is the president, he can’t declare an uprising against himself.

Thus, he may just be practicing a new brand of shock politics that would hopefully stir the people into action in taking an active part in persuading government to implement long-delayed reforms particularly in addressing social inequality.

If Duterte, however, is demented enough to mean what he says, then the nation is in for a lot of trouble.


Duterte’s daily bread for vultures Written by Tribune Editorial Thursday, 19 May 2016

Nothing significant has been heard from Noynoy and the yellow mob as well, after it became clear that Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will become the next president from the results of just held national elections. And this is becoming a source of disquiet for many.

Noynoy appears to have abandoned governance as he has not been seen or heard from since election day when he was shown casting his vote in his hometown in Tarlac City.

Also out of character, the yellow mob is unusually quiet after the apparent Duterte victory, burying the mob’s bet Mar Roxas by about 5 million votes.

The fact that Noynoy’s yellows were able to push Roxas as second preference in the polls and the operations to ram through Liberal Party vice presidential bet Leni Robredo appears to be a success, only the Davao City phenomenon Rodrigo Duterte stood in the way of the yellow grand design of an 18-year rule.

For these facts alone, the yellow mob is not expected to rest easy and wait for another six years after Duterte.

Duterte is also proving to be a huge liability for the ruling elite and is threatening the status quo with his plans for a social restructuring through his radical solutions to the nation’s long-standing ills.

Duterte also seems intractable to the United States which has recently raised the ante on its involvement in the Philippines through the Enhanced Development Cooperation Agreement that in turn it needs for its Asian pivot policy to contain both the emerging superpower China and the loose cannon North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The resurgence and sudden media prominence of Communist Party of the Philippine (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison and the warm dialog between Duterte and Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua will likely be used as a catalyst of the elite to push a stronger American involvement in the recent political developments.

READ MORE...

Duterte has offered to the CPP four Cabinet posts in the Departments of Agrarian Reform, Labor and Employment, Social Works and Development, and Environment and Natural Resources which Sison said the communist party will be glad to oblige Duterte on the offer.

Zhao, after his meeting with Duterte, said China expects to work with the Philippine government to “properly deal with the differences, deepen traditional friendship and promote mutually beneficial cooperation, so as to bring the bilateral relations forward.”

In response, Duterte said that he wants to cultivate friendly relations with China and confirmed that he was open to direct talks over the row in the South China Sea that has badly damaged bilateral relations.

“If the ship of negotiations is in still waters and there is no wind to push the sail, I might just decide to talk bilaterally with China,” Duterte said.

Under the rabidly pro-American Noynoy, relations between China and the Philippines deteriorated resulting in the South China Sea dispute escalating to dangerous levels.

The Philippines unilaterally initiated an arbitration case against China in the United Nation’s Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague last January 2013 over the territorial dispute and Noynoy at the same time refused to hold bilateral talks with Beijing.

Noynoy and the yellow mob appear to have taken the vulture mode, hovering high above the landscape keenly watching when it can descend and retake their supreme control over the Filipino nation.

Duterte’s mindless acts and statements the past few days had made the yellow vultures to fly in circles more closely to the ground as it smells a kill.

The presumptive president may have smelt something not right when he recently sounded out “ang mga elitistang ulol” (those bunch of elitist fools).


EDITORIAL: No economic legacy Written by Tribune Editorial Friday, 20 May 2016 00:00 font size decrease font size increase font size Print 2 comments


The outgoing administration of Noynoy trumpeted the 6.9 growth figures in the first quarter of the year which the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) released yesterday. It was billed as the fastest expansion the economy has had since the second quarter of 2013.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Emmanuel Esguerra said among Asian economies, the Philippines has the best growth figure followed by China at 6.7 percent, Vietnam at 5.5 percent, Indonesia at 4.9 percent and Malaysia at 4.2 percent.

Noynoy’s chief economic whiz Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima proclaimed that “we are leaving the Philippines in a much better place than when we first found it.”

The NEDA figures released, however, belied claims of the economy being in a better shape than before as agriculture contracted a dismal 4.4 percent during the period and growth was driven by industry’s 8.7 percent growth and 7.9 percent growth of the services sector.

Esguerra blamed the El Niño dry spell for the shrinking in the agriculture sector but never was a satisfactory growth achieved in that side of the economy during the term of Noynoy.

Esguerra said that the effect of election spending has not been quantified yet but based on past growth surges, the economic data spike up during the elections when money remains the determinant of victory for those seeking the people’s vote.

To burst Noynoy’s bubble, the economy has retained a boom and bust cycle under his term which is hinged on the holding of national elections.

In 2013, spending for the elections was the main boost for the economy to grow 7.2 percent.

In recent years, gross domestic product (GDP) growth peaked in 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013, which were all election years.

The country’s GDP per capita of $2,790 under Noynoy remains at five percent to that of Singapore’s $54,776 per capita with 25 percent of the population constantly below the poverty line under his watch.

Also based on World Economic Forum data, of 144 countries, Singapore ranked ninth in terms of Human Development Index while the Philippines ranked 117th. From 2012 to 2013, Singapore gained three ranks compared to the Philippines advancing only one notch.

READ MORE...

The Philippines also has the highest unemployment rate, lately at 5.6 percent, among the Asean 5 economies or the Asean founders Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Youth unemployment is the second to the worst in the Philippines considering that Purisima was singing praises about the country entering a demographic sweet spot which is a phase in the population when the majority reaches working age.

Without jobs available, Purisima’s sweet spot will soon turn sour.

Also under Noynoy, agriculture had an anemic growth if at all while the construction industry had an erratic growth due to government underspending.

University of the Philippines School of Economics professor Benjamin Diokno said agriculture is necessary for strong, sustained and inclusive growth since one-third of the labor force is employed in the agriculture sector and it is cheaper to create jobs in agriculture than in banking, business process outsourcing, energy and other industries.

Modernizing agriculture could translate to cheaper food prices which will benefit the poor, ease the demand for higher wages and make inputs to food manufacturing cheaper.

The pattern of growth in the agriculture sector under Noynoy is not sustainable, Diokno said.

“The President should appoint a competent, decisive and honest Agriculture Secretary who should be an agriculture expert rather than a politician. Most high profile corruption took place in the sector,” he added.

Presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment of former North Cotabato Gov. Manny Piñol as agriculture secretary did not offer much of a promise of improvement in the neglected sector.


Making light of probable fraud Written by Tribune Editorial Tuesday, 17 May 2016 00:00

Always it seems, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) makes light of various irregularities.

There was that reaction from the Comelec, after the hash codes or computer commands were altered in the dead of the night by Smartmatic and yes, a Comelec officer, saying the change was merely cosmetic since there was only a change of characters from “?” to the letter “ñ” and that the integrity of the vote tally remained.

This was assured, despite Comelec not even having conducted an audit, nor even questioned the character intercalation.

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista merely swallowed, hook, line and sinker, the suspicious explanation of the Smartmatic official.

It had to take the feisty Commissioner Rowena Guanzon to demand a full probe on the intercalation and slammed Smartmatic’s defiance of protocol, of which Smartmatic is well aware.

Now, yet another incident related to the dubious integrity of the election count has been dismissed by the Comelec.

Confirmed reports that three election SD cards were thrown away in Kabankalan in Negros Occidental, were quickly dismissed by the Comelec.

Poll body spokesman James Jimenez, in a press conference quoted officials as saying that the SD cards were placed in envelopes that were taken out as trash after the elections.

“What happened was after the elections, election paraphernalia and the SD cards were gathered by the election officer and prepared for transmission... Those envelopes were missing. They rearranged the office and had already taken out the trash. It was not noticed that included in the trash were the envelopes that contained the SD,” he said, adding that the SD cards were found in a dump site and returned to the provincial office.

Then came the assurance from Jimenez that the contents of the SD cards that accounted for three clustered precincts in a barangay there, had already been uploaded before reports of the missing SD cards were circulated.

There Comelec went again, taking the word of whoever told the poll body that the SD cards had been thrown out together with the trash, then found, but not to worry, as the SD cards content had already been transmitted.

READ MORE...

Amazing. Shouldn’t doubt creep in at least instead of merely taking the word of a provincial official or whoever threw out the SD cards and also take the word of these officers that the count from the SD card had already been transmitted?

In the justice system, just losing the chain of evidence already makes that evidence useless in proving a crime.

Similarly, what guarantee is there that the SD cards thrown in the trash that were the genuine SD cards that were transmitted and not the fraudulent SD cards were the ones used for the transmittal? None, except the word of whoever.

The excuse of their unwittingly having thrown into the trash can the SD cards along with other election paraphernalia is much too weak. Why should these election officers, or whoever threw out the SD cards and other election documents be thrown out at all, when each of these election officers and staff involved have that responsibility to collect all these and whatever they were given on election day, by way of ballots and SD cards, are not theirs to throw away, since all these must be returned to the Comelec, especially since these SD cards are to be used for audits and for protest purposes.

Just why is the Comelec, as well as Smartmatic and even the provincial election inspectors and officers who were all involved in these controversies covering all these irregularities up?

In the 2010 presidential elections, Smartmatic, just about a week before the scheduled elections, changed all the compact flash cards and replaced them, again giving a lame excuse, while the Comelec dismissed the CG card change of no consequence, despite the fact of the discovery that the order to change the cards, came not from the Comelec commissioners en banc but from the executive director. Worse, some CF cards were not changed at all.

Was there an audit? Was there even a probe? Nothing. As a matter of record, despite the fact that even as the vote tally remained unfinished, there was the American ambassador, already in Times Street, personally congratulating Noynoy Aquino on his victory, even when less than 75 percent of the vote was in.

And then came the 2013 senatorial polls, and again, there was this Smartmatic magic of changing the hash codes, with the numbers of candidate Grace Poe rising to 20 million and senators being proclaimed even when the national canvass of the Comelec had not finished the vote count.

No wonder the electorate is always cheated out of its votes, as the Comelec does not care at all about such blatant fraud.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE