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

BY Florangel Rosario Braid - JUNE 30: TRANSITION


JUNE 29 -by Florangel Rosario Braid Tomorrow, the nation will witness a momentous passage with the coming in of a new president and the exit of another. Finally, the hope of seeing Mindanao as the “Land of Promise” may soon become a reality when President-elect Rodrigo Duterte takes his oath of office as the 16th president of our republic. After decades of intermittent warfare and absence of adequate economic wherewithal, Mindanao will now emerge and claim the rights that it has been deprived of all these years. With the election of Duterte, often dubbed “The Punisher” for his maverick methods in addressing peace and order, Mindanao, and specifically Davao, will now be in the spotlight and center of power. Having served as Mayor of Davao City for over 20 years, Duterte transformed what used to be the center of crime and lawlessness into what is now described as the most peaceful city in our part of the world. This, he accomplished in a manner that was either admired or criticized by those who, think this is the only way we can curb rising criminality, and those who, although they agree on the goal, differ in the manner of solving it. That vigilantism and abetting a “killing society” violate human rights and would bring us back to the dark ages. Thus, while we admire the passion and sincerity of President-elect Duterte in working tirelessly in coming up with innovative ways to address the priority ills of our society, we fear that these may not be sustainable unless anchored on human rights and regard for due process. As I noted in an earlier piece, President Benigno Aquino will be remembered for a legacy unmatched especially in terms of bringing back people’s faith in government. He restored the pride and the hope of the people in our capacity to become great. For the past six years, his commitment to the eradication of corruption, improvement of the economy (we are now the fastest growing economy in Asia), transformation of social services – through the 4 P’s, Philhealth, education-K-12 and vocational education for employment, he had given a new life to a nation that used to be known as the “sick man of Asia.” He can now proudly say that he is leaving a much stronger economy than what he was faced with during his first year. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Jose Abeto Zaide After Brexit, Fixit?
[Snap out of daydreaming. Because, ready or not, change is coming to this fabled (PI) isles come high noon tomorrow June 30th. Ubedderbelibit: When you wake up on Friday, July 1, PNoy would have Exit. But can Digong Fixit?]


JUNE 28 -by Jose Abeto Zaide On the week before Britain went into referendum, the last poll I read (on the dead heat between whether the United Kingdom should stay in the EU or it should go) was that the vote would swing to status quo: Stay put in the EU. The smart money said that after the horror of the murder of the Labor MP Jo Cox by a rightist extremist, the vote would swing to the stayers. I was therefore surprised to wake up the next morning to hear that when all votes had been counted, Brexit won by a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent. Perhaps my sources were wrong or just too limited. I had polled only exactly two persons, Stephen Harkins and John Siddell, who incidentally happened to be Scots. (Scots or Scottish are natives of Scotland. Scotch is the beverage that is intoxicating.) At the referendum, Scotland voted in favor of the UK staying in the EU, 62% vs. 38% — with all 32 council areas backing to remain. UK as a whole voted to exit the EU — raising the specter of Scotland being taken out of the EU against its will. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland had delivered a “strong, unequivocal vote” to remain in the EU. Is this a portent of asking Peter to return what he had Robbed Roy? One who sees a ray shining out of the clouds is Donald Trump, who arrived in Scotland to visit his Trump Turnberry golf resort. The US presidential hopeful said that it was a “great thing” that the people of the UK had “taken back their country.” Another bright hope is that duty-free sales of spirits and scotch (the drink) will again be available on passage across the channel. Our English professor Tony Manuud used to tell that no matter how agitated two Scots were in conversation, for as long as they spoke Scottish, things were well and honky-dory. But if they switched to speaking English to each other, that would be dagger-eyes deadly serious business. BTW, in 2008 a poll was taken among football fans on the question: “Are people from Scotland Scottish or British. Are people from Wales Welsh or British?” READ MORE...

ALSO: EDITORIAL - Comelec must quickly end internal controversy


JULY 1 -The presidential election has just been held, for which the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has been cited for its admirable job, but it now seems to be embroiled in an internal controversy that could hamper its preparations for the next set of elections – the Barangay and the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections in October. In a rather unusual move, the six commissioners signed a memorandum raising a number of issues against Chairman Andres Bautista which, they said, constituted a “failure of leadership.” Chairman Bautista who was in Japan last week said he found it ironic that the six commissioners had come to this conclusion after the May 9 elections “which most believe was the fastest, most organized, and successful elections in Philippine history.” Of the many issues raised in the memorandum, one appeared to be simply on a procedural matter – the lack of an advance agenda for en banc meetings which the commissioners could study and prepare for. More substantial was the charge of delay in the payment for many teachers who had served in the last election, which Bautista denied, saying 99.8 percent of the poll workers had already been paid. The chairman was also accused of making unilateral announcements on matters that must be decided by the Comelec as a whole, such as postponement of the barangay and SK elections. He had also allegedly signed memorandums of agreement with certain malls planned to be used as voting centers; the Comelec en banc rejected the plan just days before the election, but because of the signed agreements, one mall is charging the Comelec over a million pesos. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Julie Daza - Just 'Du' It


JULY 1 -'JUST DU IT' -COURTESY OF ONLINE-INSTAGRAM.COM Just Duterte it. Cut to the chase, keep the speech short, and roll up your sleeves. “Why am I here? I’m here because I am ready to start my work for the nation.” The best part of that crisp and crunchy speech – 16 minutes long – at the inaugural was the last sentence, a throwaway line. President Duterte is impatient to bring change, starting with himself. No cusswords, no deadly threats except a thinly veiled “parting of the ways sooner than later” with cabinet secretaries who are unable to keep up to speed, no frills, no wasting time. Just Du it, and so he did, issuing his first order to “all department secretaries and heads of agencies” to “reduce requirements in processing time of all applications,” “remove redundant requirements,” and “refrain from bending and changing the rules in government contracts.”  Just imagine, how many million manhours and pesos will be saved, not to mention how many cases of hypertension, stress, and cardiac arrest will be prevented and kept out of hospitals and clinics, should those orders be followed to the letter by national and local officials so used to lording it over the hapless citizen. Just Du it, for the test of government service is in how “we provide for those who have little,” a throwback to Ramon Magsaysay, with whom Digong has been compared. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Transitions


by Florangel Rosario Braid

MANILA, JULY 7, 2016 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Florangel Rosario Braid  June 28, 2016 - Tomorrow, the nation will witness a momentous passage with the coming in of a new president and the exit of another. Finally, the hope of seeing Mindanao as the “Land of Promise” may soon become a reality when President-elect Rodrigo Duterte takes his oath of office as the 16th president of our republic.

After decades of intermittent warfare and absence of adequate economic wherewithal, Mindanao will now emerge and claim the rights that it has been deprived of all these years. With the election of Duterte, often dubbed “The Punisher” for his maverick methods in addressing peace and order, Mindanao, and specifically Davao, will now be in the spotlight and center of power.

Having served as Mayor of Davao City for over 20 years, Duterte transformed what used to be the center of crime and lawlessness into what is now described as the most peaceful city in our part of the world.

This, he accomplished in a manner that was either admired or criticized by those who, think this is the only way we can curb rising criminality, and those who, although they agree on the goal, differ in the manner of solving it. That vigilantism and abetting a “killing society” violate human rights and would bring us back to the dark ages.

Thus, while we admire the passion and sincerity of President-elect Duterte in working tirelessly in coming up with innovative ways to address the priority ills of our society, we fear that these may not be sustainable unless anchored on human rights and regard for due process.

As I noted in an earlier piece, President Benigno Aquino will be remembered for a legacy unmatched especially in terms of bringing back people’s faith in government.

He restored the pride and the hope of the people in our capacity to become great. For the past six years, his commitment to the eradication of corruption, improvement of the economy (we are now the fastest growing economy in Asia), transformation of social services – through the 4 P’s, Philhealth, education-K-12 and vocational education for employment, he had given a new life to a nation that used to be known as the “sick man of Asia.”

He can now proudly say that he is leaving a much stronger economy than what he was faced with during his first year.

READ MORE...

And still another transition with the exit of Britain from the European Union which had stunned the world.

In fact, some Britishers admit they didn’t quite understand the implication of their vote to “leave” and some three million have already signed up the petition for another referendum. But UK Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad says this is not possible. On the issue of Scotland which voted to remain in the Union now wanting its independence from Britain, or trying to search for means by which it can join the EU, he said that was another matter which has possibilities.

He noted, however, that “Brexit”would not have much impact on the Philippine economy or trade. Nor would it have adverse effect on matters like securing visas for the UK. However, I could see possible impact on ASEAN integration – a vision that we had looked forward to.

What we appear to be witnessing today is some kind of growing polarity in attitudes regarding culture, faith, and ethnicity among nations which have earlier forged cooperation on economic concerns like a common market or currency. Thus, while some are open to the flow of persons across borders, others today express reservations on allowing their doors open to immigrants.

Thus, we welcome the initiative of Ambassador Asif Ahmad in hosting an Iftar reception last Monday where he invited not only representatives of the Muslim community but also non-Muslims from other sectors, an act that recognizes the importance of inclusiveness in facing challenges ahead of us.

The same gesture was made by the London mayor who is himself a Muslim.

At a prayer and brief meeting before dinner consisting of the usual fare during such celebrations, he, Amina Rasul, an imam, a Christian, and a rabbi spoke of essential values in building a more inclusive society. Referring to the change that we will soon expect in the coming administration, Amina notes that we must all first experience a change within us. We wish our Muslim brothers and sisters well and a happy end to their Ramadan fasting.

Tomorrow, VP-elect Leni Robredo takes her oath of office before the chairman of one of the poorest barangays in Camarines Sur.

This will be at 9:30 in the morning, before President-elect Duterte’s inaugural at Malacanang. Both oath-taking ceremonies depart from the usual practices in presidential inaugurations.


After Brexit, Fixit? by Jose Abeto Zaide June 28, 2016 (updated) Share1 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share2


JUNE 28 -by Jose Abeto Zaide

On the week before Britain went into referendum, the last poll I read (on the dead heat between whether the United Kingdom should stay in the EU or it should go) was that the vote would swing to status quo: Stay put in the EU. The smart money said that after the horror of the murder of the Labor MP Jo Cox by a rightist extremist, the vote would swing to the stayers.

I was therefore surprised to wake up the next morning to hear that when all votes had been counted, Brexit won by a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent.

Perhaps my sources were wrong or just too limited. I had polled only exactly two persons, Stephen Harkins and John Siddell, who incidentally happened to be Scots. (Scots or Scottish are natives of Scotland. Scotch is the beverage that is intoxicating.)

At the referendum, Scotland voted in favor of the UK staying in the EU, 62% vs. 38% — with all 32 council areas backing to remain. UK as a whole voted to exit the EU — raising the specter of Scotland being taken out of the EU against its will.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland had delivered a “strong, unequivocal vote” to remain in the EU. Is this a portent of asking Peter to return what he had Robbed Roy?

One who sees a ray shining out of the clouds is Donald Trump, who arrived in Scotland to visit his Trump Turnberry golf resort. The US presidential hopeful said that it was a “great thing” that the people of the UK had “taken back their country.” Another bright hope is that duty-free sales of spirits and scotch (the drink) will again be available on passage across the channel.

Our English professor Tony Manuud used to tell that no matter how agitated two Scots were in conversation, for as long as they spoke Scottish, things were well and honky-dory. But if they switched to speaking English to each other, that would be dagger-eyes deadly serious business.

BTW, in 2008 a poll was taken among football fans on the question: “Are people from Scotland Scottish or British…Are people from Wales Welsh or British?”

READ MORE...

Best Answer: “Technically we are all British because we are a part of the United Kingdom. But many as I do hold different political views and see themselves as their nationality only. I for one do. I am Welsh and solely Welsh. I don’t class myself as British. It’s just a label on my passport. I want independence for Wales. All countries in the world have a wright (sic) to govern themselves and not by other countries. The sooner we become independent the better IMO (sic).

“Why should I be British as well? What is British ? …No thank you…I don’t need a dual nationality. Mine is great enough. I am Welsh and Welsh only.” (Cymro i’r Carn)

Second prize answer: “Scottish-Italian, but since it’s impossible to own a Scottish passport, I shall be applying for an Italian passport so I can get rid of that disgusting Brit one…England e un pezzo di merda!!!” (Author anonymous)

BTW, just before last week’s earth-shaking referendum, a news item appeared, headlined: “Hong Kong activists want ‘return to British rule’” A group of Hong Kong activists fearful of Beijing tightening its grip on the southern Chinese city, are now demanding a return to British rule as a stepping stone towards independence.

Hong Kong was handed back to Beijing in 1997, with the Sino-British Joint Declaration preserving its liberties for 50 years. But they can’t put the genie back into the bottle, and there is no sense day-dreaming of what might have been.

One particular daydream at a time before the irridentia was the alternative thought – instead of giving the Crown Colony back to China, what about doing it right-side-up instead of upside-down: What if Britain were made a colony of Hong Kong instead?

Proponents of this approach said that the English disease (wildcat labor strikes) would be a thing of the past; you’d have your cuppa tea and biscuits, too; and Britain would be back at work. Now, isn’t that something? (Sigh). Dunno if the proponents pressed for a poll on the alternative Plan B, and how the Brits would have voted?

Snap out of daydreaming. Because, ready or not, change is coming to this fabled (PI) isles come high noon tomorrow June 30th. Ubedderbelibit: When you wake up on Friday, July 1, PNoy would have Exit. But can Digong Fixit?


Comelec must quickly end internal controversy July 1, 2016 (updated) Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share0

The presidential election has just been held, for which the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has been cited for its admirable job, but it now seems to be embroiled in an internal controversy that could hamper its preparations for the next set of elections – the Barangay and the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections in October.

In a rather unusual move, the six commissioners signed a memorandum raising a number of issues against Chairman Andres Bautista which, they said, constituted a “failure of leadership.” Chairman Bautista who was in Japan last week said he found it ironic that the six commissioners had come to this conclusion after the May 9 elections “which most believe was the fastest, most organized, and successful elections in Philippine history.”

Of the many issues raised in the memorandum, one appeared to be simply on a procedural matter – the lack of an advance agenda for en banc meetings which the commissioners could study and prepare for. More substantial was the charge of delay in the payment for many teachers who had served in the last election, which Bautista denied, saying 99.8 percent of the poll workers had already been paid.

The chairman was also accused of making unilateral announcements on matters that must be decided by the Comelec as a whole, such as postponement of the barangay and SK elections. He had also allegedly signed memorandums of agreement with certain malls planned to be used as voting centers; the Comelec en banc rejected the plan just days before the election, but because of the signed agreements, one mall is charging the Comelec over a million pesos.

READ MORE...

When the chairman and the six members of the commission finally get to meet and settle their differences, they will also have to act on several poll protests along with a charge of vote manipulation in the quick count of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, raised by party-list organization Consla. Investigations need to be undertaken.

Chairman Bautista, who is back from Japan, said he is ready to answer all issues raised against him. It is indeed unusual that any misunderstanding should reach such a point where all six Comelec commissioners agree on a memorandum critical of their chairman. They have just accomplished a great job in holding the May 9 presidential election and must now work double-time for the barangay and SK elections just four months from now.

Surely they can settle all their differences and decide on all pending issues with utmost capability in the national interest, as befits the respected independent constitutional body that is the Commission on Elections.


Just Du It by Jullie Yap Daza July 1, 2016 (updated) Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share1


'JUST DU IT' -COURTESY OF ONLINE-INSTAGRAM.COM

Just Duterte it. Cut to the chase, keep the speech short, and roll up your sleeves. “Why am I here? I’m here because I am ready to start my work for the nation.”

The best part of that crisp and crunchy speech – 16 minutes long – at the inaugural was the last sentence, a throwaway line.

 President Duterte is impatient to bring change, starting with himself. No cusswords, no deadly threats except a thinly veiled “parting of the ways sooner than later” with cabinet secretaries who are unable to keep up to speed, no frills, no wasting time.

Just Du it, and so he did, issuing his first order to “all department secretaries and heads of agencies” to “reduce requirements in processing time of all applications,” “remove redundant requirements,” and “refrain from bending and changing the rules in government contracts.”

Just imagine, how many million manhours and pesos will be saved, not to mention how many cases of hypertension, stress, and cardiac arrest will be prevented and kept out of hospitals and clinics, should those orders be followed to the letter by national and local officials so used to lording it over the hapless citizen.

Just Du it, for the test of government service is in how “we provide for those who have little,” a throwback to Ramon Magsaysay, with whom Digong has been compared.

READ MORE...

To get to Malacañang, Digong of Davao City trumped the mayor of glitzy Makati, defeated the sitting president’s alter ego, beat the gracious lady with the ponytail, and astounded those of us who did not feel the earth moving under our feet in a totally different direction.

As a businessman put it, “The moment I saw ordinary people paying good money to buy his campaign shirts, I was sure he was going to win.”

Another said, “Like children, we only behave when Papa takes out his belt to punish us – now here comes this guy and he’s The Punisher!”

The signs were all good on June 30. The morning was gentled by sprinkles of rain, always a nice augury, then the sun came out as soon as the oath-taking was done. It’s going to be a rough ride, the President promised, so why’s everyone so cheerful?

Just Du it, Mr. President.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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