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



EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK
OR CLICK HERE TO READ ONLINE
(Mini Reads followed by Full news commentary)
FROM THE TRIBUNE

EDITORIAL: RODY HAS TO PAY FOR NOYNOYING


DECEMBER 13 -Noynoy in his forgettable six years in office had the habit of dumping the blame on his predecessor, Gloria Arroyo, for most of the problems that afflicted his administration and this was his practice even during the twilight of his administration. The pretensions to the straight path resulted in the persecution of his opponents while doing practically nothing in terms of policies to resolve persistent problems. Thus, the administration of Noynoy has become legendary for three distinct characters: Noynoying or procrastination, selective justice and under spending. The current administration of Rody seems to be on the opposite extreme. It is resolute and has strong political will that even results in frictions with the outside world. READ MORE...

ALSO: Smoothing of rough edges


DECEMBER 15 -
A noticeable shift from the commonplace foul-mouthed Rody to a more stately president was evident when he spoke before a pro-federalism group at the Palace.For starters, Rody gave a more sympathetic view on drug dependents, saying that they should pay the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) a visit because he “cares for their lives.” He said he was not into summary killings of drug suspects because he does not want to see Filipino blood spilled even in his war against drugs.
Earlier, however, he said that anybody who has tried narcotics is lost forever since the effect of drugs on the mind is permanent which seems to be a justification for extermination of drug dependents. In the criminal case filed against him by self-styled Davao Death Squad (DDS) member Edgar Matobato, Rody, a former prosecutor, said that he is not bothered by it but he “urged” Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales not to be selective and also investigate Sen. Leila de Lima, who has pending cases related to her alleged involvement in the drugs trade. READ MORE...

ALSO: 10M positives for Duterte


DECEMBER 15 -Yellow mob power grabs of the past had been predicated on the supposed mishandling of economic policies as reflected in the weakening of the stock market and the peso, which in turn, can be easily manipulated by conspiring business groups. Recent events clearly indicate attempts to make it appear that the softening stock index and the slide in the peso value are related to international concerns on the rising number of casualties in Rody’s war on drugs. The ploy, however, failed to stick, mainly as a result of the strong growth in the economy that is a natural draw for investors and what is likely the result of a strong backing that Rody gets from some 10 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who need only to raise or double their remittances to their families at home to frustrate the plots against Rody.Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez recently explained to Alok Sharma, a member of the British Parliament and Minister for Asia-Pacific of the United Kingdom (UK) Foreign Office of the strong support that Rody gets from OFWs. Citing the extent of the illegal drugs problem with which Filipinos are faced, Dominguez told Sharma that OFWs who have left their families behind in the Philippines, including nurses working in the UK voted for Rody because of his pledge to make their children safe from the drug scourge. READ MORE...

ALSO: By AFP & Tribune wires - How to solve a problem like Trump’s business empire


DECEMBER 15 -New York, United States — Donald Trump’s pledge to entrust his business empire to his sons does little to allay concerns about conflicts of interest between the incoming Republican president and the company he has run as an autocrat. “Even though I am not mandated by law to do so, I will be leaving my businesses (sic) before January 20th so that I can focus full time on the Presidency,” the president-elect announced on Twitter late Monday. “Two of my children, Don and Eric, plus executives, will manage them. No new deals will be done during my term(s) in office,” he added. The brief statement came after Trump postponed until sometime next month a news conference originally scheduled for Thursday at which he intended to unveil arrangements for his business after he takes office. The 70-year-old, who is the wealthiest man to become US president, has been beset by accusations of conflict of interest ever since his shock electoral defeat of Democratic former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last month. Those accusations have not been eased by the largely private nature of his conglomerate The Trump Organization, which is not listed on the stock market but whose network of hotels, golf clubs and luxury residential towers stretches across 20 countries, from Britain to Dubai, from the Philippines to India. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE BELOW
OR CLICK HERE TO READ ONLINE

Rody has to pay for Noynoying

MANILA, DECEMBER 19, 2016 (TRIBUNE) Written by Tribune Editorial Tuesday, 13 December 2016 - Noynoy in his forgettable six years in office had the habit of dumping the blame on his predecessor, Gloria Arroyo, for most of the problems that afflicted his administration and this was his practice even during the twilight of his administration.
The pretensions to the straight path resulted in the persecution of his opponents while doing practically nothing in terms of policies to resolve persistent problems.

Thus, the administration of Noynoy has become legendary for three distinct characters: Noynoying or procrastination, selective justice and under spending.

The current administration of Rody seems to be on the opposite extreme. It is resolute and has strong political will that even results in frictions with the outside world.

READ MORE...

On the fiscal front, many of the decisions that were set aside are now being attended to which is proving to be costly since in the field of business, delayed decisions cost a lost in terms of interest costs.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez recently did some pencil pushing on the cost of the procrastination of the previous administration and came up with P25 billion in potential hit in the budget this year and up to P100 billion more before the end of Rody’s term.

The biggest potential is an ongoing international arbitration case filed by water concessionaires Maynilad Water Services Inc. (MWSI) and the Manila Water Co. (MWC) before the International Court of Arbitration in Singapore in 2013 for the failure of regulator Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) to act on toll rate hike petitions which is contained in their concession agreements they wangled with former President Fidel Ramos.

MWSI filed a second arbitration case last year against the government, seeking compensation for P3.44 billion in foregone revenues after MWSS ignored an ICC decision in December 2014 granting this concessionaire’s 2013 petition for a rate adjustment.

In its separate arbitration case in 2015, MWC is charging the government P79 billion for projected total losses from 2015 till the end of its concession in 2037 on the same issue.

A definite fiscal drain is the P20 billion payment to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 proponent Philippine International Air Terminals Co. (Piatco) which the Supreme Court ordered to be paid $326.93 million or P15.6 billion in just compensation, plus yearly interest rates.


NOYNOYING ALL THE WAY -COURTESY OF PHILBOXING FORUM ONLINE

The Supreme Court had nullified the Piatco contracts but ruled that just compensation was incidental because of the structures already built by Piatco before the deal was voided.

Just recently, the BTr transferred some P20 billion to the Department of Transportation for payment to Piatco which included the accrued interest.

Dominguez also found some P6.3 billion in payables as a result of former Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares’ decision to impose a 20 percent final withholding tax (FWT) on bondholders in 2011.

The banks that filed a suit on the ruling won the case and the Supreme Court had ordered the government to return the P4.9 billion paid plus P1.4 billion in interest.

The yellow racket called the Poverty Eradication and Alleviation Certificates Bonds issued during the term of President Arroyo will cost Rody’s budget P5 billion in payments to Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC). Capital also over FWT collected when those 10-year zero coupon PEACe bonds issued during the past Arroyo administration matured in 2011. Code-NGO got a clean P1 billion, tax free.

The BTr sold these notes with a 10-year tenor in October 2001 through a public auction that was won by RCBC on behalf of the Caucus of Development NGO Network of yellow stalwarts Marissa Camacho and Dinky Soliman. What a disgusting bunch of civil socialites style, an out and out scam, with them making money from hard earned taxpayers.

Also, the Manila North Tollways Corp. and Cavite Infrastructure Corp. have cases against the government before the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law in Geneva, Switzerland and the Permanent Court of Arbitration in New York that could cost the government more than P3 billion.

More than P100 billion would be the cost of inaction during the term of Noynoy in its failure to act on disputes regarding spoiled deals.

Who says Noynoying was harmless?


Smoothing of rough edges Written by Tribune Editorial Thursday, 15 December 2016 00:00 f


DECEMBER 15 -A noticeable shift from the commonplace foul-mouthed Rody to a more stately president was evident when he spoke before a pro-federalism group at the Palace.

For starters, Rody gave a more sympathetic view on drug dependents, saying that they should pay the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) a visit because he “cares for their lives.”

He said he was not into summary killings of drug suspects because he does not want to see Filipino blood spilled even in his war against drugs.

Earlier, however, he said that anybody who has tried narcotics is lost forever since the effect of drugs on the mind is permanent which seems to be a justification for extermination of drug dependents.

In the criminal case filed against him by self-styled Davao Death Squad (DDS) member Edgar Matobato, Rody, a former prosecutor, said that he is not bothered by it but he “urged” Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales not to be selective and also investigate Sen. Leila de Lima, who has pending cases related to her alleged involvement in the drugs trade.

READ MORE...

“You know, Matobato filed charges against me before the Ombudsman. Fne. Investigate me. If you think there’s something wrong then mete out the proper penalty. But, Ma’am (Morales), I’m hoping that you include everybody,” Rody said.

He then pointed out one the many inconsistencies in Matobato’s testimonies at the Senate inquiry on extrajudicial killings (EJKs), saying that his son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, was even used by Matobato in peddling his lies.

“My son — the Vice Mayor (of Davao) — is really angry because the crazy man (Matobato) claims that he was my son’s bodyguard from kindergarten to high school at the Ateneo de Davao University. But he never graduated at the Ateneo. He finished school at the (Philippine Womens’ College),” he said.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre earlier wondered why Morales is dragging her feet in filing charges against de Lima despite the cases filed and the testimonies in the hearings held on the drugs trade inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) and the Senate hearing on the killing of Albuera, Leyte, Mayor Rolando Espinosa Jr.

“After the congressional hearing, despite the many witnesses against (de Lima) including the two (National Bureau of Investigation) officers, to the Ombudsman, these are not sufficient (evidence),” Aguirre said.

“These are accusations although testimonial evidence only. But whether it is testimonial evidence, these are pieces of evidence against somebody for being charged with the violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act,” he said.

“I don’t know what’s wrong and why they’re ignoring it. Maybe, it is the Ombudsman herself who can explain her stand,” Aguirre added.

Thus, what is being noted now is that cases against officials identified with the previous administration are filed with the Department of Justice (DoJ) while charges against Rody and his men go straight to the Ombudsman.

Morales, nonetheless, also seems to have an improved view of Rody as she now subscribes to what his aides point out, which is that what Rody does is different from what he says.

When asked about Rody’s defense of Region 8 policemen led by Supt. Marvin Marcos implicated in the killing of Albuera Mayor Espinosa after de Lima said he could be impeached for it, Morales said that Duterte saying he will not let any of the policemen go to jail was “a mere statement.”

“That’s a mere statement. Whether it’s going to be carried out or not is a different story,” she said.

“According to Leila (de Lima), it’s a betrayal of public trust. We’re not bound by anyone’s opinion. We will have our own opinion,” Morales added.

“If they have a finding, good. File a case, but I will not allow the police to be left behind because they acted on my orders,” Rody said.

Of course, Rody, during his speech, can’t resist letting out some mischief in his struggle to be presidential.

He offered help for critics of his war on drugs to “adopt” drug addicts as a way to show their commitment to the demands to reform narcotics dependents.

Thus far nobody among the yellows has taken the offer.


10M positives for Duterte Written by Tribune Editorial Wednesday, 14 December 2016 00:00

Yellow mob power grabs of the past had been predicated on the supposed mishandling of economic policies as reflected in the weakening of the stock market and the peso, which in turn, can be easily manipulated by conspiring business groups.

Recent events clearly indicate attempts to make it appear that the softening stock index and the slide in the peso value are related to international concerns on the rising number of casualties in Rody’s war on drugs.

The ploy, however, failed to stick, mainly as a result of the strong growth in the economy that is a natural draw for investors and what is likely the result of a strong backing that Rody gets from some 10 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who need only to raise or double their remittances to their families at home to frustrate the plots against Rody.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez recently explained to Alok Sharma, a member of the British Parliament and Minister for Asia-Pacific of the United Kingdom (UK) Foreign Office of the strong support that Rody gets from OFWs.

Citing the extent of the illegal drugs problem with which Filipinos are faced, Dominguez told Sharma that OFWs who have left their families behind in the Philippines, including nurses working in the UK voted for Rody because of his pledge to make their children safe from the drug scourge.

READ MORE...

“The nurses in your country, in the UK, 75 percent of them voted for our President, and you know why? Because he promised that their children here will be safer. That means a lot to the OFWs. That’s their main worry when they leave,” Dominguez said.

What is usually highlighted in foreign media are the more than 4,000 deaths in the five months that Rody has been in office which is also the length of his anti-drugs campaign.

With his thinking out loud manner, Rody creates an impression of admission of guilt over the extrajudicial killings (EJKs) that his aides would later deny.

Saying that his main mission as President would be to provide Filipinos with peace and order, Rody said that he would “kill” all those who stand in his way in achieving this goal.

Also he would often say that he would gladly relinquish his post once he achieves his target of eradicating the narcotics menace.

Of course, it has a double meaning in that it is a warning to his opponents that he will not go down without a fight unless he meets his goal which on other occasions he admits that he may not solve the problem within six years.

In his meeting with Dominguez, Sharma said the UK is willing to back Duterte’s war on drugs in terms of rehabilitation of drug dependents which is a form of a concession from the usual condemnation that Rody gets from European countries.

“There is drug rehabilitation and from our perspective we would very much like to support it. That’s where we would like to come in and support,” Sharma said.

Dominguez also told Sharma that on top of the war against drugs, the Duterte administration has been vigorously implementing its priority goals of reducing poverty, developing a society that is law-abiding, and assuring that the country is at peace with itself and its neighbors in the international community.

Dominguez said the ultimate goal of Rody on the economic front is to reduce poverty from 22 percent to 15 percent five years from now, by sustaining high economic growth and accelerating spending on infrastructure, human capital and social protection for the poor.

Based on recent surveys, Filipinos believe that the basic necessities starting with reducing criminality that the ineffective administration of Noynoy had neglected are now being addressed.

According to government figures, 250,000 Filipinos reside and work in the UK who used to eternally worry about the safety of their relatives back home.

A total of a 10 million OFWs who mostly voted for Rody remain a potent force to preempt any yellow plot to oust him.


AFP AND TRIBUNE WIRES COMMENTARY

How to solve a problem like Trump’s business empire Written by AFP and Tribune Wires Thursday, 15 December 2016 00:00



New York, United States — Donald Trump’s pledge to entrust his business empire to his sons does little to allay concerns about conflicts of interest between the incoming Republican president and the company he has run as an autocrat.

“Even though I am not mandated by law to do so, I will be leaving my businesses (sic) before January 20th so that I can focus full time on the Presidency,” the president-elect announced on Twitter late Monday.

“Two of my children, Don and Eric, plus executives, will manage them. No new deals will be done during my term(s) in office,” he added.

The brief statement came after Trump postponed until sometime next month a news conference originally scheduled for Thursday at which he intended to unveil arrangements for his business after he takes office.

The 70-year-old, who is the wealthiest man to become US president, has been beset by accusations of conflict of interest ever since his shock electoral defeat of Democratic former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last month.

Those accusations have not been eased by the largely private nature of his conglomerate The Trump Organization, which is not listed on the stock market but whose network of hotels, golf clubs and luxury residential towers stretches across 20 countries, from Britain to Dubai, from the Philippines to India.

READ MORE...

The company releases no public statistics and in the absence of tax returns, which the billionaire has still refused to publish, relatively little is known about the extent of its interests.

According to PrivCo, which seeks to provide financial and business information on private companies, The Trump Organization employs about 22,000 people and had revenues of $9.5 billion in 2014.

Even Trump’s personal fortune is in dispute. After launching his presidential bid last June, he declared himself worth $10 billion. Forbes estimated his fortune at $3.7 billion in October and Bloomberg at $2.9 billion in 2015.

‘Autocratic style’

The company serves as an umbrella organization for numerous assets, which today mostly revolve around Trump’s marketing savvy.

Moving on from big investments of the 1980s — such as Trump Tower, the company headquarters which opened in 1983 — the company today mostly licenses the Trump name to a plethora of projects that he does not actually own.

Take for example Trump Tower in Manila, a luxury skyscraper currently under construction in the Philippines’ capital.

Although he is not the owner, Trump has already been paid as much as $5 million for allowing use of his name, according to CBS.

The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, even named Jose Antonio, the chief executive officer of the company that led the project, a “special envoy” to the United States, magnifying fears about a conflict of interest.

Over the years, Trump — who once told CNN he “loves debt” — has also taken out loans from creditors who are often difficult to identify, leading to fears that they could also exert an influence over the new president.

But if his creditors are unclear, his style of management is very clear, says William Klepper, who teaches executive leadership at Columbia Business School.

“He is a command-and-control type leader. He is more likely to tell people what to do than asking them what they think he could do,” he told AFP.

“It is a more autocratic style,” Klepper said — “not uncommon” in a family business — but less suited to mature companies or democracies when “you would want more of a collaborative, incentive-style leader.”

‘Sell it’

His absence could also affect The Trump Organization, where his adult children, Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka are all vice presidents.

If his Twitter feed appears to rule out Ivanka, US media has suggested that his daughter and her husband Jared Kushner will take on some kind of role in the administration and move to Washington.

As a result a Trump presidency could see other executives promoted.

Matthew Calamari, chief operating officer, joined in 1981 as a security guard after impressing Trump while working in security at the US Open, the annual tennis championship in the New York City borough of Queens.

Another loyalist is Allen Weisselberg, the discreet chief financial officer, who worked for Trump’s father before joining The Trump Organization.

But even if the sons remain in charge and there are no new deals, multiple conflicts of interest would still remain, says Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, a nonprofit that promotes transparency in politics.

“There is only one way to solve the conflict of interest, which is to sell off the family business,” he said.

“Alternatively, the business would go under the control of a trustee, whose first act would be to sell it.”


GO TO >> FIRST PAGE HT-OPINION

CONTINUE TO >> NEXT HT-OPINION PAGE (.../54 coming next week)

GO TO >> HEADLINE NEWS PAGE

GO TO > > BUSINESS & ECONOMY PAGE


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

RMAIL: PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
© Copyright, 2016 All rights reserved


BACK TO PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE