MANILA, MARCH 24, 2012 (STANDARD) Written by Christine F. Herrera - PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III has mounted a PR campaign to make it appear he is a “working President to counter the “noynoying” label that is hurting him, but his act of desperation betrays his real intent by going on a “junket abroad” while the country is reeling from an economic crisis, Kabataan Rep. Raymond Palatino said Thursday.

“It is an act of desperation,” Palatino told the Manila Standard.

“Who would believe the President is not noynoying? The PR spin to make him look busy is not being bought by the public. What the people want to see are concrete actions.

“The President is hurting over the noynoying poses that symbolize his inaction and insensitivity because they accurately describe his actuation and behavior toward the public’s sentiments. He is anti-poor. He does not lift a finger to free the people from hardship.”

Mr. Aquino laughed off a tweet from actor-TV host Edu Manzano that he and his current flame, Grace Lee, shared a “leisurely stroll” on Thursday.

Emerging from a six-hour meeting of the National Economic and Development Authority, Mr. Aquino he should probably give jobs to people who didn’t have anything better to do than spread gossip.

“That was laughable,” he said.

“Somebody tweeted that I was strolling the whole day in Greenhills with a date.”

Manzano apologized for his tweet later.

Palatino said the President should stop faulting the activists for coining noynoying as a result of his inaction and insensitivity.


“As the people are facing difficulties in making both ends meet, the President is doing nothing, ignoring their demands to stop the almost weekly oil price increases, remove the tax on oil, grant the 125-peso -across-the-board [wage] increase, and bring down the prices of basic commodities,” Palatino said.

Renato Reyes, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary general, said the President was showing his “insensitivity” by ignoring the demands of the public.

“The President is pissed over the label Noynoying, but then what did he do?” he said.

“Instead of showing concrete output, he schedules 10 trips abroad and leaves behind the people reeling from the crisis. He is more concerned about his image than the people’s suffering.” With Joyce Pangco Pañares


Aquino welcomes Kuwaiti Amir to Malacañang By Norman Bordadora Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:11 am | Saturday, March 24th, 2012

[PHOTO - ROYAL VISITOR GRATEFUL President Aquino guides Kuwaiti Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah before trooping the line during the arrival honors at the Malacañang grounds on Friday. The Kuwaiti ruler is in the country on a five-day state visit. He thanks the Filipinos for their help to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi occupation. EDWIN BACASMAS]

Kuwaiti Amir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, on Friday night expressed his country’s appreciation for the Philippines’ participation in the multilateral effort to liberate the oil-rich state when it was occupied by Iraq several years back.

Meeting with President Aquino in Malacañang on the first day of his state visit, the Amir said he was happy to be in the Philippines and extended his own invitation to the Filipino leader to visit Kuwait.

“We would like to commend highly the excellent relations that exist between Kuwait and the Philippines,” Sheikh Sabah said in his opening statement during the bilateral meeting.

“(The Philippines) participated (with) other countries in liberating Kuwait… Therefore, I would like to extend my appreciation and thanks for this act,” he added.

President Aquino welcomed Sheikh Sabah in Malacañang, where the visiting dignitary was greeted with a 21-gun salute.

A state dinner was also tendered for the Amir in the Palace.

The five-day state visit of the Kuwaiti Amir is expected to intensify economic relations and boost investments in the Philippines, Malacañang said on Friday.

Sheikh Sabah is scheduled to unveil the marker for the Sabah Al Ahmad Global Gateway Logistics City, at the Clark Export Processing Zone on Tuesday.

The Palace said Kuwaiti investments in the Philippines include the $2 billion Kuwait and Gulf Link Co. investment in Clark Field, Pampanga; the recently-acquired shipping company Negros Navigation. Kuwaiti businessmen have also expressed interest in investing in the Metro Rail Transit system, and Intishar’s 500-hectare banana plantation in Davao, Primavera said.

The government said Kuwait currently hosts more than 140,000 Filipino workers.

Among the agreements scheduled to be signed by the two countries are a memorandum of understanding on agricultural and fisheries cooperation, an agreement on the waiver of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic, special and official passports, a cultural agreement, a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the recruitment and employment of Filipino household service workers, and an another in the field of labor cooperation.


Edu: I won’t pass blame to my ‘source’ Posted at 03/23/2012 12:47 PM | Updated as of 03/23/2012 3:22 PM

MANILA, Philippines – After drawing flak for his wrong tweet about President Aquino III and Korean TV and radio personality Grace Lee, Edu Manzano took full responsibility for his mistake instead of blaming his “source.”

On Twitter, Manzano said he is not making any excuses.

“To those offering ‘palusots’ (excuses): Thanks, but I’ll pass. Wala pong palusot kapag nagkamali ka. I own up to it. I won’t pass blame to my ‘source,’” he wrote.

“And to those who have posted personal attacks against me, I sincerely understand. Lord knows I’ve given you a lot of material to work with,” he added.

On Thursday, Manzano said on Twitter that President Aquino was spotted on a date with Lee in Greenhills, San Juan.

The President denied this, saying that he was at the Palace presiding over the board meeting of the National Economic and Development Authority.

Lee, meanwhile, said she was in Makati at that time.

Manzano earlier apologized for his Twitter post, saying that it was “unconfirmed gossip.”

He did not say where he got the rumor.

Aquino ratings drop; Binay, Enrile’s improve BY JOCELYN MONTEMAYOR

[PHOTO - Noynoying plays on the widespread perception that Mr. Aquino – who is widely known by the nickname Noynoy – might not be the most hands-on president to have led the Philippines. Since being elected in a landslide in 2010, Mr. Aquino has sometimes been caught laughing it up with celebrities instead of attending to the impact of typhoons and other disasters. It also taps into old Philippine folk tales about Juan Tamad, or Lazy Juan, who manages to get by doing the least amount of work to get by.]

THE first quarter Pulse Asia survey showed that President Aquino’s approval rating dropped two percentage points from 72 percent in its 2011 fourth quarter survey last November to 70 percent.

The President’s disapproval rating remained at 9 percent, according to the February 26 to March 9 Pulse Asia Ulat sa Bayan survey which had 1,200 respondents.

The approval ratings of Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile were higher than that of Aquino at 84 percent and 71 percent an improvement from the 83 percent and 60 percent ratings in the fourth quarter Pulse Asia survey.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Malacanang is not concerned if Binay’s approval and rating is higher than that of President Aquino.

"Number one, we’re very happy with the numbers of the Vice President. Number two, the President has continued to maintain his popularity and trust ratings in spite of the situation. So it means that the people continue to trust the President and that’s important for us because so far majority of the people believe in the President," he said.

Aquino’s trust rating dropped to 69 percent from 74 percent, while that of Binay dropped to 80 percent from 83 percent.

Enrile’s trust rating improved from 59 percent in November to 63 percent.

Binay’s disapproval rating dropped from 4 percent to 3 percent while Enrile’s disapproval rating dropped from 11 percent to 7 percent.

The approval rating of Speaker Sonny Belmonte and Chief Justice Renato Corona dropped 4 to 24 percentage points from 45 percent and 38 percent to 41 percent and 14 percent respectively.

Belmonte’s trust rating dropped from 41 percent to 32 percent. Corona’s trust rating dropped from 29 percent in November to 11 percent in February.

Belmonte’s disapproval rating remained at 16 percent while that of Corona’s worsened by 34 percentage points from 24 percent in November to 58 percent in the latest Pulse Asia survey.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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