NINOY TELLS PNoy: LIVE WITH HONOR, FOLLOW YOUR CONSCIENCE 

AUGUST 21 --While in prison during the early years of Martial Law, the late Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino wrote a personal letter to his only son and namesake. In his letter dated August 25, 1973, the elder Aquino explained to his son why he decided not to participate in the proceedings of the military commission assigned to try the trumped up charges of illegal possession of firearms, subversion and murder filed against him. Aquino said his decision was an "act of conscience." "It is an act of protest against the structures of injustice that have been imposed upon our hapless countrymen. Futile and puny, as it will surely appear to many, it is my last act of defiance against tyranny and dictatorship," Aquino wrote in his letter. Aquino also relayed to his son a prepared statement that he intended to read before the military commission. He explained in the statement why he did not follow suggestions that he beg for mercy from the Marcos regime.

"Son, this I cannot do in conscience. I would rather die on my feet with honor, than live on bended knees in shame," Aquino said. Aquino also apologized to his son for passing to him the responsibility of taking care of their family. He asked his son to stand by his mother, the late President Corazon Aquino, and look after his two younger sisters, Viel and Kris. "Krissy is still very young and fate has been most unkind to both of us. Our parting came too soon. Please make up for me. Take care of her as I would have taken care of her with patience and warm affection," Aquino said.* READ MORE...

ALSO: In mass for Ninoy Aquino: Palace chaplain says he wants ‘endless’ term for PNoy  

PHOTO: President Benigno Aquino III sprinkles holy water on the tomb of his parents during a Mass to commemorate the 31st death anniversary of his father, former Senator Benigno 'Ninoy' Aquino Jr., at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque on Thursday, August 21. President Benigno Aquino III may be willing to listen to calls for term extension, but the chaplain of the presidential guards wants something way more for him: an endless term. Monsignor Daniel Tansip, Presidential Securtiy Group (PSG) chaplain, said during a homily on Thursday that he personally wanted Aquino to stay in power for as long as possible. "Kung ako lang po ang masusunod, ako’y isang ordinaryong pari lang, on this personal note: Sana hindi na matapos iyong paglilingkod ng ating Mahal na Pangulo para tuluy-tuloy pa rin ang magandang nasimulan sa pagtutuwid at pagtatama ng daan," Tansip said during the Mass to commemorate the 31st death anniversary of the President's father, Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. In a television interview last week, President Aquino said that he was willing to listen to public clamor for him to stay in power. Any extension of the President's term would require amendments to the Constitution. Section 4, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution prohibits the reelection of an incumbent president. * READ MORE...

ALSO: ‘Term extension a threat to democracy’  

PHOTO: A placard is placed near a monument of former senator Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino Jr. in Quezon City yesterday. Rallyists commemorated Ninoy’s death anniversary by citing his contributions in the struggle against the Marcos regime.

Ferdinand Marcos wanted to remain in power. Look what happened. This was the message sent to President Aquino yesterday by protesters who used the 31st death anniversary of his father Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. as an occasion to denounce plans to lift the president’s single-term limit. Protesters gathered in front of the Aquinos’ family home along Times Street and around the Ninoy Aquino monument , both in Quezon City, displaying placards bearing photographs of the President’s parents and branding him a budding dictator. Vice President Jejomar Binay, who was among the recipients of a special award granted yesterday to those who fought the Marcos dictatorship, also warned that lifting the President’s single, six-year term was a threat to democracy. The late President Corazon Aquino had refused to seek a second term despite arguments that she was not covered by the single-term limit imposed by the 1987 Constitution. Upon her retirement, she opposed attempts to amend the Constitution to lift term limits and allow the reelection of presidents.*READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino uncles back Binay run in 2016   

PHOTO: The President's uncles, former Makati City Representative Butz Aquino, PNOC director Paul Aquino and Tarlac Representative Peping Cojuangco. —A political line was drawn on the tarmac during the commemoration of the 31st death anniversary of Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. on Thursday, with Vice President Jejomar Binay getting an open endorsement of his presidential plans from the elders of the Aquino clan.

Agapito “Butz” Aquino, a former senator and brother of the assassinated Ninoy Aquino, declared support for Binay’s presidential ambition before Aquino loyalists, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and Binay himself during the wreath-laying ceremonies held at Ninoy Aquino International Airport 1 and 3. “I heard the Aquino sisters are for you. I thought that’s right. Even the uncles, Uncle Peping and Uncle Paul,” Butz Aquino said in a speech that capped the wreath-laying ceremonies at the airport. Butz Aquino was referring to President Aquino’s uncle on his mother side, businessman Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr., and his brother Paul, father of Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV.
Continuing reforms --His declaration came nearly two weeks after the President’s youngest sister, actress and television host Kris Aquino, declared her and her sisters’ support for Binay’s plan to run for President in 2016.
“My sisters and I have been talking about it (the Liberal Party adopting Binay as presidential candidate), and we say that if this can bring about unity as … we’re not enemies … and if he continues what Noy has started, why not?” Kris Aquino said on her evening TV show.* READ MORE...

ALSO: 85% say no to Binay-Roxas tandem for 2016 elections   

A resounding “no.” That was the answer of 8 out of 10 INQUIRER.net readers who participated in an online poll on whether the tandem of Vice President Jejomar Binay and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas will click during the 2016 election. The question answered by 5,905 respondents was “Do you think a Binay-Roxas tandem in 2016 polls will appeal to voters?” Of the number, only 10.38 percent or 614 individuals voted “yes” while 84.65 percent or 5,009 seemed unimpressed with the pairing by voting “no.” On the other hand, 4.97 percent or 294 people remained undecided and answered “maybe.” Although from opposing political parties, Binay earlier said he was willing to join forces with the Liberal Party and work with Roxas as his running-mate. Roxas, who failed to bag the vice presidential seat during the 2010 elections, is believed to be President Benigno Aquino III’s favored successor. Meanwhile, Pulse Asia’s latest electoral survey showed that Binay had a comfortable lead against other possible presidential candidates.THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: New SC justice urged to inhibit from DAP case   

Newly appointed Supreme Court (SC) Justice Francis Jardeleza was urged yesterday to inhibit himself from the resolution of the case involving the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). Rep. Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna, one of the groups that questioned DAP before the SC, said the “dice would be loaded against the petitioners” if Jardeleza participates in the resolution of the government’s motion for the SC to reconsider its decision on the DAP. “As solicitor general, he was the lawyer of the President and the officials and agencies involved. He justified and defended the DAP,” he said. The SC had struck down at least four practices under the program as unconstitutional, including the declaration of savings before the end of the fiscal year. Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III, a member of the minority bloc in the House of Representatives like Colmenares, supported the call for Jardeleza’s inhibition in the DAP case.

However, Albano said people should give every new appointee to the SC the benefit of the doubt. He reminded his colleagues that recent appointees of President Aquino – Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Justices Marvic Leonen and Estela Perlas-Bernabe – voted against the DAP. “That only shows that they are independent-minded, even if they are appointees of the President. All of them in fact are presidential appointees because it is the President who is empowered to choose the members of the Supreme Court from among nominees presented by the Judicial and Bar Council,” he said. He said an appointment signed by an incumbent President is no guarantee that the appointee would not vote against the appointing power. * READ MORE...

ALSO MALAYA OPINION: UTTER CONFUSION  

Malacañang should have realized earlier the cruel reality that the declaration of President Aquino he is open to a second term and he wants Congress to clip the powers of the Supreme Court is a big blow to the economy which is showing signs of contraction after four years of expansion. Historically, business delays long-term plans as a President’s term nears its end. It assesses the capabilities of the next leader they do not exactly know who although Vice President Jejomar Binay appears to be leading the pack based on popularity and acceptance ratings. The fact the last survey shows the President’s rating plummeting almost headlong is a problem that clearly translates into the erosion of trust in his leadership. Instead of trying to convince the constituency that he will be the same Simeon Benigno Cojuangco Aquino that he was at the beginning of his term, elected not exactly on perception of capabilities but rather on the memory of his mother who passed away just in time for people to reward her with the election of her son.

The sad part is Noynoy made it appear he could be her successor in firmness on the right and dedication to duty. The President appears to be intoxicated with power brought to him by the death of his mother. It is true however, his accomplishments brought him closer to the hearts of his people as far as economic growth is concerned. However, that growth has not filtered down to the poor who elect the President. The president said the people are his bosses. Not exactly true. The President is his own boss. He does not listen to his advisers who are too feeble-minded to threaten the President with resignation. The President does what he wants to do without getting a feel of the effects of his decision on his “bosses.” Malacañang is in utter confusion. It cannot get its act together. After waging a losing war with the Supreme Court, the President said he is open to a second term. The declaration of that intent was accompanied by a statement saying he wants to ask Congress to clip the powers of the Supreme Court. *READ MORE... 


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Ninoy tells PNoy in letter: Live with honor, follow your conscience


Ninoy was detained on Sept. 22, 1977 at the MSU Compound of the Philippine Army at Fort Bonifacio Presidential Museum and Library/PCDSPO/"Ninoy: Ideals & Ideologies 1932-1983"

MANILA, AUGUST 25, 2014 (PHILSTAR)  POSTED AUGUST 21, 2014, By Louis Bacani - While in prison during the early years of Martial Law, the late Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino wrote a personal letter to his only son and namesake.

In his letter dated August 25, 1973, the elder Aquino explained to his son why he decided not to participate in the proceedings of the military commission assigned to try the trumped up charges of illegal possession of firearms, subversion and murder filed against him.

Aquino said his decision was an "act of conscience."

"It is an act of protest against the structures of injustice that have been imposed upon our hapless countrymen. Futile and puny, as it will surely appear to many, it is my last act of defiance against tyranny and dictatorship," Aquino wrote in his letter.

Aquino also relayed to his son a prepared statement that he intended to read before the military commission.

He explained in the statement why he did not follow suggestions that he beg for mercy from the Marcos regime.

"Son, this I cannot do in conscience. I would rather die on my feet with honor, than live on bended knees in shame," Aquino said.

Aquino also apologized to his son for passing to him the responsibility of taking care of their family.

He asked his son to stand by his mother, the late President Corazon Aquino, and look after his two younger sisters, Viel and Kris.

"Krissy is still very young and fate has been most unkind to both of us. Our parting came too soon. Please make up for me. Take care of her as I would have taken care of her with patience and warm affection," Aquino said.

* The martyred senator also apologized to the younger Aquino for not being able to leave him material wealth.

"The only valuable asset I can bequeath to you now is the name you carry. I have tried my best during my years of public service to keep that name untarnished and respected, unmarked by sorry compromises for expediency. I now pass it on to you, as good, I pray, as when my father, your grandfather, passed it on to me," Aquino said.

The democracy icon ended his letter urging his only son to imitate his actions and continue his legacy.

"The only advice I can give you: Live with honor and follow your conscience," Aquino said.

"There is no greater nation on earth than our Motherland. No greater people than our own. Serve them with all your heart, with all your might and with all your strength," he added.

"Son, the ball is now in your hands," Aquino concluded.

The nation is commemorating today the 31st death anniversary of the elder Aquino while his son, now in his fourth year as President, is being accused of destroying his parents legacy for declaring his openness to amend the 1987 Constitution.

In an interview with TV5 last week, Aquino said he is open to amend the Constitution to clip the powers of the judiciary.

When asked if he wants a term extension, Aquino said he listens to his bosses - the Filipino people. He added, however, that this does not automatically mean that he would seek reelection.

Meanwhile, some of the President's allies are pushing for Charter change to extend Aquino's term.

Militant groups have criticized Aquino, saying Charter change, a second term and a weaker Supreme Court are "ingredients for a dictatorship."

Malacañang, on the other hand, has defended the President, dismissing opinions that he is destroying the legacy of his parents.

"It is well known that the President has been doing his best to institute reforms that will bring about the transformation of Philippine society in keeping with his parents' legacy," Presidential Communications Operations Office head Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

In mass for Ninoy Aquino: PSG chaplain says he wants ‘endless’ term for PNoy By ANDREO CALONZO, GMA NewsAugust 21, 2014 3:54pm 635 43 0 691 Tags: Benigno Aquino III , Ninoy Aquino


President Benigno Aquino III sprinkles holy water on the tomb of his parents during a Mass to commemorate the 31st death anniversary of his father, former Senator Benigno 'Ninoy' Aquino Jr., at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque on Thursday, August 21. Gil Nartea

President Benigno Aquino III may be willing to listen to calls for term extension, but the chaplain of the presidential guards wants something way more for him: an endless term.

Monsignor Daniel Tansip, Presidential Securtiy Group (PSG) chaplain, said during a homily on Thursday that he personally wanted Aquino to stay in power for as long as possible.

"Kung ako lang po ang masusunod, ako’y isang ordinaryong pari lang, on this personal note: Sana hindi na matapos iyong paglilingkod ng ating Mahal na Pangulo para tuluy-tuloy pa rin ang magandang nasimulan sa pagtutuwid at pagtatama ng daan," Tansip said during the Mass to commemorate the 31st death anniversary of the President's father, Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr.

In a television interview last week, President Aquino said that he was willing to listen to public clamor for him to stay in power. Any extension of the President's term would require amendments to the Constitution.

* Section 4, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution prohibits the relection of an incumbent president.

'Ninoy, proud of Noynoy'

The Holy Mass for the martyred senator was attended by President Aquino's sisters, as well as government and military officials.

The priest said in his homily that the late senator would certainly be proud of President Aquino's accomplishments.

"Siguro po kung nabubuhay pa si Sir Ninoy, he will be very, very proud of his son --- our beloved President. Lalo na sa mga napakadaming pagbabago tungo sa matuwid na daan na kanyang isinusulong," Tansip said.

Former Sen. Aquino was gunned down at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport on Aug. 21, 1983. The MIA now bears his name.

Aquino's assassination triggered a series of protests that led to the EDSA Revolution in 1986. The 1986 revolt catapulted his widow and the President's mother, Corazon Aquino, to the presidency. —NB, GMA News

‘Term extension a threat to democracy’ By Jose Rodel Clapano (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 22, 2014 - 12:00am 0 3 googleplus0 0


A placard is placed near a monument of former senator Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino Jr. in Quezon City yesterday. Rallyists commemorated Ninoy’s death anniversary by citing his contributions in the struggle against the Marcos regime. BOY SANTOS

MANILA, Philippines - Ferdinand Marcos wanted to remain in power. Look what happened.

This was the message sent to President Aquino yesterday by protesters who used the 31st death anniversary of his father Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. as an occasion to denounce plans to lift the president’s single-term limit.

Protesters gathered in front of the Aquinos’ family home along Times Street and around the Ninoy Aquino monument , both in Quezon City, displaying placards bearing photographs of the President’s parents and branding him a budding dictator.

Vice President Jejomar Binay, who was among the recipients of a special award granted yesterday to those who fought the Marcos dictatorship, also warned that lifting the President’s single, six-year term was a threat to democracy.

The late President Corazon Aquino had refused to seek a second term despite arguments that she was not covered by the single-term limit imposed by the 1987 Constitution.

Upon her retirement, she opposed attempts to amend the Constitution to lift term limits and allow the reelection of presidents.

* In one speech against the first Charter change initiative during the presidency of her endorsed successor, Fidel Ramos, she said the desire to stay in power beyond a two-term limit was one of the reasons Marcos declared martial law in 1972.

Ninoy Aquino was arrested and detained shortly after martial law was imposed. On Aug. 21, 1983, amid reports that Marcos was dying of lupus, Aquino returned to Manila from US exile. He was shot dead on the tarmac of what was then the Manila International Airport.

“That is why we are here – to tell the people who want to stay in power, by martial law or Charter change: no way and never again,” Mrs. Aquino said at the rally.

She said one term is good enough and there’s life after the presidency.

The victims of martial law staged a picket in front of the Aquino house in Quezon City to protest the abuses of dictatorship.

Binay, who received yesterday the Ninoy Aquino Medal of Valor for his role in fighting the Marcos dictatorship, said the country’s democracy would be in danger if moves to extend the term limit for Aquino and clip the powers of the Supreme Court will succeed.

“Our democracy at present is again in danger due to those who are pushing the President to extend his term after 2016 by amending the Constitution to remove the term limits for president and clip the power of the Supreme Court,” Binay said in his speech after accepting the award presented by members of the Ninoy Aquino Movement (NAM) to honor human rights lawyers and anti-martial law advocates.

The ceremony was held at the tarmac of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 in Pasay City in commemoration of the 31st death anniversary of the President’s late father.

Checks and balances democracy’s foundation

Binay said that the Constitution granted powers to the judiciary in order to make sure that another dictatorship would not occur.

“Checks and balances are the foundations of democracy, and the Constitution has mandated the judiciary with both the power and duty to determine whether or not there has been grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch of instrumentality of government. This provision was included to prevent a submissive and subservient judiciary that bends to the wills of one branch, or as was the case during martial law, of one man. Such power is our insurance against the threat of another dictatorship and the ensuing encroachment upon our liberties,” Binay said.

While the country remembered the death of Ninoy, martial law victims belonging to the Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) trooped to the Aquino residence in Times Street to remind the President that it was not only his father who fought Marcos but the Filipino people also opposed the dictatorship.

“We remain vigilant and defiant to any sitting president who pretends to be pro-people, pro-democracy and patriotic,” said the members of SELDA, an organization of former political prisoners.

SELDA chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez said the country’s situation has not significantly changed from the time of Marcos up to present administration.

“The country remains to suffer given the issues of corruption, subservience to the US and human rights violations. And now, the President wants to perpetuate himself in power by amending the Constitution. All these issues are similar to issues we have stood up against and opposed during the time of former dictator Marcos,” she added.

The activists carried placards with slogans like “No to Dictatorship! Never again to Martial Law!”

Binay also urged those who fought against the Marcos dictatorship to fight any changes in the constitutional provisions to guarantee checks and balances in government and help preserve the legacy of Ninoy.

“I am sure that I am not alone in the view that we must never allow partisan inclinations to erode the institutions that guarantee our freedoms. I urge all of you who have been comrades in the struggle against the dictatorship to be active in stopping this insidious plan clad in the guise of good intentions,” Binay said.

“This, I believe, is how we can best protect the legacy of Ninoy Aquino, and the best way we can ensure that our struggle to bring back a working democracy that serves the interests of the people, and not of a selfish few, will not be in vain,” Binay added.

NAM cited Binay for his role as a human rights lawyer during martial law and for defending the newly restored democracy against the coup attempts against the administration of Ninoy’s widow President Corazon Aquino.

“I am accepting this award on behalf of the countless Filipinos who sacrificed and fought martial law. Some of them did not receive justice until now. I am sure that all of you will be with us in our pursuit to correct the injustices the jailed Filipinos suffered, those who were killed and the desaparecidos,” Binay said.

Other awardees include Charito Planas, Alejandro Roces (posthumous) and Fernando Martin Peña.

International personalities and groups were also cited, such as former US President Jimmy Carter, the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) represented by former Associated Press correspondent Arnold Zeitlin, Sandra Burton (posthumous) and the International Lawyers Committee for Human Rights/Human Rights First headed by Michael Posner.

The yearly observance of Ninoy’s martyrdom which began in 1986 is spearheaded by NAM, with the NAM SERVE partners, Philippine Commission on Human Rights, August 21 Movement (ATOM), Spirit of EDSA, the Kalampagin ang Konsensyang Kinakalawang (KKK) and the Philippine ITI-Earthsavers UNESCO DREAM Center.

The NAM was organized after the assassination of Ninoy at the airport tarmac on Aug. 21, 1983.

Meanwhile, members of Sanlakas staged a rally at the monument of Ninoy at the corner of Quezon Ave. and West Ave. in Quezon City to commemorate the death of the former senator and also to remind the President of the people’s opposition to proposals to extend the term of the chief executive and clip the powers of the Supreme Court.

Yellow ribbons in Tarlac

Yellow ribbons and flowers were displayed all over the hometown of Ninoy Aquino in Concepcion, Tarlac to commemorate his 31st death anniversary yesterday.

Residents who wore yellow shirts attended the wreath laying ceremonies at the foot of the giant statue of Ninoy in front of the Concepcion Municipal Hall where a simple program followed.

In his short message, Rep. Noel Villanueva of the 3rd district of Tarlac encouraged the citizens of Concepcion to emulate Ninoy by sacrificing for the country and giving their best for people in need.

Mayor Andres Lacson appealed to the President to help the hometown of his father.

Lacson said they have yet to see more projects to be delivered to the people of Concepcion.

“Right now the only project of the President in Concepcion is the Parua flood control project, which is yet to be finished. Maybe the President might see that we need a municipal hospital also,” Lacson said.

Robert Aquino, son of Ninoy’s brother former Sen. Agapito Aquino, was guest of honor in the ceremonies. The young Aquino said he remembered Ninoy when relatives visited him in Fort Bonifacio where he was detained during martial law.

He said Ninoy loved God and country but his detention made him closer to God.

After the program, 31 balloons symbolizing the 31st death anniversary of Ninoy were released.

Ninoy served as mayor of Concepcion then governor of Tarlac province before he became senator. – With Rhodina Villanueva, Ric Sapnu

FROM THE INQUIRER

Aquino uncles back Binay run in 2016 By Niña P. Calleja |Philippine Daily Inquirer7:03 pm | Thursday, August 21st, 2014


Former Makati City Representative Butz Aquino, PNOC director Paul Aquino and Tarlac Representative Peping Cojuangco. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS/www.pia.gov.ph

MANILA, Philippines—A political line was drawn on the tarmac during the commemoration of the 31st death anniversary of Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. on Thursday, with Vice President Jejomar Binay getting an open endorsement of his presidential plans from the elders of the Aquino clan.

Agapito “Butz” Aquino, a former senator and brother of the assassinated Ninoy Aquino, declared support for Binay’s presidential ambition before Aquino loyalists, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and Binay himself during the wreath-laying ceremonies held at Ninoy Aquino International Airport 1 and 3.

“I heard the Aquino sisters are for you. I thought that’s right. Even the uncles, Uncle Peping and Uncle Paul,” Butz Aquino said in a speech that capped the wreath-laying ceremonies at the airport.

Butz Aquino was referring to President Aquino’s uncle on his mother side, businessman Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr., and his brother Paul, father of Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV.

Continuing reforms

His declaration came nearly two weeks after the President’s youngest sister, actress and television host Kris Aquino, declared her and her sisters’ support for Binay’s plan to run for President in 2016.

“My sisters and I have been talking about it (the Liberal Party adopting Binay as presidential candidate), and we say that if this can bring about unity as … we’re not enemies … and if he continues what Noy has started, why not?” Kris Aquino said on her evening TV show.

* She was commenting on Binay’s earlier statement that the ruling party could adopt him and field him as its presidential standard-bearer in the 2016 elections.

Support played down

Maria Elena “Ballsy” Aquino-Cruz, the eldest of the Aquino children, said about Binay in a television interview: “If he wants to continue what Noy has started, [so much] the better.”

But in an interview on TV5 last week, President Aquino played down perceptions that his sisters endorsed Binay, who had long declared that he would run for Malacañang in 2016.

Aquino said he phoned Ballsy and Kris to ask about their statements and was told, “[The] media just forced us to say something.”

“The gist of what they said is, ‘If [Binay] would continue what our brother had started, thank you,’ or ‘it would be good,’ which is not the same as, ‘You should continue [what he had started],’” Aquino said.

Depends on Binay’s opponent

In an interview with the Inquirer on Thursday, Butz Aquino clarified that his family’s support for Binay depended on who the Vice President’s opponent would be.

“If it’s Bongbong (Ferdinand Marcos Jr.), of course, I am for Jojo,” he said, using Binay’s nickname.

But it is too early to say who Binay’s rival for Malacañang will be, he said.

“There are still too many problems to deal with,” he added.

Butz, the 75-year-old younger brother of Ninoy, said the Aquino family still had to decide which presidential candidate to support in 2016.

“When the family meets, that will be discussed. Whoever the majority wants to support, everyone should support. Those opposed should just shut up,” he said.

Longtime friends and allies

Butz Aquino is a known longtime friend and ally of the Binays since “their marching days” when the August Twenty-One Movement (Atom) led the anti-Marcos demonstrations after Ninoy’s assassination.

The former senator, however, severed ties with Binay when he ran against the Vice President’s son Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. for mayor of Makati City in 2010 but lost.

But he was all praise for the Vice President on Thursday.

Consultation with people

“All of us are politicians. But only Jojo can go to 10 wakes in one night and still jog with his neighbors in the morning,” he said.

“His consultation with the people is unparalleled,” he added.

Binay was glad about the open endorsement by the President’s uncles.

When asked by reporters how important it was to his plans, he said he valued it because he and the Aquino family were friends.

“They are my friends, and we went through a lot together. This is a reiteration of our friendship,” Binay said.

Medal of Valor

Binay was among those who received the Medal of Valor during the ceremonies held on the airport tarmac, where Ninoy Aquino was shot dead upon his arrival from self-exile in the United States on Aug. 21, 1983.

Others who received awards from the Ninoy Aquino Movement, formed shortly after the senator’s death, were former US President Jimmy Carter; the late Sandra Burton, former Hong Kong bureau chief of Time magazine; Arnold Zeitlin, former Associated Press bureau chief in Manila; the late educator Alejandro Roces; martial law activist Fernando Martin Peña; lawyer Charito Planas; and the International Lawyers Committee for Human Rights.

Binay’s victory over Liberal Party vice presidential candidate Mar Roxas in 2010 came as a surprise, as he was the first local official to be catapulted to the second-highest office in the land.

His victory was partly attributed to the “Noy-Bi (Noynoy-Binay)” campaign aimed at making Aquino and Binay land the top two offices.

The campaign was reportedly orchestrated by the “Yellow Force,” led by Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, daughter of Peping Cojuangco.

Shortly after his victory in 2010, Binay announced his intention to run for President.

Charter change

On Aquino’s declaration of his openness to the amendment of the Constitution to lift the presidential term limit, Butz Aquino said he doubted that President Aquino was serious.

But he added that if the President had decided to run for a second term, he and his family would support him.

“I think he is not serious. He just doesn’t want to be a lame duck. But if the family would decide in favor of that (second term), then let it be,” he said.

House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., the vice president of the Liberal Party, also believed the President was not intent on amending the Constitution.

“I have not heard him say, ‘Let’s do this.’ Even if (political amendment) is talked about, we just conclude that this is not yet clear,” Belmonte said in an interview after the ceremonies at the airport.

No to political revisions

Belmonte is pushing for the amendment of the economic provisions of the Constitution and he is opposed to political amendments, which he holds are “controversial” and a difficult battle to win.

“If that is the case, that has to be done through a (constitutional) convention. That’s difficult,” Belmonte said.

He explained that amending six economic provisions in the Constitution through legislation will take a long time.
“When you include the political provisions, we might not even finish it,” Belmonte said.

Belmonte is the author of a bill in the House that would amend the Constitution’s economic provisions to open to foreign investors land ownership in the Philippines, use of natural resources, public utilities, education, the media and advertising.

He should get married

Former Sen. Rene Saguisag who was also at the airport for the ceremonies, said he opposed a second term for President Aquino.

“I want him to rest in 2016. I want him to write a book and father a child. He should just get married,” Saguisag said.

President Aquino attended a separate Mass held at Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City to mark the death anniversary of his father.

With him were his four siblings, Roxas and other members of his Cabinet.–With reports from Christine O. Avendaño, PDI; Marc Jayson Cayabyab, INQUIRER.net; and Inquirer Research
Originally posted: 7:03 pm | Thursday, August 21st, 2014

85% say no to Binay-Roxas tandem for 2016 elections  By Kristine Angeli Sabillo |INQUIRER.net4:44 pm | Thursday, August 14th, 2014


Vice President Jejomar Binay and Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – A resounding “no.”

That was the answer of 8 out of 10 INQUIRER.net readers who participated in an online poll on whether the tandem of Vice President Jejomar Binay and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas will click during the 2016 election.

The question answered by 5,905 respondents was “Do you think a Binay-Roxas tandem in 2016 polls will appeal to voters?”

Of the number, only 10.38 percent or 614 individuals voted “yes” while 84.65 percent or 5,009 seemed unimpressed with the pairing by voting “no.”

On the other hand, 4.97 percent or 294 people remained undecided and answered “maybe.”

Although from opposing political parties, Binay earlier said he was willing to join forces with the Liberal Party and work with Roxas as his running-mate.

Roxas, who failed to bag the vice presidential seat during the 2010 elections, is believed to be President Benigno Aquino III’s favored successor.

Meanwhile, Pulse Asia’s latest electoral survey showed that Binay had a comfortable lead against other possible presidential candidates.

New SC justice urged to inhibit from DAP case By Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 22, 2014 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


JARDELEZA

MANILA, Philippines - Newly appointed Supreme Court (SC) Justice Francis Jardeleza was urged yesterday to inhibit himself from the resolution of the case involving the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

Rep. Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna, one of the groups that questioned DAP before the SC, said the “dice would be loaded against the petitioners” if Jardeleza participates in the resolution of the government’s motion for the SC to reconsider its decision on the DAP.

“As solicitor general, he was the lawyer of the President and the officials and agencies involved. He justified and defended the DAP,” he said.

The SC had struck down at least four practices under the program as unconstitutional, including the declaration of savings before the end of the fiscal year.

Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III, a member of the minority bloc in the House of Representatives like Colmenares, supported the call for Jardeleza’s inhibition in the DAP case.

However, Albano said people should give every new appointee to the SC the benefit of the doubt.

He reminded his colleagues that recent appointees of President Aquino – Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Justices Marvic Leonen and Estela Perlas-Bernabe – voted against the DAP.

“That only shows that they are independent-minded, even if they are appointees of the President. All of them in fact are presidential appointees because it is the President who is empowered to choose the members of the Supreme Court from among nominees presented by the Judicial and Bar Council,” he said.

He said an appointment signed by an incumbent President is no guarantee that the appointee would not vote against the appointing power.

* He noted that some appointees of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo also went against her.

Better choice

Detained Sen. Jinggoy Estrada said Jardeleza is a better choice compared to Commission on Audit Chairman Grace Pulido-Tan.

He said Tan “allowed herself and the commission to be used for partisan politics and exhibited questionable integrity as head of an independent constitutional body.”

He expressed hope Jardeleza will uphold the independence of the SC and insulate it from partisan politics.

Estrada said he is also optimistic that the new SC justice would bring “meaningful reforms to our lethargic court systems to deliver without delay justice for every Filipino.”

Truly qualified

Former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban said presidents should appoint “truly qualified lawyers” to the SC regardless of whether they are for or against them.

“Anyway they will be independent,” he said during a forum organized by the Far Eastern University Public Policy Center on Wednesday.

He said presidents should also get the advice of lawyers “who understand how the court decides” and not just from those “who want to polish their back and say it can be done.”

“Sometimes, we do not like the bearers of bad news but sometimes, it’s necessary to hear the bearers of bad news. After all, nobody is perfect,” he said. “It is a good policy to listen to the other side and to find out and test one’s conviction, one’s beliefs. It’s a matter of weighing alternatives.”

Panganiban, who was chief justice during the Arroyo administration, said people who are appointed to the high court “transform” and “become a different person.”

“I will have to be true to my pledge to uphold the Constitution at all times. Other justices should feel the same way,” he said.

Former justice secretary and 1-BAP Rep. Silvestre Bello III welcomed Jardeleza’s appointment, saying he is “very qualified.”

“Competence-wide, even in terms of integrity and industry, I cannot say anything against him,” he said.

Insult

A group of coconut farmers, Coco Levy Fund Ibalik sa Amin (CLAIM), said the appointment of Jardeleza is “an insult” to small coconut farmers still fighting for the recovery of the 20 percent coco levy fund shares in San Miguel Corp. (SMC).

“Jardeleza’s appointment further exposed Aquino’s anti-peasant and pro-kamag-anak, kaklase, kabarilan rule,” CLAIM spokesman Nestor Villanueva said.

Villanueva, a coconut farmer from Laguna, said Cojuangco now has an “insider” in the SC that will take care of his family’s political and economic interests.

“We fear that Jardeleza’s appointment will strengthen Danding’s plunder and illegitimate claim over the still contested 20 percent coco levy fund shares in SMC,” he added.

Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas chairman Rafael Mariano challenged Jardeleza to inhibit himself not only from coco levy fund cases but all Cojuangco cases, including Hacienda Luisita. – With Alexis Romero, Christina Mendez, Ding Cervantes

FROM MALAYA

UTTER CONFUSION By Amado P. Macasaet | August 22, 2014


By Amado P. Macasaet

Malacañang should have realized earlier the cruel reality that the declaration of President Aquino he is open to a second term and he wants Congress to clip the powers of the Supreme Court is a big blow to the economy which is showing signs of contraction after four years of expansion.

Historically, business delays long-term plans as a President’s term nears its end. It assesses the capabilities of the next leader they do not exactly know who although Vice President Jejomar Binay appears to be leading the pack based on popularity and acceptance ratings.

The fact the last survey shows the President’s rating plummeting almost headlong is a problem that clearly translates into the erosion of trust in his leadership. Instead of trying to convince the constituency that he will be the same Simeon Benigno Cojuangco Aquino that he was at the beginning of his term, elected not exactly on perception of capabilities but rather on the memory of his mother who passed away just in time for people to reward her with the election of her son.

The sad part is Noynoy made it appear he could be her successor in firmness on the right and dedication to duty.

The President appears to be intoxicated with power brought to him by the death of his mother.

It is true however, his accomplishments brought him closer to the hearts of his people as far as economic growth is concerned. However, that growth has not filtered down to the poor who elect the President.

The president said the people are his bosses. Not exactly true. The President is his own boss. He does not listen to his advisers who are too feeble-minded to threaten the President with resignation. The President does what he wants to do without getting a feel of the effects of his decision on his “bosses.”

Malacañang is in utter confusion. It cannot get its act together. After waging a losing war with the Supreme Court, the President said he is open to a second term. The declaration of that intent was accompanied by a statement saying he wants to ask Congress to clip the powers of the Supreme Court.

* Amending the constitution for his own political benefit is not remotely related to his wishes to curb the powers of the Supreme Court. He is clearly trying to settle a score with the High Tribunal for declaring the Disbursement Acceleration Program as unconstitutional.

His intention, apart from dressing his wounds inflicted by the Court, may well be to divert people’s attention from the political malaise that historically happens towards the end of the term of a president.

He only succeeded in promoting it instead of staying away to minimize the perception of him as a lame duck. As explained by his press secretary the President is staying away from the subject of politics for the noble reason he wants to spend the rest of his term pursuing the goals he started and succeeded in doing.

Not a week later, the President declared in Malacañang he is open to a second term and at the same time wants Congress to clip the powers of the Supreme Court. The twin statements are manifestations of hunger for power, lack of firmness and worst, vindictiveness against the Court.

He must have known or at least have been told but did not listen the economy is showing a contraction mode. His effort should be concentrated on how he could arrest or minimize the effects of such contraction for the benefit of his bosses, the great mass of voters and the rest of the people who trusted him.

By his own design, he alienated himself from their trust and affection. This is clearly indicated by the survey that shows his rating has come down sharply.

It should not take a genius to appreciate the fact that business invariably tracks the behavior of the President in plotting their paths to growth.

The investors depend more heavily on business climate created by an effective leader than on laws passed to help them.

The President destroyed the climate he built at the wrong time. In fact there is no right time to disturb a climate that makes the economy grow. The President must make sure the climate is kept at all costs but not for his personal political benefit.

His press secretary declared the time left of the President’s term should be devoted to the implementation of his program of development. How can we if he is thinking of getting a second term? All his moves and plans will be calculated towards re-election. He would not care about their effects on the economy.

There is confusion all over Malacañang. Press secretary Herminio Sonny Coloma said the President will feel the pulse of the people in nearly everything he does, particularly in his desire for a second term.

If the President cannot feel the pulse of the people from the result of the most recent survey, he is deluding himself. In fairness, however, as repeatedly asserted on this space, a President becomes unpopular towards the end of his term. His political enemies throw the kitchen sink at him, something they would not do in the beginning or in the middle of a widely accepted President like Noynoy Aquino.

Not having the ability to learn the lesson of politics towards the end of his term, Mr. Aquino plunged into an abyss. He seems to have an instinct for self destruction. Nothing makes the political opposition happier.

Mr. Aquino’s rating would sink deeper if he seeks a second term. It is not a question of winning or losing the next election.

It is purely a matter of self-interest made in the name of the people, his bosses. He knows he is the sole beneficiary.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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