CHINA PUSHES COOPERATION WITH ASEAN AMID SEA ROW 

SEPT 18 ---The Chinese government has committed to push for cooperation with the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) even as a high-ranking official maintained anew its territorial sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea. “China firmly upholds its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests and state security,” Chinese vice premier Zhang Gaoli said during his speech at the opening of 11th China-ASEAN Expo on Tuesday. “At the same time we have the commitment to peacefully resolve disputes with countries directly concerned through consultation and negotiation on the basis of respect of history and international law,” he added.

Zhang said this even as he highlighted China’s commitment to advancing friendship and cooperation with ASEAN, calling this year as the beginning of a new decade for the China-ASEAN strategic partnership. “We are ready to join efforts with other countries in the world to pursue and uphold peace so that we will be able to live in amity and enjoy harmonious development,” said Zhang. “The peace and stability of the South China Sea concerns the development, prosperity and well-being of the people in the region and serves the common interests of all the regional countries,” he added. He likewise noted the readiness of China to work with ASEAN countries in implementing the Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, stressing the need for enhanced dialogue and working together between parties to promote cooperation. *READ MORE...

ALSO: SEA DISPUTE MEAT OF PNOY MEETING WITH FRENCH PREXY 

SEPT 18 --PRESIDENT Aquino yesterday continued to explain initiatives taken by the Philippines
to settle a territorial dispute in the South China Sea, telling French President François Hollande the Philippines is after a peaceful, acceptable and legally binding solution to the row. France is the third leg of Aquino’s four-country Europe trip. Aquino, meeting with Hollande at the Elyseé Palace, said the Philippines filed a case in 2013 against China and pushed for an early conclusion of talks on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations member-countries and China.

Hollande stressed the need to find a peaceful resolution and to adhere to international rules. The two leaders also discussed growing trade relations between the two countries, tourism exchanges, and climate change. After the meeting, Aquino and Hollande witnessed the signing of an air services agreement which aims to increase flights between Manila and Paris, and a memorandum of understanding between the Development Academy of the Philippines and the Ecole Nationale d’Administration, a school focusing on public service and practical application. The President arrived in France at around 10:05 a.m. (4:05 p.m. in Manila) and was accorded military honors at the Arc de Triomphe where he led a wreath-laying ceremony before proceeding to meet with Hollande. *READ  MORE...

(ALSO) PNoy: Big foreign bank wants to globalize peso  

SEPT 19 --PHOTO: President Benigno Aquino III listens to French President Francois Hollande delivering his statement during the Joint Press Statement at the ground floor of the Palais de L’Elysee on Wednesday, September 17. Malacañang Photo Bureau MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine peso as a global currency like the US dollar? President Benigno Aquino III said a huge bank catering to the entire world suggested to him the idea of globalizing the Philippine peso. "Ibig sabihin po noon magiging currency na parang dolyar na itinetrade ng ibang bansa," Aquino said in his speech during a meeting with the Filipino community in Paris, France. "Hindi naman po ako napa-wow. Napataas lang po ang kilay at napaisip, aba, ang bigat ng minumungkahi nito," Aquino added without identifying the bank.

Aquino said he never expected to hear such idea. He said he has talked to Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima regarding the proposal since it needs to be studied. The President said the suggestion of the foreign bank shows the international community's renewed trust and confidence in the Philippines and its economy. "Ganoon kaganda na o kabango ang Pilipinas na meron nang maglalagay ng kanilang puhunan sa ating salapi dahil may tiwala sa atin, may katatagan 'yung ating ekonomiya, 'yung ating bansa, 'yung ating pananalapi," Aquino said. *READ MORE...

ALSO: PNoy given warm welcome by (ex-)UP student... in France

SEPT 18 --PNoy meets with Pinoys in Paris PNoy meets with Pinoys in Paris. President Benigno Aquino III
addresses members of the Filipino Community during a meeting with the Pinoy expatriates at the Chapelle Sainte Bernadette in Paris on Wednesday, September 17. Aquino is in France as part of his four-nation European tour. Before this, Aquino went to Spain and Belgium. He is expected to visit Germany next before proceeding to the US. Ryan Lim

After his budget secretary was nearly mobbed by students at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, President Benigno Aquino III received a warm welcome from a UP alumnus in France. Following a speech and a forum at the French Institute for International Relations, or Institut Français des Relations Internationales (IFRI), Aquino got a pleasant surprise after a tall Frenchman greeted him in Filipino. "Maligayang pagdating po sa inyo dito sa France," Wesley Romain told Aquino.

Romain learned to speak Filipino when he was an exchange student at the University of the Philipines from 2012 to 2014. Aquino even joked if he could recruit the 6-foot-5 Romain to play basketball for the Philippine national team. But Romain said he did not have the hardcourt skills. Aquino's close friend and political ally, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, was nearly mobbed by student-activists after attending a forum at the UP Diliman on Wednesday night. Aquino himself was at the receiving end of heckling by student-protesters a few times before. Before flying to Germany to meet Chancellor. * READ MORE...

ALSO: From Europe, PNoy reacted on Abad mob incident at U.P. Diliman 

SEPT 19 --Malacañang Photo Bureau/Rey Baniquet. MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday reacted to the incident at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman where Budget Secretary Florencio Abad was "mobbed" by a group of student-activists. Presidential Communications Operations Office head Herminio Coloma Jr., who is with Aquino in Europe, said the President has been informed of the incident on Wednesday. "He believes that as the premier university, the UP is expected to promote responsibility in the exercise of the freedom of expression and civility while engaging in political discourse," Coloma said in a note shared by state-run People's Television Network in its social media accounts. "This may be an opportune time to reassess the implications to an institution of higher learning when a political forum degenerates into mob rule," Coloma added.

In a statement, Abad said he appeared as a speaker in the UP Balitaktakan ED Series. He said he gladly accepted the invitation since a previous budget forum the he attended in the university "proved very fruitful." Abad said he also wanted to take the opportunity to reach out to UP Diliman students, "especially since they've taken a very active role in demanding better governance from the Philippine bureaucracy." "I expected that a discussion on the National Budget in such a venue would make for an interesting and lively exchange. By sharing insights and trading ideas with the UP student body, I knew that we could work collectively so that the National Budget could be more effective in serving the public," said Abad. When he was leaving the event venue, however, Abad said there was a mob advancing towards him and his staff. He was also informed that he would engage in a dialogue with members of the group Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP (STAND UP).

"Once I began approaching the STAND UP group, however, the protesters—who were around 50 to 60 strong—did not engage me in dialogue. Instead, they surrounded me aggressively as I made my way towards the vehicle. I had objects thrown at me, and one student even attempted to grab me by the collar," Abad said. *The budget chief described the behavior of STAND UP as "very disappointing." "I wholly understand that fighting for the welfare of our country is often an emotional and passionate pursuit. But there is no place here for violence and aggression, and especially not in an academic environment," he said. &READ MORE...

ALSO: UP profs call students in Abad mobbing ‘enemies of the university’ 

SEPT 19  --PHOTO: Budget Secretary Florencio Abad saw two sides of the “Iskolar ng Bayan” Wednesday night: Minutes after he engaged a campus audience in fiscal discourse, another group pelted him with balled-up paper and tried to grab him by the collar.INQUIRER PHOTO --

This was how 23 economics professors from the University of the Philippines (UP) branded student-activists, who mobbed Budget Secretary Florencio Abad on Wednesday night after a forum at the Diliman campus. In a signed statement on Friday, UP School of Economics faculty members, led by Dean Ramon Clarete, also demanded a public apology from those involved in the mobbing incident, which they called "a blow to UP's honor." "By participating in these events, the protesters have declared themselves enemies, not of Secretary Abad, but of the university itself," the economics professors said. They added that the protesters' actions may result in "an impoverishment of intellectual life and a reduction of debate to a monologue among the already-converted."

"The acts of Wednesday's protesters, therefore, not only violated decency and courtesy; they were an assault on the university itself," they said. On Wednesday evening, some students reportedly grabbed Abad's collar and threw placards towards the Cabinet official after he defended the administration's controversial disbursement acceleration program (DAP) during a forum at the UP School of Economics. Abad, who is facing a plunder complaint over the DAP, said on Thursday that he will formally write the UP leadership about the mobbing incident. Probe, penalties *READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino attacks Arroyo anew — this time in France talk 

SEPT 19 --Yet to move on from bashing former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,
President Aquino yesterday took another jab at his predecessor during a speech delivered in France, anchoring his mudslinging on corruption charges filed against Arroyo and her imprisonment.

“As a matter of fact, I know you’ve heard of this, some of them already face charges before the Ombudsman and are not jailed. The one I replaced already confronts a case and is in house arrest,” Aquino said before Filipino constituents in Paris, even as he assured them that those who committed wrong against Filipinos will be tried for their offenses.

Aquino denounced the problems passed down to his administration by Arroyo, saying upon assuming the presidency, the government was found to be corruption-laden due to the acts of the former President herself that nurtured corruption. “Left and right, there were discoveries of corruption — courtesy of my predecessor. Also, they are the ones fostering it, so we’re left with the job of cleaning up their mess,” he said. *READ MORE...

ALSO Tribune commentary: Different strokes for Noy allies  

SEPT 10 --Injustice Chief Leila de Lima, in a news report said she was taking a much longer time in filing the other batches of cases related to the pork barrel of legislators, on account of the many forgeries involved. Noynoy’s Ombudsman, Conchita Carpio-Morales is also taking a long time in investigating and charging the other legislators linked to, or named in the Commission on Audit (CoA) special audit report on the legislators’ pork. Morales claimed that it takes a long time for the investigation, as her field officers are being sent to various areas to investigate.

This is truly a change of style and pace, given the fact that only three opposition senators, and a few congressmen also known as non-allies of the Palace, were zeroed in for investigation and promptly charged in court. Stranger still is Leila’s claim that forgeries were the cause of the delay in indicting the others who were also named in the same CoA report, especially since in the first batch of senators, there was already evidence shown, not only by the detained senators, but also admissions by Leila’s principal witness, self-confessed crook Benhur Luy, that he and his crooked group had testified, under oath that they were into forging the documents related to the pork barrel of the three senators.

And this admission from Luy and Leila’s witnesses of forgery was never part of Leila’s equation in indicting the three opposition senators and their aides. The big difference of course in Leila’s delay in charging the other legislators and their aides is that in the first batch of senators, they were truly targeted for jail time to get them out of the 2016 election race, through first, the highly selective CoA audit of Grace Pulido-Tan, followed by the Senate yellow ribbon panel which conducted a deliberate trial and conviction by publicity against the three opposition senators, the quick indictment of the three by Leila, after which, with all the theatrics of “truckloads” of evidence, which hardly constitutes hard evidence enough to stand up in a courtroom, were sent to court.

Not to be forgotten is Morales’ quick action on the complaints, and charging them in court — of course granting full immunity to the self-admitted crooks who were not even included as respondents. Is it any wonder they can lie and lie blatantly under oath? Now, Leila and Morales are hell bent on protecting the Noy allies from being charged in court, which is the real reason for the claimed delay. It has been over a year since the CoA audit was first presented in an unprecedented press conference by Noy lackey Grace Tan, who had even given an advance copy of the audit report to Noy, who had no business being given by a copy for vetting since CoA is a constitutional body. Not surprisingly, Noynoy and Mar Roxas, had a zero audit, while the others who are allies were audited 10 to 20 percent of their pork barrel. *READ MORE...
 


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China pushes cooperation with Asean amid sea row

NANNING, SEPTEMBER 22, 2014 (PHILSTAR) By Janvic Mateo, September 18, 2014 - The Chinese government has committed to push for cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) even as a high-ranking official maintained anew its territorial sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea.

“China firmly upholds its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests and state security,” Chinese vice premier Zhang Gaoli said during his speech at the opening of 11th China-ASEAN Expo on Tuesday.

“At the same time we have the commitment to peacefully resolve disputes with countries directly concerned through consultation and negotiation on the basis of respect of history and international law,” he added.

Zhang said this even as he highlighted China’s commitment to advancing friendship and cooperation with ASEAN, calling this year as the beginning of a new decade for the China-ASEAN strategic partnership.

“We are ready to join efforts with other countries in the world to pursue and uphold peace so that we will be able to live in amity and enjoy harmonious development,” said Zhang.

“The peace and stability of the South China Sea concerns the development, prosperity and well-being of the people in the region and serves the common interests of all the regional countries,” he added.

He likewise noted the readiness of China to work with ASEAN countries in implementing the Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, stressing the need for enhanced dialogue and working together between parties to promote cooperation.

* In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei was quoted in a state media report saying that China is seeing ASEAN as a “diplomatic priority.”

“China will continue supporting ASEAN’s development and strengthen the strategic cooperation,” Hong was quoted in a CNTV report.

He also reaffirmed China’s commitment to sign a treaty on “good-neighborliness, friendship and cooperation with ASEAN, sustain a closer community of shared interests and common destiny in the region.”

The Philippines and China, as well as other Southeast Asian nations, are currently embroiled in a bitter dispute over territories in the West Philippine Sea.

Manila has filed an international case over the issue against Beijing, which has refused to participate in the proceedings.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh called for close cooperation between China and ASEAN to maintain security and stability in the region.

Like the Philippines, Vietnam is also in the middle of a tense territorial dispute with China over the Paracel Islands.

“In order to sustain our peaceful and stable environment for our dynamic and (substantial) development in our region, it is (imperative) that ASEAN and China work closely together for the maintenance of peace, stability and maritime security in the South China Sea,” said the Vietnamese official.

FROM THE MALAYA BUSINESS INSIGHTS

SEA DISPUTE MEAT OF PNOY MEETING WITH FRENCH PREXY By JOCELYN MONTEMAYOR | September 18, 2014

PRESIDENT Aquino yesterday continued to explain initiatives taken by the Philippines to settle a territorial dispute in the South China Sea, telling French President François Hollande the Philippines is after a peaceful, acceptable and legally binding solution to the row.

France is the third leg of Aquino’s four-country Europe trip.

Aquino, meeting with Hollande at the Elyseé Palace, said the Philippines filed a case in 2013 against China and pushed for an early conclusion of talks on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations member-countries and China.

Hollande stressed the need to find a peaceful resolution and to adhere to international rules.

The two leaders also discussed growing trade relations between the two countries, tourism exchanges, and climate change.

After the meeting, Aquino and Hollande witnessed the signing of an air services agreement which aims to increase flights between Manila and Paris, and a memorandum of understanding between the Development Academy of the Philippines and the Ecole Nationale d’Administration, a school focusing on public service and practical application.

The President arrived in France at around 10:05 a.m. (4:05 p.m. in Manila) and was accorded military honors at the Arc de Triomphe where he led a wreath-laying ceremony before proceeding to meet with Hollande.

* Also in Aquino’s schedule, said presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, were meetings with officials of Airbus, Schneider Electric, and Teleperformance; with Prime Minister Manuel Valls at the Hotel Matignon; and with the Filipino community at the Chapelle Sainte Bernadette. A fellowship dinner with the Philippine business delegation was to follow.

Aquino’s first stop was Spain, followed by Belgium, where he discussed with the Spanish, Belgian and European Union leaders the actions taken by the Philippines to address the South China Sea dispute, among other issues.

From Paris, Aquino will proceed to Germany and stay there until Sept. 20. He will then proceed to the United States.

FROM PHILSTAR

PNoy: Big foreign bank wants to globalize peso By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated September 18, 2014 - 10:42am 18 938 googleplus0 0


President Benigno Aquino III listens to French President Francois Hollande delivering his statement during the Joint Press Statement at the ground floor of the Palais de L’Elysee on Wednesday, September 17. Malacañang Photo Bureau

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine peso as a global currency like the US dollar?

President Benigno Aquino III said a huge bank catering to the entire world suggested to him the idea of globalizing the Philippine peso.

"Ibig sabihin po noon magiging currency na parang dolyar na itinetrade ng ibang bansa," Aquino said in his speech during a meeting with the Filipino community in Paris, France.

"Hindi naman po ako napa-wow. Napataas lang po ang kilay at napaisip, aba, ang bigat ng minumungkahi nito," Aquino added without identifying the bank.

Aquino said he never expected to hear such idea. He said he has talked to Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima regarding the proposal since it needs to be studied.

The President said the suggestion of the foreign bank shows the international community's renewed trust and confidence in the Philippines and its economy.

"Ganoon kaganda na o kabango ang Pilipinas na meron nang maglalagay ng kanilang puhunan sa ating salapi dahil may tiwala sa atin, may katatagan 'yung ating ekonomiya, 'yung ating bansa, 'yung ating pananalapi," Aquino said.

Aquino's two-day visit in France is the third stop of his four-nation European tour. He went to Spain and Belgium earlier in the week where he talked to high-ranking officials including those from the European Union.

In his speeches during these trips, Aquino trumpeted the country's economic gains due to his reforms for good governance.

Aquino met with French President Francois Hollande at Elysee Palace and said that the Philippines is now more open for business.

With an economic growth of 7.2 percent, Aquino said the Philippines was one of the fastest growing economies in Asia in 2013.

He said the Philippine economy is expected to grow between 6.5 to 7.5 percent this year, and 7 to 8 percent in 2015.

"The Philippines is determined to capitalize on the significant gains we have made in just four years—from the resurgence of our economy, to the restoration of trust and confidence from businesses, as well as the empowerment of our people and workforce. We believe France can contribute even more as we tread the straight and righteous path to greater progress," Aquino said after his meeting with Hollande.

Aquino will hold bilateral talks and meetings with leading French businessmen, heads of major French companies and Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

The President will also deliver a policy speech at a forum organized by the French Institute for International Relations.

FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

PNoy given warm welcome by (ex-)UP student... in France September 19, 2014 9:48pm 874 60 0 969 Tags: Benigno Aquino III


PNoy meets with Pinoys in Paris PNoy meets with Pinoys in Paris. President Benigno Aquino III addresses members of the Filipino Community during a meeting with the Pinoy expatriates at the Chapelle Sainte Bernadette in Paris on Wednesday, September 17. Aquino is in France as part of his four-nation European tour. Before this, Aquino went to Spain and Belgium. He is expected to visit Germany next before proceeding to the US. Ryan Lim

After his budget secretary was nearly mobbed by students at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, President Benigno Aquino III received a warm welcome from a UP alumnus in France.

Following a speech and a forum at the French Institute for International Relations, or Institut Français des Relations Internationales (IFRI), Aquino got a pleasant surprise after a tall Frenchman greeted him in Filipino.

"Maligayang pagdating po sa inyo dito sa France," Wesley Romain told Aquino.

Romain learned to speak Filipino when he was an exchange student at the University of the Philipines from 2012 to 2014.

Aquino even joked if he could recruit the 6-foot-5 Romain to play basketball for the Philippine national team.

But Romain said he did not have the hardcourt skills.

Aquino's close friend and political ally, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, was nearly mobbed by student-activists after attending a forum at the UP Diliman on Wednesday night.

Aquino himself was at the receiving end of heckling by student-protesters a few times before.

Before flying to Germany to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel, Aquino went to the Louvre Museum, where the Mona Lisa was housed, for a private tour.

* In Joseph Morong's report in 24 Oras Friday, a Vietnamese journalist asked Aquino during the forum how small nations like Vietnam and the Philippines could help each other to raise their claims on the West Philippine Sea.

Aquino replied that both Vietnam and the Philippines have been working together. He stressed that both countries are not giving up their rights on the West Philippine Sea.

He also said that Vietnam and the Philippines were willing to extend a hand to those whose rights have been trampled upon.

He was also asked about the Islamic state in the Philippines and the next steps of the government for the Bangsamoro.

"We are very optimistic about the Bangsamoro. Mindanao is a land of promise," Aquino said.

PNoy on Abad mob incident at UP: UP must promote responsibility, civility By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated September 18, 2014 - 5:10pm 19 61 googleplus0 0


Malacañang Photo Bureau/Rey Baniquet

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday reacted to the incident at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman where Budget Secretary Florencio Abad was "mobbed" by a group of student-activists.

Presidential Communications Operations Office head Herminio Coloma Jr., who is with Aquino in Europe, said the President has been informed of the incident on Wednesday.

"He believes that as the premier university, the UP is expected to promote responsibility in the exercise of the freedom of expression and civility while engaging in political discourse," Coloma said in a note shared by state-run People's Television Network in its social media accounts.

"This may be an opportune time to reassess the implications to an institution of higher learning when a political forum degenerates into mob rule," Coloma added.

In a statement, Abad said he appeared as a speaker in the UP Balitaktakan ED Series. He said he gladly accepted the invitation since a previous budget forum the he attended in the university "proved very fruitful."

Abad said he also wanted to take the opportunity to reach out to UP Diliman students, "especially since they've taken a very active role in demanding better governance from the Philippine bureaucracy."

"I expected that a discussion on the National Budget in such a venue would make for an interesting and lively exchange. By sharing insights and trading ideas with the UP student body, I knew that we could work collectively so that the National Budget could be more effective in serving the public," said Abad.

When he was leaving the event venue, however, Abad said there was a mob advancing towards him and his staff. He was also informed that he would engage in a dialogue with members of the group Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP (STAND UP).

"Once I began approaching the STAND UP group, however, the protesters—who were around 50 to 60 strong—did not engage me in dialogue. Instead, they surrounded me aggressively as I made my way towards the vehicle. I had objects thrown at me, and one student even attempted to grab me by the collar," Abad said.

*The budget chief described the behavior of STAND UP as "very disappointing."

"I wholly understand that fighting for the welfare of our country is often an emotional and passionate pursuit. But there is no place here for violence and aggression, and especially not in an academic environment," he said.

* According to the militant group Anakbayan, the protesters chanted "Magnanakaw" before Abad and hurled crumpled paper with signs saying "‪#‎DAPatManagot‬, Noynoy patalsikin!"

"How dare him go to UP and tell us his lies! Plunderers and holDAPers are not welcome here. Butch Abad and Aquino should be held accountable for their crimes. Para iyon sa mga ninakawan, sa mga tinanggalan ng karapatan makapagpaospital, para sa mga kabataan na ninakawan ng kinabukasan! Patalsikin si Noynoy at Abad!" Charlotte France, STAND-UP member, was quoted as saying in an article posted on the website of Anakbayan.

Abad is considered as the brains of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), an economic stimulus package introduced by the Aquino administration in 2011.

Aiming to boost the economy, the DAP pooled government savings of various offices and realigned them to other projects.

The Supreme Court declared key practices under the DAP as unconstitutional and ruled that proponents of the fund scheme can be held liable.

Abad was urged to step down from his post over the controversy while an impeachment case was filed against Aquino.

UP profs call students in Abad mobbing ‘enemies of the university’ By ANDREO CALONZO, GMA NewsSeptember 19, 2014 6:59pm 2351 9 0 2527 Tags: University of the Philippines Enemies of the university.


Budget Secretary Florencio Abad saw two sides of the “Iskolar ng Bayan” Wednesday night: Minutes after he engaged a campus audience in fiscal discourse, another group pelted him with balled-up paper and tried to grab him by the collar.INQUIRER PHOTO

This was how 23 economics professors from the University of the Philippines (UP) branded student-activists, who mobbed Budget Secretary Florencio Abad on Wednesday night after a forum at the Diliman campus.

In a signed statement on Friday, UP School of Economics faculty members, led by Dean Ramon Clarete, also demanded a public apology from those involved in the mobbing incident, which they called "a blow to UP's honor."

"By participating in these events, the protesters have declared themselves enemies, not of Secretary Abad, but of the university itself," the economics professors said.

They added that the protesters' actions may result in "an impoverishment of intellectual life and a reduction of debate to a monologue among the already-converted."

"The acts of Wednesday's protesters, therefore, not only violated decency and courtesy; they were an assault on the university itself," they said.

On Wednesday evening, some students reportedly grabbed Abad's collar and threw placards towards the Cabinet official after he defended the administration's controversial disbursement acceleration program (DAP) during a forum at the UP School of Economics.

Abad, who is facing a plunder complaint over the DAP, said on Thursday that he will formally write the UP leadership about the mobbing incident.

Probe, penalties

* The faculty members further called on UP officials to improve security of invited visitors, and to probe and ultimately penalize those who mobbed Abad.

"We call for a renewed discussion and clarification among faculty, staff and students, of the university's unwritten rules of free speech and safe passage, to ensure that the university remains a free and fearless field of ideas," the professors said in their statement.

They further reminded UP students that "debates are won not by assault but by argument, not by shouting down but by speaking up."

They likewise challenged the University Student Council "to publicly dissociate themselves from the actions of Wednesday's hooligans."

The following professors signed the statement: Rosa Alonso i Terme, Maria Joy Abrenica, Ruperto Alonzo, Agustin Arcenas, Romeo Matthew Balanquit, Joseph Capuno, Fidelina Carlos, Ramon Clarete, Rolando Danao, Sarah Lynne Daway, Emmanuel de Dios and Emmanuel Esguerra.

Also among the signatories were: Profs. Raul Fabella, Aleli Kraft, Cielo Magno, Maria Nimfa Mendoza, Solita Monsod, Marjorie Pajaron, Stella Luz Quimbo, Majah-Leah Ravago, Renato Reside and Gerardo Sicat. —NB, GMA News

FROM THE TRIBUNE

Aquino attacks Arroyo anew — this time in France talk Written by Joshua L. Labonera Friday, 19 September 2014 00:00

Yet to move on from bashing former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President Aquino yesterday took another jab at his predecessor during a speech delivered in France, anchoring his mudslinging on corruption charges filed against Arroyo and her imprisonment.

“As a matter of fact, I know you’ve heard of this, some of them already face charges before the Ombudsman and are not jailed. The one I replaced already confronts a case and is in house arrest,” Aquino said before Filipino constituents in Paris, even as he assured them that those who committed wrong against Filipinos will be tried for their offenses.

Aquino denounced the problems passed down to his administration by Arroyo, saying upon assuming the presidency, the government was found to be corruption-laden due to the acts of the former President herself that nurtured corruption.

“Left and right, there were discoveries of corruption — courtesy of my predecessor. Also, they are the ones fostering it, so we’re left with the job of cleaning up their mess,” he said.

* The Chief Executive lashed out at the negligence of the Arroyo administration, gearing on the previous reports of decaying rice inside the National Food Authority (NFA) warehouses and millions of pesos given to officials of government-owned and -controlled corporations while the institutions are left debt-laden.

Aquino did not stop there, continuing the blame game on Arroyo over cases of overpricing and billion-pesos worth of contracts on the Laguna Lake rehabilitation reported during the previous administration.

“Since the public decided in 2010 to correct the old and crooked system and walk the right path, what we did was to clean the bureaucracy and appointed capable officials,” he stressed.

“We removed the culture of wang wang in society, pushed for good governance, and eyed serving our bosses,” Aquino said.

The expression “wang wang,” derived from the blaring sirens of politicians’ and elites’ cars urging common people to get out of the way so they can come through, is often used to refer to the syndrome of corruption and lack of accountability of elites which plagues politics in the country.

TRIBUNE COMMENTARY

Different strokes for Noy allies  Written by Ninez Cacho-Olivares Friday, 19 September 2014 00:00



Injustice Chief Leila de Lima, in a news report said she was taking a much longer time in filing the other batches of cases related to the pork barrel of legislators, on account of the many forgeries involved.

Noynoy’s Ombudsman, Conchita Carpio-Morales is also taking a long time in investigating and charging the other legislators linked to, or named in the Commission on Audit (CoA) special audit report on the legislators’ pork.

Morales claimed that it takes a long time for the investigation, as her field officers are being sent to various areas to investigate.

This is truly a change of style and pace, given the fact that only three opposition senators, and a few congressmen also known as non-allies of the Palace, were zeroed in for investigation and promptly charged in court.

Stranger still is Leila’s claim that forgeries were the cause of the delay in indicting the others who were also named in the same CoA report, especially since in the first batch of senators, there was already evidence shown, not only by the detained senators, but also admissions by Leila’s principal witness, self-confessed crook Benhur Luy, that he and his crooked group had testified, under oath that they were into forging the documents related to the pork barrel of the three senators.

And this admission from Luy and Leila’s witnesses of forgery was never part of Leila’s equation in indicting the three opposition senators and their aides.

The big difference of course in Leila’s delay in charging the other legislators and their aides is that in the first batch of senators, they were truly targeted for jail time to get them out of the 2016 election race, through first, the highly selective CoA audit of Grace Pulido-Tan, followed by the Senate yellow ribbon panel which conducted a deliberate trial and conviction by publicity against the three opposition senators, the quick indictment of the three by Leila, after which, with all the theatrics of “truckloads” of evidence, which hardly constitutes hard evidence enough to stand up in a courtroom, were sent to court.

Not to be forgotten is Morales’ quick action on the complaints, and charging them in court — of course granting full immunity to the self-admitted crooks who were not even included as respondents. Is it any wonder they can lie and lie blatantly under oath?

Now, Leila and Morales are hell bent on protecting the Noy allies from being charged in court, which is the real reason for the claimed delay.

It has been over a year since the CoA audit was first presented in an unprecedented press conference by Noy lackey Grace Tan, who had even given an advance copy of the audit report to Noy, who had no business being given by a copy for vetting since CoA is a constitutional body. Not surprisingly, Noynoy and Mar Roxas, had a zero audit, while the others who are allies were audited 10 to 20 percent of their pork barrel.

* Both senators and congressmen, allies and non-allies were listed in the CoA report, yet Leila and Morales zeroed in only on the three senators and a sprinkling of congressmen who are non-allies of Noynoy.

Worse, Morales, in charging the three senators with plunder, based the amount in the hundreds of millions on the “formula” of Luy that 50 percent of the SAROs’ worth was the kickbacks for the legislators despite the absence of solid proof. Luy and his whistle blowers have millions in their bank accounts, and they have come up claiming that Janet Lim-Napoles also gives them commissions. Obviously, their crooked way to explain away the millions in their bank accounts.

So why change the claimed formula now with the rest of the listed legislators, to the point of Leila no longer charging these allies with plunder but just malversation, if at all? What happened to the “50 percent kickback charges” the senators are alleged to have gotten as kickbacks, especially since Luy’s testimony in court contradicts that which he said in both the Senate and his affidavits that he had never dealt with the senators, yet now he lies blatantly as says he had Sen. Jinggoy Estrada sign an endorsement letter in a party at the Discovery Suites.

Political persecution has always been this way in Philippine politics with the power using the very damaged government institutions to get his way. Political foes are charged while allies are protected from prosecution.

These same people in power and office have not gotten it in their noggin that it could well be their turn, in less than 600 days, to be charged and jailed.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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