HEADLINE NEWS LATER THIS WEEK...

3 NEW AMBASSADORS PRESENT CREDENTIALS TO PNoy  

OCT 8 --PHOTO: President Aquino welcomes (from left) Ambassadors Luis Lillo of Chile, Ephraim Ben Matityau of Israel and Jan Top Christensen of Denmark during the presentation of credentials at Malacañang yesterday. President Aquino welcomed yesterday three new ambassadors in a simple ceremony held at the Music Room of Malacañang. He received the credentials of Luis Lillo from Chile, Ephraim Ben Matityau of Israel and Jan Top Kristensen of Denmark.

Lillo’s wife, Toni Patchett, daughter Maria Jesus Lillo, Second Secretary and Consul Fernanda Villa and honorary consul Juan Rocha were also present. Matityau came with his wife, Lizia Zenaida Lu, deputy chief of mission Adam Michael Levene, consul Menashe Doron Abudi and chief of security Roy Artzi. Kristensen’ wife, Thien Kieu Thi Phung, and Attaché Pia Heide Salman also attended the ceremony. Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario joined the President in welcoming the envoys. The three ambassadors assured Aquino of their respective countries’ commitment to enhance bilateral relations with the Philippines. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Gov’t gets low marks in urgent programs from Pinoys - Pulse Asia

OCT 10 --Fewer Filipinos are satisfied with the way the Aquino administration is handling
major concerns
affecting the people, including increasing pay of workers and reducing poverty, a recent Pulse Asia survey revealed. Pulse Asia’s Ulat ng Bayan survey, conducted from Sept. 8 to 15, found only 28 percent of Filipinos approve of the government’s efforts to increase the pay of workers, down from 36 percent in June. The number of dissatisfied Filipinos, meanwhile, rose from 30 percent to 36. The number of Filipinos who approve of the administration’s efforts to control the inflation rate dropped by four points to 22 percent. About one in two Filipinos considered inflation and workers’ pay as the most urgent national concerns at 50 percent and 49 percent, respectively, according to Pulse Asia. On the administration’s efforts to reduce poverty, only 26 percent said they were satisfied, down from 32 percent three months earlier.

The administration obtained only one majority approval rating – for fighting criminality at 53 percent, which was lower than the 54 recorded in June. Pulse Asia said appreciation is the plurality sentiment toward the government’s initiatives to defend the country’s territorial integrity against foreigners (48 percent from 47 percent), promote peace (46 percent from 50 percent), enforce the rule of law (43 percent from 44 percent), and fight corruption in government (43 percent from 42 percent). The government’s scores on the following issues also dropped in September: stopping the destruction and abuse of the environment (from 46 percent to 42 percent); controlling fast population growth (from 39 percent to 35 percent); and creating more jobs (from 37 percent to 34 percent). Higher expectations --Malacañang, for its part, said people will always expect more from the government when it comes to gut-level issues, especially when there is economic growth being touted but is taking time to be inclusive.

ALSO: Aquino’s satisfaction rating rebounds after reaching all-time low – SWS   

OCT 10 --PHOTO: President Benigno S. Aquino III AP FILE PHOTO. — The net satisfaction of President Benigno Aquino III rose by nine points during the third quarter of 2014, up from its all-time low in the second quarter, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey. Aquino’s net satisfaction rose to a “good” rating of +34 in September, from his lowest “moderate” +25 rating in June. The pollster said 59 percent of those surveyed were satisfied with the President’s performance, from 55 percent in June. At least 25 percent were dissatisfied with Aquino, down from 30 percent. Meanwhile, 15 percent were undecided. Aquino’s satisfaction saw the greatest improvement in Metro Manila, where Aquino got a moderate +22 rating from a “neutral” +6. Meanwhile, the President got a moderate +29 in Luzon from + 16; a good +43 in Visayas from + 39; and a good + 43 in Mindanao from +40.* READ MORE...

(ALSO: Aquino at Bali forum: ‘Authoritarianism is tempting’ 

OCT 10 --PHOTO: President Benigno Aquino 3rd focuses on the exchanges during the opening session of the Bali Democracy Forum. MALACAÑANG PHOTO. PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd on Friday said he finds authoritarian rule “tempting” because “this might promise immediate gains” but quickly clarified that such method of governance will not succeed without the “consent and support of the governed.” Speaking at the opening session of the 7th Bali Democracy Forum on the Evolving Regional Democratic Architecture held at the Bali International Convention Center in Indonesia, Aquino said some leaders are tempted to take such a route out of frustrations and for other reasons that hinder the realization of their plans. “As leaders, all of us here have had our share of frustrations borne of the many factors that sometimes hinder the realization of our vision. This breeds the temptation to consider an authoritarian method, as this might promise immediate gains,” the President told his audience, including Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and other leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

“Sitting down and reflecting on this idea, however, we realize that, with the lack of consensus and consent from the people, such a mode, which offers quick, short-term gains, may be detrimental to society in the long-run,” he added. Aquino, who has expressed “openness” to a term extension if there is public clamor for it, also explained that without clear popular support, an authoritarian rule is doomed to fail. “That lack of consensus, combined with the great degree of dissatisfaction that inevitably arises, leads to instability and the eventual collapse of that particular system,” he stressed. He made the remark as he narrated an incident during his recent trip to the US when he was asked by a student if he “missed the good old days, particularly the stability fostered by authoritarianism.” “As you might know, my family and I lived in exile in Boston for a good three years, and obviously, as a member of a family victimized by an authoritarian regime, I could not share the sentiment. Instead I wondered: What were good about those days? The discussion with that member of our youth gave me the impetus to reflect even more on the matter,” said the President. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino abandons term extension bid; Be wary of temptation to stay in power, world leaders told  

OCT 11 --PHOTO: BALI FORUM — President Aquino is greeted by Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono upon his arrival at the Bali International Convention Center in Indonesia for the ‘Bali Democracy Forum VII’ yesterday. (Malacañang Photo Bureau) Bali, Indonesia – Stressing the “lack of consensus and consent from the people,” President Aquino yesterday abandoned any possibility of staying in power beyond his six-year term limit that ends in 2016. In his most categorical statement so far about a possible longer stay in power, Aquino said that he had reflected on the idea, but the lack of consent from his bosses prompted him to abandon any such thoughts. President Aquino said the people have already spoken and their will be done. He was apparently referring to the recent Pulse Asia survey showing six out of 10 Filipinos are opposed to his term extension.

Speaking at the Bali Democracy Forum being held here, Aquino said leaders like him are being tempted to consider staying longer in power but warned that this could backfire in the long run. “As leaders, all of us here have our share of frustrations, borne of the many factors that sometimes hinder the realization of our vision. This breeds the temptation to consider an authoritarian method, as this might promise immediate gains,” Aquino told the audience that included heads of states and other high-ranking officials. LACK OF CONSENT “Sitting down and reflecting on this idea, however, we realize that with the lack of consensus and consent from the people, such a mode which offers quick and short-term gains, may be detrimental to society in the long run,” the President, who is co-chairman of the forum, said. Talks about Aquino possibly extending his term surfaced recently, with only less than two years left in office. Aquino’s six-year tenure ends in June, 2016. A possible term extension for the President would involve a Charter amendment. However, a recent Pulse Asia report showed that six out of 10 Filipinos are opposed to the term extension. AUTHORITARIAN RULE REJECTED Aquino related that he pondered on the idea when he was challenged during his visit by one student whether there’s benefit to authoritarian rule which assures stability.*READ MORE...

ALSO: Noy won 2010 polls fair and square, lawyer says- lawyer 

There was “no factual nor legal basis” to the claim that President Aquino’s victory in the 2010 presidential polls was due to rigging of the automated voting machines, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said yesterday. “Aquino won the said election fair and square. He got 42 percent of the votes cast therein. He was unanimously proclaimed by Congress in joint session on June 9, 2010,” Macalintal said in a statement. “His opponents did not contest his election when they all conceded defeat. None of them ever said that they were cheated by PCOS (precinct count optical scan) machines,” he said.

He said information technology (IT) experts who kept on casting doubts on Aquino’s victory “miserably failed to show proof that any of the more than 80,000 PCOS machines was ever hacked or their results compromised.” He said all election protests involving local posts were dismissed because no material discrepancy between the PCOS results and the results of the physical re-count of the ballots was uncovered. Macalintal said the best argument that the PCOS count in 2010 was accurate was the fact that Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II has not been actively pursuing his election protest against Vice President Jejomar Binay that he filed in July 2010 with the Supreme Court (SC). * READ MORE...

ALSO Manila Standard Opinion: Perilous times, we are in a big mess  

OCT 12 --Our country is in peril. I have said this several times and will say it again: We have had enough of traditional politicians and public servants who came to power because of our electorate’s sentimentality. Voters must now shun personality and sentiment-based politics. Our misinformed electoral choices has not brought us the leaders we need to really move forward. On the contrary, we have bred corrupt, inefficient, and incompetent politicians whose concept of governance is, they cannot do anything wrong even if everything is in disarray and the public suffers. Public welfare remains as a propaganda battlecry. Look at where the country is now. We are in a big mess.

People do not feel safe. We live in fear because of unabated criminality. Life is cheap. Your enemy can have you killed for a few thousand pesos. Or you can be shot or stabbed just because you refuse to hand over your mobilephone to thieves. Guns are everywhere. The proliferation of guns continues to embolden those with criminal minds. Worse, in many instances, the criminals are the law enforcers entrusted with our very lives. We are always in danger of destruction. Natural and human-made calamities for which we are ill-prepared continuously threaten us. Warnings of possible killer earthquakes, volcano eruptions, and typhoons have become our everyday fare. But what exactly is being done to mitigate the effects of such? A few local government units such as Albay are doing excellent work but they are the exemptions, not the rule. What will happen if as predicted, a killer quake hits Metro Manila? I don’t want to hazard a guess. And speaking of the Metro, it is fast becoming unlivable. Having a population of almost twelve million and as the center of business and governance, one would think that all efforts are exerted to make the National Capital Region the country’s showcase. Yet, it gets flooded at the slightest of rains. Even the busiest of roads, EDSA, gets easily flooded! Traffic is horrendous every day and becomes unbearable when floods come. On a daily basis, commuters spend many hours in traffic. Insane.

The transportation system (if there is one), sucks big time. Whether you choose to take the bus, jeepney, or taxi, you have drivers who do not follow traffic rules (and as shown by some social experiments, may not even know the rules). Many drive without regard for the safety of their passengers and their own lives. You also risk being held up. You may take the MRT or LRT of course. Line up with the throngs of people for what would seem forever and be ready to stand in the coach. On a good day you will reach your destination. Otherwise, when trouble happens, which is not rare, you must exercise maximum tolerance. Rather than doing things to address transport problems sustainably, we hear government people suggest banning private vehicles during rush hours. Where do these people come from? Doing this will surely result in more chaos. In truly developed countries, the public transport system is efficient, safe and reliable. People there choose to commute than drive. Cars are left home and only used when needed. After all, it is much cheaper to commute. Some friends are contemplating moving out of Metro Manila for good because the situation is getting more untenable by the day. Good for those who have options but what about the many millions who don’t? Let us not forget the power crisis that will get worse during summer next year. * CONTINUE READING...

BLOG Commentary 2013: Foreign Powers Coercing the Filipino Masses for a Noynoy "Presidency"? (Going Back: May 29, 1010)

THE history of the Philippine Islands is a rather pathetic and protracted story of foreign domination. Some four centuries since the natives were first subjected to colonization, the aftermath of the May 10, 2010 presidential elections shows a much more subtle and different assertion of hegemony upon the Filipino masses. In an astounding breach of diplomatic protocol, the ambassadors of the powerful countries led by, who else, the United States, are paying courtesy visits to front runner but far-from-proclaimed Sen. Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III--this, amidst allegations of massive automated poll fraud. How is it then that the new United States Ambassador to the Philippines already paid courtesy call to Noynoy Aquino? Congressional canvassing has only started yesterday but a week earlier, Harry Thomas Jr. met with Aquino in his house at Times St. Funny thing is, the development came amidst the recognition that Aquino is, at best, only "President-apparent."

American Interference in the 21st century --Apparently as if on cue from the US, Japan and China followed suit, paying courtesy visits to a man who has not even been proclaimed Philippine's next President and whose apparent electoral victory is in serious question. So why are these powerful nations sending their ambassadors to openly (and with partiality) support Aquino amidst the brouhaha over automated "Hello Garci"? Meddling again? PLEASE READ FULL COMMENTARY FROM BEGINNING TO END.
 


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3 new ambassadors present credentials to Noy


President Aquino welcomes (from left) Ambassadors Luis Lillo of Chile, Ephraim Ben Matityau of Israel and Jan Top Christensen of Denmark during the presentation of credentials at Malacañang yesterday. WILLY PEREZ

MANILA, OCTOBER 13, 2014 (PHILSTAR) By Delon Porcalla - President Aquino welcomed yesterday three new ambassadors in a simple ceremony held at the Music Room of Malacañang.

He received the credentials of Luis Lillo from Chile, Ephraim Ben Matityau of Israel and Jan Top Kristensen of Denmark.

Lillo’s wife, Toni Patchett, daughter Maria Jesus Lillo, Second Secretary and Consul Fernanda Villa and honorary consul Juan Rocha were also present.

Matityau came with his wife, Lizia Zenaida Lu, deputy chief of mission Adam Michael Levene, consul Menashe Doron Abudi and chief of security Roy Artzi.

Kristensen’ wife, Thien Kieu Thi Phung, and Attaché Pia Heide Salman also attended the ceremony.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario joined the President in welcoming the envoys.

The three ambassadors assured Aquino of their respective countries’ commitment to enhance bilateral relations with the Philippines.

* Matityau and the President exchanged views on how to strengthen Israeli-Philippine relations, particularly in the areas of high-tech innovation, excellence in research and development, emergency preparedness and agro-technology.

“Israel has 1,301 good reasons to thank the Philippines and you, Mr. President. Your nation has 1,301 good reasons to stand proud before the family of nations as a role model,” Matityau told Aquino.

He noted that the Philippine government under President Manuel Quezon saved 1,300 Jewish people during the Holocaust.

He said the Philippines likewise voted for the United Nations resolution for the creation of the state of Israel.

“Next year, we are going to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the liberation of Manila. On that occasion, we hope to dedicate a friendship monument in Manila presented by the people of Israel in appreciation to the Filipino people,” Matityau said.

He expressed appreciation to the thousands of Filipino professionals who participate in development and capacity-building programs in Israel and in the Philippines.

“We hope to see 540 Filipino students coming over to Israel in a unique 11-month internship in agriculture. The door is open to so many more opportunities to the benefit of our nations,” Matityau said.

He also expressed appreciation to Filipinos working as caregivers in Israel, adding that he looks forward to the implementation of a joint committee for science and technology as proposed by Del Rosario.

The President had a brief closed-door meeting with the envoys. – With Pia Lee-Brago

Gov’t gets low marks in urgent programs By Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 10, 2014 - 12:00am 0 4 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - Fewer Filipinos are satisfied with the way the Aquino administration is handling major concerns affecting the people, including increasing pay of workers and reducing poverty, a recent Pulse Asia survey revealed.

Pulse Asia’s Ulat ng Bayan survey, conducted from Sept. 8 to 15, found only 28 percent of Filipinos approve of the government’s efforts to increase the pay of workers, down from 36 percent in June. The number of dissatisfied Filipinos, meanwhile, rose from 30 percent to 36.

The number of Filipinos who approve of the administration’s efforts to control the inflation rate dropped by four points to 22 percent.

About one in two Filipinos considered inflation and workers’ pay as the most urgent national concerns at 50 percent and 49 percent, respectively, according to Pulse Asia.

On the administration’s efforts to reduce poverty, only 26 percent said they were satisfied, down from 32 percent three months earlier.

The administration obtained only one majority approval rating – for fighting criminality at 53 percent, which was lower than the 54 recorded in June.

Pulse Asia said appreciation is the plurality sentiment toward the government’s initiatives to defend the country’s territorial integrity against foreigners (48 percent from 47 percent), promote peace (46 percent from 50 percent), enforce the rule of law (43 percent from 44 percent), and fight corruption in government (43 percent from 42 percent).

The government’s scores on the following issues also dropped in September: stopping the destruction and abuse of the environment (from 46 percent to 42 percent); controlling fast population growth (from 39 percent to 35 percent); and creating more jobs (from 37 percent to 34 percent).

Higher expectations

Malacañang, for its part, said people will always expect more from the government when it comes to gut-level issues, especially when there is economic growth being touted but is taking time to be inclusive.

* Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said yesterday in a press briefing that there was a constellation of issues that must be considered and that the administration’s economic team had been focused on lowering inflation, which decreased from a high of 4.9 percent to 4.4 percent as of latest report.

He said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas was continuously monitoring the inflation rate and has all the tools of monetary policy to regulate it, including total liquidity in the banking system and other indicators.

“They are the ones in the position to directly thwart threats of inflation and the economic management team as well as the Bangko Sentral are working together on this,” Coloma said.

He said the National Price Coordinating Council was also monitoring, tracking and regulating the price of important food and basic commodities to ensure that the Filipinos’ purchasing power would not be diminished.

Coloma added they were aware of the Filipinos’ concern on wages, especially those in the private sector.

But he said the private sector was guided by market forces and that the strong economy should encourage employers to share more with their workers.

“Theoretically, the private companies should be producing more revenues and more substantial cash flows that would enable them to share a greater portion of what they are earning with their workers through salary increases or salary adjustments. That is the opportunity being seen,” he said.

“While we are providing policy tools that make it possible for the economy to grow on a more dynamic and sustained basis, this is what would give opportunities for workers in the private sector to aspire for higher levels of salaries and earnings,” he added.

Fight vs corruption

Amid the decline in the level of concern for the need to fight corruption in government, the survey showed nearly half of Filipinos or 48 percent are hopeful that corruption in the use of public funds can still be successfully addressed.

This opinion is shared by big pluralities to small majorities across geographic areas and socio-economic classes (45 percent to 54 percent and 47 percent to 54 percent, respectively).

An exception is Mindanao, where 42 percent agree with this view while 34 percent are ambivalent on the matter.

“Between June and September 2014, the only significant movement in the national administration’s performance ratings on these selected issues is the decline in the level of approval for its efforts to increase the pay of workers (-8 percentage points),” Pulse Asia said.

It said all other changes – including the six-percentage point decline in the approval and the six-percentage point increase in disapproval for the administration’s anti-poverty initiatives, as well as the six-percentage point rise in disapproval for its work in the area of increasing workers’ pay – are marginal in nature.

The survey used face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults 18 years old and above.

It has plus or minus three percentage points error margin at the 95 percent confidence level. – With Aurea Calica

FROM THE INQUIRER

Aquino’s satisfaction rating rebounds after reaching all-time low – SWS By Marc Jayson Cayabyab |INQUIRER.net5:13 pm | Friday, October 10th, 2014


President Benigno S. Aquino III AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The net satisfaction of President Benigno Aquino III rose by nine points during the third quarter of 2014, up from its all-time low in the second quarter, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

Aquino’s net satisfaction rose to a “good” rating of +34 in September, from his lowest “moderate” +25 rating in June.

The pollster said 59 percent of those surveyed were satisfied with the President’s performance, from 55 percent in June. At least 25 percent were dissatisfied with Aquino, down from 30 percent. Meanwhile, 15 percent were undecided.

Aquino’s satisfaction saw the greatest improvement in Metro Manila, where Aquino got a moderate +22 rating from a “neutral” +6.

Meanwhile, the President got a moderate +29 in Luzon from + 16; a good +43 in Visayas from + 39; and a good + 43 in Mindanao from +40.

* The President received a good +40 rating in the rural areas, and a moderate +27 in urban zones.
Aquino also received a jump in satisfaction ratings in the lower social classes – a good +34 rating in Class D from a moderate +22, and a good +38 in Class E from +31.

But Aquino’s satisfaction dipped among the Class ABC to a moderate +27 from a good +32.

The SWS categorizes its ratings as follows: +70 and above, “excellent”; +50 to +69, “very good”; +30 to +49, “good”; +10 to +29, “moderate”, +9 to -9, “neutral”; -10 to -29, “poor”; -30 to -49, “bad”; -50 to -69, “very bad”; -70 and below, “execrable.”

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the survey downplays the public dissatisfaction in the President as claimed by critics.

“President Aquino’s ratings remain historically high compared to the same period of other administrations. Surveys are snapshots of a political landscape at a certain time and accordingly fluctuate,” Valte said in a statement.

“The more accurate measure of government performance is the number of people who are empowered to take advantage of new and better opportunities,” she added.

The survey was conducted September 26-29 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide.

FROM THE MANILA TIMES

Aquino at Bali forum: ‘Authoritarianism is tempting’ October 10, 2014 10:04 pm by JOEL M. SY EGCO SENIOR REPORTER


President Benigno Aquino 3rd focuses on the exchanges during the opening session of the Bali Democracy Forum. MALACAÑANG PHOTO

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd on Friday said he finds authoritarian rule “tempting” because “this might promise immediate gains” but quickly clarified that such method of governance will not succeed without the “consent and support of the governed.”

Speaking at the opening session of the 7th Bali Democracy Forum on the Evolving Regional Democratic Architecture held at the Bali International Convention Center in Indonesia, Aquino said some leaders are tempted to take such a route out of frustrations and for other reasons that hinder the realization of their plans.

“As leaders, all of us here have had our share of frustrations borne of the many factors that sometimes hinder the realization of our vision. This breeds the temptation to consider an authoritarian method, as this might promise immediate gains,” the President told his audience, including Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and other leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

“Sitting down and reflecting on this idea, however, we realize that, with the lack of consensus and consent from the people, such a mode, which offers quick, short-term gains, may be detrimental to society in the long-run,” he added.

Aquino, who has expressed “openness” to a term extension if there is public clamor for it, also explained that without clear popular support, an authoritarian rule is doomed to fail.

“That lack of consensus, combined with the great degree of dissatisfaction that inevitably arises, leads to instability and the eventual collapse of that particular system,” he stressed.

He made the remark as he narrated an incident during his recent trip to the US when he was asked by a student if he “missed the good old days, particularly the stability fostered by authoritarianism.”

“As you might know, my family and I lived in exile in Boston for a good three years, and obviously, as a member of a family victimized by an authoritarian regime, I could not share the sentiment. Instead I wondered: What were good about those days? The discussion with that member of our youth gave me the impetus to reflect even more on the matter,” said the President.

* As experienced in the Philippines and other countries, he noted that in a totalitarian regime, things get done faster, whether they are right or wrong, because there are no checks and balances in place.

“Very often, the consent and support of the governed are neither sought nor attained. Naturally, such a regime, one divorced from the desires of its people, will have weak foundations. In that kind of regime, might I point out, the opinions and wishes of the governed are only second to the objective of staying in power,” Aquino said.

He claimed that these regimes failed primarily because political survival becomes the “end all and be all” of the government.

“And as we have seen in history, all authoritarian regimes, regardless of the cause of their coming to power, will at one point make political survival the end all and be all of government,” he said.

Only recently, a survey firm reported that majority of the people do not favor an extended term for Aquino.

I also found that majority do not agree that the powers of the judiciary, an instrument of check and balance, should be clipped.

Aquino expressly opposes the fact that “judicial reach” has been “abused.” He lamented that the Supreme Court, for one, has stepped on the toes of the Executive. The President publicly ridiculed the Court for ruling that several provisions of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) were unconstitutional.

In his Bali speech, the President underscored the benefits of a democratic state which, he maintained, “presents more stable, more solid foundations for equitable advancement.”

“In a democratic state, which is the opposite of an authoritarian regime, government is systematically attuned to the voice of the people; it represents the people and works towards the betterment of its people. And while consensus building, which is the foundation of such a state, may be a long and complicated process,” he said.

“Democratic institutions, after all, seek to free and enable its citizens, and the first freedom should always be from hunger, as my father once thought. In turn, that empowered citizenry becomes capable of nurturing and fostering democracy. This ultimately redounds to a virtuous cycle of inclusiveness, stability, and development,” Aquino said.

FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Aquino abandons term extension bid Be wary of temptation to stay in power, world leaders told by Raymund F. Antonio October 11, 2014 MANILA BULLSTIN  Share this:


BALI FORUM — President Aquino is greeted by Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono upon his arrival at the Bali International Convention Center in Indonesia for the ‘Bali Democracy Forum VII’ yesterday. (Malacañang Photo Bureau)

Bali, Indonesia – Stressing the “lack of consensus and consent from the people,” President Aquino yesterday abandoned any possibility of staying in power beyond his six-year term limit that ends in 2016.

In his most categorical statement so far about a possible longer stay in power, Aquino said that he had reflected on the idea, but the lack of consent from his bosses prompted him to abandon any such thoughts.

President Aquino said the people have already spoken and their will be done. He was apparently referring to the recent Pulse Asia survey showing six out of 10 Filipinos are opposed to his term extension.

Speaking at the Bali Democracy Forum being held here, Aquino said leaders like him are being tempted to consider staying longer in power but warned that this could backfire in the long run.

“As leaders, all of us here have our share of frustrations, borne of the many factors that sometimes hinder the realization of our vision. This breeds the temptation to consider an authoritarian method, as this might promise immediate gains,” Aquino told the audience that included heads of states and other high-ranking officials.

LACK OF CONSENT

“Sitting down and reflecting on this idea, however, we realize that with the lack of consensus and consent from the people, such a mode which offers quick and short-term gains, may be detrimental to society in the long run,” the President, who is co-chairman of the forum, said.

Talks about Aquino possibly extending his term surfaced recently, with only less than two years left in office. Aquino’s six-year tenure ends in June, 2016.

A possible term extension for the President would involve a Charter amendment.

However, a recent Pulse Asia report showed that six out of 10 Filipinos are opposed to the term extension.

AUTHORITARIAN RULE REJECTED

Aquino related that he pondered on the idea when he was challenged during his visit by one student whether there’s benefit to authoritarian rule which assures stability.

* He said he could not share the sentiment of the student, who hails from an ASEAN country, citing the experience of his family who were exiled in the US during the Marcos regime.

“Instead I wondered: What were good about those days? The discussion with a member of our youth gave me impetus to reflex even more on the matter.”

Aquino said that while things are supposedly done faster in a totalitarian regime, this comes with a high price to the people through abuse and misuse of power “because there are no checks and balances in place.”

In an authoritarian rule, “the consent and the support of the governed are neither nor attained. Naturally, such a regime, once divorced from the desire of its people, will have weak foundations.”

At some point, the authoritarian regime will try to maintain perpetual stay in power “with political survival the end and be all of government.”

FREE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY

On the other hand, a free democratic society, Aquino said, “is systematically attuned to the voice of the people, it represents the people and works toward the betterment of the people. And while consensus building may be a long and complicated process, it presents more stable, more solid foundations for equitable advancement.”

The President reminded that the Philippines’ path to democracy was attained the hard way, but this has only strengthened the Filipino’s resolve to protect it at all cost.

He said the bloodless People Power in 1986 has shown the world the determination of Filipinos to say enough is enough, not with violence but through peaceful means.

Aquino said his late mother, former President Corazon Aquino, has sought to live up to the aspirations of the Filipino people and the promise of EDSA revolution.

Another people power revolution happened in 2010, this time with Filipinos exercising their will through the ballot, when people “campaigned with us and voted for an idea whose fruits we are reaping today: Where there is no corruption, there will be no poverty.”

He pointed out that democracy and governance can go hand in hand together. “One only needs to look at our resurgent economy, a more empowered citizenry, and the growing confidence of the international community in the Philippines.”

FROM PHILSTAR

Noy won 2010 polls fair and square, lawyer says By Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 12, 2014 - 12:00am 11 207 googleplus0 1

MANILA, Philippines - There was “no factual nor legal basis” to the claim that President Aquino’s victory in the 2010 presidential polls was due to rigging of the automated voting machines, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said yesterday.

“Aquino won the said election fair and square. He got 42 percent of the votes cast therein. He was unanimously proclaimed by Congress in joint session on June 9, 2010,” Macalintal said in a statement.

“His opponents did not contest his election when they all conceded defeat. None of them ever said that they were cheated by PCOS (precinct count optical scan) machines,” he said.

He said information technology (IT) experts who kept on casting doubts on Aquino’s victory “miserably failed to show proof that any of the more than 80,000 PCOS machines was ever hacked or their results compromised.”

He said all election protests involving local posts were dismissed because no material discrepancy between the PCOS results and the results of the physical re-count of the ballots was uncovered.

Macalintal said the best argument that the PCOS count in 2010 was accurate was the fact that Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II has not been actively pursuing his election protest against Vice President Jejomar Binay that he filed in July 2010 with the Supreme Court (SC).

* Had there been massive PCOS fraud proven in any of the election protests involving the local elections, Roxas would certainly have demanded the immediate delivery of relevant ballot boxes to the SC for recount, he said.

Roxas’ protest has been lying idle in the SC for years as not a single ballot box has been brought to the high tribunal for ballot recount, he said.

“Thus, I have been challenging these IT ‘experts’ to show at least one, yes, even just one, ballot of the more than 37 million ballots cast in the 2010 or 2013 polls where the vote cast by a voter for, say, Candidate A was credited by the PCOS to Candidate B,” Macalintal said.

He said his challenge was never answered and all the IT experts could come up were alleged results of some recount conducted by trial courts where they claimed the PCOS results did not tally with the physical count of the ballots in one or two precincts.

“But these alleged ‘discrepancies’ were not due to PCOS fraud but were man-made fraud or tampering of the original ballots by some election shenanigans who were out to discredit the integrity of the PCOS count,” Macalintal said.

He made it clear, however, he was not defending the PCOS machines or Smartmatic, the firm that brought the equipment to the country.

MANILA STANDARD OPINION

Perilous times, We are in a big mess By Elizabeth Angsioco | Oct. 11, 2014 at 12:01am

Our country is in peril.

I have said this several times and will say it again: We have had enough of traditional politicians and public servants who came to power because of our electorate’s sentimentality.

Voters must now shun personality and sentiment-based politics. Our misinformed electoral choices has not brought us the leaders we need to really move forward. On the contrary, we have bred corrupt, inefficient, and incompetent politicians whose concept of governance is, they cannot do anything wrong even if everything is in disarray and the public suffers. Public welfare remains as a propaganda battlecry.

Look at where the country is now. We are in a big mess.

People do not feel safe. We live in fear because of unabated criminality. Life is cheap. Your enemy can have you killed for a few thousand pesos. Or you can be shot or stabbed just because you refuse to hand over your mobilephone to thieves.

Guns are everywhere. The proliferation of guns continues to embolden those with criminal minds. Worse, in many instances, the criminals are the law enforcers entrusted with our very lives.

We are always in danger of destruction. Natural and human-made calamities for which we are ill-prepared continuously threaten us. Warnings of possible killer earthquakes, volcano eruptions, and typhoons have become our everyday fare.

But what exactly is being done to mitigate the effects of such? A few local government units such as Albay are doing excellent work but they are the exemptions, not the rule. What will happen if as predicted, a killer quake hits Metro Manila? I don’t want to hazard a guess.

And speaking of the Metro, it is fast becoming unlivable. Having a population of almost twelve million and as the center of business and governance, one would think that all efforts are exerted to make the National Capital Region the country’s showcase.

Yet, it gets flooded at the slightest of rains. Even the busiest of roads, EDSA, gets easily flooded! Traffic is horrendous every day and becomes unbearable when floods come. On a daily basis, commuters spend many hours in traffic. Insane.

The transportation system (if there is one), sucks big time. Whether you choose to take the bus, jeepney, or taxi, you have drivers who do not follow traffic rules (and as shown by some social experiments, may not even know the rules). Many drive without regard for the safety of their passengers and their own lives. You also risk being held up.

You may take the MRT or LRT of course. Line up with the throngs of people for what would seem forever and be ready to stand in the coach. On a good day you will reach your destination. Otherwise, when trouble happens, which is not rare, you must exercise maximum tolerance.

Rather than doing things to address transport problems sustainably, we hear government people suggest banning private vehicles during rush hours. Where do these people come from? Doing this will surely result in more chaos.

In truly developed countries, the public transport system is efficient, safe and reliable. People there choose to commute than drive. Cars are left home and only used when needed. After all, it is much cheaper to commute.

Some friends are contemplating moving out of Metro Manila for good because the situation is getting more untenable by the day. Good for those who have options but what about the many millions who don’t?

Let us not forget the power crisis that will get worse during summer next year.

* Notwithstanding this, Meralco is raising its rates this month when we already pay one of the highest power rates in the world. Areas not serviced by Meralco charge even higher power rates. Brown outs are also longer and more frequent even at present. Think of Mindanao areas where people suffer more hours without power on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, people are asked by government to reduce power consumption. Government should know that people are already mindful of consumption because we pay a high price for every bit of electricity we use.

The absence of a sound plan to address this power crisis is unacceptable and is proof of government ineptitude. The crisis is hardly a surprise since warnings have been repeatedly sounded off for years. This power situation is unconscionable.

What about the fight against corruption? Sure, a former Chief Justice was impeached and three senators are now in jail. But wait, all of them are considered enemies of this administration. It looks like that this crusade against corruption is only applied to those outside of Malacanang’s friends.

No, I am not forgetting the economic miracle claimed by government. Even if true, the miracle seems to benefit only those who are already rich. In people’s parlance, “nganga pa rin ang mga ordinaryong mamamayan”.

Also, it doesn’t need a genius to see that given the breakdown of peace and order, transport woes, impending power crisis, threat of disasters, and the continued inability to address these, this economic bubble will burst sooner than later.

I am not even talking about the still widespread poverty, unemployment, the pathetic situation of Yolanda victims, the still problematic peace and order situation in parts of Mindanao, insurgency, etc., etc.,

The country is in peril. We need the best people to win in 2016. No more trapos and dynasties who have ruled over us for many decades. We cannot anymore be ruled by sentiment and emotion. Our votes should not go to personalities who are ill-equipped for the position they vie for.

Dear voters, only us can save the country from this perilous situation. Let us look for alternatives to what we are being offered us now.

We need people with proven track record, those who have already demonstrated their capabilities to address problematic situations. We need real leaders who are strategic thinkers, who are ready with their blueprint to get the country out of this rut. We need real public servants who will WORK HARD for people’s welfare.

We have them in our midst. We need to find these people, make them run for office, campaign for them. We owe it to the future generation.

We dream. We act. We make our future.

Philippine Commentary 2013
BLOGGED: http://philippinecommentary.blogspot.ca/

To thine own self be true--that to no one canst thou be false!
Friday, May 28, 2010

Foreign Powers Coercing the Filipino Masses for a Noynoy "Presidency"?
(Modified May 29, 1010)

THE history of the Philippine Islands is a rather pathetic and protracted story of foreign domination. Some four centuries since the natives were first subjected to colonization, the aftermath of the May 10, 2010 presidential elections shows a much more subtle and different assertion of hegemony upon the Filipino masses. In an astounding breach of diplomatic protocol, the ambassadors of the powerful countries led by, who else, the United States, are paying courtesy visits to front runner but far-from-proclaimed Sen. Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III--this, amidst allegations of massive automated poll fraud.

Philippines as Subject, Always?

From the time, at least, that the Spaniards began the colonization of the archipelago some 400 years ago, Filipinos have never been quite able to entirely free themselves from the yoke(s) of foreign domination even after its two episodes of "Independence" half a century apart. Controversial historical figure Emilio Aguinaldo declared the Philippines independent on June 12, 1898, only to be invaded by the then-emerging imperialist power that was the United States. After a brief period of Japanese Occupation, the Bald Eagle nation regained control. Soon, it granted the Filipinos "independence," but with usual help from the coop-ted elites, was able to extract burdensome neo-colonial deals, most infamous of which were the Parity Rights Agreement and the RP-US Military Bases Agreement.

From then till now, American de facto influence has never really left the country, influencing Philippine foreign policies, apparently being involved with the killing of nationalist, anti-Bases Senator Claro M. Recto, and simply meddling in internal affairs in other ways, sinister and otherwise. Perhaps, the most obvious expression of continuing US influence, if not control, over its former Southeast Asian colony is its traditional say over who will sit as Philippine President. This fact is most dramatically seen in the covert campaigning of the Central Intelligence Agency for the presidential bid of then-Defense Minister Ramon Magsaysay and in the US role in the forcible exile of President Ferdinand Marcos to Hawaii during the 1986 "People Power" revolt.

America's flex of its hegemonic muscles over the country is being seen once more as it subtly twists the Filipinos' arm into blindly accepting Aquino as the next "President." How to? By conspicuously expressing its biased and improper show of support for their incoming 'puppet' of choice well before Congress has done its job of canvassing the votes and settling the issue of electoral credibility.

"President Apparent"

The media has eagerly reported on how Noynoy Aquino has led second front runner ex-President Joseph Estrada by a wide margin in the tabulation of the election results beginning from the early hours of the quick count, hailing the recent elections as swift, orderly, and credible. As reports of poll irregularities and fraud came in, the yellow media began carrying stories of electoral fraud, albeit with begrudging reluctance.

At any rate, Noynoy Aquino of the Liberal Party has not yet been proclaimed president-elect. In fact, it is a big question whether he will indeed be proclaimed by Congress, given the many reports of irregularities and fraud allegations at the presidential level in the country's first national automated elections.

New US puppet?

How is it then that the new United States Ambassador to the Philippines already paid courtesy call to Noynoy Aquino? Congressional canvassing has only started yesterday but a week earlier, Harry Thomas Jr. met with Aquino in his house at Times St. Funny thing is, the development came amidst the recognition that Aquino is, at best, only "President-apparent."

Why should any foreign government render a premature courtesy visit to a presidentiable who has not been proclaimed by Congress and whose apparent lead in the poll tabulation has been marred by serious questions on the integrity and credibility of the recent automated electoral exercise? That is, if the former colonial master is not subtly bamboozling the local population into accepting Noynoy Aquino as the presidential winner, and to hell whether the elections has been rigged.

This (un)diplomatic action of the US smacks of foreign meddling because it is an affront to the Philippine Congress that was, at the time of the courtesy visit, hearing statements on the reported massive electronic election fraud. Was the US sending signals to Congress that Aquino is their chosen man so legislators better proclaim him?

The same diplomatic faux pas has elicited a defiantly patriotic reaction from Nicanor Perlas, one of the presidential contenders who have admitted to their defeat but chose not to concede to Aquino amidst the many reports of automated poll irregularities and fraud. In his Facebook account, Perlas remarked: "US congrats for Noynoy premature. Congress has not declared Noynoy as president. Media spin wants Pinoys to accept US judgment. Why? Are we under the US?"

Besides, just what if, based on widespread electronic fraud, Congress decides there was failure of elections and thereby calls for a run-off polls, with Estrada emerging the victor? Wouldn't that be so embarrassing on the part of the US having paid courtesy visit to the wrong president-elect? So why is the Bald Eagle nation risking a diplomatic faux pas of sorts by being much too supportive of Aquino?

The truth is that there's hardly any question that Aquino has the blessings of good old ex-colonial master Bald Eagle. During the election campaign, Sen. Edgardo Angara actually advised Aquino against "social meetings" with foreign diplomats. Certain officials of the US embassy, in fact, had actually sought meetings with key members of the Liberal Party standard-bearer's staff as Aquino himself admitted that he met with former Ambassador Kristie Kenney.

American Interference in the 21st century

Apparently as if on cue from the US, Japan and China followed suit, paying courtesy visits to a man who has not even been proclaimed Philippine's next President and whose apparent electoral victory is in serious question. So why are these powerful nations sending their ambassadors to openly (and with partiality) support Aquino amidst the brouhaha over automated "Hello Garci"? Meddling again?

Isn't it basic international political correctness to wait for the official settlement of a contest, especially if a dispute is involved, before extending any congratulatory message to one of the competing parties? Isn't it diplomatically obnoxious that the US ambassador, along with those of China and Japan, paid Noynoy Aquino a well-publicized courtesy visit at this time?

By making its ambassador pay courtesy call to President-apparent-cum-possibly-Presidential-cheater-apparent at this time, isn't America subtly twisting the arms of the Filipinos to stop questioning the validity of the recent presidential elections? Showing partisan preference for Noynoy is an insult to Philippine sovereignty. Unless, of course, the country has never really been truly free. Free but not quite free of meddling hands….

P.S.

Presidential candidate JC De Los Reyes, another admitted "loser" in the elections who withdrew his concession to Aquino following reports of automated poll fraud, shares Perlas' sentiment, remarking in his Facebook account that the American ambassador should have been "'diplomatic' enough not to preempt the process."
____________
by Jesusa Bernardo

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