NOY'S CORNER (news and views)THIS PAST WEEK...
(MINI-READS followed by FULL REPORTS below)

ALEJANDRO DEL ROSARIO: On Aquino finishing his term


The usual noisy protesters are calling for President Benigno S. Aquino III to resign in the wake of the ill-fated Mamasapano mission. While the President committed a lapse in judgment and is ultimately responsible in the bungled PNP-SAF operation that cost the lives off 44 police commandos, there are still many Filipinos, including myself, who would rather see Aquino finish his six-year term. Don’t get us wrong. We are for Aquino finishing his term since we only have to suffer him for just another year and two months. Patience is a virtue and good things come to those who wait. There’s also the old saw about being careful in what you wish for. The alternative to Aquino is too frightening to contemplate. Ousting PNoy and handing over the Presidency to Vice President Jejomar Binay would place all other presidential aspirants in 2016 at a great disadvantage. Most voters would prefer to see a wide open field in the next presidential race with possibly three or four candidates.  
Once Binay occupies Malacanang, there’s no telling whether he would ever give it up. With all the advantages of the incumbent, Binay will surely do everything to keep his grip on power. He has shown this in Makati where his family has ruled for three decades. Even Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he would rather have Aquino complete his term instead of being dislodged by either a military coup or people power.    But then, Rudy D has reasons of his own in keeping PNoy until 2016. He is seeking the presidency and his chances are better without Binay already having a toehold on Malacanang. Duterte’s listening tour is actually a campaign in full swing which saw the brash-talking Davao mayor bolt from nowhere to third place in a recent Pulse Asia survey. He’s now tied with former President Joseph Estrada at 12 percent behind the still-undeclared Senator Grace Poe who’s at second with 14 percent.  CONTINUE READING...

ALSO by Emil Jurado: PNoy to face charges in 2016


MY sources say that known lawyers and retired Supreme Court and Court of Appeals justices have been meeting regularly since last year to finalize criminal and civil cases they would file against President Aquino when he steps down in 2016. Among the cases this group has been studying and preparing is the President’s alleged bribery committed in the days leading to the enactment of the Reproductive Health Law. There are reports that the President used the Priority Development Assistance Fund to gain lawmakers’ support for the bill.  Other cases against the President reportedly being studied by this group is the President’s misuse of the pork barrel funds to have former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona impeached, convicted and ousted. Together with this is the President’s liability in disbursing funds through the DAP or Disbursement Acceleration Program, its salient points having been declared illegal and unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.  My sources also told me that the President would certainly be charged criminally with the slaughter of the 44 police commandos when he broke the Philippine National Police chain of command. The President put suspended police chief Alan Purisima on top of the Mamasapano mission. READ MORE...

ALSO Pulse Asia survey: ‘Bosses’ unhappy


Mariefe Guarra spends the Christmas Eve with her children sleeping on a wooden cart donated to her a day before along a street in Manila on December 24, 2014. Guarra husband earns US$4 a day as a scavenger collecting plastic bottles. They live on the street for 34 years. Results of a recent Pulse Asia survey showed the “bosses” were generally dissatisfied with the performance of the Aquino administration as it failed to score any majority approval rating on 13 selected issues confronting the nation.
AFP PHOTO/NOEL CELIS  
The “bosses” were generally dissatisfied with the performance of the Aquino administration as it failed to score any majority approval rating on 13 selected issues confronting the nation, results of a recent Pulse Asia survey showed.   Results of the survey conducted early this month and released Tuesday found that economic issues remained the most urgent national concern among Filipinos.   Controlling inflation was the topmost concern (46 percent of respondents), followed by improving/increasing workers’ salary (44 percent) and reducing poverty (37 percent).   As a result, the administration scored the lowest approval and highest disapproval ratings in addressing these issues despite claims of economic growth.  Sought for comment, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said “in the next 15 months, the administration will intensify efforts at job creation while maintaining fiscal discipline in order to rein in inflation.”  READ MORE...

ALSO EARLIER REPORT: Aquino warned on various raps he might face after his term


TIANGCO  
MANILA, Philippines — President Aquino should brace himself for treason after his term especially in light of the Board of Inquiry report accusing him of breaking the police chain of command in the botched Mamasapano operation, a solon warned Monday. Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, the interim president of the opposition party United Nationalist Alliance, said the President may be liable for failing to protect his soldiers at the debacle in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao last Jan. 25 that left 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos, 18 Moro fighters and five civilians dead. The SAF commandos were able to kill international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias “Marwan” but the other target, local bombmaker Basit Usman, escaped when they were fired upon by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. “Treason is possible, (especially) kung ang kapakanan ng Pilipinas ay hindi mo pinangalagaan sa abot ng iyong makakaya,” Tiangco, a known ally of Vice President Jejomar Binay, told reporters. READ MORE...

ALSO Editorial: The Rumor Mill


INQUIRER Editorial cartoon, March 26, 2015  The rumor that President Aquino suffered a “collapse” Friday night had a limited run, but the President’s chief spokesperson decided to give it a vigorous rebuttal all the same. However, Secretary Edwin Lacierda’s detailed message that same night—complete with what he said was a direct quote from the President—was undermined by a curious attempt by the Malacañang press office to call reporters to an informal, unscheduled meeting with Mr. Aquino on Saturday afternoon (an unusual invitation, made even more unusual by the lack of details), only for the office to cancel the meeting shortly after for a flimsy reason: Most Palace reporters, it was announced, could not make it to the conference with the President.  It is difficult to imagine news organizations failing to send their reporters to Malacañang when the President wants to meet with the media; indeed, despite the short notice, Inquirer Group staff (newspaper, online, radio) were on their way to the Palace when the cancellation was announced.

The issue was finally resolved when pictures of a hale and smiling President attending dinner at a mall on Saturday night surfaced. Why report the rumor, one may ask. In the first place, because the Palace had given an official response; that was the story in the first instance. The Palace itself had denied it, and that was significant. But secondly, because the political crisis in which Mr. Aquino finds himself is vulnerable to rumors; the issue about the President’s health may have been resolved, but the question about who started the rumor, and why, remains an open one. Readers can be certain that news organizations are still pursuing this part of the story; it may take some time to find the truth of the situation, but we will keep at it. But it does not take an advanced degree in political science or long years of experience in Philippine politics to realize that the floating of a strategic rumor like the President collapsing can have substantial political objectives. Who benefits from the image of an unhealthy commander in chief?  READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino still hopeful of finding life partner


Is newly crowned Miss Universe Philippines Pia Wurtzbach (inset) making President Aquino happy these days?
INQUIRER PHOTOS 
MANILA, Philippines–Despite a steep drop in his latest approval ratings and continuing criticisms over his handling of the Mamasapano incident, President Aquino on Wednesday sounded upbeat and ready to move on to happier pursuits—finding a life partner, for one. In Wednesday’s gathering to celebrate International Women’s Month, Aquino introduced himself as “single, with no children,” who was avidly counting the days till his presidency was over so he could finally focus on love. “Lest you forget, I’m Noynoy Aquino. I’m single and [have] no children. But in 460 days, I’ll be ready (to change that).”   The President’s self-introduction was met with laughter from the more than 5,000 women in the audience, most of them variety store and food stall owners from Metro Manila who had gathered to celebrate Women’s Month at SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City. READ MORE...

ALSO: ABOUT PIA WURTZBACH


Bb. #8 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach – 24 yo – Cagayan de Oro  Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach also known as Pia Romero (born September 24, 1989) is a Filipino-German actress, model and beauty pageant titleholder who won the Binibining Pilipinas 2015 national pageant as Miss Universe Philippines 2015. She will represent the Philippines at Miss Universe 2015 pageant. Personal life    Wurtzbach is of Filipino and German descent born on September 24, 1989 in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Her late father, Klaus Uwe Wurtzbach, is German and her mother is a retired Filipino nurse based in London. She has one sister who is three years younger than her. She finished her secondary education at ABS-CBN Distance Learning School in Quezon City and studied Culinary Arts at the Center for Asian Culinary Studies in San Juan, Metro Manila. READ MORE...

ALSO PNoy’s pal: Aquino, Pia Wurtzbach went out on a group date
(“I’m Noynoy Aquino. I’m single, and no children. Pero mga 460 days na lang ho, may laban na ako,” he said.)


SCREENGRAB ABS-CBN INTERVIEW (WATCH VIDEO BELOW)  President Benigno Aquino and recently crowned Bb. Pilipinas-Universe Pia Wurtzbach went out on a group date, one of Aquino's close friends in the Cabinet told reporters on Wednesday. Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) director-general Joel Villanueva, said Aquino and Wurtzbach were in a group date before the Binibining Pilipinas pageant last week. “I would say it’s a group date because it was an event eh so, magkakasama kami,” Villanueva told reporters on the sidelines of a TESDA event.  He said that Aquino was “very upbeat” these days, even cracking jokes during the TESDA event.  “‘Yun ho yung nararamdaman ko sa kanya at nakikita more than inspired talaga sya,” Villanueva said.  “Siguro dahil na rin nakikita nya na yung freedom nya malapit na, yun yung lagi niyang sinasabi na last two minutes of president of this country. Alam naman natin kung gaano kahirap yung pagiging presidente,” he added.  Aquino was recently linked to the 25-year-old Wurtzbach, who admitted to personally talking with the President.  READ MORE...
 


READ FULL MEDIA NEWS REPORT:

ALEJANDRO DEL ROSARIO: On Aquino finishing his term

MANILA, MARCH 30, 2015 (MANILA STANDARD) By Alejandro Del Rosario | Mar. 25, 2015 at 12:01am


A journalist by profession was former Philippine Ambassador to Poland Ambassador Del Rosario served as Press Counsellor at the Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York (1978-1982 and 1992-1996); Philippine Embassy in Brussels (1989-1992); and Philippine Embassy, London (1982-1986). At the Home Office, Mr. Del Rosario served as Spokesman and Senior Foreign Affairs Adviser to then Foreign Secretary Roberto R. Romulo. As Foreign Affairs Adviser, Ambassador Del Rosario worked closely with Secretary Romulo and traveled with him on his official trips and on the working and state visits of former President Fidel V. Ramos.SOURSE PHL Embassy of Poland

The usual noisy protesters are calling for President Benigno S. Aquino III to resign in the wake of the ill-fated Mamasapano mission. While the President committed a lapse in judgment and is ultimately responsible in the bungled PNP-SAF operation that cost the lives off 44 police commandos, there are still many Filipinos, including myself, who would rather see Aquino finish his six-year term.

Don’t get us wrong. We are for Aquino finishing his term since we only have to suffer him for just another year and two months.

Patience is a virtue and good things come to those who wait. There’s also the old saw about being careful in what you wish for. The alternative to Aquino is too frightening to contemplate.

Ousting PNoy and handing over the Presidency to Vice President Jejomar Binay would place all other presidential aspirants in 2016 at a great disadvantage. Most voters would prefer to see a wide open field in the next presidential race with possibly three or four candidates.

Once Binay occupies Malacanang, there’s no telling whether he would ever give it up. With all the advantages of the incumbent, Binay will surely do everything to keep his grip on power. He has shown this in Makati where his family has ruled for three decades.

Even Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he would rather have Aquino complete his term instead of being dislodged by either a military coup or people power. But then, Rudy D has reasons of his own in keeping PNoy until 2016.

He is seeking the presidency and his chances are better without Binay already having a toehold on Malacanang. Duterte’s listening tour is actually a campaign in full swing which saw the brash-talking Davao mayor bolt from nowhere to third place in a recent Pulse Asia survey. He’s now tied with former President Joseph Estrada at 12 percent behind the still-undeclared Senator Grace Poe who’s at second with 14 percent.

CONTINUE READING:
Binay, despite all the allegations of graft surrounding his family, remains the frontrunner with 29 percent. Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago who’s battling cancer is at fourth place with 9 percent followed by Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. with 6 percent.

Bongbong cannot be ruled out as the Marcos name is still much revered in the Solid North. If he teams up with Senator Francis Escudero from vote-rich Bicol, their tandem would be a force to reckon with. Chiz’s father was the late Salvador Escudero who was the agriculture secretary of the late President Marcos.

The deadline for the submission of candidacy is October this year and we might yet see the field narrow down as Estrada has made known he’s seeking reelection as mayor of Manila while Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has given up his presidential ambition “because the people are not ready for a Trillanes presidency.”

On the other hand, we could see some undecided or reluctant candidates come out including former Senator Manny Villar making a second run for the presidency. Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, whose poll rating is not gaining traction, might rethink his options. How long can the ruling Liberal Party stay with Mar as its presumptive presidential standard bearer?

Foremost among those waiting in the wings is the enigmatic Grace Poe. Although she said she’s not running for president, a groundswell for her to join the race could change her mind. What’s holding her back? Is she afraid to declare too early and start getting flak from her rivals, including a challenge to her citizenship?

Nonetheless, it would be interesting to see Poe teaming up with Duterte as her vice president or she settling for the No.2 slot with Rudy as the main man. But that’s all in the realm of the possible and the 2016 political mix.

Our sources tell us the Duterte campaign is being bankrolled by a group of Davao businessmen led by Sonny Dominguez who would like to see a son of Mindanao rise to the presidency.

The media campaign is being quarterbacked by former National Food Authority manager Lito Banayo. A former political columnist in the newspaper Malaya, Banayo was appointed NFA chief by President Aquino but resigned at the height of the rice smuggling probe in the Senate.


MANILA STANDARD

PNoy to face charges in 2016 By Emil Jurado | Mar. 18, 2015 at 12:01am


Emil P. Jurado, lawyer, journalist, Director, Philippine National Oil Company SOURCE BLOOMBERG BUSINESS ONLINE

MY sources say that known lawyers and retired Supreme Court and Court of Appeals justices have been meeting regularly since last year to finalize criminal and civil cases they would file against President Aquino when he steps down in 2016.

Among the cases this group has been studying and preparing is the President’s alleged bribery committed in the days leading to the enactment of the Reproductive Health Law. There are reports that the President used the Priority Development Assistance Fund to gain lawmakers’ support for the bill.

Other cases against the President reportedly being studied by this group is the President’s misuse of the pork barrel funds to have former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona impeached, convicted and ousted. Together with this is the President’s liability in disbursing funds through the DAP or Disbursement Acceleration Program, its salient points having been declared illegal and unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

My sources also told me that the President would certainly be charged criminally with the slaughter of the 44 police commandos when he broke the Philippine National Police chain of command. The President put suspended police chief Alan Purisima on top of the Mamasapano mission.

READ  MORE...
Well, just as former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was charged for plunder and has been under hospital arrest and detention for years now, we can also expect President Aquino to be similarly charged.

Won’t that be “karma” at work?

* * *

The only defense Malacanang and the President’s lawyers and lapdogs can offer is that since the Constitution considers the PNP a civilian institution, Mr. Aquino did not break the chain of command when he entrusted the operation to Purisima.

No less than former PNP chief and former Senator Ping Lacson has stated that the PNP chain of command is a long-honored tradition by the police. He disputes Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s “palusot” that the chain-of-command principle can only apply to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Santa Banana, call it by any other name, chain-of-command can apply to anything. Just as Lacson said, in his own house there’s a chain of command since his wife is the boss. Ergo, since the President is the Chief Executive, he is at the top of the PNP chain of command, and under him are the interior secretary and the PNP chief.

What I find amusing was the reaction of Mar Roxas to the PNP Board of Inquiry findings. Mar said that the President was not liable. Mar is the presumptive administration bet in the 2016 polls.

My gulay, is he that anxious to be the President’s anointed one? Remember that he was kept out of the loop in this one. Yet he keeps on defending Mr. Aquino. Has Roxas lost all self-respect and dignity?

* * *

Speaking of Mar Roxas, because of his eagerness to have Makati Mayor Junjun Binay suspended, he had Makati Vice Mayor Romulo “Kid” Pena sworn in as acting mayor and had some 2,500 policemen, many of them from the PNP-SAF, surround Makati City Hall supposedly to maintain peace and order.

Two thousand five hundred policemen surrounding Makati City Hall? That’s definitely an overkill. Roxas abused his powers as interior secretary.

“Kid” Pena may now be known as a shortest acting mayor since the 60-day TRO or Temporary Restraining Order soon came on the 60-day suspension by the Ombudsman. It was an indication that the administration’s suspension order could be contested in court for the simple reason that the administrative case against Mayor Junjun happened before he became mayor.

In any case, what happened in Makati could only show the double standard of justice the Aquino government has--one for Aquino’s loyalists and supporters, and another one for its enemies and possible opponents in 2016.

Besides, timing of the suspension against Mayor Binay was suspect, coming as it did when the focus of attention was on the President on the Mamasapano slaughter of 44 police commandos.

Be that as it may, we now know what kind of a presidential aspirant Mar Roxas has become.

* * *

There are reports that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front leaders the Aquino government is negotiating peace with have a dual personality -- they are Filipino rebels going to the negotiating table, and they are also Malaysians. No wonder, the MILF would rather submit their own investigation into the Mamasapano slaughter of 44 police commandos to Malaysia instead of to the Philippine government .

Santa Banana, what strikes me as strange is the immediate defense by the government’s peace negotiator Miriam Coronel Ferrer for the MILF leaders. She insists that they are all Filipino citizens.

A giveaway which I find disturbing is that these MILF officials have different names. Why negotiate with people who use aliases?

It was bad enough that Ferrer and presidential peace adviser Teresita Deles keep on lawyering for the Moro rebels. Now, they are defending them, even as they are rumored to be Malaysians!

The fact that Iqbal presented an official Philippine passport doesn’t prove that they are not Malaysians. They could have dual citizenship, which makes it imperative for the Bureau of Immigration to check their records.

If there are questions on the citizenship of the MILF leaders negotiating peace with government, it does not mean that the questions are meant to demolish the peace process. It simply means, my gulay, that we should ascertain the nationalities of people government is negotiating peace with.

Their appearance before Congress during hearings is no guarantee that they are truly Filipinos.


INQUIRER

Pulse Asia survey: ‘Bosses’ unhappy Rafael L. Antonio @inquirerdotnet Inquirer Research 3:25 AM | Wednesday, March 25th, 2015


Mariefe Guarra spends the Christmas Eve with her children sleeping on a wooden cart donated to her a day before along a street in Manila on December 24, 2014. Guarra husband earns US$4 a day as a scavenger collecting plastic bottles. They live on the street for 34 years. Results of a recent Pulse Asia survey showed the “bosses” were generally dissatisfied with the performance of the Aquino administration as it failed to score any majority approval rating on 13 selected issues confronting the nation. AFP PHOTO/NOEL CELIS

MANILA, Philippines–The “bosses” were generally dissatisfied with the performance of the Aquino administration as it failed to score any majority approval rating on 13 selected issues confronting the nation, results of a recent Pulse Asia survey showed.

Results of the survey conducted early this month and released Tuesday found that economic issues remained the most urgent national concern among Filipinos.

Controlling inflation was the topmost concern (46 percent of respondents), followed by improving/increasing workers’ salary (44 percent) and reducing poverty (37 percent).

As a result, the administration scored the lowest approval and highest disapproval ratings in addressing these issues despite claims of economic growth.

Sought for comment, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said “in the next 15 months, the administration will intensify efforts at job creation while maintaining fiscal discipline in order to rein in inflation.”

READ MORE...
“Good governance is imperative in achieving inclusive growth,” he added.

Asked if the Palace was taking surveys seriously, Coloma told the Inquirer: “These surveys provide useful feedback from our bosses and indicate which areas of governance may require greater attention.”

Growth doubted

The nationwide survey used face-to-face interviews with 1,200 Filipinos aged at least 18 years old. It had a margin of error of plus-or-minus three percentage points.

Security guard Alfredo Jauod, 56, doubted the economic growth trumpeted by the administration, saying only the wealthy benefited most from it.

“They have never felt the agony of the poor,” minimum wage-earner Jauod, who has rendered service for 33 years, said of the rich.

Zaldy Vergara, a tricycle driver for over 15 years, said government should curb increasing prices to make basic goods affordable for self-employed people like him.

Vergara, a father of four, earns less than P200 a day, below the minimum daily wage of the recently approved P486, up by P15 from P466, in Metro Manila.

Thirty-three percent of the respondents both approved and disapproved of government efforts to increase workers’ salary, yielding a zero net approval rating (approval minus disapproval).

Disapproval was the plurality sentiment of the public on addressing inflation (41 percent) and reducing poverty (40 percent).

Only 28 percent approved of administration efforts to curb poverty while 29 percent were satisfied with controlling inflation, posting identical net approval ratings of minus 12 percent.

The Philippine economy grew 6.1 percent in 2014, slower than the 7.2-percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2013 and 6.8-percent expansion in 2012, according to the National Economic and Development Authority.

The survey was conducted from March 1 to 7, a week after the Jan. 25 botched antiterrorism operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province, that resulted in the death of 64 Filipinos—44 members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force, 17 Moro Islamic Liberation Front guerrillas and three civilians.

Trust rating

Results from the same Pulse Asia survey released last week showed that Aquino saw his approval rating drop 21 percentage points from 59 percent in November to 38 percent this month.

His trust rating plummeted 20 percentage points from 56 percent to 36 percent in the aftermath of the Mamasapano debacle.

The same survey also found that 79 percent of Filipinos deemed insufficient Aquino’s explanation of the Mamasapano fiasco. Ten percent said his explanation was sufficient while 11 percent were undecided.

Other respondents cited fighting graft and corruption (40 percent), creating more jobs (34 percent), fighting criminality (22 percent), increasing peace (22 percent), enforcing the law (19 percent) and stopping the destruction and abuse of environment (13 percent) as urgent national issues.

Changing the Constitution, or Cha-cha (4 percent), was identified as the least urgent of the issues that the administration must address.

Other issues that posted single-digit percentages were controlling fast population growth (9 percent), and defending the Philippine territory and preparing to successfully face any kind of terrorism, both rated 5 percent.

Pulse Asia also asked the respondents about their opinion on whether they strongly approved, approved, disapproved, strongly disapproved or felt ambivalent of the Aquino administration’s performance on the selected issues.

Peace efforts

Twenty-nine percent said they disapproved of the government efforts to promote peace and enforce the law, an 8-percent increase from 21 percent in November.

Only 40 percent approved of the administration’s peace efforts, while 41 percent were satisfied of its law enforcement, yielding a net approval rating of 11 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

Likewise, more Filipinos were dissatisfied with government performance on defending the integrity of the Philippine territory against foreigners with 23-percent disapproval, up from 18 percent in the past four months.

Forty-three percent approved of the government’s territorial integrity missions, resulting in a 20-percent net approval rating.

Pulse Asia noted that public assessment of the performance ratings of the Aquino administration in March did not differ significantly from those recorded in November.–With a report from Jerry E. Esplanada


EARLIER INQUIRER REPORT

Aquino warned on various raps he might face after his term Marc Jayson Cayabyab @MJcayabyabINQ INQUIRER.net 6:40 PM | Monday, March 16th, 2015


TIANGCO

MANILA, Philippines — President Aquino should brace himself for treason after his term especially in light of the Board of Inquiry report accusing him of breaking the police chain of command in the botched Mamasapano operation, a solon warned Monday.

Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, the interim president of the opposition party United Nationalist Alliance, said the President may be liable for failing to protect his soldiers at the debacle in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao last Jan. 25 that left 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos, 18 Moro fighters and five civilians dead.

The SAF commandos were able to kill international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias “Marwan” but the other target, local bombmaker Basit Usman, escaped when they were fired upon by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

“Treason is possible, (especially) kung ang kapakanan ng Pilipinas ay hindi mo pinangalagaan sa abot ng iyong makakaya,” Tiangco, a known ally of Vice President Jejomar Binay, told reporters.

READ MORE...
Tiangco had just come from Makati city hall where the vice president’s son Makati mayor Junjun was almost suspended from office as he faces an Ombudsman probe for malversation and graft in connection with the allegedly overpriced Makati parking building. The suspension order was not carried out after the Court of Appeals granted Binay’s request for a temporary restraining order.

In its report on the debacle, the police Board of Inquiry found that Aquino broke the Philippine National Police chain of command when he authorized resigned police chief Director General Alan Purisima–despite his suspension over corruption raps–to monitor the operation, and not acting PNP chief Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina.

The BOI report also scored sacked SAF commander Getulio Napeñas for failing to coordinate with the military about the top secret operation.

While Aquino had protected and refused to hold Purisima, a close friend, accountable, he has put the sole blame on Napeñas for failing to follow his orders in coordinating with the military, Espina and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.

Napeñas has said he did not coordinate with the military beforehand for fears of compromising the antiterror raid.

The President is expected to make necessary appointments in government and ensure his successor would come from the Liberal Party in a bid to block the expected cases against him, Tiangco said.

“Mas marami nang haharaping kaso si Pangulong Aquino pagkatapos ng kanyang termino. ‘Yung mga natitirang pwede niyang i-appoint, i-a-appoint na nila,” Tiangco said.

(President Aquino will be facing various cases after his term. Those whom he has not appointed, he should appoint now.)

“Sisiguraduhin na rin niya na kakampi niya ang mauupo sa Malacañang… He will do everything to make sure mapoproteksyunan siya after his term,” he added.

(He will make sure those who will occupy Malacañang are political allies…he will do everything to protect himself after his term.)

Tiangco said Aquino may also be liable for plunder and graft in connection with the outlawed Disbursement Acceleration Program, a savings-impounding mechanism parts of which were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

As of press time, Aquino faces a treason complaint over the Mamasapano debacle in a complaint filed by former immigrations commissioner and assemblyman Homobono Adaza before the Ombudsman.


INQUIRER

Editorial: The Rumor Mill Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:20 AM | Wednesday, March 25th, 2015


INQUIRER Editorial cartoon, March 26, 2015 

The rumor that President Aquino suffered a “collapse” Friday night had a limited run, but the President’s chief spokesperson decided to give it a vigorous rebuttal all the same. However, Secretary Edwin Lacierda’s detailed message that same night—complete with what he said was a direct quote from the President—was undermined by a curious attempt by the Malacañang press office to call reporters to an informal, unscheduled meeting with Mr. Aquino on Saturday afternoon (an unusual invitation, made even more unusual by the lack of details), only for the office to cancel the meeting shortly after for a flimsy reason: Most Palace reporters, it was announced, could not make it to the conference with the President.

It is difficult to imagine news organizations failing to send their reporters to Malacañang when the President wants to meet with the media; indeed, despite the short notice, Inquirer Group staff (newspaper, online, radio) were on their way to the Palace when the cancellation was announced.

The issue was finally resolved when pictures of a hale and smiling President attending dinner at a mall on Saturday night surfaced.

Why report the rumor, one may ask. In the first place, because the Palace had given an official response; that was the story in the first instance. The Palace itself had denied it, and that was significant. But secondly, because the political crisis in which Mr. Aquino finds himself is vulnerable to rumors; the issue about the President’s health may have been resolved, but the question about who started the rumor, and why, remains an open one. Readers can be certain that news organizations are still pursuing this part of the story; it may take some time to find the truth of the situation, but we will keep at it.

But it does not take an advanced degree in political science or long years of experience in Philippine politics to realize that the floating of a strategic rumor like the President collapsing can have substantial political objectives. Who benefits from the image of an unhealthy commander in chief?

READ MORE...
An apparently robust Vice President, himself facing formidable (legal) obstacles to his declared ambition to run for the presidency. The political opposition, which will benefit from any discussion of Mr. Aquino’s lame-duck status. (In this matter the opposition was greatly helped by the Palace press office. Is there anything more lame than a President who cannot even muster enough interest from the news organizations tasked to cover him?) Not least, critics of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, who realize that the President’s suddenly depleted political capital may be used one last time to facilitate passage of that crucial law.

To be sure, it can go both ways. Some of the President’s aides may think that focusing attention on a health incident may elicit public sympathy for him. We should not yet rule out the possibility that officials loyal to Mr. Aquino may have started the rumor; that, too, should be looked into.

Sometimes the mere floating is enough to wreak damage. Consider the many “facts” about the peace process that have been circulating: the supposed interference of Presidential Adviser Teresita Deles in the extrication of police Special Action Force troopers from Mamasapano (a complete fabrication); the supposed duplicity of Moro Islamic Liberation Front officials like chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, who are actually Malaysian citizens and carry Malaysian passports (allegations the government of Malaysia officially, and vehemently, denied); the supposed inclusion of a P75-billion pork barrel fund for the Bangsamoro entity, once the BBL is passed (a complete misreading of the pertinent provisions).

The rumor or “fact” about the Bangsamoro having its own police force is another, particularly frustrating example. The language of the proposed law (and the relevant peace documents that led to it) is clear: The Bangsamoro police is part of and belongs to the PNP, and is under the administrative control and supervision of the National Police Commission. Who benefits from the canard that it is a separate unit altogether?

The price of liberty, our heroes have reminded us, is eternal vigilance. In this day and age that must also mean being on our guard against rumors and falsehoods which may help undermine the democratic project.


INQUIRER

Aquino still hopeful of finding life partner Jerry E. Esplanada @inquirerdotnet  Philippine Daily Inquirer 1:54 AM | Thursday, March 26th, 2015


Is newly crowned Miss Universe Philippines Pia Wurtzbach (inset) making President Aquino happy these days? INQUIRER PHOTOS

MANILA, Philippines–Despite a steep drop in his latest approval ratings and continuing criticisms over his handling of the Mamasapano incident, President Aquino on Wednesday sounded upbeat and ready to move on to happier pursuits—finding a life partner, for one.

In Wednesday’s gathering to celebrate International Women’s Month, Aquino introduced himself as “single, with no children,” who was avidly counting the days till his presidency was over so he could finally focus on love.

“Lest you forget, I’m Noynoy Aquino. I’m single and [have] no children. But in 460 days, I’ll be ready (to change that).”

The President’s self-introduction was met with laughter from the more than 5,000 women in the audience, most of them variety store and food stall owners from Metro Manila who had gathered to celebrate Women’s Month at SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.

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President Aquino joined Secretary Joel Villanueva, chief of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) and Coca-Coca Philippines president Diego Granizo in honoring the women entrepreneurs, who were among at least 30,000 beneficiaries of the beverage company’s STAR program.

STAR program

Short for Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources, the STAR program hopes to empower some 5 million women by 2020 by giving them access to skills training and business resources.

The 55-year-old President again poked fun at his status when he recalled what his former colleagues in Congress had said of the women’s month celebration.

“They asked, why should this month be set aside and deemed special for women? Why, they added, don’t they regard their wives as special enough, day in, day out? Of course, being single, I have absolutely no experience in that regard,” Aquino said, to much laughter from his listeners.

A Palace official seated near members of the Malacañang Press Corps at Wednesday’s event volunteered that the President has been “really happy these days because, apparently, somebody’s making him happy.”

Pia Wurtzbach

But the official quickly backtracked and said that the President and newly crowned Miss Universe Philippines Pia Wurtzbach were not yet in a serious relationship, although they seem to be enjoying each other’s company.

“Mukhang MU pa lang,” the source told the Inquirer, referring to “mutual understanding.”

The beauty titlist is “a deep thinker, and that’s what the President wants,” the Palace official said, adding, “If I’m not mistaken, it was your Lifestyle editor Thelma San Juan who introduced the couple to each other” a few weeks before the beauty pageant this year.

In a recent interview on the TV talk show “Aquino & Abunda Tonight,” the 25-year-old Wurtzbach did not directly answer questions about her dating the bachelor President, although she admitted to knowing and talking to him, and finding the Chief Executive “very fun to talk to.”

Cohost Kris Aquino, the President’s youngest sister, appeared satisfied with the beauty queen’s response. “Please make him happy. He needs it … I will be a nice sister-in-law, I promise,” she told Wurtzbach.

In an Instagram post, the TV celebrity later described her brother as “kinikilig,” or tickled pink.

Sought for comment, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said President Aquino “prefers privacy on this aspect of his personal life.”

Added deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte: “Like any [other] person, [Mr. Aquino] has expressed his desire to keep some matters private.”

In a text message, Valte said: “As a matter of policy among us spokespersons, we do not comment on [the President’s] personal life.”

Not just helpmates

At the MOA gathering, President Aquino hailed the women entrepreneurs for helping the country’s economy grow. He also expressed hope that the number of STAR beneficiaries would exceed the program’s 200,000 target by 2020.

“Our women entrepreneurs are no longer just helpmates or homemakers,” Aquino said, adding that women have contributed a lot to the country’s progress and economic growth.

Villanueva said as much. “Women entrepreneurs are now recognized as hardworking, ingenious persons who can create jobs and who can prosper in the community through their innovative ways.”

Granizo also cited the women whom he called the “pillars of the Coca-Cola business here in the Philippines.”

Added lawyer Adel Tamano, Coca-Cola vice president for public affairs: “For us to have thriving communities and better economies, we need to invest on women.”


WIKIPEDIA

ABOUT PIA WURTZBACH


Bb. #8 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach – 24 yo – Cagayan de Oro

Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach also known as Pia Romero (born September 24, 1989) is a Filipino-German actress, model and beauty pageant titleholder who won the Binibining Pilipinas 2015 national pageant as Miss Universe Philippines 2015.

She will represent the Philippines at Miss Universe 2015 pageant.

Personal life

Wurtzbach is of Filipino and German descent born on September 24, 1989 in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Her late father, Klaus Uwe Wurtzbach, is German and her mother is a retired Filipino nurse based in London.

She has one sister who is three years younger than her. She finished her secondary education at ABS-CBN Distance Learning School in Quezon City and studied Culinary Arts at the Center for Asian Culinary Studies in San Juan, Metro Manila.

Career

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Wurtzbach worked as a cosmetics model. At age 11, under the name Pia Romero, she worked as an actress and was managed by ABS-CBN's theatrical agency called Star Magic.

Among her TV credits are the teen-oriented series K2BU, the concert variety program ASAP, the romance anthology Your Song, the sitcom show Bora, and the drama series Sa Piling Mo.

She appeared in films such as Kung Ako Na Lang Sana (2003), All My Life (2004), and All About Love (2006).

At present she is a stylist and beauty writer for Inquirer Lifestyle’s 2bU section.

Binibining Pilipinas

Having previously competed in the Bb Pilipinas pageant, Wurtzbach took part in the competition for the third time in 2015 where she eventually won, crowned as Miss Universe Philippines 2015 by the outgoing titleholder Miss Universe Philippines 2014 Mary Jean Lastimosa, gaining the right to represent the Philippines at Miss Universe 2015.[1][2]


GMA NEWS

PNoy’s pal: Aquino, Pia Wurtzbach went out on a group date By ANDREO CALONZO, GMA NewsMarch 25, 2015 3:44pm 1410 14 0 1464

President Benigno Aquino and recently crowned Bb. Pilipinas-Universe Pia Wurtzbach went out on a group date, one of Aquino's close friends in the Cabinet told reporters on Wednesday.

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) director-general Joel Villanueva, said Aquino and Wurtzbach were in a group date before the Binibining Pilipinas pageant last week.

“I would say it’s a group date because it was an event eh so, magkakasama kami,” Villanueva told reporters on the sidelines of a TESDA event.

He said that Aquino was “very upbeat” these days, even cracking jokes during the TESDA event.

“‘Yun ho yung nararamdaman ko sa kanya at nakikita more than inspired talaga sya,” Villanueva said.

“Siguro dahil na rin nakikita nya na yung freedom nya malapit na, yun yung lagi niyang sinasabi na last two minutes of president of this country. Alam naman natin kung gaano kahirap yung pagiging presidente,” he added.

Aquino was recently linked to the 25-year-old Wurtzbach, who admitted to personally talking with the President.

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Aquino has been under severe criticism over the past weeks because of his handling of the Mamasapano mission that may have resulted in the death of a suspected international terrorist but also led to the deaths of more than 60 others, including 44 police commandos.

He recently suffered the steepest decline in his trust rating according to poll firm Pulse Asia.

During a speech at the STAR Program Women’s Month 2015 event on Wednesday, Aquino, the country’s first bachelor president, joked about being single.

“Naalala ko ang dating sinasabi ng mga kasamahan natin noong nasa Kongreso pa tayo: Bakit pa raw may espesyal na araw ang kababaihan, kung araw-araw namang special ang turing nila sa kanilang mga misis?” the President quipped.

"Siyempre po, wala ho akong karanasan sa sinasabi nila,” he added, drawing laughter from the audience.

Aquino then said that he will have more time for his love life when he relinquishes the presidency over a year from now.

“I’m Noynoy Aquino. I’m single, and no children. Pero mga 460 days na lang ho, may laban na ako,” he said. —NB, GMA news

VIDEO
 
source: abs-cbnnews : Pia did not confirm whether the President is showing signs of courting her. But she has her complete focus on her career as the reigning Miss Universe-Philippines.
VIDEO URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-IMWe15eqY&feature=player_embedded

Pia is now being attached to the President of the Philppines, Benigno Aquino III. Rumors spread out like a wild fire that the leader of the country is interested in Pia. The two were spotted at a restaurant in Quezon City a week before the Coronation night of Binibining Pilipinas.

But not only PNoy, Pia is also being rumored with the football star Phil Younghusband. Whether it is the President or the Football star, she can only give one message to all the men who wants to court her.

"Maghintay muna kayo dahil matagal ko ring hinintay 'to, eh. Mas importante 'to sa akin!" She had been aiming for this win after 3 consecutive times of trying. Career over lovelife this is the formula that the beauty queen has right now for her life.SOURCE: TRENDINGNEWSPORTAL.COM


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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