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

AQUINO ARRIVES IN CHICAGO, RECEIVES CITATION FROM MAYOR


MAY 7 ---In this Oct. 8, 2013 file photo, President Benigno Aquino III emerges from his plane during one of his international trips. Malacañang Photo Bureau/Robert Viñas President Benigno Aquino III arrived in Chicago, Illinois on Thursday morning to officially begin his North American trip. According to Malacañang, Aquino arrived at the Chicago's O'Hare International Airport at 1:14 p.m. on May 6 (Chicago time) and was welcomed by Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia Jr. and Philippine officials there led by Consul General Generoso Calonge. Aquino then proceeded to the J.W. Marriott Hotel where he will officially stay during his working visit. On his first day there, Aquino received Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a courtesy call and accepted a City Council Resolution officially welcoming him to Chicago. The citation also marked the date of Aquino's visit as an important milestone in the relations between the Philippines and Chicago. READ MORE...

ALSO: PNoy boasts of govt gains before Pinoys in Chicago


MAY 7 ---PNoy meets with Pinoy community in Chicago PNoy meets with Pinoy community in Chicago. President Benigno Aquino III receives a warm reception from the members of the Filipino community in Chicago on Thursday, May 7, at J.W. Marriott Hotel. Aquino is in the USA for a working visit. Gil Nartea
President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday (PHL time) met with the Filipino community in Chicago during a stop-over in the United States where he updated them on his government's gains. Aquino, who is bound for Canada, thanked the Philippine Medical Association there for the assistance it extended following the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda in 2013. “Naaalala ko po, last year lang, tinanggap ko sa Malacañang ang courtesy call ng Philippine Medical Association in Chicago. Personal ko po silang pinasalamatan sa taon-taon nilang pagbabalik sa Pilipinas para magsagawa ng medical missions, at magbigay-kalinga sa mga nangangailangan nating kababayan,” he said. “Sa kanilang pagbisita sa mga komunidad na nasalanta ng bagyong Yolanda, talagang marami ang naaruga, at napabilis ang pagbabalik sa normal na pamumuhay,” Aquino added. He also thanked the Filipino community there for supporting his parents during the exile in Boston, Massachusetts, of his father, the late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., during the Martial Law years. READ MORE...

ALSO: Noy extols self, says voters made right choice in 2010; one-day visit hounded by protests
["I am confident that like in 1986 and 2010, in time for 2016, you will still be there to continue what we started. Our only goal: Never to return to the rotten system, and to pursue transformation in the country,” he said.]


MAY 8 ---President Aquino receives from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel a city council resolution officially welcoming him to the city at the JW Mariott Hotel in Chicago, Illinois yesterday. Protests continued to hound President Aquino during his working visit to Chicago yesterday, prompting him to take jabs at his critics as the source of an intensified smear job against him which Aquino related to the elections next year. Aquino claimed that the Filipinos made the right choice in 2010 when they elected him as President, boasting the supposed gains achieved during his administration.“I am confident that like in 1986 and 2010, in time for 2016, you will still be there to continue what we started. Our only goal: Never to return to the rotten system, and to pursue transformation in the country,” he said.Aquino has been known to claim phantom gains while blasting his critics.Before the Filipino community abroad, Aquino claimed that the bashing intensifies as the poll year draws near.Several members of Anakbayan USA chapter picketed the venue of Aquino’s meeting with the Filipino community in Chicago, Illinois, calling for his resignation amid issues that have remained unresolved during his term. The militants held placards calling on Aquino to address various issues in the Philippines, particularly the labor export policy of his administration.Aquino hit back at the protesters and his other critics, claiming those opposing him are keen on spewing criticisms at him and blame him for every problem in the country. Aquino is known to be sensitive to criticisms. “Now that 2016 draws near, those against me are making more noise. I’ve talked to someone and he said: ‘There are groups whose sole job is to hit me and find every error in each of my action,’” he said. READ MORE...

ALSO: PNoy cites need to improve nautical highway connectivity before US business execs


President Benigno Aquino III receives signed jerseys of NBA teams from M. Jim Peck, CEO and president of Transunion, after his meeting with business organizations in Chicago on Wednesday, May 6. Aquino's meeting with business leaders is part of his official visit to Chicago. Gil Nartea 
President Benigno Aquino III met with business organizations during his official visit to Chicago, Illinois during which the Philippine leader cited the need to improve connectivity in transportation and expand facilities of the existing nautical highway. Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said business executives from various fields expressed interest in participating or continuing their involvement in Philippine business efforts. One of the points Aquino raised during the roundtable discussion was the need to improve connectivity in transportation, he added. As an archipelago the Philippines needs to expand an existing nautical highway, improve ports and roll-on and roll-off facilities, the President said. Thomas La France, senior executive of GE Transportation, expressed interest in joining Philippine efforts toward infrastructure development while possibilities of improving the railway system was also mentioned, Coloma said. READ MORE...

ALSO STANDARD EDITORIAL: New Appointments - No apparent baggage


Finally, Malacañang has come to its senses and announced the appointment of the next chairman of the Commission on Elections in the person of lawyer Andres Bautista.
Two commissioners, Rowena Guanzon and Sheriff Abbas, were also named. The three new election officials will each have a term of seven years; they will serve until February 2022.  Bautista headed the Presidential Commission on Good Government at the time of his appointment and was the dean of the Far Eastern University law school. He was valedictorian of his law school batch and went on to top the bar examination. He has shown himself competent and capable in his various stints in the public and private sectors. Bautista also does not have any perceived baggage in terms of previous questionable actions or marked incompetence in any of his engagements. It is then hardly surprising that the general consensus on Bautista’s appointment is positive. The commission needs many things positive these days after dark clouds continue to hover over the 2016 elections. READ MORE...

ALSO Life after presidency: Aquino talks about studying to be a mechanic


The country’s most powerful man is considering a lucrative alternative career as a mechanic once he ends his term in 2016.
President Aquino, on the last day of his state visit to Canada, raised the possibility of enrolling at the government’s technical vocational program after sharing the success story of a Filipino mechanic during a meeting with the Filipino migrant workers in Vancouver, Canada. Aquino said the Filipino graduate of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) who works as a mechanic in Australia, earns twice the salary of a Philippine president. “I think I’ll go to TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) on July 1, 2016,” the President said in jest in Filipino, drawing applause from the audience. President Aquino, who will end his term on June 30, 2016, has trumpeted his administration’s achievements in the economic and anti-corruption fronts during his visit to Canada. He also delivered a similar accomplishment report to the Filipino community in Chicago, United States. SKILLS TRAINING PROGRAMS The story of the TESDA graduate was just among the tidbits shared by Aquino to highlight the government’s efforts to improve the education sector, particularly the skills training program for Filipinos. READ MORE...
 


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Aquino arrives in Chicago, receives citation from mayor


In this Oct. 8, 2013 file photo, President Benigno Aquino III emerges from his plane during one of his international trips. Malacañang Photo Bureau/Robert Viñas

MANILA, MAY 11, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Louis Bacani - President Benigno Aquino III arrived in Chicago, Illinois on Thursday morning to officially begin his North American trip.

According to Malacañang, Aquino arrived at the Chicago's O'Hare International Airport at 1:14 p.m. on May 6 (Chicago time) and was welcomed by Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia Jr. and Philippine officials there led by Consul General Generoso Calonge.

Aquino then proceeded to the J.W. Marriott Hotel where he will officially stay during his working visit.

On his first day there, Aquino received Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a courtesy call and accepted a City Council Resolution officially welcoming him to Chicago.

The citation also marked the date of Aquino's visit as an important milestone in the relations between the Philippines and Chicago.

READ MORE...
"The City of Chicago is proud of its long history of friendship and cooperation with the Philippines. Filipinos are the fourth largest ethnic group in Chicago with more than 130,000 people living in the Chicago Metropolitan Area who claim Filipino or Filipino multiracial ancestry," the citation said.

"The month of May is Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage month and Chicago is proud to host President Aquino in this celebration of cultural, civic and economic contributions of the Filipino community to our great City," it added.

Aquino is scheduled to attend a business meeting with members of the US Chamber of Commerce, the US-Association of Southeast Asian Nations Business Council and the National Center for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

The Palace said the business meeting will serve as a venue to discuss topics such as the Philippines' economic developments and the programs and policies that contributed to the country's growth.

Aquino will also meet with members of the Filipino community in Chicago to update them on the developments in the Philippines.

There are around 139,090 Filipinos in the state of Illinois, 90,000 of which are in Metropolitan Chicago.

After his Chicago trip, Aquino will leave for his four-day state visit to Canada.


GMA NEWS ONLINE

PNoy boasts of govt gains before Pinoys in Chicago By RIE TAKUMI,GMA News May 7, 2015 3:21pm


PNoy meets with Pinoy community in Chicago PNoy meets with Pinoy community in Chicago. President Benigno Aquino III receives a warm reception from the members of the Filipino community in Chicago on Thursday, May 7, at J.W. Marriott Hotel. Aquino is in the USA for a working visit. Gil Nartea

President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday (PHL time) met with the Filipino community in Chicago during a stop-over in the United States where he updated them on his government's gains.

Aquino, who is bound for Canada, thanked the Philippine Medical Association there for the assistance it extended following the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

“Naaalala ko po, last year lang, tinanggap ko sa Malacañang ang courtesy call ng Philippine Medical Association in Chicago. Personal ko po silang pinasalamatan sa taon-taon nilang pagbabalik sa Pilipinas para magsagawa ng medical missions, at magbigay-kalinga sa mga nangangailangan nating kababayan,” he said.

“Sa kanilang pagbisita sa mga komunidad na nasalanta ng bagyong Yolanda, talagang marami ang naaruga, at napabilis ang pagbabalik sa normal na pamumuhay,” Aquino added.

He also thanked the Filipino community there for supporting his parents during the exile in Boston, Massachusetts, of his father, the late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., during the Martial Law years.

READ MORE...
"Naaalala ko rin po: Noong panahon ng Martial Law, at noong na-exile ang pamilya namin sa Boston, nagpamalas din ng malasakit ang mga propesyunal nating kababayan sa ibang lugar, tulad dito sa Chicago," he said.

Govt gains

The President then boasted of his administration's achievements since 2010, particularly the country's improved economic climate, and gains in the fight against corruption.

He also noted the increase in foreign direct investments since he assumed office in 2010.

"Pagdating po sa foreign direct investments: Nang maupo tayo sa puwesto noong 2010, nasa 1.07 billion dollars lamang po ito; nitong 2014, pumalo na po ito sa 6.2 billion dollars. 479.28 percent increase po yan," he said in his speech.

“Good governance equals good economics, equals good quality inclusive growth. Kaya po sa usaping pang-ekonomiya, kalimutan na natin ang bansag na Sick Man of Asia; ang turing sa atin ng ibang bansa ngayon, Darling of Asia," he added.

Aquino specifically mentioned the Department of Social Welfare and Development's Pantawid Pamilya Program and the Department of Education's implementation of the K to 12 program.

The President arrived at the O'Hare International airport earlier on Thursday for a meeting with the US Chamber of Commerce and the US ASEAN Business Council. He is set to fly to Canada for a three-day state visit.

The Aquino administration has been facing criticism for its alleged lack of action in the case of Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipino sentenced to death in Indonesia for drug smuggling who was given a temporary reprieve last week.

Aquino has insisted that his administration did the best it could to help the 30-year-old mother of two. —KBK, GMA News


TRIBUNE

Noy extols self, says voters made right choice in 2010 Written by Joshua L. Labonera Friday, 08 May 2015 00:00


President Aquino receives from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel a city council resolution officially welcoming him to the city at the JW Mariott Hotel in Chicago, Illinois yesterday

Protests continued to hound President Aquino during his working visit to Chicago yesterday, prompting him to take jabs at his critics as the source of an intensified smear job against him which Aquino related to the elections next year.

Aquino claimed that the Filipinos made the right choice in 2010 when they elected him as President, boasting the supposed gains achieved during his administration.

“I am confident that like in 1986 and 2010, in time for 2016, you will still be there to continue what we started. Our only goal: Never to return to the rotten system, and to pursue transformation in the country,” he said.

Aquino has been known to claim phantom gains while blasting his critics.

Before the Filipino community abroad, Aquino claimed that the bashing intensifies as the poll year draws near.

Several members of Anakbayan USA chapter picketed the venue of Aquino’s meeting with the Filipino community in Chicago, Illinois, calling for his resignation amid issues that have remained unresolved during his term. The militants held placards calling on Aquino to address various issues in the Philippines, particularly the labor export policy of his administration.


US-based Filipino Anakbayan activists rally in front of a hotel where President Benigno Aquino III is holding a meeting with business leaders in Chicago, Illinois on Wednesday, May 6. The protesters are calling for Aquino's resignation for allegedly failing to act on Mary Jane Veloso's case more swiftly. The group also called for the junking of the Visiting Forces Agreement. Teresa Andrada Photo from GMA NEWS ONLINE

Aquino hit back at the protesters and his other critics, claiming those opposing him are keen on spewing criticisms at him and blame him for every problem in the country. Aquino is known to be sensitive to criticisms.

“Now that 2016 draws near, those against me are making more noise. I’ve talked to someone and he said: ‘There are groups whose sole job is to hit me and find every error in each of my action,’” he said.

READ MORE...
“I said, if the job of some is really to malign me, I guess, I’ll be happy since they will add to the employment statistics,” Aquino said, skirting the blame.

The President continuously linked the criticism with the election season, claiming that Filipinos would not be fooled by the attacks against him. He said he believes Filipinos will choose the right candidate as his successor.

“On the other side of this, I believe Filipinos won’t be fooled. We will not surrender all the changes we are experiencing and return to the old ways,” Aquino said. “As before, the fate of the Philippines is in the hands of Filipinos,” he added.

Pollsters in the country have continuously reported the President’s deteriorating public support in light of his involvement on the Mamasapano incident where more than 60 individuals perished.

He was blamed for the incident primarily after putting suspended Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima in command for Operation Plan (Oplan) Exodus that targeted Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan.

The President also drew flak following the late response of the administration in Mary Jane Veloso’s case, whose death sentence in Indonesia was the result of a five-year delay in government legal aid.

Meanwhile, as part of his working visit in Chicago, Aquino also met with business officials to discuss possible partnerships and investments in the Philippines particularly projects to improve the country’s infrastructure such as transportation and expanded facilities of the existing nautical highway.

Presidential Communications Secretary Hermino Coloma Jr, in a statement issued to reporters, said interest in the Philippines was shown by several business executives from various fields.

“One of the points Aquino raised during the roundtable discussion was the need to improve connectivity in transportation,” he said.


Members of the Filipino community in Chicago wave the Philippine flag as they welcome President Benigno Aquino III at J.W. Marriott Hotel in Chicago on Thursday, May 7. Aquino is in the US for a working visit. Ryan Lim Photo from GMA NEWS ONLINE

During the meeting, Aquino said the Philippines needs to expand an existing nautical highway, improve ports and roll-on and roll-off facilities.

The practice of Aquino to proclaim non-existent achievements was earlier denounced by a local think tank which insisted that the alleged growth in the economy benefited only a few individuals.
Ibon Foundation, in an earlier statement, assailed the Aquino administration’s labor export policy as it showed data that the government has sent more Filipinos abroad to work compared to local jobs created.

After his trip to the US, Aquino will visit Canada to sign a memorandum of agreement to strengthen ties Philippines-Canadian ties. Canada recently tagged the Philippines as a country of focus in the Asia-Pacific region.

Over 852,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are currently working in Canada, according to latest government data.

Aquino is also set to talk with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper during the visit.
The President is also expected to seek Canada’s support in the Philippines’ territorial dispute against China.

The total cost for Aquino’s trip has yet to be revealed by the Palace.


GMA NEWS ONLINE

PNoy cites need to improve nautical highway connectivity before US business execs May 7, 2015 12:38pm 216 14 0 341


President Benigno Aquino III receives signed jerseys of NBA teams from M. Jim Peck, CEO and president of Transunion, after his meeting with business organizations in Chicago on Wednesday, May 6. Aquino's meeting with business leaders is part of his official visit to Chicago. Gil Nartea

President Benigno Aquino III met with business organizations during his official visit to Chicago, Illinois during which the Philippine leader cited the need to improve connectivity in transportation and expand facilities of the existing nautical highway.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said business executives from various fields expressed interest in participating or continuing their involvement in Philippine business efforts.

One of the points Aquino raised during the roundtable discussion was the need to improve connectivity in transportation, he added.

As an archipelago the Philippines needs to expand an existing nautical highway, improve ports and roll-on and roll-off facilities, the President said.

Thomas La France, senior executive of GE Transportation, expressed interest in joining Philippine efforts toward infrastructure development while possibilities of improving the railway system was also mentioned, Coloma said.

READ MORE...
Transportation's role in trade was also discussed during the meeting. FedEx managing director Ralph Carter said the logistics company is willing to assist in transporting high-quality marble products from Romblon to international markets.

President Benigno Aquino III receives a warm welcome from members of the Filipino community in Chicago, Illinois on Thursday, May 7, at J.W. Marriott Hotel. Aquino is in the United States for a working visit. Gil Nartea

Talent and competence

For Keith Williams, former vice president of the US-ASEAN Business Council, it is important to employ generation-skipping technology in accelerating the pace of Philippine growth and development.

Executives from Microsoft and JP Morgan Chase & Co. said they appreciate the talent and competence of Filipino workers.

Melissa Bean, chairman of JP Morgan Chase-US Midwest, said they have been operating a global service center in the Philippines since 2005 with more than 13,000 employees.

A senior officer from Microsoft, meanwhile, said his company has been involved in the Philippine business sector for 20 years, adding that they have a joint project with the Philippine National Police on cyber-security.

Aquino arrived in Chicago on Wednesday afternoon (Chicago time) for a one-day working visit to the US prior to a three-day state visit in Canada.

It was his first trip to Chicago since he assumed office in 2010. – Rose-An Jessica Dioquino/VS, GMA News


MANILA STANDARD EDITORIAL

No apparent baggage May. 05, 2015 at 12:01am

Finally, Malacañang has come to its senses and announced the appointment of the next chairman of the Commission on Elections in the person of lawyer Andres Bautista.

Two commissioners, Rowena Guanzon and Sheriff Abbas, were also named. The three new election officials will each have a term of seven years; they will serve until February 2022.

Bautista headed the Presidential Commission on Good Government at the time of his appointment and was the dean of the Far Eastern University law school. He was valedictorian of his law school batch and went on to top the bar examination. He has shown himself competent and capable in his various stints in the public and private sectors.

Bautista also does not have any perceived baggage in terms of previous questionable actions or marked incompetence in any of his engagements. It is then hardly surprising that the general consensus on Bautista’s appointment is positive.

The commission needs many things positive these days after dark clouds continue to hover over the 2016 elections.

READ MORE...
The Supreme Court recently nullified a deal that the poll agency inked for the repair of the 82,000 precinct count optical scan machines. This contract was one of the last acts of Bautista’s immediate predecessor.

The stakes are high in the 2016 elections. The country will elect officials from the president down to the local politicians. As early as now, the posturing and mudslinging have begun and are expected to intensfy in the coming months.

The least the government can do is to make the integrity an credibility of the electoral process a given, such that the only thing voters would worry about is how they would make their choices, taking for granted the fact that their votes would be counted accurately.

Bautista’s appointment gives us some hope for this. Let’s ensure he will be able to steer the commission well through this testy period, as he could also navigate the complicated dynamics within the commission without tarnishing the good reputation he now enjoys.

MANILA BULLETIN

Life after presidency: Aquino talks about being a mechanic by Genalyn Kabiling May 11, 2015

The country’s most powerful man is considering a lucrative alternative career as a mechanic once he ends his term in 2016.

President Aquino, on the last day of his state visit to Canada, raised the possibility of enrolling at the government’s technical vocational program after sharing the success story of a Filipino mechanic during a meeting with the Filipino migrant workers in Vancouver, Canada.

Aquino said the Filipino graduate of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) who works as a mechanic in Australia, earns twice the salary of a Philippine president.

“I think I’ll go to TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) on July 1, 2016,” the President said in jest in Filipino, drawing applause from the audience.

President Aquino, who will end his term on June 30, 2016, has trumpeted his administration’s achievements in the economic and anti-corruption fronts during his visit to Canada. He also delivered a similar accomplishment report to the Filipino community in Chicago, United States.

SKILLS TRAINING PROGRAMS

The story of the TESDA graduate was just among the tidbits shared by Aquino to highlight the government’s efforts to improve the education sector, particularly the skills training program for Filipinos.

READ MORE...
Since 2010, Aquino said 7.15 million persons have graduated from the technical-vocational program. At least 65.3 percent of them have found employment.

GOVERNMENT’S ACHIEVEMENTS

Apart from the TESDA triumph, the President listed down other government achievements such as the impressive economic growth, modernization of the military and creation of 1.04 million jobs as of January 2015.

He said the administration also built infrastructure projects to boost development especially in the countryside as well as upgraded the government weather forecasting facilities for accurate and timely updates.

“Maglilimang taon pa nga lang po tayo sa Daang Matuwid, pero nakikita na natin ang transpormasyon ng ating lipunan. Nagagawa na nating posible ang mga dating imposible [We are already on the fifth year of the straight path but we have seen the transformation in our society. We have made possible what is previously impossible],” Aquino said.

“Itinututok natin ang paglilingkod, hindi sa sarili, hindi sa gawaing tiwali, kundi sa kapakanan ng mas nakakarami [We focused our governance not on ourselves, not on corruption but on the welfare of the majority],” he added.

PURSUING JUSTICE

He said the Filipino nation today is the government’s partner in pursuing justice and accountability to erring officials regardless of their wealth or influence.

“Hindi na kailangang may padrino para umasenso; basta tapat at nagsisikap, kaya nang iangat ang antas ng pamumuhay [You don’t need a godfather to achieve. As long as you are honest and hardworking, you can attain a better life],” he added.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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