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

POE STILL CLUELESS ON LP OFFER, SEES MORE TALKS WITH AQUINO


PHOTO NEWSCOOP COURTESY OF RAPPLER.COM:
Liberal Party to decide on 2016 ticket 'in weeks'  Mar Roxas confirms initiating at least two meetings with Senator Grace Poe, and says the party will decide on its ticket in the 'next few weeks or months'  Bea Cupin Published 6:54 PM, May 12, 2015  -TRIBUNE: Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II was with President Aquino in a meeting with Sen. Grace Poe discussing the administration’s supposed thrust in the coming 2016 elections. The said “meeting” that both Aquino and Poe separately confirmed over the weekend, was just a first of several other meetings, as part of what she described as “process.”  The supposed process pertain to what Aquino and Roxas told Poe as the need to offer an “alternative” candidate for the administration, who will enable to continue the present leadership’s plans and programs. But Poe said Aquino made no categorical offer in the meeting that took place shortly before the President went on official visits to the United States and Canada although she admitted it was what was implied by the Chief Executive. “Sa tingin ko naman, may posibilidad. Wala namang partikular na posisyon na sinabi sa atin ang Pangulo pero para sa kanya, importante nga ang pagpapatuloy ng reporma kung sino man ang papalit sa kanya o ano pa man,” she said in an interview with reporters. “Hindi diretsong nagtanong ang Pangulo tungkol doon. Kasi malaking desisyon yan eh. Hindi naman pwedeng agaran na may kasagutan. Ang ginawa lamang ng Pangulo ay ipinahiwatig niya sa akin na may mga konsiderasyon talaga at siguro ay isa yun nga, na may mga potensyal na nakikita niya. “Hindi naman niya din sinabi din yun. Hindi naman niya direktang sinabi na ikaw ang alternatibo o isa ka sa mga alternatibo,” Poe added. READ MORE FROM THE TRIBUNE REPORT...

ALSO: Binay vs Poe fight looms; Poe looking up to Aquino for her role shaping PH future


SEN. GRACE POE: I am grateful for the President’s kind words. No one can deny his reforms in governance and the economic gains. I believe in his vision. PRIB PHOTO
After getting unexpected praise from President Benigno Aquino III, Sen. Grace Poe on Friday said she would look to him for direction in her role in shaping the future of the Philippines. In a text message to the Inquirer, Poe said she shared Mr. Aquino’s dreams for the country even before she was elected to the Senate in 2013. “I intend to seek his guidance in whatever role I may find myself in for the good of our country,” Poe said. Poe said she was grateful for the President’s kind words and she praised him for his reform programs and policies that turned around the country’s economy. “No one can deny the reforms in governance and the economic gains under his administration. I believed in his vision for our country even before I was elected into office,” Poe said. “He has persevered with his vision even through many challenges,” she added. READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino, as Grace's future mentor?
Poe can really continue what I"ve started. Aquino


Senator Grace Poe is planning to seek President Benigno Aquino III’s guidance “in whatever role (she) may find (herself) in for the good of our country.” 
Aquino expressed belief Thursday that Poe would be among those who can continue the reforms that he said his administration has started.  Reacting to the President’s remarks, Poe said: “I am grateful that the President counts me as one of the ones who can continue what he started.”  “No one can deny the reforms in governance and economic gains under his administration. I believed in his vision for our country even before I was elected into office. He has preserved with his vision even through many challenges,” she added in a text message to reporters on Friday. Poe ran and won in the 2013 elections under Aquino’s senatorial ticket. “I intend to seek his guidance in whatever role I may find myself in for the good of our country,” she said. [READ LINK BELOW: What kind of leader will Grace Poe be? ] Aquino, in an interview last week, disclosed that he had met with the senator to discuss the 2016 elections but both were tightlipped about specific details of their talks. Poe has been ranking second in presidential surveys though she has yet to decide whether or not to run for president in next year’s elections. Vice President Jejomar Binay, who has publicly declared his presidential bid, remains the voters’ top choice for president based on surveys conducted by various polling firms. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT

ALSO: Pacman’s options: 3 Rs
[RECOVERY, REMATCH, RETIREMENT]


Boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao gives President Aquino a souvenir of his match with Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a courtesy call at Malacañang yesterday.
World eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao arrived at dawn yesterday with his injured arm in a sling and three “R” options up in the air following his showdown with American Floyd Mayweather Jr. – recovery, rematch or retirement. The Filipino boxing icon came back with his family and entourage from Los Angeles after his unsuccessful bid to deal Mayweather his first loss in the mega fight at the MGM Grand that turned out to be the richest, biggest and most lucrative, with estimated pay-per-view buys reaching a record 4.4 million. Pacquiao said he would spend more time with his family and attend to his duties as acting chairman of the committee on overseas workers affairs in Congress, but it is his concern over his recovery from surgery that repaired a torn rotator cuff that could serve as a linchpin to other major personal decisions. It will take two months for his shoulder to mend and it will take another six months before he could even think of challenging Mayweather in a rematch of the high-profile Las Vegas showdown which he reiterated he had won. “I will focus first on rehabilitating my shoulder. After that I’ll announce whether to continue my career or announce my retirement. I’m not saying that I’m going to retire but I’m already 36,” said Pacquiao, adding that it will all depend on his recovery. “Siguro ilang laban na lang, konti na lang (Maybe a couple more fights). Dalawang laban(Two fights),” said Pacquiao, who also paid a courtesy call on President Aquino after the morning motorcade through the cities of Makati, Pasay and Manila. His contract with Top Rank will expire by the end of 2016, and if he does two fights next year then that should do it. Retirement may come soon. READ MORE...

ALSO: Recto welcomes possibilty of Poe joining LP
[But asked about the possibility of a Roxas-Poe or Poe-Roxas tandem, Recto said both were possible. “Pwedeng Mar-Chiz din…Pwede rin yun siguro, kung pumayag si Chiz,” he added, referring to to Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero. (It can be Mar-Chiz too. That’s possible too, if Chiz agrees.)]


RAFFY RECTO  A ranking official of the administration’s Liberal Party (LP) on Tuesday welcomed the possibility of the party adopting Senator Grace Poe to be its standard-bearer or vice presidential bet in the 2016 elections. “Well, definitely . Ako personally, I’m open to anyone kahit hindi member ng LP. Ang mahalaga ituloy yung programa ng Pangulo,” Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, vice president of LP, told reporters when asked if Poe is welcomed in the group. (Well, definitely. Personally, I’m open to anyone even if he/she is not a member of LP. What’s important is the program of the President continues.) Poe, in an interview Monday, said she herself asked President Benigno Aquino III when they met last week if the LP would support her should she decide to run for a higher post in next year’s elections. But Recto said that at present, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas remains the LP’s standard-bearer despite his low ranking in various presidential surveys. “For now, I think he’s the standard-bearer,” said the senator. READ MORE....

ALSO Grace Poe asks: Will LP support me if I run in 2016?


Senator Grace Poe. FILE PHOTO Senator Grace Poe. FILE PHOTO
 WILL the Liberal Party (LP) support a non-member like Senator Grace Poe should she decide to run for a higher post? Poe herself asked this question when she met with President Benigno Aquino III before the latter left for Chicago last week. During the meeting, the senator said the President made no categorical offer to her either to run for president or vice president in 2016. “Pero ito ang malinaw na tinanong ko sa kanya. Mr. President, kung saka-sakali at na konsidera ako kung ano pa man, hindi naman po ako Liberal? Sususportahan nyo po ba ako?” she said when interviewed by reporters at the Senate on Monday. “Ang sabi naman nya, yun nga ang gusto nya na magkaroon ng konsultasyon dun sa grupo nya para kahit hindi naman eksaktong Liberal pero ang prinsipyo na isinusulong nya para sa reporma ay may kakayayan ng taong gawin yan ay gusto nyang suportahan…But of course the President has to consult his party for the approval pero ang sabi nya that he would like to make that commitment.”  Asked then if the President meant that she does not have to join the administration’s LP in case she runs for a higher post next year, Poe said: “I think the vey fact that he called to a meeting might indicate that. Of course it will all depend in the end if it will actually happen.”  READ MORE...

ALSO: Binay willing to answer AMLC allegations in court


The Court of Appeals recently issued a freeze order against Vice President Jejomar Binay's assets. The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay is willing to appear in court and face allegations stemming from the Anti-Money Laundering Council's (AMLC) report.
The AMLC earlier published a report listing 242 bank accounts, investments and insurance policies under the name of Binay, his family and his friends. "Mas maganda po sana kung ang venue kung saan ang lahat ito ay haharapin ay isang venue na unang-una neutral, pangalawa governed by rules at ito po ang husgado," Binay legal counsel Claro Certeza said in an interview with radio dzMM. The vice president's camp is set to oppose the freeze order of the Court of Appeals over the alleged anomalous bank accounts of Binay. "Meron kaming karapatang mag-file ng motion to lift 'yung freeze order, 'yun po ang una naming gagawin," Certeza said. The Binay camp maintained that publishing the AMLC report was illegal and should not be used as an instrument for political harassment. READ MORE...

ALSO: ‘LP using AMLC report against Binay’


LP STALWARTS - PHOTO FROM RAPPLER.COM --
KEY leaders of the ruling Liberal Party have obtained copies of a report of the Anti-Money Laundering Council on Vice President Jejomar Binay’s bank accounts, and the report will be used by his critics in their continuing demolition job against him, the Vice President’s camp said yesterday. Joey Salgado, head of media affairs of the Office of the Vice President, said the AMLC report, which will serve as basis for any freeze order from the courts, is deemed confidential. “We have been asked to comment on a report that a freeze order has allegedly been issued on bank accounts supposedly identified with Vice President Binay and members of his family based on the recommendation of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).” “We cannot confirm this report. We do not know if such an order has been issued by the Court of Appeals. Court proceedings of this nature are deemed highly confidential and any party who discloses is subject to contempt,” Salgado said. He said reports of the AMLC are deemed classified to protect the name and reputation of concerned parties. “There is good reason for the confidentiality clause: the party which is the subject of the inquiry has not yet given his or her response. The intention is to protect innocent parties from the damage to their name and reputation,” he said. Salgado said it would not be a surprise if the supposed freeze order and the AMLC report have been leaked to the media by the Vice President’s political opponents READ MORE...

ALSO: LP denies it has AMLC report vs Binay


BINAY, DRILON, BELMONTE
A high-ranking official of Liberal Party (LP) has denied allegations the administration party held a copy of the confidential Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) report that found financial irregularities in the bank accounts of Vice President Jejomar Binay, his kin and alleged dummies. Speaking at the sidelines of the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the House of Representatives and the National Housing Authority (NHA) on Thursday, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. denied the Binay camp’s allegations LP would use the AMLC report to destroy the Vice President’s reputation. He said the ruling party respected Republic Act No. 9160 or the AMLC Law which criminalized breaching the confidentiality of a bank inquiry by leaking the report to the media. Belmonte said the law deemed the report confidential until charges were filed in the court. Joey Salgado, head for media affairs of the Office of the Vice President, said top LP leaders as early as last month obtained a copy of the AMLC report. • Binay camp: LP has AMLC report  “I vehemently deny that. It is only the Court of Appeals (CA) that can authorize anybody to open the private bank accounts of any person. To insinuate that without a CA decision authorizing it is really to demean not only the CA but our whole legal system,” Belmonte, an LP vice chair, said. “Our legal system protects all information unless there are charges filed and that the Court of Appeals agreed to the opening of the AMLC (report). Otherwise, that is an ironclad document,” he added. READ MORE...

ALSO STANDARD COMMENTARYUntouchable Butch


By Jojo Robles  You say you want to expose corruption and see the guilty charged and punished in court? How about looking into the mysterious, one-year silence of the Office of the Ombudsman in the case of the Cabinet member who allegedly taught Janet Napoles the ropes?
These days, when politically-motivated allegations of corruption seem to be all the rage, it’s important to ask, as Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon did earlier this week: Whatever happened to the charges against Budget Secretary Florencio Abad Jr.?  Ridon asked Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to explain why Abad has not been charged with plunder a year after he and other like-minded persons lodged complaints against the budget secretary in connection with the alleged misuse of Congress’ Priority Development Assistance Fund. The lawmaker noted that Abad has once again been mentioned by pork barrel scandal whistle-blower Merlina Suñas in her ongoing testimony in the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court, which is hearing charges against alleged scam mastermind Napoles. Suñas described Abad as “a friend and client” of Napoles in open court last Friday. Napoles, the alleged brains of the P10-billion PDAF scam, also claimed in an affidavit she submitted last year that Abad was still a congressman when he “mentored” her in the lucrative art of using bogus non-government organizations to funnel congressional allocations for non-existent projects.

Napoles, in her sworn statement, described how Abad received millions from her and showed her, in exchange, how to steal pork funds when Abad was still a Batanes congressman, using the local electric cooperative as the beneficiary on paper. Abad has denied all Napoles’ claims in the media, but was never able to do so in court, simply because he was never charged by the Ombudsman. “Ms. Suñas’ testimony [last week] is consistent with Napoles’ earlier disclosure that Abad was her mentor in diverting public funds to bogus non-government organizations,” Ridon said. “Now we ask – whatever happened to that case?”  Morales has not replied so far to Ridon’s demand for an explanation about the inaction on the cases filed against Abad. The silence of the Ombudsman is telling, because Morales has only recently denied published reports that her office has found probable cause to sue Vice President Jejomar Binay on corruption charges. READ MORE...
 


READ FULL MEDIA NEWS REPORT:

Poe still clueless on LP offer, sees more talks with Aquino


PHOTO NEWSCOOP COURTESY OF RAPPLER.COM:
Liberal Party to decide on 2016 ticket 'in weeks'  Mar Roxas confirms initiating at least two meetings with Senator Grace Poe, and says the party will decide on its ticket in the 'next few weeks or months'  Bea Cupin Published 6:54 PM, May 12, 2015
MANILA, MAY 18, 2015

MANILA, MAY 18, 2015 (TRIBUNE) Written by Tribune Wires Tuesday, 12 May 2015 - By Angie M. Rosales and Joshua L. Labonera --Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II was with President Aquino in a meeting with Sen. Grace Poe discussing the administration’s supposed thrust in the coming 2016 elections.

The said “meeting” that both Aquino and Poe separately confirmed over the weekend, was just a first of several other meetings, as part of what she described as “process.”

The supposed process pertain to what Aquino and Roxas told Poe as the need to offer an “alternative” candidate for the administration, who will enable to continue the present leadership’s plans and programs.

But Poe said Aquino made no categorical offer in the meeting that took place shortly before the President went on official visits to the United States and Canada although she admitted it was what was implied by the Chief Executive.

“Sa tingin ko naman, may posibilidad. Wala namang partikular na posisyon na sinabi sa atin ang Pangulo pero para sa kanya, importante nga ang pagpapatuloy ng reporma kung sino man ang papalit sa kanya o ano pa man,” she said in an interview with reporters.

“Hindi diretsong nagtanong ang Pangulo tungkol doon. Kasi malaking desisyon yan eh. Hindi naman pwedeng agaran na may kasagutan. Ang ginawa lamang ng Pangulo ay ipinahiwatig niya sa akin na may mga konsiderasyon talaga at siguro ay isa yun nga, na may mga potensyal na nakikita niya.

“Hindi naman niya din sinabi din yun. Hindi naman niya direktang sinabi na ikaw ang alternatibo o isa ka sa mga alternatibo,” Poe added.

READ MORE...
But she was told by the President that they will continue with their “talks” on this matter when Aquino returns from his overseas trips.

“Sabi nya, pagbalik nya, mag-uumpisa na kaming mag-isip tungkol dyan,” she said, referring to the administration’s Liberal Party (LP).

The senator was cautious in answering questions surrounding her discussion with the President and Roxas whom she claimed joined them toward the end of the meeting, to her surprise.

“Mahaba yung meeting na iyon, halos kami lang. May mga dumating noong bandang huli pero kami lang talaga. Dumating siya nung bandang huli,” she said referring to Roxas.

When asked about Roxas’ participation in the said meeting, Poe said the DILG chief merely echoed the sentiments of the President in coming up with an “alternative” candidate.

Poe refused to be badgered into admitting what the President was trying to “adopt” her as a possible presidential or vice presidential candidate of the administration in 2016.

In any event, Poe emphasized that whatever will be the results of their discussion would not compel her to join the LP as a member.

“I think the very fact that he called me to a meeting might indicate that. Of course, it will all depend in the end if it will actually happen. I mean, at the end, the party decision will prevail, but the President mentioned that the party is not strictly political, they have non-government organizations involved as well, private citizens who give them advice...

So if they will really listen to what the President meant by a least common denominator, something that will unite the party, then you don’t necessarily have to be a sworn member of the party, just like what they did in the senatorial elections in 2013,” she said.

Malacañang, however, remained silent yesterday on President Aquino’s openness to back up an independent candidate as his standard-bearer in the Liberal Party (LP) for the upcoming 2016 polls, as he returned from Canada yesterday after rounding up his three-day state visit.

In a statement issued by presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, the Palace skirted off the query on whether the President’s remarks will create a rift in the ruling LP.

“What is important is that the reforms or the ‘daang matuwid’ that the President has started will continue,” he said.

The LP is yet to name its standard bearer, although most of its officials have already named Roxas as the presumptive administration bet for 2016, even as Roxas continues to lag in public opinion surveys.

Aquino, who heads the LP, said he will reveal his candidate in June. Aquino, when asked in a recent interview during his trip to Canada if he still feels the same for Roxas, said “maybe.” The questions came after the President revealed that he is talking to Sen. Grace Poe, who have not yet announced her future political plans, on matters in 2016.

Poe, unlike Roxas, is second to Vice President Jejomar Binay in public opinion polls for President in the 2016 polls. The senator, however, is yet to announce any of her plans, as she said that LP has not yet approached her on matters like the elections.

The LP has been perceived to be courting the evidently popular Poe to be its standard-bearer or the top pick’s running mate.

The President, in his statement earlier, said that if it were all up to him, it is possible that he would choose an independent candidate for the LP, casting doubts on Roxas eligibility in the eyes of the president.


INQUIRER

Binay vs Poe fight looms: VP bent on running; Poe looking up to Aquino for her role in shaping PH future Leila B. Salaverria @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 1:30 AM | Saturday, May 16th, 2015


SEN. GRACE POE: I am grateful for the President’s kind words. No one can deny his reforms in governance and the economic gains. I believe in his vision. PRIB PHOTO

After getting unexpected praise from President Benigno Aquino III, Sen. Grace Poe on Friday said she would look to him for direction in her role in shaping the future of the Philippines.

In a text message to the Inquirer, Poe said she shared Mr. Aquino’s dreams for the country even before she was elected to the Senate in 2013.

“I intend to seek his guidance in whatever role I may find myself in for the good of our country,” Poe said.

Poe said she was grateful for the President’s kind words and she praised him for his reform programs and policies that turned around the country’s economy.

“No one can deny the reforms in governance and the economic gains under his administration. I believed in his vision for our country even before I was elected into office,” Poe said.

“He has persevered with his vision even through many challenges,” she added.

READ MORE...
President Aquino, in a radio interview on Thursday, said he was convinced that Poe could continue and sustain the gains of his administration, the primary requirement he had set in picking a candidate he would endorse to take his place in Malacañang in next year’s presidential election.

“We worked hard for [the gains of my administration]. We worked on them with blood, sweat and tears so they could become permanent and not just last for six years,” Mr. Aquino said.

“And we believe that Senator Poe is one of those we expect to continue, and can really continue, [what we have started],” he said.

Poll standing

Mr. Aquino has begun talks with prospective administration candidates for 2016, including Poe, who ranks second to Vice President Jejomar Binay in the polls.

READ: Aquino: Poe can really continue what I’ve started

The daughter of the late movie actor Fernando Poe Jr. and formerly head of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, Poe, an independent, topped the 2013 senatorial election, a surprise showing that made her the most-sought-after candidate among political parties aiming to supplant the ruling Liberal Party (LP) next year.

Mr. Aquino and Poe met two weeks ago, but they are not ready to disclose what they talked about.


INQUIRER

Aquino as Grace's future mentor? Maila Ager @MAgerINQ INQUIRER.net 12:56 PM | Friday, May 15th, 2015

'Poe can really continue what I"ve started'. Aquino

Senator Grace Poe is planning to seek President Benigno Aquino III’s guidance “in whatever role (she) may find (herself) in for the good of our country.”

Aquino expressed belief Thursday that Poe would be among those who can continue the reforms that he said his administration has started.

Reacting to the President’s remarks, Poe said: “I am grateful that the President counts me as one of the ones who can continue what he started.”

“No one can deny the reforms in governance and economic gains under his administration. I believed in his vision for our country even before I was elected into office. He has preserved with his vision even through many challenges,” she added in a text message to reporters on Friday.

Poe ran and won in the 2013 elections under Aquino’s senatorial ticket.

“I intend to seek his guidance in whatever role I may find myself in for the good of our country,” she said.

READ: What kind of leader will Grace Poe be?

Aquino, in an interview last week, disclosed that he had met with the senator to discuss the 2016 elections but both were tightlipped about specific details of their talks.

Poe has been ranking second in presidential surveys though she has yet to decide whether or not to run for president in next year’s elections.

Vice President Jejomar Binay, who has publicly declared his presidential bid, remains the voters’ top choice for president based on surveys conducted by various polling firms. IDL


PHILSTAR

Pacman’s options: 3 Rs By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 14, 2015 - 12:00am


Boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao gives President Aquino a souvenir of his match with Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a courtesy call at Malacañang yesterday.

MANILA, Philippines - World eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao arrived at dawn yesterday with his injured arm in a sling and three “R” options up in the air following his showdown with American Floyd Mayweather Jr. – recovery, rematch or retirement.

The Filipino boxing icon came back with his family and entourage from Los Angeles after his unsuccessful bid to deal Mayweather his first loss in the mega fight at the MGM Grand that turned out to be the richest, biggest and most lucrative, with estimated pay-per-view buys reaching a record 4.4 million.

Pacquiao said he would spend more time with his family and attend to his duties as acting chairman of the committee on overseas workers affairs in Congress, but it is his concern over his recovery from surgery that repaired a torn rotator cuff that could serve as a linchpin to other major personal decisions.

It will take two months for his shoulder to mend and it will take another six months before he could even think of challenging Mayweather in a rematch of the high-profile Las Vegas showdown which he reiterated he had won.

“I will focus first on rehabilitating my shoulder. After that I’ll announce whether to continue my career or announce my retirement. I’m not saying that I’m going to retire but I’m already 36,” said Pacquiao, adding that it will all depend on his recovery.

“Siguro ilang laban na lang, konti na lang (Maybe a couple more fights). Dalawang laban(Two fights),” said Pacquiao, who also paid a courtesy call on President Aquino after the morning motorcade through the cities of Makati, Pasay and Manila.

His contract with Top Rank will expire by the end of 2016, and if he does two fights next year then that should do it. Retirement may come soon.

READ MORE...
“Tingnan natin. Mahirap magsalita ng tapos (We’ll see. We can’t say anything with finality),” said Pacquiao, who held a short press conference at the airport after their plane touched down at 3:50 a.m.

Pacquiao emerged from the tube flanked by close friends, followed by his wife Jinkee, their year-old son Israel in her arms, and their four other children.

He said he barely slept during the 14-hour flight because of pain on his right shoulder.

“It still hurts. I barely slept. I would rather have a toothache than this,” said Pacquiao, wearing a black sling, which he said is required for four weeks.

“There are a lot of things to do but focus is on how to rehabilitate my shoulder,” he said.

“Right now there’s no problem with the cases. We know the rules of boxing. I did everything I could during the fight. Lumaban tayo,” he said.

“God will fight my battle,” Pacquao said.

As he arrived, news was all over boxing websites that his fight with Mayweather had 4.4 million pay-per-view buys, generating over $500 million in revenues.

Looking at these record-breaking numbers, it will be difficult for both superstars and their respective teams not to think about a rematch for 2016.

“I don’t have a problem with that but first I must focus on my recovery. I need to recover 100 percent. A rematch is not a problem as long as I am fully recovered,” he said.

“That’s my focus right now,” said Pacquiao, adding that doctors who attended to him in LA have given him specific instructions on how to perform therapy on his right shoulder.

“And I have competent doctors here led by Dr. (Regina) Bagsic,” said Pacquiao. “Right now I’m not thinking about the rematch. Let us see if I’d still continue boxing or not.”

Then came the inevitable question about politics – whether Pacquiao would seek a third term as congressman or run for senator next year and then shoot for the presidency in 2022.

Pacquiao is too young to run for president next year (age requirement is 40). But the question on the presidency brought light to his face. – With Rudy Santos, Non Alquitran, Paolo Romero, Delon Porcalla


INQUIRER

Recto welcomes possibilty of Poe joining LP 6:05 PM | Tuesday, May 12th, 2015


RAFFY RECTO

A ranking official of the administration’s Liberal Party (LP) on Tuesday welcomed the possibility of the party adopting Senator Grace Poe to be its standard-bearer or vice presidential bet in the 2016 elections.

“Well, definitely . Ako personally, I’m open to anyone kahit hindi member ng LP. Ang mahalaga ituloy yung programa ng Pangulo,” Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, vice president of LP, told reporters when asked if Poe is welcomed in the group.

(Well, definitely. Personally, I’m open to anyone even if he/she is not a member of LP. What’s important is the program of the President continues.)

Poe, in an interview Monday, said she herself asked President Benigno Aquino III when they met last week if the LP would support her should she decide to run for a higher post in next year’s elections.

But Recto said that at present, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas remains the LP’s standard-bearer despite his low ranking in various presidential surveys.

“For now, I think he’s the standard-bearer,” said the senator.

READ MORE...
But asked about the possibility of a Roxas-Poe or Poe-Roxas tandem, Recto said both were possible.

“Pwedeng Mar-Chiz din…Pwede rin yun siguro, kung pumayag si Chiz,” he added, referring to to Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero.

(It can be Mar-Chiz too. That’s possible too, if Chiz agrees.)

Poe, Roxas and Escudero though have yet to publicly declare their plans for 2016.

Recto explained that if the next president would come from LP anyway, its members might probably hold key government posts again in the next administration.

“So halimbawa kung hindi presidente si Mar, just in case at maging senador, e di Senate President. Posible. Pwede rin naman na Secretary of Finance kung sakali lang na hindi sya maging pangulo,” he added.

(For example, if Mar isn’t president, just in case he becomes senator, then as Senate President. That’s possible. He can also be Secretary of Finance in case he doesn’t become president). CC


INQUIRER

Grace Poe asks: Will LP support me if I run in 2016? Maila Ager @MAgerINQ INQUIRER.net 4:52 PM | Monday, May 11th, 2015


Senator Grace Poe. FILE PHOTO Senator Grace Poe. FILE PHOTO

WILL the Liberal Party (LP) support a non-member like Senator Grace Poe should she decide to run for a higher post?

Poe herself asked this question when she met with President Benigno Aquino III before the latter left for Chicago last week.

During the meeting, the senator said the President made no categorical offer to her either to run for president or vice president in 2016.

“Pero ito ang malinaw na tinanong ko sa kanya. Mr. President, kung saka-sakali at na konsidera ako kung ano pa man, hindi naman po ako Liberal? Sususportahan nyo po ba ako?” she said when interviewed by reporters at the Senate on Monday.

“Ang sabi naman nya, yun nga ang gusto nya na magkaroon ng konsultasyon dun sa grupo nya para kahit hindi naman eksaktong Liberal pero ang prinsipyo na isinusulong nya para sa reporma ay may kakayayan ng taong gawin yan ay gusto nyang suportahan…But of course the President has to consult his party for the approval pero ang sabi nya that he would like to make that commitment.”

Asked then if the President meant that she does not have to join the administration’s LP in case she runs for a higher post next year, Poe said: “I think the vey fact that he called to a meeting might indicate that. Of course it will all depend in the end if it will actually happen.”

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“At the end, the party decision will prevail but the President mentioned that the party is not strictly political. There are non- government organizations involved as well, private citizens who give them advice so if they will really listen, I don’t know what the President meant by least common denominator but something that will unite the party, then you don’t necessarily have to be a sworn member of the party just like what they did in the senatorial elections in 2013,” she pointed out.

Poe said Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, who was being pushed by his partymates in the LP to be its standard-bearer, joined her and the President during the latter part of the meeting.

She said the President simply told her and Roxas the need for administration to have an alternative candidate to the opposition’s bet, Vice President Jejomar Binay, who has declared his presidential bid in 2016.

Asked if she was open to run with Roxas, Poe said: “I can’t say who I am open to run with because at this point I’m still considering whether I’m actually going to run.”

She said she and the President would meet again when the latter returns to the country.

“Sabi nya pag balik nya mag-uumpisa na kaming mag isip tungkol dyan,” Poe added. AC


PHILSTAR

Binay willing to answer AMLC allegations in court By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated May 17, 2015 - 11:34am


The Court of Appeals recently issued a freeze order against Vice President Jejomar Binay's assets.

MANILA, Philippines - The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay is willing to appear in court and face allegations stemming from the Anti-Money Laundering Council's (AMLC) report.

The AMLC earlier published a report listing 242 bank accounts, investments and insurance policies under the name of Binay, his family and his friends.

"Mas maganda po sana kung ang venue kung saan ang lahat ito ay haharapin ay isang venue na unang-una neutral, pangalawa governed by rules at ito po ang husgado," Binay legal counsel Claro Certeza said in an interview with radio dzMM.

The vice president's camp is set to oppose the freeze order of the Court of Appeals over the alleged anomalous bank accounts of Binay.

"Meron kaming karapatang mag-file ng motion to lift 'yung freeze order, 'yun po ang una naming gagawin," Certeza said.

The Binay camp maintained that publishing the AMLC report was illegal and should not be used as an instrument for political harassment.

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According to Certeza, the AMLC report is misleading since Binay only owns five of the 242 listed bank accounts.

"Talaga namang marami kang account pagsasama-samahin mo at ito-total mo eh lalo kung mayayaman ang mga kaibigan mo eh talagang malaki po 'yun. Pero kung titingnan niyo ang AMLA report, ang talagang bank accounts na may pangalan lang si Vice President, lima. 'Yung 200-plus nasa ibang pangalan naman po 'yun," Certeza said.

The Binay lawyer stressed that the AMLC report does not prove that Binay is guilty.

Law professor Harry Roque said, meanwhile, that the freeze order against Binay's assets in unconstitutional because it violates his immunity from suits as mandated by the Constitution. He added that the freeze order does not constitute finding of criminal offense.


MALAYA

‘LP using AMLC report against Binay’ By JP LOPEZ on May 13, 2015


LP STALWARTS - PHOTO FROM RAPPLER.COM

KEY leaders of the ruling Liberal Party have obtained copies of a report of the Anti-Money Laundering Council on Vice President Jejomar Binay’s bank accounts, and the report will be used by his critics in their continuing demolition job against him, the Vice President’s camp said yesterday.

Joey Salgado, head of media affairs of the Office of the Vice President, said the AMLC report, which will serve as basis for any freeze order from the courts, is deemed confidential.

“We have been asked to comment on a report that a freeze order has allegedly been issued on bank accounts supposedly identified with Vice President Binay and members of his family based on the recommendation of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).”

“We cannot confirm this report. We do not know if such an order has been issued by the Court of Appeals. Court proceedings of this nature are deemed highly confidential and any party who discloses is subject to contempt,” Salgado said.

He said reports of the AMLC are deemed classified to protect the name and reputation of concerned parties.

“There is good reason for the confidentiality clause: the party which is the subject of the inquiry has not yet given his or her response. The intention is to protect innocent parties from the damage to their name and reputation,” he said.

Salgado said it would not be a surprise if the supposed freeze order and the AMLC report have been leaked to the media by the Vice President’s political opponents.

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“This is after all a perception game that they are playing. Their intention is to taint the good name of Vice President Binay,” he said.

Last night, GMA 7 said it has obtained a copy of a freeze order from former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado who, it said, is among those being investigated by the AMLC.

Mercado has appeared in most of the 20 hearings held by a sub-committee of the Senate on alleged anomalies committed by Binay when he was city mayor, including overpricing the Makati City Hall building II.

The GMA report said based on the order issued last Monday, the CA froze 242 bank accounts and insurance policies belonging to the Vice President, “some members of his family and close associates, who are suspected of being his dummies.”

Salgado lamented LP’s “abuse” of the Anti-Money Laundering Act for political gains.

“What is unfortunate is that the intent of the Anti-Money Laundering Act has been subverted by politics.

The Act was signed into law to prevent the use of the Philippines as a haven for laundering money from drugs, terrorism and other unlawful acts.

Today, it is a tool to harass and taint the reputation of political enemies of the LP,” he said.

“We can expect the LP and their allies to misrepresent the Vice President’s bank accounts, which are all reflected and reported in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth and statement of election expenses.”


INQUIRER

LP denies it has AMLC report vs Binay Marc Jayson Cayabyab @MJcayabyabINQ INQUIRER.net 7:34 PM | Wednesday, May 13th, 2015


BINAY, DRILON, BELMONTE

A high-ranking official of Liberal Party (LP) has denied allegations the administration party held a copy of the confidential Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) report that found financial irregularities in the bank accounts of Vice President Jejomar Binay, his kin and alleged dummies.

Speaking at the sidelines of the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the House of Representatives and the National Housing Authority (NHA) on Thursday, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. denied the Binay camp’s allegations LP would use the AMLC report to destroy the Vice President’s reputation.

He said the ruling party respected Republic Act No. 9160 or the AMLC Law which criminalized breaching the confidentiality of a bank inquiry by leaking the report to the media. Belmonte said the law deemed the report confidential until charges were filed in the court.

Joey Salgado, head for media affairs of the Office of the Vice President, said top LP leaders as early as last month obtained a copy of the AMLC report.

• Binay camp: LP has AMLC report

“I vehemently deny that. It is only the Court of Appeals (CA) that can authorize anybody to open the private bank accounts of any person. To insinuate that without a CA decision authorizing it is really to demean not only the CA but our whole legal system,” Belmonte, an LP vice chair, said.

“Our legal system protects all information unless there are charges filed and that the Court of Appeals agreed to the opening of the AMLC (report). Otherwise, that is an ironclad document,” he added.

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Belmonte also hit the Vice President for refusing to face the charges against him, incidentally at the sidelines of the signing of a memorandum of agreement with the NHA, which Binay oversees, for the granting of land title to the 19-hectare Batasan property. Binay is the chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council of which the NHA is an attached agency.

“Hindi naman niya hinaharap (ang mga akusasyon). Sa Senate, sinabi niya pagdating sa husgado. Sa husgado, iba naman ang (sinasabi). Incidentally, I’m also thankful to the Vice President because he presided over the meeting that gave us this title,” Belmonte said, laughing.

The memorandum of agreement was signed granting the House of Representatives title to the 19-hectare Batasan property. House Secretary General Marilyn Barua-Yap called the signing of the memorandum of agreement historic because it was the first time the chamber would have title to the land in almost 40 years.

The AMLC obtained an order from the CA to freeze 242 bank, insurance and security accounts of Binay, his family and alleged dummies, totaling P16 billion. Binay’s frozen assets totaled P600 million.

• Court freezes Binay assets

The freeze order was also based on the findings that Binay’s statements of assets, liabilities and net worth showed incomes from 2007 to 2013 of the Binays to be “disproportionate to the values, frequency and complexity of their banking transactions.”

The CA order stemmed from the Ombudsman’s investigation on the Makati Parking Building, allegedly overpriced by P1.3 billion, and the Makati Science High School.

The court took note of the AMLC findings that Gerardo Limlingan, Eduviges Baloloy and other alleged dummies withdrew funds from their bank accounts after the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on the alleged anomaly.

The records of the Securities and Exchange Commission also showed probable links of entities, their directors and officers to the Vice President and his family, the court said.

The Ombudsman is investigating the allegations after a plunder complaint was filed by Renato Bondal and Nicholas Enciso VI against Binay, his son Makati Mayor Junjun and other city officials.

According to the plunder complaint, the construction of the building worth P1.56 billion was overpriced, citing National Statistics Office construction data which amount the average cost of the building that year at P245.6 million only.


MANILA STANDARD COMMENTARY

Untouchable Butch By Jojo Robles | May. 14, 2015 at 12:01am

You say you want to expose corruption and see the guilty charged and punished in court? How about looking into the mysterious, one-year silence of the Office of the Ombudsman in the case of the Cabinet member who allegedly taught Janet Napoles the ropes?

These days, when politically-motivated allegations of corruption seem to be all the rage, it’s important to ask, as Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon did earlier this week: Whatever happened to the charges against Budget Secretary Florencio Abad Jr.?

Ridon asked Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to explain why Abad has not been charged with plunder a year after he and other like-minded persons lodged complaints against the budget secretary in connection with the alleged misuse of Congress’ Priority Development Assistance Fund. The lawmaker noted that Abad has once again been mentioned by pork barrel scandal whistle-blower Merlina Suñas in her ongoing testimony in the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court, which is hearing charges against alleged scam mastermind Napoles.

Suñas described Abad as “a friend and client” of Napoles in open court last Friday. Napoles, the alleged brains of the P10-billion PDAF scam, also claimed in an affidavit she submitted last year that Abad was still a congressman when he “mentored” her in the lucrative art of using bogus non-government organizations to funnel congressional allocations for non-existent projects.

Napoles, in her sworn statement, described how Abad received millions from her and showed her, in exchange, how to steal pork funds when Abad was still a Batanes congressman, using the local electric cooperative as the beneficiary on paper. Abad has denied all Napoles’ claims in the media, but was never able to do so in court, simply because he was never charged by the Ombudsman.

“Ms. Suñas’ testimony [last week] is consistent with Napoles’ earlier disclosure that Abad was her mentor in diverting public funds to bogus non-government organizations,” Ridon said. “Now we ask – whatever happened to that case?”

Morales has not replied so far to Ridon’s demand for an explanation about the inaction on the cases filed against Abad. The silence of the Ombudsman is telling, because Morales has only recently denied published reports that her office has found probable cause to sue Vice President Jejomar Binay on corruption charges.

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If Morales can immediately deny that she is part of the long-running campaign to tar and feather Binay, why can’t she say anything about the charges against Abad that are gathering dust in her office? And if Morales thinks Abad is as clean as he says he is – despite the very serious allegations made by Napoles and Suñas, her former trusted associate – why can’t she just junk the cases that Ridon and others filed against him?

* * *

The amnesia that has afflicted Morales in Abad’s case is not surprising, of course. At least the Ombudsman has opted only to conveniently forget that the budget secretary is the most prominent member of the Cabinet of President Noynoy Aquino to be implicated in the pork barrel scandal.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, on the other hand, had to be publicly ridiculed before she was forced to backtrack on her recent position that filing charges against the so-called second and third batches of lawmakers and other officials who also misused the pork funds was “not a priority.” De Lima, who is widely believed to be eyeing a slot in the administration senatorial ticket in next year’s elections, actually thought she could get away with not prosecuting the lawmakers – most of them allied with Aquino – who stand accused of using Napoles-like NGOs to siphon off PDAF funds allocated for their pet projects.

But I think it’s safe to say that neither Morales nor De Lima – despite her belated backtracking – intends to go after all the other abusers of Congress’ pork. The reason is simple: The prosecution of the lawmakers in the House and the Senate has been limited to perceived political enemies of the administration.

And Abad, if both Napoles and Suñas are to be believed, was right at the center of the allegations of the massive, systematic looting of Congress’ pork – a practice that was so widespread that it was not limited by party or by political affiliation. Abad, after all, controlled the release of all pork funds, through his department’s Special Allocation Release Orders, the good-as-cash documents that Napoles and her ilk took in exchange for advancing cash and completing payment to pork-mad legislators of either House and of whatever party.

If you still don’t know why Abad isn’t being charged, stop wondering. Abad is Aquino himself, not just because they look alike with their bald pates.

And if you go after Abad, you go after the man he took orders from. And, as we all know, Aquino was never involved in any thievery.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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