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

IBON SURVEY: MORE FILIPINOS NOT SATISFIED WITH P-NOY'S PERFORMANCE PAST 3 MONTHS


JUNE 29 --The share of respondents who said they did not find the President’s performance satisfactory rose from January to May
The latest survey of IBON shows that more Filipinos are not satisfied with Pres. Aquino’s performance of his duties as chief executive. The share of respondents who said they did not find the President’s performance satisfactory rose from 43.7% in January to 48.9% in May. Asked what they can say about Pres. Aquino’s performance, 30.9% of 1,496 respondents answered ‘satisfactory’, a decrease from 37.3% in January. Meanwhile, 20.1% answered ‘don’t know’. The latest survey round was conducted from May 13 to 23 across various sectors nationwide and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percent. The latest survey was a non-commissioned survey that used multi-stage probability sampling. Below is the tabulation of Filipino’s perception of Pres. Aquino’s performance. READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino lashed out at Cebu Ex-Gov Lito Osmeña, offers him someone to talk to


JUNE 30 --Lito Osmeña 
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III lashed out Monday at former Cebu governor Lito Osmeña for suggesting that the ruling Liberal Party would misappropriate the P14.4 billion payment made by an international contractor to upgrade, operate and maintain the Mactan airport for campaign funds for the 2016 elections. At the groundbreaking ceremony for the new passenger terminal building of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the President referred to Osmeña without mentioning his name. “Before I continue, I was told there was someone who said that the P14 billion will be used by the Liberal Party for the elections next year,” he said. Addressing the former governor directly, he added: “Maybe you do not have anyone to talk to. I will talk to Secretary Dinky Soliman so that the Social Welfare Department will help you find someone to talk to.”  Aquino said the accusation was an insult to people’s intelligence. “Do you know of any thief who would tell you what he will steal before he steals it, and then hope he would be successful?” the President said in Filipino. “Is he saying our party is made up of thieves and at the same time, we’re stupid?”  READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino breaks ground for world’s first ‘resort airport’ in Cebu


JUNE 29 --LET'S GET DIRTY...MANILA TIMES FILE PHOTO President Benigno Aquino III on Monday will lead the groundbreaking ceremony of the new passenger terminal of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), which will be the first “resort airport” in the world. In a statement, Palace Spokersperson Edwin Lacierda said that with the construction of the new terminal building, the MCIA can accommodate up to 15 million passengers from its current capacity of 4.5 million.
“Improvements such as these help to stimulate our economy and boost our country’s reputation as a tourist and business destination,” Lacierda said. The construction of the new terminal building at the MCIA will be the Aquino administration’s first airport public-partnership project. “The kick-off ceremony for the construction of the new international terminal for the country’s second-biggest gateway, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, is touted to be the start of Philippine airports matching the best in the world. It will not only cement our place on the global map as a major tourist and business destination, it will boost the local economy and is projected to generate jobs especially in Cebu,” Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Pnoy misses Zambo rehab target


JULY 4 ---Zamboanga City Mayor Ma.Isabelle Climaco-Salazar (right) during a site inspection. Philstar.com/ File Photo
ZAMBOANGA CITY - President Benigno Aquino III missed his target for the complete rehabilitation of the areas devastated by the 2013 siege of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in this city. The President had given 18 months or until June this year, since his December 2013 visit at the evacuation camp, where he met thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) for their transfer to the permanent shelters at the rehabilitated 5 villages severely devastated during the 23-day siege. Aquino tasked the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) and the National Housing Authority (NHA) to look after the rehabilitation and establishment of housing units under the Zamboanga City Roadmap to Recovery and Reconstruction (Z3R) program. The President allotted P3.5 billion for the rehabilitation program. Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said the city has already complied with the permanent sites for the rehabilitation. However, she said not a hundred percent of the housing units have been completed by the NHA. READ MORE...

ALSO It’s official: Purisima is fired


JULY 3 --PNP Director General Alan Purisima. AP FILE PHOTO
The Philippine National Police has formally dismissed its former chief and nine other officers over the allegedly anomalous contract with a courier service to deliver gun licenses to applicants’ homes. The dismissal order for resigned Director General Alan Purisima and the other officers was dated July 1 and signed by Deputy Director General Danilo Constantino, chief of the directorial staff. PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor said the dismissal order was in compliance with an Ombudsman directive given on Tuesday.
“This is part of the PNP’s compliance with the Ombudsman. We were given five days to comply and we will send this document to the Ombudsman as proof of compliance,” said Mayor in a briefing in Camp Crame on Thursday. Aside from Purisima, fired were Chief Supt. Allan Parreno, Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta, Senior Supt. Eduardo Acierto, Senior Supt. Melchor Reyes, Supt. Nelson Bautista, Supt. Lenbell Fabia, Chief Insp. Sonia Calixto, Chief Insp. Ricardo Zapata Jr. and Senior Insp. Ford Tuazon.
Included in the group was Director Napoleon Estilles who retired last year. Mayor said he would be fined the equivalent of one year’s salary, to be collected by the Ombudsman.
The officers were dismissed in connection with a deal with Werfast Documentary Agency to use a commercial courier service to deliver firearm licenses to gun owners at their addresses. The delivery fee was supposedly higher than the regular fee charged by the same company and other courier firms to deliver a similar package. READ MORE...

ALSO: Beijing blasts RP gov’t for docu on maritime rights


JUNE 30 --Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying 
BEIJING – China has protested the Philippine government’s ballyhooing the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) issue as it accused Manila of spreading misinformation and “creating the illusion of the victim” in their territorial dispute. “The Philippines is attempting to mislead and deceive, gain sympathy by cheating and create the illusion of the ‘victim,’” Foreign Ministry's Hua Chunying said in a statement on the ministry’s Web site, referring to the three-part documentary which Manila aired in defending its position. The Department of Foreign Affairs, Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Department of National Defense had said the film was aimed at raising the public’s awareness on the importance of the territories in the South China Sea and to unite forces of the whole country behind the government in resolving the disputes. But the Chinese official accused the Philippines of aiming to incite the people of the two countries. Beijing also expressed strong dissatisfaction over the film’s unreasonable and unfounded accusations by ignoring facts and calling white black, Hua said. “The Chinese side also expresses serious concern over the practice of the incumbent Philippine government in making a fanfare about the South China Sea issue and instigating feelings of contradiction between the Chinese and Filipino people,” Hua said. READ MORE...

ALSO:
What Sereno looks for in the next president?
[Sereno will remain chief justice for next to two more Presidents.]


JULY 2 --CJ Maria Lourdes Sereno Does Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno prefer a male to be the next president, or does she want a female to lead the country in 2016?  Facing reporters on her 55th birthday on Thursday, Sereno disclosed what she is looking for in the next chief executive of the Philippines: someone who would be committed to the 1987 Philippine Constitution. "The next president will hopefully look at the constitutional design," Sereno said when asked about next year's presidential elections. COURTESY OF GMA NEWS By MARK MERUEÑAS,GMA News July 2, 2015
CHIEF Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is hoping that the next president should observe the constitutional designs for checks and balances. “The next President [should observe] the constitutional design for the checks and balances for an accountable government,” Sereno, who celebrated her 55th birthday Thursday, said. Sereno, the first female chief justice, will become the second longest-serving chief justice. First was Chief Justice Cayetano Arellano. Sereno will remain chief justice for next to two more Presidents. “If we only had the COA (Commission on Audit) that had been consistently doing its job from the first time it was created and Ombudsman that was also doing its job, the Judiciary that is faithful to its duty, the prosecution likewise investigative and law enforcement agencies, we should not be having this I would characterize as somewhat start up problems where we are trying to align everything to a more cohesive justice system,” she said. READ MORE...

ALSO Priestly commentary: From SCOTUS to Padre Faura


JULY 1 --Fr. Rannie Aquino
The Supreme Court has directed the Civil Registrar General to comment on a petition before it. The issue: Whatever legal obstacle there might be to the registration of unions of same-sex couples is unconstitutional. The route this action takes is interestingly similar to SCOTUS, the momentous US Supreme Court decision that has the world talking about it till now. But the petitioners in the Philippines have problems that their American counterparts did not deal with. For one thing, the 1987 Constitution makes mention of the family more than once, and, provided that one does not allow the theory of the living document to run berserk, "family" means husband (man), wife (woman) and child or children. The State is obligated, constitutionally, to protect and to uphold the family. That is how the framers intended it. That is what our people understood it to mean what they ratified the fundamental law. Second, our concept of autonomy is not exactly the same as the implied anthropology of the SCOTUS decision. We acknowledge that personhood means autonomy, but we also recognize that human decisions work on certain "givens": sexual differences, among the most basic. The letter of Archbishop Soc Villegas as CBCP President puts it well: If one admits the real difference between a man and a woman (is there one who does not?), then perforce one must admit that there is a difference between the coupledom of a man and a woman and that of two men or two women. Not that the first is good, and the rest, bad. That is not the point. The point rather is, the first, the law has decided to protect by the guarantees and rights of marriage; the second, it leaves to the freedom and the consciences of individuals. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

IBON Survey: More Filipinos unsatisfied with Pres. Aquino's performance

MANILA, JULY 6, 2015 (IBON FOUNDATION WEBSITE)  29 June 2015 - The share of respondents who said they did not find the President’s performance satisfactory rose from January to May

The latest survey of IBON shows that more Filipinos are not satisfied with Pres. Aquino’s performance of his duties as chief executive. The share of respondents who said they did not find the President’s performance satisfactory rose from 43.7% in January to 48.9% in May.

Asked what they can say about Pres. Aquino’s performance, 30.9% of 1,496 respondents answered ‘satisfactory’, a decrease from 37.3% in January.
Meanwhile, 20.1% answered ‘don’t know’.

The latest survey round was conducted from May 13 to 23 across various sectors nationwide and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percent.

The latest survey was a non-commissioned survey that used multi-stage probability sampling. Below is the tabulation of Filipino’s perception of Pres. Aquino’s performance.

READ MORE...

What can you say about Pres. Benigno Aquino III’s performance these past three (3) months?

January 2015 May 2015 Satisfactory 37.3 30.9 Unsatisfactory 43.7 48.9 Don’t know 18.4 20.1 No answer 0.6 0.1 Total 100.0 100.0

For details on the IBON survey, please email databank@ibon.org or call IBON at tel. 927-6986.


MANILA STANDARD

Aquino lashed out at Cebu Ex-Gov Lito Osmeña, offers him someone to talk to By Sandy Araneta | Jun. 30, 2015 at 12:01am


Lito Osmeña

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III lashed out Monday at former Cebu governor Lito Osmeña for suggesting that the ruling Liberal Party would misappropriate the P14.4 billion payment made by an international contractor to upgrade, operate and maintain the Mactan airport for campaign funds for the 2016 elections.

At the groundbreaking ceremony for the new passenger terminal building of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the President referred to Osmeña without mentioning his name.

“Before I continue, I was told there was someone who said that the P14 billion will be used by the Liberal Party for the elections next year,” he said.

Addressing the former governor directly, he added: “Maybe you do not have anyone to talk to. I will talk to Secretary Dinky Soliman so that the Social Welfare Department will help you find someone to talk to.”

Aquino said the accusation was an insult to people’s intelligence.

“Do you know of any thief who would tell you what he will steal before he steals it, and then hope he would be successful?” the President said in Filipino. “Is he saying our party is made up of thieves and at the same time, we’re stupid?”

READ MORE...

“This is too much of an insult. But that’s life,” Aquino continued, noting that the P14.4 billion went directly to the National Treasury, and that only Congress could decide how the funds would be used.

He also told Cebuanos how difficult his job was.

“Do you know how difficult my job is? You are all witnesses to the insults I have received. All my moves are criticized. No matter how big the accomplishments are, they would still look for the smallest mistakes, just so they will look good,” he said.

But he said his administration had accomplished much as he marked his fifth year as President.

Earlier, the SunStar newspaper reported that Osmeña had mentioned the P14.4 billion paid by the GMR-Megawide consortium in an open letter to the President.

“You succeeded in selling the pride and honor of the Cebuanos in the next 25 years at a cost of P14.4 billion to foreigners,” Osmeña said in his letter, which was written in Cebuano. “I hope the rumors that this is the Liberal Party’s way of raising funds for the elections are not true. If they’re proven true, you’re shameless.”

GMR-Megawide won the auction for the 25-year public-private partnership (PPP) contract last year, after offering the government a premium bid of P 14.4 billion. Operations and maintenance of the airport were turned over to the consortium in November 2014.

The deal has been challenged before the Supreme Court by Senator Sergio Osmeña III, a cousin of the former governor, as well as a group of businessmen.

Reacting to Osmeña’s letter, a member of the Cebu provincial board sought an update on the status of the P14.4 billion payment.

“It is better to discuss where the money will go to be transparent and to find out who will be held accountable,” Ouano told the SunStar.

In a press conference, Osmeña said he believed most of the P14.4 billion would end up in Manila.

Asked what was the basis for saying this, he replied: “History repeats itself over and over.”

He added that with 14 billion, all of his hopes to improve infrastructure in Cebu could be addressed.

“No more traffic, no more flooding. We will have plenty of water; not floodwater, but water from MCWD,” he said.

But provincial board member Peter John Calderon said the money went directly into the National Treasury and did not pass through the provincial government.

He suggested that it was a way of justifying why Osmeña would run for governor again.


INQUIRER

Aquino breaks ground for world’s first ‘resort airport’ SHARES: 6475 VIEW COMMENTS By: Aries Joseph Hegina @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net 01:51 PM June 29th, 2015


The plan for the world’s first resort airport. Photo from DOTC

President Benigno Aquino III on Monday will lead the groundbreaking ceremony of the new passenger terminal of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), which will be the first “resort airport” in the world.

In a statement, Presidential Spokersperson Edwin Lacierda said that with the construction of the new terminal building, the MCIA can accommodate up to 15 million passengers from its current capacity of 4.5 million.

“Improvements such as these help to stimulate our economy and boost our country’s reputation as a tourist and business destination,” Lacierda said.

The construction of the new terminal building at the MCIA will be the Aquino administration’s first airport public-partnership project.

“The kick-off ceremony for the construction of the new international terminal for the country’s second-biggest gateway, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, is touted to be the start of Philippine airports matching the best in the world. It will not only cement our place on the global map as a major tourist and business destination, it will boost the local economy and is projected to generate jobs especially in Cebu,” Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya said.

READ MORE...

Last year, GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation won a 25-year concession agreement to manage MCIA after offering a bid for the operations and maintenance of the airport worth P14.4 billion.

The construction of the new terminal is slated to be completed in 2018 while the renovation of the current terminal, which will be converted to serve domestic flights, is expected to be completed in 2019.

Before the completion of the new terminal, GMR-Megawide has implemented “soft improvements” in the existing terminal of the MCIA which include the opening of a centralized security check (CSC) system, additional immigration counter and self-service check-in kiosks, and installation of additional LED bulbs.

Self check-in counters at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (Photo from DOTC)


Self check-in counters at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. Photo from DOTC

The President will be in Cebu for the event following his inspection of the construction of the new international airport at Puerto Princesa City in Palawan Monday morning.


PHILSTAR

Pnoy misses Zambo rehab target By Roel Pareño | Updated July 4, 2015 - 7:06pm 0 0 googleplus0 0


Zamboanga City Mayor Ma.Isabelle Climaco-Salazar (right) during a site inspection. Philstar.com/ File Photo

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III missed his target for the complete rehabilitation of the areas devastated by the 2013 siege of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in this city.

The President had given 18 months or until June this year, since his December 2013 visit at the evacuation camp, where he met thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) for their transfer to the permanent shelters at the rehabilitated 5 villages severely devastated during the 23-day siege.

Aquino tasked the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) and the National Housing Authority (NHA) to look after the rehabilitation and establishment of housing units under the Zamboanga City Roadmap to Recovery and Reconstruction (Z3R) program.

The President allotted P3.5 billion for the rehabilitation program.

Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said the city has already complied with the permanent sites for the rehabilitation.

However, she said not a hundred percent of the housing units have been completed by the NHA.

READ  MORE...

Salazar said rehabilitation efforts have partially turned over housing units in Sta. Catalina and Mariki, which were among the most devastated barangays.

She said the NHA which is tasked to implement the housing program reported a 35.52 percent accomplishment as of June 23.

The city government reported that NHA records show that of the total 6,957 permanent houses to be constructed, a total of 2,471 units or 35.52 percent have been completed with 4,486 or 64.48 percent housing units still for completion.

The report stated that 3,967 housing units or 57.02 percent have been started while 2,990 units or 42.98 percent are about to begin.

The city government said there are a total of 18 housing packages and the projects vary in number and type of housing units.

Thousands of IDPs have remained almost 2 years now since the siege in different transitory shelters, awaiting transfer to their permanent housing.

Salazar said the transfer to permanent housing was not immediately done due to the problem of sanitation program.

“Not 100 percent of the housing units were finished or turned over because we are very strict about sanitation as well as provision for water and electricity,” Salazar said.


INQUIRER

It’s official: Purisima is fired SHARES: 5648 VIEW COMMENTS By: Julie M. Aurelio @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 04:47 AM July 3rd, 2015


PNP Director General Alan Purisima. AP FILE PHOTO

The Philippine National Police has formally dismissed its former chief and nine other officers over the allegedly anomalous contract with a courier service to deliver gun licenses to applicants’ homes.

The dismissal order for resigned Director General Alan Purisima and the other officers was dated July 1 and signed by Deputy Director General Danilo Constantino, chief of the directorial staff.

PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor said the dismissal order was in compliance with an Ombudsman directive given on Tuesday.

“This is part of the PNP’s compliance with the Ombudsman. We were given five days to comply and we will send this document to the Ombudsman as proof of compliance,” said Mayor in a briefing in Camp Crame on Thursday.

Aside from Purisima, fired were Chief Supt. Allan Parreno, Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta, Senior Supt. Eduardo Acierto, Senior Supt. Melchor Reyes, Supt. Nelson Bautista, Supt. Lenbell Fabia, Chief Insp. Sonia Calixto, Chief Insp. Ricardo Zapata Jr. and Senior Insp. Ford Tuazon.

Included in the group was Director Napoleon Estilles who retired last year. Mayor said he would be fined the equivalent of one year’s salary, to be collected by the Ombudsman.

The officers were dismissed in connection with a deal with Werfast Documentary Agency to use a commercial courier service to deliver firearm licenses to gun owners at their addresses. The delivery fee was supposedly higher than the regular fee charged by the same company and other courier firms to deliver a similar package.

READ MORE...

The officers earlier each served a six-month preventive suspension in connection with the case.

Purisima resigned in February as PNP chief over the Mamasapano incident in which 44 elite police commandos were killed.

Petrasanta was said to be President Aquino’s choice for next PNP chief.

As a result of their dismissal, Purisima and the others will lose all retirement benefits and may never work in government again.

Mayor said that although the Ombudsman’s order was immediately executory, the dismissed officers could still file a motion for reconsideration with the Ombudsman or file a petition for review in the Court of Appeals.

He said each officer would be furnished a copy of the PNP’s and the Ombudsman’s orders through their offices, after which they would be told by their administrative officers of their dismissal from the service.

“By virtue of this document, the records of these police officials will indicate that they have been dismissed, so the personnel and accounting service, the finance service and retirement service will be furnished copies as well,” the PNP spokesperson said.

With Purisima’s dismissal, the highest rank of director general in the PNP—which is a four-star rank—is unfilled.

Since December, the PNP has been led by Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina in officer-in-charge capacity since Purisima was still a four-star police officer albeit under suspension.


TRIBUNE

Beijing blasts RP gov’t for docu on maritime rights Written by Tribune Wires Tuesday, 30 June 2015 00:00


Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying

BEIJING – China has protested the Philippine government’s ballyhooing the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) issue as it accused Manila of spreading misinformation and “creating the illusion of the victim” in their territorial dispute.

“The Philippines is attempting to mislead and deceive, gain sympathy by cheating and create the illusion of the ‘victim,’” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said in a statement on the ministry’s Web site, referring to the three-part documentary which Manila aired in defending its position.

The Department of Foreign Affairs, Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Department of National Defense had said the film was aimed at raising the public’s awareness on the importance of the territories in the South China Sea and to unite forces of the whole country behind the government in resolving the disputes.

But the Chinese official accused the Philippines of aiming to incite the people of the two countries.

Beijing also expressed strong dissatisfaction over the film’s unreasonable and unfounded accusations by ignoring facts and calling white black, Hua said.

“The Chinese side also expresses serious concern over the practice of the incumbent Philippine government in making a fanfare about the South China Sea issue and instigating feelings of contradiction between the Chinese and Filipino people,” Hua said.

READ MORE...

She pointed out that the Philippine side attempted to win sympathy and create a false “victim” image of itself by means of misleading and lying. But she said history cannot be overwritten and facts cannot be fabricated.

“It is merely the Philippines’ expansionist policy and blatant infringement on China’s sovereignty and interests that has given rise to the China-Philippines disputes over the South China Sea,” Hua stressed.

She pointed out that the islands in the South China Sea belong to China, adding Beijing was the first one to discover, name and develop these islands.

“It was also the first country to conduct sovereign jurisdiction on these islands and has remained so since then,” the official added.

“This is proved by adequate historical and legal evidence,” Hua said.

According to her, “The root of the China-Philippines dispute on the South China Sea lies in the illegal territorial claim that the Philippine side raised on part of China’s Nansha Islands and its occupation of some of the islands.”

She pointed out that the legal documents determining the territorial scope of the Philippines, including the Paris Treaty and Washington Treaty signed between the United States and Spain in 1898 and 1900, and the Treaty between the United States and Britain signed in 1930, have all excluded China’s Nansha Islands and Huangyan Island from Philippine territories.

Hua said in a long period of time after, the internal laws of the Philippines, including the Constitution, have repeatedly reaffirmed the stipulations on Philippine territories that the above mentioned treaties have made.

According to her, after the end of the World War II, especially after the beginning of the Cold War, the Philippines began to covet China’s Nansha Islands. Since the 1970s, the Philippines has used force to occupy eight of China’s Nansha Islands one by one, including Mahuan Island, Feixin Island, Zhongye Island, Beizi Island, Nanyao Island, Xiyue Island, Shuanghuang Shoal and Siling Reef.

Hua said over the long years, the Philippines has conducted a great number of construction and arms deployments on the stolen islands, continuously built and upgraded airports, docks, barracks, elevated houses, schools and other facilities.

“China has always firmly opposed the illegal occupation by the Philippine side and repeatedly and sternly demanded they withdraw all personnel and facilities from the islands of China,” the official added.


INQUIRER

What Sereno looks for in the next president? SHARES: New VIEW COMMENTS By: Tetch Torres-Tupas @T2TupasINQ INQUIRER.net 06:44 PM July 2nd, 2015


CJ Maria Lourdes Sereno Does Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno prefer a male to be the next president, or does she want a female to lead the country in 2016?  Facing reporters on her 55th birthday on Thursday, Sereno disclosed what she is looking for in the next chief executive of the Philippines: someone who would be committed to the 1987 Philippine Constitution. "The next president will hopefully look at the constitutional design," Sereno said when asked about next year's presidential elections. COURTESY OF GMA NEWS By MARK MERUEÑAS,GMA News July 2, 2015

CHIEF Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is hoping that the next president should observe the constitutional designs for checks and balances.

“The next President [should observe] the constitutional design for the checks and balances for an accountable government,” Sereno, who celebrated her 55th birthday Thursday, said. Sereno, the first female chief justice, will become the second longest-serving chief justice. First was Chief Justice Cayetano Arellano.

Sereno will remain chief justice for next to two more Presidents. “If we only had the COA (Commission on Audit) that had been consistently doing its job from the first time it was created and Ombudsman that was also doing its job, the Judiciary that is faithful to its duty, the prosecution likewise investigative and law enforcement agencies, we should not be having this I would characterize as somewhat start up problems where we are trying to align everything to a more cohesive justice system,” she said.

READ MORE...

She said it is important that the next President should make sure that power is not concentrated in his or her office alone.

“Any President who takes the position will have to account for the fact that their primary duty is not to ensure power is concentrated in the Office of the President.

That should not be done,” she said. Instead, Sereno said the next President should observe “the independence of the constitutional commissions, preserve the professionalism of the investigative and prosecutorial services and the Judiciary is allowed to decide things according to the Constitution and applicable statutes.

“When that happens, I think, you will see a stability in our country that will augur well for the future. I think we can look forward to a more modern and responsive society,” she added.

But when asked if she would prefer a male or female President, Sereno said “I have been very gender neutral.”


GMA NEWS OPINION

From SCOTUS to Padre Faura By FR. RANHILIO CALLANGAN AQUINO July 1, 2015 12:02pm 156 0 0 159


Fr. Rannie Aquino

The Supreme Court has directed the Civil Registrar General to comment on a petition before it. The issue: Whatever legal obstacle there might be to the registration of unions of same-sex couples is unconstitutional.

The route this action takes is interestingly similar to SCOTUS, the momentous US Supreme Court decision that has the world talking about it till now. But the petitioners in the Philippines have problems that their American counterparts did not deal with.

For one thing, the 1987 Constitution makes mention of the family more than once, and, provided that one does not allow the theory of the living document to run berserk, "family" means husband (man), wife (woman) and child or children.

The State is obligated, constitutionally, to protect and to uphold the family. That is how the framers intended it. That is what our people understood it to mean what they ratified the fundamental law.

Second, our concept of autonomy is not exactly the same as the implied anthropology of the SCOTUS decision. We acknowledge that personhood means autonomy, but we also recognize that human decisions work on certain "givens": sexual differences, among the most basic.

The letter of Archbishop Soc Villegas as CBCP President puts it well: If one admits the real difference between a man and a woman (is there one who does not?), then perforce one must admit that there is a difference between the coupledom of a man and a woman and that of two men or two women. Not that the first is good, and the rest, bad. That is not the point. The point rather is, the first, the law has decided to protect by the guarantees and rights of marriage; the second, it leaves to the freedom and the consciences of individuals.

READ MORE...

But, yes, we must review our assumptions. We must revisit our presuppositions. One interesting question has to do with the difference, if any, between the love persons of opposite sexes have for each other with that of same-sex couples. And then, of course, we must make policy decisions: Are we willing to extend the mantle of protection and status presently reserved to man and woman couples to same-sex unions?

No, the petitioners are not going to have an easy time. But one thing that this case proves very clearly is that developments in law and jurisprudence abroad are not matters of curiosity. They trigger in us that thoughtfulness so characteristic of our times. For it is one of the telling marks of our age that we reflect on what happens to us and on what we do, and make our reflections part of the map by which we steer ourselves into the future.

Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino is the Dean of the Graduate School of Law of San Beda College. He is also the chairman of the Department of Jurisprudence and Legal Philosophy of the Philippine Judicial Academy of the Supreme Court.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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