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

AQUINO INSTALLED GEN. AÑO AS NEW CHIEF OF PHILIPPINE ARMY


JULY 16 ---CHANGE OF COMMAND – President Aquino is joined by (from left) Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri, and the new Commanding General of the Philippine Army (PA) Maj. Gen. Eduardo Año in singing the national anthem at the PA Change of Command Ceremony at the PA Gym in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. (Richard V. Vinas)
“Ang atas at hamon ko sa ating unipormadong hanay: Siguruhin ninyong magiging payapa at malinis ang pagpili ng ating mga kababayan ng mga pinuno; sa bawat pagkakataon, mangibabaw nawa ang interes ng sambayanan (My order and challenge to the military: Make sure the election of new leaders will be peaceful and credible. In every opportunity, the interest of the nation must prevail),” the President said in his last Army turnover speech. Año succeeded Gen. Hernando Iriberri, who was appointed chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines last week. Año, a member of the Philippine Military Class of 1983, is a former head of the 10th Infantry Division. The President said he does not personally know Año but praised his achievements including the arrests of Jovito Palparan, Communist Party of the Philippines Chairman Benito Tiamzon and his wife Wilma, and other rebel leaders. The military operations were conducted during Año’s stint as chief of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces. READ MORE...

ALSO: Beijing lambasts Manila for BRP Sierra Madre repairs in West PH Sea


JULY 17 ---This aerial photo taken through a glass window of a military plane shows the dilapidated Sierra Madre ship of the Philippine Navy anchored near Ayungin Shoal with Filipino soldiers onboard to secure perimeter in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea Monday, May 11, 2015. AP FILE PHOTO
BEIJING—Beijing has hit out at Manila for repairing a crumbling ship serving as its outpost in the West Philippine Sea, branding the Philippines as a “hypocritical troublemaker and rule breaker.” The comments come as Beijing pursues a rapid program of artificial island construction in the West Philippine Sea, facilities that it has said would serve military as well as civilian purposes. The Philippine military deliberately grounded the 100-meter World War II-vintage BRP Sierra Madre atop Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal in 1999 in an effort to check the advance of China, which four years earlier occupied Philippine-claimed Panganiban (Mischief) Reef some 40 kilometers away.
Col. Edgard Arevalo, Philippine Navy spokesman, said on Wednesday that the rust-ridden vessel was being repaired to ensure the ship remains livable for a tiny unit of Marines guarding the reefs. The move drew a vehement protest from Beijing, with foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying accusing Manila of attempting to “permanently steal” the outcrops, while insisting that the reefs and other islets in the Spratlys were Chinese territory. “China strongly protests and firmly opposes such an act,” Hua said in a statement on Wednesday. She also argued that Manila had gone back on its word by repeatedly promising to remove the ship, a claim the Philippines denies. “The relevant activity fully exposed the Philippines’ hypocrisy and that it is a double-dealer,” Hua said. “It once again proved that the Philippines is truly a troublemaker and rule breaker in the region.”  READ MORE...

ALSO: The Philippines is wasting its diaspora


JULY 18 ---By Ben D. Kritz FOR all the triumphalist praise heaped on the concept of OFWs, the Philippines is certainly making poor use of what is arguably its most valuable resource.
An article in The Economist at the end of last month shed some light on some of the interesting ways several countries with big diasporas are attempting to make the most of their large overseas populations. It is not easy to do – as one Mexican academic pointed out, very few people leave the country “por gusto,” and expatriates tend to be a fickle, critical crowd – but the economic and political payoff is potentially enormous.As the article explains, Israel is probably the archetype for countries wishing to take advantage of their overseas populations. The Israeli government officially considers any Jew anywhere as (at least potentially) “one of their own,” and applies a great deal of effort to attract that talent and income-generating ability back to the homeland, through such programs as housing and scholarship assistance and the promise of free or very low- cost healthcare, among other things.There are three potential advantages to a diaspora from the point of view of the home country. First, there are the direct economic benefits, which we here in the Philippines are already familiar with; OFW remittances account for between 10 and 14 percent of the country’s GDP. In some poorer countries, the flow of remittances—which is a remarkably reliable source of foreign currency—is even more critical; the central Asian country of Tajikistan, for example, gets about half of its GDP from overseas workers, and India’s annual remittance haul is in the neighborhood of about $70 billion. READ MORE...


ALSO: Binay confident of victory in 2016 regardless of opponents


JULY 17 --Vice President Jejomar Binay has said he is confident of victory in the 2016 elections, regardless of who his opponents will be.
Binay was in Victorias Town in Negros Occidental on Friday as part of what appeared to be a campaign sortie. Asked by reporters about Sen. Grace Poe being his main rival in 2016, Binay remained unfazed despite his declining ratings in recent presidential surveys. “So what? Basta’t ako mananalo ako pagdating ng 2016,” Binay told reporters at Victorias public market.  Binay has been the only one to announce his presidential ambition in 2016. The ruling Liberal Party of President Benigno Aquino III has yet to announce its standard-bearer amid ongoing talks with Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and Senators Poe and Francis “Chiz” Escudero. READ MORE...

ALSO: Palace told Binay: Presidential term limited to prevent abuse, dynasties


JULY 18 --Vice President Jejomar Binay. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/Romy Homillada
Malacañang on Friday reminded Vice President Jejomar Binay that the term limits imposed on Philippine presidents was instituted to prevent abuse of power.
Binay on Thursday again said that he will seek the lifting of term limitations for elected officials. He said officials should be elected into office as long as people vote for them. READ: Binay seeks lifting of term limitations: One to ‘sawa’ But Communications Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. said term limits were enacted because of the bad experience of Filipinos during the dictatorship of former President Ferdinand Marcos, who ran for reelection and stayed in power for 20 years despite the proliferation of human rights abuses. “Pinaka-mahalaga ‘yung nag-iisang termino ng Pangulo at kailangan marinig ang tinig ng mga Boss (Filipino people) hinggil dito,” he said in a text message to media. (The most important is the single term for a President and we need to hear the opinion of the Bosses.) Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte also pointed out that President Benigno Aquino III has expressed “reservations about lifting term limits.”  READ MORE...

ALSO: KBL & PMM want to field Marcos-Duterte tandem


JULY 20 ---Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte (left) and Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Philstar.com/File
 The Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) and the Partido ng Manggagawa at Magsasaka (PMM) will sign a unity accord this weekend to launch the tandem of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as candidates for president and vice president, respectively, in the May 2016 elections. Marcos loyalist lawyer Oliver Lozano yesterday said the PMM-KBL alliance would carry out a national campaign in case Marcos and Duterte approve of the endorsement. “The alliance will provide the political machinery needed to win in the election,” he said, citing the PMM and KBL as being both accredited by the Commission on Elections. READ MORE...

ALSO: PNoy gives advice to De Lima on senatorial bid


JULY 15 ---Justice Secretary Leila de Lima shares a light moment with President Benigno Aquino III in this June 2014 photo. Malacañang Photo Bureau/PCOO
The Department of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima on Tuesday revealed that President Benigno “PNoy” Aquino III indirectly gives her advice on her possible senatorial bid. De Lima shared that once in a while, the president would joke about her possible senatorial run and indirectly give advice by telling her to get used to a fast-paced life. “Leila, dapat masanay ka na ang madalas kain mo niyan Jollibee lang,” PNoy would say, De Lima said. Since Aquino also knows how De Lima dislikes traveling by air, he also advised the justice secretary to get used to traveling via chopper. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

General Año installed as new chief of Philippine Army

MANILA
, JULY 20, 2015 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Genalyn Kabiling July 16, 2015 - President Aquino installed Major Gen. Eduardo Año yesterday as the new chief of the Philippine Army and called on him to help ensure that the 2016 elections will be peaceful and credible.

Although he is not personally acquainted with the military officer, the President said he is impressed with Año’s military record and expects him to serve the Filipino nation with his known brand of professionalism.


CHANGE OF COMMAND – President Aquino is joined by (from left) Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri, and the new Commanding General of the Philippine Army (PA) Maj. Gen. Eduardo Año in singing the national anthem at the PA Change of Command Ceremony at the PA Gym in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. (Richard V. Vinas)

“Ang atas at hamon ko sa ating unipormadong hanay: Siguruhin ninyong magiging payapa at malinis ang pagpili ng ating mga kababayan ng mga pinuno; sa bawat pagkakataon, mangibabaw nawa ang interes ng sambayanan (My order and challenge to the military: Make sure the election of new leaders will be peaceful and credible. In every opportunity, the interest of the nation must prevail),” the President said in his last Army turnover speech.

Año succeeded Gen. Hernando Iriberri, who was appointed chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines last week. Año, a member of the Philippine Military Class of 1983, is a former head of the 10th Infantry Division.

The President said he does not personally know Año but praised his achievements including the arrests of Jovito Palparan, Communist Party of the Philippines Chairman Benito Tiamzon and his wife Wilma, and other rebel leaders. The military operations were conducted during Año’s stint as chief of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces.

READ MORE...

Aquino said he recognized that these were accomplished by efficient strategy and dedication to pursue lawless elements.

“Mahigit 30 taon na sa serbisyo ni Major General Ed Año, kaya’t kompiyansa tayong sa malawak na karanasan ay maipagpapatuloy niya, kundi man mahihigitan pa, ang positibong pagbabago sa Hukbong Katihan. Tiwala tayong maipapamana niya sa mga kawal ang sariling tatak ng propesyonalismong ipinapamalas niya (Major General Ed Año has served more than 30 years so we are confident that with his wide experience, he can sustain or even surpass the positive changes in the Philippine Army. I believe he will leave his mark of professionalism to the soldiers),” Aquino said.

“Naibigay na nga po natin ang ating marching orders kay Major General Año, alam kong hindi siya lilihis sa pagtupad sa misyong ito – ang pagsilbihan ang ating mga boss (I have given my marching orders to Major General Año, I know he will not veer away from implementing his mission – to serve our bosses),” he added.

In the same speech, the President said he was proud of his appointments of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin andall the military chiefs and service commanders who have help turn the AFP into a strong and modern force.

Among the military officers Aquino cited were former AFP chief-of-staff Emmanuel Bautista, former Air Force chief Lauro dela Cruz and new AFP chief Iriberri.

Aquino said the military is now in a better state than when he assumed office in 2010, citing the acquisition of new equipment and expansion of benefits in housing and allowances.


INQUIRER

Beijing lambasts Manila for BRP Sierra Madre repairs in West PH Sea @inquirerdotnet Agence France-Presse 05:49 AM July 17th, 2015


This aerial photo taken through a glass window of a military plane shows the dilapidated Sierra Madre ship of the Philippine Navy anchored near Ayungin Shoal with Filipino soldiers onboard to secure perimeter in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea Monday, May 11, 2015. AP FILE PHOTO

BEIJING—Beijing has hit out at Manila for repairing a crumbling ship serving as its outpost in the West Philippine Sea, branding the Philippines as a “hypocritical troublemaker and rule breaker.”

The comments come as Beijing pursues a rapid program of artificial island construction in the West Philippine Sea, facilities that it has said would serve military as well as civilian purposes. The Philippine military deliberately grounded the 100-meter World War II-vintage BRP Sierra Madre atop Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal in 1999 in an effort to check the advance of China, which four years earlier occupied Philippine-claimed Panganiban (Mischief) Reef some 40 kilometers away.

Col. Edgard Arevalo, Philippine Navy spokesman, said on Wednesday that the rust-ridden vessel was being repaired to ensure the ship remains livable for a tiny unit of Marines guarding the reefs. The move drew a vehement protest from Beijing, with foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying accusing Manila of attempting to “permanently steal” the outcrops, while insisting that the reefs and other islets in the Spratlys were Chinese territory.

“China strongly protests and firmly opposes such an act,” Hua said in a statement on Wednesday. She also argued that Manila had gone back on its word by repeatedly promising to remove the ship, a claim the Philippines denies. “The relevant activity fully exposed the Philippines’ hypocrisy and that it is a double-dealer,” Hua said. “It once again proved that the Philippines is truly a troublemaker and rule breaker in the region.”

READ MORE...

At the same time, the Philippines has asked a United Nations-backed tribunal to declare China’s claim over the West Philippine Sea and most of the resource-rich South China Sea illegal. The arbitration body based in The Hague is expected to decide within months whether it has jurisdiction over the case.

The Philippines regularly rotates a group of around nine Marines aboard the Sierra Madre, a tank-landing ship that first saw service for the US Navy in World War II. It was acquired by the Philippine Navy in the 1970s. Hua said China was “determined to protect its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.”

“We again urge the Philippines to immediately stop its illegal infringement activities and live up to its promise by removing the vessel,” she said, adding that Beijing “reserves the right to take further steps.” Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei also have overlapping claims in the area, which straddles major shipping lanes.


MANILA TIMES COMMENTARY

The Philippines is wasting its diaspora July 17, 2015 9:06 pm
Ben D. Kritz


Ben D. Kritz

FOR all the triumphalist praise heaped on the concept of OFWs, the Philippines is certainly making poor use of what is arguably its most valuable resource.

An article in The Economist at the end of last month shed some light on some of the interesting ways several countries with big diasporas are attempting to make the most of their large overseas populations. It is not easy to do – as one Mexican academic pointed out, very few people leave the country “por gusto,” and expatriates tend to be a fickle, critical crowd – but the economic and political payoff is potentially enormous.

As the article explains, Israel is probably the archetype for countries wishing to take advantage of their overseas populations. The Israeli government officially considers any Jew anywhere as (at least potentially) “one of their own,” and applies a great deal of effort to attract that talent and income-generating ability back to the homeland, through such programs as housing and scholarship assistance and the promise of free or very low- cost healthcare, among other things.

There are three potential advantages to a diaspora from the point of view of the home country. First, there are the direct economic benefits, which we here in the Philippines are already familiar with; OFW remittances account for between 10 and 14 percent of the country’s GDP. In some poorer countries, the flow of remittances—which is a remarkably reliable source of foreign currency—is even more critical; the central Asian country of Tajikistan, for example, gets about half of its GDP from overseas workers, and India’s annual remittance haul is in the neighborhood of about $70 billion.

READ MORE...

The second advantage is the intellectual and vocational experience expats can return to their home countries. China, for example, has in recent years launched a number of initiatives to take advantage of it, such as building dedicated business parks for returning investors, and setting a higher wage scale for people who have overseas education or work experience.

The challenge to this, however, is that expats are not eager to return to underdeveloped places; the Economist article estimates that overall, only about 9 percent of expats ever permanently return to their home countries, and the majority of those people are from highly developed countries in the first place.

Returning Taiwanese, for instance, outnumber returning mainlanders by about five to one, and those that do return to mainland China tend to congregate in big cities like Shanghai, Shenzhen, or Beijing.

The third and most subtle advantage of a big expat population is the geopolitical influence it can wield, and again, Israel is probably the best example. The pint-sized nation is able to not only exist but prosper in a region that is hostile to it mainly because of the ‘soft power’ it projects through large Jewish populations in places like the US and Europe. Since the accession of the Modi government, India has initiated a number of efforts to do the same thing, with some success.

In the US, much of the easing of restrictions on immigrants in recent years can be attributed to the growing political influence of the Mexican-American population.
Again, gaining more than simple, direct financial benefits is not easy. Expats, once exposed to better ways of life in other places, tend to make uncomfortable demands for political rights, cleaner and more efficient government policies, and practical development in infrastructure and basic public services. But as The Economist points out, these are things that governments should be doing, anyway.

It should not take an epiphany for the government to realize that having more than one-tenth of its population living and working in other parts of the world can be a real competitive advantage, rather than just a milking cow. Calling OFWs “heroes” is nice; actually treating them as such, however, would have a practical payoff.


INQUIRER

Binay confident of victory in 2016 regardless of opponents By: Nestor Corrales @NCorralesINQ INQUIRER.net
04:14 PM July 18th, 2015

Vice President Jejomar Binay has said he is confident of victory in the 2016 elections, regardless of who his opponents will be.

Binay was in Victorias Town in Negros Occidental on Friday as part of what appeared to be a campaign sortie.

Asked by reporters about Sen. Grace Poe being his main rival in 2016, Binay remained unfazed despite his declining ratings in recent presidential surveys.

“So what? Basta’t ako mananalo ako pagdating ng 2016,” Binay told reporters at Victorias public market.

Binay has been the only one to announce his presidential ambition in 2016.

The ruling Liberal Party of President Benigno Aquino III has yet to announce its standard-bearer amid ongoing talks with Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and Senators Poe and Francis “Chiz” Escudero.

READ MORE...

Aquino has said he is “close” to making his decision on whom to endorse for president but has yet to consult other members of his party and civil society groups.

“Let them decide. That is their own problem,” Binay said, adding he didn’t care whoever between Roxas and Poe would give way to be the administration’s presidential bet.

Binay also disproved that Negros, a known bailiwick of Roxas, was a “Roxas country.”

“Kahit papaano, makakakuha naman ako ng boto ko rito. ’Yan ho ang nakikita natin,” Binay said, despite having a low turn-out of votes during the 2010 elections where he faced off with Roxas for vice president.


INQUIRER

Palace told Binay: Presidential term limited to prevent abuse, dynasties By: Kristine Angeli Sabillo @KSabilloINQ INQUIRER.net
12:39 PM July 17th, 2015


Vice President Jejomar Binay. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/Romy Homillada

Malacañang on Friday reminded Vice President Jejomar Binay that the term limits imposed on Philippine presidents was instituted to prevent abuse of power.

Binay on Thursday again said that he will seek the lifting of term limitations for elected officials. He said officials should be elected into office as long as people vote for them.

READ: Binay seeks lifting of term limitations: One to ‘sawa’

But Communications Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. said term limits were enacted because of the bad experience of Filipinos during the dictatorship of former President Ferdinand Marcos, who ran for reelection and stayed in power for 20 years despite the proliferation of human rights abuses.

“Pinaka-mahalaga ‘yung nag-iisang termino ng Pangulo at kailangan marinig ang tinig ng mga Boss (Filipino people) hinggil dito,” he said in a text message to media.

(The most important is the single term for a President and we need to hear the opinion of the Bosses.)

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte also pointed out that President Benigno Aquino III has expressed “reservations about lifting term limits.”

READ MORE...

“He has expressed this many times as lifting terms limits opens the door to dictators who can abuse the resources of the State to stay in power, which was precisely the concern of the framers of the 1987 Constitution,” she said.

“Doing away with term limits may also make it easier for families with dynastic inclinations to perpetuate themselves in office,” Valte added.

Binay is gunning for the presidency in 2016. He has been criticizing the Aquino administration since resigning from the Cabinet last month.

Earlier last month, Binay said six years “is too long for a bad president, too short for a good one.” He said he wanted the old system of having four-year terms with the option of reelection.

Aquino, on the other hand, has said that reelection might “open doors to somebody who might emulate Mr. (Ferdinand) Marcos and not leave the office forever.” IDL

READ: Binay open to lifting term limits for president, vice president


PHILSTAR

KBL wants to field Marcos-Duterte tandem (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 20, 2015 - 12:00am 0 14 googleplus0 0


Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte (left) and Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Philstar.com/File

MANILA, Philippines - The Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) and the Partido ng Manggagawa at Magsasaka (PMM) will sign a unity accord this weekend to launch the tandem of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as candidates for president and vice president, respectively, in the May 2016 elections.

Marcos loyalist lawyer Oliver Lozano yesterday said the PMM-KBL alliance would carry out a national campaign in case Marcos and Duterte approve of the endorsement.

“The alliance will provide the political machinery needed to win in the election,” he said, citing the PMM and KBL as being both accredited by the Commission on Elections.

READ MORE...

Lozano said PMM president Jose Malvar Villegas and KBL president Vicente Millora would sign the accord in a ceremony at the Aloha Hotel in Manila on Saturday.

He added that PMM and KBL have a common vision of national greatness through social justice and massive economic development.

“A Marcos-Duterte tandem will link the solid north to the Visayas voter surge and the Mindanao Muslim, Christian and tribal voters bloc,” he also said.

Lozano told The STAR that the unity accord would be presented to Marcos and Duterte. If they accept, a grand proclamation rally will be held at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan on Sep. 20. Former first lady Imelda Marcos, KBL titular head, would also be informed of the accord.

He added that the PMM-KBL alliance condemns the “bogus trending” by surveys and slanted news, which the parties believed are a prelude to a programmed “hocus PCOS” computerized election cheating, a pun on the precinct count optical scan hocus pocus.


PHILSTAR

PNoy gives advice to De Lima on senatorial bid By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated July 15, 2015 - 1:04pm


Justice Secretary Leila de Lima shares a light moment with President Benigno Aquino III in this June 2014 photo. Malacañang Photo Bureau/PCOO

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima on Tuesday revealed that President Benigno “PNoy” Aquino III indirectly gives her advice on her possible senatorial bid.

De Lima shared that once in a while, the president would joke about her possible senatorial run and indirectly give advice by telling her to get used to a fast-paced life.

“Leila, dapat masanay ka na ang madalas kain mo niyan Jollibee lang,” PNoy would say, De Lima said.

Since Aquino also knows how De Lima dislikes traveling by air, he also advised the justice secretary to get used to traveling via chopper.

READ MORE...

De Lima said if a place is accessible by land, she would still prefer traveling by land which the president disagreed with.

“Dapat masanay ka na naghehelicopter, you will be hopping from one place to another,” PNoy would tell De Lima referring to possible province visits, campaigns and programs.

On Tuesday, De Lima publicly announced her intent for senatorial candidacy in an interview with ANC. She disclosed that she is 80 percent sure on her decision to run for the 2016 national elections.

RELATED: De Lima: I’m 80% sure of Senate bid

De Lima refuses to run with Duterte


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