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

AQUINO APPROVES PH COMPETITION ACT AND CABOTAGE LAW AMENDMENTS

 

JULY 21 ---Photo by Genalyn Kabiling - President Benigno Aquino III approved into law the Landmark Philippine Competition Act and the amendments to Cabotage Policy, in a ceremonial signing today (July 21).
Under the Philippine Competition Law, anti-competitive agreements and abuses of dominant players will be penalized. This law also establishes an independent quasi-judicial body, the Philippine Competition Commission, composed a chairpersons, four commissioners, and an executive director.
“The amended Cabotage Law will allow foreign-flagged vessels to call at multiple ports, and enable importers and exporters to co-load cargoes in foreign ships going in and out of the Philippines”, Senate President Franklin Drilon explained. Here is the original prepared speech of the president sans the ad lib he delivered, courtesy of the Official Gazette: READ MORE...

ALSO: P60-B AFP projects lack Noy signature


JULY 22 --President Aquino checks a newly acquired air asset during the celebration of the 68th founding anniversary of the Philippine Air Force at Air Force City in Clark Air Base, Pampanga. File photo
- At least 28 projects worth over P60 billion under the Armed Forces Modernization Law have been delayed for lack of President Aquino’s signature. Security sources told The STAR yesterday that the program was sent back to the Department of Budget and Management. This again set back the timetable for the revised Armed Forces  modernization Law, which states that the President, upon recommendation of the budget and defense secretaries, shall submit the program to Congress within 60 days from the date the law took effect. The still unsigned program was sent to Malacañang back in February 2013, or two months after Aquino signed the measure into law. Upgrading the Armed Forces of the Philippines has become a pressing concern as the country is struggling to defend its territory against an aggressive and well-equipped Chinese military. Among the P60.14 billion worth of affected big-ticket items are two Navy frigates costing P18 billion; three air surveillance radars, P2.68 billion; six close air support aircraft, P4.97 billion; two units of long range patrol aircraft, P5.98 billion; multi-purpose attack craft, P864.32-million; night fighting system, P1.116 billion; two C-130 aircraft at P1.6 billion; two naval helicopters at P5.4 billion, and lead-in fighter trainer jets ammunition worth P4.47 billion. Also facing delays are four basing support system and logistics projects with a total budget of P2.15 billion. The projects seek to improve existing military facilities in strategic areas. Other items in the list include Army radios, thermal imaging device, field ambulance units, armored personnel carriers, flight simulators, amphibious assault vehicles, combat systems, light utility vehicles and engineering equipment. Defense officials, however, said President Aquino remains committed to the modernization program. READ MORE...

ALSO: 46 percent of Pinoys think PNoy’s corruption drive is a failure


JULY 23 ---Forty-six percent of Filipinos believe President Benigno Aquino III failed in fulfilling his campaign promise of curbing corruption in the government during his term, a poll conducted by Radyo Veritas has revealed.
The survey, conducted between March to April 2015, showed only 13 percent of Filipinos think Aquino succeeded in fighting corruption in the government. More than four in 10 Filipinos, or 41 percent, however, are uncertain whether the Aquino administration's anti-corruption programs were effective. The poll, called the Veritas Truth Survey, was conducted using face-to-face interviews with 1,200 respondents randomly chosen nationwide. The survey had a margin of error of plus/minus 3 percent. Among the three branches of government, Congress is perceived by Filipinos to be the most corrupt, with 49 percent of respondents saying the Senate is corrupt, followed by the House of Representatives at 48 percent. Cabinet officials, meanwhile, are perceived to be corrupt by 41 percent of respondents while the judiciary was seen as corrupt by four in 10, or 40 percent of respondents. In fifth place in the corruption rating ranking is the Office of Vice President Jejomar Binay, which was perceived as corrupt by 38 percent of respondents. READ MORE...

ALSO: PNoy ready to face consequences of his actions after presidency – Palace


JULY 23 ---COLOMA President Benigno Aquino III is ready to face the consequences of all his actions during his presidency once he relinquishes his post and lose immunity from suit less than a year from now, Malacañang said Thursday. Asked about the possibility of lawsuits being filed against Aquino after his term, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. maintained that the President has acted within the bounds of the law in his more than five years in office. "Ang Pangulo ... ay hindi naman siya natitinag doon sa kanyang posisyon na sa lahat ng pagkakataon ginagawa niya ang tama at naaayon sa batas at pinaninindigan naman niya iyon,” Coloma said in an interview over state-run radio dzRB. “Handa naman siyang harapin lahat [ang] consequences ng kanyang mga aksyon bilang lider ng ating bansa,” he added. Coloma further said that Aquino has always stayed true to his oath to defend and uphold the Constitution. "Sa panig po ng ating Pangulo, iyon po ang kanyang palaging inaalala, iyong pagiging tapat sa kanyang sinumpaang tungkulin,” the Palace official said. President Aquino, who currently enjoys immunity from suit, said last year that he can defend himself from possible lawsuits once his term ends in 2016. Aquino earlier said his decisions as president were "never spur-of-the-moment decisions" and were always "arising from the best advice" he can get. READ MORE...

ALSO Mamasapano tragedy: Aquino off the hook; Purisima, Napeñas to be indicted - Ombudsman


JULY 22 ---Purisima & Napeñas
Ombudsman to indict Purisima, Napeñas in Mamasapano incident THE Office of the Ombudsman exonerated President Benigno Aquino 3rd of any criminal offense for his participation in planning of a police mission in the infamous Mamasapano incident early this year. The special fact-finding team formed by the Office of the Ombudsman to look into the case said the President’s role did not amount to any ground for impeachment. Malacañang on Wednesday said there is nothing to stop the Office of the Ombudsman from conducting a thorough investigation against those linked to the incident. Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Palace respects the Ombudsman’s office it being an independent constitutional body. “This is part of the legal process and we respect the actions of the Office of the Ombudsman as an independent constitutional body,” Coloma noted in a statement. A report of the Senate Committee on Public Order, which conducted a congressional inquiry into the immediate aftermath of the incident, said Aquino should be “ultimately responsible” for allowing then-suspended Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director-General Alan Purisima to be involved in overseeing the mission code-named “Oplan (Operation Plan): Exodus.” Instead, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales approved the investigating panel’s recommendation to file administrative and criminal charges against Purisima, former Special Action Force commander Getulio Napeñas and nine other police officers for their roles in the police mission. “Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales approved the recommendation of the special panel of field investigators to initiate administrative adjudication and preliminary investigation against former police Director General Alan Purisima, former police Director Getulio Napeñas and nine other police officers in relation to what is known as the Mamasapano incident,” Assistant Ombudsman Asryman Rafanan said in a news briefing on Wednesday. READ MORE...17 RESPONSES FROM READERS...


ALSO TIMES EDITORIAL: Return to the basics of honest and ethical government


JULY 20 ---PHOTO APPENDED BY PHNO: JOE AMERICA SAYS IN HIS BLOG--Many seem to find it difficult to be proud of the President. Many seem to favor an upscale wheeler-dealer, an ambitious peddler in favors and favoritism. A guy who would cut deals with extortionists, outside the chain of command, cram an unqualified daughter into the senate and jail security guards for just doing their job. Well, final accountability rests with the voters and no one else. There is no blaming or excuse-making or finger-pointing that can deny the tabulation. But I’ll tell you, without question, President Aquino is 110% for the Philippines.He’s doing what he does for you, and he’s doing it for me. It seems to me he is one of the few people in power who genuinely, honorably, puts the nation’s well-being above self-gain. I’m inclined to wonder, what do we give in return?
SOURCE: THE SOCIETY OF HONOR BY JOE AMERICA  THE escalating revelations of illegal insertions and lump sum appropriations in the national budget, of procurement irregularities in the Department of National Defense (DND), and violations of governance regulations by the officers of the Development Bank of the Philippines testify to a state of ethical disarray in the government service.When we combine these with the suspension by the Ombudsman of the Mayor of Makati on suspicion of irregularities in city government construction projects, and the appointment of a new Armed Forces Chief of Staff who happens to be already facing graft charges by the Ombudsman, we feel assaulted on all fronts by a pervasive sense of scandal and corruption in government and the public service.We are impelled to ask: What has happened to public service ethics in our country? How is the vaunted straight path program really of President Aquino faring in terms of stemming this apparent tide of immorality in our public life?
We are a nation today that desperately needs to rebuild the edifice and basis of public morality. We need to find again the standards of ethical conduct for all public officials, both elective and appointive. We should throw out of office and out of the service all those who merely smirk at the words “integrity,” “honesty” and “honor.”Straight path either means the ethical or moral path, or doing the right thing, or just an empty slogan? READ MORE...5 RESPONSES FROM READERS...

ALSO: Palace on Noy’s choice for 2016: Patience


JULY 24 ---President Benigno Aquino III. AP file photo
Instead of engaging in speculation, the public should just wait for President Aquino to announce his anointed one for the 2016 presidential race after his last State of the Nation Address on Monday, Malacañang said.
“Don’t worry, we will get there,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said yesterday when asked if the President has finally made a choice. Coloma also declined to comment on a possible presidential and vice presidential team-up of Sens. Grace Poe and Francis Escudero. Some groups said such scenario might cause a split in the ruling Liberal Party. The party’s presumptive standard-bearer is Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, who is faring badly in popularity surveys. Aquino met with Poe several times and with Escudero at least once, apparently to convince the two senators to agree on a single coalition ticket for 2016. It was widely believed that Aquino – during the meetings – had tried but failed to convince Poe to be Roxas’ runningmate. Nothing specific was agreed upon during the meetings. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Aquino approves PH Competition Act and Cabotage Law amendments


Photo by Genalyn Kabiling - President Benigno Aquino III approved into law the Landmark Philippine Competition Act and the amendments to Cabotage Policy, in a ceremonial signing today (July 21).

MANILA, JULY 23, 2015 (MANILA BULLETIN) Tessa Distor July 21, 2015 Under the Philippine Competition Law, anti-competitive agreements and abuses of dominant players will be penalized. This law also establishes an independent quasi-judicial body, the Philippine Competition Commission, composed a chairpersons, four commissioners, and an executive director.

“The amended Cabotage Law will allow foreign-flagged vessels to call at multiple ports, and enable importers and exporters to co-load cargoes in foreign ships going in and out of the Philippines”, Senate President Franklin Drilon explained.

Here is the original prepared speech of the president sans the ad lib he delivered, courtesy of the Official Gazette:

READ MORE...

Siyempre ho, umpisan ko na ho sa pasasalamat. Matagal na nabinbin itong mga batas na ito. Si Uncle Henry—sa balita ni Speaker Sonny Belmonte—isa sa pinakanagtaguyod nito, isa sa pinakanagtrabahuan niya. At the risk of having tomorrow’s headlines say “Kamag Anak Inc.,” I’d really like to thank Uncle Henry, and of course Kuya Bob, who are proponents of this. Bukas siguro ho “Kamag Anak Inc.” na naman ang sasabihin. [Tawanan]

Noong nagsimula po tayo, nagbigay ako ng imbitasyon sa mga mga negosyanteng nakapulong natin sa iba’t ibang mga bansa. Ang sabi ko po sa kanila, “Open for business na uli ang Pilipinas.”

Ang panata natin noon: Patag na sistema, mula sa pagpuksa sa kultura ng panunuhol, tongpats, at pagsasamantala. Tinanggal nga po natin ang corrupt, at ang mga negosyo naman ang ating magiging katuwang upang maiahon ang mahihirap.

Malinaw naman ang nagiging bunga ng ating mga ipinunla.

Mula 2010 hanggang 2014, nagtala tayo ng 6.2 percent na average GDP growth—ito po ang pinakamabilis na paglago ng ating ekonomiya sa loob ng limang taon sa nakaraang apat na dekada. Nitong nakaraang taon, nakamtan natin ang all-time high na net foreign direct investments na $6.2 billion.

Noong 2013 naman, iginawad na sa atin ang investment grade ng major credit ratings agencies sa mundo, na ilang ulit pa nilang itinaas sa mga sumunod na taon. Ilan lang po ito sa resulta ng maayos nating paggastos at tapat na pamumuno.

Ngayong araw naman po, nilagdaan natin ang dalawa sa mga panukalang batas na sisigurong magpapatuloy pa ang paglago ng ating ekonomiya. Patunay po ito na hindi tayo basta-basta makukuntento lang sa kung ano ang ating nagawa na, bagkus, talagang sinasagad natin ang makukuhang benepisyo ng ating mga Boss.

Sa pamamagitan ng dalawang panukalang batas na pinagtibay natin sa araw na ito, tinatanggal natin ang mga baluktot na kalakarang dulot ng kawalan ng kumpetisyon, na walang nadadalang pakinabang sa ating mamamayan.

Unahin po natin ang Philippine Competition Act. Higit dalawang dekada itong nabinbin sa Kongreso; sa panahong iyon, tsambahan ang naging pagtiyak ng patas na kalakaran sa merkado.

Ang tanong nga po: Sino ba ang nakikinabang ‘pag walang competition? ‘Yung mamimili na napapamahal ang bilihin? ‘Yung nagbebenta na wala nang insentibong pagandahin ang kanyang produkto para pataasin pa ang halaga at kalidad nito? Sa pagsasabatas nga po ng Philippine Competition Act, naisusulong ang kompetisyon sa merkado.

Ngayon, sa wakas, maliit man o malaki ang negosyo, ang labanan ay nasa paglalabas ng de-kalidad na produkto sa pinakamakatwirang presyo, imbes na under the table o ang paramihan ng kuneksiyon.

Dito, makakamit natin ang punto kung saan ang mamimili, mas totoo ‘yung presyong binabayaran, ‘yung nagbebenta naman, nahihikayat na pahusayin pa ang kanilang serbisyo. Sa dulo, lahat nakikinabang, lahat panalo.

Ganyan din po ang prinsipyong itinataguyod natin sa pagpirma sa Liberalization of Philippine Cabotage. Itong Cabotage Law na ito ay hango pa sa Tariff and Customs Code of 1978, at ngayon nga lang naibabagay sa ating mga pangangailangan.

Nagsimula nga po siguro ang batas na ito para maengganyong mapaunlad ang ating shipping industry, at magkaroon ng kakayahang makipagsabayan. Ang problema, kakarampot ang dumadagdag na mga barko natin; na nagresulta sa absurdong sitwasyon kung saan kontrolado ng iilan lang ang takbo ng merkado. Kaya nga po, dumating na tayo sa panahong kailangan na nating baguhin ang sistemang nakagawian.

Sa mga amyenda po ninyo, malayang makakapagkalakal ang mga banyagang barko ng kanilang imported at exported na kargamento sa kanilang napiling port of destination. Dahil dito, mapapadali at mapapamura ang export at import ng mga produkto, na magbubunsod ng mas masiglang merkado.

Talagang nakakatipid ang lahat ng stakeholders mula sa mga mamimili hanggang sa mga negosyante. Halimbawa: Sa dating kalakaran, dahil sa kawalan ng kompetisyon, kung magpapadala ka ng cargo container mula Cagayan de Oro patungong Hong Kong, aabutin ka ng $1,264.

Sa halagang pong iyon, $1,120 mula Cagayan de Oro hanggang Maynila, at $144 naman mula Maynila hanggang Hong Kong. Dahil sa pag-amyenda ng Cabotage Law, puwede nang dumiretso ang shippers mula Cagayan de Oro hanggang Hong Kong. Ang babayaran na lang nila: $500. $764 po ang natipid nila kada container.

Hindi po napaka absurdong sitwasyon na ito, kung saan ang Pilipinas ay tinatayang pangatlo o pang-apat o panglimang pinakamalaking gawaan ng mga barko, at kung saan mula ⅓ hanggang ¼ ng seafarers ay nagmumula sa buong mundo, ay isa rin sa mga pinakamataas na presyo sa pagbabarko.

Alam naman po ninyo, bilang arkipelago, hiwa-hiwalay ang ating mga isla, at talagang pahirapan ang pagbibiyahe ng mga serbisyo at produkto. Kahit nga po ang gobyerno, apektado rin ng dating sistema ng shipping kung saan napapamahal ang pagbiyahe ng mga produkto’t serbisyo.

Halimbawa, noong humagupit ang Yolanda at kinailangan nating magpadala ng mga relief goods sa iba’t ibang lalawigan. ‘Yun pong budget natin pantulong, nababawasan pa dahil napupunta sa mahal na bayarin sa paghahatid ng mga kargamento.

Idiin ko lang po: Kung hahayaan na lang natin na magpatuloy ang nakagawiang sistema kung saan walang kompetisyon, hinahayaan na rin nating magtiis sa kakarampot na benepisyo ang ating mamamayan; hinayaan na rin nating makuntento sa sistemang iilan lang ang nakikinabang.

Totoo nga po: Pagkakaisa nagdala sa atin sa kaunlarang tinatamasa natin ngayon. Kaya naman bago ako magpatuloy, magpapasalamat na rin tayo sa mga butihin nating Kongresista at Senador na nakiambag sa pagsusulong ng mga batas na ito.

Partikular po nating pinasasalamatan, unahin ko na po, pasensiya na po kayo, ‘yung kuya ko si Bam Aquino, at ang marami pang ibang sponsor at may-akda ng dalawang batas na ito. [Palakpakan]

Kay Senator Frank Drilon at kay Speaker Sonny Belmonte, maraming maraming salamat din sa pagpapastol ng mga batas na ito. [Palakpakan]

Sama ko na rin po si Uncle Henry, sampu nating mga kasamahan sa NPC na talaga namang nagpasulong sa batas na ito. [Palakpakan]

Nagpapasalamat din po tayo kay Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa, Senators Vicente Sotto III at Cynthia Villar, Representatives Dina Abad, Boy Gonzales, Mark Villar, Dax Cua sa pagkakaisa sa inisyatibang ito.

Naniniwala tayong kalayaan ang haligi ng matibay na estado; nagbubunsod ito ng kompetisyon, na nagpapalago ng ekonomiya at nagpapalawak ng oportunidad.

Lilinawin ko lang din po: Itataguyod ng mga batas na ito ang paglago ng mga negosyo dito sa bansa, pero hindi lang diyan nagtatapos ang ating istratehiya.

Kasabay nito, marami rin tayong mga polisiya at programang nakatuon sa pagbibigay-lakas sa ating mamamayan: Mula sa pagsigurong de-kalidad ang edukasyon ng ating kabataan, hanggang sa pangangalaga ng kalusugan ng lahat, at sa marami pang poverty alleviation programs tulad ng Pantawid Pamilya, tinututukan natin ang kinabukasan.

Ibig sabihin: Hindi tayo pumapayag na may Pilipinong maiiwan; hindi natin dinadaan sa baka-sakaling trickle down effect ang malawakang kaunlaran; lahat, sabay-sabay, nag-aambagan para isulong ang siklo ng pag-asenso at pag-angat ng dignidad ng bawat Pilipino.

Marami na nga po tayong nakamit sa limang taon natin sa panunungkulan. Muli nang naniwala ang Pilipino na kaya niyang makipagsabayan at makipagtagisan sa ibang bansa.

Nakikita na nga po natin ang pagbabago: kung noon, natatakot pa tayong magtaya, ngayon, nakikita natin ito bilang oportunidad na umunlad; kung noon, nagdududa pa tayo sa ating kakayahan, ngayon handang-handa na tayong harapin ang anumang hamon.

Makakaasa ang ating mga Boss: Sa pinagtibay nating Philippine Competition Act at Liberalization of Philippine Cabotage, ang pagbabagong tinatamasa natin ngayon ay magpapatuloy hanggang sa mga susunod pang henerasyon.

Kahit wala na po tayo sa puwesto, sisiguruhin ng mga batas na ito na hindi basta-basta matitibag ang itinatag nating mga pundasyon para sa transpormasyon ng ating ekonomiya at kalakhang lipunan.

Tiwala naman po ako: Ngayong nabawi na natin ang pambansang dangal, ngayong may gobyerno nang tunay na naglilingkod sa sambayanan, at ngayong may kumpiyansa na ang Pilipinong umasenso at tuparin ang kanyang mga pangarap, talaga naman pong abot-kamay na natin ang isang kinabukasang di hamak na mas maunlad kaysa ating pong dinatnan.

At muli po, magpapasalamat ako sa ating mga miyembro ng senado’t kongreso na talaga naman pong sa araw na ito, walang kaduda-duda, pinakamatinding kritiko na ho natin magsasalita—sige, maghanap ka ng pruweba na hindi talaga naglilingkod ang ating mga kinatawan sa parehong kapulungan.

Magandang araw po. Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat.


PHILSTAR

P60-B AFP projects lack Noy signature By Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 22, 2015 - 1:00am 0 1 googleplus0 0


President Aquino checks a newly acquired air asset during the celebration of the 68th founding anniversary of the Philippine Air Force at Air Force City in Clark Air Base, Pampanga. File photo

MANILA, Philippines - At least 28 projects worth over P60 billion under the Armed Forces Modernization Law have been delayed for lack of President Aquino’s signature.

Security sources told The STAR yesterday that the program was sent back to the Department of Budget and Management.

This again set back the timetable for the revised Armed Forces Modernization Law, which states that the President, upon recommendation of the budget and defense secretaries, shall submit the program to Congress within 60 days from the date the law took effect.

The still unsigned program was sent to Malacañang back in February 2013, or two months after Aquino signed the measure into law.

Upgrading the Armed Forces of the Philippines has become a pressing concern as the country is struggling to defend its territory against an aggressive and well-equipped Chinese military.

Among the P60.14 billion worth of affected big-ticket items are two Navy frigates costing P18 billion; three air surveillance radars, P2.68 billion; six close air support aircraft, P4.97 billion; two units of long range patrol aircraft, P5.98 billion; multi-purpose attack craft, P864.32-million; night fighting system, P1.116 billion; two C-130 aircraft at P1.6 billion; two naval helicopters at P5.4 billion, and lead-in fighter trainer jets ammunition worth P4.47 billion.

Also facing delays are four basing support system and logistics projects with a total budget of P2.15 billion. The projects seek to improve existing military facilities in strategic areas.

Other items in the list include Army radios, thermal imaging device, field ambulance units, armored personnel carriers, flight simulators, amphibious assault vehicles, combat systems, light utility vehicles and engineering equipment.

Defense officials, however, said President Aquino remains committed to the modernization program.

READ MORE...

“These items are being scrutinized. These projects have to be examined because of the changing security environment,” defense department spokesman Peter Galvez said.

If Aquino does not approve the program, the defense department can seek funding for each item but sources admit that it will involve a longer process.

The government plans to spend P25 billion next year to boost the military’s capabilities, a development officials hope will finally bring the armed forces back to its old glory.

“The approval of the P25-billion budget is a very welcome development in our modernization,” Armed Forces public affairs chief Lt. Col. Noel Detoyato said.

Completed The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has so far completed 55 upgrade projects worth P11.71 billion under Aquino’s leadership.

Since he assumed power in 2010, President Aquino has been citing the importance of modernizing the military, a sector that was neglected under previous administrations.

Not once did he blame “bad governance” for the depleted capabilities of the AFP, which has deteriorated from being one of the most respected to one of the weakest in the region.

However, questions have been raised on whether Aquino can deliver on his promise as he has yet to sign the AFP Modernization Program, something he was supposed to do two years ago. The program outlines the projects to be funded, schedules and the average cost of each project.

Without Aquino’s signature, projects like surveillance radars, warships and air assets that can boost the country’s territorial defense cannot proceed because their funds will not be released.

To be sure, the Aquino administration has significant accomplishments in terms of modernizing the military.

A total of 55 military upgrade projects completed under the Aquino administration as of July showed that the Army got 22 projects worth P5.02 billion; the Navy was given 19 projects with a total amount of P2.03 bilion and the Air Force got five worth P3.78 billion. Seven projects worth P791 million benefited General Headquarters while the Government Arsenal got two projects worth P130.89 million.

The Aquino administration completed more projects than the previous administration, which implemented a total of 45 projects worth P12.51 billion.

Galvez said the completion of the 55 upgrade projects is “a significant development towards achieving the country’s intended defense capabilities.”

The Air Force projects completed under Aquino were 18 units of basic trainer aircraft worth P621.67 million; one aerial surveillance camera worth P50.99 million: 20 units of MD 520 MG attack helicopters (P214.34 million), eight combat utility helicopters (P2.86 billion) and enhancement of radio electrical instruments and precision measuring equipment laboratory worth P35.79 million.

The completed Navy projects are coast watch systems for two sites (P59.99 million), four lots of night fighting systems (P317.6 million), 720 units of 76 mm ammunition (P46.9 million), 79 units of 20W vehicular configuration radios (P231 million), hydrographic equipment (P4.05 million), 20 units of one-ton troop carriers (P46 million), 20 units of two-ton troop and cargo carriers (P80.5 million), landing craft utility (P178.93 million), Jacinto-class patrol vessels upgrade (P274.65 million), three units of multi-purpose attack aircraft (P268.99 million), coast watch stations for two sites (P23.6 million), 12 units of five-ton prime mover for 155m howitzer trucks (P38.88 million), two units of rigid hull inflatable boats (P34.75 million), 230 units of 7.62mm general purpose machine guns (P161.12 million), 5,503 units of close combat optics (P96 million), explosive ordnance division equipment (P12.54 million), 720 units of 40 mm grenade launcher (P45.05 million), eight units of 40mm automatic grenade launchers (P19.75 million) and 330 personal role radios (P86 million).

The completed Army projects are 137 units of one-ton troop carrier truck (P298.11 million), four light support watercraft (P35.3 million), 250 units of two-ton troop carrier (P837 million), two lots of night fighting systems worth P276.11 million and P372.24 million; 62 units of audio video system (P37.89 million), three units of C4I Geographic Information System (P11.33 million), six units of five-ton prime mover for 155m howitzer truck (P38.88 million), 60 units of field ambulance (P300.78 million), 85 units of special purpose vehicle (P111.9 million), 190 units of one-ton troop carrier truck (P494 million), 840 units of global positioning system (P20.59 million), 12 units of prime mover truck (P144 million), 100 units and 2,000 rounds of 81 mm mortar with ammunition (P189.5 million), 348 units of portable radio receivers (P52.45 million), C41/GIS equipment (P188.88 million), 78 units of audio-video equipment (P11.5 million), two phases of 20W man pack radios worth P380 million and P272.8 million, 1,376 units of 5W handheld radios (P364.14 million), 210 units of 50 W AV configuration radio (P499.57 million), and 53 units of 100W base radios (P80.4 million).

The two completed Government Arsenal projects were metallic raw materials (P120.99 million) and input materials for bullet assembly machine (P9.9 million).

The seven projects that benefited the General Headquarters were AFP Medical Center operating room upgrade (P56.4 million), fixed communication system (P388.9 million), 46 light utility vehicles (P133.4 million), technical forensic upgrade (P19.98 million), 33 units of Presidential Security Group multi-purpose rocket launchers (P37.44 million), radio frequency test equipment (P109.17 million) and enhanced data generation system (P19.97 million).

Two projects funded by the Department of Energy were also completed – two weather high endurance cutters worth P1.78 billion and three naval helicopters worth P1.34 billion.


GMA NEWS ONLINE

46 percent of Pinoys think PNoy’s corruption drive is a failure By XIANNE ARCANGEL, GMA News July 23, 2015 1:18pm 143 9 0 169 Tags: Benigno Aquino III (Updated 3:21 p.m.)

Forty-six percent of Filipinos believe President Benigno Aquino III failed in fulfilling his campaign promise of curbing corruption in the government during his term, a poll conducted by Radyo Veritas has revealed.

The survey, conducted between March to April 2015, showed only 13 percent of Filipinos think Aquino succeeded in fighting corruption in the government.

More than four in 10 Filipinos, or 41 percent, however, are uncertain whether the Aquino administration's anti-corruption programs were effective.

The poll, called the Veritas Truth Survey, was conducted using face-to-face interviews with 1,200 respondents randomly chosen nationwide. The survey had a margin of error of plus/minus 3 percent.

Among the three branches of government, Congress is perceived by Filipinos to be the most corrupt, with 49 percent of respondents saying the Senate is corrupt, followed by the House of Representatives at 48 percent.

Cabinet officials, meanwhile, are perceived to be corrupt by 41 percent of respondents while the judiciary was seen as corrupt by four in 10, or 40 percent of respondents.

In fifth place in the corruption rating ranking is the Office of Vice President Jejomar Binay, which was perceived as corrupt by 38 percent of respondents.

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Only three in 10 Filipinos, or 30 percent of respondents, see Aquino as corrupt.

Tying with Aquino in sixth place in the corruption rating ranking are the local government units in the provinces.

Sought for comment, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. cited a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showing that 42 percent of Filipinos were satisfied with Aquino’s efforts to eradicate corruption.

He also pointed out that the Philippines improved its ranking in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index last year.

"Patuloy na nagsisikap ang Aquino administration na mapigil ang katiwalian sa pamamagitan ng mga reporma sa mabuting pamamahala,” Coloma said. —with Andreo Calonzo/KG/KBK, GMA News


GMA NEWS ONLINE

PNoy ready to face consequences of his actions after presidency – Palace By ANDREO CALONZO,GMA News July 23, 2015 4:16pm 1 32 0 33 Tags: Benigno Aquino III


COLOMA

President Benigno Aquino III is ready to face the consequences of all his actions during his presidency once he relinquishes his post and lose immunity from suit less than a year from now, Malacañang said Thursday.

Asked about the possibility of lawsuits being filed against Aquino after his term, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. maintained that the President has acted within the bounds of the law in his more than five years in office.

"Ang Pangulo ... ay hindi naman siya natitinag doon sa kanyang posisyon na sa lahat ng pagkakataon ginagawa niya ang tama at naaayon sa batas at pinaninindigan naman niya iyon,” Coloma said in an interview over state-run radio dzRB.

“Handa naman siyang harapin lahat [ang] consequences ng kanyang mga aksyon bilang lider ng ating bansa,” he added.

Coloma further said that Aquino has always stayed true to his oath to defend and uphold the Constitution.

"Sa panig po ng ating Pangulo, iyon po ang kanyang palaging inaalala, iyong pagiging tapat sa kanyang sinumpaang tungkulin,” the Palace official said.

President Aquino, who currently enjoys immunity from suit, said last year that he can defend himself from possible lawsuits once his term ends in 2016.

Aquino earlier said his decisions as president were "never spur-of-the-moment decisions" and were always "arising from the best advice" he can get.

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Aquino’s immediate predecessor, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, faced a slew of lawsuits when she relinquished her post in 2010.

Mrs. Arroyo, an incumbent Pampanga representative, is currently detained while facing a plunder case before the Sandiganbayan for the alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes during her incumbency. She is also facing a separate electoral sabotage case.

No liability in Mamasapano incident

At the same time, Coloma also maintained that Aquino did not have any liability in the botched Jan. 25 Mamasapano operation, which left over 60 people killed, including 44 police commandos.

“Ginampanan ng Pangulo ang kanyang tungkulin na ipatupad ang batas laban sa mga naghahasik ng terorismo at ang kanyang mga aksyon ay naaayon sa batas,” the Palace official said at a separate press briefing.

He also countered reports that Aquino was “cleared” by the Office of the Ombudsman of any responsibility in the bloody incident, saying the President was never named as a respondent to any complaint related to the botched operation in the first place.

“Hindi po kasama iyong kanyang pangalan doon sa mga isinuplong o doon sa mga isinama sa inihaing petisyon sa Office of the Ombudsman,” Coloma said.

He added that the President did not commit any impeachable offence in relation to the Mamasapano incident.

President Aquino drew flak earlier this year for supposedly allowing his close pal, former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima, to play an active role in the Mamasapano operation despite his suspension over graft charges.

The Ombudsman has approved an investigation on Purisima and 10 other police officials who were allegedly involved in the bloody operation. — RSJ, GMA News


MANILA TIMES

Aquino off the hook July 22, 2015 10:50 pm by MA. REINA LEANNE TOLENTINO, REPORTER


Purisima & Napeñas

Ombudsman to indict Purisima, Napeñas in Mamasapano incident

THE Office of the Ombudsman exonerated President Benigno Aquino 3rd of any criminal offense for his participation in planning of a police mission in the infamous Mamasapano incident early this year.

The special fact-finding team formed by the Office of the Ombudsman to look into the case said the President’s role did not amount to any ground for impeachment.

Malacañang on Wednesday said there is nothing to stop the Office of the Ombudsman from conducting a thorough investigation against those linked to the incident.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Palace respects the Ombudsman’s office it being an independent constitutional body.

“This is part of the legal process and we respect the actions of the Office of the Ombudsman as an independent constitutional body,” Coloma noted in a statement.

A report of the Senate Committee on Public Order, which conducted a congressional inquiry into the immediate aftermath of the incident, said Aquino should be “ultimately responsible” for allowing then-suspended Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director-General Alan Purisima to be involved in overseeing the mission code-named “Oplan (Operation Plan): Exodus.”

Instead, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales approved the investigating panel’s recommendation to file administrative and criminal charges against Purisima, former Special Action Force commander Getulio Napeñas and nine other police officers for their roles in the police mission.

“Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales approved the recommendation of the special panel of field investigators to initiate administrative adjudication and preliminary investigation against former police Director General Alan Purisima, former police Director Getulio Napeñas and nine other police officers in relation to what is known as the Mamasapano incident,” Assistant Ombudsman Asryman Rafanan said in a news briefing on Wednesday.

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Purisima and Napeñas are facing administrative and criminal charges in connection with a “law enforcement mission” in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao code named “Oplan Exodus” which resulted in the killing of suspected international terrorist Zulkifli Bin Hir alias Marwan as well as scores of individuals including 44 policemen from the PNP Special Action Force last January 25.

Purisima, Napeñas and then-Senior Supt. Fernando Mendez Jr., director of the PNP Intelligence Group, are facing charges of grave misconduct and violation of Section 3(a) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

This section prohibits officials from “persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and regulations duly promulgated by competent authority or an offense in connection with official duties of the latter, or allowing himself to be persuaded, induced or influenced to commit such violation or offense.”

Purisima is also facing a charge of usurpation of official functions under Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code.

The disgraced former PNP chief and Napeñas are also charged with neglect of duty along with Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, Senior Supt. Richard dela Rosa, Senior Supt. Edgar Monsalve, Senior. Supt. Abraham Abayari, Senior Supt. Raymond Train, Senior. Supt. Michael John Mangahis, Senior. Supt. Rey Ariño and Senior Insp. Recaredo Marasigan.

Train was one of the survivors of the Mamasapano firefight.

Assistant Ombudsman Asryman Rafanan said they initiated a fact-finding probe last February to look into possible persons responsible in, among others, the planning and conduct of the police operation.

“Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales approved the recommendation of the special panel of field investigators to initiate administrative adjudication and preliminary investigation against former police Director-General Alan Purisima, police Director Getulio Napeñas and nine other police officers in relation to what is known as the ‘Mamasapano incident,’” Rafanan said in a news briefing on Wednesday.

The fact-finding investigation stemmed from news reports and separate complaints filed by Fernando Perito, Pedrito Nepomuceno and Augusto Syjuco Jr.
While the complaints did not implead Aquino, “[n]onetheless the office motu propio looked into the allegations or reports on the participation of the President,” Rafanan said.

“And the special panel found that whatever participation the President may have had in the Mamasapano incident does not amount prima facie [based on a first impression] to a criminal offense, neither was his participation analogous to any of the impeachable offenses,” he added.

The Ombudsman’s field investigators filed the complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman last week, Rafanan said, adding that the respondents will be given time to file their counter-affidavits.

According to him, the complainants sought preventive suspension.

Under Section 24 of the Ombudsman Act of 1989, which provides for preventive suspension, two requisites must concur.

First is that that in the judgment of the Ombudsman or Deputy Ombudsman, the evidence of guilt is strong. The second may be met in either of three ways–
(a) the offense charged involves dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct or neglect in the performance of duty;

(b) the charge would warrant removal from the service; or

(c) the respondent’s continued stay in office may prejudice the case filed against him.

In December last year, Morales suspended Purisima for six months and eventually dismissed him last June for forging an anomalous courier deal with Werfast Documentary Agency in 2011.

17 Responses to Aquino off the hook
boying labro says:
July 23, 2015 at 12:11 pm
You are not suppose to be a lawyer ms. Morales. Why your President , the commander in chief of the Philippines was not be held liable for the Mamasapano massacre?
Give one reason ms. morales….?? You are fuc—- stupid…Ginagago mo na ang batas ng Pilipinas..Pati kaming mamamayan gagaguhin mo rin.. matigas na talaga ang mga mukha ng yellow zombie government..
go to hell…
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jane says:
July 23, 2015 at 11:35 am
WOW ! This is Unacceptable . BS Aquino is the ultimate person to be accountable for the Mamassapano operation. Morales should go down with him as well!
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fyi says:
July 23, 2015 at 9:34 am
First, President Aquino committed a huge mistake in naming a suspended PNP officer to direct and plan the SAF’s Mamasapano operation. This violated the PNP chain of command.
Second, Aquino failed to order a rescue and reinforcement operation to save the beleaguered SAF units during the encounter. The hearings showed that he had all the time, and the units, and the information to issue the order.
Third, Aquino had command responsibility over the whole operation because he was involved in discussions of the operation from planning to execution.
And this guy is off the hook ?
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sea eagle says:
July 23, 2015 at 8:13 am
There is only one person that will go to jail and that is the coward Pres.B.S. Aquino who approved the operation then when things went wrong he abandoned and betrayed the SAF Commandos and the worst part he did so to protect the terrorist MILF so as to save the devilish BBL.
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Carl Cid Inting says:
July 23, 2015 at 8:08 am
The bottom-dwellers get the blame, while the one at the top of the command chain gets a free pass out of jail. C’est la vie!
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Tonyboy says:
July 23, 2015 at 7:50 am
Normally a president being a commander-in-chief is always present in the planning, deliberation, tactics and methodology to be used in operation and execution, especially in ‘project’ as big and as serious as Mamasapano. The commander-in-chief has the LAST SAY is the bottom line! It is unimaginable as it is unbelievable how Aquino being the commander-in-chief could get away with it and be exonerated! Where is ACCOUNTABILITY of our commander-in-chief? Why public officers below Aquino are always accountable; and not him?
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orlando regalado says:
July 23, 2015 at 9:03 am
Very obvious. If the president will be also indicted, what will then happen? His soldiers will sacrifice for his honor and dignity, if he still has. Imagine, the only survivor Train is also charged of neglect of duty? Buti pa namaasaker na lang siya, hero pa siya. Now, he is considered like Purisima.
apolonio reyes says:
July 23, 2015 at 9:30 am
This is expected, how can a Deputy Ombudsman Rafanan or even Ombudsman Morales criminally charge a sitting president. If they do that the next day the will be a ” Mercidetas Gutierez “. either both resign or be a ” CJ Corona “. Is it not Rafanan & Morales that this is what you FEAR?
Marlo says:
July 23, 2015 at 7:49 am
Aquino, off the hook? Yes, of course. What is expected of Morales? The moral high ground? A high standard of independence from the clutches of the devil? A high bar of discernment? These are not the defining principles of her character. Afterall, she is a part of the dramatis personae in the underworld. But her day will come.
Do you understand what I am saying Morales?
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Miggy Miguel says:
July 23, 2015 at 7:33 am
Ah well…no point in ruffling feathers now that baldy is about to step down. Lets wait for the case to begin and then we shall see how far his minions can protect the scion of our so called mommy and daddy of democracy. Those 44 SAF troopers and their families deserve nothing but the complete truth and our support now more than ever.
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Leodegardo Pruna says:
July 23, 2015 at 7:13 am
How can a leader be pronounced by his appointee, the Ombudsman, off the hook in the Mamasapano case when he was present in almost, if not all, of the briefings held in the planning and executing of the project to apprehend the terrorists? The leader is duty bound to explain his role and have the ball to come out with the truth about the incident. What seem to be real is that A BAD man is the leader of the leader without conviction. God bless the Philippines.
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armando flores says:
July 23, 2015 at 5:01 am
This latest OMB action charging the police officers is designed to cover up for aquino who is the principal culprit in the mamasapano massacre. Note that these police officers merely followed aquino’s marching orders to kill marwan without due process. Aquino acted based on the representation of the american government hoping that taking marwan’s life was going to be a trophy and without regard to the safety and lives of the 44 SAF policemen who were virtually sacrificed by aquino. If there is somebody who should be charged by the Ombudsman, it is no less than aquino.
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JoeVee says:
July 23, 2015 at 4:45 am
Who were these guys taking orders from? Pnoy of course!!! So why was he exonerated? Lutong macaw na naman!!! This Ombudsman is a big joke!
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janelle says:
July 23, 2015 at 3:01 pm
And I think Pnoy’s most guilty part is when he ordered the stand down when he could have saved the SAF 44 at the early hours of the operation.
Purong G I says:
July 23, 2015 at 4:07 am
I hope that the truth and nothing but the truth will prevail. All of guilty verdict should be punish maximum to the limits of the law. No “Kumpadre system”. Let the law runs its course.
Reply
butch hirro says:
July 23, 2015 at 2:47 am
don’t be too happy about it pnoy. wait until you’re out of office. then you can start praying. as they say: may araw ka rin. less than a year and counting.
Reply
Marcospolo says:
July 23, 2015 at 12:58 am
Saan kaya kumuha ng utak at kapal ng mukha itong si ombudsman morales!kung sino pa yung taong itinuturo ng lahat ng ebidensya,ay siya pa niyang inalisan at nilinis ang kasalanan!at ngayon pa agad inuumpisahan habang nasa puesto pa ang mastermind,upang kapag wala na sa puesto ay di na uli mabuksan!
Dapat isama Ito si Morales sa iimbestiga pagkatapos ng election!


MANILA TIMES EDITORIAL

Return to the basics of honest and ethical government
July 20, 2015 10:38 pm


PHOTO APPENDED BY PHNO: JOE AMERICA SAYS IN HIS BLOG--Many seem to find it difficult to be proud of the President. Many seem to favor an upscale wheeler-dealer, an ambitious peddler in favors and favoritism. A guy who would cut deals with extortionists, outside the chain of command, cram an unqualified daughter into the senate and jail security guards for just doing their job. Well, final accountability rests with the voters and no one else. There is no blaming or excuse-making or finger-pointing that can deny the tabulation. But I’ll tell you, without question, President Aquino is 110% for the Philippines.He’s doing what he does for you, and he’s doing it for me. It seems to me he is one of the few people in power who genuinely, honorably, puts the nation’s well-being above self-gain. I’m inclined to wonder, what do we give in return?

THE escalating revelations of illegal insertions and lump sum appropriations in the national budget, of procurement irregularities in the Department of National Defense (DND), and violations of governance regulations by the officers of the Development Bank of the Philippines testify to a state of ethical disarray in the government service.

When we combine these with the suspension by the Ombudsman of the Mayor of Makati on suspicion of irregularities in city government construction projects, and the appointment of a new Armed Forces Chief of Staff who happens to be already facing graft charges by the Ombudsman, we feel assaulted on all fronts by a pervasive sense of scandal and corruption in government and the public service.

We are impelled to ask: What has happened to public service ethics in our country?

How is the vaunted straight path program really of President Aquino faring in terms of stemming this apparent tide of immorality in our public life?

We are a nation today that desperately needs to rebuild the edifice and basis of public morality. We need to find again the standards of ethical conduct for all public officials, both elective and appointive. We should throw out of office and out of the service all those who merely smirk at the words “integrity,” “honesty” and “honor.”

Straight path either means the ethical or moral path, or doing the right thing, or just an empty slogan?

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Back to basics

From a study of how other countries have successfully coped with the challenge of sleaze, scandal and hypocrisy in their government service, we are convinced that the best way to start reform and renewal in our country is to return to the basics of honest and ethical government, and to restate the basic principles of public service ethics.

In this reform effort, we should proceed from the premise that all public officials, both elected and appointed, are obligated to render honest judgment, to work hard and efficiently, and to maximize the benefit of government to every citizen.

In the book Honest Government (Praeger, 1992), the authors W. J. Michael Cody and Richardson R. Lynn have admirably distilled and codified the basic principles of public service ethics that are observed in most modern democracies.

They cite in particular six principles that would do our country and our people much good if they are widely observed in our public life. These are:

First: Public officials must not lie, cheat, or steal in any official capacity. They must obey the law. Public officials must always tell the truth to the public, other governmental bodies, and the press, except in extremely limited circumstance, such as war or national emergency, when a temporary deception may serve a paramount governmental purpose.

Second: Public officials must avoid all conflicts of interest created by business, friendship, or family relationships and must always be careful to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.

Third: Public officials owe a fiduciary duty to taxpayers and to all citizens to ensure that public funds are used efficiently. Officials and all public employees whom they supervise should be as productive as possible.

Fourth: Public officials must not allow zeal for their duties, including such duties as tax collection or law enforcement, to cause them to violate citizens’ legal rights. Public officials should not be rude or unresponsive when dealing with the public,

Fifth: Public officials should cooperate with other officials and agencies to maximize the public good, rather than acting out of cronyism or advancing the interests of politicians and of a political party.

Sixth: Public officials should perform their duties based solely on the public good, rather than on what is in their best political or selfish interest. They should not pressure public employees to assist in the officials’ political careers or reelection efforts.

Fiduciary neglect

We Filipinos are often confused in observing the distinction between elected and appointed officials, because one group are our chosen representatives, and the others are just chosen by the appointing power. We imagine elected officials – or they imagine themselves — as a privileged group.

Of all the rules that have been rampantly violated in our country, it is the neglect of the fiduciary duty of public officials, their duty to guard public funds. That has done the most harm to the economy and the nation. Billions of taxpayers’ money have been lost or stolen as a result. Similarly, the rule to avoid conflicts of interest and the appearance of impropriety has been wantonly violated and unevenly applied.

We believe that investigations of wrongdoing must proceed along these principles.

They apply to all public officials, from the president down to the barangay official. If wrongdoing is discovered, those responsible must face consequences, and procedures must be established to ensure that such abuses do not occur again.

This issue is not a partisan matter. It should be taken up by all who care about country. Our people must awaken and look objectively at the actions of the administration and the opposition, and not simply accept what politicians and publicists say. Public vigilance is the price that we must pay for better and honest government.

5 Responses to Return to the basics of honest and ethical government
Larry Ebersole says:
July 22, 2015 at 11:40 am
the mind is molded from the womb so the FAMILY is the first step to catch the good characters of a human being. So the corrupted mind started from the family itself and then motivated and bolstered up by outside information from the public to the media. when the concept of what is right and what is wrong has been corrupted from childhood and supported from the media what do we get? when media glorifies the wrongdoers instead of pointing out the truth what do we get? We had become a country of lost sensibilities of right and wrong and what drives us more is our personal wants and greed. Very sad to to say but putting things in examples, you see ex-supreme court justices lawyering for a known corrupt politician trying his best to make a black into white; what morality does it portray. we will have to move mountains to go back to basic uncorrupted principles of right and wrong.
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Marcospolo says:
July 21, 2015 at 4:06 pm
Mahirap baguhin ang kinaugalian na ng maraming pinoy! Sa kanila kapag idolo na,kahit may masamang ginagawa ay tanggap pa rin,nananaig ang ego kaysa sa tama!
Katulad ng media,puro sigaw at kritiko sa mga ginagawa ng masamang politiko!pero walang ginagawang hakbang upang maging pantay ang laban at tumulong sa mga taong karapat dapat!laging priority nila ay kung ang pakinabang ang makukuha nila sa politiko kapag manalo!
Ang media ang unang-unang nahhuhulma sa kaisipan ng tao para iboto ang politiko na hindi karapatdapat!
Magbabago at mapabubuti ang bansa kapag sinimula ito ng mga media at mga negosyante!bansa muna bago pangsariling pakinabang! Sana magkaroon ng kaluluwa ito!
Reply
Alexisleo says:
July 21, 2015 at 11:41 am
Return to the basics of honest n ethical govt? Return to ? We never had an honest n ethical govt.
Reply
fyi says:
July 21, 2015 at 8:47 am
Public vigilance is the price that we must pay for better and honest government.
The problem is once discovered the law enforcing agencies will not investigate and charge the thieves if they are connected to the Liberal Party. The president controls the Dept of Justice and the Ombudsman office as seen by the lack of charges against any Aquino Ally.
18 senators on the Napoles list, 3 opposition senators charged and jailed.
Who has the power to shield the other 15 ?
Reply
Vic Penetrante says:
July 21, 2015 at 8:26 am
The problem is the sudden change of teaching. For 3 centuries under Spain, the primary teaching was religion. Now the teaching of “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” has been reversed. Poverty is talked about as though it is a sin to be poor. And poverty is feared.


PHILSTAR

Palace on Noy’s choice for 2016: Patience By Aurea Calica, Christina Mendez, Danny Dangcalan (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 24, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


President Benigno Aquino III. AP file photo

MANILA, Philippines - Instead of engaging in speculation, the public should just wait for President Aquino to announce his anointed one for the 2016 presidential race after his last State of the Nation Address on Monday, Malacañang said.

“Don’t worry, we will get there,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said yesterday when asked if the President has finally made a choice.

Coloma also declined to comment on a possible presidential and vice presidential team-up of Sens. Grace Poe and Francis Escudero.

Some groups said such scenario might cause a split in the ruling Liberal Party. The party’s presumptive standard-bearer is Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, who is faring badly in popularity surveys.

Aquino met with Poe several times and with Escudero at least once, apparently to convince the two senators to agree on a single coalition ticket for 2016.

It was widely believed that Aquino – during the meetings – had tried but failed to convince Poe to be Roxas’ runningmate. Nothing specific was agreed upon during the meetings.

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“Since they themselves are declaring they have not decided, all these things being discussed are within the realm of speculation. It will not be good to focus on speculations,” Coloma said.

He said it would be best to comment once the “principal personalities” have spoken so as not to preempt their respective announcements.

Asked about Vice President Jejomar Binay’s questioning Poe’s citizenship, Coloma said any legal questions involving a prospective candidate would be subject to processes. But he said it’s ultimately the voters who would decide on who to choose as their next leader.

Binay, who resigned from the Aquino Cabinet to lead the opposition, is so far the only one who has declared his intention to run for president.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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