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

P-NOY WANTS MAR TO STAY LONGER AT DILG
[Aquino said he dismissed critics’ call that he stop campaigning. “So if you’re President of the Republic, you should no longer have an opinion? Then, on the one hand, you endorsed someone and tell him ‘bahala ka na sa buhay mo (take care of yourself)’,” the President said.]


AUGUST 4 ---DILG Secretary Mar Roxas gives a final salute as he bids farewell to the Philippine National Police at Camp Crame yesterday. MICHAEL VARCAS President Aquino is not inclined to let go of Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel Roxas II just yet, as his anointed successor still has to “finish a lot of things” at the department. Aquino rejected Roxas’ resignation, which the latter relayed in a letter submitted late yesterday afternoon to Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that in rejecting Roxas’ resignation, Aquino asked the Cabinet official to “complete urgent tasks and ensure smooth transition” in the DILG. Earlier yesterday, Aquino said he was looking at several names to replace Roxas but “at the same time I might even prevail on him to stay in the post a little longer to finish a lot of the things that are being done.” “There’s really a lot of work there that, again, the concept is not to prolong the suffering of our fellowmen,” the President said in an ambush interview after leading the 111th anniversary of the Bureau of Internal Revenue in Quezon City. For instance, Aquino said the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s “shoot, scoot and communicate” project is still ongoing. The project largely involves the upgrading of facilities and equipment of the police force. READ MORE...

ALSO: Let Mar go, party-list lawmakers ask PNoy


AUGUST 5 --awmakers from the minority bloc urged President Benigno Aquino III Wednesday to let Manuel "Mar" Roxas II leave his post at the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to avoid suspicion that the latter was using the agency's resources to push his bid to be President in 2016.
The best thing that Roxas could have done was to file an irrevocable resignation so as not to leave any space for the President to stop him, according to party-list lawmakers Silvestre Bello III of 1-BAP, Luz Ilagan of Gabriela and Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna. "The resignation should have been irrevocable," Bello said in a news conference. "If one is sincere in letting go of his position, he should not wait for the acceptance, so there would be no suspicion that you will use the resources in your campaign," Ilagan said. She added, "when you cut, cut clean, hindi yung para bang nagpapaawa ka pa [it shouldn't look as if you're still asking for pity]." READ MORE...

ALSO: Mar invites Grace to be his VP on national TV; Grace says 'Maybe'?


AUGUST 5 --Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II is still hoping that Sen. Grace Poe will team up with him for the 2016 national election. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando, file
Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II on Wednesday morning asked Sen. Grace Poe to be his running mate on national television.
"Bukas ho ang aming partido, bukas po ako at iniimbita ho namin si Senadora Grace Poe na sumama dito sa tandem na ito, sumama dito sa ating movement, sa ating laban ipagpapatuloy, pagpapalawak ng Daang Matuwid," Roxas said in an interview with GMA News' Unang Balita. President Benigno Aquino III recently endorsed Roxas as the presidential candidate of the ruling Liberal Party for the upcoming 2016 polls. Roxas clarified that he had asked Poe months ago to run with him as a team prior Aquino's endorsement. "Ang sagot noong kapanahunang 'yon, pero buwan na ang nakalipas, nasagot naman niya na pinag-iisipan pa niya at so ganun lang," Roxas added. The Interior Secretary noted that Poe might have thought that the offer to be his running mate was not formal at the time. READ MORE...RELATED STORIES...

ALSO: Binay hits ‘daang matuwid’
[VP HAILS HEROISM OF SAF 44 IN ‘TSONA’]


AUGUST 4 ---SCREENGRAB
INDANG, Cavite—Vice President Jejomar Binay on Monday derided President Aquino’s claims in his sixth State of Nation Address (Sona) a week ago, saying that under the administration’s daang matuwid, or straight path, more Filipinos had become poor and corruption remained entrenched. For about an hour, Binay outlined what he said was the “true” State of the Nation Address (Tsona) brought about by an administration that was manhid at palpak (insensitive and bungling). He jeered at Aquino’s 2010 campaign slogan “Kung walang kurap, walang mahirap”—if there is no corruption, there will be no poor Filipinos. “After five years, many are still poor and many are still corrupt,” said Binay, who resigned from the Cabinet in June in the face of allegations in the Senate against him of corruption and ill-gotten wealth. He said he was through being the “punching bag” of administration allies in the Senate and was taking his role as leader of the opposition in his run for the presidency in elections next year. Binay spoke at the Cavite State University gym, on a stage with a mural of soldiers in full combat gear in the background that was unveiled for his true Sona. He railed that Aquino, in closing his two-hour Sona, thanked everyone, including his hair dresser and fashion designer, but made no mention at all of the heroism of the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos who were massacred on Jan. 25 in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province, by Moro rebels while on a mission to take out international terrorists. Binay ended his speech by paying tribute to the heroism of the SAF 44, mentioning the names of each one of them to applause from the crowd mostly of students and political supporters.MRT breakdown The Vice President spoke at length of the breakdowns of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) system commuters have to endure each day, the rosy economic figures that he said benefited those who were already rich but not those wallowing in poverty, the high unemployment figures and the absence of health services particularly in the rural areas. READ MORE...

ALSO Noy: I have no record of telling anyone lies


AUGUST 4 --PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III said Monday he does not lie and that he stands by what he said in his sixth and final State-of-the-Nation Address on July 27.
“I have no record that I tell lies to anyone. I stand by what we said,” Aquino said before Vice President Jejomar Binay delivered his own version of the report, calling it the “True State-of-the-Nation Address.” Aquino also said that critics are free to express their own opinions. “We are in a democracy. Everybody is entitled to their opinion so long as they conform to the rules and the laws of the land, they are free to speak their mind,” Aquino said. At the same time, Aquino urged Binay to give accurate information when he delivers his own report to the nation. READ MORE...

ALSO Editorial: ‘I’m a liar?’ WHAT constitutes a lie?


AUGUST 5 --WHAT constitutes a lie?  The question is relevant today because President Aquino declared this week that he does not lie. “I have no record [of telling] lies to anyone,” the President said, as he defended his two-hour State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) that critics have dismissed as being far too long and far removed from reality. The dictionary tells us that to lie is: 1.) To present false information with the intention of deceiving; and 2.) To convey a false image or impression. By both these measures, the President was lying through his teeth during his tiresome SONA. He continued this tendency to spread untruths when he claimed that he had no record of lying to anyone. Here are just a few of the President’s SONA lies. Fewer Filipinos are poor today, the President said, citing official poverty statistics. Regardless of the numbers that the Philippine Statistics Authority releases, this statement is a lie because it conveys the false impression that the government is winning the war on poverty when the reverse is true. Official statistics are based on a poverty threshold of P58 per day for a person’s food and non-food needs, an unrealistically low figure that effectively reduces the number of poor by the millions. READ MORE...

ALSO PHNO Column of the week by Ducky Paredes: PNOY QUOTES A BLOGGER


AUGUST 7 --The blogger-- JoeAmerica MANY were surprised that the President in his last SONA mentioned a blogger. This is how this blogger describes himself: “Joe America is a permanent resident of the Philippines with his Filipino wife and a culturally ambidectrous son. He arrived in the Philippines in 2005 and lived for a time in Northern Mindanao and Zambales Province in Luzon. His family now lives in the Visayas in a rice-growing area. “Joe is a retired banking executive with degrees in Mathematics and Radio and Television Arts. His 30-year working career was based in Los Angeles, California. He’s travelled on business or personally to 21 countries.” I read his blog occasionally. Following is why I do: “It has became strikingly clear to me how things fit together regarding the future of the Philippines. It’s all about Senator Escudero. “Now Senator Escudero inadvertently got us into this mess by supporting Jejomar Binay over Mar Roxas for the vice presidency in 2010. We know how that went. It fed the ambition of the most ambitious man in the country and put him one step from the position he is drooling to acquire. I say “inadvertently” because I give Senator Escudero the benefit of the doubt. I imagine he had no idea how pervasive and perverse was the corruption in Makati. He thought Binay’s “style” was just politicians doing what they do, influencing others. “Now we have the ambitious Binay aiming for the presidency by waging a powerful and wily campaign to rope in the votes from the laboring poor. He is positioning himself as their hero, as a “man who is like them”, against “those corrupt and incompetent people in government”. He is playing the sympathy card about as skillfully and maliciously as it can be played.. “Well, we may want to turn our heads and be ill at all this, but that is the reality of the presidential run for 2016. It seems like the Philippines has no ethical or legal or even moral recourse to stop a crook and liar from ascending to the presidency. The stopping must be done at the ballot box. “Now let’s shift to President Aquino and the meeting he will apparently call soon involving Secretary Roxas and Senators Poe and Escudero. READ MORE....


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

P-Noy wants Mar to stay longer at DILG


DILG Secretary Mar Roxas gives a final salute as he bids farewell to the Philippine National Police at Camp Crame yesterday. MICHAEL VARCAS

MANILA, AUGUST 10, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Aurea Calica - President Aquino is not inclined to let go of Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel Roxas II just yet, as his anointed successor still has to “finish a lot of things” at the department.

Aquino rejected Roxas’ resignation, which the latter relayed in a letter submitted late yesterday afternoon to Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that in rejecting Roxas’ resignation, Aquino asked the Cabinet official to “complete urgent tasks and ensure smooth transition” in the DILG.

Earlier yesterday, Aquino said he was looking at several names to replace Roxas but “at the same time I might even prevail on him to stay in the post a little longer to finish a lot of the things that are being done.”

“There’s really a lot of work there that, again, the concept is not to prolong the suffering of our fellowmen,” the President said in an ambush interview after leading the 111th anniversary of the Bureau of Internal Revenue in Quezon City.

For instance, Aquino said the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s “shoot, scoot and communicate” project is still ongoing. The project largely involves the upgrading of facilities and equipment of the police force.

READ MORE...

“I am also following up on the informal settlers issue, especially in Metro Manila,” he added.

“So I’d like him to finish a lot of the things that can be finished before leaving the post and having the transition period,” Aquino said.

He also said he sees nothing wrong with helping Roxas campaign.

“Our party, as I’ve mentioned several times, is moving away from personality politics. What we are running after now is to have issue-based or platform-based politics. The idea there is whoever sits we can expect what direction (will be taken), what the quality of work (should be),” Aquino said.

The President explained that the coming elections would decide the fate of the nation, “so we need to help.”

Aquino also said there was no basis for suspicion by some groups that the administration would use government funds for the 2016 elections.

“My only question is: have we ever done that?” Aquino said.

He stressed that unlike in the past, his administration can’t be accused of having a “tradition” of using public funds for partisan purposes.

Aquino said the administration has been “scrupulous” in its use of funds as proven by the bigger number of beneficiaries of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. and the conditional cash transfer program.

“The number of PhilHealth members are increasing, it does not peak during elections. We don’t use PhilHealth to campaign,” Aquino said.

“From less than 800,000 families to 4.4 million households at this point in time,” Aquino said, referring to beneficiaries of the CCT program.

“So before accusing us of something that was done by others before, please check the records first,” he said.

Aquino said he dismissed critics’ call that he stop campaigning.

“So if you’re President of the Republic, you should no longer have an opinion?


Then, on the one hand, you endorsed someone and tell him ‘bahala ka na sa buhay mo (take care of yourself)’,” the President said.

The President appointed Roxas as DILG chief on Aug. 31, 2012 after the death of then secretary Jesse Robredo. He came from the Department of Transportation and Communications, a position that he held for more than a year.

Roxas promised to resign as soon as possible after Aquino formally endorsed him as the standard-bearer of administration Liberal Party for the 2016 polls.

Emotional

An emotional Roxas bade goodbye yesterday to police and to DILG officials and employees at Camp Crame.

“I will always be proud of my association with you. I personally ask for this chance to say goodbye to all of you. I also feel sad,” Roxas said, his voice cracking.

The DILG secretary also apologized for occasionally pressuring his staff to get some things done immediately as part of public service.


Interior Secretary Mar Roxas poses for a group photo with DILG employees yesterday. ERNIE PEÑAREDONDO

“Today is a mix of sadness, joy, honor and other emotions. My friends, I will take this flag raising ceremony as an opportunity to say farewell,” Roxas said in Filipino.

“While we still have many plans to finish and some changes to set in place, I have to make way for your new leader. Last Friday, the President called me to continue the ‘straight path’ on a grander scale,” he said.

Administration congressmen said Roxas’ resignation was an indication of his integrity.

Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV said executive officials with political plans should emulate Roxas’ example.

“I call on all who would be running in the forthcoming election to resign from their posts as officials of the executive department so that they would not be accused of using their positions for political purposes,” the senator said.

“They should follow the footsteps of Secretary Mar Roxas, who has announced his resignation as secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government,” he said.

He said that by resigning early, concerned officials would help ensure smooth transition for their replacement.

It has been reported that Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is planning to run for senator in 2016.

Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone described Roxas’ resignation as “a class act.”

“It shows his inherent sense of delicadeza. He does not want to be accused of using government resources to advance his political interests,” Evardone said.

He said he had been expecting Roxas to resign as the latter had stated in one of the meetings of the LP that he would not stay a minute longer once he declares his presidential bid.

Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo said the resignation “validated Roxas’ integrity and character.”

“He could have stayed as DILG head until the filing of the certificate of candidacy in October but he does not want to be accused of using his position to further his political aspiration,” Castelo said.

“It was tough for him to leave the DILG family after almost three years of working closely with them. But for me, it’s just another tough decision that had to be done. And it was the right thing to do,” Quezon City Rep. Jorge Banal, an LP stalwart, said.

Roxas’ replacement Senior administration lawmakers, meanwhile, are pushing for Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento to be Roxas’ replacement.

They also recommend Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas as possible replacement for De Lima, who is also expected to resign if she makes up her mind on running for senator.

Reps. Rodolfo Fariñas of Ilocos Norte and Romero Quimbo of Marikina City said Tupas is the best man for the post to be vacated by De Lima.

Both Fariñas and Quimbo were part of the House prosecutorial team headed by Tupas that impeached then Supreme Court chief justice Renato Corona.

Quimbo said the position of justice secretary is best held by someone familiar with the intricacies of the bureaucracy and with the legal prowess of a litigation lawyer.

“We need not look far and wide for a justice secretary,” Quimbo said.

Iloilo Rep. Jerry Treñas said Sarmiento, like Roxas, “is a focused, dedicated and result-oriented public servant.”

He said Sarmiento is one of Roxas’ top advisers and problem solvers.

“I think that Congressman Mel Sarmiento is the best choice for the DILG. He and Secretary Mar have the same work ethic and have the same focus and commitment if they want to get things done. It would be really great if he will accept it if he is offered the job,” Treñas said.

Trenas said Sarmiento was a regular recipient of leadership excellence awards when he was mayor of Calbayog City.

Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles said Sarmiento has a strong grasp of the workings of local government units. – Paolo Romero, Cecille Suerte-Felipe, Sheila Crisostomo, Marvin Sy, Perseus Echeminada


INTERAKSYON

Let Mar go, party-list solons ask PNoy By: Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, InterAksyon.com August 5, 2015 4:25 PM InterAksyon.com The online news portal of TV5

MANILA - Lawmakers from the minority bloc urged President Benigno Aquino III Wednesday to let Manuel "Mar" Roxas II leave his post at the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to avoid suspicion that the latter was using the agency's resources to push his bid to be President in 2016.

The best thing that Roxas could have done was to file an irrevocable resignation so as not to leave any space for the President to stop him, according to party-list lawmakers Silvestre Bello III of 1-BAP, Luz Ilagan of Gabriela and Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna.

"The resignation should have been irrevocable," Bello said in a news conference.

"If one is sincere in letting go of his position, he should not wait for the acceptance, so there would be no suspicion that you will use the resources in your campaign," Ilagan said.

She added, "when you cut, cut clean, hindi yung para bang nagpapaawa ka pa [it shouldn't look as if you're still asking for pity]."

READ MORE...

Ilagan said the President made the wrong decision in telling Roxas to stay.

Colmenares said the public might think the resignation was "scripted" just to make it appear that Roxas wants out of the agency.

"Nagiging dalawa-singko na tuloy ang [It trivializes the value of] resignation," he said.

Roxas handed his resignation letter to Aquino on Monday, two days after he was endorsed as the administration's standard bearer, but the Chief Executive turned it down.

The President said the country would be prejudiced if he allowed Roxas to leave, adding he still has to attend to urgent tasks.


PHILSTAR

Mar invites Grace to be his VP on national TV By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated August 5, 2015 - 10:12am 14 1749 googleplus0 0


Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II is still hoping that Sen. Grace Poe will team up with him for the 2016 national election. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando, file

MANILA, Philippines — Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II on Wednesday morning asked Sen. Grace Poe to be his running mate on national television.

"Bukas ho ang aming partido, bukas po ako at iniimbita ho namin si Senadora Grace Poe na sumama dito sa tandem na ito, sumama dito sa ating movement, sa ating laban ipagpapatuloy, pagpapalawak ng Daang Matuwid," Roxas said in an interview with GMA News' Unang Balita.

President Benigno Aquino III recently endorsed Roxas as the presidential candidate of the ruling Liberal Party for the upcoming 2016 polls.

Roxas clarified that he had asked Poe months ago to run with him as a team prior Aquino's endorsement.

"Ang sagot noong kapanahunang 'yon, pero buwan na ang nakalipas, nasagot naman niya na pinag-iisipan pa niya at so ganun lang," Roxas added.

The Interior Secretary noted that Poe might have thought that the offer to be his running mate was not formal at the time.

READ MORE...

Meanwhile, Roxas admitted that he is also considering Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo and Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos to be his running mate.

"Lahat naman sila ay may kanya-kanyang karansan, kakayahan at ipinakitang malasakit sa ating mga kababayan at sa ating bansa. Ang pinakamahalagang katangian dito ay yung talagang nakatutok at to the bones ba na naniniwala dito sa Daang Matuwid," Roxas explained.

Poe vowed to support to support the "Daang Matuwid" or "Straight Path" of President Benigno Aquino III following the president's endorsement of Roxas.

---------------------------------------------------

RELATED

Mar hoping for another meeting with Grace By Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 4, 2015 - 12:00am


“I would hope so. Let’s see,” Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II said when asked if there could be more talks with Sen. Grace Poe, whom President Aquino had previously met several times. STAR/File photo

MANILA, Philippines - Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, standard bearer of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), said he hopes to meet again with Sen. Grace Poe.

“I would hope so. Let’s see,” Roxas said when asked if there could be more talks with Poe, whom President Aquino had previously met several times.

“Just as what the President said last Friday, it is better to have those with similar viewpoints come together in order to be a more formidable force,” Roxas told reporters in Filipino yesterday. Aquino formally endorsed Roxas as his choice for president in what was called “a gathering of friends” last Friday at Club Filipino in Greenhills.

While Roxas yesterday bid farewell to members of the police force and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) employees, the President said the interior chief would have to stay in his post pending the completion of some programs.

As regards his possible successors at the DILG, Roxas said he had “very informal” discussions with the President during the death anniversary of Aquino’s mother, the late President Cory, last Saturday.

However, he refused to reveal the names of possible candidates for DILG chief in deference to the announcement to be made by Aquino himself.

READ MORE...

Western Samar Rep. and LP secretary-general Mel Sarmiento and Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas were among those rumored to replace Roxas at the DILG.

Meanwhile, Aquino acknowledged that Poe and Sen. Francis Escudero can hardly be persuaded into joining the administration coalition, as both will likely be running as independent candidates in 2016.

“It seems it is not the right time to fully coalesce,” Aquino told reporters. “But we are still hoping. We still want to have that unified group that will preserve the coalition that can ensure the victory of the agenda.”

Although there were no formal offers, Poe intimated that she thinks Aquino wanted her to be the running mate of Roxas.

Sources disclosed that the President also tried to persuade Escudero to give up his plans to run for vice president and was assured he would be the Senate President in the next Congress. But the idea apparently did not sit well with LP stalwart and current Senate President Franklin Drilon.

Reports said Poe and Escudero may either run independently or under former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino.

The President said the entire LP membership will seek a consensus on who they will choose as Roxas’ running mate in next year’s polls.

“We are a party that prides itself on consensus building,” he said.

“At the end of the day, the presidential candidate should have full confidence in the running mate,” Aquino added.

Aside from Poe, Aquino said there are other personalities they are considering to be Roxas’ running mate.

Roxas is reportedly open to team up with Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo.

Jinggoy: Mar highly qualified Detained Sen. Jinggoy Estrada said Roxas is “highly qualified” to run for president in the 2016 general elections.

But he said other candidates like Poe, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte are also qualified to join the race.

Estrada said Roxas had been his colleague at the Senate from 2004 to 2010 and “he has shown professionalism and competence as a senator.”

“He is highly qualified to run for president. If ever he becomes the next president, I hope that he will listen to the needs of the people,” he told reporters.

Estrada, however, refused to say whether he will support Roxas.

“We will have to choose who is the best candidate for president… one who will serve the people and the country with determination and sincerity,” he said.

Asked if he is open to be Binay’s running mate, Estrada said he is focused on the plunder case he is facing before the Sandiganbayan.

Estrada is detained on plunder charges at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center at Camp Crame for his alleged involvement in the pork barrel fund scam. – With Michael Punongbayan, Delon Porcalla

------------------------------------------

RELATED FROM MANILA TIMES

MANILA TIMES

Aquino still wooing Grace August 3, 2015 11:52 pm by CATHERINE S. VALENTE, REPORTER


It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.

President Benigno Aquino 3rd is still crossing his fingers that pre-election survey frontrunner Sen. Grace Poe would remain with the administration coalition and agree to team up with Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd in next year’s elections.

“Until matapos ‘yung filing ng certificates of candidacy, wala pa tayong puwedeng pag-usapan na tapos [Until the deadline of the filing of certificates of candidacy is over, we can’t say anything definite],” Aquino told reporters on Monday.

The President last week publicly announced his choice of Roxas as the administration’s standar-bearer in the 2016 polls. Weeks before the declaration, Aquino had met with Roxas, Poe and Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero and were believed to have discussed political possibilities with them.

Poe earlier said no concrete offer was made in her over four meetings with the President but she said she “felt” Aquino wanted her to become Roxas’ running mate.

Poe and Escudero have long been rumored to be seriously considering running as a tandem in next year’s elections.

READ MORE...

Roxas–the presumptive standard-bearer for 2016 of the Liberal Party since Day 1 of the Aquino administration–has been lagging behind pre-election surveys, which until the second quarter of the year had Vice President Jejomar Binay on top.

Poe’s deft handling of Senate hearings on the Mamasapano incident and the bad press generated by corruption accusations against the Binay family boosted the first-time senator’s ratings and edged out the Vice President from his perch.

Aquino said Roxas, Poe and Escudero “have all stated the same thing” that they want the direction of daang matuwid [straight path] to continue into the next administration.

“We are still hoping. We still want to have that very unified group that will preserve the coalition as much as possible that can ensure the victory of the agenda,” the President added.
With REINA TOLENTINO


INQUIRER

Binay hits ‘daang matuwid’ By: Christine O. Avendaño @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 01:10 AM August 4th, 2015

VP HAILS HEROISM OF SAF 44 IN ‘TSONA’


SCREENGRAB

INDANG, Cavite—Vice President Jejomar Binay on Monday derided President Aquino’s claims in his sixth State of Nation Address (Sona) a week ago, saying that under the administration’s daang matuwid, or straight path, more Filipinos had become poor and corruption remained entrenched.

For about an hour, Binay outlined what he said was the “true” State of the Nation Address (Tsona) brought about by an administration that was manhid at palpak (insensitive and bungling).

He jeered at Aquino’s 2010 campaign slogan “Kung walang kurap, walang mahirap”—if there is no corruption, there will be no poor Filipinos.

“After five years, many are still poor and many are still corrupt,” said Binay, who resigned from the Cabinet in June in the face of allegations in the Senate against him of corruption and ill-gotten wealth.

He said he was through being the “punching bag” of administration allies in the Senate and was taking his role as leader of the opposition in his run for the presidency in elections next year.

Binay spoke at the Cavite State University gym, on a stage with a mural of soldiers in full combat gear in the background that was unveiled for his true Sona.

He railed that Aquino, in closing his two-hour Sona, thanked everyone, including his hair dresser and fashion designer, but made no mention at all of the heroism of the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos who were massacred on Jan. 25 in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province, by Moro rebels while on a mission to take out international terrorists.

Binay ended his speech by paying tribute to the heroism of the SAF 44, mentioning the names of each one of them to applause from the crowd mostly of students and political supporters.

MRT breakdown


"MAY BUDGET NA MAHIGIT  LIMANG BILYONG PISO ANG DOTC PARA SA OVERHAUL NG MRT-3 NOONG 2014 PERO HANGGANG NGAYON HINDI PA RIN NAGAGAWA. AT SA KABILA NG MASAMANG SERBISYO NAKUHA PA NG MRT NA MAGTASS NG PAMASAHE."

The Vice President spoke at length of the breakdowns of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) system commuters have to endure each day, the rosy economic figures that he said benefited those who were already rich but not those wallowing in poverty, the high unemployment figures and the absence of health services particularly in the rural areas.

READ MORE...

He sought to debunk Aquino’s claims that fewer Filipinos were going overseas to work and said overseas Filipino workers were returning home because of economic problems in Europe and unrest in the Middle East.

“There will be no progress if we give six more years to an administration that has no sympathy for the poor,” Binay said in an apparent dig at Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, who was endorsed on Friday by the President as the administration’s standard-bearer in the 2016 elections.

In a speech that lasted almost an hour, Binay said he listened to Aquino’s two-hour-long speech with the hope that since this would be his final address, the President would give an honest report on the true state of the nation.

But Binay said what the nation heard was a report “filled with storytelling, tooting of one’s horn—and like the first Sona—accusatory.”

Five years after the Aquino administration came into power, he said “the truth could not be covered up and denied that many are still poor, hungry and have no jobs.”

“After five years, what the Filipino people reaped was an insensitive and bungling government,” he said.

Lives lost

Binay pointed out four places—Luneta, Tacloban, Zamboanga and Mamasapano—

where he said many lives there could have been saved had the government been caring.

He was referring to the Luneta hostage incident in August 2010 where he said eight Chinese tourists became “collateral damage.”

Binay criticized Roxas’ handling of the devastation wrought by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) in 2013, as he pointed to the incident where Roxas had asked Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez to write a letter seeking help from the national government.

Binay then criticized the way the government handled the ongoing rehabilitation efforts in Yolanda-devastated communities, saying 20 months after the calamity, there were 100,000 people still living in tent cities and bunkhouses.

The Vice President asked where the P167-billion rehabilitation budget went as he pointed out the recent statement of the United Nations special rapporteur that the government had not done enough for the Yolanda victims.

Referring to the 2013 siege in Zamboanga City that led to massive displacement of people there, he chided the government for the tragedy of women and children in evacuation centers who ended up being raped or prostituted.

Salute to SAF 44

In Mamasapano, he said 44 policemen gave their lives and many were wounded. He said that in Aquino’s Sona, there was no thank you for the SAF heroism. “His hair stylist and fashion designer were lucky, they were included in the long list of people the President thanked,” he said.

In paying homage to the SAF 44 members, Binay called out their names and the audience applauded and cheered each time he did so.

Binay said that these were the men who “fulfilled their promise to their sworn duties, people who gave their lives and people who are true and honest.”

“The nation is thanking and saluting you,” he said.

It helped that the names of the men had a face considering that a mural of them was an imposing presence at the stage.


THANKING THE HEROES Vice President Jejomar Binay stands before the mural of the SAF 44 after reading their names and thanking them at the conclusion of his “true” State of the Nation Address at Cavite State University in Indang, Cavite province, on Monday. GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

The mural, “Tagaligtas 44,” is a 7 feet x 26 feet work of passion produced by Erehwon Art Collective, according to a statement prepared by the Office of the Vice President.

“It depicts each of the fallen heroes, in full combat gear, in various unit configurations. The painting was executed within three incredibly short weeks by a team of artists composed of professor Grandier Gil Bella (head artist); Jerico De Leon; professor and former UP Fine Arts dean Leonilo “Neil” Doloricon; Camille dela Rosa; Lourdes Inosanto, Jonathan Joven; Othoniel Neri (assistant head artist); Emmanuel Nim; Dario Noche (head researcher and photo documentor); and Eghai Roxas.

Binay’s spokesman Joey Salgado said that the mural was under the temporary care of the Office of the Vice President. It was installed initially at the Philippine National Academy in Silang, Cavite, but was taken down because officials did not like that people were taking selfies with the mural, he said.

Mass transport woes

Reading from his 12-page speech in Filipino, the Vice President said there were three acronyms that symbolized the inept administration and these were the MRT (Metro Rail Transit); the BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law) and the DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program).

On the MRT, he said that from 20 trains and 60 coaches in 2010, only seven trains and 21 coaches were now running.

“Long lines, nonfunctioning escalators and stinky toilets, and few and congested coaches. Whenever passengers take a ride, their fervent prayers: That there won’t be a problem and we come home alive,” he said.

The government allotted P4.5 billion to buy new trains but he said four years after the funds’ release, there were no new trains.

He also said the Department of Transportation and Communications set aside over P5 billion to overhaul the MRT last year but this had not yet been done.

And for all these, Binay said the MRT even raised its fares.

“My countrymen, the government has control over the MRT for the past five years and still they blame some people for this ineptness,” he said.

Ineptitude, thievery

Binay said the MRT service became inept because the government changed its maintenance provider Sumitomo to the newbie and inexperienced PH Trams Co.

He said the allies and party mates of Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya were behind PH Trams.

Binay derided the MRT for saying employees who were late for work because of the trains’ breakdown should file excuse letters. He lamented the Palace reply for angry passengers just to take the bus.

He also referred to corruption allegations against former MRT general manager Al Vitangcol and asked why he was the only one charged in the Office of the Ombudsman.

He said the MRT service was already inept and still people made money out of it.

“It’s true that in the daang matuwid, ineptitude and thievery are siblings to party mates and allies,” he said.

Respect for Congress

On the proposed BBL, he slammed the government for considering those opposed to the measure to be its enemies.

He said the BBL would succeed if this did not violate the Constitution, involved all sectors and if the Palace won’t force Congress to pass it.

“Congress should be respected as a coequal branch of government and not threatened or bribed to do what the Palace wants,” he said.

On the DAP, Binay said the facility was supposed to pump-prime the economy but he noted that experts said only one centavo goes to the poor for every P1 spent for DAP.

He said it was very clear that DAP was the “glaring example” of wasteful spending of the people’s money. It also violated the Constitution.

GMA part

Binay also said while he recognized that the country’s economy improved in the last five years, the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo also had a part in it.

He also blasted the government for not amending the economic provisions in the Constitution and said this was why foreign investments are low.

Binay also decried that even under daang matuwid, corruption remained rampant, citing the MRT case involving Vitangcol and the pork barrel fund scam.

But he said the “true state of the nation” was that “the number of the poor increased, there are no jobs and many are hungry.”

“The plea of the people: Work, work work, service, service, service.”

Binay said it was not the daang matuwid slogan but leaders and the masses that would bring the country to progress.

He urged people to join him on the right path to progress.

FULL TEXT: VP Jejomar Binay’s ‘True State of the Nation Address’


MANILA STANDARD

Noy: I have no record of telling anyone lies By Sandy Araneta | Aug. 04, 2015 at 12:01am

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III said Monday he does not lie and that he stands by what he said in his sixth and final State-of-the-Nation Address on July 27.

“I have no record that I tell lies to anyone. I stand by what we said,” Aquino said before Vice President Jejomar Binay delivered his own version of the report, calling it the “True State-of-the-Nation Address.”

Aquino also said that critics are free to express their own opinions.

“We are in a democracy. Everybody is entitled to their opinion so long as they conform to the rules and the laws of the land, they are free to speak their mind,” Aquino said.

At the same time, Aquino urged Binay to give accurate information when he delivers his own report to the nation.

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“Well, one would hope that he would honor his pledge to serve the people and part of that... is giving them the right information,” said Aquino.

Aquino also said that his sixth and last SONA depicted the Philippines’ true state, but declined to say if Binay would still criticize his administration or praise him.

Binay has officially announced that he would run for president next year under the opposition United Nationalist Alliance party.

Binay, who has been hounded by allegations of corruption, resigned from Aquino’s Cabinet in June and has since become a vocal critic of the administration.


MANILA STANDARD EDITORIAL

‘I’m a liar?’ Aug. 05, 2015 at 12:01am



WHAT constitutes a lie?

The question is relevant today because President Aquino declared this week that he does not lie.

“I have no record [of telling] lies to anyone,” the President said, as he defended his two-hour State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) that critics have dismissed as being far too long and far removed from reality.

The dictionary tells us that to lie is: 1.) To present false information with the intention of deceiving; and 2.) To convey a false image or impression.

By both these measures, the President was lying through his teeth during his tiresome SONA. He continued this tendency to spread untruths when he claimed that he had no record of lying to anyone.

Here are just a few of the President’s SONA lies.

Fewer Filipinos are poor today, the President said, citing official poverty statistics. Regardless of the numbers that the Philippine Statistics Authority releases, this statement is a lie because it conveys the false impression that the government is winning the war on poverty when the reverse is true.

Official statistics are based on a poverty threshold of P58 per day for a person’s food and non-food needs, an unrealistically low figure that effectively reduces the number of poor by the millions.

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In contrast, the latest poll by the Social Weather Stations shows that one in two Filipinos considers himself poor and that 37 percent of Filipinos consider themselves food-poor, which translates to 8.1 million families.

In his speech, the President also boasted about reforms in the national budgeting process but failed to mention his disgraced Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which illegally transferred public funds without congressional approval; or the re-insertion of pork barrel—legally barred by the Supreme Court—into the 2015 and 2016 national budgets.

The President also blamed the decrepit service state of the MRT on the state’s private sector partners, a full five years after his government assumed control of the city train system.

For the record, it was the President’s appointed managers who replaced the existing maintenance service provider with a less experienced—and some would say, less qualified—company without the benefit of a public bidding.

The anomalous contract is now the subject of a graft complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman—but of course, the President said nothing about this, again giving the false impression that everything is all right.

The President likes to pass himself off as an honest man but his self-aggrandizing propaganda tells us otherwise.

Perhaps he really believes the lies he is telling. “I’m a liar? Are you calling me a liar?” we can almost hear him say indignantly as we call into question his claims. Indubitably yes, Mr. President—is the only conclusion we can reach.


MALAYA BY DUCKY PAREDES

PHNO COLUMN OF THE WEEK!

PNOY QUOTES BLOGGER By Ducky Paredes on August 07, 2015


DUCKY PAREDES

MANY were surprised that the President in his last SONA mentioned a blogger. This is how this blogger describes himself: “Joe America is a permanent resident of the Philippines with his Filipino wife and a culturally ambidectrous son. He arrived in the Philippines in 2005 and lived for a time in Northern Mindanao and Zambales Province in Luzon. His family now lives in the Visayas in a rice-growing area.

“Joe is a retired banking executive with degrees in Mathematics and Radio and Television Arts. His 30-year working career was based in Los Angeles, California. He’s travelled on business or personally to 21 countries.”

I read his blog occasionally. Following is why I do:

“It has became strikingly clear to me how things fit together regarding the future of the Philippines. It’s all about Senator Escudero.

“Now Senator Escudero inadvertently got us into this mess by supporting Jejomar Binay over Mar Roxas for the vice presidency in 2010. We know how that went. It fed the ambition of the most ambitious man in the country and put him one step from the position he is drooling to acquire. I say “inadvertently” because I give Senator Escudero the benefit of the doubt. I imagine he had no idea how pervasive and perverse was the corruption in Makati. He thought Binay’s “style” was just politicians doing what they do, influencing others.

“Now we have the ambitious Binay aiming for the presidency by waging a powerful and wily campaign to rope in the votes from the laboring poor. He is positioning himself as their hero, as a “man who is like them”, against “those corrupt and incompetent people in government”. He is playing the sympathy card about as skillfully and maliciously as it can be played..

“Well, we may want to turn our heads and be ill at all this, but that is the reality of the presidential run for 2016. It seems like the Philippines has no ethical or legal or even moral recourse to stop a crook and liar from ascending to the presidency. The stopping must be done at the ballot box.

“Now let’s shift to President Aquino and the meeting he will apparently call soon involving Secretary Roxas and Senators Poe and Escudero.

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“There are two positions open for discussion, the Presidency and the Vice Presidency. But there are three people in the room speaking with the President.

“If we took Senator Escudero out of the picture, the solution is simple. Roxas for President and Poe for VP, where she can give Roxas a popular boost, gain experience and set herself up for the presidency in 2022.

“That is easy. It is a relief. It solves the problem. The nation is in good hands for 12 more years.

“But we are not talking about team players here.

“So there is no relief. There is dysfunction and conflict and fighting. There is ego and greed and ambition. There is the all too traditional Filipino way . . .

“Senator Escudero won’t take himself out of the picture. After all, he is a realist. He can’t make the presidency on his own. The polls show that with an exclamation point. So he needs some calculated stepping stones. One is to become Vice President under Poe, and then he can make the natural step into the presidency in 2022.

“With that as our vision, we see how Poe is really just the vehicle for Escudero. Not a puppet, exactly, but she holds one of the stepping stones for Escudero. And it explains his presumptuous speaking on Poe’s behalf, giving the ever-panting lapdog journalists some nibbles to chew on.

“Senator Poe appears unwilling to set Escudero aside because . . . well, frankly . . . she does not have the strength to do that. He is her friend and confidant. Her adviser and spokesman. Her path to the campaign money through Ongpin and other businessmen. She would be all alone. And she does not have the knowledge or the confidence to stand for herself. She is as green as green can be, toting about her Escudero security blanket.

“Thus, ironically enough, she defines herself as not ready for the Presidency. The presidency is the loneliest job in the nation. It is the place where important decisions must be made. And they can be made only by one person. That person must have the strength to do what is right. Not popular.

“Alone.

“But we have Escudero in the Poe picture. Always Escudero.

“Escudero, Escudero, Escudero.

“He can’t encourage Poe to fly free, can’t give her the strength to stand for herself. That would be suicide for his own ambitions. He needs to keep himself in the picture. In Poe’s arms, as it were.

“President Aquino understand the situation clearly, I am confident. He knows that Escudero is the problem here, but he is a friend of the family, too, so he will be treated well.

“President Aquino knows that Secretary Roxas has earned his shot at the presidency. Through dedication and hard work and accomplishment and loyalty to the nation and its people . . . he has earned his shot. Poe on the Roxas ticket would take both Roxas and Poe to the win. For sure.

“What is strange is that Senators Poe and Escudero can’t seem to see that. They don’t seem to care what Roxas has earned. He is just in the way.

“The President also knows that a three-way race between Roxas, Poe and Binay opens the door to the worst case scenario, a split “good guy” ticket, and a Binay presidency. The straight path is ruined.

“Alas, Roxas/Poe makes Escudero the odd man out, unless he is content with a major cabinet post and the presidency in . . . OMG . . . 2028.

“Escudero . . . ego over nation . . . will not step aside.

“This explains why he is making sure that Poe’s ambitions are pumped up, and her confidence in winning is sky-high, and they are on the front pages almost every day. It seems that Escudero is not a man who would concede for the best interest of the nation. Escudero is a political gamer.

“So that is the predicament.

“This is what will be discussed when the four meet Escudero (and Poe) will suggest that Roxas step aside and LP back Poe/Escudero.

“The President will ask Escudero to step aside with LP supporting Roxas/Poe.

“Could you ask Roxas to step aside, in favor of Escudero, essentially?

“I could not, in good conscience.

“I could not.

“The decision for the nation is so very very simple. Roxas/Poe. You know it. I know it. Most of the neutral nation knows it.

“If Escudero is not willing to step up for the Philippines by stepping out of the picture . . .and if Poe does not have the strength of self to put Escudero into the background . . .with the nation’s well-being at stake, a choice of going forward on the straight path or going backward in the worst way imaginable . . .then that defines Poe and Escudero as unqualified for the presidency. It defines them as self-dealing opportunists, not committed to the most basic ideal of the straight path: that which is good for the nation is of highest importance.

“Well we have integrity . . . going with the best man . . . and we have expediency . . . going with the most likely winner. Me, I choose integrity along with the determination to show the people why Roxas is the best, most capable, most experienced choice. If I were President facing the “Escudero predicament”, I’d opt for the three way race with the intention of beating both Poe and Binay with the only real patriot, real straight-path candidate, real competence among the three: Secretary Roxas. I’d not accept dismissing the earnest dedication and capability of Mar Roxas in favor of the expediency and self-dealing of Escudero. I’d not accept going with a weak, inexperienced novice like Poe as the only way to beat a crook.

“And being highly competitive and willing to step outside the box, I’d run Leni Robredo for Vice President. She has talent and great popular appeal. Better than Poe’s perhaps, given some of the push-back we are starting to see against Poe for her indelicate speaking. Rep Robredo also dots the “i”s and crosses the “t”s for Roxas as a man of integrity, in a way no other person can.

“Two things I know for sure.

“Mr. Escudero is not the only game in town.

“And Ms. Poe, in needing him so badly, is not yet ready.”

***

This is why I read Joe America. He makes a lot of sense!


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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