© Copyright, 2015 (PHNO)
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NOY'S CORNER THIS PAST WEEK...
(MINI-READS followed by FULL REPORTS below)

EMBATTLED TESDA CHIEF MULLS PARTY SWITCH
[“I really don’t know what is motivating the Department of Justice [DOJ] to file a case with no basis. Somehow I am relieved that finally I would know what’s really in it and that I can finally defend myself not in the context of allegations from the DOJ,” the Tesda chief said. Palace: Joel still an ally]


Joel Villanueva, the embattled chief of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) who is reportedly eyeing a Senate seat in next year’s elections, is now considering crossing over to other political parties, including the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). Villanueva, said to be a close friend of President Benigno Aquino 3rd, on Monday said he is not closing his doors to the possibility of joining the senatorial slate of other political parties after he uncovered a plot to ease him out of the Cabinet and from the ruling party’s senatorial slate.The maneuvers were reportedly masterminded by a faction within the Liberal Party (LP) stalwarts that is identified with Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd. “Yes, I am open [joining other political parties],” Villanueva, a close friend of the President, said in a text message, adding that he remains an ally of the administration.
Villanueva earlier disclosed that he is “90 percent” sure he would run for the Senate in next year’s polls. The Tesda chief said he will try his luck in next year’s polls only if his ratings in senatorial surveys continue to rise. Villanueva, the youngest member of the Aquino Cabinet, had served for nine years as party-list representative of Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) before he was appointed as Tesda chief in 2010.
Along with other lawmakers, he is facing graft charges in connection with the P10-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam. He said he could not fathom why he was included in the pork barrel case despite the absence of solid evidence against him.“I am not mad or angry but I am really disappointed. Nagtataka lang ako sa dami ng ebidensya na hindi ako dapat isama, pinilit isama [I am just surprised that despite lack of evidence against me, they really labored to include me],” Villanueva noted. READ MORE...

ALSO: Bid to use lawmakers’ spouses group for Mar campaign bared


President Benigno S. Aquino III welcomes the officers and members of the Congressional Spouses Foundation Inc. (CSFI) during a courtesy call at the Heroes’ Hall of Malacañang on Tuesday (Nov. 29, 2011). (Photo by: Benhur Arcayan /Malacañang Photo Bureau /PNA) /scs/gsc PHOTO COURTESY OF BALITA.PH POSTED NOVEMBER 30, 2011.
The camp of Liberal Party (LP) presidential candidate Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II is reportedly using the Congressional Spouses Foundation Inc. (CSFI), a non-profit, charitable and non-political organization, in the administration party’s bid to clinch the highest office in the country in 2016. Batangas Rep. Mark Leandro Mendoza, who is also the secretary general of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), charged that the CSFI, a non-political entity composed of spouses of congressmen, has been one of the targets of the “all-out-War or all-out- Mar” campaign. He noted that the CSFI headed by Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte was invited by Roxas’ mother, Judy Araneta-Roxas, to a lunch meeting last Wednesday. This is the first time that Mrs. Roxas has asked the CSFI to join her for lunch. “It looks like they are not being shy anymore. It appears nothing will be spared in their efforts to get Mar elected,” stated Mendoza, who is expected to be the NPC bet for governor in Batangas. “Even what should not be politicized is being politicized,” the lawmaker stressed. The foundation provides scholarships to deserving students, spearheads livelihood programs, and helps charitable institutions involved in women and childcare. READ MORE...


ALSO:
‘Mar using personal funds for ads’


Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas
 Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, as the administration presidential candidate, is using his own money for television and radio advertisements.
Two lawmaker-allies yesterday responded to a statement of Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate asking if public funds were used for Roxas’ ads. “Secretary Mar is so decent, circumspect and honest that he will not use taxpayers’ money for his political advertisements. I think my colleague in the minority is barking up the wrong tree,” Rep. Carol Jane Lopez of party-list group You Against Corruption and Poverty said. She said Roxas “can very well afford to fund his presidential campaign, including his radio-TV ad placements.” The administration candidate belongs to the Araneta-Roxas family that owns the Araneta complex in the heart of Cubao, Quezon City. Lopez is part of a group of members of the House of Representatives supporting Roxas’ presidential bid. She and her colleagues belong to different political parties. Lopez said it is unfair for anyone to insinuate that her candidate is using taxpayers’ money in his campaign and advertisements. “Secretary Mar is Mr. Clean. He has never been accused of misusing public funds,” she said. READ MORE...

ALSO Palace: Roxas not giving way to Poe


President Benigno Aquino III formally anoints Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, his fellow Liberal Party members, at Club Filipino in San Juan City on Friday, July 31, 2015. Malacañang Photo Bureau
 Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, the administration’s standard-bearer, is not likely to give way to independent Sen. Grace Poe despite surveys showing she has better chances of winning, Malacañang said yesterday. Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda also said at a press briefing that the administration could not wait forever for Poe to decide whether she would run as vice president of Roxas. Poe, without naming names, has wondered why she is the only one being asked to slide down to the vice presidential position and not the other persons who are interested in the presidency. “The torch has been passed. The straight path torch has been passed to Secretary Mar Roxas and in the estimation, in the view of the President, Secretary Mar will be the best person to lead, to continue the straight path,” Lacierda said. He reiterated that continuity was important and had proved effective in other countries such as China, Malaysia and Singapore regardless of political systems. “If you look at them, what allowed them to progress? Continuity… So this is the framework where we’re coming from… We have that opportunity in more than a generation right now. We have the momentum to do continuity, and that’s the reason why we’re always emphasizing good governance, the reforms,” Lacierda said. Lacierda said Roxas was part of the straight path from the very beginning and has a track record in public service, citing the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry that the interior chief brought to the country. READ MORE...

ALSO: Roxas ‘admires’ Robredo, but Poe remains top choice for VP


Call center employees in Cebu ask Secretary Mar Roxas’ help in providing a “one-stop shop” of government agencies such as the NBI, PhilHealth, SSS, among others. MARLON RAMOS
CEBU CITY, Philippines—Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas is not giving up on Sen. Grace Poe whom he wants to be his running mate in the 2016 elections.He has even defended Poe from questions on her citizenship, saying he believes that the senator is a Filipino.The secretary has also said he admires Camarines Sur Rep. Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo due to her capabilities and unblemished record in the House of Representatives.
He has told reporters that the creation of “Leni Robredo for Vice President Movement” is a good development and congratulated the Kaya Natin! movement and Urban Poor Associates for launching it. But Roxas on Wednesday said Poe remained his top choice for vice president.“Hindi naman tayo pabago-bago. Meron tayong outstanding na imbitasyon kay Senator Poe. Ito ‘yung kasalakuyang posisyon at pananaw ko at ng Pangulo at ng partido (We have not changed our minds. We have an outstanding invitation to Senator Poe. This my present position and the view even of the President [Aquino] and the party),” he said.Roxas defended Poe from questions on her citizenship raised by United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).“Naniniwala ako na Pilipina si Senator Poe. Inimbita ko nga maging running mate. So, kung may problema ang UNA, siguro sila na ang bahala kung anong gagawin nila doon. Meron naman nakatakdang proseso para ma-determina lahat ‘yan (I believe Senator Poe is a Filipina. I invited her to be my running mate. So, if UNA has a problem with that, it’s up to them what to do about it. There is a due process to determine everything),” he added. READ MORE...

ALSO: Mar Roxas woos Mindanao mayors


DAVAO CITY -- Interior Secretary Mar Roxas on Friday asked the help of Mindanao mayors in the upcoming presidential elections.
Roxas spoke in front of the mayors from different municipalities of Mindanao during the Mindanao Conference of League of the Municipalities of the Philippines Friday afternoon. He was straightforward in asking for the support of the mayors in the 2016 national elections. "Namamanhikan po ako sa inyo. Hinihingi ko po ang inyong tulong. Magpapatuloy po tayo sa ating tinatahak. Sagradong obligasyon po natin na ipaglaban itong daang matuwid na nakita natin." Roxas also hoped the officials will invite him to their respective municipalities. "Sa susunod na buwan, magkikita po tayo muli. Sana anyayahan niyo po ako sa inyong mga bayan." Roxas likewise acknowledged several Cabinet members and political officials in his speech. Among those he mentioned were Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Luwalhati Antonio, DILG Usec. Austere Panadero, Usec. Joel Payumo, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino, and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Mujiv Hataman After the conference, Roxas visited the bishop's residence, and met with Archbishop Romulo Valles. Valles explained that Roxas is an old friend and that he is only praying for him. He also clarified that he is not endorsing any candidate. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: IS THE CABINET SOLID BEHIND ROXAS?


Aquino believes the Cabinet is solid behind the candidacy of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas. CAN Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II count on the solid support of the Cabinet in his presidential bid? President Aquino said from his perspective, he does not see a division in his official family, though each Cabinet member is free to choose who to support in the 2016 elections. Aquino vouched for the unity of his Cabinet in an interview after his surprise visit to the New Executive Building, where he thanked and distributed chocolates to his communications group. “Hindi naman kami nagdidiktahan. Parating consensus-building kami,” he said. He said reports of division in the Cabinet are just part of the dynamics of the political season. “At the end of the day, may pruweba ba?” he asked. Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., who is said to belong to a faction different from Roxas, said the Cabinet is united behind the reform programs under Aquino’s Tuwid na Daan advocacy. He said nothing about unity behind Roxas’ candidacy. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Tesda chief mulls party switch

MANILA, AUGUST 10, 2015 (MANILA TIMES) by NEIL A. ALCOBER, LLANESCA T. PANTI, REPORTERS AND JOEL M. SY EGCO, SENIOR REPORTER - Joel Villanueva, the embattled chief of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) who is reportedly eyeing a Senate seat in next year’s elections, is now considering crossing over to other political parties, including the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

Villanueva, said to be a close friend of President Benigno Aquino 3rd, on Monday said he is not closing his doors to the possibility of joining the senatorial slate of other political parties after he uncovered a plot to ease him out of the Cabinet and from the ruling party’s senatorial slate.

The maneuvers were reportedly masterminded by a faction within the Liberal Party (LP) stalwarts that is identified with Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd.

“Yes, I am open [joining other political parties],” Villanueva, a close friend of the President, said in a text message, adding that he remains an ally of the administration.

Villanueva earlier disclosed that he is “90 percent” sure he would run for the Senate in next year’s polls.

The Tesda chief said he will try his luck in next year’s polls only if his ratings in senatorial surveys continue to rise.

Villanueva, the youngest member of the Aquino Cabinet, had served for nine years as party-list representative of Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) before he was appointed as Tesda chief in 2010.

Along with other lawmakers, he is facing graft charges in connection with the P10-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam.

He said he could not fathom why he was included in the pork barrel case despite the absence of solid evidence against him.

“I am not mad or angry but I am really disappointed. Nagtataka lang ako sa dami ng ebidensya na hindi ako dapat isama, pinilit isama [I am just surprised that despite lack of evidence against me, they really labored to include me],” Villanueva noted.

“I really don’t know what is motivating the Department of Justice [DOJ] to file a case with no basis. Somehow I am relieved that finally I would know what’s really in it and that I can finally defend myself not in the context of allegegations from the DOJ,” the Tesda chief said.

READ MORE...

Villanueva earlier denied involvement in the pork barrel scam.

Palace: Joel still an ally

Malacañang also on Monday said Tesda Director General Villanueva remains an ally of the Aquino administration despite his claims that some people within the LP are moving against him.

In a text message to reporters, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Villanueva will remain an effective ally of the administration amid the controversy.

“According to Sec. Villanueva, he was taken aback by the filing of a complaint against him by the NBI [National Bureau of Investigation] as he was not a party to the alleged [pork barrel] transactions,” the Palace official added.

Reacting to The Manila Times report published also on Monday about Villanueva’s “disappointment” over how certain individuals identified with Roxas are treating him shabbily, Coloma maintained that the Tesda chief will not bolt the administration.

“Despite efforts by detractors to malign him, he remains committed to the continuation of President Aquino’s good governance platform,” he said.

In an interview with this paper last Sunday, Villanueva said he was disappointed by the machinations of the group that could also be behind his inclusion in the latest batch of former and active lawmakers charged in connection with the P10-billion pork barrel scam.


TRIBUNE

Bid to use lawmakers’ spouses group for Mar campaign bared Written by Tribune Wires Tuesday, 11 August 2015 00:00


President Benigno S. Aquino III welcomes the officers and members of the Congressional Spouses Foundation Inc. (CSFI) during a courtesy call at the Heroes’ Hall of Malacañang on Tuesday (Nov. 29, 2011). CSFI is a non-governmental organization embodied by the wives of the members of the Philippine House of Representatives founded to complement their husbands’ legislative initiatives through various socio-civic actions and to rehabilitate the women victims of abuse in the country. (Photo by: Benhur Arcayan/Malacañang Photo Bureau/PNA) /scs/gsc PHOTO COURTESY OF BALITA.PH POSTED NOVEMBER 30, 2011.


The camp of Liberal Party (LP) presidential candidate Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II is reportedly using the Congressional Spouses Foundation Inc. (CSFI), a non-profit, charitable and non-political organization, in the administration party’s bid to clinch the highest office in the country in 2016.

Batangas Rep. Mark Leandro Mendoza, who is also the secretary general of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), charged that the CSFI, a non-political entity composed of spouses of congressmen, has been one of the targets of the “all-out-War or all-out- Mar” campaign.

He noted that the CSFI headed by Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte was invited by Roxas’ mother, Judy Araneta-Roxas, to a lunch meeting last Wednesday.

This is the first time that Mrs. Roxas has asked the CSFI to join her for lunch.
“It looks like they are not being shy anymore. It appears nothing will be spared in their efforts to get Mar elected,” stated Mendoza, who is expected to be the NPC bet for governor in Batangas.

“Even what should not be politicized is being politicized,” the lawmaker stressed.
The foundation provides scholarships to deserving students, spearheads livelihood programs, and helps charitable institutions involved in women and childcare.

READ MORE...

“These are acts of desperation. The CSFI is traditionally non-partisan and non-political because it’s supposed to be a venue where its members can work together without regard for the political affiliations of their spouses,” Mendoza said.

He accused Mrs. Roxas of “pulling all the stops to get her son elected.”

“This is a Mar-for-president train that has no brakes, ethical or otherwise,” he averred.

Roxas has been consistently low in the presidential survey ratings.

Lakas yet to align with any party

Lakas-CMD secretary general and spokesman Jose “Joboy” Aquino, meanwhile, belied reports that their party has already aligned itself with any particular political party, and that it has already thrown its support behind any aspirant’s presidential bid.

“The party leadership has asked me to clarify media reports that Lakas has already committed its support to a particular party or candidate. This is not true. While some of our members may have expressed their personal opinions, it is not binding on Lakas,” Aquino, in a statement, yesteday said.

According to him, the party leadership has yet to conclude its ongoing consultation and dialog with party members.

This, Aquino said, is the reason there can be no truth to claims that Lakas has already concluded talks with any other political party.

“We will let the public know which party and which candidates we will be aligning ourselves with and supporting in the 2016 elections. This announcement will come only from the party chairman and party president – Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Rep. Martin Romuladez, respectively,” he added.



Aquino also pointed out that despite the persecution being done against the Lakas leadership and membership, the political party continues to be relevant and is still a force to reckon with in the upcoming elections.

He said this was evident in the fact that political camps have already claimed the support of Lakas despite the truth notwithstanding.

Bongbong to launch candidacy next month

Despite no clear post vocally eyed, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is set to announce his political plans for next year’s elections.

A ranking member of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), the political party founded by the young Marcos’ father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos, confirmed to The Daily Tribune that party leader Oliver Lozano told him that the senator’s political launch is set on September 22 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

“We are not yet certain on what position is he running for, but we are certain that Senator Marcos will continue his great Dad’s legacy of making the nation great again,” the source, who served as an assistant to former First Lady Imelda Marcos, said, adding that she hopes to see Marcos Jr. as President.

“He is a promising leader, young and vibrant, who can be unifying instead of being vindictive like President Aquino who still blames past administrations), but has not proved any significant achievements or projects unlike the Marcoses,” she added.

Marcos is among those who are predicted by some political analysts to be one of those “alternative candidates” for the presidency, although the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) said the senator is one of the top choices to be Vice President Jejomar Binay’s running mate in the upcoming elections.

UNA secretary general lawyer JV Bautista had earlier said “the consideration of a Binay-Marcos tandem is not ironic, but unifying” knowing that the former used to be a political detainee during the martial law era, adding such duo is a “viable” one.
Alvin Murcia, Gerry Baldo and Ted Tuvera


PHILSTAR

‘Mar using personal funds for ads’ By Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 13, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas

MANILA, Philippines - Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, as the administration presidential candidate, is using his own money for television and radio advertisements.

Two lawmaker-allies yesterday responded to a statement of Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate asking if public funds were used for Roxas’ ads.

“Secretary Mar is so decent, circumspect and honest that he will not use taxpayers’ money for his political advertisements. I think my colleague in the minority is barking up the wrong tree,” Rep. Carol Jane Lopez of party-list group You Against Corruption and Poverty said.

She said Roxas “can very well afford to fund his presidential campaign, including his radio-TV ad placements.”

The administration candidate belongs to the Araneta-Roxas family that owns the Araneta complex in the heart of Cubao, Quezon City.

Lopez is part of a group of members of the House of Representatives supporting Roxas’ presidential bid. She and her colleagues belong to different political parties.

Lopez said it is unfair for anyone to insinuate that her candidate is using taxpayers’ money in his campaign and advertisements.

“Secretary Mar is Mr. Clean. He has never been accused of misusing public funds,” she said.

READ MORE...

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda also defended the administration candidate over questions of the fund sources of the TV ads of Roxas.

Lacierda shielded Roxas from allegations he may be using government funds to bankroll his TV and radio ads, saying Roxas comes from a wealthy family.

“Secretary Mar Roxas started the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry,” he said.

“As then secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry, he started the BPO industry. What we didn’t realize was that he prohibited his own family from engaging in the BPO business,” Lacierda added.

“He did it honestly, with integrity; he prohibited his own family from engaging in that business. Do you think that he will, in his 20 years of experience, taint his name? Has he ever been accused of using government funds for a campaign?” he asked.

Lacierda said the Bayan Muna party-list lawmakers should be more objective in taking notice of Roxas’ radio and TV ads.

“There are so many ads but it seems they are waiting for the ads of Roxas to come out. What about the ads of other people? They are also government officials,” he said.

“Now, having said that, Secretary Mar Roxas has never used his personal – his position to advance a gain for his own family. Do you expect he will do this?” Lacierda remarked.

Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice said critics should ask Vice President Jejomar Binay and other candidates if they are using public funds.

He said that in the case of Binay, the Vice President’s office has a budget of more than P200 million, courtesy of taxpayers.

His budget includes P23 million for travel and P87 million for financial assistance and subsidy, he said.

“Is he using those funds for his presidential bid? If he goes to Mindanao to campaign, is he paying for his trip out of personal funds or is it the Office of the Vice President that pays for his travel?” he asked.

Erice said Binay could use his financial assistance fund to give money to those who promise to vote for him.

“He has that advantage over his opponents, and I think he will not hesitate to use it,” he said.

He recalled that when Binay ran for vice president, there were reports that he invited local government officials from the provinces to travel to Metro Manila for rest and recreation, billeting them at the Makati Friendship Hotel, which is owned by the Makati City government.

On the other hand, Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento said the ruling Liberal Party (LP) would only wage a positive campaign in securing public support for Roxas.

Sarmiento, secretary-general of the LP, also called on other presidential aspirants to refrain from using black propaganda, dirty tricks and political mudslinging.

“It’s just sad that some people are using name-calling and foul personal attacks to bring down their perceived political rivals,” Sarmiento said.

“We at LP are not only committed to reform the old and corrupt system of governance, but we are working hard to also change our prevailing political culture,” he said.

Sarmiento said Roxas and the LP team “will campaign based on what we have done and what we intend to do.”

‘False flag’ Sarmiento added the ruling party had nothing to do with the filing of the disqualification case against Sen. Grace Poe, who is seen as a strong presidential contender in 2016.

He said the disqualification case filed by Rizalito David was obviously a “false flag” to provoke hostility between the LP and the senator.

Sarmiento said those behind the suit are trying to pin the blame on Caloocan Rep. Erice as LP political affairs chairman because after the filing, a text blast quickly followed naming him as the one who gave the filing fee to David.

Sarmiento said Roxas’ campaign would focus on the things that he had accomplished both as a public servant and as President Aquino’s most trusted wingman in running the government.

He said Roxas’ presidential bid should not also get in the way of the government’s anti-corruption campaign, despite efforts by some political personalities to draw a connection between the 2016 elections and their legal woes due to alleged involvement in various cases of graft and corruption.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, for his part, said the LP should secure the tandem of Roxas and Poe to avoid political constraints of having a minority president.

Salceda said he expects a four-cornered fight in the presidential race with Roxas, Poe, Binay and Davao City Rodrigo Duterte.

“Mar Roxas and Sen. Grace Poe should work together,” Salceda said.

“If Sen.r Grace Poe does not run for president, one half of Mar’s problem is already solved because Sen. Poe and Roxas have the same pychographic market segment, such as the straight path and against corruption, among other things.”

“But if Sen. Grace Poe runs for president, it will be a hard and difficult campaign for us and the party,” he said. –Paolo Romero, Delon Porcalla, Celso Amo


PHILSTAR

Palace: Roxas not giving way to Poe By Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 13, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


President Benigno Aquino III formally anoints Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, his fellow Liberal Party members, at Club Filipino in San Juan City on Friday, July 31, 2015. Malacañang Photo Bureau

MANILA, Philippines - Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, the administration’s standard-bearer, is not likely to give way to independent Sen. Grace Poe despite surveys showing she has better chances of winning, Malacañang said yesterday.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda also said at a press briefing that the administration could not wait forever for Poe to decide whether she would run as vice president of Roxas.

Poe, without naming names, has wondered why she is the only one being asked to slide down to the vice presidential position and not the other persons who are interested in the presidency.

“The torch has been passed. The straight path torch has been passed to Secretary Mar Roxas and in the estimation, in the view of the President, Secretary Mar will be the best person to lead, to continue the straight path,” Lacierda said.

He reiterated that continuity was important and had proved effective in other countries such as China, Malaysia and Singapore regardless of political systems.

“If you look at them, what allowed them to progress? Continuity… So this is the framework where we’re coming from… We have that opportunity in more than a generation right now. We have the momentum to do continuity, and that’s the reason why we’re always emphasizing good governance, the reforms,” Lacierda said.

Lacierda said Roxas was part of the straight path from the very beginning and has a track record in public service, citing the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry that the interior chief brought to the country.

READ MORE...

On Poe’s stance of not coming up with a decision to run for a higher post sooner, Lacierda said, “Just for record – and I will say this with all the love – the truth is, there is really no forever.”

He stressed that he really could not speak for Poe and that they were still hoping she would consider the offer to be Roxas’ running mate “but, of course… we will arrive at that point whether she accepts or not.”

Lacierda said there are other personalities who could be Roxas’ running mate, like Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, but added that they were still looking at Poe at the moment.

Roxas, who was in Cebu City, said that while he admires Robredo’s unblemished record, Poe is still the top choice and that his invitation for the senator to become his running mate remains.

He added that he believes that Poe is Filipino and that he would not meddle if the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) would want to question this.

Still, with all the speculations, Lacierda said they would just have to wait for the decision of Poe. He added that he did not have any information if Roxas and Poe had already spoken after the interior chief confirmed on national TV that he invited the senator to be his running mate.

Poe clarified that she did not ask Roxas to become her running mate instead.

She stressed that running for public office is a sacrifice, but continued with a cryptic statement that appears to refer to Roxas.

“Maybe some are running because they want to achieve their plans that have been prematurely prevented. For me, running is about serving the people,” Poe added.

Roxas, who was supposed to run for president in 2010, gave way to then Sen. Benigno Aquino lll, who answered the calmer to run for president after the death of his mother, the late President Corazon Aquino.

NPC support Lacierda is not bothered by the supposed support of the Nationalist People’s Coalition for Poe as prospective presidential bet and her perceived running mate, Sen. Francis Escudero.

“Some of the NPC congressmen were instructed by (NPC chairman emeritus Eduardo) ‘Danding’ Cojuangco (Jr.) and (businessman) Ramon Ang to meet with Secretary Mar Roxas, so that should be a message in and of itself. So how does the NPC take it? How does the public take it? It’s up to them,” Lacierda said.

He said despite earlier pronouncements from some NPC stalwarts that they would likely go for Poe and Escudero, they were also quoted as saying they would defer to Cojuangco.

NPC officials and members have separately met with Roxas over breakfast and with Poe and Escudero at dinnertime.

While Cojuangco and Ang asked their partymates to talk to Roxas, as Lacierda noted, Poe and Escudero were invited to the NPC dinner.

“I am not (a member of) NPC, and it would be too presumptuous of me, but all I can see are the optics of it all. So those optics can be subject to interpretation by political commentators and I am not in a position to say that,” Lacierda said.

Isabela Gov. Faustino Dy confirmed that Poe attended the NPC Tuesday meeting but stressed that the senator neither sought the party’s endorsement nor discussed future political plans.

Dy, the NPC chairman, said Poe’s stance was more like “testing the depth of waters before finally deciding to dive in.”

“It was just like she was trying to feel if the situation is ripe enough for her to run,” he added.

Dy told The STAR that the NPC, the second biggest political group in the country, held its general assembly to discuss their 2016 plans. Poe and Escudero were invited to the event.

Earlier on Tuesday morning, Roxas sought NPC support for his presidential bid but Dy said the group has not declared support for anyone.

At his level, Dy said Vice President Jejomar Binay is leading in his turf as the latter is considered a member of the Ibanag.

The political clan of former House majority leader Rodolfo Albano Jr., which include his sons Rep. Rodolfo Albano III and Vice Gov. Antonio Albano, has as stronghold Cabagan town – also the birthplace of Binay’s mother, former school teacher Lourdes Cabauatan. – With Janvic Mateo, Raymund Catindig, Mitchelle Palaubsanon


INQUIRER

Roxas ‘admires’ Robredo, but Poe remains top choice for VP @inquirerdotnet 04:59 PM August 12th, 2015


Call center employees in Cebu ask Secretary Mar Roxas’ help in providing a “one-stop shop” of government agencies such as the NBI, PhilHealth, SSS, among others. MARLON RAMOS

CEBU CITY, Philippines—Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas is not giving up on Sen. Grace Poe whom he wants to be his running mate in the 2016 elections.

He has even defended Poe from questions on her citizenship, saying he believes that the senator is a Filipino.

The secretary has also said he admires Camarines Sur Rep. Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo due to her capabilities and unblemished record in the House of Representatives.

He has told reporters that the creation of “Leni Robredo for Vice President Movement” is a good development and congratulated the Kaya Natin! movement and Urban Poor Associates for launching it.

But Roxas on Wednesday said Poe remained his top choice for vice president.

“Hindi naman tayo pabago-bago. Meron tayong outstanding na imbitasyon kay Senator Poe. Ito ‘yung kasalakuyang posisyon at pananaw ko at ng Pangulo at ng partido (We have not changed our minds. We have an outstanding invitation to Senator Poe. This my present position and the view even of the President [Aquino] and the party),” he said.

Roxas defended Poe from questions on her citizenship raised by United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

“Naniniwala ako na Pilipina si Senator Poe. Inimbita ko nga maging running mate. So, kung may problema ang UNA, siguro sila na ang bahala kung anong gagawin nila doon. Meron naman nakatakdang proseso para ma-determina lahat ‘yan (I believe Senator Poe is a Filipina. I invited her to be my running mate. So, if UNA has a problem with that, it’s up to them what to do about it. There is a due process to determine everything),” he added.

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Roxas was in Cebu on Wednesday to speak at the 62nd Philippine Sugar Technologies (Philsutech) annual national convention at Waterfront Hotel in Barangay Lahug in this city.

In his message, Roxas asked the support of the agriculture sector in his bid to continue President Aquino’s “daang matuwid (straight path)” campaign.

“I ask for your help, I appeal to you to stay together in the daang matuwid that brings the prosperity that we are experiencing today,” he added.

Roxas also met with the farmers at the capitol during the launching of Farmers’ Day and led the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Agro-Machinery Expo 2015.

He also had breakfast with business process outsourcing employees at a fast-food restaurant inside Cebu IT Park in Barangay Lahug.

Roxas met with civil society groups in Talisay City before flying to Cagayan de Oro City on board a lear jet with tail number RP-C2910.

The secretary met with leaders of Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) at Liberal Party’s Balay headquarters in Cubao, Quezon City, on Tuesday.

In the evening, NPC hosted a dinner with Poe and Sen. Francis Escudero at the NPC headquarters in the sprawling Cojuangco estate on Balete Drive.

Among those who attended the meeting with Roxas was Bacolod Rep. Evelio Leonardia.

“We were invited by the Secretary Mar Roxas camp as NPC members because we have an existing alliance with the Liberal Party,” he said.

“It was also clear that the NPC, as a party, has not yet made an official announcement regarding its plans for 2016. It was nevertheless a friendly and enlightening experience,” he added.

Leonardia said Roxas spoke about his sense of mission, basic philosophies and political insights. The highlight of the meeting was an open discussion of issues and events.

“The meeting was social and political because those who attended are mostly long-time friends and acquaintances,” he added.

“It was cordial, candid and spirited. The overall mode was exploratory and could be interpreted that the doors between the two parties will remain open,” Leonardia said.
RC


ABS-CBN

Mar Roxas woos Mindanao mayors By Hernel Tocmo, ABS-CBN News Southern Mindanao Posted at 08/14/2015 8:35 PM

DAVAO CITY -- Interior Secretary Mar Roxas on Friday asked the help of Mindanao mayors in the upcoming presidential elections.

Roxas spoke in front of the mayors from different municipalities of Mindanao during the Mindanao Conference of League of the Municipalities of the Philippines Friday afternoon.

He was straightforward in asking for the support of the mayors in the 2016 national elections.

"Namamanhikan po ako sa inyo. Hinihingi ko po ang inyong tulong. Magpapatuloy po tayo sa ating tinatahak. Sagradong obligasyon po natin na ipaglaban itong daang matuwid na nakita natin."

Roxas also hoped the officials will invite him to their respective municipalities.

"Sa susunod na buwan, magkikita po tayo muli. Sana anyayahan niyo po ako sa inyong mga bayan."

Roxas likewise acknowledged several Cabinet members and political officials in his speech. Among those he mentioned were Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Luwalhati Antonio, DILG Usec. Austere Panadero, Usec. Joel Payumo, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino, and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Mujiv Hataman

After the conference, Roxas visited the bishop's residence, and met with Archbishop Romulo Valles.

Valles explained that Roxas is an old friend and that he is only praying for him. He also clarified that he is not endorsing any candidate.


MALAYA

IS THE CABINET SOLID BEHIND ROXAS? By JOCELYN MONTEMAYOR on August 14, 2015


Aquino believes the Cabinet is solid behind the candidacy of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas.

CAN Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II count on the solid support of the Cabinet in his presidential bid?

President Aquino said from his perspective, he does not see a division in his official family, though each Cabinet member is free to choose who to support in the 2016 elections.

Aquino vouched for the unity of his Cabinet in an interview after his surprise visit to the New Executive Building, where he thanked and distributed chocolates to his communications group.

“Hindi naman kami nagdidiktahan. Parating consensus-building kami,” he said.

He said reports of division in the Cabinet are just part of the dynamics of the political season.

“At the end of the day, may pruweba ba?” he asked.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., who is said to belong to a faction different from Roxas, said the Cabinet is united behind the reform programs under Aquino’s Tuwid na Daan advocacy. He said nothing about unity behind Roxas’ candidacy.

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But he said the President is not one to dictate on anyone, including his Cabinet members.

“Ang kanya pong paraan ay pagbibigay ng katuwiran at pagbibigay ng pagkakataon na maunawaan iyung kanyang mga polisiya at patakaran,” he said.

Aquino dismissed as “nonsensical” suspicions that the proposed 2016 budget may be used to fund Roxas’ campaign.

He said his administration has always been transparent about spending.

“So, kung may gagawin kaming kalokohan, napakadaling siyasatin. So sorry, ano, parang sa totoo lang ayoko nang mag-comment sa nonsensical na allegation na katulad noon,” he said.

The President said Roxas still has the luxury of time to choose his running mate but it is up to Roxas to decide how long he would wait for Sen. Grace Poe, his top pick, to decide whether she would agree to be the ruling Liberal Party’s vice presidential bet.

He said he expects discussions on alignments to be over by October in time for the filing of the certificates of candidacy.

By that time, he said he also expects Roxas to have completed his tasks at the interior department, especially on the resettlement of informal settlers.

He said he is set to interview two possible replacements of Roxas.

“Ang sabi lang sa akin both seem to be willing pero gusto kong i-confirm sa kanila dahil, siyempre, lalo na the remaining 10 months or so parang iyung tail-end lalo na ng kampanya---grabe ang pressure na aabutin ng DILG Secretary. Siguro kailangan ko namang makausap nang masinsinan iyung dalawang ito,” Aquino said.

‘RUNAWAY WINNER’

Sen. Sergio Osmeña III said Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo could be a “runaway winner” for vice president “if packaged properly” and Roxas should consider her.


ROBREDO

“I feel if she’s (Robredo) packaged properly, if she has the right message, she’s going to be, maybe a runaway winner,” Osmeña said.

Osmena, a veteran political strategist, said the widow of former Interior Secretary and Roxas’ predecessor Jesse Robredo could defeat Sen. Francis Escudero, the reported running mate of Poe who has yet to decide whether she would join the presidential race.

Escudero and Robredo are from the vote-rich Bicol region.

“She’s going to be an easy sell. She’s going to make a wonderful candidate. She’s going to be a very big plus for Mar,” Osmena said.

“She has to be handled properly. She has to be exposed to the national audience. But I’ve seen so many people come and go in this business, the game of politics and normally once in a rare blue moon, you can spot somebody and say she’s going to be very attractive,” he said.

He said the lady lawmaker “has an appeal” and could be the best candidate for vice president.

Robredo’s supporters on Wednesday launched the Leni Robredo for Vice President Movement. – With JP Lopez


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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