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

GRACE: MAR'S MEN BACKSTABBING ME


AUGUST 18 --Poe --SENATOR Grace Poe told Liberal Party standard bearer Secretary Manuel Roxas II in a meeting Sunday night not to wait for her to be his running mate in 2016, telling him that while he was wooing her, his men were stabbing her in the back. “He personally and officially asked me [to be his running mate],” Poe said of Roxas, who went to her Greenhills residence in San Juan City with a common friend that she declined to name.  “My answer was ‘thank you for the consideration, but I’m not yet making a decision at this time,” Poe said Monday. Using the same TV soap reference used by Roxas, she said they were not a “love team” and that he had many choices for vice president. Poe also said she confronted Roxas about information she received from many different sources that his men were behind a demolition job against her. “I told him about it. I told him that when we talk, we are direct to the point, but you have some people who are really stabbing me in the back,” Poe said. She said Roxas denied that the LP or his people were behind the attacks on her, and said he would not condone such actions. But Poe recalled that it was Liberal Party members who described her as “unripe” for the highest office in the land.  During their meeting, Poe reminded Roxas that President Benigno Aquino III had said they should share the same vision and raise the level of discussion and not resort to mudslinging. Roxas said he and Poe talked for hours on Sunday night, and described the meeting with her and her husband Teodoro Llamanzares as “positive.”  “I think the best is that we’ve met these past few days and we will be having talks in the coming days,” Roxas added. Poe’s presumed running mate for 2016, Senator Francis Escudero, was not at the meeting.READ MORE...

ALSO: Stop dirty tricks – Grace


AUGUST 19 --Asked about Sen. Grace Poe’s allegation that some LP members were backstabbing her, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II said he would face her alleged detractors within the party to assuage them of their concerns. Philstar.com/File 
Mar denies LP behind attacks As someone aiming for the country’s highest office, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II should prove his leadership by making his allies stop their underhanded tactics to discredit her, Sen. Grace Poe said yesterday. “Secretary Mar, whenever we discuss, we talk straight. But you know, at the end of the day, if you’re a candidate, your leadership quality can be measured by how well you can control your supporters,” Poe told reporters when asked to assess the sincerity of Roxas in inviting her to be his running mate. Poe, who had a meeting with Roxas last Sunday at her Greenhills, San Juan residence, has admitted being hurt by questions on her nationality and residency status. A defeated senatorial candidate, Rizalito David, has questioned her residency status before the Senate Electoral Tribunal and the Commission on Elections. Roxas yesterday denied having a hand in the filing of David’s petitions or in any effort to destroy Poe’s reputation. Poe said she has been receiving reports that some supporters of Roxas are behind the challenges to her residency and citizenship. She stressed she is ready to defend herself from the allegations. She also scoffed at statements from some Liberal Party stalwarts that she is “unripe” for the presidency. Poe, a survey frontrunner among possible candidates for president, said she would prefer to have Sen. Francis Escudero for running mate if ever she decides to run for president. Poe said she did not want to give the LP standard bearer “false hopes,” and that he did not need to wait for her to decide since the LP has many choices for vice president anyway. READ MORE...

ALSO: Susan hits back at Grace detractors


AUGUST 19 --Susan Roces answers questions during a press conference for a laundry soap she is endorsing at EDSA Shangri-La yesterday. Ricky Lo
It took the movie press to make Susan Roces break her silence on her daughter Sen. Grace Poe’s detractors who have been hitting Grace without let-up, questioning her Filipino citizenship and her identity.
“I never called Grace adopted,” Susan said, turning emotional and on the verge of tears, during the press conference for Champion, the laundry soap she has been endorsing for nine years, at EDSA Shangri-La yesterday. “Never ko siyang tinawag na ampon,” she stressed, and, alluding to Grace as having been pinulot (picked up), “never ko siyang tinawag na pulot.” Then, breaking into a half- smile, her lips trembling a bit, she added, addressing Grace’s accusers, “How dare they use that word!” Grace was found at the front of a church in Jaro, Iloilo, neatly wrapped in white cloth. Her birthday was placed on Sept. 3, 1968. “Grace is our daughter,” stressed Susan still in Filipino. “Her umbilical cord was still uncut when she was found. Now, they are questioning her citizenship? On what bases? They disregarded Grace’s use of her father, Ronald Allan Poe, and my name, Jesusa Sonora Poe, which she listed when she filled up her certificate of candidacy (when she ran for senator on 2013)? What right do they have to declare worthless what we fought for in court… for her to have a true birth certificate?”  Looking back, Susan recalled that it was God’s will that she and her daughter would be together. “I consider myself very lucky,” added Susan. “I prayed hard to have a child and God gave me Grace. Yes, she was found in a church. I told Grace, ‘Anak, (your parents) were good people, whoever they may be. They didn’t throw you into the trash can, they left you in the House of God.”  READ MORE...

ALSO: PNoy, Mar honor Jesse Robredo in Naga City


AUGUST 18 --The color is still the Aquino yellow ...President Aquino and his Cabinet joins the family of former Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo in Naga City on his third death anniversary on Tuesday. Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte/Twitter  - President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday commemorated the third death anniversary of former Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo. The president and some of his Cabinet members including Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II visited Robredo's tomb at the Eternal Gardens in Naga City, Camarines Sur this morning. Aquino lit a candle at Robredo's grave and offered a prayer for the late official. A Holy Mass was held prior to the president's arrival. Aquino was joined by Robredo's widow, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, and their three daughters. After paying his respects to Robredo, Aquino went to the Naga City hall to lead the Jesse Robredo Day Multi-sectoral forum. Aquino, Roxas and Leni Robredo were set to deliver speeches during the program. READ MORE...

ALSO: In PNoy's presence, Roxas-Robredo tandem cheered in Naga


AUGUST 18 --Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, President Benigno Aquino III and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo share the same stage during the Jesse Robredo Day Multi-Sectoral Forum in Naga City on Tuesday. Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte/Twitter 
With President Benigno Aquino III on the same stage on Tuesday, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo were teased about their potential tandem in the 2016 elections.
Roxas and Robredo were referred to as future president and vice president, respectively, in one of the testimonials for the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, whose third death anniversary was commemorated today. "May Sec. Jesse continue inspiring all of us as we, led by President Aquino, incoming President Mar Roxas, and probably, incoming Vice President Leni Gerona Robredo, to build a nation truly for the people, by the people and of the people underpinned by Daang Matuwid," Naga City Councilor Gabby Bordado said in his testimonial. Bordado's statement received loud cheers and applause from the attendees of the televised Jesse Robredo Day Multi-Sectoral Forum at the Naga City Hall, which actually looked like an event of the Liberal Party (LP). Aquino named Roxas as the official standard-bearer of the LP, which counts the Robredos as members. While Roxas and the LP are supposedly courting Sen. Grace Poe to be his running mate, some groups are pushing for Robredo's vice presidential candidacy. Robredo, however, is reportedly not keen on running for a higher post. READ MORE...

ALSO: Noy remembers Robredo, calls August his ‘ghost month’


AUIGUST 19 --Interior Secretary Mar Roxas chats with Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo as they are joined by President Aquino and Cabinet members during the commemoration of the third death anniversary of Jesse Robredo in Naga City yesterday. An emotional President Aquino yesterday remembered the loved ones he lost in August of different years, including the death of his parents and interior secretary Jesse Robredo. The President visited the tomb of Robredo in Naga City on his third death anniversary yesterday. In his speech, the President noted that August seems to be the “ghost month” for his family as many of their loved ones passed away during this month in different years. Robredo died in a plane crash off the shore of Masbate island on Aug. 18, 2012. Divers found his body at 180 feet below sea level and 800 meters from shore on Aug. 21, the death anniversary of the President’s father, senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. Ninoy was assassinated at the Manila International Airport on Aug. 21, 1983 upon his return from self-exile in the United States during the Marcos regime. His mother, former President Corazon Aquino, died from colon cancer on Aug. 1, 2009. On Monday, Aug. 17, the President’s uncle, former senator Agapito “Butz” Aquino, died from complications from dialysis and multiple organ failure. “You know, the month of August brings back a lot of tragic memories to me. It was year 1971, Aug. 21 when the Plaza Miranda bombing occurred. Almost all of the leadership of the Liberal Party was gone. One of the most severely hit was the mother of the good Secretary Mar Roxas of the Department of the Interior and Local Government,” the President recounted. In 1976, the President’s maternal grandfather, Jose Cojuangco died, also on Aug. 21. The President, Robredo’s wife Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo and the Robredo children attended a concelebrated mass for the late interior secretary. Also present were members of the Cabinet including Roxas, Florencio Abad of budget, Corazon Soliman of social welfare, Joseph Abaya of transportation, Armin Luistro of education, Leila de Lima of justice, Janet Garin of health, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, Luwalhati Antonino of Mindanao Development Authority, Joel Rocamora of the Anti-Poverty Commission, peace process adviser Teresita Deles, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte. Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, Camarines Sur Vice Gov. Fortunato Peña, Naga City Mayor John Bongat and other local officials were also present. READ MORE...

ALSO: Noy begins courting voting blocs
[At the birthday celebration of Velarde of El Shaddai]


President Aquino and Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II attend the 31st anniversary celebration of El Shaddai at the AMVEL Business Park in Parañaque City yesterday. BERNANDO BATUIGAS
 
President Aquino has apparently started courting voting blocs as he, together with his anointed successor, attended the dawn mass yesterday of religious group El Shaddai, calling on its members to vote wisely in the May 2016 elections. The event marked the birthday of the charismatic movement’s leader Mike Velarde, which coincided with El Shaddai’s 31st anniversary. “Next year the people will be at another crossroads. I hope that we remain the inspiration of others in choosing the rightful leaders. I am confident that we will not divert from our good start towards our goal,” Aquino said. Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, the Liberal Party’s standard-bearer, and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin accompanied Aquino to the Catholic religious gathering at the group’s AMVEL Business Park in Parañaque City. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Grace: Mar’s men backstabbing me


Poe

MANILA
, AUGUST 10, 2015 (MANILA STANDARD) By Macon Ramos-Araneta, John Paulo Bencito | Aug. 18, 2015 at 12:01am - SENATOR Grace Poe told Liberal Party standard bearer Secretary Manuel Roxas II in a meeting Sunday night not to wait for her to be his running mate in 2016, telling him that while he was wooing her, his men were stabbing her in the back.

“He personally and officially asked me [to be his running mate],” Poe said of Roxas, who went to her Greenhills residence in San Juan City with a common friend that she declined to name.

“My answer was ‘thank you for the consideration, but I’m not yet making a decision at this time,” Poe said Monday.

Using the same TV soap reference used by Roxas, she said they were not a “love team” and that he had many choices for vice president.

Poe also said she confronted Roxas about information she received from many different sources that his men were behind a demolition job against her.

“I told him about it. I told him that when we talk, we are direct to the point, but you have some people who are really stabbing me in the back,” Poe said.


'Unripe' fruits last longer, Grace Poe tells PNoy --Senator Grace Poe on Friday reacted to President Benigno S. Aquino III's statement that other potential candidates for president need more experience. While Poe's name was not mentioned in the speech, it seemed the President was referring to the lady senator. In his speech delivered prior to his personal endorsement of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas as presidential candidate, President Aquino said:ABS-CBN News Posted at 08/01/2015

She said Roxas denied that the LP or his people were behind the attacks on her, and said he would not condone such actions.

But Poe recalled that it was Liberal Party members who described her as “unripe” for the highest office in the land.

During their meeting, Poe reminded Roxas that President Benigno Aquino III had said they should share the same vision and raise the level of discussion and not resort to mudslinging.

Roxas said he and Poe talked for hours on Sunday night, and described the meeting with her and her husband Teodoro Llamanzares as “positive.”

“I think the best is that we’ve met these past few days and we will be having talks in the coming days,” Roxas added.

Poe’s presumed running mate for 2016, Senator Francis Escudero, was not at the meeting.

READ MORE...

“You know, these things, we’re keeping these fluid. I think what’s important is her good will and her good intentions. Then our talks will have direction,” Roxas said.

LP treasurer and Oriental Mindoro Gov. Alfonso Umali Jr. said he remained hopeful of a Roxas-Poe tandem.


GOV. ALFONSO UMALI

“We’re seeing that there is a big chance that Mar and Grace will be together. The political parties are the ones talking with each other,” said Umali.

Umali said if Poe runs for the presidency, this would split the vote and favor the opposition candidate, Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Umali said that the President is protecting not only the Liberal Party, but also the administration coalition—a loose formation of political groups which backed Aquino for his 2010 presidential campaign.

The LP treasurer also admitted that they are trying to convince either Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo and Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos to run with Roxas should talks with Poe fail.

“If Senator Grace won’t run alongside Mar, we have another veep,” Umali said.

In the House, lawmakers dismissed as political harassment the disqualification case filed against Poe before the Commission on Elections aimed at discouraging her from seeking the presidency.

“If she is not doing very well in the [opinion] polls, no one would bother,” said Speaker Feliciano Belmone Jr., vice chairman of the ruling Liberal Party.

Belmonte also said Poe was qualified to run as president.

1-BAP party-list Rep. Silvestre Bello III, a member of the House minority, said he sees no legal basis for the petition filed by Lito David, a losing senatorial candidate during the 2013 elections.

“Clearly the move is to discourage her from seeking a higher position [BS] at the same time to harass her,” Bello said.

David went to the Comelec Monday to file an election case against Poe on the ground that she misrepresented herself when she filed her certificate of candidacy where she claimed to be a natural-born citizen.

Earlier, David, who claims to be acting alone in the filing of the cases, also filed a disqualification case against the senator before the Senate Electoral Tribunal, saying she was not qualified to be a senator based on her citizenship.

David claims that Poe declared false information in her Certificate of Candidacy and that she cannot, as a foundling, claim to be a natural-born Filipino because her biological parents are unknown. – With Maricel V. Cruz and Sara Susanne D. Fabunan


PHILSTAR

Stop dirty tricks – Grace By Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 19, 2015 - 12:00am 1 0 googleplus0 0


Asked about Sen. Grace Poe’s allegation that some LP members were backstabbing her, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II said he would face her alleged detractors within the party to assuage them of their concerns. Philstar.com/File

Mar denies LP behind attacks

MANILA, Philippines - As someone aiming for the country’s highest office, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II should prove his leadership by making his allies stop their underhanded tactics to discredit her, Sen. Grace Poe said yesterday.

“Secretary Mar, whenever we discuss, we talk straight. But you know, at the end of the day, if you’re a candidate, your leadership quality can be measured by how well you can control your supporters,” Poe told reporters when asked to assess the sincerity of Roxas in inviting her to be his running mate.

Poe, who had a meeting with Roxas last Sunday at her Greenhills, San Juan residence, has admitted being hurt by questions on her nationality and residency status.

A defeated senatorial candidate, Rizalito David, has questioned her residency status before the Senate Electoral Tribunal and the Commission on Elections.

Roxas yesterday denied having a hand in the filing of David’s petitions or in any effort to destroy Poe’s reputation.

Poe said she has been receiving reports that some supporters of Roxas are behind the challenges to her residency and citizenship.

She stressed she is ready to defend herself from the allegations.

She also scoffed at statements from some Liberal Party stalwarts that she is “unripe” for the presidency.

Poe, a survey frontrunner among possible candidates for president, said she would prefer to have Sen. Francis Escudero for running mate if ever she decides to run for president.

Poe said she did not want to give the LP standard bearer “false hopes,” and that he did not need to wait for her to decide since the LP has many choices for vice president anyway.

READ MORE...

At the same time, Poe said she does not want to dignify the cases filed by David.

“I don’t want to waste the time of our institutions regarding this,” Poe said.

Not me In Naga City, Roxas said he had noting to do with David but promised to address Poe’s concerns.


No hand in cases vs Grace Poe' – Roxas. Defeated senatorial candidate, Rizalito David, has questioned her residency status before the Senate Electoral Tribunal and the Commission on Elections. PHOTO FROM RAPPLER.COM

He also stressed he and Poe had agreed not to divulge details of their meeting to the public.

He also said LP will respect whatever decision she makes regarding his offer.

Roxas said his meeting with Poe last Sunday was meant to help the administration form a strong ticket as he had promised President Aquino.

He said the meeting was supposed to be confidential and that he did not mean to give Poe any deadline for making a decision.

The DILG chief was in Naga City yesterday for the commemoration of the 3rd death anniversary of his predecessor Jesse Robredo.

“We do not have anything to do with what he filed against Sen. Grace,” Roxas said, referring to David.

According to Roxas, he has long adhered to the principle that “the way you run is the way you will govern” and that he cannot tolerate backstabbing or dirty tricks in his quest for the highest office.

Asked about Poe’s allegation that some LP members were backstabbing her, he said he would face her alleged detractors within the party to assuage them of their concerns.

“I want to honor what we had agreed – that we won’t be discussing details of our meeting,” he said. “We respect her to make up her mind.”

He said it is his and the party’s obligation to make sure guidelines laid down by the President for forming a strong ticket are properly followed.

“For us, we believe in the straight path because it has a specific goal and we have tasted its sweet fruit as we followed it,” said Roxas.

“That is what we are going to defend and that is what we are going to pursue,” he added.

Not involved Roxas’ chief campaigner in the House of Representatives also denied the DILG chief’s involvement with David.

“I raised this issue with Secretary Mar and he assured me that he does not know about Mr. David’s initiative. In fact, he does not know and has not met this guy,” Rep. Carol Jane Lopez of party-list You Against Poverty and Corruption said.

Lopez is frequently with her presidential candidate in his provincial visits.

She made the statement a day after Poe revealed that she asked the administration candidate if he was behind David, and that he told her he had nothing to do with the citizenship case filed by the senatorial also-ran.

Poe admitted that Roxas formally offered her to be his vice-presidential running mate but that she has not yet decided if she would run for higher office in 2016.

Lopez said she’s sure that the Roxas camp is not behind David’s initiative.

“Secretary Mar has been earnestly courting her to be his running mate and he will not do that to her. That’s not his style,” she said.

She said Poe should believe Roxas’ assurance that his camp has nothing to do with David.

“We urge her not to listen to intrigue, to forces out to drive a wedge between her and Secretary Mar and to break up the administration coalition that President Aquino wants to hold together for 2016 so it can pursue the reforms he has started when he steps down,” she added.

Allies not foes Another Roxas campaigner, Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said Poe should not treat the administration candidate and his supporters as political foes.

“We are allies, not enemies. We belong to the same side of the political fence,” Hataman, a former congressman, said.

“We in the camp of Secretary Mar are not engaged in dirty politics and black propaganda. Our candidate will not allow it,” he said.

David ran for senator in the 2013 and 2010 elections under the Ang Kapatiran Party.

Other House allies of Roxas said Poe has more to lose in rejecting his offer.

“It’s really her (Poe) loss more than his (Roxas). This is unfortunate because this (Poe as administration vice presidential candidate) was to be in preparation for her to be our candidate for president in 2022,” Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali said in a telephone interview.

LP secretary general and Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento said the plan of the party is to continue running the government at least until 2022, by which time the country’s economic foundations shall have become solid owing to the continued implementation of reform policies.

“After all, the good senator said she shares many of the Aquino administration’s reform agenda,” Sarmiento said.

Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga of the National Unity Party said Poe could have benefited from Roxas’ experience and President Aquino’s endorsement power had she agreed to run as vice president of the administration next year.

He said Poe, while popular, has no solid track record yet to speak of.

He said her case cannot be likened to that of the late President Corazon Aquino, who was only actually a transition president.

“Sen. Poe appears to be a winner for president and vice president in the surveys but we must remember many cases in the past where frontrunners lost when they rate high early in the election year,” Barzaga said.

He also said the issues raised against Poe are likely to emerge anyway regardless of who her political opponents are.

“I would suggest that Sen. Grace just face the issues raised against her and hopefully they’ll be resolved because these questions will be repeatedly asked,” he said.

Capable For Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., Poe has the qualification to run for president in the 2016 elections amid efforts to have her disqualified.


BELMONTE

Belmonte said the petitions raised against Poe on account of her citizenship could be part of efforts to stop her from running for president.

“If she is not doing very well in the polls, no one would bother (filing cases against her),” Belmonte said. “But I myself am convinced she is qualified to run for president.”

1-BAP party-list Rep. Silvestre Bello III, a former justice secretary, said there was no legal basis for David’s petition.

“Clearly the move is to discourage her from seeking a higher position at the same time to harass her,” Bello said.

Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe, spokesman for the 58-member party-list coalition, said the case was “a joke designed to vex and embarrass Grace Poe personally as this always strikes her heart and very existence.”

NPC support? Poe and Escudsero were scheduled to meet last night with members of the Nacionalist People’s Coalition-Visayas/Mindanao bloc in Quezon City.

“Its best that we hear the sentiments of the members of the party, instead of just the leadership deciding,” said NPC stalwart Sen. Vicente Sotto III.

Sotto said there are members who want to meet Poe even if the majority of members are leaning to support Poe.

The Tuesday meetings of the NPC will continue as the party discusses whom to support in the 2016 presidential elections, Sotto said.

Escudero said the meet-up with NPC members was upon their invitation.

He expressed belief that Poe would be able to face the challenges squarely once she decides to run for higher office next year.

Escudero said he is leaving it up to the senator how she would be dealing with Roxas’ offer.

In an interview, Escudero also gave tribute to Poe’s adoptive father, the late actor Fernando Poe Jr, who would have turned 76 tomorrow.

Asked what kind of a leader FPJ would have been had he won and lived longer, Escudero said the former actor would have been a good leader devoted to uplifting the welfare of the Filipino masses.

Escudero acted as FPJ’s spokesman when the late actor campaigned for president during the 2004 elections.

Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito, for his part, said he is all-out in his support for Poe in case she seeks higher post.

Ejercito noted that Poe grew up in San Juan, and is a registered voter of the city. – Aurea Calica, Paolo Romero, Jess Diaz, Celso Amo


PHILSTAR

Susan hits back at Grace detractors By Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 19, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Susan Roces answers questions during a press conference for a laundry soap she is endorsing at EDSA Shangri-La yesterday. Ricky Lo

MANILA, Philippines - It took the movie press to make Susan Roces break her silence on her daughter Sen. Grace Poe’s detractors who have been hitting Grace without let-up, questioning her Filipino citizenship and her identity.

“I never called Grace adopted,” Susan said, turning emotional and on the verge of tears, during the press conference for Champion, the laundry soap she has been endorsing for nine years, at EDSA Shangri-La yesterday.

“Never ko siyang tinawag na ampon,” she stressed, and, alluding to Grace as having been pinulot (picked up), “never ko siyang tinawag na pulot.”

Then, breaking into a half- smile, her lips trembling a bit, she added, addressing Grace’s accusers, “How dare they use that word!”

Grace was found at the front of a church in Jaro, Iloilo, neatly wrapped in white cloth. Her birthday was placed on Sept. 3, 1968.

“Grace is our daughter,” stressed Susan still in Filipino. “Her umbilical cord was still uncut when she was found. Now, they are questioning her citizenship? On what bases? They disregarded Grace’s use of her father, Ronald Allan Poe, and my name, Jesusa Sonora Poe, which she listed when she filled up her certificate of candidacy (when she ran for senator on 2013)? What right do they have to declare worthless what we fought for in court… for her to have a true birth certificate?”

Looking back, Susan recalled that it was God’s will that she and her daughter would be together.

“I consider myself very lucky,” added Susan. “I prayed hard to have a child and God gave me Grace. Yes, she was found in a church. I told Grace, ‘Anak, (your parents) were good people, whoever they may be. They didn’t throw you into the trash can, they left you in the House of God.”

READ MORE...

God did give Susan (and FPJ) what they wanted.

“I described to God the child that we wanted,” said Susan, “with eyes that sparkle, curly hair. Now, some people would show up from nowhere, out to destroy everything? They don’t have a right to finger-point (duru-duruin) at my daughter and call her not a citizen of this country.”

Saying she was hurting like any mother whose child is being treated cruelly, Susan explained, “Even an animal gets hurt if its small ones are treated that way. They will fight to death to defend their small ones. Try touching a newborn puppy and its mother will bite you.”

Reiterating what she has been telling the media, Susan said that she and FPJ raised Grace to be independent-minded, to make her own decisions, reminding her only not to lose herself and to follow her moral compass.

If ever Grace decides to run for higher position (vice president or president?), Susan said that she has told Grace to be ready for more mud slung at her.

There was a report that Grace was a drunkard and beater of househelp.

Shifting to a joking mood, she said, “I think those who were spreading those lies have watched a lot of FPJ movies.” Then, she broke into mild laughter.

“All I can say is that we were not brought up that way, and neither did we bring up Grace that way.” (Sources close to Grace ‘s family told The STAR that, in fact, Grace and her husband, Neil Llamanzares and their children treat the maids as part of the family. “The maids sleep in air-conditioned room,” the source said.)

Branding the accusation as “below the belt” and “too personal,” Susan again dismissed them as baseless.

“They have no right to spread those lies,” Susan stressed.


PHILSTAR

PNoy, Mar honor Jesse Robredo in Naga City By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated August 18, 2015 - 11:03am 1 170 googleplus0 0


President Aquino and his Cabinet joins the family of former Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo in Naga City on his third death anniversary on Tuesday. Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte/Twitter

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday commemorated the third death anniversary of former Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.

The president and some of his Cabinet members including Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II visited Robredo's tomb at the Eternal Gardens in Naga City, Camarines Sur this morning.

Aquino lit a candle at Robredo's grave and offered a prayer for the late official. A Holy Mass was held prior to the president's arrival.

Aquino was joined by Robredo's widow, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, and their three daughters.

After paying his respects to Robredo, Aquino went to the Naga City hall to lead the Jesse Robredo Day Multi-sectoral forum.

Aquino, Roxas and Leni Robredo were set to deliver speeches during the program.

READ MORE...

Apart from Roxas, other Cabinet members who went to Naga City were Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, Education Secretary Armin Luistro, Transportation Secrtary Joseph Abaya and Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.

In a statement on Monday, Lacierda praised Robredo, saying he "consistently demonstrated his outstanding capabilities as a leader."

Robredo, a Ramon Magsaysay awardee, served as Naga City mayor before he was appointed as interior secretary. He was known for his simplicity, humility and reforms in good governance and transparency.

Robredo died in a plane crash off Masbate in 2012.

The president is commemorating Robredo's death anniversary as some groups are urging the latter's widow to be the running mate of Roxas in the 2016 elections.


PHILSTAR

In PNoy's presence, Roxas-Robredo tandem cheered in Naga By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated August 18, 2015 - 4:41pm 0 12 googleplus0 0


Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, President Benigno Aquino III and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo share the same stage during the Jesse Robredo Day Multi-Sectoral Forum in Naga City on Tuesday. Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte/Twitter

MANILA, Philippines - With President Benigno Aquino III on the same stage on Tuesday, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo were teased about their potential tandem in the 2016 elections.

Roxas and Robredo were referred to as future president and vice president, respectively, in one of the testimonials for the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, whose third death anniversary was commemorated today.

"May Sec. Jesse continue inspiring all of us as we, led by President Aquino, incoming President Mar Roxas, and probably, incoming Vice President Leni Gerona Robredo, to build a nation truly for the people, by the people and of the people underpinned by Daang Matuwid," Naga City Councilor Gabby Bordado said in his testimonial.

Bordado's statement received loud cheers and applause from the attendees of the televised Jesse Robredo Day Multi-Sectoral Forum at the Naga City Hall, which actually looked like an event of the Liberal Party (LP).

Aquino named Roxas as the official standard-bearer of the LP, which counts the Robredos as members.

While Roxas and the LP are supposedly courting Sen. Grace Poe to be his running mate, some groups are pushing for Robredo's vice presidential candidacy.

Robredo, however, is reportedly not keen on running for a higher post.

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PNoy praises Leni; widow thanks Mar In his speech, Aquino paid tribute to Robredo's legacy in public service and praised his widow and family.

Aquino commended Leni Robredo for remaining strong after her husband's death and for becoming one of the most reliable members of Congress.

"Si Leni, ni minsan hindi pinakita sa akin ang kanyang mga luha. Damang-dama ko sa kanya at sa kanyang mga anak na ayaw nilang maging pabigat kanino man. Sigurado ako, kung nasaan man si Jesse ngayon, masaya siyang makita na ang kanyang asawa ay isa sa pinakamaaasahang miyembro ng Kongreso sa ngayon," Aquino said.

Robredo, on the other hand, thanked Aquino for supporting her province and her family. She also thanked and praised Roxas.

"Higit pa sa pagiging magkaibigan, isa rin po kayo sa mga taong pinaniwalaan at hinangaan ng aking asawa mula noon pa man," she said.

'Continue Jesse's legacy' Aquino, Roxas and Robredo shared the same sentiment that the legacy of the late Cabinet official should be continued.

"Tunay nga po: ang pinakamagandang pasasalamat na maibibigay natin kay Jesse at sa iba pang dakilang taong nauna sa kanya ay ang pagpapatuloy at pagpapaunlad sa mga iniwan nila sa atin," Aquino said.

Roxas, meanwhile, assured that the government will follow the guidance of the former interior secretary.

"Jesse, huwag kang mag-alala. Nakikinig kami. Tuloy pa rin kami sa pagdidilig ng mga ipinunla mo," he said.

For her part, Robredo urged her fellow officials to keep the memory of her husband alive by shunning corruption.

"Buhayin sana natin ang alaala ng aking asawa sa pamamagitan ng pagpanig sa katotohanan, pagpanig sa katapatan at pagpanig sa kabutihan gaano man ito kahirap o kasakit," she said.

Robredo continued: "Sa pagpapalaganap ng mabuting pamamahala at pagiging huwarang lingkod-bayan, sa gitna ng tukso at kapangyarihan at sa pangsangguni at pakikinig sa tinig ng mga mamamayan sa lahat ng oras at panahon."


PHILSTAR

Noy remembers Robredo, calls August his ‘ghost month’ By Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 19, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Interior Secretary Mar Roxas chats with Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo as they are joined by President Aquino and Cabinet members during the commemoration of the third death anniversary of Jesse Robredo in Naga City yesterday.

MANILA, Philippines - An emotional President Aquino yesterday remembered the loved ones he lost in August of different years, including the death of his parents and interior secretary Jesse Robredo.

The President visited the tomb of Robredo in Naga City on his third death anniversary yesterday.

In his speech, the President noted that August seems to be the “ghost month” for his family as many of their loved ones passed away during this month in different years.

Robredo died in a plane crash off the shore of Masbate island on Aug. 18, 2012. Divers found his body at 180 feet below sea level and 800 meters from shore on Aug. 21, the death anniversary of the President’s father, senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.

Ninoy was assassinated at the Manila International Airport on Aug. 21, 1983 upon his return from self-exile in the United States during the Marcos regime.

His mother, former President Corazon Aquino, died from colon cancer on Aug. 1, 2009. On Monday, Aug. 17, the President’s uncle, former senator Agapito “Butz” Aquino, died from complications from dialysis and multiple organ failure.

“You know, the month of August brings back a lot of tragic memories to me. It was year 1971, Aug. 21 when the Plaza Miranda bombing occurred. Almost all of the leadership of the Liberal Party was gone. One of the most severely hit was the mother of the good Secretary Mar Roxas of the Department of the Interior and Local Government,” the President recounted.

In 1976, the President’s maternal grandfather, Jose Cojuangco died, also on Aug. 21.

The President, Robredo’s wife Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo and the Robredo children attended a concelebrated mass for the late interior secretary.

Also present were members of the Cabinet including Roxas, Florencio Abad of budget, Corazon Soliman of social welfare, Joseph Abaya of transportation, Armin Luistro of education, Leila de Lima of justice, Janet Garin of health, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, Luwalhati Antonino of Mindanao Development Authority, Joel Rocamora of the Anti-Poverty Commission, peace process adviser Teresita Deles, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, Camarines Sur Vice Gov. Fortunato Peña, Naga City Mayor John Bongat and other local officials were also present.

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While listening to the tributes for Robredo during a multi-sectoral forum to celebrate “Jesse Robredo Day,” the President bowed his head in several instances and appeared pensive.

“It is regrettable that Jesse got to be known outside of Bicol when he already passed away,” Aquino said in his speech.

The President said other Filipinos did not find out right away how Robredo turned Naga City from third class to first class with his effective strategy and strong political will.

“But isn’t it what we can expect from someone who did not like to be an epal (a person who wants a lot of attention) and carry his own bench?” Aquino said in Filipino.

The President recounted that Robredo solved the problem of informal settlers in Naga City and helped even those surrounding his area of jurisdiction so they would not flock to the city but rather have their own livelihood back home.

Aquino also remembered that Robredo went anywhere he was needed and talked to everyone with all honesty and integrity.

“Whenever there was a typhoon, even though the flood was high, he would wear his slippers and visit the victims of the calamity… There was no politicking for him. Even when it comes to jueteng lord, drug lord or his own relatives, he did not think twice being in conflict with them because he knew he was on the right side,” the President added.

The President said that like his father, Robredo proved that the “Filipino is worth dying for.”

The President admitted he misses Robredo teaching him how to speak Bicolano in the same way that he misses hearing his father passionately sing “Impossible Dream.”

“My father used to sing the Impossible Dream while being detained at Fort Bonifacio. And I was so amazed because it was my father singing. Later on, my siblings said that it was out of tune. But I said, he sang it beautifully. It was either my ears were defective or the ears of my siblings were defective,” Aquino said.

Since Robredo was a member of his official family, the President said he could not forget the tragedy that befell his administration with Robredo’s death.

Aquino also admitted that he did not know how to personally approach the wife and children that Robredo left behind.

At the same time, Aquino said he was thinking how he could possibly bear anything that might happen to other members of his Cabinet, who joined him in the difficulties of public service. – With Celso Amo


PHILSTAR

Noy begins courting voting blocs By Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 24, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


President Aquino and Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II attend the 31st anniversary celebration of El Shaddai at the AMVEL Business Park in Parañaque City yesterday. BERNANDO BATUIGAS

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino has apparently started courting voting blocs as he, together with his anointed successor, attended the dawn mass yesterday of religious group El Shaddai, calling on its members to vote wisely in the May 2016 elections.

The event marked the birthday of the charismatic movement’s leader Mike Velarde, which coincided with El Shaddai’s 31st anniversary.

“Next year the people will be at another crossroads. I hope that we remain the inspiration of others in choosing the rightful leaders. I am confident that we will not divert from our good start towards our goal,” Aquino said.

Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, the Liberal Party’s standard-bearer, and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin accompanied Aquino to the Catholic religious gathering at the group’s AMVEL Business Park in Parañaque City.

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The last time Aquino and Velarde met was in July 2014, when the El Shaddai leader and wife Belen celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, which was held at the same venue.

In his speech, Aquino, also the administration party’s titular head, reminded the crowd about the importance of the next presidential elections, where the country will again face a challenging task.

Aquino also called on the El Shaddai members, most particularly the voters, of their responsibility in nation-building and making sure that all the reforms his administration has initiated will not be wasted.

Aquino said widespread corruption and poverty have forced many citizens to lose confidence in the Philippines and were forced to try their luck abroad.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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