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KIKO PANGILINAN QUITS AQUINO CABINET
[Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said that according to Pangilinan, he has decided to run again for the Senate.]


SEPTEMBER 15 -In this file photo, Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization Francis Pangilinan and Liberal Party standard-bearer Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas inspect rice at a Muntinlupa warehouse. Edd Gumban Former Sen. Francis Pangilinan has resigned as presidential assistant for food security and agricultural modernization. Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said President Aquino accepted Pangilinan's resignation effective September 30. "The president expressed his sincerest appreciation to Secretary Pangilinan for his contribution to the government during his stint as PAFSAM and wished him the best in his future endeavors," Coloma said in a note to reporters. Pangilinan said he met with Aquino two weeks ago and submitted his resignation letter last week. Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said that according to Pangilinan, he has decided to run again for the Senate. "Regarding my future plans, the official announcement will come in due time," Pangilinan said in a text message. Pangilinan's resignation comes a month before the filing of candidacy for the 2016 elections. READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino torpedoes proposals for new revenue measures: No new tax hikes, cuts


SEPTEMBER 14 -P-NOY ILOILO CITY: President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Monday stressed that there is still no need to introduce new tax measures. The President said he is not amenable to proposals to reduce income tax rates as well as increase or expand the coverage of the value-added tax (VAT). “I’m not convinced as yet. The VAT and the taxes on oil products, duties and tariff … I view that as regressive taxation,” the President, who graduated with a degree in Economics, said. “Iyong mga tax tulad sa VAT, damay lahat kung ano man ang sitwasyon mo sa buhay, kung ano man ang level ng society. So parang ‘yung VAT at saka ‘yung sa oil, tama lahat, tatamaan lahat, hindi yata ‘yon ‘yung hinahabol ng Saligang Batas na dapat progressive taxation [Taxes like the VAT affects everybody regardless of economic status or level in society. That’s not what the Constitution is saying that we should adopt a policy of progressive taxation],” he added. Aquino said decreasing income tax rates will lead to lesser government revenues and will only expand tax collection deficit. The President feared that reducing income tax rates will affect the country’s credit ratings.“Ang tanong, kapag binawasan natin ‘yung income tax, mababawasan ‘yung revenue, lalaki ‘yung deficit. Iyong paglaki ba ng deficit magiging negative factor kapag ni-rate sa atin o ni-rate tayo nitong mga credit ratings agencies [The question is, if we reduce income taxes, our revenue will also go down and our deficit will grow. Will the increase in deficit become a negative factor when credit rating agencies rate us]?,” he said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino’s reforestation program surpasses feat of previous administrations in last 50 years


SEPTEMBER 16 -BUSINESS UNITED: Reforestation Caravan of PBSP. For the month of August, a total of 36,500 seedlings have been planted by more than 1,000 volunteers from 14 companies. PBSP thanks the many business institutions for making its reforestation feats successful this month: FROM Philippine Business for Social Progress. A massive reforestation program implemented in just five years under President Benigno Aquino III has surpassed the combined accomplishments of the previous administrations from 1960 to 2010. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Paje reported this on Wednesday during the Senate Finance Committee’s deliberations on the DENR’s proposed PhP 22.843-billion budget for 2016.Paje informed the panel chaired by environmentalist Senator Loren Legarda that from 2010 to the first quarter of 2015, the Aquino administration has reforested 1.6- million of the 8.97-million-hectare denuded area of the country.”It means that we’re able to surpass the 1.232 million- hectare that the government reforested from 1960 to 2010,” Paje said.The DENR chief attributed the successful reforestation program to the National Greening Program (NGP) which President Aquino approved through the Executive Order No. 26 he signed in 2010. READ MORE...

ALSO Mamasapano: Ex-SAF chief Napeñas says, Troops vindicated but Aquino should trust his men
[Aquino puts an end to ‘baseless’ Mamasapano speculation]


SEPTEMBER 17 -F
ormer SAF Director Getulio Napeñas The Special Action Force troopers were “vindicated” as President Benigno Aquino III proved true their version of the killing of Malaysian terrorist Zulfikli bin Hir, alias “Marwan,” following his earlier statement that there was an “alternative version” of what happened during the Mamasapano clash. But for former SAF Director Getulio Napeñas, who led the planning of the operation, Aquino should not have questioned their efforts to begin with.“[The] SAF troopers were vindicated. They deserve all the credit and honors,” Police Director Benjamin Magalong, chair of the Philippine National Police’s board of inquiry that came up with an investigation report on the Jan. 25 incident, said in a text message on Thursday.Magalong, head of the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management, earlier vowed to resign if it would be proven that it wasn’t the SAF that executed Marwan, who was one of the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation’s most wanted terrorists.Like Magalong, Napeñas said the pronouncement had vindicated the SAF, but he added that the President should have trusted his troopers first.“I have said before that I was sad about the news that the SAF’s efforts are being doubted. The Senate, the House of Representatives, the Department of Justice, and the PNP BOI, they have all those photos all along. Tapos naging gano’n pa ang pananaw ng ating Pangulo (And that had been the response of the President),” he said in an interview. READ MORE...RELATED..REPORT,  Aquino puts an end to ‘baseless’ Mamasapano speculation...

ALSO PNoy on martial law: Never again


SEPTEMBER 21 -An art installation is displayed on the steps of Palma Hall at the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman, Quezon City yesterday. The installation, which was set up in observance of the 43rd anniversary of the declaration of martial law, memorializes the victims of forced disappearances or ‘desaparecidos. Kriz John Rosales
 President Aquino – only son of democracy icons Ninoy and Cory Aquino – yesterday vowed to never again allow the imposition of martial law in the country, on the eve of the 43rd anniversary of dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ declaration that began a dark chapter in Philippine history. “We should be one in saying ‘never again’ and we should not allow that dark part of our history to repeat itself,” Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said over state-run dzRB station. But for Oliver Lozano, the martial law years simply meant the time crime was at its lowest rate and drug trafficking was practically halted. He claimed life was a lot better then. Malvar Jose Villegas, president of the Pagkakaisa ng mga Pilipino para sa Pilipinas, said those years saw the country become first to build an elevated train system and a nuclear power plant in the region. The Philippines then, he added, was a rice-exporting country. For Coloma, Sept. 21,1972 was the day when Marcos deprived Filipinos of their freedom of speech and right to assemble peaceably. The day also marked the beginning of the arrests of senators Ninoy Aquino and Jose Diokno and many other opposition leaders or members for criticizing the Marcos government. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Kiko Pangilinan quits Aquino Cabinet


SEPTEMBER 21 -In this file photo, Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization Francis Pangilinan and Liberal Party standard-bearer Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas inspect rice at a Muntinlupa warehouse. Edd Gumban

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 21, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Louis Bacani - Former Sen. Francis Pangilinan has resigned as presidential assistant for food security and agricultural modernization.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said President Aquino accepted Pangilinan's resignation effective September 30.

"The president expressed his sincerest appreciation to Secretary Pangilinan for his contribution to the government during his stint as PAFSAM and wished him the best in his future endeavors," Coloma said in a note to reporters.

Pangilinan said he met with Aquino two weeks ago and submitted his resignation letter last week.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said that according to Pangilinan, he has decided to run again for the Senate.

"Regarding my future plans, the official announcement will come in due time," Pangilinan said in a text message.

Pangilinan's resignation comes a month before the filing of candidacy for the 2016 elections.

READ MORE...

On Monday, Aquino hinted that more Cabinet members who will run in next year's polls may resign soon.

"Lahat itong mga ito, alam naman n'yo, matindi ang sakripisyo nang pumasok sa public service at matagal ko na rin na ina-announce sa inyo na mayroong tatakbo, meron namang pagod na rin na gustong bumalik sa pribadong sektor," Aquino said.

Over the weekend, Trade and Investment Secretary Gregory Domingo also tendered his resignation.

However, Aquino said he will ask Domingo to stay in his post until the end of the year.


MANILA TIMES

Aquino torpedoes proposals for new revenue measures: No new tax hikes, cuts September 14, 2015 10:32 pm
by CATHERINE S. VALENTE, REPORTER


P-NOY

ILOILO CITY: President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Monday stressed that there is still no need to introduce new tax measures.

The President said he is not amenable to proposals to reduce income tax rates as well as increase or expand the coverage of the value-added tax (VAT).

“I’m not convinced as yet. The VAT and the taxes on oil products, duties and tariff … I view that as regressive taxation,” the President, who graduated with a degree in Economics, said.

“Iyong mga tax tulad sa VAT, damay lahat kung ano man ang sitwasyon mo sa buhay, kung ano man ang level ng society. So parang ‘yung VAT at saka ‘yung sa oil, tama lahat, tatamaan lahat, hindi yata ‘yon ‘yung hinahabol ng Saligang Batas na dapat progressive taxation [Taxes like the VAT affects everybody regardless of economic status or level in society. That’s not what the Constitution is saying that we should adopt a policy of progressive taxation],” he added.

Aquino said decreasing income tax rates will lead to lesser government revenues and will only expand tax collection deficit.

The President feared that reducing income tax rates will affect the country’s credit ratings.

“Ang tanong, kapag binawasan natin ‘yung income tax, mababawasan ‘yung revenue, lalaki ‘yung deficit. Iyong paglaki ba ng deficit magiging negative factor kapag ni-rate sa atin o ni-rate tayo nitong mga credit ratings agencies [The question is, if we reduce income taxes, our revenue will also go down and our deficit will grow. Will the increase in deficit become a negative factor when credit rating agencies rate us]?,” he said.

READ MORE...

The Department of Finance (DOF) earlier submitted its proposal aimed at easing the burden of income taxpayers while also imposing new or higher taxes on consumption.

The proposal included policy measures that will entail legislation as well as tax administration improvements, which the DOF has claimed would lead to a “competitive, equitable and progressive” tax regime.

The package proposed to raise the tax-exemption cap on income of individuals and small businesses, while also reducing to about 25 percent the corporate income tax ceiling from the 30 percent at present.

But the easing of income taxes is to be compensated for by either increasing the VAT rate to 14-15 percent, from the current 12 percent or further expanding VAT coverage, as well as increasing the excise tax levied on oil products.

Also part of the package is the granting of autonomy to the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs from the Salary Standardization Law, so the two revenue-collecting agencies will be able to base the length of tenure and salaries of their employees on their performance.

The President, however, did not like the idea of raising the VAT rate just to compensate for the expected government revenue loss from income tax rate cuts.

Aquino said this will only increase oil prices, transportation fares and power rates.

The President cited that upon his assumption in office, he promised better tax collection so that there would be no need to introduce new taxes.

The Philippines got its first investment grade rating in March 2013 after Fitch Ratings elevated the economy to this status on back of improvement in domestic expansion, fiscal situation, resiliency of the banking system and continued strengthening of external payments position.

In May and December of the same year, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) and Moody’s Investment Service followed suit.

The following year, Fitch and Moody’s upped further their respective ratings on the country.

The only tax measure that the current Aquino administration pushed was the increase in” sin” taxes, which was signed into law in December 2013.

Aquino, however, pointed out that this measure aimed to address the rising number of Filipinos who are affected by smoking-related diseases and to provide additional funding for the government’s health-related programs.

Since its implementation in 2014 it has given the government additional P101.4 billion, which was allocated to the government’s universal health care program.

The President said cutting the rate of existing taxes but increasing VAT does not make any sense. WITH PNA

2 Responses to No new tax hikes, cuts
Neil says:
September 15, 2015 at 1:21 pm
Pinoychio: Filipinos doesn’t deserve a tax break. Vote for Roxas!
Reply

kutikut says:
September 15, 2015 at 9:34 am
to be truthful, it thieves in the government is greatly reduced, then there is no need for income tax reductions! abolish the batasan it is a humongous sink hole of our tax payers money and they have nothing to show for it! damn, they don’t even hold regular sessions anymore as most of them are nowhere to be found!
Reply


MANILA TIMES

Aquino’s reforestation program surpasses feat of previous administrations in last 50 years September 16, 2015 2:45 pm


BUSINESS UNITED:Reforestation Caravan of the Philippine Business for Social Progress

A massive reforestation program implemented in just five years under President Benigno Aquino III has surpassed the combined accomplishments of the previous administrations from 1960 to 2010.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Paje reported this on Wednesday during the Senate Finance Committee’s deliberations on the DENR’s proposed PhP 22.843-billion budget for 2016.

Paje informed the panel chaired by environmentalist Senator Loren Legarda that from 2010 to the first quarter of 2015, the Aquino administration has reforested 1.6- million of the 8.97-million-hectare denuded area of the country.

”It means that we’re able to surpass the 1.232 million- hectare that the government reforested from 1960 to 2010,” Paje said.

The DENR chief attributed the successful reforestation program to the National Greening Program (NGP) which President Aquino approved through the Executive Order No. 26 he signed in 2010.

READ MORE...

”The reason why it was done, and it can be done, is first the government must have a conscious decision to really focus on rehabilitating forest. The President declared the NGP as a national priority of the government. That was lack in the past administration. We never had a priority,” Paje explained.

Paje further explained that without the NGP, it would take 230 years to reforest the country’s remaining 7.27-million-hectare open and denuded area.

He also said the NGP has generated 2.6 million jobs and benefitted 377,835 individuals.

Paje also attributed the successful reforestation program to careful geo-hazards assessment and mapping that Legarda inserted in the General Appropriation Act (GAA) in the previous years under the Aquino administration.

”That’s why we would like to thank you, Madam Senator, for putting the geo-tagging on the NGP and it can also be done to other programs,” Paje said.

”I made that decision because I want to make every program concerning the environment to succeed,” Legarda said.

Legarda also advised the DENR to focus more its NGP to plant more mangroves in Region 8 which was devastated by super typhoon “Yolanda” in November 2013.

Due to massive reforestation program of the Aquino administration, the Philippines has been chosen as No. 5 in the world, No. 2 in Asia and No. 1 in Southeast Asia in terms of forest gain by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) based on its Global Forest Assessment of 2015.

”In the past three decades, we have 100,000-hectare forest loss per year. With the declared total log ban, we stopped the hemorrhage,” Paje said.

He added that “massive loss of timber in the forest cannot happen anymore because there is no more equipment.”

In his PowerPoint presentation, Paje reported that the DENR has significantly reduced illegal logging hotspots from 197 to 23; confiscated 30,709,507 board feet of illegally cut logs; and filed 1,549 cases against violators that resulted to conviction of 202 persons.

Paje said the confiscated logs have been used to assemble 146,471 armchairs for public schools.
PNA


INQUIRER

Ex-SAF chief: Troops vindicated but Aquino should trust his men By: Julliane Love De Jesus @JLDejesusINQ INQUIRER.net 08:50 PM September 17th, 2015


Former SAF Director Getulio Napeñas

The Special Action Force troopers were “vindicated” as President Benigno Aquino III proved true their version of the killing of Malaysian terrorist Zulfikli bin Hir, alias “Marwan,” following his earlier statement that there was an “alternative version” of what happened during the Mamasapano clash.

But for former SAF Director Getulio Napeñas, who led the planning of the operation, Aquino should not have questioned their efforts to begin with.

“[The] SAF troopers were vindicated. They deserve all the credit and honors,” Police Director Benjamin Magalong, chair of the Philippine National Police’s board of inquiry that came up with an investigation report on the Jan. 25 incident, said in a text message on Thursday.

Magalong, head of the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management, earlier vowed to resign if it would be proven that it wasn’t the SAF that executed Marwan, who was one of the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation’s most wanted terrorists.

Like Magalong, Napeñas said the pronouncement had vindicated the SAF, but he added that the President should have trusted his troopers first.

“I have said before that I was sad about the news that the SAF’s efforts are being doubted. The Senate, the House of Representatives, the Department of Justice, and the PNP BOI, they have all those photos all along. Tapos naging gano’n pa ang pananaw ng ating Pangulo (And that had been the response of the President),” he said in an interview.

READ MORE...

The retired police director has appealed to the investigating bodies to be “kind enough” to consider the SAF’s accomplishment instead of prosecuting the troopers. Some SAF officials and commanders, including a survivor of the clash, are being investigated by the Office of the Ombudsman for grave misconduct and neglect of duty over the deadly incident.

“This is not just the accomplishment of SAF but of the whole country because Marwan is an international terrorist. We gave justice to those 200 people who died in the Bali (Indonesia) bombing,” Napeñas said.

For his part, SAF commander Police Director Moro Virgilio Lazo welcomed the President’s support for the police unit’s account of Marwan’s death during the high-risk operation in Maguindanao.

“We are happy. Our story has been proven (true),” Lazo said.

‘Noble intention’

Meanwhile, the PNP thanked Aquino for his “noble intention” in pursuing justice for the 44 SAF commandos who perished in the clash against armed guerrillas of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

“The PNP pursues justice for our SAF heroes. We stand by our position that our SAF troopers killed Marwan in a law enforcement operation. We thank the President in his noble intention in seeking the truth and justice for our heroes,” PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor told the media.

In a five-minute speech in Malacañang, Aquino addressed claims that it was Marwan’s aide, not the SAF, who shot the terrorist to death before the troops entered his hut in Pembalkan Village.

According to Aquino, these allegations, which reportedly came from the MILF, were merely attempts to distort the SAF’s narration of the incident in order to get the reward for Marwan’s capture. The most wanted terrorist had a $5-million bounty on his head.

The President also said 90 individuals would be charged for the death of 35 members of the SAF’s 55th Special Action Company. Julliane Love de Jesus/RC

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

RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Aquino puts an end to ‘baseless’ Mamasapano speculation By: Kristine Angeli Sabillo @KSabilloINQ INQUIRER.net 01:14 PM September 17th, 2015

President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday showed photos of slain international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, to put an end to rumors that the Special Action Force (SAF) did not kill him.

The President said speculations that it was not the SAF that killed Marwan were “baseless.”

“Maliwanag naman po sa presentasyon natin ngayon: SAF ang nandoon; imposibleng pagdudahan pa na SAF ang kumuha ng daliri ni Marwan,” Aquino said during his five-minute speech in Malacañang.

(It is clear from the presentation today: the SAF were there; we can no longer doubt that it was the SAF who took Marwan’s finger.)

He showed photos of a bloodied Marwan and another one with a SAF trooper holding the terrorist’s left hand, in the act of cutting a finger off.
“Ibig sabihin din po: Lahat ng iba pang salaysay ukol sa sinasabing alternatibong naratibo ay wala nang basehan, at wala na ring saysay,” he said.

(This also means: All the other accounts about the alternative narrative are baseless, and consequently have no relevance.)

READ: New Mamasapano lead eyed

One photo shows Marwan’s right hand covered in black cloth. Aquino said this led many to speculate that the finger submitted for DNA analysis was from the right hand. The same photo showed the left hand with five fingers.

But he then showed another photo of a SAF trooper holding the left hand, about to cut off a finger. The next photo showed Marwan’s left hand missing a finger.

READ: Marwan finger cut off for DNA

Aquino explained that he had long been looking for other photos of Marwan’s body but at that time the group’s director was a new appointee and could not readily give him information. Aquino said he followed up again and that’s when he saw the other photographs taken inside Marwan’s hut in Maguindanao.

“Our forensic examiners (from the National Bureau of Investigation) concluded that the pictures are authentic and unaltered,” Aquino said of the images he presented.

He said many sought to muddle the narrative in order to get a reward.

Aquino said that now that the issue has been resolved, the government may focus on finding justice for the 44 SAF troopers who died during the encounter with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and private armed groups.

He said 90 individuals will face charges for the killing of the 35 members of the SAF’s 55th Special Action Company (SAC).

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who was present at the press conference, said that they have yet to find witnesses for the killing of the nine other policemen that were part of the SAF’s 84th SAC.

De Lima said Aquino has given clearance for the National Bureau of Investigation-National Prosecution Service (NPS) team to file charges against the 90, 26 of which are from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), 12 from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), and 52 from private armed groups, some connected to the infamous Maguindanao massacre.

The complaint, complex crime of assault with murder, will be filed before the NPS.

A separate complaint of theft will also be filed. De Lima cited reports that weapons, equipment and personal belongings of the SAF were taken by the perpetrators. Kristine Angeli Sabillo/IDL

RELATED STORIES

Aquino on Mamasapano: No conclusion at this point

Aquino backtracks from ‘alternative truth’ stand

‘Marwan killed by aide’


Palace on martial law: Never again
By Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 21, 2015 - 12:00am
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An art installation is displayed on the steps of Palma Hall at the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman, Quezon City yesterday. The installation, which was set up in observance of the 43rd anniversary of the declaration of martial law, memorializes the victims of forced disappearances or ‘desaparecidos. Kriz John Rosales

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino – only son of democracy icons Ninoy and Cory Aquino – yesterday vowed to never again allow the imposition of martial law in the country, on the eve of the 43rd anniversary of dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ declaration that began a dark chapter in Philippine history.

“We should be one in saying ‘never again’ and we should not allow that dark part of our history to repeat itself,” Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said over state-run dzRB station.

But for Oliver Lozano, the martial law years simply meant the time crime was at its lowest rate and drug trafficking was practically halted. He claimed life was a lot better then.

Malvar Jose Villegas, president of the Pagkakaisa ng mga Pilipino para sa Pilipinas, said those years saw the country become first to build an elevated train system and a nuclear power plant in the region. The Philippines then, he added, was a rice-exporting country.

For Coloma, Sept. 21,1972 was the day when Marcos deprived Filipinos of their freedom of speech and right to assemble peaceably.

The day also marked the beginning of the arrests of senators Ninoy Aquino and Jose Diokno and many other opposition leaders or members for criticizing the Marcos government.

READ MORE...

The regime came to a abrupt end when Marcos was ousted in February 1986 as millions of Filipinos trooped to the streets to demand the restoration of democracy in the country and to support then presidential candidate Cory Aquino, widow of Ninoy who was assassinated at the former Manila International Airport.

“The nation recalls the imposition of martial rule in 1972 or 43 years ago, which is probably one of the darkest chapters in the country’s history. We join our citizenry in remembering and honoring the sacrifices of the victims of martial rule,” Coloma said.

He added that many courageous Filipinos “defied harassment, cruel punishment and fear” by asserting and fighting for the recognition of basic human rights.

He also said that this resistance and struggle served as the foundation for rebuilding democracy in the country. – With Perseus Echeminada


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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