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

PLUNDER VS BOC's LINA 'STRONG'


SEPTEMBER 15 -Customs chief Lina Business entity asked Ombudsman to suspend Customs chief over P650-M deal. A business entity that filed a plunder case against Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina has asked the Office of the Ombudsman to preventively suspend the official from his post on the basis of “strong” evidence against him. “Evidence of respondent Lina’s guilt is strong. The charge against Lina involves dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct or neglect in the performance of duty; and respondent’s continued stay in office may prejudice the case filed against him,” Omniprime Marketing Inc. said in a motion filed on Monday. The complaint, which was filed last July, included former Customs Commissioner Guillermo Parayno Jr. and former Customs Deputy Commissioner Primo Aguas as respondents. The officials were accused of plunder, graft and violation of the procurement law over a P650-million deal for a modern integrated Customs processing system that was allegedly canceled. Omniprime was among the prospective bidders for the project. All bidders except for the joint venture were disqualified in December 2014, Omniprime representative Annabelle Margaroli earlier said when the complaint was filed. According to the complainant, Aguas allegedly intervened in the bidding process by imposing an interview with the joint venture of Omniprime and Intrasoft even when its proposal had been already chosen as the highest rated bid, and “delayed the negotiation, awarding and the signing of the contract” in violation of the procurement law. READ MORE...

ALSO: PNoy’s performance rating improves


SEPTEMBER 18 -The Filipinos’ satisfaction with the performance of President Aquino in the past three months further improved in the third quarter Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey results.
SWS said 64 percent expressed satisfaction with President Aquino’s work, with 22 percent signifying their dissatisfaction. Meanwhile, 14 percent were undecided on the matter. This brings to “good” +41 (percentage of satisfied minus percentage of dissatisfied) the net satisfaction rating of President Aquino, which is 11 points higher than the “good” +30 (57 percent satisfied, 27 percent dissatisfied) registered in June. READ MORE...

ALSO: PH welcomes Japan’s new law allowing its troops to fight overseas


SEPTEMBER 19 -Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, right, shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prior to their meeting at Akasaka Palace state guesthouse in Tokyo Thursday, June 4, 2015. AP Photo
The Philippine government on Saturday expressed its support for Japan’s new law, which enhances its military’s role and allows its soldiers to fight overseas in defense of allies.Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said the government “welcomes the passage of legislation on national security by the National Diet of Japan.” “We look forward to efforts that strengthen our Strategic Partnership with Japan and those that would contribute further to shared goals of greater peace, stability, and mutual prosperity in the international community,” he added. The National Diet is Japan’s “highest organ of state power.” Last June, President Benigno Aquino III was invited to speak before the Diet during a 480-seat bicameral session.READ MORE...

ALSO: Big shake-up at BIR since 2010


SEPTEMBER 17 -HENARES A total of 111 of the 125 revenue district officers (RDOs) of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) were given new assignments yesterday in what can be considered the biggest movement of key field personnel since Kim S. Jacinto-Henares took the helm of the BIR in 2010. Hardest hit by the revamp were RDOs based in Metro Manila, some of whom were replaced by their colleagues from the provinces. Two weeks ago, 13 of the 19 regional directors were also reshuffled by Henares to strengthen the collection campaign of the bureau the foremost tax collection arm of the government. The RDOs are considered field commanders of the BIR in raising about half of its annual collection target which totaled to about P1.6 trillion this year. Some RDOs were promoted as assistant regional directors. READ MORE...

ALSO Aquino on Poe: What will you do to outdo what we already did?


SEPTEMBER 18 -President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III answers questions directed to him during the Press Conference at the Heroes Hall of the Malacañang Palace on Thursday, September 17, 2015. (Photo from the Malacañang Photo Bureau/Lauro Montellano, Jr.)
With Senator Grace Poe declining the ruling Liberal Party’s offer to be their vice presidential bid and opting instead to join the presidential race in next year’s national elections, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III still thanked the neophyte senator for acknowledging his “daang matuwid” (straight path) type of governance and challenged her to outdo the reforms he started. Aquino also welcomed Poe’s constructive criticism towards his administration and questions on his policies as he was well aware of how politics worked in the Philippines. “If I need to be criticized, why not? Just put it in the right place and context and base it on truth,” he said in an interview. “Let’s be practical. When it comes to elections, marketing has what it calls brand differentiation. How could you say ‘we are better’ if you will not say this administration lacks this, that and there,” he added. Moreover, the President thanked the senator for informing him of her political plans before officially announcing her presidential candidacy. He then noted that voters were free to choose between former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II’s “daang matuwid” or Poe’s “gobyernong may puso” (government with heart). READ MORE...

ALSO by Emil Jurado:  Why Aquino is worried


SEPTEMBER 17 -MY sources tell me that the handlers of Mar Roxas, the administration’s candidate for President, told him never to be seen in public with Korina Sanchez, his wife. They said that many people do not like Korina, a known ABS-CBN broadcaster. She reportedly says the wrong things at the wrong time.
I am beginning to believe this. Korina has not been seen with Mar in public for a while. * * * President Aquino’s utmost concern at the moment is not how to assure victory in 2016 for his anointed, Mar Roxas. Instead, Palace sources say that the President is actually worried about the many criminal and civil cases he is bound to face the moment he steps down from office on June 30, 2016. BS Aquino III is aware that a group of lawyers, former judges and even justices have been meeting regularly somewhere in Global City to fine-tune cases to be filed against him once he loses his immunity from suit. Among these cases being prepared against the President is bribery. He allegedly bribed lawmakers to have former Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona impeached, convicted and ousted. Santa Banana, I am told that some congressmen and senators have volunteered to become whistle-blowers! Another case, my sources told me, is a suit against President Aquino and his cohort Budget Secretary Butch Abad for plunder in concocting that mongrel called Disbursement Acceleration Program ostensibly aimed at enhancing economic growth. This was misused and abused to further the Aquino administration’s political agenda. Both the PDAF and the DAP have been ruled by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional. My gulay, the case that could be the last nail in the coffin of President Aquino was his “ultimate accountability and responsibility” for that slaughter of 44 police commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. He had his friend, then-suspended and now-dismissed Police Chief Alan Purisima take charge of “Oplan Exodus.” Former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and then-acting Police Chief Leonardo Espina were kept out of the loop. To me, that was a clear example of what a president should not be. Mr. Aquino never apologized for it!  READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Plunder vs Lina ‘strong’


Customs chief Lina Business entity asked Ombudsman to suspend Customs chief over P650-M deal.

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 21, 2015 (MANILA TIMES) September 15, 2015 11:14 pm by REINA TOLENTINO REPORTER -A business entity that filed a plunder case against Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina has asked the Office of the Ombudsman to preventively suspend the official from his post on the basis of “strong” evidence against him.

“Evidence of respondent Lina’s guilt is strong. The charge against Lina involves dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct or neglect in the performance of duty; and respondent’s continued stay in office may prejudice the case filed against him,” Omniprime Marketing Inc. said in a motion filed on Monday.

The complaint, which was filed last July, included former Customs Commissioner Guillermo Parayno Jr. and former Customs Deputy Commissioner Primo Aguas as respondents.

The officials were accused of plunder, graft and violation of the procurement law over a P650-million deal for a modern integrated Customs processing system that was allegedly canceled.

Omniprime was among the prospective bidders for the project.

All bidders except for the joint venture were disqualified in December 2014, Omniprime representative Annabelle Margaroli earlier said when the complaint was filed.

According to the complainant, Aguas allegedly intervened in the bidding process by imposing an interview with the joint venture of Omniprime and Intrasoft even when its proposal had been already chosen as the highest rated bid, and “delayed the negotiation, awarding and the signing of the contract” in violation of the procurement law.

READ MORE...

The joint venture won the public bidding last April 13 and the deal was eventually sealed for approval but Lina–who replaced John Sevilla as head of the Bureau of Customs on April 24–allegedly canceled the deal.

Conflict of interest

Omniprime slammed Lina for “crystal-clear conflict of interest,” saying the alleged cancellation also “unduly benefited losing bidder E-KonekPilipinas… and gravely prejudiced the joint venture of Omniprime Marketing Inc. and Intrasoft International Inc. that has been declared the highest rated bid and with whom the DBM Procurement Service Bids and Awards Committee have already negotiated.”

Parayno is the president of E-Konek.

In its motion seeking Lina’s preventive suspension, Omniprime said, “First, the unwarranted benefits which the cancelation of the bidding procedure for the NSW [National Single Window] 2 Project upon his assumption as Customs Commissioner bestows upon his very own E-KonekPilipinas, a losing bidder in such procurement,is patently abject. E-KonekPilipinas, a corporation 96.47 percent of the shareholdings of which is held by respondent Lina himself, stand to benefit from the continuous use of the current Customs electronic or mobile system as a Value Added Service Provider.”

Attached to the motion is the General Information Sheet of E-Konek dated April 23, 2015.

“The cancelation also deprives [Filipinos] of a much deserved transparent, efficient and graft and corruption-free Customs service,” Omniprime said.

It added that the cancelation of the bidding for the project was “oppressive and has done injustice to complainant’s joint venture whose rights as a bidder were clear and apparent.”

The firm mentioned in its motion that the Manila Regional Trial Court issued a writ of preliminary injunction last August 24 in a civil case (Joint Venture of Omniprime Marketing Inc. and Intrasoft International Inc. versus DBM Procurement Service, et al.).


Harry Roque, legal counsel for Omniprime. - NEWS REPORT: Bid for transparency faces early challenge JULY 6, 2015 FROM VERAFILES  Photo by VERLIE Q. RETULIN

According to Omniprime, issuance of the order established “the clear legal right of the joint venture to which complainant belongs, the violation of such right by respondent Lina, and the grave irreparable damage suffered by the joint venture.”

“In issuing the writ of preliminary injunction, the presiding judge then found that the joint venture, of which complainant is the local counterpart, suffered injustice ‘out of the sudden cancellation following years of long and rigorous bidding process for its qualification…,’” it said.

The firm cited the testimony in the civil case of Customs officer-in-charge and Deputy Commissioner Angelica Sarmiento of the bureau’s Management Information System and Technology Group , which supervises the bureau’s operating system, in saying there was no justification for the cancelation.

Based on the motion, the witness answered in the negative when asked if there was a change of circumstances that would no longer require the project.

Omniprime said Lina’s continued stay in office “will pose a threat to the integrity of records involved in this case and expose witnesses to influence.”

“Besides that prejudice may result in respondent Lina’s continuance in office, the General Information Sheet of E-Konek Pilipinas where respondent Lina is the majority owner, the findings of the trial court in issuing the writ of preliminary injunction against the Bureau of Customs and the testimony of Customs Deputy Commissioner Angelica Sarmiento are strong [pieces of] evidence sufficiently convincing to justify the imposition of preventive suspension order against respondent Lina,” it added.

“Wherefore, premises considered, it is most respectfully prayed of this Honorable Office to issue a preventive suspension order against respondent Alberto D. Lina, incumbent Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs,” the firm said.

Under the Ombudsman Act of 1989, the Ombudsman may preventively suspend any officer or employee pending a probe if it finds that evidence of guilt is strong and when the charge involves dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct or gross neglect in the performance of duty; the charges would warrant removal from service or; the respondent’s continued stay in office may prejudice the case filed against him.

Preventive suspension shall not exceed six months, without pay.


MANILA BULLETIN

PNoy’s performance rating improves by Ellalyn De Vera September 18, 2015 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share1

The Filipinos’ satisfaction with the performance of President Aquino in the past three months further improved in the third quarter Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey results.

SWS said 64 percent expressed satisfaction with President Aquino’s work, with 22 percent signifying their dissatisfaction. Meanwhile, 14 percent were undecided on the matter.

This brings to “good” +41 (percentage of satisfied minus percentage of dissatisfied) the net satisfaction rating of President Aquino, which is 11 points higher than the “good” +30 (57 percent satisfied, 27 percent dissatisfied) registered in June.

READ MORE...

Net satisfaction ratings of:
+70 and above is classified by SWS as “excellent;”
+50 to +69, “very good;”
+30 to +49, “good;”
+10 to +29, “moderate;”
+9 to -9, “neutral;”
-10 to -29, “poor;”
-30 to -49, “bad;”
-50 to -69, “very bad;” and
-70 and below, “execrable.”

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the surge in the President’s satisfaction rating shows the continuing confidence in the reform agenda of the Aquino administration as well as its efforts toward inclusive economic growth.

“This latest vote of confidence from the public confirms the significance of our strides toward inclusivity. The effects of Daang Matuwid are visible all around us: from ongoing or recently completed infrastructure projects to credit rating upgrades and improvements in global surveys, among many other signs of progress,” Lacierda said.

“Over the past five years, the administration has continually sought to better the lives of Filipinos through widespread reforms and the expansion of social programs such as PhilHealth and the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program,” he said.

In March, the President’s net satisfaction dipped to its lowest rating of “moderate” +11 following the January 25 Mamasapano incident. However, it bounced back to “good” level in June.

The result of the latest survey, which was conducted by SWS last September 2-5 among 1,200 respondents, was first published in BusinessWorld yesterday.

SWS attributed the increase in overall net satisfaction rating of President Aquino to the significant improvements among geographical classes, except Mindanao, and socio-economic classes.

President Aquino increased by 16 points in the rest of Luzon at +46 (67 percent satisfied, 21 percent dissatisfied) from +30 (56 percent satisfied, 26 percent dissatisfied) in June.

Likewise, it improved in the Visayas at +50 (67 percent satisfied, 17 percent dissatisfied), up by 15 points from the +35 (62 percent satisfied, 27 percent dissatisfied) in the previous quarter.

It also rose by 10 points in Metro Manila at +18 (53 percent satisfied, 35 percent dissatisfied) from +8 (46 percent satisfied, 38 percent dissatisfied) in the last quarter.

Meanwhile, satisfaction rating of the President in Mindanao at +39 (61 percent satisfied, 22 percent dissatisfied) is similar to the +39 (63 percent satisfied, 23 percent dissatisfied) in June.

President Aquino’s satisfaction rating also saw improvements in rural and urban areas at +46 (66 percent satisfied, 20 percent dissatisfied) from +31 (59 percent satisfied, 28 percent dissatisfied), and +32 (59 percent satisfied, 27 percent dissatisfied) from +29 (56 percent satisfied, 27 percent dissatisfied), respectively.

On satisfaction ratings across socio-economic classes, President Aquino’s rating also improved among the poorest class E and class D or “masa.”

Among the class E, satisfaction rating increased by 15 points to +49 (67 percent satisfied, 18 percent dissatisfied) from +34 (58 percent satisfied, 23 percent dissatisfied).

It also increased among the class E from +27 (57 percent satisfied, 29 percent dissatisfied) in June to +39 (63 percent satisfied, 23 percent dissatisfied), at present.

Meanwhile, it stayed at +44 among upper-to-middle classes ABC at +44 (69 percent satisfied, 25 percent dissatisfied) in September. (With a report from Madel S. Namit)


INQUIRER

PH welcomes Japan’s new law allowing its troops to fight overseas By: Kristine Angeli Sabillo @KSabilloINQ INQUIRER.net
11:58 AM September 19th, 2015


Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, right, shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prior to their meeting at Akasaka Palace state guesthouse in Tokyo Thursday, June 4, 2015. AP Photo

The Philippine government on Saturday expressed its support for Japan’s new law, which enhances its military’s role and allows its soldiers to fight overseas in defense of allies.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said the government “welcomes the passage of legislation on national security by the National Diet of Japan.”

“We look forward to efforts that strengthen our Strategic Partnership with Japan and those that would contribute further to shared goals of greater peace, stability, and mutual prosperity in the international community,” he added.

The National Diet is Japan’s “highest organ of state power.” Last June, President Benigno Aquino III was invited to speak before the Diet during a 480-seat bicameral session.

READ MORE...

READ: Japan boost military’s role, passes bill allowing troops abroad

On Saturday, Japan’s parliament approved a bill reinterpreting the country’s so-called pacifist constitution, allowing the government to send troops overseas in defense of its allies.

READ: Japanese lawmakers give Aquino standing ovation

Critics claimed that Japan would only become involved in wars initiated by its close ally, the United States. The Philippines is both an ally of the US and Japan.

READ: Palace welcomes Japan Charter change to boost military

In 2014, Malacañang already said it would welcome the proposed reinterpretation.
“I think everyone who has a stake in regional stability would certainly… support any action that would move towards promoting peace in the region,” Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said then.
Kristine Angeli Sabillo/RAM


MANILA BULLETIN

Big shake-up at BIR by Jun Ramirez September 17, 2015 Share0 Tweet1 Share0 Email1 Share3


HENARES

A total of 111 of the 125 revenue district officers (RDOs) of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) were given new assignments yesterday in what can be considered the biggest movement of key field personnel since Kim S. Jacinto-Henares took the helm of the BIR in 2010.

Hardest hit by the revamp were RDOs based in Metro Manila, some of whom were replaced by their colleagues from the provinces.

Two weeks ago, 13 of the 19 regional directors were also reshuffled by Henares to strengthen the collection campaign of the bureau the foremost tax collection arm of the government.

The RDOs are considered field commanders of the BIR in raising about half of its annual collection target which totaled to about P1.6 trillion this year.

Some RDOs were promoted as assistant regional directors.

READ MORE...

Among those given new assignments were Ramir Narvaez from San Pedro, Laguna to Intramuros, Manila; Rosita Meniano from Parañaque to South Makati; Edith Calipusan from Trece Martirez City to South Quezon City; Teddy Huelva from Cagayan de Oro City to North Quezon City; Emy Combes from West Pasig to East Pasig.

Armando Tria from Quiapo to Mandaluyong; Isa Paulino from East Makati to North Makati; Christina Barroga from Muntinglupa to East Makati; Dante Aninag from South Quezon City to Taguig City;

Alfredo Santos from Valenzuela City to Pasay City; Honorata Aguilar from Calamba, Laguna to West Pasig.

Pete Fernando from Tondo-San Nicolas to West Pasig; Raul Recto from Makati North to Muntinglupa City; Rebe D. Tablan from Caloocan to Quiapo-Sampaloc; Lorna Tobias from Malabon-Navotas to Valenzuela City; Max Cebrecus from Sta. Cruz Manila to Novaliches; Vir Cembrano from Binondo to Malabon-Navotas.

Among the RDOs promoted to assistant regional directors were Maridur Rosario for Manila revenue region, Edgar Tolentino for Tacloban City; Gerry Dumayas for Davao City and Josie Virtucio for Cebu City.


MANILA BULLETIN

Aquino on Poe: What will you do to outdo what we already did? By Jane Moraleda, Philippine Canadian Inquirer on September 18, 2015


President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III answers questions directed to him during the Press Conference at the Heroes Hall of the Malacañang Palace on Thursday, September 17, 2015. (Photo from the Malacañang Photo Bureau/Lauro Montellano, Jr.)

MANILA – With Senator Grace Poe declining the ruling Liberal Party’s offer to be their vice presidential bid and opting instead to join the presidential race in next year’s national elections, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III still thanked the neophyte senator for acknowledging his “daang matuwid” (straight path) type of governance and challenged her to outdo the reforms he started.

Aquino also welcomed Poe’s constructive criticism towards his administration and questions on his policies as he was well aware of how politics worked in the Philippines.

“If I need to be criticized, why not? Just put it in the right place and context and base it on truth,” he said in an interview.

“Let’s be practical. When it comes to elections, marketing has what it calls brand differentiation. How could you say ‘we are better’ if you will not say this administration lacks this, that and there,” he added.

Moreover, the President thanked the senator for informing him of her political plans before officially announcing her presidential candidacy.

He then noted that voters were free to choose between former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II’s “daang matuwid” or Poe’s “gobyernong may puso” (government with heart).

READ MORE...

“What is more important is we do not slide back to where we started. Let us not make my five years [as president] as a mere intermission then go back to the ugly truth. If they (Poe and Senator Francis Escudero) can make better of what we did, why should we be mad? Maybe the next question is: What are the things you will do to outdo what we are doing,” Aquino said.

Poe, in her privilege speech, prioritized the education, agriculture and infrastructure sectors in her platform as she believed that there was a dire need to address the public schools’ lack of classrooms and facilities; the farming and livestock propagation; and the restructuring of the numerous roads, trains and airports in the country.

The senator will be releasing her presidential campaign’s comprehensive program in the coming days.

Lito David, a former senatorial candidate who deemed Poe as ineligible for an elective post, slammed the senator’s declaration of her presidential bid as her disqualification case before the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) remained pending.

“She is not a great leader… She lacks respect for the process as defined by law and disrespects her own peers in the Senate that compose a majority of the SET by pre-empting whatever decision they would make on her case,” David said.


MANILA STANDARD BY EMIL JURADO

Why Aquino is worried By Emil Jurado | Sep. 17, 2015 at 12:01am

MY sources tell me that the handlers of Mar Roxas, the administration’s candidate for President, told him never to be seen in public with Korina Sanchez, his wife.

They said that many people do not like Korina, a known ABS-CBN broadcaster. She reportedly says the wrong things at the wrong time.

I am beginning to believe this. Korina has not been seen with Mar in public for a while.

* * *

President Aquino’s utmost concern at the moment is not how to assure victory in 2016 for his anointed, Mar Roxas.

Instead, Palace sources say that the President is actually worried about the many criminal and civil cases he is bound to face the moment he steps down from office on June 30, 2016.

BS Aquino III is aware that a group of lawyers, former judges and even justices have been meeting regularly somewhere in Global City to fine-tune cases to be filed against him once he loses his immunity from suit.

Among these cases being prepared against the President is bribery. He allegedly bribed lawmakers to have former Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona impeached, convicted and ousted. Santa Banana, I am told that some congressmen and senators have volunteered to become whistle-blowers!

Another case, my sources told me, is a suit against President Aquino and his cohort Budget Secretary Butch Abad for plunder in concocting that mongrel called Disbursement Acceleration Program ostensibly aimed at enhancing economic growth. This was misused and abused to further the Aquino administration’s political agenda.

Both the PDAF and the DAP have been ruled by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional.

My gulay, the case that could be the last nail in the coffin of President Aquino was his “ultimate accountability and responsibility” for that slaughter of 44 police commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. He had his friend, then-suspended and now-dismissed Police Chief Alan Purisima take charge of “Oplan Exodus.”

Former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and then-acting Police Chief Leonardo Espina were kept out of the loop.

To me, that was a clear example of what a president should not be. Mr. Aquino never apologized for it!

READ MORE...

Obviously, in an attempt to escape accountability and ultimate responsibility being the PNP Commander-in-Chief, President Aquino is now talking of an “alternate version” of mamasapano. For this, I think he can be impeached.

As I have always said, there’s such a thing as “karma”—whatever goes around comes around.

* * *


POE TO SEEK PRESIDENCY: NOY, 'WHAT, ME WORRY?' PHILSTAR SEPTEMBER 15, 2015

I’m writing this column before Senator Grace Poe makes her long-awaited announcement to run for the presidency in 2016.

I knew this was coming, with the way Grace swaggers among the crowds that surround her wherever she goes, and the way she walks, raising her hands, as if to accept the adulation.

I really don’t know what she stands for. She makes a big thing out of the fact that she is an adopted daughter of the late movie icon Fernando Poe Jr.. Perhaps she thinks this is a sure ticket to the presidency.

Sure, she is honest so far (I say this since honesty include integrity, probity, and dedication to one’s profession). There’s also a thing called mental dishonesty.

She is also popular, being a fresh face in politics, but, is that all there’s to it to become President? She has reportedly been promised funding by the usual and well-known political contributors who donate to every candidate just to get an assurance that their investment will not come to naught. Grace, my gulay, seems unaware that election funders also wait for payback time. These people don’t just part with their money just because they like someone’s face!

Grace is really a political neophyte, unaware that popularity is not all there’s to it in winning the presidency. Does Grace have grassroots following and a political machinery to ensure that her votes will be counted on Election Day? She should be aware that FPJ, popular as he was, lost in 2004 because his funding during the last two weeks dried up.

Despite the ranting of Susan Roces that FPJ was cheated, the fact is that the Iglesia did not vote for FPJ but for Gloria since Iglesia surveys found that Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was winning.

Aside from this, Grace Poe’s presidential bid is a boost for oppositionist Vice President Binay. Why? Because logic tells us that there will be those in the Liberal Party coalition who will swing in favor of Grace.

But, Santa Banana, more importantly, Grace should not forget her disqualification case at the Senate Electoral Tribunal hanging over her pretty head. The case could continue to hound her until the end of the year. Consider all the documents and proof that she is not natural born. My gulay, people may believe that a vote for Grace is a vote for an American. Can we afford to have an alien as president?

* * *

Dante Arevalo Ang, whom I first met and knew when the late Roberto S. Benedicto had full control of television channels 2, GTV 4, the government station, Channels 9 and 13 under the management of Kanlaon Broadcasting System, as a sales director, is my kind of entrepreneur and achiever.

Not so many people know that Dante, who is chairman emeritus of the Manila Times Publishing Group, has put up The Manila Times College both in Manila and in Subic, with the Manila Campus offering Humanities and Social Sciences and the Subic Campus offering Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Accounting, Business, Management.

Aside from the two campuses, Dante’s Subic campus, also offers journalism classes for mass communications students to fine-tune their career. Would you believe that there are also foreign students taking courses in both campuses?

Dante also has another school, the Dewey School, with its own campus. Aside from all these, he operates a wellness and spa studio in Subic, and soon will build a village for retirement, also in Subic, together with a foreign partner.

* * *

With both Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo turning down the Liberal Party’s offer as the vice presidential running mate of Mar, the Liberal Party may just settle for Nacionalista Party Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.

If NP Senator Bongbong Marcos runs for the presidency, who knows, he may get Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as his running mate?

In the world of politics, anything is possible.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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