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

PARTY LIST EXEC TO LACIERDA: RESIGN FROM MALACANANG NOW AND JOIN ROXAS CAMPAIGN
[Earlier Escudero said Lacierda had no business politicking.]


SEPTEMBER 23 -PNoy's mouthpiece, Lacierda An official on Tuesday accused presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda of using government resources to advance the candidacy of Liberal Party standard bearer Manuel Roxas II. Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz, a member of the independent bloc of Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, slammed Lacierda for acting as Roxas’ spokesman and part of his campaign team.“If he is so committed to the candidacy of Roxas, he should resign,” de la Cruz said, adding Lacierda “is still in the payroll of Malacañang” and so should only be serving one master. “It is an example of government resources being used for a political party,” De la Cruz said. READ MORE...RELATED, Who really is Edwin Lacierda? also Escudero to Lacierda; Resign if you wish to continue to speak for Roxas....

ALSO: Drilon defends Lacierda, says there’s no need for him to resign


SEPTEMBER 23 -ADMINISTRATION ALLY AND SENATE PRESIDENT DRILON INQUIRER FILE PHOTO Senate President Franklin Drilon defended Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, September 23, 2015, against calls for him to resign from his current Cabinet position. Drilon made the statement in response to Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero’s assumption Lacierda should step down from his post if he continues on with his tirades against him and Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares. Escudero had earlier said President Aquino’s spokesman should instead join Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II’s campaign if he continues to issue pronouncements in defense of the Liberal Party’s (LP) standard-bearer. Poe and Escudero are both gunning for the presidency and vice presidency in the May 2016 elections. Lacierda’s statements Poe-Escudero message and platforms are confusing did not sit well with Escudero. READ MORE...

ALSO Aquino: I did my best to govern the country


SEPTEMBER 23 -President Benigno Aquino III - courtesy of the Official Gazette
Looking forward to the day he steps down from office, President Aquino is certain that he did his best to govern the country without exercising dictatorial tendency towards the Filipino nation.
The President talked about his governance style and the achievements of his administration on ANC television last Tuesday night, saying he is a consensus-builder, not a micro-manager. “I don’t think I micromanage,” Aquino said. “Parang micromanaging to me is calling them up several times in the week to follow up what the latest development or whatever the assignment is,” he added. Aquino explained that he only gets into details if he is not satisfied with the performance of his men. “I’d like to think I am a consensus builder. Siguro, I really have an allergy to being dictatorial thereby I really—we will have very, very thorough discussions,” Aquino said. “Sometimes I am told it doesn’t have to be that difficult and that hard if I just ordered people around. Then I said, they will comply but I think it’s better if they complied because they believe in what we were trying to do,” he added. Aquino also said he does not shirk away from any responsibility, even if it leads to criticisms especially when his men are under fire. “I don’t think I shirked away from any responsibility. I am told by people close to me that perhaps I take on too much of the flak instead of my subordinates,” he said. READ MORE...

ALSO Feeling very pressured: After Poe, Aquino now meeting with Robredo


SEPTEMBER 24 -Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo admits that she’s feeling pressured to run for Vice President this coming 2016 national elections. According to AKO BICOL Partylist Rep. Roel Batocabe, he had a meeting with Robredo a few days ago and the latter said that she is stressed out because of the pressure for her to run for higher office. DZRH NEWS (File Photo) President Benigno Aquino III confirmed on Wednesday that he will be holding a series of meetings with Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo who is being courted by the Liberal Party to run as vice president in the 2016 elections. “Wala pang tapos na usapan. Mag-uusap kami ulit, pero maganda ’yung parang clearing the air, ano. ’Yung expectation settings, lahat, nandoon nailagay; bakit kami pabor na siya ang maging vice president natin, et cetera,” Aquino said during an interview in Apayao. (The talks have yet to be concluded. We will talk again but it’s good that we’re somewhat clearing the air. We have have laid down expectations and discussed why we are in favor of her becoming vice president.) Administration bet and former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II has reportedly offered Robredo to be his running mate after Senate Grace Poe announced her presidential bid. Aquino said he met with Robredo, together with Roxas and Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, on Tuesday. The President compared Robredo with his mother, the late Corazon Aquino, who was a housewife before being thrust into the national limelight. Robredo was encouraged to join Congress because of public clamor following the death of her husband, former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, in 2012. READ MORE...

ALSO: Noy slams VP Binay, goes soft on Grace
[ALSO, there is widespread suspicion that even as the Liberal Party and presidential anointed candidate for the presidency in 2016, Manuel “Mar” Roxas is being supported by the Palace, it is Senator Poe who is believed to be the secret presidential bet of Aquino and his sisters.]


SEPTEMBRE 23 -Despite President Aquino’s denial that Sen. Grace Poe is his “secret” presidential candidate, statements he made yesterday during a press briefing with the Palace reporters bared his going too soft on Poe while hitting hard at Vice President Jojo Binay. Asked by a Palace reporter why he was too soft on Poe, Aquino replied that Poe is not like another candidate (obviously referring to VP Binay) who, even before I do something, while I am doing something and after I have finished doing something, I am constantly being criticized. Grace (Poe) isn’t like that. The way I see it, Grace does her work well and professionally,” Aquino said. He also defended Poe in her disqualification case and even stated that she should be allowed to run and have the people decide. Poe also thanked the President for taking her side on her disqualification case now in the Senate Electoral Tribunal. There is widespread suspicion that even as the Liberal Party and presidential anointed candidate for the presidency in 2016, Manuel “Mar” Roxas is being supported by the Palace, it is Senator Poe who is believed to be the secret presidential bet of Aquino and his sisters.
Poe herself has made it clear that she will be protecting Aquino should she win the presidency and she has not criticized the President at all, even praising him at every turn. Yesterday, Aquino also slammed Binay, saying that he can’t identify any accomplishment of the Vice President in his job as the Housing czar. In a statement, the VP’s camp said that the President appears to have lost his memory. In that interview, the President was quoted as saying that he could not identify any accomplishment of Vice President Jejomar Binay as Chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC). READ MORE...RELATED, Binay camp to PNoy on his 'loss of memory': You credited VP for accomplishments in housing...

ALSO Standard Editorial: The straight-path lie


SEPTEMBER 23 -WE have long known that there was something crooked about the Aquino administration’s Daang Matuwid or straight-path platform of governance. Every now and again over the last five years, it would veer abruptly off course to avoid friends and allies of President Benigno Aquino III then move forward again directly and inexorably at his enemies.
But it was facile to dismiss complaints of selective justice as being politically motivated, since most of the criticism usually came from those who opposed the administration. This is why it is so significant that the Obama administration has rejected a discreet request from President Aquino for $300 million in military aid over “worries about corruption” and the government’s ability to handle the influx of resources. This revelation was made in the New York Times, which said the request had been made in private talks in which the Philippines argued the need for a substantial buildup of planes and ships to deter Chinese expansionism. This was not some political rival complaining about corruption in the administration; this was the US government making a hard-nosed assessment of the state of governance under President Aquino—and the verdict found him wanting. Washington’s concerns about official corruption under this administration lays bare President Aquino’s posturing and holier-than-thou pronouncements about his so-called straight path and reveal them all as lies. Concerns about the government’s ability to handle the influx of resources also recall how this administration failed miserably to mobilize hundreds of millions of pesos is humanitarian aid from here and abroad to help the victims of 2013’s devastating super typhoon “Yolanda.” Earlier this month, the Commission on Audit took the Department of Social Welfare and Development to task for failing to immediately distribute cash donations and food packs to survivors of the killer storm. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Lacierda told: Resign now and join Roxas


PNoy's spokesman, Lacierda

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 28, 2015 (MANILA STANDARD) By Maricel Cruz, Sandy Araneta | Sep. 23, 2015 - AN OFFICIAL on Tuesday accused presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda of using government resources to advance the candidacy of Liberal Party standard bearer Manuel Roxas II.

Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz, a member of the independent bloc of Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, slammed Lacierda for acting as Roxas’ spokesman and part of his campaign team.

“If he is so committed to the candidacy of Roxas, he should resign,” de la Cruz said, adding Lacierda “is still in the payroll of Malacañang” and so should only be serving one master.

“It is an example of government resources being used for a political party,” De la Cruz said.

READ MORE...

He made his statement even as Lacierda on Tuesday accused Senator Francis Escudero of using taxpayers’ money to campaign for a higher office.

Escudero has declared his plan to run as the vice presidential running mate of presidential candidate Grace Poe.

“Unlike Senator Escudero, I do not use taxpayers’ money to promote myself and run for a higher office,” Lacierda said.

“I am just doing my role as a spokesperson.”

Earlier, Escudero urged Lacierda to resign if he would be using Malacañang to promote the LP instead of speaking on behalf of the President.

He said Lacierda had no business politicking.

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RELATED FROM WIKIPEDIA

WHO REALLY IS EDWIN LACIERDA?

Secretary Edwin Lacierda is the Presidential Spokesperson of Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III, and an incumbent member of the Philippine Cabinet.

Prior to this, he was the spokesperson for the presidential campaign of then Senator Aquino from November 2009 up to the elections in May 2010.

Prior to joining the campaign, he was a law practitioner and a co-convenor for the Black and White Movement, an organization of civil society groups calling for transparency and accountability in government.

He served as the legal counsel of whistleblower of Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada during the Senate investigation on the NBN-ZTE controversy.

Lacierda was also part of the Optical Media Board from 2004–2007, representing the academe.

Apart from his involvement in civic and public service, Lacierda taught Constitutional Law at the Far Eastern University Institute of Law from 1992 to 2008 and at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila from 2007 to 2010.

Lacierda received his degree in AB Communication Arts from the De La Salle University in 1983, LLB from the Ateneo de Manila University School of Law in 1989, and his Masters in Management degree from the Asian Institute of Management in 1991.

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Presently, he is the official campaign spokesperson of Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III for the the 2010 presidential elections. Edwin Lacierda is the Presidential Spokesman of Noynoy Aquino administration. He serve as spokesperson for Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III during the campaign.

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS ONLINE

Chiz tells Lacierda: Resign if you'll continue to speak for Roxas September 20, 2015 2:25pm Tags: francisescudero, eleksyon2016, edwinlacierda (Updated 6:51 p.m.)


PHISTAR PHOTO: There's a brewing word war between Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda and Sen. Francis Escudero. STAR/Senate PRIB

Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero on Sunday said presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda should resign if he will continue to use Malacañang's rostrum to represent the Liberal Party (LP) instead of speaking on behalf of President Benigno Aquino III.

Escudero, the running mate of independent presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe, said Lacierda should avoid dipping his hands into politics.

“Kung nais niya, magbitiw na lamang siya bilang tagapagsalita ng Pangulo at maging bahagi ng campaign team ni Secretary [Mar] Roxas. Bilang opisyal na tagapagsalita ng Pangulo, hindi naman siguro natatama na idudutdut niya ang kamay niya sa pulitika,” the senator said in a radio dzBB interview.

Escudero was reacting to Lacierda's statement that the campaign messaging of Poe and Chiz "Bagong Umaga" is confusing.

"For instance, their campaign jingle [says] 'Bagong Umaga' [implying a change] and yet they claim 'Daang Matuwid.’ So medyo confusing ang message nila. Do you want change or ... continuity?" Lacierda said in an interview over state-run dzRB radio on Saturday.

In response to Escudero's satement on Sunday, Lacierda said, "There is alreadry Supreme Court jurisprudence on Cabinet Secretaries as alter egos and Sen. Escudero is well aware of it. I would humbly encourage [him] to focus on the bigger issues that confront a campaign instead of focusing on an individual."

During her personal announcement that she's running for president, Poe said that no one has the monopoly on "Daang Matuwid."

"Malaki at malayo na ang nagawa ni Pangulong Aquino kaugnay sa pagpapanagot sa mga tiwali ... Dapat lang na ituloy at pa-igtingin ang pagsugpo sa korapsyon.... Subalit 'di lamang isang tao o partido ang dapat nagsusulong nito, kundi ang bawat isang Pilipino," she said.

Lacierda sees this as an acknowledgement of the "the fruits of 'Daang Matuwid.'"

Continue the good, change the bad

Escudero, an administration ally, said that while he and Poe will continue to work on the reforms started by the Aquino administration, they will also work on changing the wrong things it did.

“Maski anong administrasyon ay walang perpekto. Hindi ba dapat lamang ituloy ang maganda at baguhin ang mali?... Sana maging bukas tayo, ituloy ang maganda, baguhin ang mali, at punuan ang pagkukulang,” he said.

Escudero, meanwhile, said that he and Poe will meet this week to discuss who should they include in their senatorial slate.

In a separate radio dzBB interview, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said he will remain with LP amid rumors that he is being wooed by Poe and Escudero to join their senatorial slate.

"Bagamat I'm close to Sen. Grace and Chiz, and I believe they have good heads and good hearts... I'm staying with the LP. Kung susuportahan naman ako ng kahit sinong grupo, maraming maraming salamat," he said. —Xianne Arcangel/ALG/LBG, GMA News -


MANILA BULLETIN

Drilon defends Lacierda, says there’s no need for him to resign by Hannah Torregoza September 23, 2015 (updated) Share59 Tweet5 Share0 Email0 Share64


ADMINISTRATION ALLY AND SENATE PRESIDENT DRILON

Senate President Franklin Drilon defended Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, September 23, 2015, against calls for him to resign from his current Cabinet position.

Drilon made the statement in response to Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero’s assumption Lacierda should step down from his post if he continues on with his tirades against him and Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares.

Escudero had earlier said President Aquino’s spokesman should instead join Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II’s campaign if he continues to issue pronouncements in defense of the Liberal Party’s (LP) standard-bearer.

Poe and Escudero are both gunning for the presidency and vice presidency in the May 2016 elections.

Lacierda’s statements Poe-Escudero message and platforms are confusing did not sit well with Escudero.

READ MORE...

But Drilon, vice chairman of the LP, said Lacierda is free to express his views. He also said the Cabinet official is not a member of the LP.

“Let Secretary Lacierda make his own opinions. Alam mo, Secretary Lacierda ay talagang magaling at napapansin siya na mukhang hindi tama na siya ay speaking for the party. Well he is not a member of the party,” Drilon said in an interview.

“You know, Cabinet members are extensions of the President. Particularly Secretary Lacierda, he is a spokesperson,” he said.

“You assume that his statements have the approval of the President, otherwise he will not be a spokesman. He holds his position on the basis of the confidence of the President,” added the Senate leader.


MANILA BULLETIN

Aquino: I did my best to govern the country by Genalyn Kabiling September 23, 2015 (updated) Share3 Tweet12 Share0 Email0 Share112 image: http://www.mb.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/aquino3.jpg


President Benigno Aquino III - courtesy of the Official Gazette

Looking forward to the day he steps down from office, President Aquino is certain that he did his best to govern the country without exercising dictatorial tendency towards the Filipino nation.

The President talked about his governance style and the achievements of his administration on ANC television last Tuesday night, saying he is a consensus-builder, not a micro-manager.

“I don’t think I micromanage,” Aquino said. “Parang micromanaging to me is calling them up several times in the week to follow up what the latest development or whatever the assignment is,” he added.

Aquino explained that he only gets into details if he is not satisfied with the performance of his men.

“I’d like to think I am a consensus builder. Siguro, I really have an allergy to being dictatorial thereby I really—we will have very, very thorough discussions,” Aquino said.

“Sometimes I am told it doesn’t have to be that difficult and that hard if I just ordered people around. Then I said, they will comply but I think it’s better if they complied because they believe in what we were trying to do,” he added.

Aquino also said he does not shirk away from any responsibility, even if it leads to criticisms especially when his men are under fire.

“I don’t think I shirked away from any responsibility. I am told by people close to me that perhaps I take on too much of the flak instead of my subordinates,” he said.

READ MORE...

“At the end of the day, if I did subscribe to whatever that they will do then perhaps as a leader I should carry the responsibility for it,” he added.

The President has barely a year in office before he relinquishes his post on June 30, 2016, a period he is looking forward to.

“I would lie if I say no,” Aquino said when asked if he was happy his term is about to end.

Aquino firmly believes that an “overwhelming majority” of the people would say that “we went beyond expectations.”

Still, Aquino admitted he is faced with a “contrarian group” that do not see anything positive and instead find fault in the administration. He described this as the “cottage industry of critics.”

“Di bale sana yung half-full, half-empty. Almost empty eh when they describe,” he lamented.

“But the people know the truth. When my numbers rebound whenever they go down I think supports the case that most of the people think that I have done a good job,” he said.

On his greatest achievement, Aquino said he is proud that the Filipinos are no longer apathetic. He said the Filipinos have changed their attitude from being apathetic to being vocal and active on issues in the country.

“Because before people were so apathetic, they just gave up. People were voting with their feet. People were really living the ultimate ambition was how to get out of the country,” he said.

“Now, we have everybody’s inputs… Iyong everything is a work in progress. The development never really stops. The demands of our people for food, shelter, clothing, education, electricity, infrastructure. Hopefully, we will keep on growing as the population grows, the needs also grow,” he said.

Aquino also expressed gratitude to the people, the bosses, for their trust and support over the years despite all the challenges.

“I’ve said several times, it’s really an honor to serve the people,” he said.


INQUIRER

After Poe, Aquino now meeting with Robredo By: Kristine Angeli Sabillo @KSabilloINQ INQUIRER.net 05:25 PM September 23rd, 2015


Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo admits that she’s feeling pressured to run for Vice President this coming 2016 national elections. According to AKO BICOL Partylist Rep. Roel Batocabe, he had a meeting with Robredo a few days ago and the latter said that she is stressed out because of the pressure for her to run for higher office.

President Benigno Aquino III confirmed on Wednesday that he will be holding a series of meetings with Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo who is being courted by the Liberal Party to run as vice president in the 2016 elections.

“Wala pang tapos na usapan. Mag-uusap kami ulit, pero maganda ’yung parang clearing the air, ano. ’Yung expectation settings, lahat, nandoon nailagay; bakit kami pabor na siya ang maging vice president natin, et cetera,” Aquino said during an interview in Apayao.

(The talks have yet to be concluded. We will talk again but it’s good that we’re somewhat clearing the air. We have have laid down expectations and discussed why we are in favor of her becoming vice president.)

Administration bet and former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II has reportedly offered Robredo to be his running mate after Senate Grace Poe announced her presidential bid.

Aquino said he met with Robredo, together with Roxas and Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, on Tuesday.

The President compared Robredo with his mother, the late Corazon Aquino, who was a housewife before being thrust into the national limelight.

Robredo was encouraged to join Congress because of public clamor following the death of her husband, former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, in 2012.

READ MORE...

“So medyo nakakagulat, nakakabigla at understandable, lalo na doon sa mga anak nila na kung tutuusin talagang nag-re-readjust pa rin sa buhay na wala ’yung kanilang ama,” Aquino explained, referring to Robredo’s children who have explicitly expressed their dismay at their mother’s decision to run for Congress.

(So it’s slightly surprising and understandably, especially for her children who are still adjusting to a life without their father.)

Aquino said Robredo has a very positive image among civil society and non-government organizations. He said the congresswoman cannot be mistaken for a traditional politician or “trapo.”

“Ang dami na niyang dinemonstrate na kahanga-hanga talaga,” he said.

Aquino pointed out that a Roxas-Robredo team would help expedite the “Daang Matuwid” or Straight Path campaign. Kristine Angeli Sabillo


TRIBUNE

Noy slams VP Binay, goes soft on Grace
Written by Tribune Wires Thursday, 24 September 2015 00:00

Despite President Aquino’s denial that Sen. Grace Poe is his “secret” presidential candidate, statements he made yesterday during a press briefing with the Palace reporters bared his going too soft on Poe while hitting hard at Vice President Jojo Binay.

Asked by a Palace reporter why he was too soft on Poe, Aquino replied that Poe is not like another candidate (obviously referring to VP Binay) who, even before I do something, while I am doing something and after I have finished doing something, I am constantly being criticized. Grace (Poe) isn’t like that. The way I see it, Grace does her work well and professionally,” Aquino said.

He also defended Poe in her disqualification case and even stated that she should be allowed to run and have the people decide.

Poe also thanked the President for taking her side on her disqualification case now in the Senate Electoral Tribunal.

There is widespread suspicion that even as the Liberal Party and presidential anointed candidate for the presidency in 2016, Manuel “Mar” Roxas is being supported by the Palace, it is Senator Poe who is believed to be the secret presidential bet of Aquino and his sisters.

Poe herself has made it clear that she will be protecting Aquino should she win the presidency and she has not criticized the President at all, even praising him at every turn.

Yesterday, Aquino also slammed Binay, saying that he can’t identify any accomplishment of the Vice President in his job as the Housing czar.

In a statement, the VP’s camp said that the President appears to have lost his memory.

In that interview, the President was quoted as saying that he could not identify any accomplishment of Vice President Jejomar Binay as Chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

READ MORE...

“With all due respect, the President may have forgotten that not long ago, he himself credited VP Binay for achievements in the housing sector.

Media outfits, including the Philippine Daily Inquirer on 20 October last year, quoted the President when he said VP Binay has done his duties as housing czar.

“After doing his assignments, should I be castigating him? I don’t think that’s proper,” Aquino had said.

Under Vice President Binay’s term as housing czar, shelter agencies provided house and lot packages, lots or houses to 792,014 families valued at P268.826 billion.

“It was also during his term that Pag-IBIG became the biggest key shelter agency with assets reaching more than P376 billion. It is now one of the most profitable government corporations in the country with housing loan collection hitting P2.7 billion–all without increasing its monthly contribution, which remains at P100 since the 1980s. “Such accomplishments are not easy to forget.


NOVEMBER 2014 -BEFORE THE BITTER BREAK-UP: President Aquino (right) and Vice President Jejomar Binay. President Benigno Aquino III is keeping Vice President Jejomar Binay in his Cabinet as he expressed his wish that the Senate would be able to wrap up soon its investigation of the corruption allegations against Binay. The President seemed to be sympathetic with the plight of Binay, who is facing the worst political crisis in his almost 30-year-old government service as corruption allegations against him widened in an ongoing inquiry by a Senate blue ribbon subcommittee. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

“We would also like to point out that the shelter agencies labored against all odds: the lack of budgetary support and natural calamities that damaged thousands of houses. On the other hand, allocations for housing were given for programs of the Office of President and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). The DILG, formerly headed by the LP standard bearer Mar Roxas, neither has the mandate or the technical competence to undertake housing programs yet it benefited from the generosity of the DBM, headed by another partymate Secretary Butch Abad.

“The housing sector, under the stewardship of the Vice President, provided direct housing assistance to more than half a million low-income and informal settlers families.

“However, there remains much room for improvement in terms of uplifting the lives of the people, something which is beyond the Vice President’s mandate as shelter head.

“This is why the Vice President has vowed that under his presidency, the budget of the housing sector would be increased so it could offer more affordable homes to Filipino families.

“After five years as housing czar, VP Binay remained true to his vision of providing dignified housing, giving people the means not only to live decently, but likewise a fair chance of building productive lives.

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Binay camp twits Aquino: You credited VP for accomplishments in housing SHARES: 512 VIEW COMMENTS By: Yuji Vincent Gonzales @YGonzalesINQ INQUIRER.net 04:32 PM September 23rd, 2015



Reacting to the statement of President Benigno Aquino III that Vice President Jejomar Binay did not do anything as former chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), the latter’s camp on Wednesday said the President himself previously credited the opposition leader for his accomplishments as housing czar.

“Media outfits, including the Philippine Daily Inquirer on October 20 last year, quoted the President when he said VP Binay has done his duties as housing czar. ‘After doing his assignments, should I be castigating him? I don’t think that’s proper,’ President Aquino had said,” Binay spokesperson Rico Quicho said in a statement.

Quicho said that under Binay’s supervision, shelter agencies were able to provide house and lot packages to 792,014 families amounting to P268.826 billion.
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“It was also during his term that Pag-IBIG became the biggest key shelter agency with assets reaching more than P376 billion. It is now one of the most profitable government corporations in the country with housing loan collection hitting P2.7 billion–all without increasing its monthly contribution, which remains at P100 since the 1980s. Such accomplishments are not easy to forget,” he added.

Aquino on Tuesday evening said he could not identify any accomplishment of the Vice President as former housing czar.

“Under my watch, I have yet to see anything that he (Binay) did as head of the housing sector,” Aquino said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel’s Tina Monzon-Palma.

Binay relinquished his post as HUDCC chairman and presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers’ affairs when he resigned from the Aquino Cabinet and declared himself as opposition leader in June.

READ MORE...

‘Labored against all odds’

But Quicho maintained that housing agencies under Binay “labored against all odds” despite damages caused by natural disasters and alleged lack of budgetary support.

“Allocations for housing were given for programs of the Office of President and the Department of Interior and Local Government. The DILG, formerly headed by the LP standard bearer Mar Roxas, neither has the mandate or the technical competence to undertake housing programs yet it benefited from the generosity of the DBM, headed by another party mate Secretary Butch Abad,” he stressed.

Quicho said Binay, should he be elected president next year, will make sure that the budget for housing agencies will increase to provide more affordable homes to Filipino families.

“The housing sector, under the stewardship of the Vice President, provided direct housing assistance to more than half a million low-income and informal settlers families. However, there remains much room for improvement in terms of uplifting the lives of the people, something which is beyond the Vice President’s mandate as shelter head,” Quicho said.

“After five years as housing czar, VP Binay remained true to his vision of providing dignified housing, giving people the means not only to live decently, but likewise a fair chance of building productive lives,” he added.
Yuji Vincent Gonzales/JE


MANILA STANDARD EDITORIAL

The straight-path lie Sep. 23, 2015 at 12:01am

WE have long known that there was something crooked about the Aquino administration’s Daang Matuwid or straight-path platform of governance. Every now and again over the last five years, it would veer abruptly off course to avoid friends and allies of President Benigno Aquino III then move forward again directly and inexorably at his enemies.

But it was facile to dismiss complaints of selective justice as being politically motivated, since most of the criticism usually came from those who opposed the administration.

This is why it is so significant that the Obama administration has rejected a discreet request from President Aquino for $300 million in military aid over “worries about corruption” and the government’s ability to handle the influx of resources.

This revelation was made in the New York Times, which said the request had been made in private talks in which the Philippines argued the need for a substantial buildup of planes and ships to deter Chinese expansionism.

This was not some political rival complaining about corruption in the administration; this was the US government making a hard-nosed assessment of the state of governance under President Aquino—and the verdict found him wanting.

Washington’s concerns about official corruption under this administration lays bare President Aquino’s posturing and holier-than-thou pronouncements about his so-called straight path and reveal them all as lies.

Concerns about the government’s ability to handle the influx of resources also recall how this administration failed miserably to mobilize hundreds of millions of pesos is humanitarian aid from here and abroad to help the victims of 2013’s devastating super typhoon “Yolanda.”

Earlier this month, the Commission on Audit took the Department of Social Welfare and Development to task for failing to immediately distribute cash donations and food packs to survivors of the killer storm.

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In its 2014 audit report, the CoA said P382 million in local and foreign cash donations for Yolanda victims, representing a third of the P1.15 billion that the DSWD received, remained in the agency’s bank accounts.

The CoA report also said the DSWD failed to distribute P141 million worth of family food packs for the typhoon victims, leading to the spoilage of the perishable goods.

These failures not only suggest ineptitude but reek of corruption.

Then, as if we needed more reminders of how this administration has corrupted the notion of good governance, one of the President’s shooting buddies who was hounded from office after a video posted online showed her playing the slots at a casino, figured again in the news after she visited the Bureau of Customs trying to expedite the release of 64 shipping containers of smuggled Thai sugar worth more than P100 million.

When her request was met with resistance, former Land Transportation Office chief Virginia Torres allegedly dropped the President’s name and intimated that the proceeds from the sale of the smuggled sugar would be used in the 2016 national elections.

Against this backdrop, it is no surprise that the United States has been skeptical about the President’s claims that corruption under his watch has been significantly reduced. What is amazing is that so many people here still believe in Mr. Aquino and his biggest lie—that he and his government truly tread the straight path.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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