© Copyright, 2015 (PHNO)
 http://newsflash.org

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

AQUINO IN ROME: BBL NOT MY PERSONAL MONUMENT


DECEMBER 5 --President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his speech during the Meeting with the Filipino Community in Rome at the Leptis Magna I & II Function Room of the Ergife Palace Hotel for his Official Visit to the Italian Republic on Thursday (December 03, 2015). (Photo by Joseph Vidal/ Malacañang Photo Bureau) ROME—President Benigno Aquino III said that the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) “is not my personal monument” but he remains optimistic that a law that would give Moros and indigenous peoples in Central Mindanao their right to self-determination would be passed, hopefully still during his term. “This is not my personal monument. I am sure (the passage of the bill) will happen. When would this happen? I hope during my time, but it not, I think having this kind of a law would be inevitable,” Mr. Aquino told reporters on Friday afternoon here, a few hours before he flew back to Manila. The President is expected to arrive in Manila at 1:55pm Saturday, following his weeklong working visit to Paris, Rome, and the Vatican. “I am still confident that there is still a very strong push that can be made. Of course, we’d want it to happen sooner rather than later, but at the end of the day, I think the movement towards having the BBL in its present form or with little modification is just a question of time. It will happen,” President Aquino said. The passage of the BBL has remained stalled in Congress, with the House of Representatives grappling with the problem of lack of quorum. Asked if he thought if there was a deliberate move to ensure that the proposed BBL would not be passed during his term, President Aquino said he does not think there was “a deliberate move although some quarters were probably encouraging it.” “At the end of the day, next year we face elections. Even at the point that we were negotiating, I did say that the earlier we craft this proposed measure, and farther away from both the budget and next year’s elections, the better the chances of passing it in a timely manner and in enabling the transition authority to demonstrate the difference of their governance,” Mr. Aquino said. FULL REPORT.

ALSO With Filipino community: Aquino bats for Roxas in Rome; Mocks Roxas' rivals for Presidency


DECEMBER 5 -(ROME, Italy) President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his speech during the Meeting with the Filipino Community in Rome at the Leptis Magna I & II Function Room of the Ergife Palace Hotel for his Official Visit to the Italian Republic on Thursday (December 03, 2015). (Photo by Joseph Vidal/ Malacañang Photo Bureau)
ROME—In a speech to Filipino expatriates here with no mention of what his administration was doing for them, President Benigno Aquino III campaigned for Mar Roxas on Thursday, taking swings at the more popular rivals of his chosen presidential candidate in next year’s national elections. Filipinos from Rome, Milan, Florence, Naples, Palermo and Cagliari waved small Philippine flags to welcome the President as he entered the hall at the Ergife Palace Hotel at 5:40 p.m. (12:40 a.m. Friday in Manila). It was the second day of his three-day visit to Italy, which was capped by a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday morning (Friday afternoon in Manila).For the first time in his meetings with overseas Filipinos, the President did not speak about their sacrifices and contributions to the growth of the Philippine economy and what programs he had introduced for their benefit. Perhaps for the first time as well, Mr. Aquino spoke openly of the likelihood of his critics getting back at him by filing complaints against him even before he stepped down from office. “The fight [against corruption] is not yet over: When I step down from office, it is likely that those whom we made accountable for their actions would get back at me to scare all others who, like me, have the same good intentions [for the country],” Mr. Aquino said. “I am ready to face all these because it is clear to me that if I agreed to maintaining the status quo, nothing will happen to our country.” Guessing game
In describing the rivals of Roxas, the presidential standard-bearer of the ruling Liberal Party, Mr. Aquino played a guessing game by not naming them. READ MORE...

ALSO: BACK FROM EUROPE, AQUINO PROUD TO LEAD PEOPLE ADMIRED WORLDWIDE - ‘Great to be President’


DECEMBER 6 -BREAK OUT THE CHAMPAGNE President Aquino pours champagne on the nose of a fighter jet from South Korea in a traditional vessel-christening ceremony on Saturday. Mr. Aquino, who has just flown in from a weeklong visit to Europe, leads the turnover rites for the two FA-50PH aircraft that will bring back the Philippine Air Force to the supersonic age. Expect the arrival of 10 more fighter jets ordered from SoKor.  President Benigno Aquino III returned home from Europe on Saturday afternoon, saying it is “wonderful” to be the leader of a people who have done their country proud.
Mr. Aquino returned from a weeklong trip to Paris, Rome and the Vatican. In five days, Mr. Aquino joined other world leaders in calling for a climate agreement for Earth’s very survival, met with European Union investors, tackled bilateral and global issues with fellow heads of state, and met with the much-revered Pope Francis to discuss faith and humanity. In all of his engagements, Mr. Aquino was well received by his counterparts and he heard positive feedback anew about Filipinos in foreign lands. “The Philippines is very much different now, and the world looks at us differently now. It’s true: you are the ones who made the change and you are the ones who would continue this. What I can say is, it is truly wonderful to be President of a people who continue to show what they can do, continue to have faith and continue to receive the admiration of the whole world,” Mr. Aquino said in his arrival speech. Philippine Airlines Flight PR 100 carrying the President home from Rome, Italy, touched down at Ninoy Aquino International Airport at around 1 p.m. From the airport, Mr. Aquino proceeded to the nearby Villamor Air Base for the turnover and blessing of two newly acquired FA-50PH fighter jets from South Korea. Good news “It is wonderful to come home to our country, especially because I have some good news for you again,” the President said. In Italy, Mr. Aquino said, he truly felt the “admiration” of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and President Sergio Mattarella for the Filipinos’ contributions to Italy. “This is what prompted them to give our countrymen preferential status in choosing [guest workers] in Italy. The Philippines and Italy signed a labor agreement to implement this,” he said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Delay in 2016 polls likely, says Comelec


Bautista vs Brillantes SC TRO ON ‘NO BIO, NO BOTO’ TAGGED AS CULPRIT
DECEMBER 7 -A delay in the presidential elections scheduled in May next year is likely due to the temporary restraining order (TRO) the Supreme Court (SC) issued on the Comelec rule requiring biometric records on voters, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said yesterday. “The Comelec will submit its comments on the the SC TRO on the ‘No bio, no boto’ policy before the December 11 deadline stating the possibility of the elections being postponed,” Bautista said.“I hope the SC will understand the implications on the preparations for the elections if the TRO is not lifted,” Bautista said.The Comelec is currently working on finalizing the election management system, conducting different tests on the automated election machines and completing the source code review, Bautista said adding that the timetable of the Comelec might suffer as a result of the SC order. Bautista also questioned the timing of the TRO issuance when the elections is only a few months away. He said the Comelec also needs to complete the list of voters and the list of voting precincts by December 15. “I am planning to write the SC immediately and request the TRO to be lifted and at the same time show the possible problems that the elections will possibly face,” Bautista said. Bautista admitted that postponing the elections may result in anarchy. The SC isued the TRO last week to stop the Comelec from invalidating voters who have failed to get their biometrics for the 2016 elections. SC spokesman Theodore Te said the TRO was “effective immediately until further orders.” The TRO was issued in response to a petition for certiorari and prohibition filed last November 25 by the Kabataan party-list against the constitutionality of the Comelec policy The petition said the policy will result in three million registered voters being disenfranchised. A total of 3,059,601 registered voters remained without biometrics data as of last September 30 – or 5.86 percent of the 52,239,488 total registered voters for the 2016 national and local elections. READ MORE...

ALSO: Dinky under fire over rotting rice; 300 sacks wasted, overstocked


DECEMBER 6 -Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman VICE President Jejomar Binay slammed Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman on Saturday for wasting almost 300 sacks of rice meant for typhoon victims which were not distributed because the rice were spoiled due to improper handling.“Such act borders on criminal neglect. Thousands of Filipinos suffer from hunger every day, especially those affected by calamities, and yet we have a government that allowed food to rot,” Binay said. Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. also warned Soliman from passing blame for the incident and said she cannot wash her hands of her responsibility for the wastage of food packs and sacks of rice discovered dumped in Dagami, Leyte. “Soliman had admitted the rice and food packs were from the DSWD warehouses but clarified that they were intended to be distributed to those affected by typhoon Ruby and typhoon Glenda last year and not for survivors of super typhoon Yolanda.”  Binay said it is even “more disappointing is that this was not the only time food for calamity victims had gone to waste.” Binay cited the 2013 annual audit report of the Commission on Audit on the DSWD, saying that family food packs worth P2.8 million for 7,527 families affected by super typhoon Yolanda were lost to spoilage “due to improper handling.” In its 2014 report, CoA also said DSWD had been left with undistributed and expired or about-to-expire relief goods worth P141 million. Soliman on Thursday confirmed the incident which was first reported in media. “The admission by Secretary Soliman only highlights the reality that she has failed to provide the department the efficiency and compassion required in providing immediate aid to calamity victims,” he said. “She has opted instead to play politics, placing premium on advancing the candidacy of the LP candidate over the more urgent needs of the poor,” Binay added. Earlier, the DSWD in Eastern Visayas admitted burying 284 sacks of rice—meant for the Food for Work program for typhoon Ruby victims—in Barangay Macaalang, Dagami, Leyte. In its audit report, CoA found out that DSWD bought and accepted relief goods without considering the absorptive capacity and condition of the warehousing facilities and personnel, available stocks, shelf life or expiry dates and the actual needs of the victims. This led to the overstocking and spoilage of the goods. READ MORE...RELATED. DSWD on buried rice in Leyte: Not safe for eating


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

BBL not my personal monument—Aquino


President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his speech during the Meeting with the Filipino Community in Rome at the Leptis Magna I & II Function Room of the Ergife Palace Hotel for his Official Visit to the Italian Republic on Thursday (December 03, 2015). (Photo by Joseph Vidal/ Malacañang Photo Bureau)

ROME, DECEMBER 7, 2015 (INQUIRER) Nikko Dizon @inquirerdotnet December 5th, 2015 - ROME—President Benigno Aquino III said that the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) “is not my personal monument” but he remains optimistic that a law that would give Moros and indigenous peoples in Central Mindanao their right to self-determination would be passed, hopefully still during his term.

“This is not my personal monument. I am sure (the passage of the bill) will happen. When would this happen? I hope during my time, but it not, I think having this kind of a law would be inevitable,” Mr. Aquino told reporters on Friday afternoon here, a few hours before he flew back to Manila.

The President is expected to arrive in Manila at 1:55pm Saturday, following his weeklong working visit to Paris, Rome, and the Vatican.

“I am still confident that there is still a very strong push that can be made. Of course, we’d want it to happen sooner rather than later, but at the end of the day, I think the movement towards having the BBL in its present form or with little modification is just a question of time. It will happen,” President Aquino said.

The passage of the BBL has remained stalled in Congress, with the House of Representatives grappling with the problem of lack of quorum.

Asked if he thought if there was a deliberate move to ensure that the proposed BBL would not be passed during his term, President Aquino said he does not think there was “a deliberate move although some quarters were probably encouraging it.”

“At the end of the day, next year we face elections. Even at the point that we were negotiating, I did say that the earlier we craft this proposed measure, and farther away from both the budget and next year’s elections, the better the chances of passing it in a timely manner and in enabling the transition authority to demonstrate the difference of their governance,” Mr. Aquino said.


INQUIRER

Aquino bats for Roxas in Rome By: Nikko Dizon @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 02:35 AM December 5th, 2015

PRESIDENT MOCKS ROXAS’ RIVALS FOR PRESIDENCY


(ROME, Italy) President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his speech during the Meeting with the Filipino Community in Rome at the Leptis Magna I & II Function Room of the Ergife Palace Hotel for his Official Visit to the Italian Republic on Thursday (December 03, 2015). (Photo by Joseph Vidal/ Malacañang Photo Bureau)

ROME—In a speech to Filipino expatriates here with no mention of what his administration was doing for them, President Benigno Aquino III campaigned for Mar Roxas on Thursday, taking swings at the more popular rivals of his chosen presidential candidate in next year’s national elections.

Filipinos from Rome, Milan, Florence, Naples, Palermo and Cagliari waved small Philippine flags to welcome the President as he entered the hall at the Ergife Palace Hotel at 5:40 p.m. (12:40 a.m. Friday in Manila).

It was the second day of his three-day visit to Italy, which was capped by a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday morning (Friday afternoon in Manila).

For the first time in his meetings with overseas Filipinos, the President did not speak about their sacrifices and contributions to the growth of the Philippine economy and what programs he had introduced for their benefit.

Perhaps for the first time as well, Mr. Aquino spoke openly of the likelihood of his critics getting back at him by filing complaints against him even before he stepped down from office.

“The fight [against corruption] is not yet over: When I step down from office, it is likely that those whom we made accountable for their actions would get back at me to scare all others who, like me, have the same good intentions [for the country],” Mr. Aquino said. “I am ready to face all these because it is clear to me that if I agreed to maintaining the status quo, nothing will happen to our country.”

Guessing game

In describing the rivals of Roxas, the presidential standard-bearer of the ruling Liberal Party, Mr. Aquino played a guessing game by not naming them.

READ MORE...

From the candidate who is accused of corruption but promises a better life for the Filipinos to another who claimed to exceed what the current administration has done but only hopes to wake up to a new dawn, Mr. Aquino spared no one as he criticized them one by one.

He deliberately used each candidate’s slogans to allude to them, urging the Filipino community in Italy to scrutinize the list of presidential candidates.

“One of them is accused of plundering the public coffers throughout his time in office. If the allegations are true and this candidate is really a plunderer, what would be left to finance the improvement of the nation’s life that he is promising?” Mr. Aquino said.

The President was clearly referring to Vice President Jejomar Binay, and the opposition camp took it as a signal to the administration’s allies to resume the “demolition work” on Binay, who is under investigation by the Senate and by the Office of the Ombudsman for corruption.

READ: Binay hits back after Aquino’s swipe at Roxas’ poll rivals

“[T]he President’s latest jab can be interpreted as a signal to resume the demolition work on the Vice President,” said Rico Quicho, a spokesperson for Binay.

“We are bracing ourselves but we will not be deterred from talking to the people about the Vice President’s programs to address poverty, hunger and unemployment,” Quicho said in a statement.

He said it was unfortunate that President Aquino had forgotten his statement last year that Binay should be presumed innocent—“a right accorded to all individuals under the Constitution”—until found guilty by the courts.

No plan of government

“Another candidate promises to do better than we have done. If that happens, I will be the first one to applaud her,” Mr. Aquino told his audience.

“But let’s listen carefully. Not even once has she said how she will accomplish her promise. No context, no plans, only criticism and mere promises. Maybe she thinks that if she is elected, she will wake up the next day and the solutions to all the problems she has been talking about will be there,” the President said.

He was clearly referring to Sen. Grace Poe, the leader in the voter preference polls for the presidential election, but her camp said she did not feel alluded to, as she had already laid out her plan of government.

“Senator Poe is definitely not the candidate being referred to,” said Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian, a spokesperson for Poe.

“[S]he laid out a detailed plan on where to take the country as early as [the day] she announced her candidacy,” Gatchalian said.

He said Poe had also cited the successes of the Aquino administration in the fight against official corruption and in economic development, which she intended to pursue if elected to succeed Mr. Aquino.

The killer

In Rome, Mr. Aquino drew laughter from his audience when he mentioned another rival of Roxas: “There’s another candidate who promises to kill many.”

The reference was to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, the foul-mouthed presidential candidate of PDP-Laban who was running fourth in the voter preference polls.

READ: Call me Santo Rodrigo, says Duterte

There was no immediate reaction from Duterte’s camp on Friday.

“Still another candidate plans to campaign on social media,” Mr. Aquino said, referring to Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who disclosed on Sunday that she topped a survey done by the Facebook site Pinoy History.

“Maybe she is not aware that you cannot build roads or feed the hungry using Facebook,” Mr. Aquino said.

Santiago declined to comment on the President’s statements.

READ: Me trailing? Santiago prefers online polls

Dictator’s son

Mr. Aquino spoke about another candidate who promises to do what is right but refuses to acknowledge his family’s past wrongdoings, a reference to Santiago’s running mate, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

“Isn’t it true that if he doesn’t say it is wrong, most likely he believes it is right? And if he believes those deeds are right, he is most likely to repeat them,” Mr. Aquino said.

READ: Aquino doesn’t see another Marcos in Malacañang

Marcos, son of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos who placed the Philippines under military rule for almost 20 years, had no immediate comment.

Mr. Aquino said he trusted the people’s judgment, as they knew that running a country was not merely a race among candidates with the best campaign advertisements.

Explaining his tirade, Mr. Aquino said it would not be right to gamble the country’s gains, which he called collective achievements of the government and the Filipino people.

“We dreamed and our dreams came true. Are we going back to the past? Why should we choose those who make mere promises or those who promise to continue what we have achieved or those who look like they will deliver on their promises when we have a candidate who has been with us in working to bring our country where it is today. I believe you know who I am referring to,” Mr. Aquino said, clearly referring to Roxas.

The President said one study showed that if the Philippines sustained its economic growth for another generation, it would reach “high income status” or “First World status.”

“The question for the people in the elections: Are we going to grow or are we going back to where we started?” he said.

Mr. Aquino likened the campaign to a courtship and finding a perfect match.

He cited his parents’ love story as an example, but lamented his failure to find love, drawing laughter from his audience.

“When this happens and when the leader’s heart is in the right place, he will fight for you and he will go against anyone who makes your lives difficult because you give him the strength, because he also knows that you are behind him,” he added. With reports from Christine O. Avendaño, Marlon Ramos and Dona Z. Pazzibugan

RELATED STORIES

Vatican leaders believe in PH peace process— Aquino

Pope Francis, Aquino exchange tokens at Vatican


INQUIRER

‘Great to be President’ BACK FROM EUROPE, AQUINO PROUD TO LEAD PEOPLE ADMIRED WORLDWIDE By: Nikko Dizon @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 02:42 AM December 6th, 2015


BREAK OUT THE CHAMPAGNE President Aquino pours champagne on the nose of a fighter jet from South Korea in a traditional vessel-christening ceremony on Saturday. Mr. Aquino, who has just flown in from a weeklong visit to Europe, leads the turnover rites for the two FA-50PH aircraft that will bring back the Philippine Air Force to the supersonic age. Expect the arrival of 10 more fighter jets ordered from SoKor.

President Benigno Aquino III returned home from Europe on Saturday afternoon, saying it is “wonderful” to be the leader of a people who have done their country proud.

Mr. Aquino returned from a weeklong trip to Paris, Rome and the Vatican.

READ: Aquino back from Paris talks, meeting with Pope

In five days, Mr. Aquino joined other world leaders in calling for a climate agreement for Earth’s very survival, met with European Union investors, tackled bilateral and global issues with fellow heads of state, and met with the much-revered Pope Francis to discuss faith and humanity.

In all of his engagements, Mr. Aquino was well received by his counterparts and he heard positive feedback anew about Filipinos in foreign lands.

“The Philippines is very much different now, and the world looks at us differently now. It’s true: you are the ones who made the change and you are the ones who would continue this. What I can say is, it is truly wonderful to be President of a people who continue to show what they can do, continue to have faith and continue to receive the admiration of the whole world,” Mr. Aquino said in his arrival speech.

Philippine Airlines Flight

PR 100 carrying the President home from Rome, Italy, touched down at Ninoy Aquino International Airport at around 1 p.m.

From the airport, Mr. Aquino proceeded to the nearby Villamor Air Base for the turnover and blessing of two newly acquired FA-50PH fighter jets from South Korea.

Good news

“It is wonderful to come home to our country, especially because I have some good news for you again,” the President said.

In Italy, Mr. Aquino said, he truly felt the “admiration” of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and President Sergio Mattarella for the Filipinos’ contributions to Italy.

“This is what prompted them to give our countrymen preferential status in choosing [guest workers] in Italy. The Philippines and Italy signed a labor agreement to implement this,” he said.

READ MORE...

The President also spoke about his meeting with the Filipino community in Rome, where he told them of “the transformation we are experiencing now and emphasized to them the need to take care of this so that we don’t have to return to the dark past we came from.”

Mr. Aquino said the Italian leaders also expressed their support for the Philippine government’s peace process in Mindanao as well as its stand on peacefully resolving the Philippines territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea.

Paris climate talks

In Paris, his first stop for his three-nation European trip, Mr. Aquino said that at the United Nations climate talks, the Philippines made its position heard on the need to have a “broad and justiciable solution to the issue of climate change.”

The President said Germany and France joined the Philippine-led call through the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) to limit global warming to lower than 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-Industrial Revolution levels and not the 2 degrees Celsius campaigned for by most nations.

He also said that from the original 20 member countries, the CVF would soon become a 23-member bloc, making the voices of climate-vulnerable countries louder.

“Part of this is our call for help for countries like ours in … climate financing and technology to allow us to do more to contribute to taking steps regarding climate change. With more countries that are bigger and industrialized taking our position, the more that gatherings like COP21 are becoming more effective and relevant,” he said, referring to the Paris climate conference.

EU investors

Mr. Aquino also shared details of his meetings with leading business companies in Paris.

The President said the pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur wanted to distribute in the Philippines a vaccine for all four dengue strains for a reasonable price and at the soonest possible time.

He said CRH France had invested P60 billion in Lafarge-Holcim in the Philippines, where its head also said that the company wanted to invest some P2.3 billion more in the country, which it had chosen as its investment hub in Southeast Asia.

Jacobi Carbons Group AB, a Swedish company that invests in countryside development, wants to expand its operations in processing coconut shells into ingredient for activated carbon filters, Mr. Aquino said.

Jacobi Carbons opened a P517-million plant in Cagayan de Oro in September. Its planned expansion will create 2,850 jobs for Filipinos.

Manufactured in PH

“The primary beneficiaries of this investment are our local coconut farmers who will help in supplying coconut shells to the company,” Mr. Aquino said.

He said Airbus had expressed interest in enhancing the Philippines’ aerospace industry. Some components of the Airbus 350 are manufactured in the Philippines.

President Aquino also visited the offices of Usine IO, a workshop dedicated to hardware technologies and start-ups, where he learned that a high-tech toothbrush that has a smartphone app that informs the user if he brushed his teeth properly is manufactured in the Philippines.

‘Lightness’ of being with Pope


Dinner set that President Aquino gave Pope Francis.  ROME— President Benigno Aquino III gifted Pope Francis with a dinner set, and not a tea set as earlier reported. Ito Kish, the Filipino home retailer and designer who made the gift, informed the Inquirer on Friday night “the gift of President Aquino (to Pope Francis) is a dinnerware set and not the cup and saucer set.” PHOTO Taken by Malacañang photo bureau

Clearly, the highlight of the President’s trip was his meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday, the last day of his European trip.

Before he flew back home, Mr. Aquino was upbeat after his meeting with the Pontiff. He said he felt light and blessed.

“We offered to him a national prayer for peace, justice and extensive development,” he said.

“Let me also share with you: there is a different lightness brought by meeting with Pope Francis. He is the leader of the Catholic Church but really, he is truly humble,” Mr. Aquino said.

The President reiterated the Pontiff’s request for the Philippines to pray for him.

READ: Pope asks Aquino to pray for him, gives peace sculpture

“I told him that the Filipinos love him so much and even Filipinos who are not Catholic pray for him,” he said.

The President said he and Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin discussed the peace process in Mindanao and the poverty reduction programs of the government.

Another papal visit

“And even if the Pope has just visited us last January, I still extended to him the invitation to return and witness the deep faith of the Filipino,” Mr. Aquino said.

Before he left the Vatican, he said he joined the inauguration of the mosaic image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia at the Vatican Gardens.

He said it was a great honor for the Philippines to have its own national image of the Virgin Mary, as only select countries have such images at the Vatican Gardens.

“It is an honor to be given the chance to share with other Catholics in the world the [Marian] image that gives our nation strength, hope and inspiration,” Mr. Aquino said. TVJ

RELATED STORIES

Pope Francis, Aquino exchange tokens at Vatican

Aquino rallies 20 most vulnerable countries

In Paris talks, Aquino spoke for other countries too


TRIBUNE

Delay in 2016 polls likely, says Comelec
Written by Tribune Wires Monday, 07 December 2015 00:00 f


Bautista vs Brillantes

SC TRO ON ‘NO BIO, NO BOTO’ TAGGED AS CULPRIT

A delay in the presidential elections scheduled in May next year is likely due to the temporary restraining order (TRO) the Supreme Court (SC) issued on the Comelec rule requiring biometric records on voters, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said yesterday.

“The Comelec will submit its comments on the the SC TRO on the ‘No bio, no boto’ policy before the December 11 deadline stating the possibility of the elections being postponed,” Bautista said.

“I hope the SC will understand the implications on the preparations for the elections if the TRO is not lifted,” Bautista said.

The Comelec is currently working on finalizing the election management system, conducting different tests on the automated election machines and completing the source code review, Bautista said adding that the timetable of the Comelec might suffer as a result of the SC order.

Bautista also questioned the timing of the TRO issuance when the elections is only a few months away.

He said the Comelec also needs to complete the list of voters and the list of voting precincts by December 15.

“I am planning to write the SC immediately and request the TRO to be lifted and at the same time show the possible problems that the elections will possibly face,” Bautista said.
Bautista admitted that postponing the elections may result in anarchy.

The SC isued the TRO last week to stop the Comelec from invalidating voters who have failed to get their biometrics for the 2016 elections.

SC spokesman Theodore Te said the TRO was “effective immediately until further orders.”

The TRO was issued in response to a petition for certiorari and prohibition filed last November 25 by the Kabataan party-list against the constitutionality of the Comelec policy
The petition said the policy will result in three million registered voters being disenfranchised.

A total of 3,059,601 registered voters remained without biometrics data as of last September 30 – or 5.86 percent of the 52,239,488 total registered voters for the 2016 national and local elections.

READ MORE...

The petition with the SC is challenging the legality of Comelec Resolution Nos. 9721, 9863 and 10013 and Republic Act No. 10367 (An Act Providing for Mandatory Biometrics Voter Registration).

The petitioners argued that the new policy violates the Constitution as it adds a substantive requirement for Filipinos to be able to exercise their right to suffrage.

“Republic Act No. 10367 and its implementing regulations are unconstitutional as these impose an unconstitutional, additional substantive requirement imposed on the exercise of suffrage, thus violating Section 1, Article V of the 1987 Constitution,” the petition stated.

The petition said the Constitution clearly states that “no literacy, property, or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the exercise of suffrage.”

It also alleged that the new policy “violates due process as it is an unreasonable deprivation of the constitutional right to vote for millions of Filipinos who have failed to register their biometric information despite existing and active registration – in effect a voter’s re-registration – for various reasons whether personal or institutional.”


BAUTISTA

Bautista also criticized his predecessor former Chairman Sixto Brillantes who assailed the Comelec second division’s move to disqualify presidential aspirant Sen. Grace Poe.
Bautista said Brillantes’ statements reflect “lack of delicadeza” for questioning the credibility of the poll body to disqualify Poe.

“I think it is unfair and unfortunate for (Brillantes) to criticize and loose his faith on the Commission he served,” Bautista said.

Brillantes, for the past few days, came out to defend Poe from the four disqualification cases hurled against her before the Comelec, including the petition filed by lawyer Estrella Elamparo which became the basis of the Comelec panel’s decision.

Prior to his term in the Comelec, Brillantes was the election lawyer of the late Fernando Poe Jr., the senator’s adoptive father, when he ran but lost for the Presidency in 2004.

Poe is facing multiple petitions aiming to deny due course on her certificate of candidacy (CoC) for her presidential bid on the valid bases of her questioned citizenship and alleged misrepresentation to hide her not fulfilling the minimum residency requirement under the Constitution on those seeking the presidency.

Bautista also confirmed that the Comelec’s first division is set to release its ruling on three separate petitions filed by former Sen. Francisco ‘Kit’ Tatad, University of the East Law Dean Amado Valdez and De La Salle University Prof. Antonio Contreras this week.

“The decisions ought to be given by the first division will, more or less, tell how the en banc will rule on the matter,” Bautista added.

For his part, Brillantes said that he hopes that the SC immediately issue resolutions on the cases facing Poe.

“If not for the rules that we have to abide with, it would be best if the cases are ought to be settled before the High Court at once. In the end, the SC is still the arbiter if Sen. Poe’s a natural-born, how long should she be considered a Philippine resident and if she’s qualified to run or not,” Brillantes told reporters in a weekly media forum.

He also insists that there’s no need to delist Poe from the ballot because in the event that the SC executes with finality that she’s disqualified, “then her votes will not be counted and instead become stray votes”.


MANILA STANDARD

Dinky under fire over rotting rice posted December 06, 2015 at 12:01 am by Vito Barcelo


Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman

VICE President Jejomar Binay slammed Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman on Saturday for wasting almost 300 sacks of rice meant for typhoon victims which were not distributed because the rice were spoiled due to improper handling.

“Such act borders on criminal neglect. Thousands of Filipinos suffer from hunger every day, especially those affected by calamities, and yet we have a government that allowed food to rot,” Binay said.

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. also warned Soliman from passing blame for the incident and said she cannot wash her hands of her responsibility for the wastage of food packs and sacks of rice discovered dumped in Dagami, Leyte.

“Soliman had admitted the rice and food packs were from the DSWD warehouses but clarified that they were intended to be distributed to those affected by typhoon Ruby and typhoon Glenda last year and not for survivors of super typhoon Yolanda.”

Binay said it is even “more disappointing is that this was not the only time food for calamity victims had gone to waste.”

Binay cited the 2013 annual audit report of the Commission on Audit on the DSWD, saying that family food packs worth P2.8 million for 7,527 families affected by super typhoon Yolanda were lost to spoilage “due to improper handling.”

In its 2014 report, CoA also said DSWD had been left with undistributed and expired or about-to-expire relief goods worth P141 million.

Soliman on Thursday confirmed the incident which was first reported in media.

“The admission by Secretary Soliman only highlights the reality that she has failed to provide the department the efficiency and compassion required in providing immediate aid to calamity victims,” he said.

“She has opted instead to play politics, placing premium on advancing the candidacy of the LP candidate over the more urgent needs of the poor,” Binay added.

Earlier, the DSWD in Eastern Visayas admitted burying 284 sacks of rice—meant for the Food for Work program for typhoon Ruby victims—in Barangay Macaalang, Dagami, Leyte.

In its audit report, CoA found out that DSWD bought and accepted relief goods without considering the absorptive capacity and condition of the warehousing facilities and personnel, available stocks, shelf life or expiry dates and the actual needs of the victims.

This led to the overstocking and spoilage of the goods.

READ MORE...

In the same report, CoA mentioned that of the P1.151 billion local and foreign cash donations the DSWD received from November 2013 to December 2014, 33 percent or P382.072 million had been unused and kept in DSWD bank accounts.

“This is a gross disservice to both the calamity victims who needed all the assistance they could get, and the taxpayers and donors who contributed to the government’s calamity fund,” Binay said.

“In times of disaster, government should be able to provide immediate relief to the victims. There’s no room for dilly-dallying. Their survival largely depends on government’s ability to extend the needed assistance,” he added.

Marcos reiterated that “Soliman cannot simply toss the responsibility for this mess to her underlings. She is the one ultimately responsible.”

He cited that last year the Commission on Audit tagged DWSD for the spoilage of an estimated P2.8 million worth of relief goods intended for distribution to Yolanda survivors in 2013.

“The DSWD claimed it has learned its lesson and even acquired a mechanized repacking system and yet this unconscionable wastage of relief goods continues to happen,” Marcos deplored.

“According to Soliman, the goods buried in the area are no longer fit for human consumption. Initial reports estimates that around 500 sacks of spoiled rice were disposed in a 10-feet wide, 15-feet deep hole dug in Dagami.”

“Can you imagine how many typhoon victims the DSWD could have helped with such amount of relief goods? Surely, those responsible for this are unfit as public servants. Someone should be held accountable,” Marcos concluded.

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

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

DSWD on buried rice in Leyte: Not safe for eating By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated December 3, 2015 - 11:12am 2 763 googleplus0 0


An excavated hole with rotten rice was discovered in Dagami, Leyte. The sacks and packages of the discovered relief goods buried in the hole were marked "NFA rice" and "DSWD." Facebook/Dagami PS

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Wednesday claimed that the reported buried relief goods in Dagami, Leyte were not safe for human consumption.

A few days ago, the acting chief of police of Dagami received a report from a concerned citizen about an ongoing activity of disposing rice believed to be from the DSWD into an excavated hole in the area.

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon "Dinky" Soliman said that the agency was performing its duty to ensure that disaster survivors will only receive safe relief goods.

"We wanted to make sure that these goods that were unfit for human consumption would not be given to the survivors as a way of protecting their welfare," Soliman said in a state news report.

Soliman admitted that some DSWD personnel committed negligence and failed to assure that the goods remained safe.

The DSWD chief has ordered a thorough investigation to find out who are liable for neglect and to file administrative charges against them.

Soliman acknowledged the gaps and "human errors" in the agency's capacity to manage relief goods and assured that they are exploring ways for improvement.

"This is why we continue to enhance our warehousing capacity," Soliman said.

The investigation of Dagami authorities showed that the excavated hole is approximately 10-feet wide, 15 feet in length and eight feet deep.

Rotten rice of undetermined volume and packaging marked "NFA rice" and "DSWD" were discovered in the hole.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2015 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE