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

NOY BASHES MARCOSES ANEW OVER MARTIAL LAW, HITS MEDIA TOO


DECEMBER 11 -With Sen. Bongbong Marcos having a very good chance of becoming the next vice president of the republic, President Aquino fired at the Marcos family again, whom he called “unrepentant” for the atrocities of martial law implemented by their patriarch and late dictator President Ferdinand Marcos during an anniversary of a daily broadsheet the other day.
In a speech Wednesday evening, the President said that some of the youth today believe in a history that martial law was good for the country, yet this is topped by figures supposedly responsible for the evils of the time, as the youth lacked acknowledgment on the horrors of military rule.
Aquino was alluding to the namesake of the late dictator and his only son, Senator Marcos who had, in an interview after declaring his vice presidential candidacy, refused to link the atrocities during martial law to his family, thus adopting an unapologetic stance. “There is also the brashness of those who are unrepentant of their crimes — those who believe they can ride a wave of manufactured nostalgia to revise history. The most striking example comes from a candidate in next year’s elections associated with the regime,” Aquino said. Marcos Jr. reportedly noted to have said “I am ready to say sorry if only I knew what I should be sorry for.” He likewise said during the same television interview that Filipinos and critics of their family should just move on from the dictatorial rule of his father. Still, Aquino said Filipinos should be wary of candidates exhibiting the same manner in speaking, clearly referring to Marcos. “Next year, there will be an election every bit as crucial as the one we faced in 1986. And in 2016, we will be asked: Will we allow the past few years to be a temporary blip on the radar? Will we allow the old and broken status quo to return?” The president warned. Lately, the image of the Marcoses has been improving in the eyes of some members of the younger generation, who believe that the hype of the Philippines as a country was better during the Marcos regime. READ MORE...

ALSO Mar Roxas: Digong’s Davao City 'safest city' a myth


DECEMBER 12 -Administration standard bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas demystified what he termed as a myth that PDP-Laban presidential bet Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte and his supporters in Davao City claim to Davao City being the “safest city” in the Philippines, and even the claim of Davao City being the Number 5 safest city in the world in a questionable survey, is pure myth. Proof of this is that the statistics from the DILG, which Roxas once headed, belies this ”safest city claim” Roxas said at a presidential forum yesterday at the Ateneo de Manila University. Pointing to police statistics Roxas said Davao City has the fourth-highest number of crime incidents in the Philippines.
Roxas said the incidences of crime cannot be solved through violence and can only be solved through systematic means.“For those who are skeptical, this is blotter-based. We are regularly auditing this… That was accomplished not by some miracle,” he said. Perhaps realizing that he would be questioned for the increase in crime rate in the country, Mar crowed about the successes of the Philippine National Police in improving the crime solution through “Oplan Lambat-Sibat,” the program he initiated as DILG chief.He again said that the statistics-based anti-crime program brought down the crime rate in Metro Manila from 918 cases to 300 cases per week.Duterte defender blasts LP, Noy admin Not to be left speechless, or saving Duterte from another of his putanginas, Sen. Alan Cayetano fired back at LP and the administration, saying it’s hard to be proud of government ineptitude “It is difficult for the LP to brag about the inept government to resolve the daily calvary that bears down on the shoulders of our people such as the traffic the queuing for an MRT ride , the tanim bala extortion racket and the many crimes committed, which is why they are hitting Mayor Duterte,” Cayetano said as he fired back at the Liberal Party (LP) regarding its attacks against his running mate, Davao City MayorDuterte. It was reported that LP spokesman and Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez criticized the mayor for waging an electoral campaign that they said was hinged on macho gloating and killing people. They also taunted Mayor Duterte to prove his “kill claims.” “It looks like Mayor Duterte made it to the top of LP’s demolition list. This will however not dampen the people’s growing support for Mayor Duterte,” Cayetano stressed. Cayetano cited the numerous botched programs and services of the LP-led administration, such as the disastrous Yolanda rehabilitation, as well as the unresolved “tanim bala” scam that victimized helpless overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). READ MORE...

ALSO: Palace, House both deny P1.5-B offer for BBL passage


DECEMBER 11 -Malacañang and the House leadership have dismissed claims that President Aquino dangled over P1.5 billion worth of projects to members of the lower chamber in exchange for the passage of the highly contentious Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). “There is no truth and basis to those allegations,” presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. told a press briefing, referring to the alleged offer to the 150 congressmen who attended a luncheon meeting in Malacañang last Tuesday. “On the passage of the BBL, it was discussed by the President in his meeting with lawmakers on Tuesday. The lawmakers from both the Senate and the House of Representative understand its (BBL) meaning to the whole country,” he said. “The President continues to hope that the legislators understand this as there are still days left on the current session. Like his statements before the media in Europe last week, it is in his view that passing the bill is timely,” the Palace official added. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., for his part, said he was certain that the President made no such offer to lawmakers.
“There’s no such thing. I sat next to him (Aquino) 100 percent of the time,” he said in a text message sent to reporters. Also, CIBAC party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna, who was in the meeting, said the President only pressed the need to pass the proposed BBL during his speech. It was, however, not the first time the allegations of bribe congressmen for their impeachment vote. This was denied by the Palace, but later found to be true, as tens of millions went to the congressmen and senators via what the Palace called the DAP. In May, Aquino, also during a meeting in Malacañang, reportedly promised cash incentives and political favor to congressmen in exchange for their approval of the BBL. It was also denied by the Palace. READ MORE...

ALSO: Airport chief not resigning due to 'Tanim-bala'


DECEMBER 13 -Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Jose Angel Honrado
MANILA, Philippines - Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Jose Angel Honrado yesterday maintained he is not resigning from his post due to the tanim-bala or bullet-planting scheme at the airport.
Honrado also denied rumors that he is planning to tender his resignation after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) released their findings of an extortion racket at the airport where six airport personnel were charged. Critics slammed the NBI findings indicating there was no syndicate behind the scheme and only a few officials were involved. The tanim-bala extortion schemes involve security officials and personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) demanding money from passengers in exchange for dropping criminal charges for possession of a bullet. Public outrage prompted the NBI to step into the probe while airport authorities continued its investigation that led to the suspension and dismissal of some personnel from the Office of Transportation Security (OTS), the agency principally blamed for the irregularity. The NBI filed charges against Marvin Garcia and Ma. Elma Cegna of the OTS and Police Insp. Adriano Junio, Senior Police Officer 4 Ramon Bernardo, SPO2 Romy Navarro and Rolando Clarin, all of the Aviation Security Group. Department of Justice Undersecretary and spokesman Emmanuel Caparas said the NBI task force found several personnel of the OTS have been involved in the bullet-planting incidents based on documents and interviews. Spocky Farolan, the lawyer of Gloria Ortinez, the overseas Filipino worker who was among the reported victims of the tanim-bala scheme, questioned the findings of the NBI declaring the absence of a syndicate behind the extortion racket at the airport. Farolan called on the Office of the Ombudsman to conduct a separate probe and look into possible liabilities of ranking airport officials, including Honrado, for his failure to stop the extortion activities at the NAIA. He said the ombudsman should also look into how Honrado allocated MIAA’s intelligence and confidential funds which could have been used to investigate initial complaints of extortion attempts. Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. agreed with Farolan that the ombudsman should investigate Honrado and the other airport officials for possible liability in the bullet-planting scheme. “By saying there is no syndicate, the NBI report practically exonerated ranking airport officials such as Honrado from any culpability in the tanim-bala scheme. I think it’s time for the ombudsman to conduct its own investigation,” Marcos said. Marcos said the NBI’s findings were suspicious because they seem to concur with the statement earlier made by President Aquino downplaying the reports of an organized tanim-bala syndicate. READ MORE...

ALSO: Noy hoping for peaceful Christmas


DECEMBER 13 -President Aquino
- President Aquino is hoping for a peaceful, joyful and family-centered Christmas for Filipinos, admitting that disasters have been some of the most difficult challenges that his administration has had to deal with in the past years. “Hopefully, I will not be attending to some emergency come Christmas season,” the President said during the annual Bulong Pulungan media forum in Pasay City on Friday. Aquino said his goal really was to serve the Filipino people, especially at this time of the year when “you really want a united family, an opportunity to be with each other.” The President said Christmastime was an important season for Filipino families to connect with each other and “hopefully we will be able to afford that atmosphere. This is really the time for reunions, time to bond with each other and also commune, of course, with God.” Despite the hardships, Aquino said Filipinos would get re-energized for all of the challenges they would have to face in the coming years. The President said he was also wishing that Filipinos would stay optimistic this “Christmas facing the new year,” noting they did not imagine some of the challenges they had to face in the more than five years they were in office. “Who is Benigno Aquino III (now)? I was looking at the mirror the other day. I was trying to decide whether or not I had more hair now or less hair. But in all seriousness, I’d like to think I’ve also grown as a person,” Aquino said. The President said they had to forgo a lot of Christmas celebrations the past years because the worst weather disturbances had been hitting at the time when Filipinos would have the traditional gatherings. “I tend to be a person who prepares for the worst but hopes for the best and some of the challenges were really (difficult),” he said. But the President said opportunities would also arise from calamities, citing the production of “Hot Pablo” or powdered chili in Davao Oriental after the area was devastated by Typhoon Pablo a few years ago and people had to look for another crop and source of livelihood. “As far as the eye can see, there is not a single coconut tree left standing and everybody depends on coconut for their livelihood. Then the coconut…needs five to seven years to grow,” Aquino said. But he said “Hot Pablo” had turned everything around and the province was now awash with cash. The Chief Executive said he did have the chance to watch his mother, former President Corazon Aquino, work at a distance “so I assumed I had some knowledge of the workings of Malacañang and the demands of the presidency.” “But having even that inkling was not enough for all of the challenges that we had to surpass,” he said. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Noy bashes Marcoses over martial law, hits media too

MANILA, DECEMBER 14, 2015 (TRIBUNE) Written by Joshua L. Labonera Friday, 11 December 2015 00:00- With Sen. Bongbong Marcos having a very good chance of becoming the next vice president of the republic, President Aquino fired at the Marcos family again, whom he called “unrepentant” for the atrocities of martial law implemented by their patriarch and late dictator President Ferdinand Marcos during an anniversary of a daily broadsheet the other day.

In a speech Wednesday evening, the President said that some of the youth today believe in a history that martial law was good for the country, yet this is topped by figures supposedly responsible for the evils of the time, as the youth lacked acknowledgment on the horrors of military rule.

Aquino was alluding to the namesake of the late dictator and his only son, Senator Marcos who had, in an interview after declaring his vice presidential candidacy, refused to link the atrocities during martial law to his family, thus adopting an unapologetic stance.

“There is also the brashness of those who are unrepentant of their crimes — those who believe they can ride a wave of manufactured nostalgia to revise history. The most striking example comes from a candidate in next year’s elections associated with the regime,” Aquino said.

Marcos Jr. reportedly noted to have said “I am ready to say sorry if only I knew what I should be sorry for.” He likewise said during the same television interview that Filipinos and critics of their family should just move on from the dictatorial rule of his father.
Still, Aquino said Filipinos should be wary of candidates exhibiting the same manner in speaking, clearly referring to Marcos.

“Next year, there will be an election every bit as crucial as the one we faced in 1986. And in 2016, we will be asked: Will we allow the past few years to be a temporary blip on the radar? Will we allow the old and broken status quo to return?” The president warned.


FACEBOOK. INSTAGRAM, TWEET:  #NeverAgain

Lately, the image of the Marcoses has been improving in the eyes of some members of the younger generation, who believe that the hype of the Philippines as a country was better during the Marcos regime.

READ MORE...

Stories on social media and photographs circulated claiming the booming economy at that time while putting to waste the sacrifices made by martyrs at that time, including activists that were either detained or killed, besides those who had disappeared.

Earlier reports claimed that according to a psychiatrist of President Aquino then after martial law, when his father, Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., was assassinated, he vowed revenge for his father and would not stop until all those responsible were put to justice.

In that same psychiatric report done by a Jesuit priest, F. James Bulatao when President was still a college student, quoted him as saying that he desired political power because then can be avenge his father’s death and the hurt caused him and his family. Everything stated in that psychiatric report is still being manifested by Aquino from the day he rose to the presidency.

In a speech abroad last year, Aquino blamed the Marcos regime for the death of his father.

Blames media for placing him in bad light

Aquino also issued a shout out to the media on the same day, saying that media members should put themselves in his shoes before reporting about him. He noted that there are certain news outlets that have never placed him in a good light.
“At the same time, perhaps I can also ask you to put yourselves in our shoes; in the same way that I always do as President... When you write your stories, may I suggest that you put yourselves in my position: See what we have, what can be done, and at the end of the day, what is being done,” Aquino said.

“If all of that is still lacking and you believe there are ways to do more, then please criticize us. This will undoubtedly help us fulfill our duties. If, on the other hand, you believe that everything that can be done is already being done, then perhaps you can also write about that,” the President added.

The President has been known to be onion-skinned, most of the time described as a sour grape on reports of his actions in Malacañang, particularly on the economy, among other issues. Aquino, in his other speeches, discreetly puts his tirades versus the media in his speeches.

Aquino gained criticism from the media during most of his term, with the latest being on his campaigning for administration candidate Manuel Roxas II, who continues to slump in surveys, and the Mamasapano incident, where 65 people were reported to have been killed.


TRIBUNE

Mar: Digong’s Davao City safest city a myth Written by Gerry Baldo Saturday, 12 December 2015 00:00


DUTERTE, ROXAS

Administration standard bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas demystified what he termed as a myth that PDP-Laban presidential bet Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte and his supporters in Davao City claim to Davao City being the “safest city” in the Philippines, and even the claim of Davao City being the Number 5 safest city in the world in a questionable survey, is pure myth.

Proof of this is that the statistics from the DILG, which Roxas once headed, belies this ”safest city claim” Roxas said at a presidential forum yesterday at the Ateneo de Manila University. Pointing to police statistics Roxas said Davao City has the fourth-highest number of crime incidents in the Philippines.

Roxas said the incidences of crime cannot be solved through violence and can only be solved through systematic means.

“For those who are skeptical, this is blotter-based. We are regularly auditing this… That was accomplished not by some miracle,” he said.

Perhaps realizing that he would be questioned for the increase in crime rate in the country, Mar crowed about the successes of the Philippine National Police in improving the crime solution through “Oplan Lambat-Sibat,” the program he initiated as DILG chief.

He again said that the statistics-based anti-crime program brought down the crime rate in Metro Manila from 918 cases to 300 cases per week.

Duterte defender blasts LP, Noy admin

Not to be left speechless, or saving Duterte from another of his putanginas, Sen. Alan Cayetano fired back at LP and the administration, saying it’s hard to be proud of government ineptitude

“It is difficult for the LP to brag about the inept government to resolve the daily calvary that bears down on the shoulders of our people such as the traffic the queuing for an MRT ride , the tanim bala extortion racket and the many crimes committed, which is why they are hitting Mayor Duterte,” Cayetano said as he fired back at the Liberal Party (LP) regarding its attacks against his running mate, Davao City MayorDuterte.

It was reported that LP spokesman and Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez criticized the mayor for waging an electoral campaign that they said was hinged on macho gloating and killing people. They also taunted Mayor Duterte to prove his “kill claims.”

“It looks like Mayor Duterte made it to the top of LP’s demolition list. This will however not dampen the people’s growing support for Mayor Duterte,” Cayetano stressed.



Cayetano cited the numerous botched programs and services of the LP-led administration, such as the disastrous Yolanda rehabilitation, as well as the unresolved “tanim bala” scam that victimized helpless overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

READ MORE...

The senator also slammed the LP-led government for failing to solve Metro Manila’s worsening traffic situation.

“We’re losing billions of pesos everyday and causing people unnecessary suffering due to Manila’s traffic, what have they done regarding that?” pressed Cayetano.

Cayetano said instead of maligning Duterte, LP leaders should learn from his achievements.

“Rather than wasting their time hitting Mayor Duterte, I urge them to visit Davao and see for themselves what the Filipino people found inspiring in him. Beyond Mayor Duterte’s tough image is a city where peace, rule of law, and economic prosperity exist, where the first progressive gender code to protect the rights of women and children was enacted, and where a humane and equitable environment is nurtured to suit the diversity of Christians, Muslims, and indigenous people,” Cayetano said.

The senator also reminded the LP and the rest of the candidates running in the 2016 polls that the election’s agenda is not Mayor Duterte.

“The task ahead of us in the 2016 polls is to convince voters who among us has the best platforms and vision to change the country for the better. The mission is to change the country, it is not to smear Mayor Duterte,” Cayetano stressed.

“Unfortunately, LP is doing a bad job at proving its worth. They’re only making it easier for voters to choose Mayor Duterte as their next president,” Cayetano said.

Karapatan slams Duterte for justifying killings



The human rights watchdog Karapatan has denounced Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and his allies for justifying extra-judicial killings “as a solution to social ills as well as to corruption and malfeasance in government.”

Karapatan took the cudgels for the human rights community inasmuch as the Aquino government continues to look amused at the “repeated, unabashed, and categorical statements justifying the state’s use of extra-judicial killings.”

“We cannot turn a blind eye much less applaud such an outright affront on human rights, most especially in the light of our people’s horrific experience of the trampling of civil and political liberties that accompanied the brutal suppression of all democratic rights under the US-backed Marcos fascist dictatorship,” Karapatan stressed.

The group noted that “the fascist dictator Ferdinand Marcos justified martial rule to defend the state from the ‘left’ and the ‘right,’ i.e., the oligarchic elite that monopolized wealth and power and the armed rebellions carried out by the communist-led New People’s Army (NPA) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF.) He also promised a ‘new society,’ where social discipline is enforced, law and order reigns supreme and peace abounds.

This society would supposedly emerge from the sweeping reforms he promised to undertake.”

“Mayor Duterte’s campaign promise is less grandiose; in fact it is straightforward as it is simplistic. Criminals, big and small, are evil and a bane to society. His favorite targets are presumed drug pushers and even users, kidnappers, and lately, rice smugglers, but on occasion he also lashes out at corrupt or erring policemen and other government officials. In this way he curries favor with a public weary and exasperated with the prevailing criminality in the streets and more so in the corridors of power.” Karapatan noted.

“Mayor Duterte wishes to substitute extra-judicial killings carried out by persons-in-authority without clearly addressing the broken criminal justice system skewed in favor of the moneyed and those with powerful friends and connections. But rather than bringing about law and order, his publicly announced backing of extrajudicial killings abets lawlessness, human rights violations and abuse by state security forces (with their blackened human rights track record), and the impunity for such state-sponsored violence,” it argued.

Karapatan said that these issues are at the core of the people’s repudiation of the Aquino administration’s much ballyhooed “daang matuwid”—the kind of governance that has resulted in 304 extrajudicial killings of peasants, indigenous people especially the Lumad in Mindanao and social activists including human rights defenders.

This bloody path, Karapatan added, also entailed “illegal arrests, torture and detention; the militarization of schools and the forcible evacuation of thousands from communities where the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and paramilitary groups spread terror.

“To make matters worse, “Mar Roxas, Aquino’s anointed one, has implemented and pledged to continue such a bloody human rights record.”

“But rather than ignore or tolerate candidate Duterte’s pronouncements that are anathema to the promotion and defense of human rights, we challenge him along with all the candidates now running for national office, to state loud and clear their stand as to the unabated, grievous human rights violations being inflicted on our people in the name of counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism, also known as ‘peace and order’ or ‘peace and development,’” Karapatan concluded.


TRIBUNE

Palace, House: No P1.5-B offer for BBL passage
Written by By Gerry Baldo and Joshua L. Labonera Friday, 11 December 2015 00:00



Malacañang and the House leadership have dismissed claims that President Aquino dangled over P1.5 billion worth of projects to members of the lower chamber in exchange for the passage of the highly contentious Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

“There is no truth and basis to those allegations,” presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. told a press briefing, referring to the alleged offer to the 150 congressmen who attended a luncheon meeting in Malacañang last Tuesday.

“On the passage of the BBL, it was discussed by the President in his meeting with lawmakers on Tuesday. The lawmakers from both the Senate and the House of Representative understand its (BBL) meaning to the whole country,” he said.

“The President continues to hope that the legislators understand this as there are still days left on the current session. Like his statements before the media in Europe last week, it is in his view that passing the bill is timely,” the Palace official added.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., for his part, said he was certain that the President made no such offer to lawmakers.

“There’s no such thing. I sat next to him (Aquino) 100 percent of the time,” he said in a text message sent to reporters.

Also, CIBAC party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna, who was in the meeting, said the President only pressed the need to pass the proposed BBL during his speech.

It was, however, not the first time the allegations of bribe congressmen for their impeachment vote. This was denied by the Palace, but later found to be true, as tens of millions went to the congressmen and senators via what the Palace called the DAP.

In May, Aquino, also during a meeting in Malacañang, reportedly promised cash incentives and political favor to congressmen in exchange for their approval of the BBL.
It was also denied by the Palace.

READ MORE...

The House of Representatives is having difficulty in mustering a quorum, resulting in the delay of the interpellations on the proposed law that is needed for the creation of the Bangsamoro political entity in Mindanao.

Despite the appeal made by Aquino to lawmakers the other day, the House of Representatives will not be able to approve the proposed Bangsamoro law this year, Belmonte said.

The House leader said while the long period of interpellation is about to come to an end, the lower chamber will adjourn for the Christmas break next week.

“I don’t think we can approve it on second reading. There are still people lined up to interpellate, and we can’t prevent them from interpellating,” Belmonte told reporters.

“We see the termination of the period of interpellation next week. There’s a very good chance that we will be able to do that because a couple of interpelllators already withdrew since their questions have been asked, while some who have been interpellating for days have agreed to give others a chance,” he added.

In the Senate, the interpellation on the BBL’s substitute bill entitled Basic Law on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BLBAR) has already started with Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos sponsoring the proposed bill.

Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile is currently interpellating the bill, vowing to scrutinize the BLBAR “with no intention to block its passage.”

The Senate has only three remaining session days left this year to act on the BLBAR.
Congress is scheduled to take Christmas break on Dec. 17.

The third regular session of the 16th Congress will resume on January 18 next year but will adjourn again on Feb. 5 to give way the campaign period for the 2016 elections.
With PNA


PHILSTAR

Airport chief not resigning By Rudy Santos (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 13, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Jose Angel Honrado

MANILA, Philippines - Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Jose Angel Honrado yesterday maintained he is not resigning from his post due to the tanim-bala or bullet-planting scheme at the airport.

Honrado also denied rumors that he is planning to tender his resignation after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) released their findings of an extortion racket at the airport where six airport personnel were charged.

Critics slammed the NBI findings indicating there was no syndicate behind the scheme and only a few officials were involved.

The tanim-bala extortion schemes involve security officials and personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) demanding money from passengers in exchange for dropping criminal charges for possession of a bullet.

Public outrage prompted the NBI to step into the probe while airport authorities continued its investigation that led to the suspension and dismissal of some personnel from the Office of Transportation Security (OTS), the agency principally blamed for the irregularity.

The NBI filed charges against Marvin Garcia and Ma. Elma Cegna of the OTS and Police Insp. Adriano Junio, Senior Police Officer 4 Ramon Bernardo, SPO2 Romy Navarro and Rolando Clarin, all of the Aviation Security Group.

Department of Justice Undersecretary and spokesman Emmanuel Caparas said the NBI task force found several personnel of the OTS have been involved in the bullet-planting incidents based on documents and interviews.

Spocky Farolan, the lawyer of Gloria Ortinez, the overseas Filipino worker who was among the reported victims of the tanim-bala scheme, questioned the findings of the NBI declaring the absence of a syndicate behind the extortion racket at the airport.

Farolan called on the Office of the Ombudsman to conduct a separate probe and look into possible liabilities of ranking airport officials, including Honrado, for his failure to stop the extortion activities at the NAIA.

He said the ombudsman should also look into how Honrado allocated MIAA’s intelligence and confidential funds which could have been used to investigate initial complaints of extortion attempts.

Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. agreed with Farolan that the ombudsman should investigate Honrado and the other airport officials for possible liability in the bullet-planting scheme.

“By saying there is no syndicate, the NBI report practically exonerated ranking airport officials such as Honrado from any culpability in the tanim-bala scheme. I think it’s time for the ombudsman to conduct its own investigation,” Marcos said.

Marcos said the NBI’s findings were suspicious because they seem to concur with the statement earlier made by President Aquino downplaying the reports of an organized tanim-bala syndicate.

READ MORE...

“Malacañang’s penchant for immediately coming to the defense of its allies, friends or relatives hinders the effort to rid our airports of scalawags preying on the weak, elderly and our overseas Filipino workers,” Marcos said.

Malacañang said the government is ready to provide assistance for victims of the bullet scam but granting them compensation would have to be subjected to discussions.

In the case of Ortinez, the Department of Labor and Employment extended assistance by reaching out to her agency and employer to explain the situation since her job in Hong Kong was placed in peril, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.

Valte said if they did not succeed in placing Ortinez back to her job, the DOLE would help her find other employment.

“It was good…her employer agreed to take her back. So, in certain instances or since this is case-to-case basis, the government did reach out,” Valte said.

Sen. Francis Escudero said victims of the scheme were left to endure delays and miss their flights and forced to shell out money for the supposed offenses at the airport.

“The government could at the least give them financial aid as a way of compensation,” Escudero said.

Escudero said compensating the victims would also help redeem the government from the global humiliation caused by the scandal, which got wide play on international media.

It would also signal government’s seriousness in addressing safety issues confronting air travelers in the country, he said.

MIAA spokesman David de Castro said Honrado is focusing on improving the services at the airport.

“The airport management has made great strides in developing the NAIA and it will not allow current setbacks to compromise this. The riding public can expect that more will be done for them by the airport authority in delivering better public service,” De Castro said. –Marvin Sy, Aurea Calica


PHILSTAR

Noy hoping for peaceful Christmas By Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 13, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


President Aquino

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino is hoping for a peaceful, joyful and family-centered Christmas for Filipinos, admitting that disasters have been some of the most difficult challenges that his administration has had to deal with in the past years.

“Hopefully, I will not be attending to some emergency come Christmas season,” the President said during the annual Bulong Pulungan media forum in Pasay City on Friday.

Aquino said his goal really was to serve the Filipino people, especially at this time of the year when “you really want a united family, an opportunity to be with each other.”

The President said Christmastime was an important season for Filipino families to connect with each other and “hopefully we will be able to afford that atmosphere. This is really the time for reunions, time to bond with each other and also commune, of course, with God.”

Despite the hardships, Aquino said Filipinos would get re-energized for all of the challenges they would have to face in the coming years.

The President said he was also wishing that Filipinos would stay optimistic this “Christmas facing the new year,” noting they did not imagine some of the challenges they had to face in the more than five years they were in office.


President Aquino in 2010

“Who is Benigno Aquino III (now)? I was looking at the mirror the other day. I was trying to decide whether or not I had more hair now or less hair. But in all seriousness, I’d like to think I’ve also grown as a person,” Aquino said.

The President said they had to forgo a lot of Christmas celebrations the past years because the worst weather disturbances had been hitting at the time when Filipinos would have the traditional gatherings.

“I tend to be a person who prepares for the worst but hopes for the best and some of the challenges were really (difficult),” he said.

But the President said opportunities would also arise from calamities, citing the production of “Hot Pablo” or powdered chili in Davao Oriental after the area was devastated by Typhoon Pablo a few years ago and people had to look for another crop and source of livelihood.

“As far as the eye can see, there is not a single coconut tree left standing and everybody depends on coconut for their livelihood. Then the coconut…needs five to seven years to grow,” Aquino said.

But he said “Hot Pablo” had turned everything around and the province was now awash with cash.

The Chief Executive said he did have the chance to watch his mother, former President Corazon Aquino, work at a distance “so I assumed I had some knowledge of the workings of Malacañang and the demands of the presidency.”

“But having even that inkling was not enough for all of the challenges that we had to surpass,” he said.

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The President cited Super Typhoon Yolanda in November of 2013, Typhoons Pablo in December 2012 and Sendong in 2011, as some of the worst situations that they had to face, not to mention the Zamboanga City siege and Bohol and Cebu earthquakes also in 2013.

Typhoon Ruby hit the country last December.

Aquino said even if they wanted to relax and enjoy the most festive season, they had to take care of 1.4 million people at that time, “feed them daily, ensure that nobody gets sick when…electricity was down, water was interrupted, transportation was at a standstill.”

“…the first responders themselves were part of the victims and… one would have hoped to do a lot more but I don’t think anybody actually saw a challenge on that scale affecting 44 of our 81 provinces,” he said.

“Now, if we look at all of these things that we’ve had to undertake, I’d like to be able to – and I’m hoping that people will say – look at the challenges that we had to undergo as a people and how we overcame them. And if there’s a future challenge, then perhaps they will be able to say we will also surmount this in the same way that we managed to surmount that which we thought was insurmountable,” Aquino said.

Personally, Aquino said that “whenever I feel that there is such a big challenge before me, I go back to the challenges before my father and my mother and I also am able to say: ‘what is this compared to what they had to do?’”

For instance, the President said his late father, former senator Benigno Aquino Jr., did not have access to the media and had very limited access to any person in the seven years, seven months that he was incarcerated, but he had to deliver the message, passing it through “mimeograph sheets, xerox sheets, word of mouth.”

“I think his efforts and his actions contributed to the point that we’d gotten to at EDSA (people power revolution in 1986). And he said something like, I think he was quoting the Bible, ‘If the time is not right, a thousand prophets do not make a difference. But if the time is right, not a single prophet is necessary.’ And when you look at the culmination, which was EDSA, you really can see that,” Aquino said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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