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AQUINO APPOINTMENT: ALMENDRAS NAMED DFA CHIEF REPLACING DEL ROSARIO


MARCH 9 -Almendras
President Aquino has appointed Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras as ad interim foreign affairs secretary, replacing Albert del Rosario, whose resignation took effect last Monday, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. said yesterday. Earlier yesterday, Almendras confirmed he was one of those being considered or interested in the position. Sources said the President spoke with two retired ambassadors, who turned him down. One of them is reportedly sick, the sources said. Since there are no more sessions for both houses of Congress, the Commission on Appointments will not have any hearing to confirm the new foreign affairs chief and thus the person will only hold the position for three months in an acting capacity, Aquino said during his visit to the United States last month. The President said he would have to talk seriously to those he was considering because taking on the job would entail a lot of sacrifice. READ MORE....

ALSO: PNoy promises LRT-1 Cavite extension anew while campaigning for Roxas


MARCH 10 -DAANG MATUWID CAMPAIGN DASMARIÑAS CITY, Cavite - President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday trumpeted the government's infrastructure projects to benefit Caviteños as he campaigned for administration candidates Manuel "Mar" Roxas II and Leni Robredo here.
Speaking at the Dasmariñas National High School, Aquino said residents in Cavite would soon benefit from the LRT Line 1 South Extension Project, which will link Baclaran to Bacoor, Cavite; and LRT Line 6 that will run from Bacoor to Dasmariñas. "At pag natapos 'yan, hindi na ako ang magka-cut ng ribbon, iba na po. Okay lang 'yan, basta dumating sa inyo. Sila na ang kumuha ng kredito, basta tayo nag-serbisyong tapat sa inyo, kontento na ang inyong abang lingkod," Aquino said. During another campaign sortie in Dasmariñas City in April 2013, Aquino had also promised the completion of the LRT Line 1 extension, saying he would have himself and Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya run over by a train if the project remained unfinished. "Pagdating naman ng 2015, hindi lang natin mapapabilis ang biyahe mula Baclaran hanggang Bacoor kundi madadagdagan din tayo ng tinatayong 250,000 na pasahero ang maisasakay kada araw dahil sa LRT Line 1 extension. At pag hindi ho nangyari ito, nandiyan po si Secretary Abaya na mangangasiwa ng proyektong to, dalawa na kaming magpapasagasa siguro sa tren," Aquino said in jest then during in a rally for his senatorial slate. When asked about the project not hitting its deadline, Malacañang defended Aquino's statement. "The President was speaking with a sense of urgency when he announced his desire to see the project 'within two years,'" Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said last December. READ MORE...RELATED, VP has not contributed anything to PH economy in 5 years – Roxas...

ALSO: Abad, Soliman teams up for CCT black ops vs VP


MARCH 9 -ABAD -Camarines Sur Rep. Felix William “Wimpy” Fuentebella yesterday pointed to Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad and Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman as having joined forces to spread the rumor that Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay intends to abolish the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program or what is more commonly referred to as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) if he wins the presidency. “I attended a wedding ceremony last January 15 and during the reception held at the Albay Coliseum, Gov. Joey Salceda was talking about the plan for the Legazpi International Airport which the Aquino administration failed to fulfill,” Fuentebella told the Tribune. “He (Salceda) was asking Abad, Soliman and (Health Secretary) Janet Garin why the administration failed to fulfill its promise to transform the present Legazpi Airport into an international airport,” Fuentebella said. “At that point, Abad and Soliman shifted the discussion to the CCT and told everyone how Binay plans to abolish the program if he gets elected as president,” said the solon. Garin, Fuentebella said, left the venue to catch her flight back to Manila when the discussion shifted to the CCT. “They (Abad and Soliman) cannot deny that. I was there and I heard them talking personally,” he stressed. Not only had Binay denied the allegations he wants to abolish the 4Ps but has even pledged to expand the program to include senior citizens. The Albay incident is not the only occasion wherein Soliman was accused of using the CCT to derail Binay’s chances in the May 9 polls. During the Quezon leg of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) sortie, Binay accused the Aquino administration of using CCT funds to recruit volunteers in the guise of poll watching duties in the May polls, which he described as a new form of vote-buying. “I have heard reports that one government secretary went to Laguna and told local government officials there to recruit as many poll watchers as they could, even bragging they would be paid using money from 4Ps,” Binay told his audience. “They have resorted to underspending resulting to huge savings at the expense of underperformance and under delivery of basic services only to huge the funds in a spending binge for the elections,” Binay said.
“Money will pour in the elections,” he said adding a Cabinet secretary is involved in the use of public funds for the LP campaign. READ MORE...RELATED,
VP Binay: "Reformed" CCT Program Under my Presidency...

ALSO: Binay camp twits Aquino over 2010 win - 'Respect people’s will'


MARCH 12 -P-NOY
The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Saturday slammed President Benigno Aquino III for saying the Philippines could have been a better country in the past years if Mar Roxas won the 2010 vice presidential race.
Binay’s spokersperson Rico Quicho said Aquino should respect the will of the Filipino people, noting that the electorate saw in the United Nationalist Alliance standard-bearer qualities of someone who was ready to be the next president. “With all due respect, Mr. President, the results of the 2010 elections represented the will of the people. The people elected you to be their president and Jejomar Binay as their vice president. They saw in Vice President Binay the qualities of a servant leader who is ready and competent to perform the duties of a president. The will of the people is not something to regret, but to respect,” Quicho said in a statement. Advertisement Quicho was reacting to Aquino’s remarks in Cavite on Thursday that he was wondering how far the government could have gone if Roxas had been his partner since 2010. READ MORE...RELATED, VP will address country"s main problem, poverty if elected; Makati poverty incidence down to 0.5% under his leadership...

ALSO: At PMA rites Aquino repeats himself - '2 senators [referring to rivals] blocked BBL passage'


MARCH 14 -President Benigno Aquino III said he is saddened that there were two senators whom he alleged unfortunately blocked the passage of Bangsamoro Basic Law. Malacañang Photo Bureau
President Benigno Aquino III on Sunday reiterated that there were two senators responsible for the non-passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
While discussing the solution for peace process at the Philippine Military Academy graduation rites for the Gabay-Laya Class of 2016, Aquino said he is saddened that there were two senators who he alleged unfortunately blocked the passage of BBL. Aquino said the two senators just expressed opposition against the proposed act but failed to suggest an alternative solution regarding the peace process. However, he did not name the two senators. During the Liberal Party’s kickoff rally last February 9, Aquino also mentioned that there were two senators who conspired to block the passage of BBL. He also failed to name them but reports said he was referring to Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile and Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. The president urged the public to judge whether the current administration or the lawmakers committed shortcomings. “Ang masakit po, may dalawang miyembro ng Senado na tahasang hinarang ang BBL. Dito ko naalala 'yung sinasabi ng nakakatanda: Sige, malinawag na ayaw mo, ano naman ang gusto mo?” Aquino said in his speech. READ MORE...RELATED, VP expected Morales-CoA demolition job...

ALSO: PMA cadets’ kin give PNoy a cold welcome; applauded VP warmly
[Deep in our hearts, we fear that our children would be deployed anywhere in the country and we are scared that what happened to the SAF 44 would befall our children,” said a PMA graduate’s mother, who refused to be identified.
“We know the risk my son is facing but we want to be reassured that the risk they are taking is worth it. Given what happened in Mamasapano, our fears are real,” she said.]


MARCH 14 -Top graduate. President Benigno Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar Binay present the vice presidential saber award to Cadet 1st class Christine Mae Calima of the Philippine Air Force during the 111th Commencement Exercises of Philippine Military Academy for its Gabay-Laya Class of 2016 at the Fajardo Grandstand, Borromeo Field, Fort General Gregorio del Pilar in Baguio City on Sunday. Gabay Laya is the smallest PMA class to graduate in 40 years. MALACAÑANG PHOTO BUREAU THE families of the latest graduates of the Philippine Military Academy were noticeably cold to President Benigno Aquino III but greeted Vice President Jejomar Binay with warm applause during the academy’s graduation rites at Fort Gregorio del Pilar, Baguio City on Sunday. Some relatives of the graduates said Aquino was greeted with silence when he was introduced because they still remembered how the President allegedly mishandled the massacre of 44 members of the PNP Special Action Force in Mamasapano, Maguindanao more than a year ago. When asked in an ambush interview for his reaction to the lack of a warm welcome for the President, Binay simply smiled and refused to comment. Both Aquino and Binay attended the graduation ceremonies of the Gabay Laya Class of 2016. “It just happened. We did not talk
Deep in our hearts, we fear that our children would be deployed anywhere in the country and we are scared that what happened to the SAF 44 would befall our children,” said a PMA graduate’s mother, who refused to be identified.
She said her son was among the top students in the graduating class and she was sure that he would be given dangerous assignments immediately. “We know the risk my son is facing but we want to be reassured that the risk they are taking is worth it. Given what happened in Mamasapano, our fears are real,” she said. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Almendras named DFA chief


Almendras

MANILA, MARCH 14, 2016 (PHILSTAR)  By Aurea Calica March 9, 2016 - President Aquino has appointed Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras as ad interim foreign affairs secretary, replacing Albert del Rosario, whose resignation took effect last Monday, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. said yesterday.

Earlier yesterday, Almendras confirmed he was one of those being considered or interested in the position.

Sources said the President spoke with two retired ambassadors, who turned him down. One of them is reportedly sick, the sources said.

Since there are no more sessions for both houses of Congress, the Commission on Appointments will not have any hearing to confirm the new foreign affairs chief and thus the person will only hold the position for three months in an acting capacity, Aquino said during his visit to the United States last month.

The President said he would have to talk seriously to those he was considering because taking on the job would entail a lot of sacrifice.

Aquino thanked Del Rosario for serving the department despite his health concerns.

READ MORE...

“I really have to say that he is also one of the blessings bestowed upon me. In an area where I don’t really have that much expertise, he took in quite a lot of the burden and really performed his role as adviser. So, tough shoes to fill,” the President said.

There had been talks within the Department of Foreign Affairs that Ochoa was not in favor of DFA Undersecretary Laura del Rosario to replace her boss, who nominated her to the position, but there were no reasons cited.

Undersecretary Del Rosario is a career official and is not related to the retired secretary.

Aside from Almendras, the name of presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda was also one of those supposedly being pushed to become head of the department.

Lacierda recently engaged journalist Ellen Tordesillas in a word war on social media for writing that he was interested in the position.

Lacierda said the story that the administration’s standard bearer, Manuel Roxas II introduced him to a Filipino ambassador as “your future boss” was fiction.

Tordesillas, however, stood by her story.

Last month, the President told reporters that Lacierda never mentioned that he would like to be DFA secretary and that he was considering four persons to take the place of Del Rosario.

Aquino said two of the four he was eyeing were in sensitive positions.


GMA NEWS

PNoy promises LRT-1 Cavite extension anew while campaigning for Roxas Published March 10, 2016 8:39pm

DASMARIÑAS CITY, Cavite - President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday trumpeted the government's infrastructure projects to benefit Caviteños as he campaigned for administration candidates Manuel "Mar" Roxas II and Leni Robredo here.

Speaking at the Dasmariñas National High School, Aquino said residents in Cavite would soon benefit from the LRT Line 1 South Extension Project, which will link Baclaran to Bacoor, Cavite; and LRT Line 6 that will run from Bacoor to Dasmariñas.

"At pag natapos 'yan, hindi na ako ang magka-cut ng ribbon, iba na po. Okay lang 'yan, basta dumating sa inyo. Sila na ang kumuha ng kredito, basta tayo nag-serbisyong tapat sa inyo, kontento na ang inyong abang lingkod," Aquino said.

During another campaign sortie in Dasmariñas City in April 2013, Aquino had also promised the completion of the LRT Line 1 extension, saying he would have himself and Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya run over by a train if the project remained unfinished.

"Pagdating naman ng 2015, hindi lang natin mapapabilis ang biyahe mula Baclaran hanggang Bacoor kundi madadagdagan din tayo ng tinatayong 250,000 na pasahero ang maisasakay kada araw dahil sa LRT Line 1 extension. At pag hindi ho nangyari ito, nandiyan po si Secretary Abaya na mangangasiwa ng proyektong to, dalawa na kaming magpapasagasa siguro sa tren," Aquino said in jest then during in a rally for his senatorial slate.

When asked about the project not hitting its deadline, Malacañang defended Aquino's statement.

"The President was speaking with a sense of urgency when he announced his desire to see the project 'within two years,'" Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said last December.

READ MORE...

"Any reasonable person would understand this to have been an aspirational statement. Despite the delays, the government continues to pursue the project," he added.

Highways, 4PS

In Thursday's sortie, Aquino also touted the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway or MCX, the first Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project completed under the Aquino administration, and the 44.63-kilometer Cavite-Laguna Expressway or CALAX, also a PPP project.

Speaking about the government's Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), he said it has already benefited 50,800 households in Cavite as compared to zero beneficiaries back in 2010.

"Kaya pati yung tumutuligsa sa Pantawid Pamilya, nakikisakay na. Kayo na ang humusga kung dapat ba tayong makinig sa kanila," Aquino said.

Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, LP's vice-presidential candidate, meanwhile thanked Caviteños for supporting her bid despite her initial low ranking in the presidential survey.

"Ngayon po nakikita na yung liwanag," Robredo said referring to her ranking in the latest poll on vice-presidential candidates.

"Noong malayo pa sa survey, marami sa inyo ang nagtaya na, nagtiwala na. Marami sa inyo ang nagbigay na ng suporta," she added.

Yellow country?

Cavite is said to be a bailiwick of Vice President Jejomar Binay of opposition party United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) with incumbent Governor Jonvic Remulla supporting his presidential bid.

But Roxas said he considers Cavite to be a "yellow country."

"Itong dilaw ay hindi natin suot dahil moda o pauso. Hindi ito parang chaleco na sinusuot-hubad dahil kombinyente. Suot natin ang dilaw dahil ito ang kulay ng ating prinsipyo, said Roxas.

Cavite is the second most vote-rich province next to Cebu with 1.8 million registered voters, according to data from the Commission on Elections. Dasmariñas City meanwhile has 326,000 voters.

Abaya, a former congressman of Cavite who is also the president of the LP, said their party will work hard to ensure a Roxas victory in the province.

"Siyempre yan ang tatrabahuhin namin. Wala naman makapag sasabi eh...Ang mahalaga eh yung mapakita mong aksyon para ma-deliver yung gagawin," Abaya told reporters. —JST, GMA News

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

VP has not contributed anything to PH economy in 5 years – Roxas by Aaron B. Recuenco March 13, 2016 Share1 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share17

Vice President Jejomar C. Binay has not contributed anything in economic progress for more than five years as vice president of the country, his rival Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Mar Roxas said yesterday.

Roxas was reacting to Binay’s campaign jingle since the vice presidential race in 2010 elections that has an underlying message that he is an architect of Makati’s progress and he could bring that progress to every Filipino family.

Roxas said he is more scared than excited of Binay’s campaign promise to turn the entire country into Makati City.

But that’s not because he is anti-progress or that the promise is way better than him, according to Roxas, but because of the underlying threat of corruption under a Binay administration.

Roxas said the proof of his fear of corruption under a Binay administration was already buttressed by a report of the Commission on Audit (COA) which pointed the Vice President as the one liable for the bloated cost of the Makati carpark building.

“This was what he did in Makati. This is a clear example on the type of leadership that happened in Makati,” said Roxas.

“And no he is saying that he will bring his Makati leadership style for the entire country? Huwag naman. Kawawa naman ang ating bansa,” he added.

The recent COA report disclosed irregularities from budgeting to procurement to construction of the Makati Parking Building II, which led to the misuse of public funds.

What was proven, according to Roxas and his camp, was the involvement of Binay and his family on corruption as what was revealed during the series of Senate investigation.

“It is important that our countrymen know this because this should be a guide of their decision-making,” said Roxas, referring to the 2016 elections.

For Roxas, the COA report has answered the questions that the public and the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has asked the vice president for the longest time.

But Binay said the release of the purported COA report, which he said is still incomplete as it does not contain his response, is part of the campaign to derail his presidential run in the May 9, 2016 elections.

Meanwhile, Roxas and his running mate Camarines Rep. Leni Robredo vowed more economic and social development projects to be poured in the province of Surigao del Norte and Surigao City under their “Daang Matuwid” program.

Speaking before the packed provincial and city multi-sectoral gathering at the Surigao del Norte Provincial Gymnasium last Friday, the Mar-Leni team also assured Surigaonons that their administration will widen various infrastructures to make the province more developed and progressive.

Robredo, who was represented by her eldest daughter Aika during the program, also assured Surigaonons to expand and to widen the women’s and social programs already being undertaken by LP provincial chairman Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol F. Matugas.

All the LP candidates in the 20 towns of Surigao del Norte and the lone city of Surigao City pledged their unequivocal support to Roxas and Robredo. (With a report from Mike U. Crismundo)


THE TRIBUNE

Abad, Soliman teams up for CCT black ops vs VP Written by Charlie V. Manalo Wednesday, 09 March 2016 00:00

Camarines Sur Rep. Felix William “Wimpy” Fuentebella yesterday pointed to Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad and Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman as having joined forces to spread the rumor that Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay intends to abolish the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program or what is more commonly referred to as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) if he wins the presidency.

“I attended a wedding ceremony last January 15 and during the reception held at the Albay Coliseum, Gov. Joey Salceda was talking about the plan for the Legazpi International Airport which the Aquino administration failed to fulfill,” Fuentebella told the Tribune.

“He (Salceda) was asking Abad, Soliman and (Health Secretary) Janet Garin why the administration failed to fulfill its promise to transform the present Legazpi Airport into an international airport,” Fuentebella said.

“At that point, Abad and Soliman shifted the discussion to the CCT and told everyone how Binay plans to abolish the program if he gets elected as president,” said the solon.

Garin, Fuentebella said, left the venue to catch her flight back to Manila when the discussion shifted to the CCT.

“They (Abad and Soliman) cannot deny that. I was there and I heard them talking personally,” he stressed.

Not only had Binay denied the allegations he wants to abolish the 4Ps but has even pledged to expand the program to include senior citizens.

The Albay incident is not the only occasion wherein Soliman was accused of using the CCT to derail Binay’s chances in the May 9 polls.

During the Quezon leg of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) sortie, Binay accused the Aquino administration of using CCT funds to recruit volunteers in the guise of poll watching duties in the May polls, which he described as a new form of vote-buying.

“I have heard reports that one government secretary went to Laguna and told local government officials there to recruit as many poll watchers as they could, even bragging they would be paid using money from 4Ps,” Binay told his audience.

“They have resorted to underspending resulting to huge savings at the expense of underperformance and under delivery of basic services only to huge the funds in a spending binge for the elections,” Binay said.

“Money will pour in the elections,” he said adding a Cabinet secretary is involved in the use of public funds for the LP campaign.

READ MORE...

Although Binay did not name the Cabinet secretary involved in the alleged vote-buying scheme, some sectors say he could be referring to Soliman as she is the one handling the government’s 4Ps.

Yesterday, Binay also lashed back at Roxas who again accused him of planning to abolish the CCT program if he gets elected.

“Maybe Mr. Roxas was sleeping when I declared I am a good manager and I am not incompetent. The 4Ps is a good program and as such, I have declared whatever good things the outgoing administration had done, I will not ony continue but even expand,” Binay said.

“Never have I said I will discontinue it,” Binay said.

“That’s what saddens me. My opponents have resorted to lies. Mr. Roxas’ pronouncements that I will discontinue the CCT are purely lies,” said Binay.

Meanwhile, UNA communications director Joey Salgado, also lashed at Roxas for depicting a different picture of Makati City during his campaign sortie in the country’s premier city as he tried to defame the vice president.

“In his speech at the Makati Coliseum Monday, Liberal Party (LP) candidate Mar Roxas once again ignored facts,” said Salgado.

Citing official government data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Salgado said the number of poor residents dropped from 17,630 in 2000 to only 2,645 in 2012.

“Poverty in Makati has dropped sharply under the Binay administration. That is a fact,” said salgado.


SALGADO

“Mister Roxas again alleged irregularities yet in 2011 the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) awarded Makati the Seal of Good Housekeeping, Silver Category. That is a fact,” he added.

Salgado explained the Seal of Good Housekeeping is awarded to local governments for “performance, accountability, transparency and participation.”

“To win in the Silver Category, Makati met all the criteria set by DILG: Sound financial management measured by the absence of any adverse or a disclaimer CoA opinion on any local financial transaction and on financial transparency and accountability measured through the implementation of the Full Disclosure Policy. It’s in the DILG-NCR website, Mr. Roxas. You were the Secretary at that time. That is a fact,” he said.

By now, Salgado said the public is familiar with the LP campaign talking points: ignore the facts and repeat a lie a hundred times over.

“The LP has been very vocal in disavowing the use of mudslinging. They invoke “how we campaign is how we govern” so many times in the vain hope that the public will accept it as Gospel truth. Yet the truth is that lying and throwing mud is their core message direction. It is a convenient way to evade talking about what matters most to the voters: their candidate’s track record of incompetence and ineptitude, the absence of a concrete plan to lift our people from poverty, and an unconquerable compassion deficit,” Salgado said.

With regard to Roxas declaring Makati has turned yellow, Salgado said it is purely fiction.

“He may wax optimistic about a jaundiced future for Makati, but here’s a reality check: Roxas ally and attack dog Ernesto Mercado told media, just a few meters from where Roxas stood, that it would be difficult for Roxas to defeat VP Binay in Makati. For once, Mercado told the truth,” Salgado said.

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RELATED FROM THE OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT WEBSITE

VP Binay: "Reformed" CCT Program Under my Presidency

Vice President Jejomar C. Binay today reiterated he will continue the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program but will introduce reforms to ensure it reaches its intended beneficiaries.

"We will continue and improve the CCT program. But we will ensure better targeting of beneficiaries. Yong dapat lamang makakuha ng CCT ang dapat isama sa programa. Leakages in the program have to be addressed decisively," Binay said.

The Vice President however noted that the CCT program will have to be complemented by bigger government spending for health centers and hospitals, facilities as well as cheaper medicines.

“Access to healthcare is frequently denied the poor. Despite increases in the public health budget in recent years, millions of Filipinos, particularly the poor and the destitute, do not have access to even the most basic health care,” Binay said.

“The health care system is fragmented and the public health workforce is diminishing in the face of increasing demand for health services,” he added.

Binay mentioned there are still poor local government units that are unable to sufficiently deliver health services to their respective constituents because they lack manpower and facilities due to limited finances.

“It is such a cruel joke that until now, many decades after the phrase was first coined, we still have Mona Lisa public hospitals mostly in the provinces, where patients lie there, and they die there,” he said.

"Our overarching goal should be to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all Filipinos at all ages," he added.

Binay also said that in the long term, the best solution to poverty is for government to provide jobs for the people.

"To achieve that, we need to bring in more foreign investors to the Philippines by makingour country a more competitive business and investment destination," he said.

He also stressed the need to provide adequate and efficient infrastructure, services and incentives that strike a balance between service industries, manufacturing and agricultural, as well as tourism development, adding that these are the main sectors that can provide jobs for Filipinos.

“In a country like the Philippines where the majority of people do not earn enough and a large percentage lives in poverty, economic development that does not benefit the masses is meaningless,” he said.

“Balewala ang pag-unlad kung iilan lamang ang nakikinabang. Dapat, kasalo ang lahat sa pag-unlad,” he added.

Binay said that the reason he wishes to continue the CCT is because his long experience in local governance has taught him the importance of continuity, predictability, and sustainability.

"For reforms to truly benefit our people, we need to identify policies and programs that should continue but will be further improved on. Hindi dapat itinitigil agad ang mga programa dahil lamang ito ay sinimulan ng dating administrasyon. Dapat pag-aralan, at tingnan kung ano ang maaari pang ayusin," said the Vice President.

Binay said that along with the CCT, he will continue to implement the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program.

"This is but a continuation of the government and private sector partnerships we started in Makati, notably at the University of Makati. These partnerships have moved the local economy forward and provided jobs for Makati residents, which should be the end goal of such partnerships," he said.

Binay noted that PPP projects have been beset by inadequacies and delays—with only one PPP project being finished as of July 2015—which he said resulted in underspending and greatly impacted inclusive growth.

He vowed to take the necessary steps to hasten the implementation of PPP projects such as pushing for the approval of pending bills in Congress like amendments to the Build-Operate-Transfer Law and Right-of-Way Bill; and addressing other bureaucratic inefficiencies that have stood in the way of project implementation.


INQUIRER

Binay camp twits Aquino over 2010 win: Respect people’s will SHARES: 5528 VIEW COMMENTS By: Yuji Vincent Gonzales @YGonzalesINQ INQUIRER.net 06:10 PM March 12th, 2016


P-NOY

The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Saturday slammed President Benigno Aquino III for saying the Philippines could have been a better country in the past years if Mar Roxas won the 2010 vice presidential race.

Binay’s spokersperson Rico Quicho said Aquino should respect the will of the Filipino people, noting that the electorate saw in the United Nationalist Alliance standard-bearer qualities of someone who was ready to be the next president.

“With all due respect, Mr. President, the results of the 2010 elections represented the will of the people. The people elected you to be their president and Jejomar Binay as their vice president. They saw in Vice President Binay the qualities of a servant leader who is ready and competent to perform the duties of a president. The will of the people is not something to regret, but to respect,” Quicho said in a statement.

Quicho was reacting to Aquino’s remarks in Cavite on Thursday that he was wondering how far the government could have gone if Roxas had been his partner since 2010.

READ MORE...

The spokesperson defended Binay by trumpeting his achievements in the housing and migrant workers’ sectors, saying the Vice President received “unsolicited commendations” even from Aquino himself.

“He has been a team player despite being treated like a pariah by most members of the Cabinet who are also your party mates. He chose to stay on and do his work until it was evident that the conspiracy to undermine him politically—hatched and implemented by Liberal Party and its allies—would not stop, even to the point of directly undermining the independence of government instrumentalities and independent institutions for your allies’ political interests and ambitions,” Quicho said.

“The Vice President is offering to the people his track record of performance and accomplishments as a local executive and vice president. All candidates must offer the same, including your candidate. The people should freely decide who among the candidates is the most competent and prepared to lead our nation and address the problems of poverty and hunger, which has worsened in the last five years. We submit that Vice President Jojo Binay is that kind of candidate,” he added.

Binay, who is now seeking the presidency, resigned from the Aquino Cabinet in June 2015 and declared himself opposition leader. He served as chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council and presidential adviser on affairs of overseas Filipino workers. RC

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

VP will address country"s main problem, poverty if elected; Makati poverty incidence down to 0.5% under Binay leadership by Ellson A. Quismorio and Anna Liza Villas Alvaren March 13, 2016 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share14


BINAY at Rosario, Caviye

Rosario, La Union – Vice President Jejomar C. Binay has vowed that his administration would concentrate on addressing poverty, the main problem that the country faces, should he be elected president in the May 9, 2016 national and local elections.

He told thousands of supporters in a rally here last Friday that under his 21-year reign as mayor of Makati, poverty incidence in the city went down from 3.74 percent in 2000 to 0.5 percent in 2012, citing data from the National Statistical Coordination Board (NCSB).

“When I became mayor of Makati, I was able to deliver quality basic necessities. I provided all basic necessities of the people in Makati,” Binay, the standard bearer of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), told residents of Rosario town.

“Good education, better health services. We have started in Makati providing privileges for senior citizens,” he added.

Binay had previously said that he will implement four priority programs during his first year in office – abolishing income taxes for workers earning P30,000 a month or less; continuing and expanding the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps); free books, uniforms, and school supplies for public school students; and free healthcare for the poor.

RESPECTS 2010 POLLS, UNA URGES PNOY


QUICHO

As this developed, UNA said yesterday that the results of the 2010 national elections – particularly the vice presidential race – is not something to regret, rather it’s something to respect.

UNA campaign spokesman Rico Quicho stressed this in response to President Aquino, who earlier expressed regret at having Binay as his vice president for the past six years.

“With all due respect, Mr. President, the results of the 2010 elections represented the will of the people,” said Quicho, a lawyer.

“The people elected you to be their President and Jejomar Binay as their Vice President. They saw in Vice President Binay the qualities of a servant leader who is ready and competent to perform the duties of a president.

“The will of the people is not something to regret, but to respect,” stressed Quicho, a former spokesman of ex-Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Binay figured in a memorable tiff with then-senator Aquino’s running mate Mar Roxas in 2010.

Roxas, also a former senator, led all pre-election surveys up until the final days of the campaign wherein then-Makati City mayor Binay – initially a tail-end candidate – caught up with him.

Binay ended up winning the tight contest by just around 730,000 votes. He even became housing czar and presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers’ affairs under Aquino’s tenure.

However, their relationship was never as rosy as that of running mates.

“(Binay) has been a team player despite being treated like a pariah by most members of the Cabinet who are also your partymates,” Quicho told the Chief Executive.

Incidentally, Binay and Roxas will face each other anew in the upcoming elections.

“The Vice President is offering to the people his track record of performance and accomplishments as a local executive and Vice President.

“The people should freely decide who among the candidates is the most competent and prepared to lead our nation and address the problems of poverty and hunger, which has worsened in the last five years,” concluded Quicho.

POLL VIOLATORS


TIANGCO

Meanwhile, UNA president Tobias “Toby” Tiangco said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) ought to make an example out of election rule violators by filing charges against them.

The Navotas City representative admitted seeing various violations of the law, among which is the blatant campaigning of sitting Cabinet members for a particular candidate.

“We’ve been noticing that. I think it would be better if Comelec, with its motu proprio power, would file charges against these people. Comelec should be the one to file,” Tiangco said.

While he did not mention anyone, Tiangco cited the fact that Cabinet secretaries are making rounds in the country for the purpose of raising the bench of poll candidates.

“Even Cabinet secretaries are doing rounds, they’re campaigning. These Cabinet secretaries are definitively using government resources,” he said.

If it’s any consolation to UNA, Tiangco said that these illegal acts are in full view of the public, who will have the final say on the politicians’ fate come election day.


PHILSTAR

Aquino repeats: 2 senators blocked BBL passage By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated March 13, 2016 - 3:09pm 21 953 googleplus0 0


President Benigno Aquino III said he is saddened that there were two senators whom he alleged unfortunately blocked the passage of Bangsamoro Basic Law. Malacañang Photo Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III on Sunday reiterated that there were two senators responsible for the non-passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

While discussing the solution for peace process at the Philippine Military Academy graduation rites for the Gabay-Laya Class of 2016, Aquino said he is saddened that there were two senators who he alleged unfortunately blocked the passage of BBL.

Aquino said the two senators just expressed opposition against the proposed act but failed to suggest an alternative solution regarding the peace process. However, he did not name the two senators.

During the Liberal Party’s kickoff rally last February 9, Aquino also mentioned that there were two senators who conspired to block the passage of BBL. He also failed to name them but reports said he was referring to Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile and Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

The president urged the public to judge whether the current administration or the lawmakers committed shortcomings.

“Ang masakit po, may dalawang miyembro ng Senado na tahasang hinarang ang BBL. Dito ko naalala 'yung sinasabi ng nakakatanda: Sige, malinawag na ayaw mo, ano naman ang gusto mo?” Aquino said in his speech.

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“Ang dalawang miyembrong ito ng Senado, naiwan na lang sa “ayaw” nang walang nilalatag na mas mainam na solusyon. Kayo na nga po ang humusga kung sino sa amin ang nagkulang at kung sino naman ang tumotoo sa inyo,” he added.

Aquino made the remark while discussing that his "Daang Matuwid" platform includes resolution of the peace process. He said the administration even formed an agreement that included the trust of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the hope of obtaining peace.

“Alam po natin ang kasabihang “Ang kasundaluhan ang huling magnanais na magkaroon ng kaguluhan.” Sila nga ang unang sasabak sa hidwaan, sila ang unang magsasakripisyo, at sila ang unang malalagay sa peligro. Nariyan po ang panukalang Bangsamoro Basic Law, kasama na ang Framework Agreement at Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro,” Aquino said.

“Ang hangad natin: Maghatid ng katarungan, kapayapaan, at kaunlaran sa Bangsamoro,” he added.

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ALSO FROM THE TRIBUNE

VP expected Morales-CoA demolition job Written by Charlie V. Manalo Saturday, 12 March 2016 00:00


MORALES, BINAY

They just won’t stop trying to demolish Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay and his chances to win the presidency.
Binay, however, said they were already expecting the Ombudsman’s move as she has always been part of the demolition team against him.

In Rosaio, La Union, the camp of Binay yesterday lambasted the alleged collusion of the Office of the Ombudsman and the Commission on Audit (CoA) whose end goal is reportedly to derail the chances of the Vice President in the May 9 polls, especially since the second leg of the presidential debate is only a few days away.

“Clearly, this is a demolition job,” Binay told reporters.

The VP noted how the Office of the Ombudsman pressured the CoA into releasing its incomplete audit report on the Makati City Hall Building II which was used in the filing of graft charges against him.

“According to CoA’s own rules, it has yet to seek the response of the individuals or offices involved in its audit. And in case it comes up with a report not favorable to the individuals or offices involved, a motion for reconsideration to that effect could still be filed. In this case, these two things have yet to be done,” Binay said.

“The Ombudsman has always been part of the conspiracy to demolish me. They jumped the gun again. But it’s the usual thing. Especially since the (presidential) debate is just a few days away,” Binay said.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales tried to turn the tables on him, now saying that it is VP Binay and his camp that are trying to demolish her, even claiming, without evidence, that she has been getting death threats.

The Vice President said not only the timing of the release of the CoA special audit report and the filing of the case by the Ombudsman are suspect, but even the findings.

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“Every year, CoA has been conducting an audit on the Makati City government and for the countless audits they have conducted, they did not find any irregularity. And then, suddenly, there is an allegation which we were clueless about as we haven’t received their report which we are entitled to respond” Binay said.

“We will file our response to the their report and you will see everything will again be exposed as a part of the demolition by perception,” Binay said.

Duterte also being filed charges

Aside from VP Binay, allies of the Aquino administration are reportedly targeting other presidential candidates in its campaign to water down the chances of the rivals of administration candidate Mar Roxas.

This was hinted by PDP-Laban presidential bet Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte yesterday.

Duterte said they have been alerted that the Aquino government is preparing to file charges against him supposedly for his “role and involvement” in extra judicial killings of known criminals and drug pushers in Davao City.

The charges reportedly stemmed from affidavits executed by a ranking police officer and supposed self-confessed gunmen.
Duterte said they are viewing the development with serious cause for concern.

“We see the desperate hands of administration bets who are threatened by the surge in the popularity and voter preference for Duterte whose numbers continue to rise in all surveys.”

Duterte, running on shoestring budget and with little support from big business interests and political parties, is attracting nationwide support from ordinary folks — workers, peasants, youth and students, women, Moro and indigenous peoples, middle class employees and businessmen, from south to north of the nation as the campaign period enters midway point.
The tough talking mayor said there is no doubt in their mind that momentum is on their side.

He said the ploy to resurrect the worn out allegations against the Mayor is a vain and desperate attempt to stop that momentum.

“Certainly, they had all the opportunity, time, resources and wherewithal to file those charges when Duterte was a virtual non-entity in national politics. More so when he was not yet a declared presidential candidate.”

Duterte lamented the fact that now that he is on the heels of being elected the first president from the south - a Mindanaoan with strong Visayan roots - in more than 50 years, his opponents are training their guns at him to arrest his irreversible march to victory.

“We deplore these dirty tricks. We abhor these underhanded tactics. We will resist this vain plot to pin him down because of his strong stand against crime and corruption. We warn them of the repercussions of such diabolical plan. The people will not be swayed by these black propaganda and amateurish schemes. We will prevail!

It can be recalled that the Commission on Audit has released a special audit report against Binay stating the Makati City Hall Parking Building ll was overpriced by the billions.


DUTERTE

Yet Duterte has also been slamming Binay on the allegations leveled against the VP on the alleged corruption, een if there are mere allegations. Yet now, he cries about being persecuted and for the same reasom he attacks Binay.

United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) president, Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco also blasted CoA over the findings of its special audit team, as he noted that audits conducted by the CoA from 2008 until February 2014, including one by technical experts of the agency, concluded there was no overpricing in the construction of Makati City Hall Building II.

Tiangco said these audit reports spanning six years are now being set aside by CoA’s supposed special audit concluded after only several months.

“These CoA reports, including one conducted by the agency’s own technical experts, are now being ignored in favor of a fast-tracked supposed special audit report that is tainted by political motives,” Tiangco said.

“If it involves Binay, CoA acts super-fast but until now, it hasn’t released yet its findings on use of the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) of the Aquino administration since 201 which it had promised. Almost six years have passed and we still have to see even a shadow of the CoA report,” he added.

Tiangco specifically cited the February 2014 technical audit report where resident auditor Cecilia Caga-anan said the construction of the Building II was reasonably priced.

“Based on the result of the Contract Reviews conducted by CoA-TAS [Technical Audit Specialist] as presented beforehand, the contract cost of Makati City Parking Building was considered reasonable based on CoA Resolution No. 91-52 dated September 17, 1991,” the report said.

The report was submitted to National Capital Region (NCR) local government sector head Carmelita Antasuda, as a response to Renato Bondal’s request for another audit of the project.

In his allegation, Bondal said there was alleged discrepancy between the actual project cost and data from the National Statistics Office (NSO).

In response, CoA tapped its technical specialists in the fields of architecture, engineering and related fields to conduct the audit.



The CoA report said that there was no basis for the claim of discrepancy between the project cost and NSO as cited by Bondal.

“The statistical data were derived from the copy of approved building permits being issued by building officials. Inquiry made from building officials disclosed that the building permits were based on the approved building standards and documentary requirements without evaluation of the construction cost,” Caga-anan said.

She added that CoA’s technical audit specialists found the contract price of the Makati parking building “reasonable” in the five phases of construction.

The technical audit team also checked previous audit reports and found out these “did not disclose any adverse finding” on the project’s annual audit reports issued from 2008 to 2010.

She added that the construction cost of buildings vary, depending on the design and whether it is a high- or low-rise structure.

The soil condition also impacts on the project cost.

“High-rise building with unstable soil conditions will entail a more rigid and complicated base/structural preparations and requires higher quantity and quality of materials to be used,” Caga-anan said.

“Structures with parking areas require different design as compared to a common/regular building, which is subjected to heavier and moving loads. In addition, the building is designed to withstand earthquake with certain a level of intensity,” she added.

The report cited the construction of the Makati City Hall main building “as a classic example” since the “soil structure was found soft” based on research and available data. It added that “hard strata at this area was reached from 13 meters to 15 meters elevation from the ground.”

Tiangco had warned the CoA that it can be held liable for violating its own 2015 resolution and its own rules for releasing an incomplete report on the Makati City Hall Building II.

“This project has passed 11 regular audits. It is very clear that special audit team was created for the “special” purpose of being used as demolition team against VP Binay,” Tiangco said.

Tiangco said that he had written CoA to request that it abide by its own rule and apply its resolution equally to all candidates.

“Until the termination of the 2016 elections, the Honorable Commission should accordingly desist from acting upon any and all complaints against all candidates in the 2016 national and local elections and not issue any resolutions, rulings or decisions for or against any candidate to avoid the unwitting use of the Commission for partisan political purposes,” he added.

“Specifically, I urge the Commission to refrain from issuing any Notice of Disallowance, Resolution or Decision in all levels of audit authority including but not limited to Regular, Special/Fraud Audit during the election period involving candidates both national and local,” he further wrote.

The CoA resolution stated that “It is necessary for the Commission on Audit, as an independent constitutional body, to uphold its political neutrality by implementing measures aimed at preventing opportunities and circumstances that may impair the independence, neutrality and professionalism of the Commission, its officers and employees.”

Tiangco said that his request was not “in any way intended to hamper the exercise of the Constitutional mandate of the Commission, but to ensure the political neutrality of the Commission during the election period.”


MANILA STANDARD

PMA cadets’ kin give PNoy a cold welcome; greeted VP with waram applause posted March 14, 2016 at 12:01 am by Christine F. Herrera and Sandy Araneta


Top graduate. President Benigno Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar Binay present the vice presidential saber award to Cadet 1st class Christine Mae Calima of the Philippine Air Force during the 111th Commencement Exercises of Philippine Military Academy for its Gabay-Laya Class of 2016 at the Fajardo Grandstand, Borromeo Field, Fort General Gregorio del Pilar in Baguio City on Sunday. Gabay Laya is the smallest PMA class to graduate in 40 years. MALACAÑANG PHOTO BUREAU

THE families of the latest graduates of the Philippine Military Academy were noticeably cold to President Benigno Aquino III but greeted Vice President Jejomar Binay with warm applause during the academy’s graduation rites at Fort Gregorio del Pilar, Baguio City on Sunday.

Some relatives of the graduates said Aquino was greeted with silence when he was introduced because they still remembered how the President allegedly mishandled the massacre of 44 members of the PNP Special Action Force in Mamasapano, Maguindanao more than a year ago.

When asked in an ambush interview for his reaction to the lack of a warm welcome for the President, Binay simply smiled and refused to comment.

Both Aquino and Binay attended the graduation ceremonies of the Gabay Laya Class of 2016. “It just happened. We did not talk

Deep in our hearts, we fear that our children would be deployed anywhere in the country and we are scared that what happened to the SAF 44 would befall our children,” said a PMA graduate’s mother, who refused to be identified. She said her son was among the top students in the graduating class and she was sure that he would be given dangerous assignments immediately.

“We know the risk my son is facing but we want to be reassured that the risk they are taking is worth it. Given what happened in Mamasapano, our fears are real,” she said.

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The 44 SAF members were killed on Jan. 25 last year during a covert operation to capture Malaysian terrorist and bomb-maker Marwan and his Filipino accomplice Basit Usman. Meanwhile, Aquino reminded the PMA graduates not to indulge in politics.

“It is important to always remain neutral when it comes to politics,” said Aquino, in a speech delivered in Pilipino. “It is in your hands whether democracy will remain, or if we will go back to abuses and lack of justice,” Aquino also told the PMA graduates.

Aquino also reminded the PMA graduates to be protectors of the country. “Civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military. The Armed Forces of the Philippines is the protector of the people and the State. It’s goal is to secure the sovereignty of the State and the integrity of the national territory,” said Aquino.

Binay, meanwhile, commended his fellow Ibanag, Cadet First Class Kristian Daeve Gelacio Abiqui, who topped the class.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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