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

2nd BIGGEST PPP WORTH P122.8B FAILS: NO BIDS FOR EXPRESSWAY DIKE
[Roman Azanza, first vice president for Business Development of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV), part of the Team Trident consortium, said the project is not viable and risks are not commensurate to possible gains. “This is the country’s largest and most complex PPP project to date and frankly, from an economic viability and risk allocation perspectives, the government failed to address those concerns,” Azanza said.]


MARCH 29 -‘Not feasible, too risky, smacks of midnight deal’  There were no bidders in yesterday’s auction for the country’s second biggest public-private partnership (PPP) project, the P122.8-billion Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike (LLED). The dike expressway ranks next only to the massive North South Railway Project valued at P170.1 billion. The dike road is expected to reduce travel time from Bicutan to Los Baños from 90 to 35 minutes and spare the annual flood damage cost of P8 billion. All three qualified bidders, Alloy-PAVI-Hanshin LLEDP Consortium, San Miguel Holdings Corp. and Team Trident, explained their reservations ranging from questionable viability of the project to legal problems which they claimed were not resolved. One proponent earlier described it as a road going nowhere because of the lack of link to major roads. Ramon S. Ang . president of San Miguel said “the project is just not feasible. Government will have to re-examine its assumptions and redesign a mutually beneficial contractual structure best suited for a deal as large and intricate as this one, given its potential to create opportunities that will generate the greatest benefit to a lot of people”. Rogelio Singson, secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), declared the failure in bidding. Andre Palacios, PPP Center executive director, said the LLED will likely be rebid under the next administration. Singson said bidders’ concerns will be assessed. The project involves building a 47-kilometer dike ringing Laguna de Bay. The expressway will be built on top of the dike. Some 700 hectares will also be reclaimed along the coastal areas of Taguig and Muntinlupa. Concession will run for 37 years inclusive of seven years of construction time. Roman Azanza, first vice president for Business Development of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV), part of the Team Trident consortium, said the project is not viable and risks are not commensurate to possible gains. “This is the country’s largest and most complex PPP project to date and frankly, from an economic viability and risk allocation perspectives, the government failed to address those concerns,” Azanza said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Amnesty Int’l PH (AIP) dismayed with Aquino’s human rights record


MARCH 31 -CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – With his six-year term about to end in three months, Amnesty International Philippines (AIP) expressed dismay with the performance of President Aquino in addressing and stopping human rights violations (HRVs). Although the government has made strides in promoting human rights in the country through the passage of laws that promote human rights, government efforts have fallen short of making the country HRV-free, AIP chair Ritzlee Santos III said. During Aquino’s presidency, laws such as the Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012 was passed.
But Santos said even with such statutes, decade-old cases of torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings have remained unsolved with many more occurring under the Aquino administration. “The (AIP) is disappointed (in the government) for not addressing these cases,” he said, adding that even the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill has not seen the light of day under the Aquino administration. During the first 100 days of Aquino, AIP rated his performance as “pasang awa” (barely passing) for human rights records although the group recognized the “small feat” his administration made, such as passing relevant laws. READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino arrives late then lectures media


MARCH 31 -AQUINO - A tardy President Aquino has taken to lecturing media again during the opening ceremony of Publish Asia 2016 Conference this time criticizing what he said was the use of sensational headlines among newspapers to “increase circulation.”  Aquino was 40 minutes late in the event held at Manila Hotel, claiming that he had to revise his speech resulting in his being tardy. Aquino, however, is frequently criticized for his habitual tardiness that even earned him an entry in Wikipedia called “Noynoying.”  “It is when the distinction between opinion and straightforward newstelling that your profession—and there is the blurring of that line— is endangered,” Aquino said. “Sensational headlines and articles composed of controversial rumors, for example, might increase your circulation marginally today. What happens, however, when the people notice your tendency toward such, when they realize that your articles are entertaining, perhaps, but cannot be verified and consequently trusted? In the long run, will they not seek out alternative sources of information, sources that they know will tell them the truth?,” Aquino said. Aquino has often criticized media for coming up with news stories adverse to his administration while not playing up the supposed achievements under his term. Aquino claimed that, to him, the printing of news stories “does not seem to adhere to any set standard.” “More often than not, the art of crafting headlines seems to favor embellishment and innuendo, as opposed to the facts,” he said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Bongbong hits Noy’s selective anti-corruption drive


MARCH 31 -Bongbong receives warm welcome in Aquino’s territory INQUIRER FILE PHOTO Bongbong receives warm welcome in Aquino’s territory INQUIRER FILE PHOTO
Vice presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos lauded the anti-corruption drive of President Aquino saying it is his centerpiece program. He, however, said while the President should be commended for making corruption as the foundation of his governance, he was not able to fully implement it because of its selectivity against those perceived to be opposed to his administration.Marcos made the statement in answer to a query on what he considered to be legacy of Aquino during his sortie in Tarlac City. But he noted that there is still much work to be done in this aspect because it failed to give fair treatment to everyone perceived to be involved in corruption. The senator further stated that corruption should be stamped out not only in government but in the private sector as well. He noted that institutions must be strengthened and the rights of the citizens recognized and respected for anti-corruption programs to succeed.In Pampanga, former and current officials in the province of Pampanga have closed ranks behind Marcos Jr’s vice presidential bid. READ MORE...RELATED, COMMUNIST PARTY FOUNDER Joma Sison: Bongbong an accomplice in keeping ill-gotten wealth to live like a prince...

ALSO: Palace not worried of Mar's survey ranking, warns presidential candidates vs dirty tactics to break tight race


APRIL 3 -Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III yesterday said over dzRB that the Palace was not worried about the ranking of administration candidate Manuel Roxas II in the surveys. Philstar.com file Malacañang warned presidential candidates against resorting to dirty tactics to break the tight race among them based on the latest survey by Pulse Asia and ABS-CBN.
Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III yesterday said over dzRB that the Palace was not worried about the ranking of administration candidate Manuel Roxas II in the surveys. Roxas ranks fourth in the surveys, lagging behind Sen. Grace Poe, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Jejomar Binay. Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago is fifth. “The survey, as we always pointed out, is a snapshot of public opinion,” Quezon said. He noted that “the most interesting” is that Poe did not get the expected big boost in ratings after the Supreme Court allowed her to run. “We have noticed that this has not been the case. That therefore the real reading of all these numbers is that it would be hard for us to remember a campaign where candidates are as close as this,” he explained. READ MORE...

ALSO: Roxas, the comic - LP Presidential bet draws flak for ‘fairytale’ on ‘Yolanda’
[In defense of Roxas, the comic book said “numbers cannot lie,” referring to the P4.012-billion budget earmarked by the Aquino administration for recovery efforts. The comic book also said Roxas was unfairly put in a bad light after another photo of Roxas sliding off a motorcycle at the height of Typhoon ‘‘Ruby’’ went viral on the Internet. The comic highlighted Roxas’ wedding to Korina Sanchez, and how they opted for a simple wedding so they could donate P3 million to victims of tropical storm ‘‘Ondoy.’’]


MARCH 29 -Tragicomic. This is the cover art of the comic book detailing Roxas’ version of the onslaught of Super Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ in Tacloban City, where he supervised government relief and rescue operations.
SUPPORTERS of administration candidate Manuel Roxas II are circulating a comic book portraying him as the hero and savior during Super Typhoon ‘‘Yolanda’’ in 2013, but survivors and critics slammed the depiction as “a fairytale,” given the government’s failure to deliver timely and effective assistance in the storm’s aftermath. Distributed by Roxas supporters during the birthday celebration of a political ally in Imus, Cavite, on Sunday, the 28-page comic book “Sa Gitna ng Unos (In the Midst of Disaster)” features the life and times of the administration bet, and highlighted his actions in Tacloban City when the killer typhoon struck. But Yolanda survivor Marissa Cabaljao said the comic book was a revision of history. “That he came out with that comic book shows how desperate he is to show that he actually did something,” Cabaljao told The Standard in Filipino. That is far from the truth and reality that what he did and did not do resulted in the death of thousands of people. This was criminal negligence. He is cleaning his name and washing his hands of the tragedy.”  In the days following Yolanda, the administration came under fierce criticism for its slow response to the typhoon, which killed more than 6,000 people, left 1.9-million homeless and destroyed 90 percent of the structures in Tacloban and other cities in the Visayas. Five days after the typhoon struck, survivors continued to struggle with basic necessities such as food, water, and shelter while remote towns in Leyte and Samar had yet to be reached by aid. But the comic book depicted Roxas in glowing terms, saying he was one of the first who responded before, during, and after the storm. READ MORE...RELATED, Tacloban mayor hits ‘fictional’ Roxas comics...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

SECOND BIGGEST PPP WORTH P122.8B: NO BIDS FOR EXPRESSWAY DIKE


‘Not feasible, too risky, smacks of midnight deal’

MANILA, APRIL 4, 2016 (MALAYA)  March 29, 2016 - There were no bidders in yesterday’s auction for the country’s second biggest public-private partnership (PPP) project, the P122.8-billion Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike (LLED).

The dike expressway ranks next only to the massive North South Railway Project valued at P170.1 billion.

The dike road is expected to reduce travel time from Bicutan to Los Baños from 90 to 35 minutes and spare the annual flood damage cost of P8 billion.

All three qualified bidders, Alloy-PAVI-Hanshin LLEDP Consortium, San Miguel Holdings Corp. and Team Trident, explained their reservations ranging from questionable viability of the project to legal problems which they claimed were not resolved.

One proponent earlier described it as a road going nowhere because of the lack of link to major roads.

Ramon S. Ang . president of San Miguel said “the project is just not feasible. Government will have to re-examine its assumptions and redesign a mutually beneficial contractual structure best suited for a deal as large and intricate as this one, given its potential to create opportunities that will generate the greatest benefit to a lot of people”.


SINGSON

Rogelio Singson, secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), declared the failure in bidding.

Andre Palacios, PPP Center executive director, said the LLED will likely be rebid under the next administration.

Singson said bidders’ concerns will be assessed.

The project involves building a 47-kilometer dike ringing Laguna de Bay. The expressway will be built on top of the dike. Some 700 hectares will also be reclaimed along the coastal areas of Taguig and Muntinlupa. Concession will run for 37 years inclusive of seven years of construction time.

Roman Azanza, first vice president for Business Development of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV), part of the Team Trident consortium, said the project is not viable and risks are not commensurate to possible gains.

“This is the country’s largest and most complex PPP project to date and frankly, from an economic viability and risk allocation perspectives, the government failed to address those concerns,” Azanza said.

READ MORE...

Team Trident is composed of Trident Infrastructure and Development Corp., AEV, Ayala Land Inc., Megaworld Corp. and SM Prime Holdings, Inc.

“The most logical approach for us was not to proceed. We have to stop and really give credit to all the men and women in government, their advisers and our advisers including the years’ worth of effort into this really complex project. But at the end of the day, of course, a viable solution could not be found for all parties concerned,” Azanza said.

He added they also need more time to address the issues raised.

“We’ve been asking for more time but government was insistent on making sure this bid was done today. More important, the time frame for the rollout is very aggressive – seven years. This project is twice as big as Fort Bonifacio and it took Fort Bonifacio many more years to become what it is today. So we’re trying to work with the government for a long time to really find ways to improve the viability, allocate the risks the proper way and ultimately make it a bankable transaction,” Azanza said.

In a letter submitted to the DPWH, Isaac David, authorized representative of Alloy-PAVI-Hanshin LLEDP Consortium, meanwhile said the group did not bid due to unsettled legal concerns.

Deferred for the next administration to take over

The consortium is questioning the propriety and validity of the project. It said it feels the bidding process is illegal and unenforceable unless there is a signed presidential proclamation and a signed tripartite agreement between Philippine Reclamation Authority/Laguna Lake Development Authority/DPWH prior to the bidding.

David said the project should also be rebid under the next administration to avert an impression of a “midnight deal”.

“Election fever and partisan politics could stain the LLED project as a multi-billion ‘midnight deal’. Prudence dictates that the bidding deserves to be deferred until after the new administration has taken over,” he said.

Alloy-PAVI-Hanshin LLEDP Consortium is composed of Alloy MTD Capital BHD, Prime Asset Ventures, Inc. and Hanshin Engineering Constructions.

Palacios said the bidding for nine to 10 projects aside from the dike will hopefully be awarded before June 30.

These projects include the five regional airports, the Light Rail Transit line 2 project, the road IT projects and the regional prison project.

Palacios is hopeful that the next administration will continue the PPP projects.

“We are hopeful that the next administration can pick up where this administration will leave,” he said.

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Golden anniversary posted March 28, 2016 at 12:00 am by Malacañang Photo Bureau


President Benigno S. Aquino III greets former governor and now PCSO Chairman Erineo Maliksi on his 50th wedding anniversary celebration held at his residence in Imus, Cavite as LP presidential bet Mar Roxas looks on. MALACAÑANG PHOTO BUREAU


PHILSTAR

Amnesty Int’l PH dismayed with Aquino’s human rights record SHARES: 10 VIEW COMMENTS By: Jigger Jerusalem @inquirerdotnet Inquirer Mindanao 02:22 PM March 31st, 2016



CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – With his six-year term about to end in three months, Amnesty International Philippines (AIP) expressed dismay with the performance of President Aquino in addressing and stopping human rights violations (HRVs). Although the government has made strides in promoting human rights in the country through the passage of laws that promote human rights, government efforts have fallen short of making the country HRV-free, AIP chair Ritzlee Santos III said.

During Aquino’s presidency, laws such as the Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012 was passed.

But Santos said even with such statutes, decade-old cases of torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings have remained unsolved with many more occurring under the Aquino administration.

“The (AIP) is disappointed (in the government) for not addressing these cases,” he said, adding that even the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill has not seen the light of day under the Aquino administration.

During the first 100 days of Aquino, AIP rated his performance as “pasang awa” (barely passing) for human rights records although the group recognized the “small feat” his administration made, such as passing relevant laws.

READ MORE...

In a report provided to journalists here, AIP – citing various sources – said the “numbers of EJE (extrajudicial executions) are staggering and cases remain unresolved, perpetrators are not brought to justice, families remain clueless and individuals-at-risk hanging by a thread.”

For instance, from July 2010, when Aquino assumed office, to September 2015, there were at least 438 recorded cases of EJE, and 31 cases of enforced disappearances, the human rights organization said. AIP said in many of these cases, the culprits were identified as security personnel of corporations and members of the state force but none of them had been penalized for their deeds.

Among those made target, she said, were members of the indigenous communities and rural folk.

Quoting a data from the human rights group Karapatan, AIP said since 2010, 53 cases of killings of indigenous people’s leaders had been recorded. None of these cases have been resolved and added to the 142 cases of human rights violations that Aquino inherited from the Arroyo government. Also, enforced disappearances had been common under the Aquino government.

“Enforced disappearances remain common among activists, especially those from the human rights sector, journalists and indigenous peoples, despite the passage of the Anti-Enforced Disappearance Act in 2012,” the AIP report added. SFM


TRIBUNE

Aquino arrives late then lectures media Written by Tribune Wires Thursday, 31 March 2016 00:00



A tardy President Aquino has taken to lecturing media again during the opening ceremony of Publish Asia 2016 Conference this time criticizing what he said was the use of sensational headlines among newspapers to “increase circulation.”

Aquino was 40 minutes late in the event held at Manila Hotel, claiming that he had to revise his speech resulting in his being tardy.

Aquino, however, is frequently criticized for his habitual tardiness that even earned him an entry in Wikipedia called “Noynoying.”

“It is when the distinction between opinion and straightforward newstelling that your profession—and there is the blurring of that line— is endangered,” Aquino said.

“Sensational headlines and articles composed of controversial rumors, for example, might increase your circulation marginally today. What happens, however, when the people notice your tendency toward such, when they realize that your articles are entertaining, perhaps, but cannot be verified and consequently trusted? In the long run, will they not seek out alternative sources of information, sources that they know will tell them the truth?,” Aquino said.

Aquino has often criticized media for coming up with news stories adverse to his administration while not playing up the supposed achievements under his term.

Aquino claimed that, to him, the printing of news stories “does not seem to adhere to any set standard.”

“More often than not, the art of crafting headlines seems to favor embellishment and innuendo, as opposed to the facts,” he said.

READ MORE...

Aquino said that some articles “seem to be written with blatant bias, while others fail to adequately represent the situation accurately.”


GOOGLE.COM SEARCH PHOTO

He recounted that during the term of his mother, the late former President Cory Aquino, she also posed questions about the true objective of journalists: “Are the reporters telling what they see or what they think readers will pay to read? Do they understand what they see? Are they talking to the right people, or are they just retailing propaganda?”

“To put it very simply, my mother was questioning dedication to the two most important values of the profession, namely, integrity and truth,” he said.

He conceded that “by far and large, you—the press—already have our people’s trust.” He added, however, that this (trust) alone reflected “the magnitude of your responsibility to wider society; to disseminate information, instead of speculation; to foster higher levels of discourse, instead of becoming a rumor mill; to empower citizenries and nations, instead of tearing them down.”

Aquino also noted that the job of journalists has become much more complicated due to the need to expand their operations to new media forms, which have their own limitations in terms of dissemination.

“At the same time, dissemination does not matter so much as your most basic responsibility, which is to deliver information — that the people can trust, that can lead to fruitful discussions on issues of national and global importance, and that can even lead to positive transformation. This is the value and the service that you must provide,” he continued.

The President further noted the role of the media in the May elections.

“Media, and perhaps especially print media, has a special role to play before, during, and after our elections—as it does at any critical time in even your own countries. We Filipinos will need a just, comprehensive accounting of this historic time, and you are in the best position to do that,” he said.

President of WAN-IFRA, Bangkok Post editor-in-chief Pichai Chuensuksawadi, delivered the welcome remarks.

The conference carries the theme, “Mapping Challenges and Opportunities in the New Asian Media Game”.

The WAN-IFRA, a global network of 3,000 news publishing companies and technology entrepreneurs, aims to defend and promote press freedom, clear the way to innovation and help independent news publishing companies to succeed in their transformation process, increase their business and perform their crucial role in open societies.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive expressed optimism that voters will make the “right decision” during the May 9 elections.

“We believe the successes and reforms of our administration are enough to help our countrymen make the right decision in the upcoming elections; even now, I continue to do my part,” President Aquino further said.

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RELATED FROM WWW.GOV.PH


President Benigno S. Aquino lll delivers his speech during the opening ceremony of Publish Asia 2016 Conference. (Photo from the Malacañang Photo Bureau)
 

Speech of His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Philippines
at the Publish Asian Conference 2016

[Delivered at Manila Hotel, Manila, on March 30, 2016]

Perhaps I should start by apologizing for my tardiness.


Benigno S. Aquino, Jr.(Ninoy) At age 17, he was the youngest war correspondent to cover the Korean War for The Manila Times of Don Joaquín "Chino" Roces. Because of his journalistic feats, he received the Philippine Legion of Honor award from President Elpidio Quirino at age 18. At 21, he became a close adviser to then Defense Secretary Ramon Magsaysay. WIKIPEDIA (PHOTOS ON THIS PAGE  APPENDED BY PHNO)

You know my father was part of your profession a few decades back and I’m sure he is watching our proceedings today, and as I viewed the speech I’m about deliver, I was not exactly happy with it and I do represent our country and I want to make a good impression on behalf of our people, that unfortunately caused my delay in attending your gathering. Now we can start in this manner:

Sixteen years ago, my mother—no longer President at the time—spoke at one of our major universities’ center for journalism, referencing a hostage-taking incident in Mindanao, the southernmost part of our country. She told of how journalists seeking close contact with the hostages and hostage-takers—or, as she put it then, journalists seeking a scoop—likewise became captives, with their watches, laptops, and shoes taken from them. After narrating that incident, my mother posed a number of questions, which, I believe remain relevant not only in that particular context, or to Filipino reporters, but to each and every member of the industry today and in the years to come. Allow me to repeat some of those questions now: “Are the reporters telling what they see or what they think readers will pay to read? Do they understand what they see? Are they talking to the right people, or are they just retailing propaganda?”

To put it very simply, my mother was questioning dedication to the two most important values of the profession, namely, integrity and truth. Your dedication to these two values is especially important in light of your expansion to new media technologies, which are the crux of your discussion today.

We all know that there has been a great shift away from the primacy of print to a 24/7 news cycle, where it only takes a single Tweet to break news—where anyone can report on anything, at any time, and have it reach anywhere in the world. These new forms of media challenge what print, at its best, is supposed to represent: depth and breadth, context, and a clear delineation between opinion and news.

These past few years, I have witnessed and even been at the center of some attempts to balance traditional print and new media.

For example, not too long ago, I took part in a forum live-streamed through the Internet and documented through social media, with articles to chronicle the event the following day. On the other hand, I am also told that the majority of, if not all, outlets have demonstrated a tendency to sensationalize titles, or post only provocative portions of articles online purportedly to encourage people to go through the whole piece—a tactic which I understand the generation younger than mine calls “clickbait.”

Never mind if the reader chooses only to view that particular snippet and assume that they have been presented with the complete story.

The entire situation is complicated further by the fact that these stories published also in print do not seem to adhere to any set standard.

More often than not, the art of crafting headlines seems to favor embellishment and innuendo, as opposed to the facts.

Some articles seem to be written with blatant bias, while others fail to adequately represent the situation accurately.

Over the years I’ve increasingly wondered about this trend in light of the fact that print’s greatest advantage is that it can tell the complete story, whether in one article or in a series, and have that read by a still-strong readership.

For instance, today I have certainly found yourselves increasingly read by citizens from all around the world.

This is perhaps due to the fact that many nations are increasingly turning to our region, viewing us as wellsprings of opportunity for collective growth. They seek information about us, which we are well-poised with and I believe you will be among the first to admit that you would likewise benefit from painting a complete picture.

Another example: Myanmar right now is undergoing a very significant transition. Print and indeed all forms of media can impair that transition by highlighting fears and unfounded speculation.

The opposite path, what we are glad to be seeing, is that they have led their support to this transition by highlighting the good news, by telling the truth about the people’s sentiments, their dreams, and their efforts to realize that through democratic means.

It is true that your job is much more complicated today because of the need to expand your operations to new media forms, which have their own limitations in terms of dissemination. At the same time, dissemination does not matter so much as the most basic responsibility, which is to deliver information—information that the people can trust, can lead to fruitful discussions on issues of national and global importance, that can even lead to positive transformation. This is the value and the service that you must provide.

It is when the distinction between opinion and straightforward newstelling that your profession—and there is the blurring of that line—it is then that your profession is endangered.

This is not only a matter of principle, it is also about practicality. Sensational headlines and articles composed of controversial rumors, for example, might increase your circulation marginally today. What happens, however, when the people notice your tendency towards such, when they realize that your articles are entertaining, perhaps, but cannot be verified and consequently trusted? In the long run, will they not seek out alternative sources of information—sources that they know will tell them the truth?

In the Philippines, national and local elections will take place in a little over a month.

We face a fork in the road: Will we choose to continue treading the straight path of the past few years? Or will we choose the opposite?

In 2010, I promised Filipinos that, when I stepped down from office, I would leave behind a country in a far better situation.

We believe the successes and reforms of our administration are enough to help our countrymen make the right decision in the upcoming elections; even now, I continue to do my part.

At the same time, I am cognizant that when we head to the polls, my vote will be just like anyone else’s. When I have voted, I will wait for the results with the rest of the country.

It is somewhat different for you. Media, and perhaps especially print media, has a special role to play before, during, and after our elections—as it does at any critical time in even your own countries.

We Filipinos will need a just, comprehensive accounting of this historic time, and you are in the best position to do that.

Candidates are vying for the highest posts of the land.

They are trying to win the people’s trust in a variety of ways: from promises, to attempts to smear mud on the names of their rivals; from presentations of their records of service, to curses and strong language.

All of this appears in your pages—some more sensational candidates featured more prominently than others, I have to point out. Everything you publish is indeed devoured by millions. In a very real way, you are luckier than these candidates.

By far and large, you—the press—already have our people’s trust. This alone reflects the magnitude of your responsibility to wider society: to disseminate information, instead of speculation; to foster higher levels of discourse, instead of becoming a rumor mill; to empower citizenries and nations, instead of tearing them down. It is my deepest hope that you will never forget this—that, whether in the Philippines or elsewhere in the world, you live and work accordingly with the greater good of the public in mind.

Thank you, and may you have a very productive conference.


TRIBUNE

Bongbong hits Noy’s selective anti-corruption drive Written by Tribune Wires Thursday, 31 March 2016 00:00


Bongbong receives warm welcome in Aquino’s territory INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Vice presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos lauded the anti-corruption drive of President Aquino saying it is his centerpiece program.

He, however, said while the President should be commended for making corruption as the foundation of his governance, he was not able to fully implement it because of its selectivity against those perceived to be opposed to his administration.

Marcos made the statement in answer to a query on what he considered to be legacy of Aquino during his sortie in Tarlac City.

But he noted that there is still much work to be done in this aspect because it failed to give fair treatment to everyone perceived to be involved in corruption.

The senator further stated that corruption should be stamped out not only in government but in the private sector as well. He noted that institutions must be strengthened and the rights of the citizens recognized and respected for anti-corruption programs to succeed.

In Pampanga, former and current officials in the province of Pampanga have closed ranks behind Marcos Jr’s vice presidential bid.

READ MORE...

This developed Tuesday night as past and incumbent officials gathered their supporters and allies composed of barangay leaders, community and civic leaders, senior citizens and youth and people’s organizations at the Floridablanca Sports Center in Floridablanca town to meet with Marcos whom they collectively consider as the next vice president.

Those who came and welcomed him were event host Floridablanca Mayor Eduardo Guerrero, Sasmuan Mayor Nardo Velasco, former vice governor Clayton Olalia, former San Fernando mayor and congressman Rey Aquino and former Candaba mayor Jerry Pelayo.

Also supporting Marcos but were not present at the gathering were Mabalacat Mayor Marino “Boking” Morales and former Santo Tomas mayor Romeo Ronquillo, who welcomed the senator when he arrived at Clark Freefort Zone early in the day.

Marcos expressed gratitude to the Kapampangan crowd as he reiterated that the unity they have shown is the kind of national cooperation that he has been espousing under his “Unity Caravan.”

The meeting capped his day-long Pampanga sorties where he motorcaded around Pampanga passing through barangays of Angeles, Mabalacat, Magalang, Porac and Floridablanca.

He was with his two sons, Simon and Vincent and sister Irene Marcos-Araneta, in the motorcade.

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Joma Sison: Bongbong an accomplice in keeping ill-gotten wealth to live like a prince SHARES: 193 VIEW COMMENTS By: Yuji Vincent Gonzales @YGonzalesINQ INQUIRER.net 06:49 PM March 31st, 2016 RADYO INQUIRER ISSUES FORUM IN TARLAC / MARCH 28 2016


Vice Presidential candidate and Senator Bongbong Marcos during the Radyo Inquirer Issues Forum in Tarlac State University gymnasium in Tarlac City. INQUIRER PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria “Joma” Sison said Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was capable of running a big campaign for his vice presidential bid allegedly using the money that his late father and namesake had stolen from Filipinos.

Sison made the remark when asked about Marcos’ refusal to acknowledge and apologize for the human-rights violations and atrocities committed during the regime of the late dictator.

READ: Joma Sison: CPP, Ninoy have no role in Plaza Miranda bombing

“He can mount such a campaign because he is drawing money from what his father had stolen from the people. He has been a criminal accomplice in keeping this stolen money to live like a prince and try to regain political power,” Sison said in a taped interview with Ilena Saturay, a copy of which was obtained by INQUIRER.net.

Saturay is a Filipino political refugee in The Netherlands.

Sison also lamented the prevalent “whitewashing” and “brazen attempt to change the verdict of history,” saying that the Philippine economy suffered a big blow during the Marcos regime.

READ: Anybody but Marcos as Duterte’s vice president—Joma Sison

“The fascist dictatorship of 14 years was absolutely brutal and corrupt. The human-rights violations have been proven in the US federal court system and confirmed by the Philippine Congress. The public constructions made by Marcos were overpriced and riddled by corruption. The economy sank because of excessive foreign debt and corruption.


Communist Party of the Philippines founding chair Jose Ma. Sison. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The CPP leader, who was previously accused of plotting the Plaza Miranda bombing in 1971, said the voting public should not limit themselves in choosing only between big political families and dynasties, adding that the Marcos and Aquino clans were “fundamentally the same.”

READ: Joma Sison talks about former student Duterte, other candidates

“They (Marcoses and Aquinos) are major specimens and representatives of such reptiles as the big comprador-landlords and bureaucrat capitalists who exploit and oppress the Filipino people and who in turn are under the baton of US imperialism,” he said.

“The Filipino people are not limited to choosing between oligarchs, the Aquino and Marcos families, or between the political candidates that these families fund and support. The revolutionary movement of the people is growing in strength and advancing precisely because the people detest and wish to get rid of these oppressive and exploitative dynasties,” Sison


PHILSTAR

Palace warns presidential candidates vs dirty tactics to break tight race By Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 3, 2016 - 12:00am 1 0 googleplus0 0


Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III yesterday said over dzRB that the Palace was not worried about the ranking of administration candidate Manuel Roxas II in the surveys. Philstar.com file

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang warned presidential candidates against resorting to dirty tactics to break the tight race among them based on the latest survey by Pulse Asia and ABS-CBN.

Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III yesterday said over dzRB that the Palace was not worried about the ranking of administration candidate Manuel Roxas II in the surveys.

Roxas ranks fourth in the surveys, lagging behind Sen. Grace Poe, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Jejomar Binay. Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago is fifth.

“The survey, as we always pointed out, is a snapshot of public opinion,” Quezon said.

He noted that “the most interesting” is that Poe did not get the expected big boost in ratings after the Supreme Court allowed her to run.

“We have noticed that this has not been the case. That therefore the real reading of all these numbers is that it would be hard for us to remember a campaign where candidates are as close as this,” he explained.

READ MORE...

He also noted that the people would soon decide on who to vote for and candidates would be challenged on how to convince more people to go with them because there were almost no more undecided among those surveyed.

“It’s divided between the four candidates and we can only hope that candidates will not be tempted to start being irresponsible and reckless to try to break this very, very close campaign,” he added.

The Palace also supports the call of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines to follow the 10 Commandments in choosing leaders to elect.

“That is the proper role for the bishops as shepherds of their flock, to remind the voters of how to use their conscience and principles,” Quezon said.

“That includes the ‘Thou shall not steal,’ ‘Thou shall not kill,’ ‘Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife.’ All of the 10 Commandments are of course relevant to anyone in their daily living,” he added.


MANILA STANDARD

Roxas, the comic: LP candidate draws flak for ‘fairytale’ on ‘Yolanda’ posted March 29, 2016 at 12:01 am by John Paolo Bencito and Maricel V. Cruz


Tragicomic. This is the cover art of the comic book detailing Roxas’ version of the onslaught of Super Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ in Tacloban City, where he supervised government relief and rescue operations.

SUPPORTERS of administration candidate Manuel Roxas II are circulating a comic book portraying him as the hero and savior during Super Typhoon ‘‘Yolanda’’ in 2013, but survivors and critics slammed the depiction as “a fairytale,” given the government’s failure to deliver timely and effective assistance in the storm’s aftermath.

Distributed by Roxas supporters during the birthday celebration of a political ally in Imus, Cavite, on Sunday, the 28-page comic book “Sa Gitna ng Unos (In the Midst of Disaster)” features the life and times of the administration bet, and highlighted his actions in Tacloban City when the killer typhoon struck.

But Yolanda survivor Marissa Cabaljao said the comic book was a revision of history.

“That he came out with that comic book shows how desperate he is to show that he actually did something,” Cabaljao told The Standard in Filipino. That is far from the truth and reality that what he did and did not do resulted in the death of thousands of people. This was criminal negligence. He is cleaning his name and washing his hands of the tragedy.”

In the days following Yolanda, the administration came under fierce criticism for its slow response to the typhoon, which killed more than 6,000 people, left 1.9-million homeless and destroyed 90 percent of the structures in Tacloban and other cities in the Visayas. Five days after the typhoon struck, survivors continued to struggle with basic necessities such as food, water, and shelter while remote towns in Leyte and Samar had yet to be reached by aid.

But the comic book depicted Roxas in glowing terms, saying he was one of the first who responded before, during, and after the storm.

READ MORE...

“Even Mar nearly lost his life at the onslaught of the Yolanda,” the comic strip said, adding that no communication lines and electricity were available during the time that Yolanda ravaged Eastern Visayas.

“Mar was at the middle of the depressing scenario,” the comic book said.

It also attacked Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez for partying the night before Yolanda struck, and said a video that showed him reminding him that “You are a Romualdez and the President is an Aquino” had been spliced to make him look bad.


zarate

But Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said portraying Roxas as a hero of the Yolanda survivors was “a gross misrepresentation of what happened in Eastern Visayas... and a clear whitewashing of the government’s incompetence and criminal negligence.”

He added that the Roxas’ revisionism was “a grave insult to the victims of Yolanda.”


BELLO

1-BAP party-list Rep. Silvestre Bello III said the more Roxas tries to fool the people and show them he thinks they are stupid, the more he will lose their support.

“It’s ridiculous and it will bring him down more,” Bello said.

“The whole nation witnessed how incompetent he was in handling the Yolanda crisis. No amount of propaganda can resurrect him,” he added.


TINIO

ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio said: “The people of Eastern Visayas know the truth and they have decided to junk him in the polls.”

Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said Roxas should “stop the fairy tales.”

A spokesman for presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte described the comic book as “comical.”

“It is a fantasy,” said Peter Laviña, Duterte’s spokesman.

In defense of Roxas, the comic book said “numbers cannot lie,” referring to the P4.012-billion budget earmarked by the Aquino administration for recovery efforts.

The comic book also said Roxas was unfairly put in a bad light after another photo of Roxas sliding off a motorcycle at the height of Typhoon ‘‘Ruby’’ went viral on the Internet.

The comic book reiterated Roxas’ statement that he had been kept out of the loop during the ill-fated Mamasapano police operation that killed 44 police commandos, even though he headed the Interior and Local Government department at the time.

The comic highlighted Roxas’ wedding to Korina Sanchez, and how they opted for a simple wedding so they could donate P3 million to victims of tropical storm ‘‘Ondoy.’’

The comic did not mention Roxas’ stint as Transportation secretary, however, or the problems that plagued Metro Manila’s urban train system under his watch.

Roxas’ spokesman, Rep. Barry Gutierrez, said the comic book was “made by his supporters” to belie the mounting critricism against the ruling party’s bet.

“The comic book was made by supporters who wished to inform our countrymen of what Mar did during Yolanda,” Gutierrez said.

“This was made due to the continued spread of lies about his deeds. Dramatization is an important part of the medium. We have long shown the truth about Mar’s actions in Yolanda. His record is clear, and we stand by it,” he added. With Rio N. Araja

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Tacloban mayor hits ‘fictional’ Roxas comics By Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 1, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


The camp of administration candidate Manuel Roxas II said they did not approve of the content of the comics, but Roxas said it was accurate. FILE photo

TACLOBAN CITY – Pure fiction.

This was how Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez described the comic book depicting administration candidate Manuel Roxas II as a hero during the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda in Eastern Visayas.

“It’s not factual,” Romualdez said during a late night press conference with United National Alliance standard-bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay here on Wednesday.

Romualdez, who said he has not read the comic book, cautioned candidates against coming up with such stories that hurt the people in the region.

“I do not want people in Eastern Visayas, especially in Tacloban, to repeat the whole experience again,” he added.

Earlier this week, the comics titled Sa Gitna ng Unos and featuring Roxas, circulated online and was criticized by netizens.

The comics depicted the supposed “real events” that happened during Yolanda, portraying Roxas and his heroic actions during and after the typhoon.


Tacloban Mayor Romualdez urged politicians not to politicize and trivialize issues connected to Yolanda. “Many of the issues that are being raised are not being answered correctly. I am appealing for those who were not here during the Yolanda not to come up with such stories for the sake of having your candidate win,” he said.

Roxas, then the interior secretary, was in Tacloban City with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin to monitor the events.

The camp of the administration candidate said they did not approve of the content, but Roxas said it was accurate.

Shameful, incompetent Binay criticized Roxas for the publication of the comics.

“He was a hero? Oh my God!” Binay exclaimed during Wednesday night’s sortie here, referring to the contents of the comics.

“My God! How shameful it is!” he added.

The Vice President slammed the government – particularly Roxas, whose agency was among those in the front lines of the response – for the slow response in the aftermath of the typhoon.

“I think he was outstanding in his incompetence in trying to rehabilitate (after) Yolanda, the people of Tacloban,” Binay said added.

Don’t politicize

Romualdez urged politicians not to politicize and trivialize issues connected to Yolanda.

“Many of the issues that are being raised are not being answered correctly. I am appealing for those who were not here during the Yolanda not to come up with such stories for the sake of having your candidate win,” he said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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