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

SILENCE FOR THE FALLEN IN BASILAN
[The President’s silence, like his egregious absence last year when the caskets of 42 of the 44 Special Action Force troopers who perished in Mamasapano arrived at Villamor Air Base, speaks volumes.]


APRIL 13 -SURVIVOR’S STORY AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Hernando Iriberri and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin listen to the story of Capt. Kiblas Mauricio, who survived a clash with Abu Sayyaf bandits in Basilan on Saturday. JULIE S. ALIPALA / INQUIRER MINDANAO
It was the largest single loss of life sustained by government forces since the tragedy in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, over a year ago. On Saturday—the 74th anniversary of the Fall of Bataan, which the country commemorates as Araw ng Kagitingan, the Day of Valor—the Philippine Army lost 18 soldiers in a 10-hour-long battle with Abu Sayyaf bandits in Tipo-Tipo, Basilan. At least 52 other soldiers were also wounded, while five of the bandits were killed. Twenty-five years after the Abu Sayyaf Group was formed, 16 years since it gained worldwide notoriety when it raided a resort in Sipadan, Malaysia, and abducted 21 hostages, a decade after the Armed Forces of the Philippines partnered with the American military to eliminate it as a threat (the US Department of State has classified it as a terrorist organization), the ASG continues to hold forth in parts of Basilan and Sulu. In the last few years it has recovered some of its previous strength. Today, the kidnap-for-ransom gang is holding a number of hostages, including at least 18 foreigners.
On April 9, a day after an Italian hostage was released, apparently for a substantial ransom, the Army conducted pursuit operations. Just before 8 in the morning, the 4th Special Forces Battalion and the 44th Infantry Battalion ran into a cluster of Abu Sayyaf bandits. It is not yet clear whether the bandits numbered over a hundred in the initial clash, or whether ASG reinforcements arrived quickly (as is the case in other major encounters). But the fighting continued until well past 5 p.m. The aftermath was grim: According to one military source who requested anonymity, an entire platoon was “wiped out in the encounter,” including its officer. Helicopters ferried the dead and the wounded throughout the night. The political fallout, fanned by the heat of the election season, has only started to spread. That fallout should cast a pall over Malacañang. Not because the order to pursue the bandits was given; it is the duty of the armed services to stop the group’s brutal banditry. And there has been no showing that the pursuit suffered from the glaring lack of planning and coordination that had doomed the Mamasapano operation. But it has been four days since some of the country’s best (and youngest) soldiers died in battle, yet President Aquino has said nothing in tribute to the fallen. READ MORE...RELATED, PNoy condoles with families of fallen soldiers in Basilan clash

ALSO: Noy blamed for Cebu City crisis


APRIL 13 -President Benigno Aquino III 
THE Palace on Tuesday drew flak for suspending allies of opposition presidential candidate Vice President Jejomar Binay for releasing calamity assistance to typhoon victims, even if the Commission on Elections said it could do nothing to stop the corruption-related suspensions.
UNA candidates reelectionists Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, and 12 city councilors were suspended in connection with the release of P20,000 in calamity funds in 2013 for city hall employees who were affected by Super Typhoon “Yolanda.”  Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance denounced the suspension order as an act of desperation “patently illegal, excessive, vicious and relentless.”  Team Rama is pitted against the Palace-backed team of former Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, head of Bando Osmena-Pundok Kauswagan, a Liberal Party ally. The suspension order against Rama was signed on Thursday by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa on behalf of President Benigno Aquino III, Liberal Party chairman. Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the poll body has not yet received the request from the Palace for an exemption to the election restriction against suspensions during the election period. He said the commissioners have to study the request before deciding on whether the suspension order can be imposed. On the other hand, Jimenez said, if the offense involves a violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, no exemption from the Comelec is required. UNA spokesperson Mon Ilagan said Malacanang’s second suspension on Rama was patently illegal and a “political squeeze to control city hall and Cebu City.”  Ilagan said the suspension order was illegal and forbidden by election laws.  In serving the order, Malacañang defied a Comelec ruling, prompting the poll body to remind the Palace that the suspension of elective local officials is prohibited during the campaign period from Jan. 10 to June 8, 2016. READ MORE...RELATED, CHIZ TELLS PNOY: DEVOTE LAST 3 MONTHS TO HELPING EL NINO-AFFECTED FARMERS ...

ALSO: SWS - PNoy's satisfaction rating continues to drop in Q1


APRIL 18 -President Benigno Aquino III scored an average net satisfaction rating of +29 in 2015. Malacañang Photo Bureau
The net satisfaction rating of President Benigno Aquino III dropped from +32 in December 2015 to +27, according to the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on Monday.
SWS considers Aquino's April rating as "good." This is the president's lowest satisfaction rating since March 2015 where he scored +11. READ: SWS: PNoy's satisfaction rating drops in Q4 The latest survey showed that 57 percent of Filipinos were satisfied while 30 percent were dissatisfied with the performance of Aquino. However, 14 percent said that they were undecided. Aquino garnered the highest net satisfaction in Visayas with +50 while he scored +30 in Mindanao, +23 in Balance Luzon and 0 in the National Capital Region. The president obtained the highest net satisfaction in Class E with +36 while he scored +17 and +25 in Classes ABC and D, respectively. Aquino's net satisfaction among men dropped from +30 to +22 while his rating among women slightly decreased from +33 to +31. The survey was conducted from March 30 to April 22 using face-to-face interviews among 1,500 adult respondents nationwide. RELATED: Aquino remains most trusted, highest rated official in Q1 -Pulse Asia FULL REPORT,

ALSO: Palace: The President determined to crush Sayyaf, put end to terrorists
[“The President and the government are wholly determined to crush and put an end to the group’s terrorist activities… and our Armed Forces have acquired additional equipment [to be able to do that],” Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.]


APRIL 16 -COLOMA
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd is fully determined to crush the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and other lawless elements in Basilan province with all the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) might, an official said on Friday. “The President and the government are wholly determined to crush and put an end to the group’s terrorist activities… and our Armed Forces have acquired additional equipment [to be able to do that],” Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said. In a news briefing, Coloma noted that they look at the terrorist ASG as mere “opportunists” and “mercenaries” who extort money through kidnapping and other unlawful means.
He said that group’s claim that they are part of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) should not be given the lightest attention or “dignified” because it is a false assertion. It is important that the group that was responsible for the killing of more than 20 soldiers last weekend, according to Coloma, is already confined to a small area in the hinterlands of the island-province of Basilan, the site of previous deadly clashes and abductions that gained worldwide attention. “We cannot allow them to continue sowing terror. Every time they earn ransom, they use the money to further their criminal activities,” he said. Coloma added that some groups and local government officials in the area have recognized the contribution to peace of completed government infrastructure projects in Basilan. READ MORE...

ALSO: Trillanes wants DILG post if elected vice-president


APRIL 17 -Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said he on Sunday that he would want to be appointed Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary should he win the vice-presidency in the May polls.
“Nang sa ganon matututukan natin ang peace and order problems ng ating bansa. Kasama na diyan ang lumalaganap na illegal na droga,” Trillanes explained during the “Harapan Bise” debate. “Yan po I believe ay isa sa ating area of competence," added Trillanes, a former Navy officer. "Mayroon po tayong kakayanan para pamunuan, at isupervise at ireporma ang ating Philippine National Police to make it an effective law enforcement agency.”  The senator had said earlier this month that he was considering the DILG post as an alternative if he loses the vice presidential race.  Trillanes was first elected to Senate in 2007 and was reelected in 2013. Should he lose the upcoming polls, he will continue serving his term as senator until 2019. Senators Francis Escudero, Alan Peter Cayetano, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo were present for the ABS-CBN sponsored “Harapan Bise” debate. Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Gregorio Honasan failed did not attend the event. — Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacaden/DVM, GMA News  FULL REPORT.


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Silence for the fallen


SURVIVOR’S STORY AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Hernando Iriberri and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin listen to the story of Capt. Kiblas Mauricio, who survived a clash with Abu Sayyaf bandits in Basilan on Saturday. JULIE S. ALIPALA / INQUIRER MINDANAO

MANILA, APRIL 18, 2016 (INQUIRER)  EDITORIAL -@inquirerdotnet April 13th, 2016  - It was the largest single loss of life sustained by government forces since the tragedy in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, over a year ago. On Saturday—the 74th anniversary of the Fall of Bataan, which the country commemorates as Araw ng Kagitingan, the Day of Valor—the Philippine Army lost 18 soldiers in a 10-hour-long battle with Abu Sayyaf bandits in Tipo-Tipo, Basilan. At least 52 other soldiers were also wounded, while five of the bandits were killed.

Twenty-five years after the Abu Sayyaf Group was formed, 16 years since it gained worldwide notoriety when it raided a resort in Sipadan, Malaysia, and abducted 21 hostages, a decade after the Armed Forces of the Philippines partnered with the American military to eliminate it as a threat (the US Department of State has classified it as a terrorist organization), the ASG continues to hold forth in parts of Basilan and Sulu. In the last few years it has recovered some of its previous strength. Today, the kidnap-for-ransom gang is holding a number of hostages, including at least 18 foreigners.


On April 9, a day after an Italian hostage was released, apparently for a substantial ransom, the Army conducted pursuit operations. Just before 8 in the morning, the 4th Special Forces Battalion and the 44th Infantry Battalion ran into a cluster of Abu Sayyaf bandits. It is not yet clear whether the bandits numbered over a hundred in the initial clash, or whether ASG reinforcements arrived quickly (as is the case in other major encounters). But the fighting continued until well past 5 p.m.

The aftermath was grim: According to one military source who requested anonymity, an entire platoon was “wiped out in the encounter,” including its officer. Helicopters ferried the dead and the wounded throughout the night. The political fallout, fanned by the heat of the election season, has only started to spread.

That fallout should cast a pall over Malacañang. Not because the order to pursue the bandits was given; it is the duty of the armed services to stop the group’s brutal banditry. And there has been no showing that the pursuit suffered from the glaring lack of planning and coordination that had doomed the Mamasapano operation. But it has been four days since some of the country’s best (and youngest) soldiers died in battle, yet President Aquino has said nothing in tribute to the fallen.

READ MORE...

We grant that the best way to honor the memory of those who have died and to ease the trauma of those who were wounded is in fact to continue the pursuit operations. This very well may be the President’s own decision. If the reported ransom payout last week that led to the release of the Italian hostage is true, then there are more millions of pesos coursing through the Abu Sayyaf’s loose but widespread system.

This can mean more weapons, more munitions for the ASG, and more support from the local population to which it provides assistance.

The stark truth about the Abu Sayyaf is that it is a loose network of mercenaries and mercenaries-in-training, whose numbers rise or fall depending on the money it generates.

But bringing the fight to the Abu Sayyaf is not the only way to recognize the sacrifices of the dead and the wounded. Especially for a President who, on his own initiative, has styled himself as the “Father of the Nation,” the decision to praise the men who died or were wounded in battle should have come naturally.

(“Where are the military honors?” the grieving sister of Cpl. Jayson Alani demanded. “It would have been good for us to see our brother and his comrades given honors.”)

The President’s silence, like his egregious absence last year when the caskets of 42 of the 44 Special Action Force troopers who perished in Mamasapano arrived at Villamor Air Base, speaks volumes.

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

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

PNoy condoles with families of fallen soldiers in Basilan clash By Roel Pareño (philstar.com) | Updated April 13, 2016 - 5:29pm 0 33 googleplus0 0


President Benigno Aquino III (left) talks with Armed Forces Chief General Hernando Iriberri and Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief Lt. Gen. Mayoralgo dela Cruz during his visit Wednesday to the wounded soldiers at Camp Navarro General Hospital (CNGH) in Zamboanga City. ROEL PAREÑO

ZAMBOANGA CITY - President Benigno Aquino III grieved with the families of the soldiers killed in a clash with Abu Sayyaf and assured them full government assistance and benefits during his visit here Wednesday.

Upon arrival at around 10 a.m., the president immediately headed to the wake of Cpl. Rodelio Bangcairin at his home in Zone 8, Barangay Ayala, some 16.5 kilometers west of this city.

Aquino paid honor to the remains of Bangcairin and briefly condoled with the fallen trooper's family before visiting the 36 wounded soldiers confined at the Camp Navarro General Hospital (CNGH).

The president, accompanied by Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Gov. Mujiv Hataman, briefly talked to the injured soldiers and also extended financial assistance to them.

Aquino then went to the Edwin Andrews Air Based (EAAB) Hospital where at least six soldiers were brought.

Justice vowed

Aquino also had a private talk with the families of the 18 fallen soldiers at the EAAB multipurpose hall.

The meeting was off limits to the media but a military official said that the president wants an investigation on the incident which led to the death of 18 soldiers while 56 got wounded.

RELATED: 18 soldiers, 5 Abus killed in Basilan clashes

Meanwhile, according to Maj. Gen. Gerard Barrientos, commander of the 1st Army Division, an investigation on the possible lapses would be part of the process.

“Sa ngayon hindi pa muna binigyan ng pansin dahil hindi nating pwedeng ihinto ang ating effort laban sa grupong ito (Abu Sayyaf group),” Barrientos said.

“But ina-asure ko magkaroon talaga ng investigation dahil ito ay standard operating procedure ng ating organization dahil sa bawat pangyayari magkaroon talaga ng board of inquiry,” Barrientos explained following claims that the soldiers were fed into the ambush pit of the Abu Sayyaf.

Aquino asked the families to allow the ground military leadership to first continue its operations to avoid preempting its mission against the Abu Sayyaf group.

Aquino did not issue a statement to media as he left this city and flew to Cagayan de Oro to help campaign for administration bets Manuel Roxas II and Rep. Leni Robredo.

Financial aid

Barrientos said the Office of the President extended financial support to the families of the killed soldiers.

Barrientos said the assistance was over and above the benefits which the family could receive from the Philippine Army (PA).

He said the financial assistance which each of the fallen trooper would get includes P250,000 each from the Office of the President, remuneration of more or less P180,000, P50,000 from the Armed Forces and Police Mutual Benifit Association Incorporated (AFPMBAI), P100,000 from the Philippine Army Finance Center Producer Integrated Cooperative (PAFCPIC), and P80,000 in burial assistance.

They would also get remuneration from the Army division and the scholarship program of the government, he added.


MANILA STANDARD

Noy blamed for Cebu City crisis posted April 13, 2016 at 12:01 am by Christine F. Herrera and Vito Barcelo


President Benigno Aquino III

THE Palace on Tuesday drew flak for suspending allies of opposition presidential candidate Vice President Jejomar Binay for releasing calamity assistance to typhoon victims, even if the Commission on Elections said it could do nothing to stop the corruption-related suspensions.

UNA candidates reelectionists Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, and 12 city councilors were suspended in connection with the release of P20,000 in calamity funds in 2013 for city hall employees who were affected by Super Typhoon “Yolanda.”

Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance denounced the suspension order as an act of desperation “patently illegal, excessive, vicious and relentless.”

Team Rama is pitted against the Palace-backed team of former Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, head of Bando Osmena-Pundok Kauswagan, a Liberal Party ally.

The suspension order against Rama was signed on Thursday by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa on behalf of President Benigno Aquino III, Liberal Party chairman.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the poll body has not yet received the request from the Palace for an exemption to the election restriction against suspensions during the election period.

He said the commissioners have to study the request before deciding on whether the suspension order can be imposed.

On the other hand, Jimenez said, if the offense involves a violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, no exemption from the Comelec is required.

UNA spokesperson Mon Ilagan said Malacanang’s second suspension on Rama was patently illegal and a “political squeeze to control city hall and Cebu City.”

Ilagan said the suspension order was illegal and forbidden by election laws.

In serving the order, Malacañang defied a Comelec ruling, prompting the poll body to remind the Palace that the suspension of elective local officials is prohibited during the campaign period from Jan. 10 to June 8, 2016.

READ MORE...

Anyone who violates this rule would be guilty of election offenses and may be disqualified from running for an elective post.

“What Malacañang and the Liberal Party are doing against the Mayor Rama and the entire city council of Cebu City is patently illegal, excessive, vicious and relentless. The administration seems to have an unusually high interest in Mayor Rama that they need to suspend him twice over, and this time for giving P20,000 calamity assistance to employees of city hall,” Ilagan said.

Ilagan likened the suspension to what happened to Binay’s son and namesake Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay in July 2015 when the Liberal Party took over city hall.

UNA denounced what it called a pattern of harassment and political persecution against Rama, saying it showed the administration was desperate to control Cebu City.

“The LP and the Palace don’t care if their move triggers a crisis in Cebu City as a result of suspending the entire city council. Without a mayor, a vice mayor and councilors, they are free to pull off miracles with no one to question them,” Ilagan said in Filipino.

UNA denounced what it called the excessive use of executive power for political gain.

In December 2015, Rama was slapped by Malacañang a 60-day preventive suspension in connection for dismantling a 28-meter illegal structure in a barangay in Cebu City.

Rama was a member of the ruling Liberal Party until he bolted and joined Binay in 2012. Rama is UNA’s regional coordinator in Cebu. With Sandy Araneta

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

RELATED FROM CHIZESCUDERO WEBSITE --LETTER VIA EMAIL

CHIZ TELLS PNOY: DEVOTE LAST 3 MONTHS TO HELPING EL NINO-AFFECTED FARMERS Published in PRESS RELEASE Permalink

With more farmers bound to lose their harvest due to the prevailing drought, the national government should step in with immediate calamity assistance and long-term intervention measures to prevent another Kidapawan incident, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero said.

Escudero, independent vice presidential candidate, urged President Benigno Aquino III to devote the remaining months of his term to helping the agriculture sector get through one of the worst El Niño episodes the country has experienced.

“With less than three months to go, the President should at least end his presidency by showing that he had personally taken a hand in alleviating the plight of the poorest sector,” Escudero said.

The senator had earlier chided the Department of Agriculture for its dismal effort at using its huge budget to help mitigate the effects of climate change, including extreme weather conditions.

Escudero called on Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala to disclose to the public where the budget meant for mitigation measures against El Nino went.

“The public deserves more than a complete accounting of the entire DA funds. That’s why we’re now asking no less than President Aquino to take charge this time as the El Niño continues to kill farm lands,” Escudero said.

READ MORE...

The local governments of North Cotabato, Bohol and Cebu have declared a state of calamity as the El Niño dried up thousands of hectares of farm land in the provinces.

On April 1, three people died in Kidapawan during a violent protest of farmers seeking the distribution of 15,000 sacks of rice and other El Niño-related assistance from the provincial government’s calamity fund.

“President Aquino should now step in with a clearer message as more and more provinces declare a state of calamity because of the debilitating effects of El Niño. People are going hungry, and there’s no knowing what hunger will drive them to do,” said Escudero.

“Do we have to wait for another Kidapawan before the national government gets its act together? Is the recent incident not enough for the Department of Agriculture to step up?” he said.

Office of Senator Francis 'Chiz' Escudero. © All rights reserved.


PHILSTAR

SWS: PNoy's satisfaction rating continues to drop in Q1 By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated April 18, 2016 - 2:08pm 1 14 googleplus0 0


President Benigno Aquino III scored an average net satisfaction rating of +29 in 2015. Malacañang Photo Bureau

MANILA, Philippines — The net satisfaction rating of President Benigno Aquino III dropped from +32 in December 2015 to +27, according to the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on Monday.

SWS considers Aquino's April rating as "good." This is the president's lowest satisfaction rating since March 2015 where he scored +11.

READ: SWS: PNoy's satisfaction rating drops in Q4

The latest survey showed that 57 percent of Filipinos were satisfied while 30 percent were dissatisfied with the performance of Aquino. However, 14 percent said that they were undecided.

Aquino garnered the highest net satisfaction in Visayas with +50 while he scored +30 in Mindanao, +23 in Balance Luzon and 0 in the National Capital Region.

The president obtained the highest net satisfaction in Class E with +36 while he scored +17 and +25 in Classes ABC and D, respectively.

Aquino's net satisfaction among men dropped from +30 to +22 while his rating among women slightly decreased from +33 to +31.

The survey was conducted from March 30 to April 22 using face-to-face interviews among 1,500 adult respondents nationwide.

RELATED: Aquino remains most trusted, highest rated official in Q1 -Pulse Asia


MANILA TIMES

Palace: We’ll crush Sayyaf April 15, 2016 11:04 pm by JOEL M. SY EGCO, SENIOR REPORTER


COLOMA

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd is fully determined to crush the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and other lawless elements in Basilan province with all the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) might, an official said on Friday.

“The President and the government are wholly determined to crush and put an end to the group’s terrorist activities… and our Armed Forces have acquired additional equipment [to be able to do that],” Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

In a news briefing, Coloma noted that they look at the terrorist ASG as mere “opportunists” and “mercenaries” who extort money through kidnapping and other unlawful means.

He said that group’s claim that they are part of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) should not be given the lightest attention or “dignified” because it is a false assertion.

It is important that the group that was responsible for the killing of more than 20 soldiers last weekend, according to Coloma, is already confined to a small area in the hinterlands of the island-province of Basilan, the site of previous deadly clashes and abductions that gained worldwide attention.

“We cannot allow them to continue sowing terror. Every time they earn ransom, they use the money to further their criminal activities,” he said.

Coloma added that some groups and local government officials in the area have recognized the contribution to peace of completed government infrastructure projects in Basilan.

READ MORE...

“The government’s resolve and determination remain strong,” he said.

“They [ASG bandits] should be fought to the fullest extent. That will be our response. As we dignify them by identifying them with al-Qaeda and ISI, we only embolden them. The truth is they are opportunists and mercenaries who have no place in the country,” Coloma pointed out.

He said government troops have sufficient training and equipment and their morale is “very high.”

“That is why we have intensified our operations against them [bandits],” the Palace official added.

He explained that the ASG’s movements are already limited because of various government development projects in the island-province such as the Basilan Circumferential Road and the Transcentral Road Project.

“The circumferential road was prioritized and now we are at the middle of the island, a mountainous area where a road will be constructed to improve connectivity,” Coloma said.

“The main objective is to wipe out this [ASG] group,” he added.

2 Responses to Palace: We’ll crush Sayyaf
Bobski says:
April 16, 2016 at 8:12 am
Mr. President, just do it and wipe the ASG from the face of the earth, you talk too much, as the saying goes “barking dog seldom bites”
Reply
ecd says:
April 16, 2016 at 1:43 am
After 6 years of his presidency how come its only now at the end of his term BSA III is after the terrorists. Never in his 6 years term BSA III discussed crushing the terrorists. Basilan is one small province but government troops cannot even find them.
The government has no strategic plan at all to wipe them and always on the defensive. Government troops only go after the terrorists after ambushing someone. Troops must take offensive action when the enemy is resting and not when they are active.


GMA NEWS

Trillanes wants DILG post if elected vice-president Published April 17, 2016 10:32pm

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said he on Sunday that he would want to be appointed Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary should he win the vice-presidency in the May polls.

“Nang sa ganon matututukan natin ang peace and order problems ng ating bansa. Kasama na diyan ang lumalaganap na illegal na droga,” Trillanes explained during the “Harapan Bise” debate.

“Yan po I believe ay isa sa ating area of competence," added Trillanes, a former Navy officer. "Mayroon po tayong kakayanan para pamunuan, at isupervise at ireporma ang ating Philippine National Police to make it an effective law enforcement agency.”

The senator had said earlier this month that he was considering the DILG post as an alternative if he loses the vice presidential race.

Trillanes was first elected to Senate in 2007 and was reelected in 2013. Should he lose the upcoming polls, he will continue serving his term as senator until 2019.

Senators Francis Escudero, Alan Peter Cayetano, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo were present for the ABS-CBN sponsored “Harapan Bise” debate. Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Gregorio Honasan failed did not attend the event. — Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacaden/DVM, GMA News


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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