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

PALACE WARNS OF GLOOMY ECONOMY IF WRONG LEADER IS ELECTED


APRIL 24 -QUEZON -Malacañang yesterday urged the electorate to choose the right person this coming May polls to sustain the economic gains by the Aquino administration’s “Daang Matuwid” (straight path) and avoid reverting back to uncertainty. Standard & Poor Ratings Services affirmed the country’s ‘BBB’ long-term and ‘A-2’ short-term sovereign credit ratings of the Philippines, citing the country’s strong external position, its big foreign reserve and low external debt. But Standard & Poor’s warned that the country’s ratings could drop if there is a slowdown in the government reform agenda or reverse the current economic gains. The Philippines has improved its credit standing and this reflects in the domestic loans that became favorable to consumers, Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) yesterday told a radio interview. Standard & Poor’s is right in its cautioning note because the country made great efforts to attain such high credit rating, Quezon said. As the new administration takes office in the middle of this year, Quezon said it is free to alter, reverse or amend the existing economic government policies. The country’s high ratings aren’t infinite and they must be nurtured and protected because they are based on a  track record. And if these ratings are taken for granted, there will be consequences, he said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Duped farmers of S. Cotabato - 'We were promised P20-K livelihood assistance, rice'


APRIL 24 -Farmers from Koronadal demand for relief subsidies....
KORONADAL CITY — More than 200 of the farmers who trooped here on Thursday night were duped by organizers they will receive one sack of rice from the local government, officials said yesterday. Roberto Bagong, municipal disaster risk reduction and management council (MDRRMC) officer of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, said the farmers from his town were not informed about the protest action at the SOCCSKSARGEN regional center where about 2,000 farmers from other parts of Region XII converged to demand for rice from the Department of Agriculture (DA-XII) here. “They were told that if they want to receive one sack of rice from the government and a P20,000 livelihood assistance, they should board the hauler truck from Lake Sebu town to nearby Surallah where the distribution will take place,” Bagong said in Filipino. “Upon reaching Surallah town, they were told not to disembark from the truck and wait for further instruction,” he added. “Later in the afternoon of Thursday, they were told that rice distribution will take place in Koronadal City, so they agreed to go here and stayed overnight along the national highway,” Bagong said. On Friday morning, they were hauled again to the regional center located in Barangay Carpenter Hills where tents were put up and told to wait for rice distribution. READ MORE...RELATED,Protest of hungry farmers escalates to different areas in Mindanao ...

ALSO: Roxas pressed anew in defense of Noy


APRIL 24 -ROXAS --BETS STICK TO ISSUES IN FINAL JOUST The administration Liberal Party’s (LP) standard-bearer Mar Roxas remained hard pressed in defending the record of the Aquino administration the continuation of the policies of which he promises to pursue under his platform in the final presidential debate. Towards the end of the debate, PDP-Laban presidential bet Rodrigo Duterte and Roxas clashed over the record of the current administration with Duterte saying that if Roxas was telling the truth in his campaign pitches, why was he trailing in the surveys. Roxas in response said that the youth should not emulate Duterte’s foul character. The four candidates for the top post of the land chose to stick to issues as the vicious attacks against each other which was the feature of the third debates was absent. The debate was held in Pangasinan which has the biggest share of voters in Luzon with more than P1.6 million registered voters and estimated to have the highest voter turnout, with nearly 80 percent, in the last presidential elections in 2010. The cast presidential candidates was complete this time around with Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago saying that she is now completely normal after taking a secret medicine to battle her cancer. Despite the apparent difficulty in elucidating her thought on various issues, having been caught reticent a few times when it was her turn to speak, Santiago still managed to crack jokes in discussing territorial dispute with China. “It would be easy to say that we are picking a fight with China but what if China loses and it surrender, how would we feed the Chinese?” she said in jest when a fisherman posed a query among the presidential candidates on how to deal with the foreign government’s continuing aggression against the Philippines. When asked on what she will do, if and when elected president, should China even attempt to encroach into Philippine waters, Santiago issued this one-line: “We will call the Coast Guard, I will bomb them.”  Santiago, however, offered two ways in settling the issue with China - legal and diplomatic means, adding that all efforts should be explored and convince the foreign government to amicably resolve the dispute especially since “we have the world public opinion behind us.”  United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay said that while the legal dispute with China over the territorial claims is being heard at The Hague, he will still pursue negotiations with the Chinese to allow Filipinos to fish in the contested waters. In contrast, the policy of President Aquino was to avoid any bilateral discussions on the dispute.  Poe defends husband During the debate, Poe tried to put an end the issue hounding her and husband, Teodoro “Neil” Misael Llamanzares of him being an American citizen saying that he already renounced his foreign citizenship. READ MORE...

ALSO: Chiz hits Noy anew for defending Kris


APRIL 25 -KRIS
Vice presidential candidate Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero criticized anew President Aquino, this time for defending his youngest sister, celebrity and talk show host Kris Aquino over the latter’s use of presidential chopper during campaign sorties of the administration’s Liberal Party.Escudero yesterday joined the growing number of netizens who has bashed the presidential sister online over the said issue despite the fact that Kris helped in campaigning for his re-election in 2013 mid-term polls and in being a known personal friend of the President. “Hindi ako sang-ayon sa logic ni President Aquino. Sabi nya, highest taxpayer daw si Kris, therefore, pweden gumamit ng helicopter ng gobyerno. Ibig sabihin po ba, kapag mahirap, hindi ka pwedeng gumamit ng pasilidad ng gobyerno? Una na naman yung malaking binabayad sa gobyerno? Pag ikaw ba, dahil marihap ka, wala kang binabayarang buwis, wala kang karapatang sumakay doon?” he asked. Escudero said he does not share the same kind of logic employed by the President in coming to the rescue of his sister who continues to be bombarded with condemnation online after photos of her emerging from and boarding government vehicles which she used in joining the administration party’s campaign activities went viral and became a trending topic on social media. “Hindi po ako sang-ayon sa lohikang iyon at lalong hindi ako sang-ayon gamitin ang resources ng gobyerno at gamit ng gobyerno sa pangangampanya sa kandidato. Hindi na po tuwid na daan iyan,” the senator said in chiding the Chief Executive. READ MORE...

ALSO: Palace on viral photos: Kris Aquino, sisters may ride presidential chopper


APRIL 20 -Screengrab from the Facebook page of the Municipality of Dalaguete
There is nothing wrong with President Benigno Aquino III’s sister, actress Kris Aquino, riding the presidential chopper, Malacañang said Wednesday. “Members of the President’s immediate family are allowed to ride with him in official government vehicles,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. told media after photos of Kris walking beside a helicopter with the presidential seal went viral on social media.
Critics said the President and the Liberal Party are misusing public funds by allowing Kris, who has been campaigning for the ruling party’s standard-bearers Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and Camarines Sur Representative Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo to ride the government vehicle. READ: Finally, Kris Aquino stumps for Roxas, Robredo While the photos have been reposted in different social media accounts, some say it originated from the Facebook page of the Municipality of Dalaguete. The page on Tuesday afternoon posted several photos of Kris and the presidential party at Casay Airstrip. There were a number of negative comments on the posted photos. One Facebook user said Kris should have her own helicopter since she is rich. “Look at how these people use the government’s money and vehicles to campaign for Mar Roxas,” another commenter said in Filipino. Another netizen said government assets should be used against rebels in Mindanao instead of campaigning. The President has been campaigning for Roxas, who has yet to top an election survey, during the past several months. His sister, a famous actress and television host, has recently joined the Liberal Party’s sorties in the Visayas. RAM READ: Kris Aquino joins Roxas in campaign for the first time FULL REPORT.


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Palace warns of gloomy economy if wrong leader is elected

MANILA, APRIL 25, 2016 (TRIBUNE) Written by PNA Sunday, 24 April 2016 00:00 -Malacañang yesterday urged the electorate to choose the right person this coming May polls to sustain the economic gains by the Aquino administration’s “Daang Matuwid” (straight path) and avoid reverting back to uncertainty.

Standard & Poor Ratings Services affirmed the country’s ‘BBB’ long-term and ‘A-2’ short-term sovereign credit ratings of the Philippines, citing the country’s strong external position, its big foreign reserve and low external debt.

But Standard & Poor’s warned that the country’s ratings could drop if there is a slowdown in the government reform agenda or reverse the current economic gains.

The Philippines has improved its credit standing and this reflects in the domestic loans that became favorable to consumers, Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) yesterday told a radio interview.

Standard & Poor’s is right in its cautioning note because the country made great efforts to attain such high credit rating, Quezon said.

As the new administration takes office in the middle of this year, Quezon said it is free to alter, reverse or amend the existing economic government policies.

The country’s high ratings aren’t infinite and they must be nurtured and protected because they are based on a track record. And if these ratings are taken for granted, there will be consequences, he said.

READ MORE...

“So, it’s a timely reminder to all of us to vote on the basis of a responsible frame of mind,” Quezon stressed.

President Aquino has been encouraging the people to support administration candidates to ensure the continuity of his “Daang Matuwid” reform agenda.
‘Pilipinas’ presidential debate

He also encouraged the people to watch the third and final presidential debate in Pangasinan on Sunday to know who’s the best to lead the country in the next six years.

Quezon said the presidential debate will heighten social discourse to give the voters the best option about their choice of new leaders.

Two weeks before the May 9 elections, the five candidates for the highest office in the land will again try to win more votes in the final PiliPinas Debate at the Phinma-University of Pangasinan in Dagupan City.

Among the expected participants will be Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Sen. Grace Poe and former Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.

Ordinary people could ask the candidates about urgent issues affecting them in a town hall debate organized by the Commission on Elections, the Kapisanan ng mga Broadcasters ng Pilipinas (KBP), ABS-CBN and Manila Bulletin.

A number of issues to be tackled include free basic education, OFW concerns and employment opportunities, the maritime dispute with China, peace in Mindanao, Metro traffic and the public transportation system, basic health care, jobs and unfair labor practice.


TRIBUNE

Duped S. Cotabato farmers: We were promised P20-K livelihood assistance, rice Written by PNA Sunday, 24 April 2016 00:00


Farmers in Koronadal demand for relief subsidies....

KORONADAL CITY — More than 200 of the farmers who trooped here on Thursday night were duped by organizers they will receive one sack of rice from the local government, officials said yesterday.

Roberto Bagong, municipal disaster risk reduction and management council (MDRRMC) officer of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, said the farmers from his town were not informed about the protest action at the SOCCSKSARGEN regional center where about 2,000 farmers from other parts of Region XII converged to demand for rice from the Department of Agriculture (DA-XII) here.

“They were told that if they want to receive one sack of rice from the government and a P20,000 livelihood assistance, they should board the hauler truck from Lake Sebu town to nearby Surallah where the distribution will take place,” Bagong said in Filipino.

“Upon reaching Surallah town, they were told not to disembark from the truck and wait for further instruction,” he added. “Later in the afternoon of Thursday,
they were told that rice distribution will take place in Koronadal City, so they agreed to go here and stayed overnight along the national highway,” Bagong said.

On Friday morning, they were hauled again to the regional center located in Barangay Carpenter Hills where tents were put up and told to wait for rice distribution.

READ MORE...

“After we were told, the local government ‘rescued’ them, all those from Lake Sebu, and brought back to town where rice distribution will take place Monday,” Bagong said, adding that the only authorized to distribute rice for drought victims is the Philippine National Red Cross as provided for under Omnibus Election Code.
South Cotabato has been placed under state of calamity due to long dry spell.

Bagong said the farmers belonging to the Indigenous Peoples sector were from the villages of Tasiman, Lamfugon and Ned, in Lake Sebu.

After they were given breakfast by the Lake Sebu MDRRMC, they were sent back home.

“We were told by organizers whom we do not know personally, to bring extra clothes because the distribution of livelihood assistance my take some time,” he added.

Another farmer from Saranggani province, Sonia Bastida, 45, said the organizers told them to join the rally so they can receive Php 20,000 livelihood assistance and one sack of rice.

“That is why we boarded the truck to join the protest because life back home was really hard (due to drought),” Bastida, a corn farmers, told reporters.
Supt. Barney Condes, Koronadal City police chief, said the local police were exercising maximum tolerance to prevent violence.

“So far the protest action is peaceful and no untoward incident have occurred,” Condes said. “We remained on alert following reports of possible communist infiltration.”

Rally organizers said they would only leave the regional center if South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Fuentes would come and talk to them.

But Fuentes said she could not talk to farmers outside her province. She said only 10 percent of the more than 2,000 protesters were from South Cotabato.
The rest were from Saranggani, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and as far as Bukidnon.

Region XII or known as SOCCSKSARGEN region is composed of the provinces of South and North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Saranggani and the cities of Cotabato, Kidapawan, Tacurong, Koronadal and Gen. Santos.

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RELATED FROM RETIRED ANALYST BLOG

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Protest of hungry farmers escalates to different areas in Mindanao

From the often pro-Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Davao Today (Apr 22): Protest of hungry farmers escalates to different areas in Mindanao

SOLIDARITY PROTEST. Farmers and Support groups from southern mindanao assembled at the Department of Agriculture region XI callingfor food and justice for the Kidapawan incident victims.

​FOOD. Farmers and supporters from many areas of Davao Region picket outside the regional office of the Department of Agriculture , Thursday, to demand rice assistance and justice for the Kidapawan farmers. (Earl O. Condeza/davaotoday.com)

Farmers​ protests have escalated ​in different areas in Mindanao ​to demand ​the release of rice subsidy in the middle of the El Nino dry spell.​

Earlier today, more than 3,000 farmers from South Cotabato protested at ​the Department of Agriculture Region 12 Office, 2,000 farmers from Cagayan de Oro and 5,000 from Bukidnon joined the protest action in Northern Mindanao.

Since yesterday up to Friday, April 22 farmers from Southern Mindanao camped out at the Region XI office of the Department of Agriculture office here calling for ​f​ood and ​j​ustice for the farmer victims of drought and to the victims of Kidapawan incident.

In a statement, farmers group, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas hailed the Mindanao farmers for “its island-wide protes against hunger​”​.

According to KMP, the hungry farmers who are now protesting suffered from famine, which does not only happening in Mindanao but also to farmers in Luzon.

“Anti-drought and hunger peasants protests are also happening today in Calamaniugan in Cagayan province, Cordon in Isabela, and Bayombong in Nueva Vizcaya,” Mariano said.

Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Carlos Zarate said that last December, President Aquino approved P19 billion to implement the Roadmap to Address the Impact of El Niño, or RAIN.

“Yet, vast tracts of farmland are now arid or scorched-dry from the drought. Where is that billions now?” Rep. Zarate asked.

On November 2014, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), has already released dry condition advisory.

“The RAIN fund is on top of other funds to mitigate the effects of climate change, but it is generally known to be another source of corruption,” Zarate said.

Zarate added that the climate crisis has gone so bad that farmers have gone hungry, protesting and demanding for rice aid and gunned down.

“It is outrageous, because there are billions of taxpayer money set aside to prevent such a catastrophe. The Aquino government has a lot to answer for what happened in Kidapawan, its aftermath and the still ongoing hunger in other parts of the country,” Zarate said.

According to Ibon Foundation, an independent think tank, there are P39 billion funds allocated to the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Fund (NDRRMF) for 2016.


COURTESY OF MAKABAYAN APRIL 24, 2016

Protests grow vs lack of drought aid From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Apr 23): Protests grow vs lack of drought aid

KORONADAL CITY—Protests are growing over what farmers said was government failure to act on their demand for food aid that would tide them over the ongoing drought, which has destroyed crops and is pushing them and their families to desperation.

The farmers are not just in search of aid, though. They also want to know why no aid is coming despite official pronouncements that funds are available.

In Koronadal, at least 2,000 farmers pushed back some 30 antiriot policemen who tried to disperse their rally. The law enforcers had to retreat to the Department of Agriculture office (DA) there.

The farmers padlocked the front doors of the DA building in Koronadal. The trapped policemen had to get out through the backdoor.

Ryan Lariba, a leader of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, which is supporting the farmers, said the 2,000 farmers gathered at the DA office in Koronadal to condemn what they said was government’s failure to address the plight of farmers stricken by the drought and its failure to provide immediate aid.

Antiriot policemen, though outnumbered, tried to push the protesters back and used truncheons but the farmers stood their ground and were able to overpower the law enforcers.


Ryan Lariba, Sec. Gen, Bayan-Socsksargends

Lariba said the farmers were able to push the policemen into the DA office and lock the office doors from the outside.

“The cops are locked inside the building,” said Lariba. But the situation did not last as the policemen found a way out through a door at the back.

Lariba said the farmers who held the protest action in Koronadal came from the rural communities of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, General Santos City and Sarangani province.

He said while the government sent negotiators, including church leaders and officials of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, “no one from the DA came to talk to the farmers.”

A similar protest action was held by farmers in Malaybalay City in Bukidnon.

At least 100 protesters have also been holding a picket outside the DA’s regional office in Davao City since Wednesday.

Domingo Azures, regional chair of the party-list group Anakpawis, said the protest action in Koronadal would be peaceful unlike the one in Kidapawan City, where two protesters and a bystander were killed when police opened fire on a farmers’ barricade to clear a road being blocked by the protesters.

The rally in Malaybalay ended peacefully Friday after the governor vowed to help the farmers.

Jun Benemerito, secretary general of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-Bukidnon, said at least 4,000 farmers from different towns in the province gathered early this week in Malaybalay City to demand aid.

Benemerito said farmers resorted to milling their seeds, which are supposed to be for the next cropping season, and turn them into food for their families.

“It is a sign of desperation. We really need help,” Benemerito said.

In Koronadal City, Azures said farmers would continue the protest action until Monday.

South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes appealed to the protesters to keep calm. She said, however, that “90 percent of the protesters are not from South Cotabato.”

Fuentes said rice would be distributed to farmers starting Monday.

In Davao City, at least 100 protesters gathered outside the DA regional office.

On Thursday, at least 500 farmers staged a rally outside the municipal hall of Alabel in Sarangani. http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/781002/protests-grow-vs-lack-of-drought-aid


TRIBUNE

Roxas pressed anew in defense of Noy Written by Angie M. Rosales Monday, 25 April 2016 00:00



BETS STICK TO ISSUES IN FINAL JOUST

The administration Liberal Party’s (LP) standard-bearer Mar Roxas remained hard pressed in defending the record of the Aquino administration the continuation of the policies of which he promises to pursue under his platform in the final presidential debate.

Towards the end of the debate, PDP-Laban presidential bet Rodrigo Duterte and Roxas clashed over the record of the current administration with Duterte saying that if Roxas was telling the truth in his campaign pitches, why was he trailing in the surveys.

Roxas in response said that the youth should not emulate Duterte’s foul character.

The four candidates for the top post of the land chose to stick to issues as the vicious attacks against each other which was the feature of the third debates was absent.

The debate was held in Pangasinan which has the biggest share of voters in Luzon with more than P1.6 million registered voters and estimated to have the highest voter turnout, with nearly 80 percent, in the last presidential elections in 2010.

The cast presidential candidates was complete this time around with Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago saying that she is now completely normal after taking a secret medicine to battle her cancer.

Despite the apparent difficulty in elucidating her thought on various issues, having been caught reticent a few times when it was her turn to speak, Santiago still managed to crack jokes in discussing territorial dispute with China.



“It would be easy to say that we are picking a fight with China but what if China loses and it surrender, how would we feed the Chinese?” she said in jest when a fisherman posed a query among the presidential candidates on how to deal with the foreign government’s continuing aggression against the Philippines.

When asked on what she will do, if and when elected president, should China even attempt to encroach into Philippine waters, Santiago issued this one-line: “We will call the Coast Guard, I will bomb them.”

Santiago, however, offered two ways in settling the issue with China - legal and diplomatic means, adding that all efforts should be explored and convince the foreign government to amicably resolve the dispute especially since “we have the world public opinion behind us.”

United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay said that while the legal dispute with China over the territorial claims is being heard at The Hague, he will still pursue negotiations with the Chinese to allow Filipinos to fish in the contested waters.

In contrast, the policy of President Aquino was to avoid any bilateral discussions on the dispute.

Poe defends husband

During the debate, Poe tried to put an end the issue hounding her and husband, Teodoro “Neil” Misael Llamanzares of him being an American citizen saying that he already renounced his foreign citizenship.

READ MORE...

“He already renounced,” Poe said when asked during a fast round talk portion, on whether her husband has given up his US citizenship.

Poe said that the renunciation happened a month ago when further inquired on the period in which Llamanzares has already relinquished his being an American citizenship.

Asked if Llamanzares has surrendered his American passport, Poe answered in the affirmative.

“Yes, he did what was required under the law,” she said.

The senator did not further elaborate whether Llamanzares has taken an oath or affirmation before a consular office or at a US embassy his intention to renounce his US citizenship.



Poe had earlier assured the public that she “will not have an American boy in Malacanang,” supposedly in the person of her husband.

It was the first time that Poe revealed the information publicly as the matter was not offered by her even as her husband has been subject of tirades by her critics, the latest of which was made by one of those who petitioned for her disqualification, lawyer Manuelito Luna who threatened to have her husband deported for being a US citizen.

Incidentally, Poe’s running mate, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero and her campaign spokesman, Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian, who came to her defense, made no mention about Llamanzares renunciation of his US citizenship.

Escudero, in a statement, called Luna’s threat as a mere politically-motivated attempt to harass Poe, if not, a desperate act to prop up the candidacy of another presidentiable and supposed “patron” of Luna whom he did not identify.

Both Escudero and Gatchalian insisted that Llamanzares is a natural born Filipino, having born of Filipino parents and can as such or as a dual citizen under R.A. 9225 or the Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003.

“Anyone who attempts to petition the deportation of Mr. Llamanzares is ignorant of the law and is bound to fail because such petition has no basis at all. It will not prosper,” said Escudero.

Escudero further noted that Poe’s detractors are now training their sights on her husband after attempts to discredit her in the past failed.

“And we would not be surprised if their next targets are their children. These too, will not succeed. We ask the Filipino people to be vigilant against sinister minds whose only objective is to sow confusion during the remaining days of the campaign leading to the May 9 elections,” he said.

“The allegations of Luna are baseless lies concocted by a troubled mind. It is so sad that his political obsession has now reached a point where non-candidates are being harassed. Since he did not get what he wanted when he attacked Poe, he is now on a rampage and unfairly harassing the family of Poe. This political oppression has to stop immediately. We are calling on Luna to spare private individuals and to focus the electoral discourse on important issues facing our country like poverty and unemployment,” Gatchalian said in a separate statement.

Sign bank waivers, dares Binay

Hours before the third and final leg of the Commission on election (Comelec) – sponsored presidential debate, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard bearer, Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay reiterated his call to all his opponents to sign a waiver to allow the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to peek into their bank accounts and at the same time bare the real status of their mental and physical health.

In a press briefing, Binay recalled that about a year ago, he had been subjected to demolition job, courtesy of an alleged AMLC report accusing him of maintaining more than one hundred bank accounts with an aggregate deposit running into billions of pesos.

“I denied that supposed AMLC report and dared AMLC to prove its allegation. And for more than six months, AMLC probed not only into my bank account but as well as the bank accounts of the other members of my family. Even the bank account of Office of the Vice President from which I draw my salary as vice president, was not spared. AMLC also investigated the bank accounts of people close to me,” said Binay.

“And after more than six months of investigating, what does AMLC have to say to the court? That I only have one bank account with a balance of only a million pesos and not the billions of pesos which they earlier claimed,” Binay stressed.

To show good faith and his trust in the justice system, Binay bared he promised the court he would not touch his bank account in the pendency of the investigation against him.

“This is also to show my commitment to prove that the said bank account did not come from any illegal source. That never have I exploited and stole from the people,” said Binay.

“And it is for this reason that during the presidential debate in Cebu last month, I signed a waiver allowing AMLC to again look into my bank deposits, along with my family’s. I also dared my opponents to sign the waiver as well,” Binay said.

“If we have nothing to hide, then we should bare everything to the people. If all of us are saying we are in favor of the freedom of information, then I call on them to sign the waiver. Let us all subject ourselves to AMLC probe,” Binay said.

“As we again face each other today, I reiterate my call for my opponents to sign this waiver to determine once and for all who is hiding something from the people,” he stressed.

Binay added that about the same time last month, he made public the copy of his medical certificate declaring him mentally and physically fit to run in the forthcoig elections and assume the presidency should he win.

“I also called on my opponents to make public their medical certificates. But just like in the AMLC waiver, not one of them heeded,” said Binay.

“And so again, if you are not suffering from any form of illness, be it psychological or physical, show your medical certificate,” Binay said addressing the other presidential candidates – Senator Grace Poe, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte and former Secretary Mar Roxas.

“With the mountain of a problem the next president will be inheriting from this insensitive and incompetent administration, we have to ensure that whoever will be the next leader of the more than 104 million Filipinos will be psychologically and mentally fit,” said Binay.

Binay also took a dig at each of his opponent saying the presidency should not be entrusted to someone who lacks experience, pertaining to Poe, one who lacks competence referring to Roxas and one who disregards the rule of law and has no respect for human lives.

Binay also downplayed the results of the latest pre-poll survey showing Duterte still leading the race.



“While the pre-poll survey shows Mr. Duterte is still leading, we shuld take note that his ratings had declined and that I have gained some points,” Binay said.
“But at the end of the day, what would matter most is the actual survey on election day,” he said.

The vice president also bared they have received reports that PCOSmachines deployed in Hong Kong for the Overseas Filipinos (OFW) Absentee Voting were printing receipts not corresponding to the votes cast by the OFWs.

“We have already asked our lawyers to seek an explanation from the Comelec regarding this matter but unfortunately, until now, we have yet to hear from them,” said Binay.

“This seems unusual as the Comelec was quick to respond on the hacking issue but surprisingly quiet on this one.

According to unconfirmed reports which has also gone viral in the social media, those who have voted for Binay got receipts showing they voted for Roxas, while those who cast their votes for vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, were issued receipts showing they voted for Senator Gringo Honasan.

According to political analysts, votes were apparently being shaved from other presidential candidates and being counted for Roxas to favor the administration bet.

In the case of Marcos, his vote was being shaved and being transferred to cellar-dwellers to help administration vice presidential bet, Camarines Sur. Rep. Leni Robredo to catch up with Marcos.

Asked if he was alarmed by the reports of alleged cheating in the OFW Absentee Voting, Binay answered in the negative.

“Nothing is 100 percent perfect. Maybe the machines may have glitches but I think they are still minimal at this point in time. What we should be worried and should be ready oppose and fight is the bigger cheating which would alter the true results of the election,” Binay said.

“At this point I am not worried because I believe I would be winning by a huge margin,” Binay said.

In earlier sorties, Binay had predicted he would be winning by no less than four million votes against his nearest rival

Part of the manifestations he is gaining strength going into the last two weeks of the campaign, Binay said, is the formation of a group comprised of administration allies now pushing for the Jo-Len Tandem, short for Jojo – Leni.

“See, my support is coming from everywhere,” said Binay.

The other day, several administration allies openly dumped Roxas as they announced their support for Binay and Robredo.

Political pundits say that while the new variation being proffered by the administration allies would benefit Robredo more rather than Binay, it would tend to show that Roxas is now fast losing support from within his own circle.

For his part, Honasan, UNA’s vice presidential bet, said the groups’ call for the Jo-Len Tandem would have no effect on their tick as for them UNA is pushing for the BiHon (Binay-Honasan) or BinGo (Binay – Gringo).

“Actually, it does not occupy our minds and our hearts. UNA carries the tandem BinGo and BiHon, depending on what you prefer,” said Honasan.

“If you’re hungry, go for BiHon. If you want to win the jackpot, then go for BinGo,” he added jokingly.
Charlie V. Manalo


TRIBUNE

Chiz hits Noy anew for defending Kris Written by Angie M. Rosales Monday, 25 April 2016 00:00


KRIS

Vice presidential candidate Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero criticized anew President Aquino, this time for defending his youngest sister, celebrity and talk show host Kris Aquino over the latter’s use of presidential chopper during campaign sorties of the administration’s Liberal Party.

Escudero yesterday joined the growing number of netizens who has bashed the presidential sister online over the said issue despite the fact that Kris helped in campaigning for his re-election in 2013 mid-term polls and in being a known personal friend of the President.

“Hindi ako sang-ayon sa logic ni President Aquino. Sabi nya, highest taxpayer daw si Kris, therefore, pweden gumamit ng helicopter ng gobyerno. Ibig sabihin po ba, kapag mahirap, hindi ka pwedeng gumamit ng pasilidad ng gobyerno? Una na naman yung malaking binabayad sa gobyerno? Pag ikaw ba, dahil marihap ka, wala kang binabayarang buwis, wala kang karapatang sumakay doon?” he asked.

Escudero said he does not share the same kind of logic employed by the President in coming to the rescue of his sister who continues to be bombarded with condemnation online after photos of her emerging from and boarding government vehicles which she used in joining the administration party’s campaign activities went viral and became a trending topic on social media.

“Hindi po ako sang-ayon sa lohikang iyon at lalong hindi ako sang-ayon gamitin ang resources ng gobyerno at gamit ng gobyerno sa pangangampanya sa kandidato. Hindi na po tuwid na daan iyan,” the senator said in chiding the Chief Executive.

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Aquino, in reacting to the issue being raised against his sister, said Kris can always ride with him on presidential helicopters because she is the country’s top individual taxpayer.

“I do not know what reason the critics saw this. I only ask them: probably you know Kris is one of the top individual taxpayers,” he was quoted as saying in Filipino.

The President further justified that it has been his habit to invite even businessmen to hop in, if only to show them something from an aerial perspective.
Escudero last Friday slammed Aquino for his apparent stance to turn a blind eye on the inefficiency of transportation officials in addressing concerns in the operations of the country’s airports, the latest of which was another supposed tanim-bala (bullet-planting) incident at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport involving a 75-year-old woman.

Escudero did not mince words in criticizing not only Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya but also Aquino in their seeming failure to put a stop to such supposed scheme of some erring airport personnel victimizing mostly elderly passengers and overseas Filipino workers.

“Ang kapal ng mukha ng DoTC, hindi pa nadala. At itong si Pangulong Aquino, hindi na rin nadala kay Abaya. Alam kong ilang buwan na lang s’ya (President Aquino), pero pagdudusahin pa ba nya tayo sa kapalpakan ni Abaya sa DoTC? Pagdudusahin pa ba n’ya tayo sa laglag-bala na hindi tumitigil?

“Sa totoo lang, nakakapalan na ako ng mukha sa mga opisyal ng airport natin sa Manila. Huli na. Ginagawa pa din at patuloy pa ring ginagawa. Ewan ko kung saan sila humuhugot ng kapal ng mukha at lakas ng loob para gawin pa rin yun,” Escudero said at a press conference in Cagayan de Oro City where the matter concerning Salvacion Cortabista of Antipolo City was brought up.


INQUIRER

Palace on viral photos: Kris Aquino, sisters may ride presidential chopper SHARES: 9697 VIEW COMMENTS By: Kristine Angeli Sabillo @KSabilloINQ INQUIRER.net 07:44 PM April 20th, 2016



Screengrab from the Facebook page of the Municipality of Dalaguete

There is nothing wrong with President Benigno Aquino III’s sister, actress Kris Aquino, riding the presidential chopper, Malacañang said Wednesday.

“Members of the President’s immediate family are allowed to ride with him in official government vehicles,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. told media after photos of Kris walking beside a helicopter with the presidential seal went viral on social media.

Critics said the President and the Liberal Party are misusing public funds by allowing Kris, who has been campaigning for the ruling party’s standard-bearers Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and Camarines Sur Representative Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo to ride the government vehicle.

READ: Finally, Kris Aquino stumps for Roxas, Robredo

While the photos have been reposted in different social media accounts, some say it originated from the Facebook page of the Municipality of Dalaguete.

The page on Tuesday afternoon posted several photos of Kris and the presidential party at Casay Airstrip.

There were a number of negative comments on the posted photos. One Facebook user said Kris should have her own helicopter since she is rich.

“Look at how these people use the government’s money and vehicles to campaign for Mar Roxas,” another commenter said in Filipino.

Another netizen said government assets should be used against rebels in Mindanao instead of campaigning.

The President has been campaigning for Roxas, who has yet to top an election survey, during the past several months. His sister, a famous actress and television host, has recently joined the Liberal Party’s sorties in the Visayas. RAM

READ: Kris Aquino joins Roxas in campaign for the first time


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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