PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE: Since 1997 © Copyright (PHNO) http://newsflash.org



PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

P-Noy's CABINET MEN JOB HUNTING
[RELATED FROM MAR ROXAS -VOLUMINOUS EXCUSES]


JUNE 6 -The Aquino Cabinet's Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez.
Several members of President Aquino’s Cabinet who are stepping down with him on June 30 are not retiring yet and are on a job hunt, according to outgoing Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson. “I for one will go back to the private sector. I am still interested in the water business. I have told headhunters to look for a job for me,” the 68-year-old Singson said in a recent television interview. He said he learned that other Cabinet members, including Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, would like to resume working in the private sector. He said he has not been offered any job by the incoming Duterte administration. He added that even if there was an offer, his wife no longer wants him to continue working in government. Singson pointed out that in the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH)’s entire history, only he and former secretary Gregorio Vigilar served a full term of six years. “The average service of previous secretaries is less than two years,” he said. Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III said Singson “is one of the best performers, if not the top performer, in the Aquino Cabinet.” “He has erased the reputation of his agency as one of the most corrupt government offices and has accelerated the implementation of infrastructure projects in the provinces,” he said. READ MORE...ALSO, Voluminous excuses:
Manuel Roxas II have asked the Commission on Elections for a 14-day extension of the deadline for the submission of their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures...

ALSO: Earlier PNoy scoffs at Duterte’s vow to fix PH
[’ I thought "‘Is something broken in the country that needed to be fixed?” Aquino said in Filipino.']
[RELATED: Rappler Talk - President Aquino's reflections on leadership]


EARLY IN MAY, 2016 President Benigno Aquino III rejected the prevailing public perception that Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s landslide victory in the presidential election is a protest vote against his six years in office. In an interview with Time Magazine, Aquino said: “Is it a repudiation? I don’t think so.” FACEBOOK If you want to fix something, you should first find out what you intend to fix; then set out a plan on how to fix it. With such advice, President Aquino has scoffed at presidential frontrunner Rodrigo Duterte’s promise to “fix the country,” saying the Philippines is already in a much better state from a corrupt and poverty-mired country of the past. Addressing a campaign rally in Naga, Camarines Sur, last Thursday night, the President criticized Duterte not only for his dictatorial tendency but also his lack of clear and detailed plan on how to supposedly “fix” the country. “I saw one of his ads in which he said ‘Let’s fix the country.’ I thought ‘Is something broken in the country that needed to be fixed?” Aquino said in Filipino. READ MORE...ALSO: RapplerTalk - President Aquino's reflections on leadership...

ALSO Commentary: Duterte’s Victory - The Face of Alternative Leadership?[Politics is a game of perception, and the Philippines appears to be sliding towards strong-man rule again. Frustration of Filipinos with the failure of the outgoing government to trickle down the benefits of economic growth has clouded the ideal that the country truly needs a deepened democracy. However, it seems that a majority of Filipinos cannot see that anymore because several decades after the Marcos regime, there has been limited structural change to the country’s political system.]


Synopsis
The Philippines is perhaps the best regional illustration that democracy does not always run smoothly. A reformist presidential candidate can get elected to reestablish democracy and improve the country’s governance, but it is uniquely Philippine politics today that a maverick leader is set to become the next president. It also raises questions about the return of strong-man rule in the country. Commentary WITH RIVAL candidates having conceded defeat, the tough-talking Rodrigo Duterte with a "strong-man" image is set to be the presumptive Philippine President. The new leader will be sworn in on 30 June 2016 for a six-year term, but Duterte is already busy forming his Cabinet. He has even met the Chinese ambassador in Manila and talked about how he will conduct relations between the two countries that have been ruptured by their territorial dispute in the South China Sea. Duterte’s victory is remarkable. Despite his foul-mouthed and unconventional ways, he came from behind to beat strong candidates from the elite establishment. Analysts say that "grievance politics” in the Philippines played a large part in the Duterte win. People seemed to want an alternative leadership, as they are tired of the current political status quo. Even the popularity of outgoing President Benigno Aquino could not help his choice candidate, the veteran minister Mar Roxas, win enough support. People’s Pent-up Frustration There has been no major structural change in Philippine politics since the 1986 revolution which toppled the strongman president Ferdinand Marcos. READ MORE...


ALSO: Aquino says China-PHL relations 'brighter' as long as laws are respected
[ALSO: Relief from ranting,
Media boycott? No problem]


JUNE 11 -President Benigno Aquino III on Friday said the Philippines and China's relationship “could be even brighter” in the future so long as the laws that bind the two countries are respected by both nations.
“For two peoples that have lived and worked near each other for centuries, our shared future can be even brighter so long as we continue to respect each other and the laws that bind us in the community of nations, and to do our part to ensure peace, stability, and progress in our corner of the world,” Aquino said during the joint celebration of the Filipino-Chinese community of Independence Day, and the 15th Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day in Pasay City. The Philippines is expecting a ruling this year on the arbitration case it filed against China, which claims almost the entire South China Sea, parts of which Manila refers to as the West Philippine Sea. “Both our nations want to do what is best for our respective peoples; both our nations will benefit from greater solidarity and stronger ties, whether it is in trade and investment, tourism and people-to-people relations, or any other area,” Aquino said. Zhao Jianhua, ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Philippines, said he hopes for a “more fruitful” bilateral relations between China and the Philippines. “I firmly believe that the future of China and the Philippines’ relationship will be brighter, friendship will be deeper, and bilateral relations between our two countries will be more fruitful,” he said. Jianhua said China has “always regarded Philippines as a friend rather than foe, partner rather than rival." READ MORE...RELATED, Commentary- Relief from ranting: End of Enrile era...

ALSO: Robredo hits Marcos' new poll fraud claim vs Aquino gov't


JUNE 12 -Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., Vice President-elect Leni Robredo and President Benigno Aquino III
  Vice President-elect Leni Robredo fired back Sunday at Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. for claiming that he was robbed of some three million votes through alleged vote-rigging operations led by President Benigno Aquino III's government. In a statement, Robredo said it is "disturbing" that the Marcos camp continues to make new allegations of electoral fraud.
"We respect his right to freedom of speech. But it is disturbing that each week, they issue statements to condition the public's minds on the results of the recently concluded elections," Robredo saud Saturday, Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said Saturday that he would file a protest to contest Robredo's narrow victory by the end of June. He said he has gathered evidence of fraud both from witnesses and "experts" who supposedly spotted irregularities in the automated elections system. "Talagang maliwanag na maliwanag sa taumbayan na napakalawak at napakawalanghiya ang pangbabastos at pangwawalanghiya sa boses ng taumbayan," Marcos told reporters. "Iisa lang pwede gumawa niyan, administration. We have to lay that at the door of the administration," he said. (READ: Marcos son claims 3-M votes lost to fraud, tags Aquino gov't) The senator earlier questioned the "undervote" of at least 3.2 million people and cited instances of zero vote for him in some poll precincts. He has also cast doubts on the integrity of the AES after a Smartmatic official made an unauthorized alteration on an election-related script on the eve of the May 9 elections. (READ: SC to Comelec: Respond to suit vs Smartmatic officials) The Marcos family had targeted the vice presidential post as a route back to Malacanang through a subsequent presidential run for the son in 2022. Marcos' six-year term in the Senate will end on June 30. His mother, flamboyant former first lady Imelda Marcos, and elder sister, Imee Marcos, were elected congresswoman and governor respectively of Ilocos Norte province, the family's bailiwick.THE FULL REPORT RELATED, Coloma to Marcos: Present evidence of election fraud... RELATED2, 'Noy, LP robbed me of 3M votes...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

P-Noy Cabinet execs job hunting


The Aquino Cabinet's Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez.

MANILA, JUNE 13, 2016 (PHILSTAR) Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - June 6, 2016 - 12:00am - Several members of President Aquino’s Cabinet who are stepping down with him on June 30 are not retiring yet and are on a job hunt, according to outgoing Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson.

“I for one will go back to the private sector. I am still interested in the water business. I have told headhunters to look for a job for me,” the 68-year-old Singson said in a recent television interview.

He said he learned that other Cabinet members, including Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, would like to resume working in the private sector.

He said he has not been offered any job by the incoming Duterte administration.

He added that even if there was an offer, his wife no longer wants him to continue working in government.

Singson pointed out that in the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH)’s entire history, only he and former secretary Gregorio Vigilar served a full term of six years.

“The average service of previous secretaries is less than two years,” he said.

Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III said Singson “is one of the best performers, if not the top performer, in the Aquino Cabinet.”

“He has erased the reputation of his agency as one of the most corrupt government offices and has accelerated the implementation of infrastructure projects in the provinces,” he said.

READ MORE...

In a television interview, Singson said Aquino is “underrated in terms of his accomplishments.”

“He has done a lot for the country, including in the area of infrastructure,” he said.

He said his agency has been able to shed its image as one of the most corrupt government offices and build a lot of roads, bridges and classrooms because it had Aquino’s trust.

“He never meddled with us. He wanted us to take over all government infrastructure projects, but it was impossible for us to do it,” he said.

Singson pointed out that upon Aquino’s instruction, his agency was able to help the Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Agriculture build classrooms and farm-to-market roads.

He recalled that when the President asked him to assist DepEd, there was a construction backlog of 66,000 classrooms.

“We had to undertake it through the public-private partnership program to catch up with DepEd’s requirements,” he said.

He admitted that his agency is still constructing school buildings that the K-12 education program requires.

“These are three-four-story buildings and multi-year projects,” he said.

Singson said in some areas, funding for classrooms is bigger than the amount allocated for roads and bridges.

“For instance, in Puerto Princesa City, our district office there has a budget of P300 million for infrastructure maintenance and new projects. Its allocation for new classrooms is P500 million,” he said.

Due to his its huge infrastructure load, his agency awarded P341 billion worth of contracts last year, he said.

“The contractors billed us P241 billion, which means they have a backlog of P100 billion,” he added.

He revealed that because he has been awarding huge contracts, he has required contractors to upgrade their equipment.

“For a P100-million road construction contract, we have required that a contractor should have his own concrete paver,” he said.

Singson said under the Aquino administration, his agency the DPWH, the Department of Tourism and the Department of Transportation and Communications have launched a “convergence” project.

“We have accelerated the building of roads and other infrastructure leading to tourist designations, and airports and seaports,” he said.

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

ALSO FROM THE MANILA STANDARD (EDITORIAL)

Voluminous excuses:
Manuel Roxas II have asked the Commission on Elections for a 14-day extension of the deadline for the submission of their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures.
posted June 12, 2016 at 12:01 am
 

The Liberal Party and defeated presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II have asked the Commission on Elections for a 14-day extension of the deadline for the submission of their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures. The original deadline was June 8.

According to Roxas, he was not able to submit on time because of the “voluminous number of receipts that have to be scanned and attached to the document.”

His lawyer, Romulo Macalintal, tried to play down the administration bet’s lapse. “There’s no problem. It was just a late filing. There was no violation of the law. He will still file and the worst-case scenario is to pay a fine.”

Earlier, the Comelec spokesman had said that under the law, winning candidates cannot assume office—in this case on June 30—if their parties fail to file the statement. Such is the case that the proclaimed vice president, the Liberal Party’s Leonor Robredo, now says she is confident her party can comply with the filing requirement—there is still plenty of time. After all, she herself had been able to beat the original deadline.

She revealed she had spent P418 million, all of which came from contributions. Robredo was the biggest spender among all vice presidential candidates.

But even the fact that Robredo’s biggest supporter was a presidential sister who gave her P31 million is eclipsed by the questions arising from why exactly Roxas and the party itself have not been able to complete the paperwork when they had known beforehand when the deadline was.

It may be administrative negligence, or, some quarters cannot help thinking, something more sinister like taking contributions from the Philippine government itself through public funds and not knowing how to launder it. It is no secret that the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program provided legitimate cover for LP bets to endear themselves to dole recipients across the country. We would agree there would have to be voluminous receipts to support these activities.

Whatever the reason, it is glaring that Roxas and the Liberal Party would just go and inform the Comelec that they would not be able to file the SOCEs on time—when they were due. That they did not even wait for the Comelec’s reply. It was a unilateral declaration that they felt entitled to leniency from a supposedly independent constitutional commission.

All the other parties and all the other candidates must have voluminous records as well, but they managed to file. Is the same too much to expect from the people who claim to have a monopoly on righteousness?


MANILA BULLETIN

PNoy scoffs at Duterte’s vow to fix PH by Genalyn Kabiling May 7, 2016 Share9 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share26


EARLY IN MAY, 2016 President Benigno Aquino III rejected the prevailing public perception that Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s landslide victory in the presidential election is a protest vote against his six years in office. In an interview with Time Magazine, Aquino said: “Is it a repudiation? I don’t think so.” FACEBOOK

If you want to fix something, you should first find out what you intend to fix; then set out a plan on how to fix it.

With such advice, President Aquino has scoffed at presidential frontrunner Rodrigo Duterte’s promise to “fix the country,” saying the Philippines is already in a much better state from a corrupt and poverty-mired country of the past.

Addressing a campaign rally in Naga, Camarines Sur, last Thursday night, the President criticized Duterte not only for his dictatorial tendency but also his lack of clear and detailed plan on how to supposedly “fix” the country.

“I saw one of his ads in which he said ‘Let’s fix the country.’ I thought ‘Is something broken in the country that needed to be fixed?” Aquino said in Filipino.

READ MORE...

“I’m not saying our country is already perfect. But isn’t it that if you want to fix something, you should first find out what you intend to fix? Next, set out a plan on how to fix it,” he added.

RETURN OF DICTATORSHIP


PNOY vows to fight ‘dictator’ Duterte: I’m willing to die to save my father’s legacy. Aquino called Duterte a “dictator” and likened him to Hitler in the last two weeks of the campaign period in a futile attempt to thwart his impending Victory as Duterte had built a two-digit lead over his rivals in the pre-election surveys. Aquino said that Duterte would soon wake up to the reality of governing within defined laws, time and resources. POLITICS.COM

The President brought his anti-Duterte campaign to Albay and Camarines Sur last Thursday, warning anew about the possible return of dictatorship if the trash-talking Davao City mayor is elected into office. Earlier, he traveled to Davao del Sur, a known territory of Duterte, to make a similar campaign pitch for the continuity of the Daang Matuwid against the uncertainty offered by Duterte.

In Naga, the President said he has yet to see the tough-talking Duterte present his true intention and concrete plans for the country if elected president in May 9.

“If his intention is good, that may be okay. But I’ll ask you, who knows about his true intentions? When has he presented his concrete plan for the Philippines? I haven’t seen them,” he said.

So far, Aquino said Duterte only showed his dictatorial style of leadership by threatening to close down Congress and install a revolutionary government. He criticized Duterte for his disregard for the country’s laws saying voters should scrutinize his statements and decide wisely come Election Day.

LEGACY ACHIEVEMENTS

The outgoing President also seized the chance to highlight several legacy achievements, including a 6.2 percent average growth in his first five years in office as well as the 7.7 million Filipinos lifted out of poverty due to the conditional cash transfer program.

These gains of the Daang Matuwid could be sustained and expanded by no less than Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo, he added.

DISAPPOINTED

In the same administration assembly, the President expressed disappointment with the latest survey showing Duterte and Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as the top picks for president and vice president in the May 9 elections.

Aquino said it was difficult to accept that the survey lead of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. coincides with this year’s 30th celebration of the EDSA People Revolution.

“I am shocked by surveys showing the lead of one acting like a dictator and the other, son of dictator who insists his family has done nothing wrong. What happened?” Aquino asked.

‘IS IT WRONG?’

Aquino wondered aloud if the country’s gains, such as strong economic growth and millions of families benefiting from the conditional cash transfer program are wrong in the eyes of the survey respondents.

“Is it wrong that we took the straight path and helped 7.7 million Filipinos out of poverty?” he asked.

“Is it wrong that our economy grew by 6.2 percent, the biggest in last 40 years? Is it wrong that we are now called Asia’s Bright Star from Asia’s Sick Man? Is it wrong we were able to build 185,000 classrooms?” Aquino asked.

‘THINK TWICE’

In another campaign rally in Ligao City, Albay last Thursday, the President appealed to the Duterte loyalists to think twice about supporting a candidate who might turn into a dictator.

Aquino tried to convince the Duterte supporters to switch to a much qualified candidate, Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas, by harping on the Davao City mayor’s uncouth and abusive behavior.

“To those supporting this candidate, I hope they will ponder on their decision. They apparently think their candidate will always make the perfect decisions,” Aquino said in Filipino.

“Just a reminder, we are people. Nobody was created perfect. If you are not perfect, how can you make perfect decisions always, right?” Aquino added.

CHANGE FROM WHAT?

Aquino lamented that some people have gone astray into supporting the controversial rival candidate without fully understanding the consequences of a possible Duterte presidency.

“When you ask them ‘why are you supporting him?,’ they will say ‘We want change.’ When you ask them ‘change from what?’ They will respond ‘Nothing. We just want change,’” Aquino said.

“Change is possible if there is a guarantee that it will be for the good of the country. But if you will change something without a guarantee it will be good and there’s a possibility it will turn for the worse, why do we need to change it?” Aquino added.

In the end, Aquino expressed hope that the voters would not allow the return of dictatorship and vote the right leaders in the May elections.

Duterte has become the favorite presidential bet of Filipinos based on recent presidential surveys despite being criticized for being a bully and foul-mouthed by his rivals. Some groups, however, have raised fears about the rule of law under Duterte’s presidency, after he promised to kill criminals and pardon himself for mass murder.

PALACE DENIAL

Meanwhile, Malacañang denied accusations by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano that the Palace is behind the television advertisement to discredit Duterte, his running mate.

The latest TV advertisement made use of children questioning the capability of Duterte to lead the country.

Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., however, said the Palace has nothing to do with the TV commercial.

“Sen. Cayetano’s allegations are not true and have no basis,” Coloma said.

He said the Palace is focused on ensuring smooth, peaceful, and orderly elections on Monday.

TRILLANES’ AD

For her part, presidential aspirant Senator Grace Poe said there is nothing wrong with the television advertisement showing children reacting to some of Duterte’s controversial remarks and acts.

Poe, who chaired the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) from 2010 to 2012, defended the television ad paid for by Senator Antonio Trillanes against Duterte, saying it has redeeming social value and the contents are “true.”

“When I was a MTRCB chairperson, as much as possible we were showing what is true to our society but not vulgar, and if there is vulgarity because there is truth to it, it should have redeeming value,” she told reporters.

“I think it was shown in the ad. It is up to the people to judge to let them understand what really happened. There is nothing shown there which is not true,” Poe said.

Triallanes’ paid ad shows children reacting to Duterte’s cursing of Pope Francis and his comment about the rape-slay of an Australian missionary. (With reports from Madel S. Namit and Charissa M. Luci)

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

RELATED FROM RAPPLER.COM

Rappler Talk: President Aquino's reflections on leadership Rappler.com Published 1:44 PM, June 07, 2016 Updated 8:35 PM, June 07, 2016


Watch Benigno Aquino III speak to Rappler's Maria Ressa on his legacy, his greatest challenges, and his hopes for the next leadership on Tuesday, June 7

MANILA, Philippines – He was a reluctant presidential candidate, thrown into the toughest political race in 2010 by an electorate sick of corruption in government.

Over 15 million voters elected Benigno Aquino III as president because of his Daang Matuwid (Straight Path) platform. He promised an administration that would stamp out corruption, ensure transparency in governance, and pull more Filipinos out of poverty through an inclusive economic development.

It was a presidency marked by record-high public approval ratings until Aquino's biggest challenge – the botched Mamasapano encounter that killed 44 elite cops. Then came urban woes like traffic and the long queues at the glitch-ridden MRT3, gut issues magnified in the heat of the election campaign that pushed another candidate – also promising change – past the administration's anointed one.

Less than a month before he steps down, Aquino spoke to Rappler's Maria Ressa on his legacy, his greatest challenges, and his hopes for the next leadership. Watch it here on Rappler. – Rappler.com

 


RSiS COMMENTARY
SOURCE: https://www.rsis.edu.sg/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/CO16115.pdf

Duterte’s Victory: The Face of Alternative Leadership? By Phidel Vineles



Synopsis

The Philippines is perhaps the best regional illustration that democracy does not always run smoothly. A reformist presidential candidate can get elected to reestablish democracy and improve the country’s governance, but it is uniquely Philippine politics today that a maverick leader is set to become the next president. It also raises questions about the return of strong-man rule in the country.

Commentary 

WITH RIVAL candidates having conceded defeat, the tough-talking Rodrigo Duterte with a "strong-man" image is set to be the presumptive Philippine President.

The new leader will be sworn in on 30 June 2016 for a six-year term, but Duterte is already busy forming his Cabinet. He has even met the Chinese ambassador in Manila and talked about how he will conduct relations between the two countries that
have been ruptured by their territorial dispute in the South China Sea.

Duterte’s victory is remarkable. Despite his foul-mouthed and unconventional ways, he came from behind to beat strong candidates from the elite establishment.

Analysts say that "grievance politics” in the Philippines played a large part in the Duterte win. People seemed to want an alternative leadership, as they are tired of the current political status quo. Even the popularity of outgoing President Benigno
Aquino could not help his choice candidate, the veteran minister Mar Roxas, win enough support.

People’s Pent-up Frustration

There has been no major structural change in Philippine politics since the 1986 revolution which toppled the strongman president Ferdinand Marcos.

READ MORE...

According to the Philippine sociologist, Walden Bello, the political scenario in the country has something to do with that outcome which installed Aquino’s mother Corazon as the new leader. Till today, Corazon Aquino is known as the country’s “icon of democracy”.

But despite the success of her son as president in bringing about economic growth, there is unhappiness at the grassroots that politics has been hijacked by the elites.

The perception that the Philippines is largely driven by elite politics has perhaps boosted Duterte’s popularity. Many Filipinos are wary that governance is largely dominated by political dynasties, wherein 70 per cent of Philippine legislators came
from political clans. The frustration with the country’s oligarchic political structure has been aggravated by high poverty and unemployment rates.

Although strong economic growth is said to be President Aquino’s legacy, unemployment and poverty remain as the country’s persistent problems. Official statistics show there are a total of 2.6 million unemployed Filipinos last year; poverty incidence among Filipinos who do not meet their basic needs in 2015 was at 26 percent.

Thus, the Aquino administration has barely improved the spread of wealth in the country and inclusive growth continues to be elusive.



Duterte gains considerable mass support for his stance on illegal drugs, public law and order issues and the erosion of effectiveness of public institutions which affect the lives of ordinary people. According to the police, the number of crimes committed nationwide increased by 46 percent during the first six months in 2015.

There was also indignation among Filipinos over the death of 44 members of the police’s special troops killed last year in an ambush in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province.

Vague Policy Agenda

It is hard to understand what economic plans that Filipinos see from Duterte. In fact, he hardly talked about his economic plans during his campaign speeches. During a dialogue in Manila on 27 April with more than 600 business leaders, Duterte did not dwell on economic platforms, choosing instead to talk about fighting drug trafficking and crimes. Indeed, the feedback was that the business leaders were uncertain about Duterte because he did not discuss much about what he was going to do with the economy.

The vagueness of Duterte’s economic policy is also seen in his foreign policy. It appears that Duterte may not continue Aquino’s stance on the South China Sea dispute with China. Aquino has taken the matter to international arbitration instead of sweating it out in bilateral negotiation. Some analysts argue that Duterte might disregard the result of the arbitral tribunal in The Hague, whether it is in favour of Manila or not.

However, Duterte’s position on the issue needs further clarification. According to him, he would call for multilateral talks with China on the South China Sea and include US, Japan, and other claimant states, but China has repeatedly said that it is
only willing to resolve the issue bilaterally

It is not a surprise that his supporters never turn their backs on him despite the ambiguity of his proposals. An example of this is when Duterte suggested reviving the Philippine steel industry although demand for steel globally is at its lowest.

Duterte also receives huge support for his anti-crime plan although its details fall short. According to him, he will double the salaries of police officers and deploy thousands of police and military troops to attack crime and drug traffickers and kill
those who resist. However, there has been no serious explanation on how all this will be financed.

Appeal of Strong-man Leadership

While absence of effective governance appeared to be critical factors favouring Duterte, some analysts point to the ‘autocratic nostalgia’ in the country.

After 30 years of democratic promise and failure of several reform-minded presidents, there is no strong reason against trying out a maverick politician from a small city to take charge.

The inability of the incumbent democratic president to groom a credible successor also adds to voters' antipathy towards the political establishment.

Even Senator Bongbong Marcos, the son of the late Ferdinand Marcos, is in a tight race with Congresswoman Leni Robredo to be the next vice president, with both receiving more than 13 million of votes.

Many Filipinos find Bongbong’s key message appealing to them when he said that if his father was given more years to serve the country, the Philippines will be like Singapore.

However, several analysts argued that the country went downhill because of Marcos’ import-substitution-based
economy.

Politics is a game of perception, and the Philippines appears to be sliding towards strong-man rule again.

Frustration of Filipinos with the failure of the outgoing government to trickle down the benefits of economic growth has clouded the ideal that the country truly needs a deepened democracy. However, it seems that a majority of Filipinos cannot see that anymore because several decades after the Marcos regime, there has been limited structural change to the country’s political system.

Phidel Vineles is a Senior Analyst in the Office of the Executive Deputy Chairman, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Nanyang Technological University
Block S4, Level B4, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798
Tel: +65 6790 6982 | Fax: +65 6794 0617 | www.rsis.edu.sg


GMA NEWS ONLINE

Aquino says China-PHL relations 'brighter' as long as laws are respected Published June 10, 2016 10:00pm Updated June 11, 2016 12:36am By KATHRINA CHARMAINE ALVAREZ, GMA News

President Benigno Aquino III on Friday said the Philippines and China's relationship “could be even brighter” in the future so long as the laws that bind the two countries are respected by both nations.

“For two peoples that have lived and worked near each other for centuries, our shared future can be even brighter so long as we continue to respect each other and the laws that bind us in the community of nations, and to do our part to ensure peace, stability, and progress in our corner of the world,” Aquino said during the joint celebration of the Filipino-Chinese community of Independence Day, and the 15th Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day in Pasay City.

The Philippines is expecting a ruling this year on the arbitration case it filed against China, which claims almost the entire South China Sea, parts of which Manila refers to as the West Philippine Sea.

“Both our nations want to do what is best for our respective peoples; both our nations will benefit from greater solidarity and stronger ties, whether it is in trade and investment, tourism and people-to-people relations, or any other area,” Aquino said.

Zhao Jianhua, ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Philippines, said he hopes for a “more fruitful” bilateral relations between China and the Philippines.

“I firmly believe that the future of China and the Philippines’ relationship will be brighter, friendship will be deeper, and bilateral relations between our two countries will be more fruitful,” he said.

Jianhua said China has “always regarded Philippines as a friend rather than foe, partner rather than rival."

READ MORE...

Angel Ngu, president of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII), said efforts to a peaceful resolution to the maritime dispute should not affect the Philippines and China’s cooperation in trade and investments.

“Friendship and cooperation bind nations and peoples together. The ties between our two countries have grown over the years and we are confident that this bond will remain strong as we both seek lasting growth, peace and stability in the region,” Ngu said.

“We welcome efforts in peacefully resolving the West Philippine Sea issue. We should not let this overshadow opportunities in cooperation in trade, investments, tourism, and other fields,” he added.

For his part, Aquino recognized the efforts of FFCCCII in nurturing the ties between the Philippines and China.

“Finally i must note the important role you play in fostering greater understanding and closer ties of friendship between the Philippines and China whether in terms of cultural activities, trade, investment or even in the informal manner in which you have served as a channel of communication given the disputes in the sea known by many names,” he said.

“These efforts have certainly helped us both the Philippines and china to pursue peace and stability and inclusive progress in our part of the world,” he added.

Aquino, in his last speech before the Chinese businessmen as President, also acknowledged the contributions of the Chinese business community to the growth of the country's economy, noting that many present are owners of large companies.

“Our economy is among the most resilient and the best performing in the world which I'm sure you have felt in your respective businesses,” said Aquino.

“More than 7 million Filipinos have risen above the poverty line. Seven million Filipinos who have the ability and the confidence to work in your factories and offices or who have the capacity to buy your products and make use of your services,” he added. — APG/BAP, GMA News

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

RELATED FROM THE MANILA STANDARD (COMMENTARY)

Relief from ranting: End of Enrile era  posted June 10, 2016 at 12:01 am by Alejandro Del Rosario

Eight senators and 67 members of the House will end their term on June 30 when President-elect Rodrigo Duterte is sworn into office. For Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, it is the end of an era of nearly half a century of public service. Say what you will about the man, but no one has etched and left such an imprint on Philippine politics. JPE, as he is known to colleagues and friends, is looking at retirement in his home province of Cagayan up north.

Enrile obtained his law degree at the University of the Philippines where he graduated cum laude. He scored one of the highest passing grades in the Philippine bar exams with 96.— percent. He took up a masters degree in law at Harvard School of Law. In his four terms as a senator he served twice as Senate president, the third highest position in the land. A highlight of his career was when he served as presiding judge in the impeachment and conviction of the late Chief Justice Renato Corona.

His knowledge of the law, particularly taxation, is without equal. Together with former Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Fidel Ramos, then-Defense Minister Enrile led an uprising which led to People Power that toppled strongman President Ferdinand Marcos in February 1986. Who can forget that iconic picture of Enrile carrying a sub-machinegun while making a stand at Camp Aguinaldo?

Enrile was made Defense secretary in the ensuing revolutionary government of President Cory Aquino but he broke away from her together with Vice President Salvador H. Laurel because of policy differences.

As they say if it’s not written in the stars, the destiny of becoming president is elusive. It was the housewife and widow of assassinated Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. who was to be the accidental president who later on endorsed Fidel Valdez Ramos who would follow as President. What if Enrile and Ramos were pushed by the Edsa crowd to take over the government?

Media boycott? No problem

Incoming President Duterte’s decision to stop his press briefings and boycott media is a welcome relief from his ranting and obscene remarks against journalists, the church and women. It’s bad enough that Duterte called the “Punisher” inflicts his harsh and crass language on his audience, he also wants to close down Congress, and the Bureaus of Customs and Internal Revenue for corruption and incompetence. The threat to shut down institutions is not totally baseless, but why not fix the problem instead? He cannot give up even before he has tried.

United Nations rapporteurs Cristof Heynes and David Kaye weighed in on Duterte’s iron fist policy for dealing with criminals saying “he should not incite violence.” This, in a country where crime and violence are the daily fare of the six o’clock evening news on TV.

Duterte’s remark about journalists being killed because they are corrupt is extremely irresponsible and that it is unbecoming of a leader who’s going to assume the highest post in the land of a democratic country, the UN officials added.

Digong’s surprisingly mild reaction to the UN rapporteurs: “Go home, get some sleep.” No “f” word, no “P.I.” phrase.

Anyway, even without him presiding over those press conferences, media can still source news from official government outlets like the Malacañang press office, and government information bureaus. Personally, I think it will be Duterte who would miss not being written about.

This is a man who relishes being in the news even if he claims his words are often taken out of context in news stories. He thinks the world revolves around him and that Davao is the center of the universe.

I watched his news conferences, which the major TV networks covered live and in full. What comes out in the news is actually what he himself said, including his profanities and obscene language. It’s hard to believe these were uttered by the President of the Republic. They are not statements taken out of context.

Probably realizing their folly that declaring a boycott of media, Duterte’s incoming Communications Secretary-designate Martin Andanar announced that the government will have a weekly TV program and a national tabloid to carry the incoming administration’s “achievements.”

This is a waste of public funds which could be better spent for projects that will benefit the people. Government accomplishments after all need not be propagandized. If they are really achievements, the mainstream media will pick it up and carry it. But because Duterte had been contentious and adversarial, things came to a head.


ABS-CBN

Robredo hits Marcos' new poll fraud claim vs Aquino gov't ABS-CBN News Posted at Jun 12 2016 03:26 PM | Updated as of Jun 12 2016 03:47 PM


Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., Vice President-elect Leni Robredo and President Benigno Aquino III

MANILA - Vice President-elect Leni Robredo fired back Sunday at Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. for claiming that he was robbed of some three million votes through alleged vote-rigging operations led by President Benigno Aquino III's government.

In a statement, Robredo said it is "disturbing" that the Marcos camp continues to make new allegations of electoral fraud.

"We respect his right to freedom of speech. But it is disturbing that each week, they issue statements to condition the public's minds on the results of the recently concluded elections," Robredo said

Saturday, Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said Saturday that he would file a protest to contest Robredo's narrow victory by the end of June.

He said he has gathered evidence of fraud both from witnesses and "experts" who supposedly spotted irregularities in the automated elections system.

"Talagang maliwanag na maliwanag sa taumbayan na napakalawak at napakawalanghiya ang pangbabastos at pangwawalanghiya sa boses ng taumbayan," Marcos told reporters. "Iisa lang pwede gumawa niyan, administration. We have to lay that at the door of the administration," he said.

(READ: Marcos son claims 3-M votes lost to fraud, tags Aquino gov't)

The senator earlier questioned the "undervote" of at least 3.2 million people and cited instances of zero vote for him in some poll precincts. He has also cast doubts on the integrity of the AES after a Smartmatic official made an unauthorized alteration on an election-related script on the eve of the May 9 elections.

(READ: SC to Comelec: Respond to suit vs Smartmatic officials)

The Marcos family had targeted the vice presidential post as a route back to Malacanang through a subsequent presidential run for the son in 2022.

Marcos' six-year term in the Senate will end on June 30.

His mother, flamboyant former first lady Imelda Marcos, and elder sister, Imee Marcos, were elected congresswoman and governor respectively of Ilocos Norte province, the family's bailiwick.

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

RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Coloma to Marcos: Present evidence of election fraud by Genalyn Kabiling June 12, 2016 (updated) Share3 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share9


Presidential Spokesman Herminio Coloma (L) -Sen. Bongbong Marcos (R) (MB FILE)

Presidential Spokesman Herminio Coloma (L) -Sen. Bongbong Marcos (R) (MB FILE) Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. should present evidence of election fraud instead of hurling baseless allegations on the supposed involvement of the administration, Malacañang said on Sunday.

“Such allegations are totally false and baseless,” Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a text message when asked to comment on Marcos’ claims the Aquino government manipulated the poll results.

“Instead of innuendos, let the accuser present concrete proof in the proper forum,” Coloma added.

The defeated vice presidential candidate earlier announced plans to file an election protest against Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo Marcos who beat him by around 263,000 votes,

Marcos has blamed President Aquino and the Liberal Party of conspiring to rob him of around three million votes. He recalled that in the early days of the campaign, Aquino had promised to exhaust efforts to ensure he would not win the vice presidency.

He claimed they have evidence of “vote buying, batch feeding, and ballot switching” to ensure his defeat in the last elections.

Coloma, however, clarified that the President never endorsed any poll cheating against Marcos.

“What the President said during the campaign period (especially during the EDSA commemoration) was that the people need to close ranks to prevent the return of dictatorship in our land,” he explained.

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

RELATED2 FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

'Noy, LP robbed me of 3M votes: BongBong: Comelec, Smartmatic also in conspiracy posted June 12, 2016 at 12:01 am by John Paolo Bencito


Election protest. Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. announces to journalists his decision to pursue an electoral protest to contest the proclamation of Camarines Sur Rep. Leonor Robredo whom he accused of benefitting from cheating perpetrated by the Aquino administration. MANNY PALMERO

SENATOR Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. accused the Aquino administration and the Liberal Party of conspiring to rob him of around three million votes and said he will file an electoral protest to contest the victory of Vice President-elect Leni Robredo by the end of the month.

He also accused the Commission on Elections and election machinery provider Smartmatic of conspiring with the administration to rig the May 9 elections.

“It’s very very clear that there are many, many violations by Smartmatic and Comelec so we have to find which will make the best case for the electoral protest,” Marcos told reporters in a news briefing in Quezon City.

He said he has already gathered evidence of fraud both from witnesses and experts who flagged irregularities in the automated system.

“The hardest choice to make right now is which violation to use. We have evidence that there was vote buying, batch feeding, and ballot switching, among others,” Marcos told reporters in Davao City where he met with President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

Marcos quoted the incoming president as saying “I know there was cheating” but he did not say what action Duterte would make as he accused the Aquino administration of electoral fraud.

“Only one can do that, the administration. We have to lay that at the door of the administration,” he said, adding that there were some three million “undervotes” and that cost him the vice presidency.

The Comelec proclaimed Robredo as the winner with 14,418,817 votes against the 14,155,344 votes for Marcos, or a margin of only 263,473 votes.

“The mistake that we made —my campaign made—was we could not possibly imagine that this would be done. How gross, how unconscionable to disregard the voice of the people. We did not imagine anyone could do that—that brazen treatment of the voice of the people,” he added.

Robredo said, however, decried that the statements coming from her rival are meant to “condition” the minds of people.

“This is contrary to groups who have said elections in the country were clean—groups like the Compact for Peaceful and Democratic Elections-International Observers Mission, a foreign, 3rd party institution, and even the Comelec and PPCRV. Even the police have said our elections were peaceful,” Robredo said in a statement.

“This is an outright brazen treatment to the voice of the rule of the people,” she added, saying that Marcos’ pronouncements “continue to divide our country.”

Asked on why the evidence was not raised earlier, Marcos said that the evidence was “obtained and made available to us only now.”

Marcos had earlier claimed that use of secret fourth server aside from the Comelec server, existence of election results from parts of ARMM where voting did not take place and members of the Board of Election Inspectors barred from entering their assigned precincts.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2016 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE