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

NOY:  I CONSIDERED MARTIAL LAW IN SULU 3 WEEKS AGO
[The outgoing president said that he considered imposing martial law as the deadline for the Abu Sayyaf's ransom for their hostages drew near].


JUNE 16 -President Aquino flew to Sulu yesterday to oversee military operations to rescue the remaining hostages of the Abu Sayyaf following the beheading of Canadian Robert Hall on Monday. Malacañang Photo Bureau/Gil Nartea
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – President Aquino yesterday admitted he had considered imposing martial law in Sulu province to contain the bandit group Abu Sayyaf. Aquino flew to Sulu yesterday to oversee military operations to rescue the remaining hostages of the Abu Sayyaf following the beheading of Canadian Robert Hall on Monday. In a press briefing, Aquino said he considered imposing martial law in the province in the effort to further sustain military operations against the bandit group. “Yes (I considered it). In Sulu, in particular. But of course we have to consider the forces we have to use to implement it and there is no guarantee that there will be positive results. There might even be negative results. The enemies might gain more sympathy,” he said. The President said the assessment was made three weeks ago as government forces kept on missing the targets no matter how near they had come to get them. Aquino stressed security forces always found themselves trying to beat the deadline imposed by the Abu Sayyaf for ransom payment and executing their hostages if payment is not made. READ MORE...

ALSO: Noy flies to Jolo amid Abu shaming


JUNE 14 -AQUINO
In a face-saving bid, President Aquino flew to Jolo island yesterday where the Abu Sayyaf group (ASG) is based and insisted Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and other hostages being held by the Islamic extremists could be rescued after the militants beheaded Robert Hall, the second Canadian captive to be executed.Aquino met with troops tasked with tracking the militants through hostile jungle terrain. The Aquino administration has been criticized particularly abroad for its failure to take steps in rescuing the recent Abu Sayyaf captives who are mostly foreigners. “We are getting a clearer picture of what is happening here. We saw today how to refine our operations so we can successfully rescue the remaining hostages,” Aquino told reporters traveling with him.Aquino also said he apologized to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the murders of the two Canadian men, who were abducted along with Sekkingstad and Filipina Marites Flor from a yacht at an exclusive southern marina nine months ago.Aquino claimed he conceived of declaring martial law as a response to the terror acts of the ASG particularly in the province of Sulu. Aquino said he has considered adopting a policy over which he has been very vocal against, which is the declartion of martial law in Sulu. He identifies matial law with the Marcos dictatorship. After giving that impression, the outgoing commander-in-chief clarified that he sees that declaring martial law will not eventually work. “There was an assessment that many forces would be needed just to implement martial law here. There was no guarantee that there would be positive results,” Aquino said. “There could even be negative results. The enemy might also gain sympathy,” he added. The thought came to Aquino some three weeks before the terrorist group’s ransom deadline over the lives of kidnapped captives. Mum on advice for DU30 Aquino was mum when asked if he has any word of advice for to the incoming Duterte administration when it comes to dealing with the ASG. READ MORE...

ALSO: K-12 destroys PHL educational system – COTESCUP


JUNE 15 -Not only is the curriculum of the K-12 program totally wrong, but an additional two years for senior high school can only destroy the Philippine educational system, the Council of Teachers and Staff of Colleges and Universities in the Philippines (COTESCUP) said on Thursday.
"Yung K-12 na ginawa ng DepEd, yung curriculum nila ngayon, ang sinasabi namin tutol kami diyan kasi talagang there is something wrong with the curriculum. It is not just the additional two years. There is something wrong with the curriculum, it will destroy our educational system," the council's lead convener Rene Tadle said on GMA News TV's Balitanghali. Tadle also disagreed to the Education Department's stance that the K-12 can help Filipinos become more globally competitive. He added government should instead focus on improving college courses since this is where most graduates are forced to enter bridging programs. "Yung resulta na gusto nila to make our graduates competitive, hindi mangyayari yun kasi yung ating mga graduates na hindi tinatanggap sa ibang bansa, hindi sila tinatanggap dahil mali yung subject nila sa college so minsan nagbi-bridging program sila," Tadle said. Tadle emphasized the best solution to address to problems of K-12 is to suspend the program to rigorously study its advantage and disadvantages. "I think the best solution pa rin is pag-aralan mabuti kung maari pang isuspend ang K-12. Parang yung costs does not outweigh the benefits. Kitang kita ngayon ang gobyerno, sila na ang nagsasabi na preparado sila pero in reality nung tiningnan natin ang Facebook ng DepEd, lahat puro reklamo ang nakikita namin," he said. COTESCUP was one of the groups that filed a case before the Supreme Court calling for a temporary restraining order and/or a writ of preliminary injunction against the implementation of the K-12 program. READ MORE...

ALSO: DAP bought Luisita: New DAR chief wants Abad charged for hacienda sale


Farmers stage a protest against the government’s failure to implement genuine land reform in Hacienda Luisita in this file photo. Incoming Agrarian Reform secretary Rafael Mariano alleged that the farmland was bought using funds from the illegal Disbursement Acceleration Program. EY ACASIO OUTGOING President Benigno Aquino III and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad could be held criminally liable for allegedly misusing P471 million in Disbursement Acceleration Program funds to pay for parcels of land at the Aquino-owned Hacienda Luisita. Incoming Agrarian Reform secretary Rafael Mariano said he would order an investigation into the matter as soon as he assumes office on July 1. “There is documentary evidence regarding the use of P471 million from DAP, which was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, for the payment of parcels of lands at the Hacienda Luisita owned by the Cojuangco-Aquino family in Tarlac,” Mariano said at a news forum. “We will immediately review the sham land reform implemented by the DAR [Department of Agrarian Reform] in Hacienda Luisita,” Mariano said.
Bought with DAP? Mariano said Aquino could no longer invoke his immunity from suit as president of the Republic when he steps down by June 30. The CARP (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program) law provides that the chief executive is the ex-officio chairman of the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC), which decides agrarian reform cases like Hacienda Luisita. Mariano said the probe would determine the legality of the payment scheme carried out by the Aquino administration, not just in Hacienda Luisita but also for other big corporation claimants under the Agrarian Reform Law. The Supreme Court ruled with finality in 2012 that the sugarcane estate—covering 6,453 hectares—owned by the family of President Aquino should be redistributed and that the Cojuangco family be compensated at the land prices prevailing in 1989. Mariano has vowed to reverse any “anti-farmer” decisions at the DAR, including the Hacienda Luisita case. READ MORE...RELATED, Noy, Abad ready to face DAP cases...

ALSO: By Ricardo Saludo - Ending Aquino’s misrule of law
[The Liberal Party wants election rules relaxed. Having failed to submit the required Statement of Contributions and Expenditures on the unextendable June 8 deadline, the LP is asking the Commission on Elections to dispense with its December resolution disallowing late SOCE submissions.]


JUNE 15 - AQUINO: THE long-running mess that is the Land Transportation Office vehicle license plate anomaly hit the headlines again with the Supreme Court order stopping the Bureau of Customs from donating to the LTO some 300,000 plates seized by the BoC due to unpaid duties and taxes. For those who missed this epitome of Aquino-era lawbreaking, the problem began in July 2013, when the LTO, in a contract signed by Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Aquinaldo Abaya, awarded the P3.8-billion license plate contract to Dutch-Filipino consortium PPI-JKG Philippines, Inc. What caught the eye of state auditors was the lack of appropriation in the 2013 national budget for the contracted license plate purchase. The Commission on Audit (COA) pointed out in its order disallowing the contract that “the appropriated fund for the motor vehicle plate making project in 2013 was only P187,293,000.”  For the benefit of mathematically challenged transportation officials, the P3.8-billion value of the license plate award was more than 20 times what the LTO was allowed to spend on such purchases in 2013.
Moreover, the contract stipulated purchases over several years without the required multiyear procurement authority from the Department of Budget and Management. The LTO has argued that Congress cured the lack of appropriations when it appropriated funds in the 2014 budget. But the COA retorted: “The management cannot claim the 2014 appropriation because the 2014 national budget had not been approved when the bidding was conducted or awarded, and the 2014 appropriation amounting to P4,483,753,000 was specifically for the motor vehicle registration and driver’s licensing regulatory services.”  In its media campaign to justify its blatant violation of budgetary law, the LTO has repeatedly lamented that car owners suffer due to the COA order disallowing the contract, stopping the LTO from paying PPI-JKG, and compelling the company to return a P478-million down payment for the plates. That’s like a player who stepped out of bounds blaming the referee for a game loss caused by the infraction. It was the LTO and Secretary Abaya who have burdened motorists by awarding the anomalous contract, which has messed up the supply of license plates. As in the Metro Rail Transit mess, Abaya and his minions are to blame for the public’s woes. Breaking and blaming the rules For seasoned observers of the administration of President Benigno Aquino 3rd, the tactic of breaking then blaming the rules is a common one, as he himself exemplified. After the Supreme Court unanimously ruled nearly two years ago that Aquino’s P157-billion Disbursement Acceleration Program was illegal, he likened himself to a driver who parked where he shouldn’t to help someone in need. In short, rules can be broken if you have a good reason. And who can’t come up with a good reason, at least in his own mind? Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda certainly gave it a try when casino czar and close Aquino associate Cristino Naguiat, Jr. broke anti-graft regulations by letting a foreign company seeking a casino license give him and his family a lavish Macau junket. “Industry practice” was Lacierda’s defense of Naguiat’s wrongful freebie.READ MORE...PLUS READERS' COMMENTS...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

PNoy considered declaring martial law in Sulu


President Aquino flew to Sulu yesterday to oversee military operations to rescue the remaining hostages of the Abu Sayyaf following the beheading of Canadian Robert Hall on Monday. Malacañang Photo Bureau/Gil Nartea

ZAMBOANGA CITY, JUNE 20, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Roel Pareño Updated June 16, 2016 - 12:00am -

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – President Aquino yesterday admitted he had considered imposing martial law in Sulu province to contain the bandit group Abu Sayyaf.

Aquino flew to Sulu yesterday (June 14) to oversee military operations to rescue the remaining hostages of the Abu Sayyaf following the beheading of Canadian Robert Hall on Monday.

In a press briefing, Aquino said he considered imposing martial law in the province in the effort to further sustain military operations against the bandit group.

“Yes (I considered it). In Sulu, in particular. But of course we have to consider the forces we have to use to implement it and there is no guarantee that there will be positive results. There might even be negative results. The enemies might gain more sympathy,” he said.

The President said the assessment was made three weeks ago as government forces kept on missing the targets no matter how near they had come to get them.

Aquino stressed security forces always found themselves trying to beat the deadline imposed by the Abu Sayyaf for ransom payment and executing their hostages if payment is not made.

READ MORE...

“There were instances when (the troops) could reach the so-called harboring area – the food is still hot, a cigarette is still lit but the enemies still managed to evade,” he said.

Aquino also ordered “refinements” in the military operations against the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu.


JUNE 14 -PHILSTAR HEADLINE:' Aquino visits Sulu amid Abu Sayyaf threat' - ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — President Benigno Aquino III flew straight from Manila to Sulu on Wednesday morning to assess military operations, two days after the radical Abu Sayyaf group beheaded its last Canadian captive against the militant group, security officials confirmed. IN THIS PHOTO Outgoing President Benigno Aquino III reacts to a speech at an event by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority on Tuesday, June 14, 2016. He is seated next to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz and TESDA Secretary Joel Villanueva, who is now senator-elect. Malacañang Photo Bureau

He called for a review of military operations against the bandit group during a closed-door meeting with security officials in Jolo.

Aquino though refused to elaborate on the operational adjustments.

“It was agreed... as to how the operations could be refined to successfully rescue the remaining hostages,” Aquino said.

“I think prudence dictates that I say as little as possible. Very limited what I can say. I’m sure they have sympathizers who will watch you and will give them tips,” Aquino told reporters in Filipino.

Aquino had been briefed by security officials in Jolo about the military operations to rescue the remaining hostages still held by the Abu Sayyaf.

Hall was abducted from Samal island resort last September along with another Canadian, a Norwegian and a Filipino.

The other Canadian, former mining executive John Ridsdel, was beheaded in April after a ransom demand of P300 million was not paid.

The fates of the two other people abducted at the Samal resort – Hall’s Filipina girlfriend Marites Flor and Norwegian resort manager Kjartan Sekkingstad – were not known.

An Abu Sayyaf deadline for the payment of a large ransom lapsed Monday and police later found a severed head of a Caucasian man outside a cathedral in Jolo.

Maj. Filemon Tan Jr., spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command, said the President was briefed on the security situation and the difficulty of the troops in running after the Abu Sayyaf.

“So he was able to understand how it was difficult for the troops to run after the enemy and why there were constraints that need to be addressed,” Tan said.

“So he understands it and has not uttered a statement about any deadline,” he added.

Tan said the President did not insist on any deadline for the military to finish its mission.

“There is no pressure from him because he saw the efforts of the troops on the ground,” Tan said.


INQUIRER HEADLINE NEWS PHOTO FILE: 2 days after latest Abu beheading, Aquino flies to Sulu -JOLO, Sulu- President Benigno Aquino III and other senior state security officials flew here on Wednesday, two days after Abu Sayyaf bandits beheaded Canadian hostage Robert Hall. Aquino arrived at Camp Teodulfo Bautista at about 11 a.m. accompanied by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. INQUIRER FILE

He said the military commanders had a brainstorming and made adjustments during the meeting with Aquino at Camp Teodulfo Bautista.

Tan also declined to elaborate on the military tactics discussed during the meeting.

‘We are not alone’ In the same press briefing, Aquino told reporters that he had talked with the leaders of Canada and Norway who offered their assistance to help the Philippine government resolve the Abu Sayyaf problem.

Aquino said he talked with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and apologized for the beheading of his two countrymen. He also thanked Trudeau for maintaining the no-ransom policy.

Aquino said he had a talk with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who asked him about the probability of the successful resolution of the conflict.

Aquino said he explained to the Norwegian leader the difficulties facing the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the police in neutralizing the Abu Sayyaf.

The beheadings have taken place despite the heavy deployment of military and police forces to locate them in the jungles of Jolo.

The military said some residents and relatives living in the island are helping the bandits.

According to Aquino, the Norwegian leader understood the complexity of the conflict with the Abu Sayyaf.

“So we can say this is everyone’s problem and we are not alone in looking for a solution here,” he said.

Aquino said the two leaders he spoke with were aware of private individuals trying to negotiate with the bandits, even as they affirmed the no-ransom policy.

He said there were private negotiators working for the release of the Norwegian hostage in particular.

“They said... we do not have control over private individuals,” Aquino disclosed.

Emergency powers Aquino declined to give his successor, president-elect Rodrigo Duterte, any unsolicited advice on how to curb the Abu Sayyaf.

He said a person from Luzon like him might not be seen as someone who would know better than a man from Mindanao like Duterte.

“Under my watch, I promised a long time ago that the problems I would pass on should be much lessened or, as much as possible, all the problems that could be addressed now would already be finished so there would be no need to pass them on to the next administration,” Aquino said.


LACSON

Incoming senator Panfilo Lacson said granting emergency powers to Duterte would help his administration neutralize the terror group once and for all.

Sens. Antonio Trillanes IV and Vicente Sotto III said that they do not oppose the grant of emergency powers to Duterte.

Trillanes, however, said it would take more than just the grant of emergency powers to eliminate a terrorist group such as the Abu Sayyaf.

According to Trillanes, the capabilities of the AFP should be upgraded in order to better deal with the bandit group and other security threats.

“I have a proposal to increase the capability of the Armed Forces because they’re already spread too thin. We need more troops. The Armed Forces do not have enough troops to address all the security threats,” Trillanes said.

“The Abu Sayyaf requires a military option. So if it’s a military option, we need to upgrade the capabilities of the Armed Forces, not only on the equipment front, but on the manpower front,” he added.

He said at least 20,000 new troops are needed so that the AFP would be able to dedicate them to addressing the security threats.

Sotto said he would have no objections to the grant of emergency powers to the president to address security threats in the country.

He aired his belief that Duterte would do something about the Abu Sayyaf and the AFP would step up to the challenge.

“The Philippine Army or Armed Forces of the Philippines are just waiting for the opportunity. Believe me, they are just waiting for the go signal of the chief executive,” Sotto said.

Sotto said he would also have no objections to the possible declaration of martial law in areas where the Abu Sayyaf operates.

Incoming speaker and Davao del Norte representative-elect Pantaleon Alvarez said the House of Representatives would be willing to give Duterte extraordinary powers.

Outgoing Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said he is in favor of the proposed grant of emergency powers to Duterte so he could effectively deal with terrorism, criminality, the illegal drug trade and worsening traffic.

“These are extraordinary problems needing extraordinary actions. We have to stop terrorism, illegal drugs and heavy traffic. But the proposed emergency authority should be specific and limited as to duration,” he said.

Reelected Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III said he would like to listen to the proposals of the incoming administration.

“I am open to giving president-elect Duterte emergency powers, but I would like to know the specifics. The emergency authority should be clearly defined and should be time-bound,” Albano said.

On the other hand, the camp of Duterte kept mum on the proposal to grant the incoming president emergency powers to fight the Abu Sayyaf.

“No official statement has yet been issued,” Duterte’s spokesman Ernesto Abella said when asked to react to the proposal. – With Aurea Calica, Jess Diaz, Marvin Sy, Delon Porcalla, Alexis Romero

RELATED: Family of beheaded Canadian backs no ransom policy


TRIBUNE

Noy flies to Jolo amid Abu shaming Written by Ted Tuvera Thursday, 16 June 2016 00:00


AQUINO

In a face-saving bid, President Aquino flew to Jolo island yesterday where the Abu Sayyaf group (ASG) is based and insisted Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and other hostages being held by the Islamic extremists could be rescued after the militants beheaded Robert Hall, the second Canadian captive to be executed.

Aquino met with troops tasked with tracking the militants through hostile jungle terrain.

The Aquino administration has been criticized particularly abroad for its failure to take steps in rescuing the recent Abu Sayyaf captives who are mostly foreigners.

“We are getting a clearer picture of what is happening here. We saw today how to refine our operations so we can successfully rescue the remaining hostages,” Aquino told reporters traveling with him.

Aquino also said he apologized to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the murders of the two Canadian men, who were abducted along with Sekkingstad and Filipina Marites Flor from a yacht at an exclusive southern marina nine months ago.

Aquino claimed he conceived of declaring martial law as a response to the terror acts of the ASG particularly in the province of Sulu.

Aquino said he has considered adopting a policy over which he has been very vocal against, which is the declaration of martial law in Sulu. He identifies martial law with the Marcos dictatorship.


NOY IDENTIFIES MARTIAL LAW WITH THE MARCOS DICTATORSHIP

After giving that impression, the outgoing commander-in-chief clarified that he sees that declaring martial law will not eventually work.

“There was an assessment that many forces would be needed just to implement martial law here. There was no guarantee that there would be positive results,” Aquino said.

“There could even be negative results. The enemy might also gain sympathy,” he added.

The thought came to Aquino some three weeks before the terrorist group’s ransom deadline over the lives of kidnapped captives.

Mum on advice for DU30

Aquino was mum when asked if he has any word of advice for to the incoming Duterte admini-stration when it comes to dealing with the ASG.

READ MORE...

In the nation’s recent history, martial law was utilized twice by a Philippine president: in 1972 by the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos in order to curb the growing communist movement during that time and in 2009 when then President Gloria Arroyo had to manage matters in the aftermath of the Maguindanao massacre.

Hall was beheaded last Monday after the Abu Sayyaf’s demands for a ransom of P300 million were not met. His friend, John Ridsdel, was beheaded in April after a similar ransom demand was not paid.

Osama bin Laden’s disciples

The Abu Sayyaf is a loose network of a few hundred Islamic militants formed in the 1990s with seed money from Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda network that has earned millions of dollars from kidnappings-for-ransom.

It is a radical offshoot of a decades-long Muslim separatist insurgency in the south of the mainly Catholic Philippines that has claimed more than 100,000 lives. The main Muslim rebel groups do not generally engage in kidnappings-for-ransom.

The Abu Sayyaf’s strongholds are Jolo and nearby Basilan, small but mountainous islands roughly 1,000 kilometers from Manila with mainly Muslim populations.


Philippine President Gloria Arroyo accompanied by Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro (back) view the flag-draped caskets of soldiers killed in fighting against the Abu Sayyaf during a funeral wake at the Philippin Marines headquarters...t(:more) August 21, 2007 | License Keywords:DeathFlagFuneralPhilippinesSuburban

Aquino, who is due to step down by June 30 this year, said he had found it difficult to end the Abu Sayyaf threat during his six years in office.

Among the problems, he cited the Abu Sayyaf’s support of the local Muslim communities, many of whom have received money from the militants, he said.

“They (the militants) have many resources. They can buy sympathy and they are in their place of origin. They have knowledge of the terrain. All of the advantages are theirs,” Aquino said.

He also said the military and police were understaffed, not having increased in size since 1986 despite the huge rise in population since.

The Abu Sayyaf is believed to be holding at least eight hostages, according to Pacific Strategies and Assessments, a regional security analysis firm.

These include a Japanese treasure hunter kidnapped in 2010 and a Dutch bird watcher abducted in 2012.

No DU30 special powers

Some lawmakers are reluctant on the proposal to give Duterte emergency powers even as they said that the problem of traffic congestion could be solved with the simple implementation of the traffic rules.

According to outgoing House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr the proposal should be formally filed in Congress in order for it to be discussed and studied.

“Lets find out first the emergency power needs to do, what in particular?”Belmonte said yesterday.

Former Manila Mayor and now Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza also expressed doubts about the proposed emergency powers for Duterte.

“No, not needed. Simple enforcement of laws and removing corruption in the transportation and traffic management can solve the problem,” Atienza said.

He added that the Duterte government should first improve the transport system in the country because by doing so the number of vehicles will subsequently decline.
 


Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone PACIFICTIMES.ORG File Photo/PT)

Eastern Samar Congressman-elect Ben Evardone, however, is in favor of the proposal.

Evardone posited that the emergency powers would allow the president to do away with the circuitous process that could delay the implementation of traffic projects.

The success of peace efforts by the incoming Duterte government could be its greatest legacy to the Filipino people, outgoing Speaker Belmonte said as he added that ending the decades long conflict would be one of the greatest achievements of the Duterte government.

“I’m all for it. Ending the CPP-NPA (New People’s Army) rebellion would definitely be one of the great achievements of President Duterte,” Belmonte said.

Jesus Dureza and Silvestre Bello III, Duterte’s Peace Process secretary and Labor and Employment chief, respectively, are now in Olso, Norway to begin “exploratory talks” with the National Democratic Front.

Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate, was also very supportive of the peace talks initiated by the Duterte camp.

“We laud the informal Oslo meeting of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s peace emissaries led by secretaries-designate Jesus Dureza and Silvestre Bello III and the members of National Democratic Front of the Philippines peace panel headed by Luis Jalandoni and chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison.

“We view with optimism the openness of both parties to jump start immediately the long stalled peace process, as well as their commitment to respect past agreements already signed,” said Zarate.

Zarate expressed the hope that formal negotiations between the NDF and the Duterte government would start soon after June 30.

Zarate underscored the need to “execute an agreement on the much-needed socio-economic reforms”.

He called on the Duterte administration to free so-called political prisoners as a way to ensure that the negotiations don’t bog down again.

“As the talks now progress, we also urge both parties to make further confidence-building measures, such as the release of political prisoners and declarations of mutual ceasefires,” he said.

Canada strikes back positively

The Canadian government has promised to provide financial assistance to the affected people living in the conflict areas in Mindanao days after the recent execution of Hall that has been held captive by the ASG for months.

In a recent statement in Ottawa, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the group’s ‘vicious and brutal’ actions holding them “fully responsible for the cold-blooded and senseless murder” of Robert Hall.

The Department of Foreign Affairs shared its statement that the country in condemns the act, saying that “the Philippine Government does not tolerate, nor does it negotiate with, terrorists. We reiterate our utmost opposition to terrorism in all its forms.”

That said, the Canadian Embassy decided to donate a sum of 1.25 million Canadian dollars or approximately P42 million in order to “fund the support for those people in the conflict-affected Mindanao particularly in Zamboanga and Maguindanao,” putting more focus on the innocent lives in that area.


THE 2 KIDNAPPED, BEHEADED CANADIAN MEN

In a press conference, Canada’s ambassador to the Philippines Neil Reeder said that the first world country’s support will immediately benefit these places and residents, saying, “ it will help meet immediate life-saving needs and address unprecedented humanitarian challenges including those in the Philippines.”

The embassy noted that the funding will be provided through Action Against Hunger (ACF) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), stressing that “it will contribute to improved food security, health, living conditions, livelihoods and emergency-preparedness.”

The donation will be divided into the stakeholders involved; a total of 500,000 Canadian dollars will proceed to the ACF which will be the bridge in improving the food security of almost 3,000 residents situated in the center of conflict-afflicted in Zamboanga and Maguindanao.

Trillanes’ unsolicited advice

Duterte’s top critic Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, meanwhile, urged the incoming administration to purge the Abu Sayyaf Group militarily saying that there’s no use negotiating with them.

“The Abu Sayyaf has no political stand nor do they have an ideology to present. The next government has nothing to talk about with them, except that the only means to neutralize them is by military means,” Trillanes told reporters yesterday in a media forum.

“The (ASG) are bandits that only kidnap people to collect unreasonable ransom money. Their rebellion has no principles,” he said.

Trillanes refused to blame neglect on anybody from the government’s side with regard to the manner of dealing with the ASG to avoid hostage casualties.

The senator also supports the call for Duterte to maximize emergency powers to crush the ASG once and for all.

Speaking from Oslo, Norway, incoming presidential adviser on the peace process Jesus Dureza clarified that the Duterte administration will not deal with the ASG the way they’re dealing with communist rebels.

Dureza admitted that he was involved in negotiating with the ASG to supposedly release Ridsdel - who he says is a friend - who was nonetheless beheaded by the bandits last April 25.

“[The ASG] has to face the full force of the law for its terrorism and criminal acts,” Dureza, in a statement, warned.

On the other hand, preliminary talks between emissaries of the incoming administration and the communists represented by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in Oslo are ongoing.
Gerry Baldo, Joyce Ann L. Rocamora, AFP


GMA NEWS NETWORK

K-12 destroys PHL educational system – COTESCUP Published June 16, 2016 5:10pm

Not only is the curriculum of the K-12 program totally wrong, but an additional two years for senior high school can only destroy the Philippine educational system, the Council of Teachers and Staff of Colleges and Universities in the Philippines (COTESCUP) said on Thursday.

"Yung K-12 na ginawa ng DepEd, yung curriculum nila ngayon, ang sinasabi namin tutol kami diyan kasi talagang there is something wrong with the curriculum. It is not just the additional two years. There is something wrong with the curriculum, it will destroy our educational system," the council's lead convener Rene Tadle said on GMA News TV's Balitanghali.

Tadle also disagreed to the Education Department's stance that the K-12 can help Filipinos become more globally competitive.

He added government should instead focus on improving college courses since this is where most graduates are forced to enter bridging programs.

"Yung resulta na gusto nila to make our graduates competitive, hindi mangyayari yun kasi yung ating mga graduates na hindi tinatanggap sa ibang bansa, hindi sila tinatanggap dahil mali yung subject nila sa college so minsan nagbi-bridging program sila," Tadle said.

Tadle emphasized the best solution to address to problems of K-12 is to suspend the program to rigorously study its advantage and disadvantages.

"I think the best solution pa rin is pag-aralan mabuti kung maari pang isuspend ang K-12. Parang yung costs does not outweigh the benefits. Kitang kita ngayon ang gobyerno, sila na ang nagsasabi na preparado sila pero in reality nung tiningnan natin ang Facebook ng DepEd, lahat puro reklamo ang nakikita namin," he said.

COTESCUP was one of the groups that filed a case before the Supreme Court calling for a temporary restraining order and/or a writ of preliminary injunction against the implementation of the K-12 program.

READ MORE...


PHOTO COURTESY OF GMA NEWS ONLINE

If the program is not suspended, Tadle said DepEd must ensure the curriculum is well made since studies showed an additional two years of basic education is not equal to more jobs and added competitiveness.

"Right now, there are a lot of studies that show that it will not attain what they [DepEd] want. Hindi magkakaroon ng mas maraming trabaho at hindi mas magiging competitive yung ating estudyante pagka-graduate nila sa K-12. Parang we are just wasting our government's money," Tadle said.

He added countries who adopted the K-12 program also under perform in the fields of science and math.

Tadle said even the United States is reviewing its basic education system.

"May nakita rin silang problema. Ngayon we are rushing to be part of K-12 pero ang hindi natin alam in ways it will only benefit a few people. In ways this is just a business thing. Gusto namin kung talagang gusto umunlad at maging competitive ang ating graduates, improve ang college," he said. — Joseph Tristan Roxas/RSJ, GMA News


MANILA STANDARD

DAP bought Luisita:New DAR chief wants Abad charged for hacienda sale posted June 15, 2016 at 12:01 am by Maricel Cruz and Sandy Araneta


Farmers stage a protest against the government’s failure to implement genuine land reform in Hacienda Luisita in this file photo. Incoming Agrarian Reform secretary Rafael Mariano alleged that the farmland was bought using funds from the illegal Disbursement Acceleration Program. EY ACASIO

OUTGOING President Benigno Aquino III and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad could be held criminally liable for allegedly misusing P471 million in Disbursement Acceleration Program funds to pay for parcels of land at the Aquino-owned Hacienda Luisita.

Incoming Agrarian Reform secretary Rafael Mariano said he would order an investigation into the matter as soon as he assumes office on July 1.

“There is documentary evidence regarding the use of P471 million from DAP, which was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, for the payment of parcels of lands at the Hacienda Luisita owned by the Cojuangco-Aquino family in Tarlac,” Mariano said at a news forum.

“We will immediately review the sham land reform implemented by the DAR [Department of Agrarian Reform] in Hacienda Luisita,” Mariano said.


Incoming Agrarian Reform secretary Rafael Mariano

Bought with DAP?

Mariano said Aquino could no longer invoke his immunity from suit as president of the Republic when he steps down by June 30.

The CARP (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program) law provides that the chief executive is the ex-officio chairman of the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC), which decides agrarian reform cases like Hacienda Luisita.

Mariano said the probe would determine the legality of the payment scheme carried out by the Aquino administration, not just in Hacienda Luisita but also for other big corporation claimants under the Agrarian Reform Law.

The Supreme Court ruled with finality in 2012 that the sugarcane estate—covering 6,453 hectares—owned by the family of President Aquino should be redistributed and that the Cojuangco family be compensated at the land prices prevailing in 1989.

Mariano has vowed to reverse any “anti-farmer” decisions at the DAR, including the Hacienda Luisita case.

READ MORE...

He also vowed to strengthen the farmers’ security of tenure over the land and vowed that no farmers would be displaced under his watch.

Mariano, the incumbent chairman of the leftist farmers group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, earlier slammed the Aquino administration for the agrarian reform deals it forged with the President’s uncle, Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., and former secretary Manuel Roxas II’s relatives, the Araneta family.

The KMP said it will hold a send-off protest rally against Aquino’s anti-farmer deal at the DAR’s main office in Quezon City.

Some 200 farmers in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, and Silang, Cavite, led by the KMP will march to the DAR’s main office.

The KMP said more than 300 hectares of land were being grabbed from the farmers for the construction of Metro Rail Transit 7’s inter-modal depot along with its commercial and residential components.

“To this day, the Aranetas, a big landlord family of Spanish origin, continue to control tens of thousands of hectares of land in Bulacan and other parts of the country,” the KMP said in a statement.

“This is worsened by the irony that the heirs of General Emilio Aguinaldo, who claimed so-called independence from Spanish colonialism, are now leading the land-grabbing and eviction of farmers in Cavite.”

The group said farmers from the villages of Tartaria and Lumil in Silang town were now facing eviction in the more than 350-hectare Aguinaldo Estate being grabbed by the heirs of General Emilio Aguinaldo that include outgoing Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya, another Liberal Party stalwart.

The KMP said the Cojuangco family “immediately maneuvered to secure their landholdings” after Mariano was mentioned as a possible DAR secretary.


PHOTO FROM PAGADIAN NEWS ONLNE

The group cited reports by the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura on the most recent incidence of violence against the farmers of Hacienda Luisita that occurred on May 30, when agents of the Cojuangco-Aquino family attempted to demolish a farmer’s house in Barangay Mapalacsiao inside Hacienda Luisita.

“We will conduct a no-holds-barred review and reversal of the DAR’s anti-farmer decisions, [declare] a moratorium on land-use conversion and a stop to the cancellation of farmers’ land ownership certificates,” Mariano said.

“This review will also include the pending petition by farmers for the revocation of the land-use conversion issued by the DAR in favor of the Cojuangcos of Hacienda Luisita.”

Farmers have complained that the Cojuangco-Aquino family has defied a Supreme Court ruling that the President’s family must distribute the land to the farmers, and claim the DAR is conniving with them.

The Court also ordered the family to return P1.33 billion to the farmers, saying that amount came from the proceeds of the sale of some 500 hectares in the hacienda.

The Palace on Tuesday defended its agrarian reform record, including its actions on Hacienda Luisita.

“Government has implemented the CARL and all applicable laws without fear or favor. It has also complied with the Supreme Court decision ordering the distribution of land,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a text message to The Standard.

“Having observed good governance principles including transparency and accountability, the outgoing administration believes its actions and decisions will pass public scrutiny,” Coloma added.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Noy, Abad ready to face DAP cases By Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 16, 2016 - 12:00am 9 263 googleplus0 0


INSEPARABLE? Incoming justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has said he would review DAP and file charges if necessary. At least one case in connection with the program is pending in the Office of the Ombudsman. The respondents include President Aquino and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad. File photo

MANILA, Philippines – President Aquino and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad are ready for criminal charges that might be filed against them after June 30 in connection with the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

“The President and I have analyzed DAP up to its tiniest detail and we are prepared for any case arising out of it,” Abad, who is a lawyer, said yesterday in a television interview.

He said there was no bad faith on their part in undertaking the economic stimulus program despite a Supreme Court (SC) ruling that four practices under it were unconstitutional.

“The Supreme Court itself declared that DAP benefitted the economy and the country. It accelerated economic growth in 2012 and 2013,” he said.

Incoming justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has said he would review DAP and file charges if necessary.

At least one case in connection with the program is pending in the Office of the Ombudsman. The respondents include Aquino and Abad.

The DAP practices the SC has declared unconstitutional included cross-border fund transfers (from the executive to the legislature or from the executive to the judiciary), declaration of savings before the end of the year and impoundment of appropriations.

Under the ruling, the high court said good faith and regularity of actions should be presumed on the part of Aquino, Abad and those who implemented DAP.

Complainants should prove bad faith and irregularity, it said.

Abad also said record levels of public spending for social services like education, health and infrastructure have been achieved under the Aquino administration.

During Aquino’s six-year watch, he said the amount of public funds allocated for infrastructure rose from P165 billion to P780 billion, while the budget for health jumped from P31 billion to P132 billion.

He said funds for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) or conditional cash transfer (CCT) to the poor increased from about P10 billion in 2010 to P64 billion this year.

“The number of CCT beneficiaries went up from 800,000 to 4.6 million families,” he added.

Abad noted that millions of poor and senior citizens were covered by health insurance with the government paying for their premium contributions.

He pointed out that the country, for the first time in its history, “has consistently earned credit rating upgrades with no downgrade,” allowing it to borrow funds from foreign and local sources at minimal interest and to keep domestic lending rates low.

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NEWS SCOOP FROM PAGADIAN NEWS ONLINE

NBP REVEALS SHOCKING PHOTOS OF PNOY AND DE LIMA I Love Pagadian 6 days ago NATION, NEWS

All photos taken from Lou Ferrante's documentary, "Inside the Gangster's Code" -- Discovery Channel

These shocking photos of President Benigno Aquino III and now Senator Leila de Lima revealed in an office of one inmate leader in New Bilibid Prison (NBP). It was seen by Lou Ferrante of Discovery Channel when he visited New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa.

He was then introduced to a so-called diplomat/CEO inmate of the facility named Jaybee Sebastian, described as one helping the Bureau of Corrections (BUCOR) maintain peace and order.

It was then described that the facility is running by a ‘reward and punishment system’ that if an inmate is disciplined and useful, he will be rewarded so as to an inmate who commit mistakes will be punished by their cell mayors or gang leaders and prison guards.

It said that it might be the reason why Jaybee is enjoying such perks and seems he was respected inside the compound. Jaybee Sebastian has this office that is well equipped and decorated. It includes computers, conference tables, flat screens and a wall full of framed pictures.

As Ferrante interviewing Jaybee, he noticed a picture frame of Jaybee including in the picture was President Benigno Aquino III and another picture of Jaybee with now Senator Leila de Lima.

It was known that the photos were taken long before the December 2014 raid of some ‘VIP’ inmates dubbed as Bilibid 19 and later transferred its custody to NBI.

The operation is headed by Leila de Lima herself.

Bilibid 19 was known for its explicit multi-million dollar drug trade inside the prison and being smuggled outside and some other parts of the country. Yet, it was reported in 2015 that Jaybee is not included in 2014 raid that also runs drug trade inside the said prison.

It clearly stated that Bilibid 19 were out of the picture, Jaybee’s group along with convicted Chinese syndicates have the monopoly of the illegal trade. And the questions raised, “Why he was not included in 2014 raid headed by now Senator Leila de Lima?”.

Whatever the reason and whoever was the one who should be responsible in the case, nobody barely knows.


MANILA TIMES (COMMENTARY)

Ending Aquino’s misrule of law June 15, 2016 10:50 pm Ricardo Saludo


AQUINO


by RICARDO SALUDO

THE long-running mess that is the Land Transportation Office vehicle license plate anomaly hit the headlines again with the Supreme Court order stopping the Bureau of Customs from donating to the LTO some 300,000 plates seized by the BoC due to unpaid duties and taxes.

For those who missed this epitome of Aquino-era lawbreaking, the problem began in July 2013, when the LTO, in a contract signed by Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Aquinaldo Abaya, awarded the P3.8-billion license plate contract to Dutch-Filipino consortium PPI-JKG Philippines, Inc.



What caught the eye of state auditors was the lack of appropriation in the 2013 national budget for the contracted license plate purchase. The Commission on Audit (COA) pointed out in its order disallowing the contract that “the appropriated fund for the motor vehicle plate making project in 2013 was only P187,293,000.”

For the benefit of mathematically challenged transportation officials, the P3.8-billion value of the license plate award was more than 20 times what the LTO was allowed to spend on such purchases in 2013.

Moreover, the contract stipulated purchases over several years without the required multiyear procurement authority from the Department of Budget and Management.

The LTO has argued that Congress cured the lack of appropriations when it appropriated funds in the 2014 budget. But the COA retorted:

“The management cannot claim the 2014 appropriation because the 2014 national budget had not been approved when the bidding was conducted or awarded, and the 2014 appropriation amounting to P4,483,753,000 was specifically for the motor vehicle registration and driver’s licensing regulatory services.”

In its media campaign to justify its blatant violation of budgetary law, the LTO has repeatedly lamented that car owners suffer due to the COA order disallowing the contract, stopping the LTO from paying PPI-JKG, and compelling the company to return a P478-million down payment for the plates.

That’s like a player who stepped out of bounds blaming the referee for a game loss caused by the infraction.

It was the LTO and Secretary Abaya who have burdened motorists by awarding the anomalous contract, which has messed up the supply of license plates. As in the Metro Rail Transit mess, Abaya and his minions are to blame for the public’s woes.
Breaking and blaming the rules

For seasoned observers of the administration of President Benigno Aquino 3rd, the tactic of breaking then blaming the rules is a common one, as he himself exemplified.

After the Supreme Court unanimously ruled nearly two years ago that Aquino’s P157-billion Disbursement Acceleration Program was illegal, he likened himself to a driver who parked where he shouldn’t to help someone in need.

In short, rules can be broken if you have a good reason. And who can’t come up with a good reason, at least in his own mind?


LACIERDA

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda certainly gave it a try when casino czar and close Aquino associate Cristino Naguiat, Jr. broke anti-graft regulations by letting a foreign company seeking a casino license give him and his family a lavish Macau junket. “Industry practice” was Lacierda’s defense of Naguiat’s wrongful freebie.

READ MORE...

The Liberal Party wants election rules relaxed. Having failed to submit the required Statement of Contributions and Expenditures on the unextendable June 8 deadline, the LP is asking the Commission on Elections to dispense with its December resolution disallowing late SOCE submissions.

If the Comelec sticks to its rules, then the LP is deemed not to have submitted its SOCE, and all its winning candidates are not allowed to take office, including Vice President-elect Leni Robredo, and dozens of lawmakers and provincial, city and municipal officials, including current Senate President Franklin Drilon.

So now, LP leaders and lawyers are arguing that the Comelec should not burden the electorate by disallowing their chosen officials from taking office, just as the LTO sought to blame the COA for the lack of vehicle license plates. No mention, of course, about the breaking of rules as the real culprit.


ROXAS

Such leniency in enforcing laws and rules, however, is reserved for Aquino and his coterie of classmates, allies, and shooting buddies.

When it appeared that there were items missing in the required Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth filed by then-Chief Justice Renato Corona, 20 senator-judges voted to remove him, even if such SALN errors could be corrected without penalty.


COMPOSITE PHOTOS

Of course, the biggest violation of law in that whole episode is Aquino’s open lobbying of legislators to impeach and convict Corona, even releasing billions of pesos in pork barrel and DAP funds to compliant senators and congressmen.

Restoring the rule of law

So what should the administration of Duterte do to restore the rule of law run roughshod under Aquino?

His chosen Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 3rd is on the right track in targeting the DAP for priority investigation.

Despite an explicit Supreme Court order to probe and prosecute the illicit program’s authors, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, showing her pro-KKK bias, has dragged her feet in implementing the July 2014 instruction.

This despite the statement by her former High Court colleagues that DAP funds were allocated to expenditures not covered by any budgetary allocations—a clear pointer to malversation.

By finally holding Aquino to account for this gross violation of the Constitution, the Duterte government can set the tone for all public servants: follow the law or else.

Other Aquinomalies ignored by the Ombudsman should also be fast-tracked for investigation, including:

• The diversion of 2,000-plus cargo containers in 2011, with the connivance of customs officials, who kept releasing boxes despite dozens and even hundreds lost
• The P1.2-billion contract for air force combat helicopters, exposed in Senate hearings, and the P25-billion purchase of South Korean trainer jets, suspended by state auditors
• Pork barrel anomalies involving administration stalwarts, charged by Atty. Levito Baligod, former lawyer of Benhur Luy, who exposed the scam

After six years of KKK, let the law rule again. [ President Aquino's KKK (kabarkada, kabarilan at kaklase, or chums, gun buddies and classmates)]
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9 Responses to Ending Aquino’s misrule of law
Rudi Miranda says:
June 16, 2016 at 8:58 am
Congratulations and Thank you for reminding the incoming governance of the job at hand with graft and corruption in government. Brave pen! Bravo and right on…
Reply
Jose Samilin says:
June 16, 2016 at 8:30 am
Yes, after six years of KKK of the worst president, ever in history, let the law rule again. Now there is life again that we can hope for in this country.
Reply
Leodegardo Pruna says:
June 16, 2016 at 8:08 am
Let the axe fall where it should and let the rule of law prevail. Omb. Morales should also be made accountable for her lack of morality – LESS MORAL in Math no moral at all. God save the Philippines.
Reply
diosdado h. baul says:
June 16, 2016 at 7:55 am
Should they not also identify the rest of the DAP enablers like Napoles, it looks like the Pakistani-scam linked couple may be among the supposed 12 trainees/proteges of a wicked financial designer of DAP/PDAF ?
Reply
Virgilio M.Pinlac says:
June 16, 2016 at 7:26 am
iyan ba ang pamumuno ni Pnoy?
Reply
Inocent says:
June 16, 2016 at 6:39 am
A person who always gives priority to himself will never succeed. A “leader” who only thinks of himself, can never lead. The Philippines had no leader for the past 6 years. The Philippines did not have a leader for those years, rather we had a person who does not know his job description and what is required and expected of him. Hence, priorities are turned upside down and the victims were all the poor people who were abandoned to prioritize the needs of the rich.
Reply
P.Akialamiro says:
June 16, 2016 at 2:28 am
Not unless the laws of the country rule, the Philippine will always be at the mercy of the unscrupulous, corrupt and ‘oligarchic’ government leaders and officials. It is about time that a strong leader was elected and, hopefully, the country has a new dawn. Mr. Du30’s election is a blessing.
Reply
field says:
June 16, 2016 at 12:49 am
“By finally holding Aquino to account for this gross violation of the Constitution, the Duterte government can set the tone for all public servants: follow the law or else.”
The Duterte government should go after Noynoy and his minions. Ombudsman Conchita Morales-Carpio would’t go after them if Duterte gives a hint that he does not want to do so.
Reply
Vik says:
June 15, 2016 at 11:51 pm
Saludo tayo sa mga sinabi ninyo, Mr Saludo. Hipocrisy masking kleptocracy by these yellows dubbed as marangal, disente, at maka democracy kunoh…tell it to these jarheads marines…


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