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State of the Nation Address (English translation)

Posted by akosistella on July 26, 2010


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By His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Philippines to the Congress
of the Philippines Session Hall of the House of Representatives
July 26, 2010 (Batasan Pambansa Complex, Quezon City)

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte; Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile; Vice President Jejomar Binay, Chief Justice Renato Corona, Former Presidents Fidel Valdez Ramos and Joseph Ejercito Estrada; Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate; distinguished members of the diplomatic corps; My beloved countrymen:

Our administration is facing a forked road. On one direction, decisions are made to protect the welfare of our people; to look after the interest of the majority; to have a firm grip on principles; and to be faithful to the public servant’s sworn oath to serve the country honestly.

This is the straight path.

On the other side, personal interest is the priority, and where one becomes a slave to political considerations to the detriment of our nation.

This is the crooked path.

For a long time, our country lost its way in the crooked path. As days go by (since I became President), the massive scope of the problems we have inherited becomes much clearer. I could almost feel the weight of my responsibilities.

In the first three weeks of our administration, we discovered many things, and I will report to you some of the problems we have uncovered, and the steps we are taking to solve them.

This report is merely a glimpse of our situation. It is not the entire picture of the crises we are facing. The reality was hidden from our people, who seem to have been deliberately obfuscated on the real state of our nation.

In the first six years of this year, government expenditure exceeded our revenues. Our deficit further increased to PhP196.7 billion. Our collection targets, which lack PhP23.8 billion, were not fully met, while we went beyond our spending by PhP45.1 billion.

Our budget for 2010 is PhP1.54 trillion. Of this, only PhP100 billion – or 6.5% of the total budget – can be used for the remaining six months of the current year. Roughly 1% of the total budget is left for each of the remaining month.

Where did the funds go?

A calamity fund worth PhP2 billion was reserved in preparation for anticipated calamities. Of this already miniscule amount, at a time when the rainy season has yet to set in, PhP1.4 billion or 70% was already spent.

The entire province of Pampanga received PhP108 million. Of this, PhP105 million went to only one district. On the other hand, the province of Pangasinan, which was severely affected by Typhoon Pepeng, received a mere PhP5 million, which had to be used to fix damages inflicted not even by Pepeng, but by a previous typhoon, Cosme.

The funds were released on election month, which was seven months after the typhoon. What will happen if a typhoon arrives tomorrow? The fund has been used up to repair damage from typhoons that hit us last year. Our future will pay for the greed of yesterday.

This is also what happened to the funds of the MWSS. Just recently, people lined up for water while the leadership of the MWSS rewarded itself even though the pensions of retired employees remain unpaid.

The entire payroll of the MWSS amounts to 51.4 million pesos annually. But this isn’t the full extent of what they receive: they receive additional allowances and benefits amounting to 81.1 million pesos. In short, they receive 211.5 million pesos annually. Twenty four percent of this is for normal salaries, and sixty six percent is added on.

The average worker receives up to 13th month pay plus a cash gift. In the MWSS, they receive the equivalent of over thirty months pay if you include all their additional bonuses and allowances.

What we discovered in the case of the salaries of their board of trustees is even more shocking. Let’s take a look at the allowances they receive:

Attending board of trustees and board committee meetings, and you get 14,000 pesos. This totals 98,000 pesos a month. They also get an annual grocery incentive of 80,000 pesos.

And that’s not all. They get a mid-year bonus, productivity bonus, anniversary bonus, year-end bonus, and financial assistance. They not only get a Christmas bonus, but an additional Christmas package as well. Each of these amounts to 80,000 pesos. All in all, each member of the board receives 2.5 million pesos a year exclusive of car service, technical assistance, and loans. Let me repeat. They award themselves all of these while being in arrears for the pensions of their retired employees.

Even the La Mesa watershed wasn’t spared. In order to ensure an adequate supply of water, we need to protect our watersheds. In watersheds, trees are needed. Where there should be trees, they built homes for the top officials of the MWSS.

We cannot remove them from their positions quickly because they are among the midnight appointees of former president Arroyo. We are investigating all of these things. But if they have any shame left, they should voluntarily relinquish their positions.

Now let’s discuss funds for infrastructure. The DPWH identified 246 priority safety projects to be funded by the motor vehicle user‚Äôs charge. This needs a budget of 425 million pesos. What they ended up funding were only 28 projects. They disregarded 218 projects and replaced these with seventy projects that weren’t in the plans. The 425 million pesos originally asked for became 480 million pesos, increasing because of projects allocated for a favored few.

These projects make no sense: unstudied and unprepared for, sprouting like mushrooms.

The era of such projects is at an end. Under our administration, there will be no quotas, there will be no overpricing, the funds of the people will be spent for the people.

There’s more. Five days before the term of the previous administration ended, they ordered 3.5 billion pesos to be released for the rehabilitation of those affected by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. This was supposed to fund eighty-nine projects. But nineteen of these projects amounting to 981 million pesos didn’t go through public bidding. Special Allotment Release Orders hadn’t even been released and yet the contracts were already signed. It’s a good thing Secretary Rogelio Singson spotted and stopped them. Instead, they will all go through the proper bidding, and the funds will be used to provide relief to those who lost their homes due to typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

Let’s discuss what happened in Napocor. From 2001 to 2004, the government forced Napocor to sell electricity at a loss to prevent increases in electricity rates. The real motivation for this is that they were preparing for the election.

As a result, in 2004, Napocor slumped deeply in debt. The government was obligated to shoulder the 200 billion pesos it owed.

What the public thought they saved from electricity, we are now paying for using public coffers. Not only are we paying for the cost of electricity; we are also paying for the interest arising from the debt.

If the money we borrowed was used properly, then there would be added assurance that constant supply of electricity is available. However, this decision was based on bad politics, not on the true needs of the people. The people, after having to sacrifice, suffered even more.

This is also what happened to the MRT. The government tried again to buy the people’s love. The operator was forced to keep the rates low.

In effect, the guarantee given to the operator that he will still be able to recoup his investment was not fulfilled. Because of this, Landbank and the Development Bank of the Philippines were ordered to purchase the MRT.

The money of the people was used in exchange for an operation that was losing money.

Let us now move on to the funds of the National Food Authority (NFA).

In 2004: 117,000 metric tons (of rice) was the shortage in the supply of the Philippines. What they (the government) bought were 900,000 metric tons. Even if you multiply for more than seven times the amount of shortage, they still bought more than what was needed.

In 2007: 589,000 metric tons was the shortage in the supply of the Philippines. What they bought were 1.827 million metric tons. Even if you multiply for more than three times the amount of shortage, they again bought more than what was needed.

What hurts is, because they keep purchasing more than what they need year after year, the excess rice that had to be stored in warehouses ended up rotting, just like what happened in 2008.

Is this not a crime, letting rice rot, despite the fact that there are 4 million Filipinos who do not eat three times a day?

The result is NFA’s current debt of 177 billion pesos.

This money that was wasted could have funded the following:

• The budget of the entire judiciary, which is at 12.7 billion pesos this year.
• The Conditional Cash Transfers for the following year, which cost 29.6 billion pesos.
• All the classrooms that our country needs, which cost 130 billion pesos.

This way of doing things is revolting. Money was there only to be wasted.

You have heard how the public coffers were squandered. This is what is clear to me now: change can only come from our determination to stamp out this extravagance and profligacy.

That is why starting now: we will stop the wasteful use of government funds. We will eradicate projects that are wrong.

This is the point of what we call the zero-based approach in our budget. What used to be the norm was every year, the budget merely gets reenacted without plugging the holes.

Next month we will be submitting a budget that accurately identifies the problem and gives much attention on the right solution.

Those that I have mentioned were only some of the problems we have discovered. Here now are examples of the steps we are undertaking to solve them.

There is a case of one pawnshop owner. He purchased a vehicle at an estimated cost of 26 million pesos.

If he can afford to buy a Lamborghini, why can’t he pay his taxes?

A case has already been filed against him. Through the leadership of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares, Customs Commissioner Lito Alvarez, and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, every week we have new cases filed against smugglers and against those who do not pay the right taxes.

We have also already identified the suspects of the cases of Francisco Baldomero, Jose Daguio and Miguel Belen, 3 of the 6 incidents of extralegal killings since we assumed the Presidency.

Fifty percent (50%) of these incidents of extra-legal killings are now on their way to being resolved.

We will not stop the pursuit of the remaining half of these killings until justice has been achieved. We will hold murderers accountable. We will also hold those who are corrupt that work in government accountable for their actions.

We have begun forming our Truth Commission, through the leadership of former Chief Justice Hilario Davide. We will search for the truth on the alleged wrongdoing committed in the last nine years.

This week, I will sign the first ever Executive Order on the formation of this Truth Commission.

If the answer to justice is accountability, the answer to the dearth in funds is a new and creative approach to our long-standing problems.

We have so many needs: from education, infrastructure, health, military, police and more. Our funds will not be enough to meet them.

No matter how massive the deficit is that may keep us from paying for this list of needs, I am heartened because many have already expressed renewed interest and confidence in the Philippines.

Our solution: public-private partnerships. Although no contract has been signed yet, I can say that ongoing talks with interested investors will yield fruitful outcomes.

There are some who have already shown interest and want to build an expressway from Manila that will pass through Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, until the end of Cagayan Valley, without the government having to spend a single peso.

On national defense: We have 36,000 nautical miles of shoreline, but we only have 32 boats. These boats are as old as the time of (US General Douglas) MacArthur.

Some had this proposition: they will rent the Navy headquarters on Roxas Boulevard and the Naval Station in Fort Bonifacio. They will take care of the funding necessary to transfer the Navy Headquarters to Camp Aguinaldo. Immediately, we will be given 100 million dollars. Furthermore, they will give us a portion of their profits from their businesses that would occupy the land they will rent.

In short, we will meet our needs without spending, and we will also earn. There have already been many proposals from local to foreign investors to provide for our various needs.

From these public-private partnerships, our economy will grow and every Filipino will be the beneficiary. There are so many sectors that could benefit from this.

We will be able to construct the needed infrastructure in order to help tourism grow.

In agriculture, we will be able to have access to grains terminals, refrigeration facilities, orderly road networks and post-harvest facilities.

If we can fix out food supply chain with the help of the private sector, instead of importing, we will hopefully be able to supply for the needs of the global market.

The prices of commodities will go down if we are able to make this efficient railway system a reality. It will be cheaper and faster, and it will be easier for travelers to avoid crooked cops and rebels.

A reminder to all: creating jobs is foremost on our agenda, and the creation of jobs will come from the growth of our industries. Growth will only be possible if we streamline processes to make them predictable, reliable and efficient for those who want to invest.

We make sure that the Build-Operate-and-Transfer projects will undergo quick and efficient processes. With the help of all government agencies concerned and the people, a process that used to take as short as a year and as long as a decade will now only take six months.

The Department of Trade and Industry has already taken steps to effect this change, under the leadership of Secretary Gregory Domingo:

The never-ending horror story of registering business names, which used to take a minimum of four to eight hours depending on the day, will be cut down drastically to 15 minutes.

What used to be a check list of thirty-six documents will be shortened to a list of six, and the old eight-page application form will be whittled down to one page.

I call on our local government units to review its own procedures. While we look for more ways to streamline our processes to make business start-ups easier, I hope the LGUs can also find ways to implement reforms that will be consistent with the ones we have already started.

All will certainly benefit from this streamlining — be it businessmen, soldiers, rebels and ordinary Filipinos. As long as the interests of Filipinos will not be jeopardized, we will explore all available avenues to make this a reality. We must start now, and we should all help achieve this and not stand in each other’s way.

The time when we will no longer be made to choose between our people’s security and the future of our children is upon us now.

Once we implement these public-private partnerships, we will be able to fund public service in accordance with our platform.

This will enable us to fund our plans for education.

We will be able to expand our basic education cycle from seven years to the global standard of 12 years.

We can build more classrooms, and we will fund service contracting under the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education Program (GASTPE).

Conditional cash transfers that aim to lessen the burden of education on parents will also be funded if this partnership becomes a reality.

Our plans for improving PhilHealth can now be within reach.

First, we will identify the correct number of Filipinos who sorely need PhilHealth coverage, as current data is conflicting on this matter. On one hand, PhilHealth says that eighty-seven percent (87%) of Filipinos are covered, then lowers the number to only fifty-three percent (53%). On the other hand, the National Statistics Office says that only thirty-eight percent (38%) of Filipinos are covered by Philhealth.

Even as we speak, Secretary Dinky Soliman and the Department of Social Welfare and Development are moving to implement the National Household Targeting System that will identify the families that most urgently need assistance. An estimated 9 billion pesos is needed in order to provide coverage for five million poor Filipinos.

Our country is beginning to see better days ahead. The private sector, the League of Provinces headed by Governor Alfonso Umali, together with Governors L-Ray Villafuerte and Icot Petilla, are now ready to do their share when it comes to shouldering the financial burden. I know that the League of Cities under the leadership of Mayor Oscar Rodriguez will not be far behind.

If the local governments share in our goals, I know that I can surely count on Congress, the institution where I began public service, to push for our agenda for change.

Our Cabinet has already showed it skill by identifying not just problems but also proposing solutions in a matter of three weeks.

In the aftermath of Typhoon Basyang, we were told by those in the power sector that we would be without electricity for four days. The quick action of Secretary Rene Almendras and the Department of Energy resulted in the restoration of power to almost all those affected within 24 hours.

The so-called water shortage in Metro Manila was quickly attended to by Secretary Rogelio Singson and the Department of Public Works and Highways. Secretary Singson did it without prodding, which alleviated the suffering of those affected.

We also witnessed the competence and initiative of those we appointed to be part of our Cabinet. It is but just that they not be forced to go through the eye of a needle to be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. Should this happen, competent Filipinos will be encouraged to help our country by becoming public servants.

In the soonest possible time, we will convene the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) to discuss the important bills that need to be addressed. Rest assured that I will keep an open mind and treat you honorably.

We will push for the Fiscal Responsibility Bill, which will limit spending bills only for appropriations that have identified a source of funding. We need 104.1 billion pesos to fund those laws already passed but whose implementation remains pending because of lack of funds.

We will re-evaluate fiscal incentives given in the past. Now that we are tightening our purse strings, we need to identify those incentives that will remain and those that need to be done away with.

We will not allow another NBN-ZTE scandal to happen again. Whether from local or foreign sources, all proposed contracts must undergo the scrutiny of correct procedures. I now ask for your help with amending our Procurement Law.

According to our Constitution, it is the government’s duty to ensure that the market is fair for all. No monopolies, no cartels that kill competition. We need an Anti-Trust Law that will give life to these principles, to afford Small- and Medium-Scale Enterprises the opportunity to participate in the growth of our economy.

Let us pass into law the National Land Use Bill.

It was in 1935, during the Commonwealth, that the National Defense Act was passed. There is a need to amend for a new law that is more responsive to the current needs of national security.

I appeal to our legislators to pass the Whistleblower’s Bill to eradicate the prevalent culture of fear and silence that has hounded our system.

We will strengthen the Witness Protection Program. We must remember that from 2009 to 2010 alone, cases which involved the participation of witnesses under the program resulted in a 95 percent conviction.

There is a need to review our laws. I call on our lawmakers to begin a recodification of our laws to ensure harmony in legislation and eliminate contradictions.

These laws serve as the basis of order in our land, but the foundation of all rests on the principle that we cannot grow without peace and order.

We face two obstacles on our road to peace: the situation in Mindanao and the continued revolt of the CPP-NPA-NDF.

Our view has not changed when it comes to the situation in Mindanao. We will only achieve lasting peace if all stakeholders engage in an honest dialogue: may they be Moro, Lumad, or Christian. We have asked Dean Marvic Leonen to head our efforts to talk to the MILF.

We will learn from the mistakes of the past administration, that suddenly announced an agreement reached without consultations from all concerned. We are not blind to the fact that it was done with political motivation, and that the interest behind it was not that of the people.

We recognize the efforts of the MILF to discipline those within its ranks. We are hopeful that the negotiations will begin after Ramadan.

To the CPP-NPA-NDF: are you prepared to put forth concrete solutions rather than pure criticism and finger-pointing?

If it is peace you truly desire, then we are ready for an immediate ceasefire. Let us go back to the table and begin talking again.

It is difficult to begin discussions in earnest if the smell of gun powder still hangs in the air. I call on everyone concerned not to waste a good opportunity to rally behind our common aspiration for peace.

Our foundation for growth is peace. We will continue to be shackled by poverty if the crossfire persists.

We must understand that now is a time for sacrifice. It is this sacrifice that will pave the way for a better future. With our freedom comes our responsibility to do good unto our fellows and to our country.

To our friends in media, especially those in radio and print, to the blocktimers and those in our community newspapers, I trust that you will take up the cudgels to police your own ranks.

May you give new meaning to the principles of your vocation: to provide clarity to pressing issues; to be fair and truthful in your reporting, and to raise the level of public discourse.

It is every Filipino’s duty to closely watch the leaders that you have elected. I encourage everyone to take a step towards participation rather than faultfinding. The former takes part in finding a solution; from the latter, neverending complaints.

We have always known that the key to growth is putting the interest of others beyond one’s own. One thing is clear: how do we move forward if we keep putting others down?

How will those without education secure quality jobs? How will the unemployed become consumers? How will they save money for their future needs?

If we change all this, if we prioritize enabling others, we will open a world of opportunities not just for ourselves but for those who direly need it.

We have already begun the process of change, and we are now able to dream of better things for our country. Let us not forget that there are those who wish us to fail, so that they will once again reclaim power to do as they please at the expense of our people.

My firm belief is that our fate is in the hands of God and our people. While we focus on uplifting the lives of our fellow men, I have an unshakeable faith that Almighty God will give us His blessings and support. If we remain firm in our belief that God is on our side, is there anything impossible for us to achieve?

The mandate we received last May 10 is testament to the fact that the Filipino continues to hope for true change. The situation is not what it was before; we can all dream again. Let us all become one in achieving a fulfilment of our hopes and aspirations for our country.

Maraming Salamat Po! (via MLQ3 on Scribd)

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State of the Nation Address 2010

Posted by akosistella on July 26, 2010


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By His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Philippines
to the Congress of the Philippines
Session Hall of the House of Representatives
July 26, 2010
(Batasan Pambansa Complex, Quezon City)

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte; Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile; Vice President Jejomar Binay; Chief Justice Renato Corona; Former Presidents Fidel Valdez Ramos and Joseph Ejercito Estrada; members of the House of Representatives and the Senate; distinguished members of the diplomatic corps; my fellow workers in government;

Mga minamahal kong kababayan:

Sa bawat sandali po ng pamamahala ay nahaharap tayo sa isang sangandaan.

Sa isang banda po ay ang pagpili para sa ikabubuti ng taumbayan. Ang pagtanaw sa interes ng nakakarami; ang pagkapit sa prinsipyo; at ang pagiging tapat sa sinumpaan nating tungkulin bilang lingkod-bayan. Ito po ang tuwid na daan.

Sa kabilang banda ay ang pag-una sa pansariling interes. Ang pagpapaalipin sa pulitikal na konsiderasyon, at pagsasakripisyo ng kapakanan ng taumbayan. Ito po ang baluktot na daan.

Matagal pong naligaw ang pamahalaan sa daang baluktot. Araw-araw po, lalong lumilinaw sa akin ang lawak ng problemang ating namana. Damang-dama ko ang bigat ng aking responsibilidad.

Sa unang tatlong linggo ng aming panunungkulan, marami po kaming natuklasan. Nais ko pong ipahayag sa inyo ang iilan lamang sa mga namana nating suliranin at ang ginagawa naming hakbang para lutasin ang mga ito.

Sulyap lamang po ito; hindi pa ito ang lahat ng problemang haharapin natin. Inilihim at sadyang iniligaw ang sambayanan sa totoong kalagayan ng ating bansa.

Sa unang anim na buwan ng taon, mas malaki ang ginastos ng gobyerno kaysa sa pumasok na kita. Lalong lumaki ang deficit natin, na umakyat na sa 196.7 billion pesos. Sa target na kuleksyon, kinapos tayo ng 23.8 billion pesos; ang tinataya namang gastos, nalagpasan natin ng 45.1 billion pesos.

Ang budget po sa 2010 ay 1.54 trillion pesos.

Nasa isandaang bilyong piso o anim at kalahating porsyento na lang ng kabuuan ang malaya nating magagamit para sa nalalabing anim na buwan ng taong ito.

Halos isang porsyento na lang po ng kabuuang budget ang natitira para sa bawat buwan.

Saan naman po dinala ang pera?

Naglaan ng dalawang bilyong piso na Calamity Fund bilang paghahanda para sa mga kalamidad na hindi pa nangyayari. Napakaliit na nga po ng pondong ito, ngunit kapapasok pa lang natin sa panahon ng baha at bagyo, 1.4 billion pesos o sitenta porsyento na ang nagastos.

Sa kabuuan ng 108 million pesos para sa lalawigan ng Pampanga, 105 million pesos nito ay napunta sa iisang distrito lamang. Samantala, ang lalawigan ng Pangasinan na sinalanta ng Pepeng ay nakatanggap ng limang milyong piso lamang para sa pinsalang idinulot ng bagyong Cosme, na nangyari noong 2008 pa.

Ibinigay po ang pondo ng Pampanga sa buwan ng eleksyon, pitong buwan pagkatapos ng Ondoy at Pepeng. Paano kung bumagyo bukas? Inubos na ang pondo nito para sa bagyong nangyari noong isang taon pa. Pagbabayaran ng kinabukasan ang kasakiman ng nakaraan.

Ganyan din po ang nangyari sa pondo ng MWSS. Kamakailan lamang, pumipila ang mga tao para lang makakuha ng tubig. Sa kabila nito, minabuti pa ng liderato ng MWSS na magbigay ng gantimpala sa sarili kahit hindi pa nababayaran ang pensyon ng mga retiradong empleyado.

Noong 2009, ang buong payroll ng MWSS ay 51.4 million pesos. Pero hindi lang naman po ito ang sahod nila; may mga additional allowances at benefits pa sila na aabot sa 160.1 million pesos. Sa madaling sabi, nakatanggap sila ng 211.5 million pesos noong nakaraang taon. Beinte-kuwatro porsyento lang nito ang normal na sahod, at sitenta’y sais porsyento ang dagdag.

Ang karaniwang manggagawa hanggang 13th month pay plus cash gift lang ang nakukuha. Sa MWSS, aabot sa katumbas ng mahigit sa tatlumpung buwan ang sahod kasama na ang lahat ng mga bonuses at allowances na nakuha nila.

Mas matindi po ang natuklasan natin sa pasahod ng kanilang Board of Trustees. Tingnan po natin ang mga allowances na tinatanggap nila:

Umupo ka lang sa Board of Trustees at Board Committee meeting, katorse mil na. Aabot ng nobenta’y otso mil ito kada buwan. May grocery incentive pa sila na otsenta mil kada taon.

Hindi lang iyon: may mid-year bonus, productivity bonus, anniversary bonus, year-end bonus, at Financial Assistance. May Christmas bonus na, may Additional Christmas Package pa. Kada isa sa mga ito, nobenta’y otso mil.

Sa suma total po, aabot ang lahat ng dalawa’t kalahating milyong piso kada taon sa bawat miyembro ng Board maliban sa pakotse, technical assistance, at pautang. Uulitin ko po. Lahat ng ito ay ibinibigay nila sa kanilang mga sarili habang hindi pa nababayaran ang mga pensyon ng kanilang mga retirees.

Pati po ang La Mesa Watershed ay hindi nila pinatawad. Para magkaroon ng tamang supply ng tubig, kailangang alagaan ang mga watershed. Sa watershed, puno ang kailangan. Pati po iyon na dapat puno ang nakatayo, tinayuan nila ng bahay para sa matataas na opisyal ng MWSS.

Hindi naman sila agad maaalis sa puwesto dahil kabilang sila sa mga Midnight Appointees ni dating Pangulong Arroyo. Iniimbestigahan na natin ang lahat nang ito. Kung mayroon pa silang kahit kaunting hiya na natitira – sana kusa na lang silang magbitiw sa puwesto.

Pag-usapan naman po natin ang pondo para sa imprastruktura. Tumukoy ang DPWH ng dalawandaan apatnapu’t anim na priority safety projects na popondohan ng Motor Vehicle Users Charge. Mangangailangan po ito ng budget na 425 million pesos.

Ang pinondohan po, dalawampu’t walong proyekto lang. Kinalimutan po ang dalawandaan at labing walong proyekto at pinalitan ng pitumpung proyekto na wala naman sa plano. Ang hininging 425 million pesos, naging 480 million pesos pa, lumaki lalo dahil sa mga proyektong sa piling-piling mga benepisyaryo lang napunta.

Mga proyekto po itong walang saysay, hindi pinag-aralan at hindi pinaghandaan, kaya parang kabuteng sumusulpot.

Tapos na po ang panahon para dito. Sa administrasyon po natin, walang kota-kota, walang tongpats, ang pera ng taumbayan ay gagastusin para sa taumbayan lamang.

Meron pa po tayong natuklasan. Limang araw bago matapos ang termino ng nakaraang administrasyon, nagpautos silang maglabas ng 3.5 billion pesos para sa rehabilitasyon ng mga nasalanta nina Ondoy at Pepeng.

Walumpu’t anim na proyekto ang paglalaanan dapat nito na hindi na sana idadaan sa public bidding. Labingsiyam sa mga ito na nagkakahalaga ng 981 million pesos ang muntik nang makalusot. Hindi pa nailalabas ang Special Allotment Release Order ay pirmado na ang mga kontrata.

Buti na lang po ay natuklasan at pinigilan ito ni Secretary Rogelio Singson ng DPWH. Ngayon po ay dadaan na ang kabuuan ng 3.5 billion pesos sa tapat na bidding, at magagamit na ang pondo na ito sa pagbibigay ng lingap sa mga nawalan ng tahanan dahil kina Ondoy at Pepeng.

Pag-usapan naman natin ang nangyari sa NAPOCOR. Noong 2001 hanggang 2004, pinilit ng gobyerno ang NAPOCOR na magbenta ng kuryente nang palugi para hindi tumaas ang presyo. Tila ang dahilan: pinaghahandaan na nila ang eleksyon.

Dahil dito, noong 2004, sumagad ang pagkakabaon sa utang ng NAPOCOR. Napilitan ang pambansang gobyerno na sagutin ang dalawandaang bilyong pisong utang nito.

Ang inakala ng taumbayan na natipid nila sa kuryente ay binabayaran din natin mula sa kaban ng bayan. May gastos na tayo sa kuryente, binabayaran pa natin ang dagdag na pagkakautang ng gobyerno.

Kung naging matino ang pag-utang, sana’y nadagdagan ang ating kasiguruhan sa supply ng kuryente. Pero ang desisyon ay ibinatay sa maling pulitika, at hindi sa pangangailangan ng taumbayan. Ang taumbayan, matapos pinagsakripisyo ay lalo pang pinahirapan.

Ganito rin po ang nangyari sa MRT. Sinubukan na namang bilhin ang ating pagmamahal. Pinilit ang operator na panatilihing mababa ang pamasahe.

Hindi tuloy nagampanan ang garantiyang ibinigay sa operator na mababawi nila ang kanilang puhunan. Dahil dito, inutusan ang Landbank at Development Bank of the Philippines na bilhin ang MRT.

Ang pera ng taumbayan, ipinagpalit sa isang naluluging operasyon.

Dumako naman po tayo sa pondo ng NFA.

Noong 2004: 117,000 metric tons ang pagkukulang ng supply ng Pilipinas. Ang binili nila, 900,000 metric tons. Kahit ulitin mo pa ng mahigit pitong beses ang pagkukulang, sobra pa rin ang binili nila.

Noong 2007: 589,000 metric tons ang pagkukulang ng supply sa Pilipinas. Ang binili nila, 1.827 million metric tons. Kahit ulitin mo pa ng mahigit tatlong beses ang pagkukulang, sobra na naman ang binili nila.

Ang masakit nito, dahil sobra-sobra ang binibili nila taun-taon, nabubulok lang pala sa mga kamalig ang bigas, kagaya ng nangyari noong 2008.

Hindi po ba krimen ito, na hinahayaan nilang mabulok ang bigas, sa kabila ng apat na milyong Pilipinong hindi kumakain ng tatlong beses sa isang araw?

Ang resulta nito, umabot na sa 171.6 billion pesos ang utang ng NFA noong Mayo ng taong ito.

Ang tinapon na ito, halos puwede na sanang pondohan ang mga sumusunod:

Ang budget ng buong Hudikatura, na 12.7 billion pesos sa taong ito.

Ang Conditional Cash Transfers para sa susunod na taon, na nagkakahalaga ng 29.6 billion pesos.

Ang lahat ng classroom na kailangan ng ating bansa, na nagkakahalaga ng 130 billion pesos.

Kasuklam-suklam ang kalakarang ito. Pera na, naging bato pa.

Narinig po ninyo kung paano nilustay ang kaban ng bayan. Ang malinaw po sa ngayon: ang anumang pagbabago ay magmumula sa pagsiguro natin na magwawakas na ang pagiging maluho at pagwawaldas.

Kaya nga po mula ngayon: ititigil na natin ang paglulustay sa salapi ng bayan. Tatanggalin natin ang mga proyektong mali.

Ito po ang punto ng tinatawag nating zero-based approach sa ating budget. Ang naging kalakaran po, taun-taon ay inuulit lamang ang budget na puno ng tagas. Dadagdagan lang nang konti, puwede na.

Sa susunod na buwan ay maghahain tayo ng budget na kumikilala nang tama sa mga problema, at magtutuon din ng pansin sa tamang solusyon.

Ilan lang ito sa mga natuklasan nating problema. Heto naman po ang ilang halimbawa ng mga hakbang na ginagawa natin.

Nandiyan po ang kaso ng isang may-ari ng sanglaan. Bumili siya ng sasakyang tinatayang nasa dalawampu’t anim na milyong piso ang halaga.

Kung kaya mong bumili ng Lamborghini, bakit hindi mo kayang magbayad ng buwis?

Nasampahan na po ito ng kaso. Sa pangunguna nina Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares at Customs Commissioner Lito Alvarez, bawat linggo po ay may bago tayong kasong isinasampa kontra sa mga smuggler at sa mga hindi nagbabayad ng tamang buwis.

Natukoy na rin po ang salarin sa mga kaso nina Francisco Baldomero, Jose Daguio at Miguel Belen, tatlo sa anim na insidente ng extralegal killings mula nang umupo tayo.

Singkuwenta porsyento po ng mga insidente ng extralegal killings ang patungo na sa kanilang resolusyon.

Ang natitira pong kalahati ay hindi natin tatantanan ang pag-usig hanggang makamit ang katarungan.

Pananagutin natin ang mga mamamatay-tao. Pananagutin din natin ang mga corrupt sa gobyerno.

Nagsimula nang mabuo ang ating Truth Commission, sa pangunguna ni dating Chief Justice Hilario Davide. Hahanapin natin ang katotohanan sa mga nangyari diumanong katiwalian noong nakaraang siyam na taon.

Sa loob ng linggong ito, pipirmahan ko ang kauna-unahang Executive Order na nagtatalaga sa pagbuo nitong Truth Commission.

Kung ang sagot sa kawalan ng katarungan ay pananagutan, ang sagot naman sa kakulangan natin sa pondo ay mga makabago at malikhaing paraan para tugunan ang mga pagkatagal-tagal nang problema.

Napakarami po ng ating pangangailangan: mula sa edukasyon, imprastruktura, pangkalusugan, pangangailangan ng militar at kapulisan, at marami pang iba. Hindi kakasya ang pondo para mapunan ang lahat ng ito.

Kahit gaano po kalaki ang kakulangan para mapunan ang mga listahan ng ating pangangailangan, ganado pa rin ako dahil marami nang nagpakita ng panibagong interes at kumpyansa sa Pilipinas.

Ito ang magiging solusyon: mga Public-Private Partnerships. Kahit wala pa pong pirmahang nangyayari dito, masasabi kong maganda ang magiging bunga ng maraming usapin ukol dito.

May mga nagpakita na po ng interes, gustong magtayo ng expressway na mula Maynila, tatahak ng Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, hanggang sa dulo ng Cagayan Valley nang hindi gugugol ang estado kahit na po piso.

Sa larangan ng ating Sandatahang Lakas:

Mayroon po tayong 36,000 nautical miles ng baybayin. Ang mayroon lamang tayo: tatlumpu’t dalawang barko. Itong mga barkong ito, panahon pa ni MacArthur.

May nagmungkahi sa atin, ito ang proposisyon: uupahan po nila ang headquarters ng Navy sa Roxas Boulevard at ang Naval Station sa Fort Bonifacio.

Sagot po nila ang paglipat ng Navy Headquarters sa Camp Aguinaldo. Agaran, bibigyan tayo ng isandaang milyong dolyar. At dagdag pa sa lahat nang iyan, magsusubi pa sila sa atin ng kita mula sa mga negosyong itatayo nila sa uupahan nilang lupa.

Sa madali pong sabi: Makukuha natin ang kailangan natin, hindi tatayo gagastos, kikita pa tayo.

Marami na pong nag-alok at nagmungkahi sa atin, mula lokal hanggang dayuhang negosyante, na magpuno ng iba’t ibang pangangailangan.

Mula sa mga public-private partnerships na ito, lalago ang ating ekonomiya, at bawat Pilipino makikinabang. Napakaraming sektor na matutulungan nito.

Maipapatayo na po ang imprastrukturang kailangan natin para palaguin ang turismo.

Sa agrikultura, makapagtatayo na tayo ng mga grains terminals, refrigeration facilities, maayos na road networks at post-harvest facilities.

Kung maisasaayos natin ang ating food supply chain sa tulong ng pribadong sektor, sa halip na mag-angkat tayo ay maari na sana tayong mangarap na mag-supply sa pandaigdigang merkado.

Kung maitatayo ang minumungkahi sa ating railway system, bababa ang presyo ng bilihin. Mas mura, mas mabilis, mas maginhawa, at makakaiwas pa sa kotong cops at mga kumokotong na rebelde ang mga bumibiyahe.

Paalala lang po: una sa ating plataporma ang paglikha ng mga trabaho, at nanggagaling ang trabaho sa paglago ng industriya. Lalago lamang ang industriya kung gagawin nating mas malinis, mas mabilis, at mas maginhawa ang proseso para sa mga gustong magnegosyo.

Pabibilisin natin ang proseso ng mga proyektong sumasailalim sa Build-Operate-Transfer. Sa tulong ng lahat ng sangay ng gobyerno at ng mga mamamayan, pabababain natin sa anim na buwan ang proseso na noon ay inaabot ng taon kung hindi dekada.

May mga hakbang na rin pong sinisimulan ang DTI, sa pamumuno ni Secretary Gregory Domingo:

Ang walang-katapusang pabalik-balik sa proseso ng pagrehistro ng pangalan ng kumpanya, na kada dalaw ay umaabot ng apat hanggang walong oras, ibababa na natin sa labinlimang minuto.

Ang dating listahan ng tatlumpu’t anim na dokumento, ibababa natin sa anim. Ang dating walong pahinang application form, ibababa natin sa isang pahina.

Nananawagan ako sa ating mga LGUs. Habang naghahanap tayo ng paraan para gawing mas mabilis ang pagbubukas ng mga negosyo, pag-aralan din sana nila ang kanilang mga proseso. Kailangan itong gawing mas mabilis, at kailangan itong itugma sa mga sinisumulan nating reporma.

Negosyante, sundalo, rebelde, at karaniwang Pilipino, lahat po makikinabang dito. Basta po hindi dehado ang Pilipino, papasukin po natin lahat iyan. Kailangan na po nating simulan ang pagtutulungan para makamit ito. Huwag nating pahirapan ang isa’t isa.

Parating na po ang panahon na hindi na natin kailangang mamili sa pagitan ng seguridad ng ating mamamayan o sa kinabukasan ng inyong mga anak.

Oras na maipatupad ang public-private partnerships na ito, mapopondohan ang mga serbisyong panlipunan, alinsunod sa ating plataporma.

Magkakapondo na po para maipatupad ang mga plano natin sa edukasyon.

Mapapalawak natin ang basic education cycle mula sa napakaikling sampung taon tungo sa global standard na labindalawang taon.

Madadagdagan natin ang mga classroom. Mapopondohan natin ang service contracting sa ilalim ng GASTPE.

Pati ang conditional cash transfers, na magbabawas ng pabigat sa bulsa ng mga pamilya, madadagdan na rin ng pondo.

Maipapatupad ang plano natin sa PhilHealth.

Una, tutukuyin natin ang tunay na bilang ng mga nangangailangan nito. Sa ngayon, hindi magkakatugma ang datos. Sabi ng PhilHealth sa isang bibig, walumpu’t pitong porsyento na raw ang merong coverage. Sa kabilang bibig naman, singkuwenta’y tres porsyento naman. Ayon naman sa National Statistics Office, tatlumpu’t walong porsyento ang may coverage.

Ngayon pa lang, kumikilos na si Secretary Dinky Soliman at ang DSWD upang ipatupad ang National Household Targetting System, na magtutukoy sa mga pamilyang higit na nagangailangan ng tulong. Tinatayang siyam na bilyon ang kailangan para mabigyan ng PhilHealth ang limang milyong pinakamaralitang pamilyang Pilipino.

Napakaganda po ng hinaharap natin. Kasama na po natin ang pribadong sektor, at kasama na rin natin ang League of Provinces, sa pangunguna nina Governor Alfonso Umali kasama sina Governor L-Ray Villafuerte at Governor Icot Petilla. Handa na pong makipagtulungan para makibahagi sa pagtustos ng mga gastusin. Alam ko rin pong hindi magpapahuli ang League of Cities sa pangunguna ni Mayor Oscar Rodriguez.

Kung ang mga gobyernong lokal ay nakikiramay na sa ating mga adhikain, ang Kongreso namang pinanggalingan ko, siguro naman maasahan ko din.

Nagpakitang-gilas na po ang gabinete sa pagtukoy ng ating mga problema at sa paglulunsad ng mga solusyon sa loob lamang ng tatlong linggo.

Nang bagyo pong Basyang, ang sabi sa atin ng mga may prangkisa sa kuryente, apat na araw na walang kuryente. Dahil sa mabilis na pagkilos ni Secretary Rene Almendras at ng Department of Energy, naibalik ang kuryente sa halos lahat sa loob lamang ng beinte-kwatro oras.

Ito pong sinasabing kakulangan sa tubig sa Metro Manila, kinilusan agad ni Secretary Rogelio Singson at ng DPWH. Hindi na siya naghintay ng utos, kaya nabawasan ang perwisyo.

Nakita na rin natin ang gilas ng mga hinirang nating makatulong sa Gabinete. Makatuwiran naman po sigurong umasa na hindi na sila padadaanin sa butas ng karayom para makumpirma ng Commission on Appointments. Kung mangyayari po ito, marami pa sa mga mahuhusay na Pilipino ang maeengganyong magsilbi sa gobyerno.

Sa lalong madaling panahon po, uupo na tayo sa LEDAC at pag-uusapan ang mga mahahalagang batas na kailangan nating ipasa. Makakaasa kayo na mananatiling bukas ang aking isipan, at ang ating ugnayan ay mananatiling tapat.

Isinusulong po natin ang Fiscal Responsibility Bill, kung saan hindi tayo magpapasa ng batas na mangangailangan ng pondo kung hindi pa natukoy ang panggagalingan nito. May 104.1 billion pesos tayong kailangan para pondohan ang mga batas na naipasa na, ngunit hindi maipatupad.

Kailangan din nating isaayos ang mga insentibong piskal na ibinigay noong nakaraan. Ngayong naghihigpit tayo ng sinturon, kailangang balikan kung alin sa mga ito ang dapat manatili at kung ano ang dapat nang itigil.

Huwag po tayong pumayag na magkaroon ng isa pang NBN-ZTE. Sa lokal man o dayuhan manggagaling ang pondo, dapat dumaan ito sa tamang proseso. Hinihingi ko po ang tulong ninyo upang amiyendahan ang ating Procurement Law.

Ayon po sa Saligang Batas, tungkulin ng estado ang siguruhing walang lamangan sa merkado. Bawal ang monopolya, bawal ang mga cartel na sasakal sa kumpetisyon. Kailangan po natin ng isang Anti-Trust Law na magbibigay-buhay sa mga prinsipyong ito. Ito ang magbibigay ng pagkakataon sa mga Small- at Medium-scale Enterprises na makilahok at tumulong sa paglago ng ating ekonomiya.

Ipasa na po natin ang National Land Use Bill.

Una rin pong naging batas ng Commonwealth ang National Defense Act, na ipinasa noon pang 1935. Kailangan nang palitan ito ng batas na tutugon sa pangangailangan ng pambansang seguridad sa kasalukuyan.

Nakikiusap po akong isulong ang Whistleblower’s Bill upang patuloy nang iwaksi ang kultura ng takot at pananahimik.

Palalakasin pa lalo ang Witness Protection Program. Alalahanin po natin na noong taong 2009 hanggang 2010, may nahatulan sa 95% ng mga kaso kung saan may witness na sumailalim sa programang ito.

Kailangang repasuhin ang ating mga batas. Nanawagan po akong umpisahan na ang rekodipikasyon ng ating mga batas, upang siguruhing magkakatugma sila at hindi salu-salungat.

Ito pong mga batas na ito ang batayan ng kaayusan, ngunit ang pundasyon ng lahat ng ginagawa natin ay ang prinsipyong wala tayong mararating kung walang kapayapaan at katahimikan.

Dalawa ang hinaharap nating suliranin sa usapin ng kapayapaan: ang situwasyon sa Mindanao, at ang patuloy na pag-aaklas ng CPP-NPA-NDF.

Tungkol sa situwasyon sa Mindanao: Hindi po nagbabago ang ating pananaw. Mararating lamang ang kapayapaan at katahimikan kung mag-uusap ang lahat ng apektado: Moro, Lumad, at Kristiyano. Inatasan na natin si Dean Marvic Leonen na mangasiwa sa ginagawa nating pakikipag-usap sa MILF.

Iiwasan natin ang mga pagkakamaling nangyari sa nakaraang administrasyon, kung saan binulaga na lang ang mga mamamayan ng Mindanao. Hindi tayo puwedeng magbulag-bulagan sa mga dudang may kulay ng pulitika ang proseso, at hindi ang kapakanan ng taumbayan ang tanging interes.

Kinikilala natin ang mga hakbang na ginagawa ng MILF sa pamamagitan ng pagdidisplina sa kanilang hanay. Inaasahan natin na muling magsisimula ang negosasyon pagkatapos ng Ramadan.

Tungkol naman po sa CPP-NPA-NDF: handa na ba kayong maglaan ng kongkretong mungkahi, sa halip na pawang batikos lamang?

Kung kapayapaan din ang hangad ninyo, handa po kami sa malawakang tigil-putukan. Mag-usap tayo.

Mahirap magsimula ang usapan habang mayroon pang amoy ng pulbura sa hangin. Nananawagan ako: huwag po natin hayaang masayang ang napakagandang pagkakataong ito upang magtipon sa ilalim ng iisang adhikain.

Kapayapaan at katahimikan po ang pundasyon ng kaunlaran. Habang nagpapatuloy ang barilan, patuloy din ang pagkakagapos natin sa kahirapan.

Dapat din po nating mabatid: ito ay panahon ng sakripisyo. At ang sakripisyong ito ay magiging puhunan para sa ating kinabukasan. Kaakibat ng ating mga karapatan at kalayaan ay ang tungkulin natin sa kapwa at sa bayan.

Inaasahan ko po ang ating mga kaibigan sa media, lalo na sa radyo at sa print, sa mga nagbablock-time, at sa community newspapers, kayo na po mismo ang magbantay sa inyong hanay.

Mabigyang-buhay sana ang mga batayang prinsipyo ng inyong bokasyon: ang magbigay-linaw sa mahahalagang isyu; ang maging patas at makatotohanan, at ang itaas ang antas ng pampublikong diskurso.

Tungkulin po ng bawat Pilipino na tutukan ang mga pinunong tayo rin naman ang nagluklok sa puwesto. Humakbang mula sa pakikialam tungo sa pakikilahok. Dahil ang nakikialam, walang-hanggan ang reklamo. Ang nakikilahok, nakikibahagi sa solusyon.

Napakatagal na pong namamayani ang pananaw na ang susi sa asenso ay ang intindihin ang sarili kaysa intindihin ang kapwa. Malinaw po sa akin: paano tayo aasenso habang nilalamangan ang kapwa?

Ang hindi nabigyan ng pagkakataong mag-aral, paanong makakakuha ng trabaho? Kung walang trabaho, paanong magiging konsumer? Paanong mag-iimpok sa bangko?

Ngunit kung babaliktarin natin ang pananaw—kung iisipin nating “Dadagdagan ko ang kakayahan ng aking kapwa”—magbubunga po ito, at ang lahat ay magkakaroon ng pagkakataon.

Maganda na po ang nasimulan natin. At mas lalong maganda po ang mararating natin. Ngunit huwag nating kalimutan na mayroong mga nagnanasang hindi tayo magtagumpay. Dahil kapag hindi tayo nagtagumpay, makakabalik na naman sila sa kapangyarihan, at sa pagsasamantala sa taumbayan.

Akin pong paniwala na Diyos at taumbayan ang nagdala sa ating kinalalagyan ngayon. Habang nakatutok tayo sa kapakanan ng ating kapwa, bendisyon at patnubay ay tiyak na maaasahan natin sa Poong Maykapal. At kapag nanalig tayo na ang kasangga natin ay ang Diyos, mayroon ba tayong hindi kakayanin?

Ang mandato nating nakuha sa huling eleksyon ay patunay na umaasa pa rin ang Pilipino sa pagbabago. Iba na talaga ang situwasyon. Puwede na muling mangarap. Tayo nang tumungo sa katuparan ng ating mga pinangarap.

Maraming salamat po. (via the Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines.)

Posted in News, Noynoy Aquino, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

The Philippines’ Problematical New Veep

Posted by akosistella on June 15, 2010


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By Philip Bowring

We have to talk about Binay.

There is one big fly in the ointment of reform and clean government promised by the soon-to-be installed administration of Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III: his vice-president Jejomar (JesusJosephMary) Binay.

The oft-elected mayor of the Makati district, Manila’s business hub, Binay surprisingly prevailed over Noynoy’s running mate Manuel “Mar” Roxas in the recent polls. Thus the new president finds himself with an uneasy bedfellow in the running mate of Joseph “Erap” Estrada, the president ousted in the People Power revolt against Estrada’s corrupt and incompetent regime.

Binay’s success suggests that the urge for clean government was not the only factor at work in an election which gave Noynoy an overwhelming victory. For Binay, his populist stances, record of effective rule of Makati and high-profile fights with the outgoing administration of Gloria Arroyo triumphed, albeit narrowly, over Roxas, a competent but elitist former investment banker and grandson of the Philippines first president Manuel Roxas. Binay’s own controversial career and alliance with Estrada proved a help, not a handicap for one who has never been a nationally elected senator and with no obvious power base outside the capital.

via Asia Sentinel.

Posted in 2010 elections, MAR Roxas, News, Noynoy Aquino, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How to solve a problem like Jejomar?

Posted by akosistella on June 10, 2010

Calling a Spade…
By Solita Collas-Monsod

On top of all those people surrounding President-elect Noynoy Aquino reportedly punching and kicking and clawing (figuratively speaking, of course) and generally jockeying for positions — remember that as president he has appointing power over more than 10,000 government and government corporate positions — the Binay victory has just given him the mother of all dilemmas: how is he going to solve the problem of Jejomar?

The problem arises because Aquino’s main campaign battle cry was to fight corruption, and of course Binay’s alleged corruption is legendary. Just ask Glenda Gloria, who did a piece on the very subject sometime in 2001 or 2002; just ask Conchitina Sevilla Bernardo, who was Binay’s vice mayor after the EDSA Revolution, and resigned in disgust because she couldn’t stomach what she considered the betrayal of the principles of the People Power Revolution through the comeback of corruption by someone who claimed to be the opposite of the traditional politician or “trapo.” Just ask any businessman in Makati, come to think of it — especially those in real estate development and/or construction.

Or Teddy Boy Locsin. Or another Binay vice mayor, Ernesto Mercado. Of course, in the case of Locsin or Mercado, the counterclaim may be that these people are sour-graping, since they were formerly very close to Binay, but had a falling-out because of broken promises.

Or how about the Commission on Audit, who discovered the overpricing involved in the building and equipment of the Makati Hospital and the Makati City Hall. Or the BIR, who claimed that Binay did not remit the withholding taxes of the Makati government employees, to the tune of around P1 billion?

Or how about the researchers in a public expenditure study, who found out that the City of Makati spends more on its education materials than the rest of the Philippines put together?

All smoke, and no fire? Not to anyone who wasn’t born yesterday.

So that’s what Noynoy has to contend with. What are his choices? One alternative would be to do a Carlos Garcia, who as vice president, ascended to the presidency when Ramon Magsaysay died in an airplane crash, and then ran for his own term as president in 1957. He won it, but the vice presidency was won by the opposition party candidate — Diosdado Macapagal. Garcia did not appoint him to any position in his administration.

The benefit to Aquino of doing a Garcia would be that he will have given a very strong signal to the Filipino people that he meant what he said about fighting corruption, and that he would not allow anyone tainted to work with him in the executive branch.

The fact that Aquino and Binay are personal friends will make the message go over even more effectively. Truly walang kai-kaibigan when it comes to making decisions. Wow. What a way to start setting new directions for the Philippines.

What about the cost? Well, Binay might then do a Diosdado Macapagal. Which means spending his entire term as vice president campaigning for the presidency in the next elections.

Macapagal won against Garcia’s bid for reelection — in spite of the fact that Garcia would have had to step down after three years as reelected president, because he would have served eight years by then — and presumably even the opposition vice presidential candidate would be secretly campaigning for him. In the same manner, Binay might also win the presidency in 2016. And the gains from six years of fighting corruption might all be for naught.

But wait. There is a substantive difference between the two situations. In 1961, Macapagal ran on a reform platform against the alleged rampant corruption of the Garcia administration (and as if to validate the charges, the latter appointed over 300 officials literally the night before he turned over the presidency — and these midnight appointments were reversed by the Supreme Court, obviously of a different caliber then the present one). Unless Noynoy completely bungles it, Jojo Binay will have a difficult time convincing anyone that he is reform-minded.

So forcing Binay to twiddle his thumbs during his vice presidency might not be that costly after all.

Except…as the saying goes, “idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” This saying apparently dates as far back as Chaucer in the twelfth century, who called idle hands the devil’s tools. Who knows what ideas a bored mind will come up with? Or a person seeking revenge for an insult? Noynoy’s security detail might have to be on red alert all the time, even if Binay has publicly proclaimed that Noynoy has nothing to fear from him on that account.

How about if Noynoy appoints Binay to a position that would do the least harm (as far as corruption is concerned anyway)? Well, maybe. Just like Fidel Ramos, who appointed Vice President Erap Estrada (not of the same party) to a non-cabinet, position — as anti-crime czar (chair of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission). Or like Erap himself, when he won the presidency, who appointed Vice President Gloria Macapagal to be DSWD secretary.

The benefit of this kind of move on the part of Noynoy would be that Binay would not be humiliated (and seek revenge), and would not have all that idle time on his hands (and be the devil’s tool). Plus, he may bungle the job (having been given enough rope to hang himself), and find himself out of favor with the Filipino people.

The cost would be that, if he gets a cabinet position, Binay would be privy to the inner workings of the administration, and be able to make use of this knowledge when (notice I didn’t say if) he does run for the presidency.

Not very attractive choices for the incoming President. Which is why he is going to have to think long and hard about how to solve a problem like Binay — actually, I am sure he has already been wrestling with the problem.

But one thing sure: appointing Binay to the DILG — which was offered Binay in exchange for the latter’s not running for the presidency — would be like setting a fox among the chickens. All costs, no benefits. (BusinessWorld, June 10, 2010)

AMEN.

Posted in 2010 elections, Noynoy Aquino, Opinion, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The congressmen/women who killed the FOI bill

Posted by akosistella on June 6, 2010


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Faced with heavy criticism for the non-ratification of the Freedom of Information Bill, House Speaker Prospero Nograles on Saturday released the names of 139 congressmen who were either absent or were present but did not respond to the roll call.

Their absence during roll call resulted in a lack of quorum, which in effect killed the FOI bill as the 14th Congress is now drawing to a close.

GMANews.TV highlighted in bold the names of those who were authors or co-authors of the FOI bill but were absent during the roll call.

1. Abaya, Joseph Emilio A.
2. Agbayani, Victor Aguedo E.
3. Agyao, Manuel S.

4. Albano, Rodolfo III T.
5. Alcover Pastor Jr. M
6. Almario, Thelma Z.
7. Alvarez, Antonio C.

8. Amante, Edelmiro A.
9. Amatong, Rommel C.
10. Angping, Maria Zenaida B.

11. Aquino, Jose II S.
12. Arnaiz, George P.
13. Arquiza, Godofredo V.
14. Arroyo, Diosdado M.
15. Arroyo, Ignacio T.

16. Arroyo, Maria Lourdes T.
17. Balindong, Pangalian M.
18. Barzaga, Elpidio Jr. F.

19. Bautista, Franklin P.
20. Bichara, Al Francis C.
21. Biron, Ferjenel G.
22. Bondoc, Anna York P.

23. Bravo, Narciso Jr. R.
24. Briones, Nicanor M.
25. Britanico, Salvador B.
26. Cagas, Marc Douglas IV C.
27. Cajayon, Mary Mitzi L.

28. Canonigo, Ranulfo P.
29. Castro, Fredenil H.
30. Celeste, Arthur F.

31. Chiongbian, Erwin L.
32. Chong, Glenn A.
33. Clarete, Marina P.
34. Climaco, Mara Isabelle G.

35. Cobrador, Ceasar A.
36. Cojuangco, Mark O.
37. Coscolluela, Ma. Carissa O.
38. Dangwa, Samuel M.
39. Dayanghirang, Nelson L.
40. Daza, Paul R.
41. De Venecia, Jose Jr. C.
42. Diasnes, Carlo Oliver D.
43. Dimaporo, Abdullah D.
44. Duavit, Michael John R.
45. Dumarpa, Faysah RPM
46. Durano, Ramon VI H.
47. Dy, Faustino III G.
48. Enverga, Wilfrido Mark M.
49. Estrella, Conrado III

50. Estrella, Robert Raymund M.
51. Fabian, Erico Basillo A.
52. Fernandez, Danilo Ramon S.
53. Ferrer, Jeffrey P.
54. Fua, Orlando B.
55. Fuentebella, Arnulfo P.
56. Garcia, Albert S.
57. Garcia, Pablo P.

58. Garcia, Pablo John F.
59. Gatchalian, Rex
60. Gonzales, Aurelio Jr. D.
61. Gonzales, Neptali II M.
62. Gonzalez, Raul Jr. T.

63. Guanlao, Agapito H.
64. Gullas, Eduardo R.
65. Gunigundo, Magtanggol I.T.
66. Hataman, Mujiv S.

67. Hernandez, Ariel C.
68. Hofer, Ann K.
69. Ilagan, Luzviminda C.
70. Jala, Adam Relson R.

71. Jalosjos, Cesar G.
72. Jalosjos-Carreon, Cecilia G.
73. Jikiri, Yusop H.
74. Kho, Antonio T.
75. Lacson, Jose Carlos V.
76. Lagdameo, Antonio Jr. F.

77. Lazatin, Carmelo F.
78. Ledesma, Julio IV A.
79. Leonen-Pizarro, Catalina G.
80. Lim, Teodoro
81. Lopez, Carol Jayne B.
82. Lopez, Jaime C.
83. Macapagal-Arroyo, Juan Miguel
84. Malapitan, Oscar G.
85. Mamba, Manuel N.
86. Marañon, Alfredo III D.

87. Marcoleta, Rodante D.
88. Martinez, Celestino
89. Matugas, Francisco T.
90. Mendoza, Raymond DC
91. Mendoza, Vigor Ma. D
92. Mercado, Roger G.
93. Miraflores, Florencio T.
94. Nava, Joaquin Carlos Rahman A.
95. Nicolas, Reylina G.

96. Omar, Haron D.
97. Palparan, Jovito Jr S.
98. Pancho, Pedro M.
99. Pancrudo, Candido Jr. P.
100. Pingoy, Arthur Jr. Y.
101. Plaza, Rodolfo G.

102. Ponce-Enrile, Salvacion S.
103. Prieto-Teodoro, Monica
104. Puno, Roberto V.
105. Ramiro, Herminia M.
106. Remulla, Jesus Crispin C.

107. Reyes, Carmencita O.
108. Reyes, Victoria H.
109. Robes, Arturo B.
110. Rodriguez-Zaldirriaga, Adelina
111. Romarate, Guillermo Jr. A.
112. Romualdez, Ferdinand Martin G.
113. Romulo, Roman T.

114. Roxas, Jose Antonio F.
115. Salvacion, Andres Jr., D.
116. Santiago, Narciso III D.

117. Santos, Estrella DL.
118. Sarmiento, Ulpiano II P.
119. Seachon-Lanete, Rizalina L.
120. Singson, Ronald V.
121. Solis, Jose G.
122. Suarez, Danilo E.
123. Sy-Alvarado, Ma. Victoria R.
124. Talino-Mendoza, Emmylou J.
125. Tan, Sharee Ann T.
126. Teodoro, Marcelino R.
127. Teves, Pryde Henry A.
128. Tieng, Irwin C.

129. Tomawis, Acmad
130. Tupas, Niel Jr. C.
131. Umali, Czarina D.
132. Uy, Edwin C.
133. Uy, Rolando A.
134. Uy, Reynaldo S.

135. Valdez, Edgar L.
136. Villar, Cynthia A.
137. Villarosa, Ma. Amelita C.
138. Yu, Victor L.
139. Zamora, Ronaldo B.
(MDM, via GMANews.TV)

Posted in Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, News, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

ZTE deal: First Gentleman cleared; Abalos, Neri face raps

Posted by akosistella on May 27, 2010


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MANILA, Philippines – Former elections chairman Benjamin Abalos and Social Security System president Romulo Neri will be charged with graft before the Sandiganbayan for their alleged part in the controversy-ridden contract between the government and Chinese firm ZTE Corp. for the national broadband network (NBN) project.

However, the Office of the Ombudsman absolved First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo of the same charges.

“Quite interestingly, the only memory that stands out during this meeting (at Wack Wack Golf and Country Club in Mandaluyong) was (Mr.) Arroyo’s statement that (Jose) de Venecia (III) was told to back off from the project,” read the resolution.

“There is no other independent statement or source of evidence that the meeting was purposely availed of to allow (Mr.) Arroyo to influence the project.

“Thus, the panel continues to maintain the position that only surmises and conjectures have been presented to this panel for assessment. To be certain, this presumption cannot be given any weight.”

via Philippine Star.

Posted in 2010 elections, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, News, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Alleged fertilizer scam point man loses gubernatorial bid in Capiz

Posted by akosistella on May 14, 2010


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CEBU CITY — It’s official: Capiz reelectionist Gov. Victor Tanco (Liberal Party) has won his reelection bid against the controversial former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn “Jocjoc” Bolante, the alleged architect of the fertilizer scam.

Bolante lost not only the gubernatorial post but a chance to gain political vindication from the public drubbing that he got when he was made to face a Senate inquiry on the fertilizer scam. The Senate hearings had recommended charges to be filed against him and several government officials.

Likely president-elect, Sen. Benigno Aquino III and Sen. Mar Roxas, a native of Capiz and Aquino’s running mate under the Liberal Party, personally campaigned in the province against the election bid of Bolante.

via INQUIRER.net.

ALSO READ:

Dy beats Padaca in Isabela’s race for governor

ILAGAN, Isabela, Philippines —- Rep. Faustino Dy III derailed the reelection bid of Gov. Maria Gracia Cielo Padaca after votes from the two remaining Isabela towns were canvassed by the provincial board of canvassers at past 7 p.m. Thursday.

Dy, whose brothers were defeated by Padaca in the 2004 and 2007 gubernatorial races, received 274,757 votes while Padaca got 271,319 votes from 35 towns and one city.

Padaca was leading by at least 3,000 votes on Thursday afternoon before votes from Angadanan and Palanan towns were received by the PBOC.

Via Inquirer.net

Posted in 2010 elections, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Manny Villar, MAR Roxas, News, Noynoy Aquino, Philippine politics, Regions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

EDITORIALS

Posted by akosistella on May 13, 2010


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Phil. Star: Start canvassing now

Critics, including big business groups, said yesterday that they were happy to be wrong about poll automation. The Commission on Elections, in a dramatic shift after many years of being on the receiving end of public scorn, is reaping accolades for pulling off the country’s first automated elections. An international credit rating agency said yesterday that the smooth vote and a clear victory for the next president could lead to a rating upgrade for the country, which will be a boon for business.

via Philippine Star.

Inquirer: Repudiation

The public expectation, initially boosted by the Commission on Elections, was the local races would be settled within 24 hours, the senatorial race within 48, and the presidential and vice-presidential contests within 72 hours. As it is, the Comelec has ended up pleading with the public for patience and promises that senatorial proclamations will be done by the end of election week. In the meantime, the vice-presidential contest remains too close to call although the presidential contest has been settled.

via Inquirer.net

Malaya: Why not the best and the brightest?

SOMEBODY who probably wants to sink the incoming administration of Noynoy Aquino is sending text messages showing the purported make-up of the next Cabinet. There is a sprinkling of inspired choices, but most of the names compose a recycled set of the most incompetent members of her mother’s Cabinet.

Via Malaya

Manila Times: Good 2010 elections, a GMA legacy

Yesterday, Malacañang commended the Commission on Elections and all those who helped ensure the success of the country’s first-ever automated polls. “We thank the Lord above and commend the Comelec, the hundreds of thousands of teachers and other civil servants who worked on the polls, and our gallant policemen and soldiers for the unprecedented speed of election tallies, their growing acceptance by the voters and even losing candidates and the dramatic decline in poll violence,” Presidential Spokesperson Ricardo Saludo only one day after the elections. In previous elections, when things went relatively well, such thanksgiving could only be made at least two weeks after election day.

Via Manila Times

Daily Tribune: 1986 all over again

It isn’t 1986 but 2010, but it might as well be 1986 all over again.

Sen. Noynoy Aquino, when he is proclaimed President-elect by Congress, plans for the first 100 days to start prosecuting corrupt officials, saying “I will not only not steal, but I’ll have the corrupt arrested.”

Via Daily Tribune

Posted in 2010 elections, Comelec, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Noynoy Aquino, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Villar concedes

Posted by akosistella on May 11, 2010


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MANILA, Philippines—(UPDATE) A day after the election, Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Senator Manuel Villar has given up the fight for the presidency, conceding to Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and urging the people to work behind him.

“Nagpasya na ang mga mamamayang Pilipino. Malinaw na sa kabila ng ating pagpupunyagi, hindi tayo nabiyayayaan ng tagumpay sa halalan noong Lunes (The Filipino people have decided. It is clear that despite our efforts, we were not blessed to win in Monday’s elections),” Villar said, reading a prepared statement before members of the media in his headquarters at the Starmall in Mandaluyong.

“Humaharap ako sa inyo ngayon upang tanggapin ang pasyang ito, upang igalang ang boses ng sambayanang Pilipino (I face you now to accept this decision, to respect the voice of the Filipino people),” he added.

via INQUIRER.net.

Posted in 2010 elections, Manny Villar, News, Noynoy Aquino, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Knowing your candidates

Posted by akosistella on May 9, 2010


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Method To Madness
By Patricia Evangelista, Inquirer

These columns were collected as an attempt to contribute to the discourse of the 2010 elections. The opinions are my own, the responsibility mine alone. That I do not endorse any one candidate does not mean I am not biased, as my standards and perspectives in these pieces are subjective in themselves.

These pieces were written, with one exception, during the run-up to the 2010 presidential elections. Most were written after interviews with the men in question. Some were time-bound, and were edited to suit a reading today. Others are as they were, with only stylistic changes unless noted after the piece.

PART 1: Eddie Villanueva, Noynoy Aquino, Richard Gordon

PART 2: Gilbert Teodoro, Joseph Estrada, Manny Villar

Posted in 2010 elections, Dick Gordon, Gilbert Teodoro, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Joseph Estrada, Manny Villar, MAR Roxas, Noynoy Aquino, Opinion, Philippine politics, Regions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ganito kami sa Makati…

Posted by akosistella on May 8, 2010


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Squatters living at P. Binay cor. Guatemala Sts., Makati City

Ganito ang mga Binay sa Batangas (Click to enlarge):

Posted in 2010 elections | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why MAR Roxas

Posted by akosistella on May 8, 2010


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BUSINESS MATTERS By Ramon del Rosario Jr.

SINCE THE RESTORATION OF OUR DEMOCRACY in 1986, our country has had five vice presidents— Salvador Laurel, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Teofisto Guingona and Noli de Castro. Laurel and De Castro won as running mates of their respective president but did not succeed to the presidency. Guingona’s case is unique: he assumed the vice presidency via appointment by President Macapagal-Arroyo after Edsa 2, but the partnership soured soon after. Estrada and Ms Arroyo won as vice president on tickets opposed to eventual presidential winners, yet they eventually succeeded as president. Unfortunately for our country, the Estrada and Arroyo presidencies foisted a terrible 12-year burden on our democracy. Estrada was ousted, while Arroyo ends her long term as the most disliked president ever thus far.

Click Ramon del Rosario Jr.

The ‘Noybi’ ironies
GET REAL By Solita Collas-Monsod

WITH A 22-POINT DIFFERENCE (PLUS OR minus 2 ) between the two leading contenders, as revealed by a poll taken one week before election day (ED); and with no credible scandalous revelations capturing the public imagination two days before ED, the presidential race is, for all intents and purposes, over but the shouting. Assuming an 80-percent voter turnout (or 40 million registered voters going to the polls), what the survey shows is that if the voters voted the same way on ED as they would have the week before, Noynoy Aquino would rack up about 16.8 million (range being 16 million to 17.6 million), compared to 8 million votes (range being 7.2 million to 8.8 million votes) for his nearest closest opponent Erap Estrada, and 7.6 million votes (range being 6.8 million to 8.4 million votes) for Manny Villar. That would be a humongous lead anyway you look at it—and no longer vulnerable to dagdag-bawas machinations, no matter how high-tech. Aquino is our next president.

Click Winnie Monsod

Posted in 2010 elections, Joseph Estrada, Manny Villar, MAR Roxas, Noynoy Aquino, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Reasons to vote (or not) for Noynoy

Posted by akosistella on May 8, 2010


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Commentary By Leo Alejandrino

It is not sure that the Philippines can survive another six years of plunder by our leadership.

In this sense the coming presidential elections could be an inflection point in our history. They will be a test of whether the Filipino is truly deserving of his right to enfranchisement.

This country is in dire straits. Filipinos are worse off today than they were 10 years ago. We have a record budget deficit, a record national debt. Our education, environment, and health care are in disrepair. The corruption in government is encompassing. This cancer has seeped into the fiber of our society, into the values and mores of our nation.

Click Leo Alejandrino

Posted in 2010 elections, MAR Roxas, Noynoy Aquino, Opinion, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Don’t vote for Noynoy

Posted by akosistella on May 7, 2010

LOWDOWN
By Jojo A. Robles

For whatever it’s worth, consider this a final appeal before you go to the polls on Monday: Do not vote for Benigno Simeon “Noynoy”Aquino III.

Do not vote for Noynoy because he is lazy and incompetent. He has done nothing, good or bad, to deserve your vote; he will most likely do nothing—which most certainly cannot be good—if he becomes president.

Do not vote for Noynoy because he is not his own man. He is heavily indebted to his relatives, political advisers, command-vote gatherers and financial backers, all of whom will most likely call the shots, make the important decisions and rule the country (even if no one elected them or even knows who they are) if he becomes president.

via Manila Standard Today.

Posted in 2010 elections, Noynoy Aquino, Opinion, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

From the opinion-makers

Posted by akosistella on May 5, 2010


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Revolution-baiting
ANALYSIS By Amando Doronila

In rejecting the extra-constitutional method of People Power to change political leadership, Rosales served notice that he was not aching to emulate the high-profile political activism of his predecessor, Jaime Cardinal Sin, and emphasized his contrast with Sin in asserting the Catholic Church’s influential role in Philippine politics.

Rosales does not fancy himself as a clone of Sin, and has taken the path of stabilizing legal institutions, such as regular elections, as the preferred mode of political leadership transitions.

Click Amando Doronila

Differences
THERE’S THE RUB By Conrado de Quiros

THE PEOPLE WHO TALK ABOUT MOUNTING People Power in the event of cheating are “crazy and irresponsible,” says Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales. Things are different between then and now. The situation in 1986 was extraordinary. “We can’t do (Edsa) again. We have laws now.” The problem with us is that “we are always in a hurry.” That is why we have not matured as a nation.

Things are different then and now? Let’s see.

Click Conrado de Quiros

Cardinal Rosales is no Cardinal Sin
AS I SEE IT By Neal Cruz

IF YOU SEE MASSIVE CHEATING IN NEXT Monday’s elections, what would you do? Would you sit back, fold your hands and do nothing as a prince of the Church has suggested? No, it is your duty to protest, to show that you will not take the cheating sitting down. It is your duty to see to it that truth and justice be done. It is your duty to join another people power if one is called.

Click Neal Cruz

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For the die-hards
DISPATCHES FROM THE ENCHANTED KINGDOM By Manuel Buencamino

I was talking about elections with Pierre.

“A run-off election works best for countries with a multiparty system. It solves the problem of a minority president,” he said.

“How so?” I asked.

“Candidates run in a general election and then the top two vote-getters go mano a mano in a run-off election,” he explained.

Via Manuel Buencamino

Too late to salvage poll automation?
GOTCHA By Jarius Bondoc

Sources inside Comelec did it again. They said in Gotcha Wednesday that the 2 p.m. re-bidding that day for 80,000 ultraviolet lamps would be won pre-ordained by one of nine firms that have been cornering Comelec contracts for years. True enough, the poll body awarded the deal to Philand Industries, which bagged multimillion-peso paper supplies in 2008-2009. Delivery was supposed to start the next day; meaning, the imported units that usually take three weeks to arrive were already in RP, waiting for a go-signal. Senatorial candidate, IT expert Joey de Venecia, has been warning that the U/V lamps are unnecessary and pose a risky human intervention in the automated election process.

Click Jarius Bondoc

Will poll count reflect people’s choice?
CORE By Benjamin E. Diokno

Sadly, all elections since 1992, including the 1998 presidential elections, were marred with irregularities, large and small, so that the results did not reflect truthfully the voters’ choice. In 1998, however, Joseph Estrada’s margin of victory was so overwhelming that cheating was rendered infeasible.

Via Benjamin Dioko

Political dynasties rule Metro Manila cities
DEMAND AND SUPPLY By Boo Chanco

Let us not go far in any analysis of what’s wrong with our kind of democracy. Right here in Metro Manila, political dynasties rule. Only the City of Manila, Quezon City, Pasay City, Parañaque and Muntinglupa have interesting and competitive contests for this year’s election. Maybe we can include Taguig in the list only because two political families, the Tingas and the Cayetanos still have to fight it out for clear dominance.

Click Boo Chanco.

Hacienda Luisita: Advocacy vs. benefit
MAP INSIGHTS By Manuel A. Alcuaz Jr.

Hacienda Luisita was once part of the holdings of Compania General de Tabacos de Filipinas sociedad anonima, better known as Tabacalera, which was founded on Nov. 26, 1881. Contrary to what was expected, Spanish-owned Hacienda Luisita prospered when the Americans took full control of the Philippine government. Tabacalera as a whole experienced prosperous times because of the US demand for sugar and tobacco. At one point during prewar times, Hacienda Luisita supplied almost 20% of all sugar in the United States.

Click Manuel A. Alcuaz Jr.

For your consideration
AT LARGE By Rina Jimenez-David

MUNTINLUPA REP. AND LIBERAL PARTY senatorial candidate Ruffy Biazon joins other analysts in positing that even if Sen. Noynoy Aquino succeeds in winning the presidency on May 10, and even if Sen. Mar Roxas wins as vice president, the Aquino administration may still be hamstrung by a glaring reality: not enjoying majority support in either the House of Representatives or the Senate.

Click Rina Jimenez David

Lim and Querubin: My Senate choices
By ELLEN TORDESILLAS

The two have been in detention since February 2006 when they were charged with attempting to withdraw support from Gloria Arroyo after the “Hello Garci” tapes exposed the use of the military in the tampering of election results in her favor in the 2004 elections.

Via Ellen Tordesillas

Yellows up to something again
FRONTLINE By Ninez Cacho-Olivares

All too suddenly, Noynoy Aquino’s supporter and lawyer from the FIRM, Gloria Arroyo’s former Ombudsman, Simeon Marcelo, is questioning the appointment of Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff before the high court, saying that he took the reins of the AFP on the day the midnight appointments ban took effect.

Click Ninez Cacho Olivarez

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Posted in 2010 elections, Comelec, MAR Roxas, Noynoy Aquino, Opinion, Philippine politics, Regions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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