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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)

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

At the still point of the turning world

Posted by akosistella on July 5, 2010


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Method to Madness
By Patricia Evangelista

MANILA, Philippines—The first time I saw Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, I thought she was pretty. I was 13, and there was a poster across the street from where I stood waiting for the school bus. She wore a deep blue suit, her hair was in a braid, and she was holding a red rose. It was 1998, and she was campaigning for the vice presidency. I won’t swear by the image, the suit might have been red and the rose might have been white and her hair might have been short, but I remember thinking she was pretty, and hoping she would win because she seemed like a nice lady.She became president when I was 15, after everyone I knew went to Edsa in January of 2001 to denounce a mustached man with a pompadour. My father thought I was too young to go, and so we sat at home and watched on television, as the nice lady took an oath before a cheering crowd in black.

Click Patricia Evangelista.

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

Official program (Aquino inaugural, June 30, 2010)

Posted by akosistella on June 30, 2010


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(excerpts via Manolo Quezon)

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

The Arroyobamaquino conspiracy theorist

Posted by akosistella on June 16, 2010


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Dispatches from the Enchanted Kingdom
By MANUEL BUENCAMINO

Safely ensconced in his adopted country, thousands of miles away from the reach of any libel suits, self-exiled communist leader Jose Maria “Joma” Sison boldly accused a sister of President-elect Benigno S.C. Aquino III of conspiring with Gloria Arroyo and the CIA to cheat in the 2010 elections. I decided to interview the man hiding in the Netherlands.

“Let me read to you what you said in your interview with Pinoy Weekly.”

“Okay.”

“There are indications that the automated electoral system of Smartmatic, which is controlled by the US and its agents, was pre-programmed to make Aquino and Binay win. It’s obvious that a large number of votes were stolen from Manny Villar and Loren Legarda. Their precipitous decline was overkill and unbelievable. There are reports that high officials of the CIA, the Aquino family and the Arroyo regime decided on the pre-programming six weeks before the election. The meeting between Pinky Aquino-Abelleda and Mrs. Arroyo paved the way for the arrangement.”

Click Manuel Buencamino.

ALSO READ:

For the love of Noynoy Aquino
Method To Madness
By PATRICIA EVANGELISTA

MANILA, Philippines—It is Independence Day in the land of the yellow morning, where the moon is a greasy pearl, freedom is a Twitter hashtag and the brave bawl in their cradles unless the cradles were pawned for the rose-red heart of a bottle of cheap gin. Philippine Airlines offers a “Proud and Free” Promo for the patriotic Filipino—$135 for Hong Kong, $690 for Honolulu, $790 Las Vegas not including government taxes and ticketing service fees. In New York’s 20,000-strong Filipino community celebration, Christian Bautista sings “Beautiful Girl” and “Can We Just Stop and Talk Awhile,” Carlo Orosa soars with the “Impossible Dream,” Sarah Geronimo is “well-applauded” for “You Changed My Life,” and fortunately remembers to sing “Magkaisa.”

Out on the Quirino Grandstand, on a stage with “a select group of 180 people,” the woman rumored to have a heart harder than the rampaging lead hooves of Leon Guerrero’s horse demonstrates that in the end, all you need is love. If only you could show her love, bring her flowers, buy her a two-piece Jollibee chicken meal in the fast-food court of the nearest SM shopping mall, play her your Jason Mraz ringing tone while holding her hand as you wait in line for tickets to John Lloyd Cruz’s “A Very Special Love.” But this is a woman whose natural milieu is the table beneath a Le Cirque chandelier, and so if love will not appear prostrated before her dragging Gilbert Teodoro, love can be bought, at the price of a P10-million praise parade bought with taxpayers’ money to “showcase the outstanding achievements of the 10-Point Agenda of the Arroyo administration.”

Click Patricia Evangelista.

ANYONE who pays their taxes religiously can very well comment on whatever President Noynoy plans to do for his administration, especially if it involves appointing Cabinet Secretaries.

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

Manicurist, billionaire’s daughter, decline midnight appointments

Posted by akosistella on June 4, 2010


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Manila, Philippines – Nearly all of over 200 appointments made by President Arroyo just days before the 60-day ban on appointments prior to elections took effect were accepted by the appointees.

Among the few who declined were the president’s manicurist and the daughter of mall tycoon Henry Sy.

Many of the appointments were made to juicy positions in Government Owned and Controlled Corporations GOCCs. Anita Carpon, President Arroyo’s personal manicurist was earlier reported to have been appointed to the Board of Trustees of the P202 billion Pag-IBIG Fund.

via ABS-CBN News Online Beta.

ALSO READ:

Arroyo says no regrets about presidency


MANILA, Philippines – Twenty-six days before she formally steps down from power, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the country’s 14th president, said she has no regrets at all about her presidency.

“I have no regrets. (No regrets at all?) I don’t want to focus on negatives, so, in fact, rather than talking about regrets, I like to give thanks for the opportunity to serve the Philippines,” said Arroyo in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN News.

President Arroyo made the statement despite the criticisms, accusations, allegations and scandals hurled against her administration, which, critics say, could lead to a multitude of cases that could be filed against her once the steps down.

Via ABS-CBN News online

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

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 »

Palace urges House body to wrap up probe on poll fraud

Posted by akosistella on May 27, 2010


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MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang wants a committee at the House of Representatives to wrap up its investigation into alleged anomalies in the country’s first-ever nationwide automated elections last May 10, saying it is time to “move forward.”

Palace officials are concerned that the hearings being conducted by the committee on suffrage and electoral reforms chaired by Makati Representative Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin Jr. could overlap with the joint congressional canvass for the presidential and vice presidential votes.

“We hope we could put an end to this investigation so we can move on,” Executive Secretary Leandro Mendoza told reporters in Filipino, on Wednesday.

via INQUIRER.net.

ALSO READ: Morato: 7 ‘Comelec executives’ involved in poll fraud

Smartmatic admission of ‘innocent’ program errors alarms lawmakers


MANILA, Philippines – Congress, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers, resumed session on Wednesday afternoon but not a single vote was counted.

Day 2 of the joint session was instead spent grilling officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and election automation system provider Smartmatic on the authenticity of the results of the recent national polls.

The admission of Smartmatic Asia-Pacific president Cesar Flores of innocent program errors caused concerns that there may have also been program errors in computing the votes.

Via ABS-CBN News

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

Another ex-Arroyo Cabinet secretary accepts post from Aquino

Posted by akosistella on May 27, 2010


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MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE) President-apparent Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino III has appointed another former member of incumbent Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Cabinet who resigned at the height of allegations that Arroyo cheated in the 2004 elections.

Teresita “Ging” Deles herself announced Wednesday that she accepted Aquino’s offer to return to government as presidential adviser on the peace process – a post she held when she resigned, along with nine other Cabinet members, in 2005.

“Yes,” Deles said when asked by reporters if she accepted Aquino’s offer after their lunch meeting at the senator’s residence in Times Street in Quezon City.

via INQUIRER.net.

ALSO READ:

Arroyo offers Aquino camp Palace tour

MANILA, Philippines—President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is open to giving her presumptive successor, Senator Benigno Aquino III, a tour of Malacañang to ease the transition to a new administration.

<A Malacañang tour for Aquino, similar to the White House one that outgoing President George Bush gave the then President-elect Senator Barack Obama in 2008, was included in the preparations for the handover, said Executive Secretary Leandro Mendoza.

“We’re open to that. As a matter of fact that’s part of the preparations that we’re doing,” Mendoza said.

Via Inquirer.net

RE: Aquino Cabinet, it appears to be shaping up as a Cabinet of old faces and has-beens. Other names that have cropped are Bobby de Ocampo as finance secretary, Sonny Dominguez as agricultural secretary, Popoy Juico as agrarian reform secretary, Cesar Purisima or Nestlé’s Johnny Santos as trade and industry secretary, just to name a few.

While this blogger has nothing personal against all these outstanding personalities who are all well-respected in their fields (two of them were even my bosses!), I’m thinking is this it? Are these the only people the Aquino search committee has found to be suitable to be Cabinet secretaries? Surely there are other business and finance executives who are competent as well, and who are younger and infused w/ more idealism and energy, who can head these government agencies?

No doubt there are a number of sipsips who have already forwarded their CVs to the search committee to be considered for a Cabinet post. (In fact one of them has his supporters textblasting media to get him appointed to the post he used to hold. Cheap trick dude.) With the heavy-duty problems the President-elect will have to face, he needs dependable, professional and honest people to help him tackle these.

So the members of the Aquino Cabinet search committee shouldn’t be lazy. Look beyond the old faces and the sipsips. Or maybe, the search committee shouldn’t even look that far; there are a number of dedicated and hard-working officials in those gov’t agencies who can very well head those institutions. And there are quite a few Cabinet secretaries/bureau directors who shouldn’t even be removed at all.

Posted in 2010 elections, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, News, Noynoy Aquino, Philippine politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Manufactured crisis

Posted by akosistella on May 24, 2010


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DISPATCHES FROM THE ENCHANTED KINGDOM
By Manuel Buencamino

I was buying a lotto ticket in Cavite last Friday when I overheard a couple talking about the outcome of the election. The man behind me was telling his companion, “Mabuti nanalo si Noynoy ngayon makukulong na rin si Gloria (It’s good Noynoy won, Gloria will finally be sent to prison).”

I smiled and then asked the man if he had heard that Aquino was considering taking his oath of office before a barrio captain instead of the Chief Justice of the Philippines. He told me he had not. But he added, “Maganda kung gawin niya yun. Isang parangal ’yan sa maliliit na tulad namin (It would be a good idea if he does that. It’s an honor for the little people like us.)”

I must admit that I never saw it that way. I was so caught up in the debate over Aquino’s oath-taking that I forgot all about the meaning of his election. But I was in good company; the dean of the UP College of Law was also distracted by the manufactured crisis. He weighed in on the symbolism of the oath-taking: “He does so because of the symbolisms of that ritual. The oath—prescribed by the Constitution—is administered by the head of an autonomous, coequal department of government charged with the preservation of the words found in the Constitution of the Republic.”

via Manuel Buencamino.

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

Smartmatic says flash cards 100% ‘tamper-proof’

Posted by akosistella on May 22, 2010


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MANILA, Philippines – Voting machine vendor Smartmatic on Friday stood by the integrity of the automated election system despite claims of fraud by lawmakers who lost their re-election bids in the May 10 elections.

Cesar Flores, Smartmatic Asia-Pacific president, maintained that the compact flash cards for the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines could not be tampered even if they are stolen and someone tries to replace its data with fake election results.

“Everything is encrypted with 108 encryption, which is used by banks to scramble data. If they try to access the data, they cannot because it’s scrambled. If you take the card, you won’t be able to read it,” the Smartmatic executive said during the House of Representatives hearing on the alleged election cheating

via ABS-CBN News Online Beta.

ALSO READ:

PPCRV uncovers apparent fraud in Basilan

Malacañang behind poll fraud claim-Locsin

AND:

Comelec says losing bet behind ‘Robin’

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) believes a defeated presidential candidate is behind alleged whistleblower “Robin”, the masked man who claimed he was involved in massive fraud in the May 10 automated elections.

“Robin”, whose masked appearance has been likened to a koala bear, revealed a massive electronic cheating operation using alleged authentic ballots and “player” precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines to rig the May 10 election tally.

According to Robin, their group has copies of the 15 million original ballots, and they transmitted their results to the Comelec server before the actual PCOS machines in use in precincts and canvassing centers transmitted the results.

Via ABS-CBN News

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

House panel formed to canvass votes for president, VP

Posted by akosistella on May 22, 2010


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MANILA, Philippines – UPDATE The House of Representatives completed the members of its panel that would work with the Senate in canvassing the votes for president and vice president starting next week, Speaker Prospero Nograles announced Friday.

The nine-member group will be composed of Nograles as chairman, majority leader Arthur Defensor, minority leader Ronaldo Zamora, senior deputy majority leader Neptali Gonzales II, senior deputy minority leader Roilo Golez, Representatives Crispin Remulla Cavite, Didagen Dilangalen Shariff Kabunsuan with Cotabato City, and Matias Defensor Quezon City, and Michael John Duavit Rizal.

Alternate members include Representatives Teodoro Locsin Jr. Makati, Rufus Rodriguez Cagayan de Oro, Lorenzo Tanada III Quezon, Liwayway Vinzons-Chato Camarines Norte, Simeon Datumanong Maguindanao, Giorgidi Aggabao Isabela, Pedro Romualdo Camiguin, Joseph Emilio Abaya Cavite, and Eduardo Zialcita Paranaque.

via INQUIRER.net.

ALSO READ: Santiago inhibits self from Congressional canvas

MEANWHILE:

Noynoy cries foul over plan to delay proclamation

President-apparent Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III on Friday cried foul over House Speaker Prospero Nograles’s reported plan to move back the proclamation of president and vice president from June 4 to June 30, the same day President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo steps down from office.

Nograles, who lost the mayoralty race in Davao City, was quoted as saying that the Senate and the House of Representatives, convening as the national board of canvassers, would proclaim the winning president and vice president “on or before high noon of June 30.”

“Offhand yung aabutin ng June 30, meron pang on or before, noon na sinasabi. Parang napaka hindi tama na sabihin ng Speaker yan,” Aquino said in an interview with reporters after he was visited in his Times Street home by US Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr.

Via GMANews.TV

ALSO: Tatad to ask High Court to nullify poll results

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

Opinions

Posted by akosistella on May 20, 2010


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‘Stop whining, Noynoy’
BIG DEAL By Dan Mariano

Monday morning I posted this “status” on my Facebook account: “I am beginning to sense that a lot of my friends, including those who voted for Noynoy, find his adversarial attitude toward the new Chief Justice a bit too much. What do you think?”

In minutes, several of my FB “friends” responded.

From Ed S: “I think so too. Time to mend fences and start anew. Besides, winning the election in spite of the odds is more than a slap on their faces. He just has to give them a tap on the back for consolation and enough of these rantings.”

Click Dan Mariano.

Form and substance
THE LONG VIEW By Manuel L. Quezon III

SINCE CHIEF JUSTICE RENATO CORONA decided to accept the poisoned chalice from President Macapagal-Arroyo, the least he is expected to do is to drink from it. Not least because he has gotten to be chief justice due to efforts and arguments first forwarded in 1998—when his appointment as a judge by President Ramos was voided by the Supreme Court—and which finally bore bitter fruit in 2010, when the Court granted itself an exemption from constitutional prohibitions on presidential appointments during the campaign and transition period, thus paving the way for Corona’s becoming chief justice.

So in a sense he is joined at the hip to the point of view that there shouldn’t be any sort of ban on appointments during election periods or in the transition from one administration to the next. And here, the contrast between this assertion—whether on the part of President Arroyo, who set aside precedents dating back to her own father’s revocation of the midnight appointments of his predecessor—and the present Supreme Court itself (in granting itself an exemption) not to mention Corona himself, who ignored former Chief Justice Manuel Moran’s decision, based on delicadeza, to decline an opportunity to return to the high court by means of a midnight appointment, is instructive.

Via Manolo Quezon

Shape up, Comelec
CALLING A SPADE…By Solita Collas-Monsod

May I ask why it is that nine days after elections, the PPCRV’s tally still covers barely 90% of the election returns? Surely by this time all 76,000 PCOS machines should have been able to transmit the results electronically. That is, after all, part of what an Automated Election System is all about. After all, the Comelec itself had originally stated that two days after the elections, the tally would be complete.

PPCRV has a lot to answer for, as far as I am concerned, particularly because it opposed (successfully) the accreditation of Namfrel which has more than 27 years and at least eight national elections’ worth of counting experience under its belt, compared to PPCRV’s zero experience. At the same time, Comelec also has a lot to answer for because it allowed PPCRV to conduct a public count, even if its accreditation — at least originally anyway, was limited to a count for internal purposes only. If I remember correctly, Comelec’s reason for not accrediting Namfrel was because the elections would be automated, and everybody would have access to the transmitted election returns, so Namfrel raison d’etre was gone. Or some such rot.

Via WInnie Monsod

Fraud will out
FRONTLINE By Ninez Cacho-Olivares

That fraud marked the automated polls can hardly be denied even if it is being vehemently denied by poll officials. But the blame really falls on the Commission on Elections, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), and even members of Congress who were so gung-ho over automated polls and not bothering to insist on checks for the entire system, including the Comelec’s cavalier attitude in doing away with the important security checks.

And that is where the big problem of the credibility of honest elections comes in.

Via Ninez Cacho Olivares

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

Editorials

Posted by akosistella on May 20, 2010


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BusinessMirror: Truth-seeking, not sour grapes

THE House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms opened on Wednesday hearings into allegations of irregularities in the May 10 elections, mostly the result of human manipulation of what should otherwise have been an exhilarating and peaceful—because speedy—exercise. It’s just as well that the House panel clearly laid down the spirit guiding the effort to uncover the truth, in order to keep out those who have “no real or helpful evidence to offer, only their grief [at losing],” as the panel’s very articulate chairman, Makati Rep. Teodoro Locsin Jr., put it.

via BusinessMirror.

Phil. Star: Welcome gesture

While some officials eagerly accepted and even lobbied for midnight appointments from President Arroyo, particularly for positions with tenure that the beneficiaries hope cannot be invalidated by the next administration, Jesus Verzosa has given the nation a welcome gesture of delicadeza.

Via Phil. Star

Malaya: Catching foot-in-mouth disease

CHIEF Justice Renato Corona the other day said he will ask his wife Maria Cristina to resign as chairman of John Hay Management Corp. a subsidiary of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority. Corona said the resignation takes effect on June 30. This is to put to rest allegations of conflict of interest, he said.

Has Mrs. Corona any other choice?

Via Malaya

Inquirer: Corona of thorns

LET US BE CLEAR: IF THERE IS A POLITICAL storm gathering over the designation of Renato Corona as the new chief justice, it is not the fault, or even the doing, of presumptive president-elect Benigno Aquino III. If you slap a man in the face, he might strike back or turn the other cheek, but in either case, he is merely reacting to the provocation.

Via Inquirer

Daily Tribune: Credibility is foremost

Revelations about massive fraud in the recent automated elections that, if true, make the “Hello Garci” scandal look like child’s play, have been surfacing in volumes that are now difficult to dismiss, putting the mandate on potential president Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino in great doubt.

Via Daily Tribune

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

Arroyo Cabinet members told: Spill beans on ex-boss before joining Noynoy

Posted by akosistella on May 20, 2010


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Arroyo Cabinet members planning to join the official family of President-apparent Sen. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III should spill the beans on their former boss’ abuses, a militant group said Wednesday.

The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) stressed the need to have Mrs. Arroyo investigated and charged for various misdeeds during her nine-year reign.

“It is not surprising that former Arroyo officials will be seeking new appointments under the Aquino administration, especially after their involvement in the Aquino campaign. Some of them appear to be determined to get back their previous posts. These former Arroyo officials however should first make a full accounting of their role in the previous regime. They should at least be willing to testify against the outgoing president,” said Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr., in an article on the Bayan website (www.bayan.ph).

Via GMANews.TV

ALSO READ: Aquino urged to retain Verzosa

Dinky Soliman: Amoy lupa? Not me

AND:

Manny Pacquiao vows support for Noynoy Aquino

MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – Sarangani province Congressman-elect and 7-division world champion Manny Pacquiao met with incoming President Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III of the Liberal Party on Tuesday night. 

The Filipino boxing icon and Aquino had a 30 to 45-minute meeting at the Aquino family residence along Times Street in West Triangle, Quezon City.

This was confirmed by his Atty. Edwin Lacierda, Aquino’s campaign spokesperson. He said the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion was accompanied by his wife, Jinkee.

via ABS-CBN News Online Beta.

ASIDE FROM his quick fancy footwork, Manny Pacquiao also excels in speedily changing political loyalties.

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