Benigno Aquino III
Impressing School Girls
By Erick Fabian
IN President Benigno Aquino III’s recent forum with Miriam College high school students who visited the Palace last January 7 (Tuesday), he told them that his New Year’s resolution is “to ignore critics”. He added, “”We have a cottage industry already of people who make a living criticizing me. And it [distracts me] from solving the problems of this country if I have to attend to them…Walang makitang maganda sa sasabihin mo” (they see nothing good in what I will say). He called his critics ‘hopeless’ and told the students that devoting time to them will only distract him from his work.
While giant news outlets barely glossed over this seemingly inconsequential piece of news, a simple reading between the lines says so much about the arrogant attitude of the person who holds the most powerful position in a country of almost 100 million people.
A quick look at the news shows that 2014 is becoming the harbinger of things to come as far as the failure of the Aquino administration to address the country’s actual concerns. His term ends in 2016, and he is playing a desperate game of patching his pockmarked public image. One would think that a more sophisticated politician would do a more elaborate stunt, but his PRs resort to publicizing a President regaling wide-eyed, star-struck high school students about how he is doing the country a lot of good by ignoring his critics. This is where the problem lies.
Democracy, in whatever permutation, at its most basic requires a two-way dialogue where each party plays both speaker and listener, giver and receiver. Calling your critics ‘hopeless’ and labelling them in a simplistic manner, by calling them ‘a cottage industry of critics who make a living criticizing the President’, is a conversation killer.
Just like the foolish emperor in the story ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’, it appears that the man who touted himself the people’s hero and a crusader against corruption is not even attempting to hide his disdain for people like you and me, Filipinos who are doing their best to be good citizens by being truthful and honest, rather than pretend that there is nothing wrong.
It’s no surprise really, seeing as honesty is the farthest thing from his mind. A person who desires to engage in mature discourse will show respect for the other person, regardless of whether you agree or disagree with what the other person is saying. It is already a given that when you hold the highest position in the land, the conversation is between you and the collective of citizens that you extract taxes from. You agree to follow the social contract, to serve the interests of the people you are governing. All other interests fall on the bottom priority. At least, that’s the ideal that public servants are supposed to aim for.
Ignoring criticism is a symptom of a social cancer that has been befouling our political landscape since day one of the republic. An administration that spends most of its time and the taxpayers’ money on hand-waving PR maneuvers rather than making the most of its last two years in power by coming clean to the public and actually doing reparations and responding to the grievances of the people is an indicator of collective neurosis and mental incapacity to handle the job, not to mention immaturity.
Please, let’s stop fooling ourselves: we are not his boss, like he keeps saying over and over you’d wish he’d just recorded it and pushed the button on demand. His boss is Henry Sy. His boss is Manny Pangilinan. His boss is Lucio Tan. His bosses are the taipans. His bosses are the powerful people who keep him from seeing that he is a public embarrassment, again, like the emperor who thought that he looks grand in his invisible clothes. His bosses are only those who are willing to kiss his bottom end in exchange for favors and power.
It is too easy to allow awestruck high schoolers and field-tripping students who will be dazzled with the initial grandiosity of power, and all the perks of holding the most influential position in the country. On the other hand, student activists and civil groups with real-life concerns are rarely welcomed beyond the gates of the Palace compound, if at all.
Mr. Aquino also said that he will not pressure his Cabinet, as part of his New Year’s resolution. Saying that is tantamount to saying that he will not do his work properly. He should be pressuring them to bring about changes that will benefit Filipino society and improving the lives of the general populace. He should be shouting orders short of beating their backs with a stick because there are life-and-death decisions to be made, and he is making light of things can save people’s lives and ensure a better future even after his administration is over.
Sadly, the President is not interested in those things. He cares more about impressing high school girls, his Yellow cult, and the public by putting up a nice guy image. Sure, he is nice. He is not your typical movie villain. He is no Darth Vader and he is not planning to blow up a planet. Neither is he planning to address the suffering of millions of Filipinos who are hungry, homeless, jobless and desperate. He may not do the evil laugh, but what makes him any better than evil people?
In his last two years as President, if he keeps doing this, then there will be no resolution for the rest of us.
It’s all a brave front, a dismissive response, and nothing but the bravado of a political failure who is desperate to keep his already tattered public image. We should be concerned because we do not want two years of hell for the rest of us.
Who Is In Charge of Local Disaster Management?
By Ike Señeres
PRESIDENT Noynoy Aquino set the right tone when he said that we need not wait for a disaster in order to help each other, because there are many poor people who need our help every day. How I wish that his message will be heard not only by the people in the government, but also by all Filipinos here and abroad. As I see it, he actually issued a call for action, in a way declaring a war against poverty on a daily basis.
I find it amusing that our entire nation was scandalized by the ten billion pesos more or less that was stolen by the pork barrel scam, when in fact the amount was less than 2% of the national budget. Perhaps our national outrage was triggered by the high level of noise that the issue caused in the mass media, but how come no one seems to pay attention to how the rest of the 98% is being spent? Will this not need the same level of noise that the mass media gave to the pork barrel issue?
Our National Government Agencies (NGAs) are the institutions that are supposed to work on a daily basis, and these are the same institutions that are funded on a yearly basis by the General Appropriations Act (GAA). This is what line item budgeting basically means, to appropriate annual budgets to line agencies, instead of appropriating the funds by way of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
By way of comparison, line item budgets are for objective purposes, intended to fund projects that are programmed for implementation by the NGAs. The PDAF on the other hand is, or was intended for subjective purposes, referring to local development projects that could not be “seen” by the Congress from where they sit. The legal fiction here is that only the local people could “see” the need for these projects, supposedly with the guiding “eyes” of their congressman.
As the head of the executive branch of the government, the President is in effect the head of all the NGAs, the same agencies that are supposed to work on a daily basis. In theory, the President does not have to order the actual heads of these agencies to do anything, because they are supposed to think and act on their own, without waiting for the President to tell them what to do. This is what institutions are supposed to do, and that is the reason why they are funded by the Congress to do what they are supposed to do.
What did CNN news anchor Mr. Anderson Cooper mean when he said that there was “no government” in Tacloban? What did he mean when he said that “there was no one in charge”? Was he referring to the local government, or the national government? As a matter of fact, the local Mayor was still around, even if he was practically paralyzed to do anything at all. Was he referring to the national government? Did he not notice that the NGAs were there on the ground from day one?
Considering the fact that the local government was practically paralyzed in Tacloban, there is no debate that the national government was there, and so it is not correct to say that there was “no government”. That said, the only remaining question is whether or not there was someone “in charge”, as asked by Mr. Cooper. As I see it, there was someone “in charge”, even if Cooper did not recognize him. I am sure that there were many local officials of the national government who were there when Cooper was there, but perhaps he was looking for someone higher.
There is no question about the fact that the President is “in charge” of national affairs, whether there is a disaster or not. Same is true about the fact that the Mayor is always “in charge” of local affairs no matter what, period. The case of Tacloban is an obvious exception to the rule, because the Mayor there was a victim himself, aside from the fact that he was left with no means to function. Since Tacloban is a chartered city, is it the reason why the provincial Governor did not see a reason to be the one “in charge”?
President Aquino was correct when he said that in our system, it is the local government that is the first line of defense. The problem is, the general public, as they are fired up by the mass media, would always want the President to be on the scene right away, as if he has nothing else to do. As the news would usually come out, it is even implied that if the President is not on the scene right away, he is probably not doing anything.
I think that it is a dangerous trend to always expect the President to practically behave like a Mayor. It seems that President Aquino is not the type who is not inclined to always hug the headlines, but imagine what will happen if we will have a President in the future who will hug the headlines all the time, in order to satisfy the demand of the general public? What will happen to all the other urgent national concerns that the President is supposed to attend to?
In this time and age of high tech communications, it is more practical to assume that the President would have the means to give instructions to his subordinates wherever they are, and at any time. In reality, the Command Post is where the President is, and from that point, he could order everyone in the bureaucracy and the military to do what they have to do, as they are supposed to do. If the President is not seen on the scene, it does not necessarily mean that he is not doing anything.
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A Weakened Presidency
By Elcid Benedicto
WHILE many perceive the ruling of the Supreme Court, declaring the lawmakers’ pork barrel funds as unconstitutional as a setback for senators and congressmen, what others fail to recognize is the more serious consequence of the decision: a weakened presidency.
The pork barrel scam which unraveled before the eyes of the public the ills behind the manner in which some lawmakers make use of their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), it also paved for the disclosure of the fact that the pork barrel is often used as a tool by the President to wield influence among Congress members in deciding on certain crucial issues.
A case in point, was the Corona impeachment trial where allegedly, President Aquino, through his minions, swayed some senators to vote for the conviction of ousted Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona in the 2012 proceedings and on the issues as well on the enactment of the reproductive health (RH) law and sin tax, supposedly.
What will become now of the senators sans the PDAF? Senate insiders said it has now rendered an impossible task for some “enterprising” senators and some of their well-trusted staff the matter of yielding “commissions” from their “soft” and “hard” projects.
“There’s no more scholarship programs for them or projects that they can identify themselves. That’s the practical and immediate impact. In theory though, if there are some congressional districts or congressmen or local government officials that they would want to lend assistance, the (Senate) finance committee chair could opt to tell them to identify the projects early on and have it included in the budget. But there’s no more lump sum appropriations,” Senate sources said.
The possibility of availing of government funds is still there, by having to specify in the proposed national budget, during deliberations period, but it will no longer require the senator’s signature for certification or endorsement.
“Mas malinis na although technically can be viewed as another form of congressional insertions,” was how sources described it.
The scenario being given is that, in the entire budget process, lawmakers can still make some “congressional insertions” while the proposed national expenditure program for the following fiscal year is still in the stage of “budget call.”
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) issues the national budget call at the start of the budget preparation year to all agencies and contains the parameters set by the Development Budget Coordination Committee as well as policy guidelines and procedures in the preparation and submission of agency budget proposals.
“What will happen now? It will be a weakened presidency. If before, the Executive can dangle before the senators the release of their PDAF, what other option is available? A threat?” a Senate insider pointed out.
“The major effect (of the SC ruling) is on him and not on the senators, unless absolutely PNoy (President Aquino) will no longer consult them on what projects to pursue which they (Executive) can if they would opt to have it included in the budget call.
“It’s a weakened presidency because tinanggalan sya ng pambili (he cannot wield influence on senators and congressmen),” Senate insiders explained.
The power of the President allows him to make use of the issue of the release of the PDAF in the middle of the year which will be a different case in the year ahead.
“Ano na ang pambili nya ng boto on important issues, issues crucial to him ngayon na wala ng PDAF? Hindi na magagamit ang PDAF,” they said.
It’s possible that the Executive would create a new scheme, give PDAF a new name in the succeeding general appropriations bill (GAB) considering the fact that “what has been declared as illegal PDAF is those allocated for this year,” sources said.
Although technically, lawmakers are rendered to with only recommendatory powers which was “mandatory” under the pork barrel fund system, senators and congressmen could still pursue projects by requesting the availability of funds or appropriation before the proposed President’s budget is submitted before Congress, they explained.
Long-time and high-rank cited the possibility of such scenario, the matter of PDAF taking a different label, in the future by having items being requested by lawmakers in the national expenditure program (NEP).
The Executive could propose lump sum appropriations which members of the House of Representatives and the Senate can tap in identifying their programs.
“Unless doon pa lang sa budget call kasama na yung mga senador, pwede rin yun. But there’s no more discretionary powers for them because they can only recommend in the sense as to where some of these funds should be allocated. And when they do so, they can no longer change that, which means that those LGUs and other sectors seeking assistance or intervention from them on funding requirements after the budget bill is passed is no longer possible,” they explained.
Can the President resort to so-called party system? Will it strengthen the party system?
“Let’s see. Sometimes they dangle dangle the party chairmanship or other positions for prestige or honor. But one thing is for sure, they will have to be more creative now as to how to enrich themselves. In that sense, this one stops commission-basis. It lessened the patronage system,” they said.
The Unconstitutional PDAF
by Ramon Orosa
THE recent decision of the Supreme Court finding the PDAF unconstitutional is a source of relief to the nation. Sorry that PNoy cannot claim any credit when he had the opportunity to do away with that particular monstrosity. In fact, one might conclude that he resisted every effort to abolish PDAF, which only betrayed his less than sincere commitment to the “matuwid na Daan” and that slogan figures way down in his scale of priorities. Some say he is just so hardheaded, refusing to listen to anybody. Probably true considering that he is surrounded by persons whose values are deeply troubled to begin with and so give advise that they think PNoy wants to hear, playing up to his ego considering his well known obstinacy.
Of course, part of the reason for his obstinacy is likely rooted in his own discretionary use of public funds from different sources, like the Maalampaya funds, the road users tax, dividends from government owned and controlled corporations, etc., etc. Not that he steals from them, but these discretionary funds enable him to buy political loyalty and cooperation for what he perceives to be his agenda, which, of course, nobody knows about, except from rather motherhood like statements.
Some critics suggest that the king has been shown naked, bereft of respect, honor and shorn of a sense of dignity except of the wrong kind, being born to a privileged family. I wonder why the story keeps going about that his mother Cory, was rather firm that she didn’t want PNoy to stand for the presidential office. But she passed away and all the other opportunists sensing they could ride the popularity of Cory, bamboozled PNoy into running for office, probably including most of the relatives. I guess they did not know PNoy as well as Cory or saw for themselves exalted “roles” as puppet masters should he win.
Stories abound that when Mar was still the leading presidential candidate, PNoy’s name was proposed as a vice presidential candidate and this was laughed off the table. Okay let us be more polite by saying the idea was given short shrift! Then Cory dies, and all of a sudden from being a rejected vice-presidential candidate, Mar is pushed down so they could ride the sympathy vote for Cory by making PNoy the presidential candidate.
I suppose the “experienced” politicians around PNoy felt they could gather the perception managers well and maneuver PNoy into whatever posture they felt was appropriate and that they could manage the rest of the bureaucracy (and, of course, gain all the unbidden advantages and fruits there from) . Unfortunately, failing to listen to the views of the mother, and substituting their own secret ambitions, they felt they had it in the bag.
The last three years are certainly proof that this rather brief narration is not without merit except that rather than a smooth flow they have found PNoy to be a rather difficult person to deal with but to whom they must pay obeisance or lose their favored positions. So the nation moves in a zigzag pattern, and the lack of capacity and experience of the king have been unmasked. In a continuing series of mishandled events, the evidence is rather telling that while perhaps personally honest, PNoy’s values are rather pedestrian and do not depart from the values of all the other politicians who believe that politics is king and winning the only consideration. Politics is a position of power to be sought and held on to by any means fair or foul and passed on as a family inheritance to succeeding generations regardless of their qualifications. Well, in some respects one could say that since sense of self is the only real enduring value, one does not need to be competent, moral or competent in the position. After all, those positions had already been retooled to become a lucrative sinecure by legal means or otherwise.
These politicians do not have any sense of love of country, a rather esoteric or abstract notion to begin with. Obviously our best schools have not been able to implant these values into them! Probably because the example of their parents were rather dysfunctional to begin with. Our culture is so conducive to contradictions and dysfunctions resulting in a great divide between reality or what is truly going on and the “public” image that is so carefully cultivated at great cost. I really don’t think the hypocrisy is lost on their children but the pressures to conform to such a lifestyle can be great and the conveniences of an abundant way of living hard to resist.
So, no matter how gained, money and power have become the gods. In truth, they suffer from an incredible love deficiency, not the pretended hypocritical kind. Internal images are distorted because if one were to truly analyze what is going on and we are willing to face truth, 80% of our national and local problems may be traced to poor parenting, especially of the “father” kind. So the self identity suffers from loss of worth and dignity, filled with insecurity and founded on fear which they try to overcome with money, guns, and goons. They seek honor and respect not because they deserve it but because of things outside of themselves. Things that never last and in the end don’t really matter.
They can’t add value to anyone and only seek to use everyone otherwise the others are no one! It is a sad realization of what truly ails our country and why there is no real change that takes place. It is only when we see our realities that we can begin the change process. PNoy was seen as the “savior” and most now see that he is not. Let us stop pointing fingers and getting angry. Let us begin with our own selves and realize that darkness is not fought with anger or bitterness. We each have to become a light in our nation to dispel the darkness that is getting darker each day. Our hope lies within us as we set our faces like flint to do good whenever we are given an opportunity to do so, no matter how modest it might be. Then life can begin to change and so will our nation. This revolution of goodness must start now.
- PNoy’s Strange Twist (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- What Is PNoy Up To? (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- Acceptance (1rgcruz.wordpress.com)
- SC junks PDAF as unconstitutional (rappler.com)
- Senate not upset by PDAF loss, says Drilon (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- What Took Them So Long? SC Declares PDAF Unconstitutional (vincenton.wordpress.com)
- Netizens on PNoy’s DAP speech: Defensive or necessary? (rappler.com)
- Calls to abolish DAP pressed in Senate (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Snake Pit (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- War in the Palace (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
by Ronald Roy
ON the eve of last All Saints Day, Pres. Benigno Simeon Aquino lll delivered a hurriedly crafted twelve-minute damage-control speech that instead created greater damage to his plummeting popularity ratings triggered by his boners in the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) imbroglio. I cannot fathom why, for the life of me, so much dissension has been generated by a prime-time discourse defending the administration’s indefensible DAP position.
DAP is unconstitutional, period; and no amount of sophistry from the finest of student councils can validate or rectify it — sophistry is the use of clever but false arguments, especially with the intention of deceiving –notwithstanding the supposed best of intentions behind its cryptic creation, along with their trumpeted beneficial results, if any.
DAP is unconstitutional because P-Noy, his fair-haired boy, Department of Budget and Mismanagement Secretary Butch Abad, and other sycophants unilaterally (i.e., without the required legislative participation) invented it, and there is absolutely no excuse for this culpable breach of the fundamental law.
A Machiavellian Offense
Wrong is wrong. For instance, a thief cannot be allowed to say, “You cannot sue me because I am not guilty of anything! I stole, yes, but I delivered the goodies to our pitifully impoverished countrymen. In fact, I did not in any material way benefit from my altruism.” Sadly, however, he is still criminally liable because Machiavellianism is anathema to our legal system that operates under the Rule of Law.
Needless to say, it is very devastating that the Machiavellian offender in the instant DAP case is no less than Pres. Noynoy himself. Now, is this not a very negative image that he has managed to portray of himself under the circumstances?!
I felt sorry for him as he addressed the nation either with such ignorance of the law or with outright defiance of it. I felt sorrier for myself, feeling like a hapless citizen held hostage by a madman gone berserk on survival mode. Wow, I mulled, this guy’s gonna be around for another two and a half years!
P-Noy’s delivery was expectedly fluid and rhetorical; a speech trait generally associated with the Aquino clan. No other Filipino president could have delivered the same piece with as much persuasiveness and elan.
This was, again, his big moment before the cameras, except that, this time, the more knowledgeable of his listeners and viewers could detect the deception, along with subtle reminders that the power that he had wielded to crush the impeached CJ Renato C. Corona could again be unleashed to silence his critics on the DAP fiasco. He irritatingly chose the issues, rattling off A B C D E F etc. while we wanted to hear him go through 1 2 3 4 5 6 etc. For instance, he intoned: “I am not a thief!” even if nobody was calling him one.
The Undelivered Message
What then would I have wanted to see and hear from P-Noy? Well, this: an angry and contrite President saying that he was sorry for all the pork barrel and DAP mess his administration had caused, that he had fired Abad, Agriculture Secretary Alcala, the notorious Ronald Llamas who has been widely rumored to be in constant touch with SC Associate Justices, and other lackeys. P-Noy seems to have forgotten that consigning Undersecretary Rico Puno to oblivion helped prop up his then sagging presidential image.
I also would have wanted to hear P-Noy say he was giving up his pork barrel in favor of line departments. Wow, if he had done all these, he probably would have primed himself up to becoming the greatest president our country has ever had!!
No, it would not be in P-Noy’s character to step down. He will hang in there until hell freezes over. Ever since he took “Cojuangco” out of his name, he has remained determined to be his own man, a president who gets what he wants and intends to leave behind a legacy all his own. You get 95 million citizens demanding his ouster, and he still will not budge an inch. P-Noy is just irreversibly bent on being his own man even if it means tempting Fate by doing so.
BANG is the awesome resonance caused by an assassin’s fury, and how well P-Noy the gun enthusiast knows it. Of course he should be aware his adamance could take him to an inglorious tarmac-like cul de sac, but he is pathetically too busy being his own man to sense any danger. Then again, perhaps he has deluded himself into thinking he has the sort of courage that is the stuff of martyrdom. Could he be crazy? Hmmm…Yes, maybe.
Politics, Politics, Politics
In any event, I hear its business as usual back at the Palace. Strengthening of the Liberal Party is up in the air. Sen. Ralph Recto has loomed as the strongest choice to replace the embattled Senate President Franklin Drilon, whose latest embarrassment is his being found out to be the chairman of a foundation organized for the mother of Janet Lim Napoles.
Incidentally, P-Noy has reportedly cautioned Drilon and former Sen. Ed Angara against indiscreet contacts with officials of the Office of the Ombudsman and the Commission on Audit. Also, being eyed this early is a probable Mar Roxas – Kris Aquino tandem for the 2016 elections. Repeat: this early. Ho-hum.
But it’s all up to P-Noy, really. I would not be surprised if he would choose to extend his term and his confreres gave way. Fools, these traditional politicians!
(http://musingsbyroy.wordpress.com. | 09186449517 | @ronald8roy | #musingsbyroy)
- Aquino’s half-baked legal defense (opinion.inquirer.net)
- The President’s speech (opinion.inquirer.net)
- Trouble at the top (manilastandardtoday.com)
- Give P’Noy the benefit of the doubt (leytesamardaily.net)
- Revilla, Estrada chime: ‘We too are not thieves’ (manilastandardtoday.com)
- Aquino may be going out on a limb over pork issue, say critics (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- P-Noy’s brother-in-law volunteers in relief drive (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Netizens jeer, cheer Aquino (technology.inquirer.net)
- Opposition sees Aquino speech to nation as damage control (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Fall and rise (opinion.inquirer.net)
War in the Palace
IS THERE trouble brewing in Malacañang? With two camps running the Palace—the so-called Balay and Samar groups headed by Sec. Mar Roxas and Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa, respectively—the answer is a resounding YES.
It’s an odd marriage forged in 2010 during the election campaigns, a partnership that was immediately strained with the loss of Mar Roxas to Jejomar Binay in the race for Vice President. From then on the two camps barely managed to co-exist, engaging in minor scrapes and arguments every now and then on the handling of issues of national import. But that was before the PDAF scandal got out of the bag which put the whole administration in its biggest quandary.
The fragile relationship between the two camps have reportedly reached critical mass anew with President Aquino’s “I am no thief” speech, which aired on primetime television recently. Apparently, the idea of giving the speech was a unilateral decision made by the Roxas camp—a call made by the Liberal Party. This means Ochoa and company were against the speech which put PNoy on a defensive stance on the PDAF issue.
In hindsight, PNoy’s speech appeared to have had very little positive impact on the public perception that PNoy and company are equally liable in the PDAF scandal. If the intention was to disconnect PNoy from the PDAF fiasco and reinforce his “matuwid” image, the speech backfired. “Why deny involvement in the PDAF scam if you are not involved in it the first place?” Ochoa’s camp must have argued.
As it is, the PDAF scandal will involve lawmakers in both the opposition and administration camps. The present ploy of limiting the scandal to a handful of lawmakers is simply a means to buy the PNoy administration some time to figure a way out of the fiasco.
If there is a way out.
With the Senate Blue Ribbon failing to get a piece of testimony from Janet Lim-Napoles, it is clear that the PDAF scandal will be a long-drawn drama. It will take years before charges are filed against the guilty parties and even longer before the guilty are brought behind bars. PNoy and company do not care if the whole investigation process takes forever. Right now, they just need to survive until 2016.
- CHRONOLOGY OF THE RIFT: Pacquito Ochoa VS. Mar Roxas (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- Trouble at the top (manilastandardtoday.com)
- Palace urged to adopt ‘orphaned’ pork scholars (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- PDAF defeat prompts Aquino to fly back to Manila (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- LP eyes new budget scheme vice PDAF (manilastandardtoday.com)
- President to discuss pork issue Wednesday night (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Why I Voted No to the Pork-laden 2014 Budget (mindanews.com)
- Philhealth, BSP got P29-b of PNoy’s special ‘pork’ (manilastandardtoday.com)
- What Is PNoy Up To? (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- Snake Pit (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
CHRONOLOGY OF THE RIFT: Pacquito Ochoa VS. Mar Roxas
November 28, 2009 – Benigno Aquino III and Manuel ‘Mar’ Roxas II file for candidacy as President and Vice President.
June 30, 2010 – Atty. Pacquito Ochoa Jr., handler of Aquino’s legal affairs since his run for Congress in 1998, is chosen to be Aquino’s Presidential Executive Secretary. Atty. Ochoa’s father (former mayor of Pulilan, Bulacan) is a longtime close friend of Aquino. Ochoa is a partner in the Marcos-Ochoa-Serapio-Tan law firm (MOST), with Atty. Liza Araneta-Marcos, wife of Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. and cousin of Jose Miguel ‘Mike’ Araneta Arroyo, former presidential husband.
May 10, 2011 – May 13, 2011 – Political analysts and veteran government officials Ernesto Maceda (ex-Marcos executive secretary and former senator) and Albay Gov. Joey Salceda (ex-Arroyo chief of staff) predicted in an interview with ABS-CBN that a clash between the Ochoa and Roxas camps are inevitable. Maceda previously stated similar concerns in his Philppine Star column.
June 29, 2011 – In an interview with Newsbreak, Ochoa denies influencing Aquino in his appointment of Roxas as incoming DOTC chief rather than as supposed Chief Of Staff, as insinuated by Aquino in past press interviews.
June 30, 2011 – Despite public expectations that Mar Roxas will be appointed as Aquino’s Chief Of Staff, Roxas accepts Aquino’s offer to take on the then-recently vacated position of Secretary of Transportation and Communications, right after former DOTC head Ping De Jesus resigned.
August 31, 2012 – Aquino appoints Roxas as new DILG chief, and Cavite Rep. Joseph ‘Jun’ Abaya as new DOTC head.
September 3, 2012 – DILG Secretary Mar Roxas and Ochoa gave contradicting statements to the public on DILG Undersecretary Rico Puno’s exit. Roxas claimed that the President is giving Puno a different assignment, while Ochoa insisted that no such decision has been made by the President yet.
August 25, 2013 – Malacañang dismisses Brian Raymund Yamsuan, consultant to Ochoa, after being mentioned as the one who brokered the meeting between Napoles and the editors of Philippine Daily Inquirer.
September 10, 2013 – Ochoa denies link to Janet Lim-Napoles. His law firm MOST used to represent Napoles, as indicated by NBI affidavits with the MOST imprint in them.
November 4, 2013 – Palace denies rumors about infighting within the Aquino administration’s ranks. Mar Roxas and Pacquito Ochoa appear together in public, beside each other, during an awarding ceremony for the soldiers in the Zambo siege.
Nov. 6, 2013 – According to Francisco Tatad’s column in Manila Standard, “Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa was quoted in this paper as saying it was Roxas who had pushed Aquino to make that widely derided ‘I am no thief’ speech on television, which has now become the latest national calamity under the Aquino administration.”
-Compiled by Eric Fabian
- Snake Pit (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- Trouble at the top (manilastandardtoday.com)
- Aquino moves to stem skid in ratings (manilastandardtoday.com)
- Nancy Binay questions Mar Roxas’ housing program (rappler.com)
- Coloma tags MST report ‘speculative’ (manilastandardtoday.com)
- An irrelevant president (opinion.inquirer.net)
- Palace mum on Roxas-Romualdez tiff (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Roxas: ‘Yolanda’ relief efforts clear but need is as huge as a ‘swimming pool’ (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Get him out of there (opinion.inquirer.net)
- Roxas disputes Aquino’s ‘No Build Zone’ order (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
This Week on OpinYon : SNAKE PIT
“As expected, powerful forces are now on each other’s throat in what could easily be a warm-up fight for the presidential contest two and a half years from now. But if you think the war is between Malacañang and the opposition, you fail to see deeper into what is happening behind doors in the current pork barrel scandal. The war is now between forces inside Malacañang.” – Miguel Raymundo
Coming out this week! Available in National Bookstore, Powerbooks, and Fully Booked.
- Aunt Tingting vs ‘Digi-President’ (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- Incompetent, Dishonest? (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- COMMENT: At Random: Patronage Politics (1) (mindanews.com)
- Killing the Cartel (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- Pork barrel issue far from dead (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- The President as spin doctor (rappler.com)
- Pork barrel issue: Palace not clear on dialogue’s objective (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Napoles transfer to regular jail up to court (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Editorial : MVP for President (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- Refocusing on Local Governance (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
Riding the Yellow Myth
by: Eric Fabian
MOST accounts about the late President Cory Aquino by people who were young adults during the time of the 1986 EDSA People Power uprising are heaps of praises–as if Cory was heaven sent to save the country from the villainy of Marcos.
The truth is, as much as the late Ninoy’s widow have been nice and generous to her relative, friends and associates, she is just as human as the rest of us, prone to social pressure, flawed and not immune to mistakes or oversight. #OpinYon #opinion #CoryAquino
read cont | http://bit.ly/1a9ueTf
- Sins of Cory (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- Corruption under the Aquino regime and the need for system change (bulatlat.com)
- Myths, Marketing, and Misdirection: HDTV edition (reviews.cnet.com)
- PETA’s ‘Pamana’: Timing is everything (rappler.com)
- Cory Aquino’s Five Legacies to the Philippines (balitaktakan.wordpress.com)
- UNTOLD STORY: Scandals During The Corazon Aquino Administration (thecontroversialfiles.net)
- Cory Aquino Paintings (bulanadibme.wordpress.com)
- Remembering: Edsa’86 (nstp1upse.wordpress.com)
- Marchers ask Ninoy Aquino to help tell son to scrap pork (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
Psychic: Fall of PNoy, Rise of Grace Poe, Not Binay
by: Linggoy Alcuaz
LAST Thursday, there were two sets of predictions. The first came from Danny Atienza, the favorite Psychic of kapihans and media forums. The second came from me, Linggoy, the unrewarded but vindicated public predictor of the Dec 1, 1989 RAM-SFP-YOU coup attempt against then President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino.
I first met Danny through TingTing de los Reyes Cojuangco. That was way back in 2000-01. TingTing, a former two time Governor of Tarlac Province (1992 – 95 and 1995 – 98) is the wife of President Cory’s younger brother and the Congressman of the Ilocano District of Tarlac, Jose “Peping” Sumulong Cojuangco (He took the place of his father before Martial Law; 1987-92, 92-95, 95-98). I was associated with them three times: 1983-89/92, 1997-98 and 2000-2001 in the past three decades. #OpinYon #opinion #GracePoe #Binay #PNoy
read cont | http://bit.ly/16QE5SI
- Surveyed (1rgcruz.wordpress.com)
- PsychicsForetell.com Announces New Psychics and Lets People Know What… (prweb.com)
- Binay, son arrives in Zamboanga (2016presidentiables.wordpress.com)
- Sins of Cory (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- Aunt Tingting vs ‘Digi-President’ (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- Tingting bares poll fraud (manilastandardtoday.com)
- What’s to be done when the Constitution has ceased to function? (manilastandardtoday.com)
- Spiritual Connections Easier on Halloween, Say Psychic Source Psychics (prweb.com)
- Time Line (manilastandardtoday.com)
- What’s With PNoy? (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)