Vice-President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay reportedly resigned from the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino/Laban ng Bayan (PDP/Laban) in order to form a new political party, taking off from last election’s United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
Almost at the same time, there were reports of the establishment of a campaign machinery for Senator Alan Peter Cayetano’s presidential bid for presidency in 2016, possibly under the Nacionalista Party (NP). If Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos will not run, he is in a position to fill the gap.
The ruling Liberal Party (LP), to be sure, will field a presidential candidate in 2016. However, there is a quiet but growing in-fighting within as the perception grew that DILG Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II has gotten weaker. At the moment, his camp is still pushing for him to run.
There is a risk in putting forth lists of 2016 presidential candidates this early. The classic example, of course, is President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino—his name came up only 10 months before
Vice-President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay reportedly resigned from the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino/Laban ng Bayan (PDP/Laban) in order to form a new political party, taking off from last election’s United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).Read More »from Heating up
At the end of January 2014, the Aquino administration already has several crises or major problems on its hands. Let us count them:Read More »from Crisis administration
1. The ongoing Supreme Court case on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP);
2. The opposition to the peace agreement between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the stalemated talks with the communist Party of the Philippines;
3. The continuing natural disasters that are Typhoons Agaton and Basyang as well as the problems of relief and rehabilitation of areas affected by typhoon Pablo, the Zamboanga City crisis, Bohol earthquake, and super-typhoon Yolanda;
4. The rekindled campaign by Hongkong against the Aquino administration on the Luneta hostage crisis;
5. The Chinese assertion of sovereignty claims in the West Philippine Sea;
6. The flight of portfolio capital and rising peso-dollar exchange rate;
7. The unilateral power rate hikes, oil price hikes, and transport rate hikes;
8. The fights over
The Kuala Lumpur talks between the Government of the Philippine (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) ironed out the last of the differences and opened a new chapter in the peace process. The two sides have just signed the fourth and last Annex on Normalization and the addendum on Bangsamoro Waters, thereby completing the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro.Read More »from Bangsamoro peace agreement
The signing of the GPH-MILF peace agreement will pave the way for the creation of the Bangsamoro autonomous entity that will act as local government, under the auspices of the national government, in areas that would include the present geographical area of the ARMM; the Municipalities of Baloi, Munai, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagoloan and Tangkal in the province of Lanao del Norte and all other barangays in the Municipalities of Kabacan, Carmen, Aleosan, Pigkawayan, Pikit, and Midsayap that voted for inclusion in the ARMM during the 2001 plebiscite; the cities of Cotabato and Isabela; and all other contiguous areas where
- Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla yesterday accused Malacañang of pressuring him to vote for conviction in the impeachment proceedings in 2012 against then-Chief Justice Renato Corona. He also reiterated his complete innocence of the plunder charge levied against him by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and of the charge of conniving with Janet Lim-Napoles on the pork barrel scam.
The privilege speech yesterday, January 20, was expected. His was the last of the public position of the three senators accused by the Aquino administration, which included himself, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile and Senator Jinggoy Estrada.
What Senator Revilla did in his speech was to follow the trail blazed by Senator Estrada. He narrated the efforts of the Aquino administration to woo him in the Corona case, including a dramatic, cloak-and-dagger meeting in Bahay Pangarap, the president’s official residence within Malacañang. Although he did not mention any bribe, the implication was that there was a negotiation that Read More »from De ja vu politics
At the rate President Aquino is shooting off his opinions on issues of the day, there is already the fear that his stubbornness is turning into a political death wish. Invariably since the Napoles scandal, he has publicly stated his opinions or statements on the wrong side of reforms or the middle class.Read More »from Political suicide path
In the case of the pork barrel issue, he turned what might have been a renewed faith in him by announcing the end of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) into a continuing doubt about his sincerity by saying that the twin—Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP)—is good. The effect, of course, is the current public outcry about the abuse of presidential discretionary funds.
When the Zamboanga crisis erupted, he forewent the dialogue-negotiation route and opted for a military solution. In the process, he alienated a significant part of Moro and Mindanaoan public. It also awakened hotheads on both sides of the fence who opposed the terms of the Kuala Lumpur negotiations between
When the Supreme Court ruled that the law establishing the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) is unconstitutional, it created a lot of disbelief and muted resentment among legislators. It was an expected reaction given the loss of a major source of pork barrel or personal discretionary funds for them.Read More »from Daft over DAP and PDAF
The SC decision went beyond PDAF and closed more sources of pork barrel funds, barring similar funds in the future. Its decision cited the fundamental divide between the legislative branch and the executive branch in the republic, thus: the legislature makes laws, the executive implements laws. The constitution, says the Supreme Court, does not countenance the legislators—in their individual capacity—as participating in any way in spending the national budget.
The SC decision also stipulated that the president cannot spend the off-budget funds that are the President Social Fund (PSF) and the Malampaya Fund (MP) for other purposes other than which these are earmarked for. That is,
Last November 29, 2013, the Department of Justice filed the second batch of criminal complaints against Janet Lim-Napoles and 33 others, including former congressman and current Bureau of Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon.Read More »from Napoles, part 2
They were charged as respondents in the malversation, direct bribery and graft and corrupt practices complaints. Among them are seven former congressmen, three heads of implementing agencies, two presidents of non-government organizations linked to trader Janet Lim-Napoles, as well as seven other officials and employees of implementing agencies. Also charged were 12 resident state auditors belonging to the Commission on Audit.
Biazon is a member of the ruling Liberal Party. Another former Pampanga representative, Zenaida Cruz-Ducut, who is also the current chairperson of the Energy Regulatory Commission, was also charged.
With the second batch, the Aquino administration expectedly pointed out that the prosecution in the Napoles case will not exclude
Two weeks into the Typhoon Yolanda disaster, the ugly head of partisan politics has already surfaced and now threatens domestic-based relief and rehabilitation efforts thus far. News of shenanigans is increasing throughout the disaster areas. These ranged from barangay officials cornering the aid and limiting the latter to those who voted for them during the last barangay elections to the more serious charge of severely limiting aid and taking over oppositionist local government units.
The charge of partisan politicking has been aired in Tacloban City and Ormoc City, two major population centers in the path of the typhoon. In the former case, Mayor Alfred Romualdez accused Secretary of Interior and Local Government Manuel Roxas II of trying to take over the Tacloban City government as a condition for faster and massive national relief and rehabilitation support. In the latter, 4th District representative Lucy Torres-Gomez decried the over-all scarcity of aid for the 19 towns in westernRead More »from Roxas of Yolanda
- Reuters photoThe 315-kilometer per hour monster storm Yolanda will not be forgotten by its victims for generations. A harbinger of the “new normal” weather patterns, it underscored the extremes to which global warming will affect the planet. Unfortunately, it also brought to the fore the inadequacies of present society’s coping mechanisms.
With no power, no communications, no immediate access to transportation, and even no secure command centers, hospitals, and logistical stores, Tacloban City showed every manifestation of disaster governance failure. There were failures at every level, from the barangay, city, region, and even the national level.
It has been put forwards that Yolanda was simply too much; that its power was on a new and higher plane altogether. This view implies that whatever preparations government makes, it will be overwhelmed. Ironically, this view also implies that governments are irrelevant in a major disaster, at least insofar as preparations are concerned.
Concededly, the Read More »from The Yolanda effect
- AFP photoHe came, he spoke, and then he hemmed and hawed. Forgetting that he is the leader of the Filipino nation, President Benigno S. Aquino III—in his supposed major speech on the issue of pork barrel—came out as a defensive, indecisive and clumsy spokesperson of Abigail Valte, his erstwhile spokesperson. It was a painful performance with precious few nuggets of new information or argumentation.
The intent was clear: to bring focus back to Napoles and fellow conspirators in the scam to plunder the pork barrel allocation, the Malampaya fund, and possibly other discretionary public funds. Since Senator Jinggoy Estrada fired his broadside against presidential “misuse” of executive savings (i.e., by distributing pork barrel funds on top of the allotments under the Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF), the public perception of pork barrel perceptively expanded to include all discretionary funds, including off-budget funds of the Philippine Amusement and Gambling Corporation (PAGCOR) and Read More »from A waste of political capital