Drilon: Build Build Build is a DISMAL FAILURE

 

drilon bantayog

PHOTO – The Senate resident sleeper wakes up

Drilon: ‘Build, build, build’ is a dismal failure

By: Julie M. Aurelio, Leila B. Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
November 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — With only nine out of 75 flagships projects under construction halfway into the Duterte administration, its “Build, build, build’’ infrastructure program is a “dismal failure,” according to Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon.

The projects were supposed to usher in the golden age of infrastructure in the country and help spur development, but economic managers have since aired their plan to revise the list.

Drilon questioned the accomplishment rate of the program during plenary deliberations on the proposed 2020 budget on Tuesday.

“It is sad to say that the BBB program of the administration is a dismal failure. Out of the 75 flagship projects that were proposed at the start of the administration, exactly nine started construction. That is only 2 percent of the total,” he later told reporters.

In Malacañang, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo dismissed Drilon’s claim as “baseless,” saying the administration had done so much.

9 mostly in Manila

“Not just nine,’’ Panelo said at a press briefing as he proceeded to read a briefer containing updates on the BBB program, which involves 75 infrastructure flagship projects worth P2.4 trillion.

Some of the projects under construction are the LRT 1 Cavite extension, MRT 3 rehabilitation, Metro Manila subway, MRT 7 common station, LRT 2 East extension, PNR Tutuban-Malolos, Sangley airport, Naia Terminal 2 rehabilitation and Clark Airport expansion.

The Department of Public Works and Highways also reported the completion of 9,845 kilometers of roads, 2,709 bridges, 4,536 flood control projects, 82 evacuation centers and 71,803 classrooms.

Panelo took a swipe at Drilon, alleging that the previous Aquino administration did not accomplish even a single infrastructure project.

But Drilon doubted that the country could expect a significant amount of projects in the remaining years of the Duterte administration.

He also noted that the projects were supposed to be part of the economic relationship between the Philippines and China, with Beijing providing funds for some of these.

“Apparently, that aspect of relation between the two countries is a total failure,” he added.

New list of projects

Sen. Sonny Angara, chair of the finance committee and main sponsor of the budget bill, said the list was set to be revised, with some of the projects to be replaced by those that would be “less ambitious” and “more doable,” and could begin construction under the Duterte administration.

The new list would consist of some 100 projects, Angara said.

Quoting figures from the economic team, he said 12 projects were supposed to be completed by 2020 and an additional 17 in 2021. In 2022, 26 are supposed to be completed and 43 would be finished beyond 2022.

Angara told reporters that revising the list would have a positive effect. “Instead of pinning your hopes on projects that may not push through, you replace it with projects that you know will push through,” he said.

He also said this showed that it was not easy to implement projects and this challenge was not unique to the present administration.

Ambitious, ROW problems 

The flagship projects included ambitious ones that would really be a challenge to get off the ground, he noted.

Right of way (ROW) problems have also added to delays.

Angara said that while some BBB projects have not commenced, infrastructure spending is almost 5 percent of GDP, which is what the World Bank recommends.

Six or seven years ago, infrastructure spending was just 1.5 percent of GDP, he noted.

‘Haphazardly done’

Drilon said the fact that the list of 75 projects was being reviewed indicated that it was “haphazardly done.”

He said the number of projects could be increased, but this would mean nothing until funds were disbursed for their implementation.

“Otherwise, it does not help the economy, because the disbursement is the one that could provide job, build roads, not a feasibility study,” he said.

The BBB projects would only be able to contribute to the GDP if there were actual disbursements for these, he added.

Problems of underspending, bureaucracy, ill-advised projects and being unable to respond to needs must be threshed out, Drilon said. 

He noted that the economic team was unable to immediately provide details of the projects during the interpellation.

“If simply on information, which they could not provide us, you can imagine the capacity to actually implement the project,” he said.

 

 

Survey: 2019 Presidential aspirants, 6 names – huge, early Sara preference

2019 aspirants

143,850

People Reached
40,082

Engagements

 

688 Comments  296 Shares

1038 total votes cast
  • 5 anti administration

This informal survey was conducted through social media. Four of the featured aspirants are openly supportive of the Duterte Administration. Two contenders are considered to be on the opposite side of the political fence. Moreno, Marcos, Poe and Robredo are from Luzon while Duterte and Pacquiao are from Mindanao.

Analysis – This early, there seems to be an inclination towards candidates affiliated with the hugely popular Philippine President. In the recently concluded May, 2019 midterm elections the Otso Diretso senatorial ticket of EIGHT candidates including a then sitting senator (Bam Aquino) and a former senator (Mar Roxas), both very close to the previous Noynoy Aquino Administration, FAILED to secure a single seat out of the 12 senatorial positions to be filled. This ZERO senatorial performance by the opposition may be repeated in 2022, if elections were held today (meaning we are only dealing with known contenders today at the same time that newcomers can still make a good impression from now till the 2022 election day and that certain issues could crop up to reduce the Administration vote).

Since Sara Duterte has a huge early lead among the pro-administration presidential aspirants, these other contenders may have to reconsider their plans and slide down to a vice presidential run where they may have a better chance to win in a fight among themselves.

Cynthia Villar, Dick Gordon and Panfilo Lacson, sitting senators all, with experience as losing presidential candidates (in the case of Cynthia, it was her husband Manny who lost in 2010), may still play significant roles for 2022.

#Duterte #President #Elections

 

Lucio Tan Jr. Dies

Miguel Camus, Philippine Daily Inquirer

November 11, 2019

PAL Holdings president Lucio Tan Jr. dies

PAL Holdings president Lucio “Bong” Tan Jr.

MANILA, Philippines — Lucio Tan Jr., president of airline operator PAL Holdings Inc., died Monday, his sister Vivienne Tan said in a statement. He was 53.

No cause of death was cited but Bong, as he was called inside and beyond the boardroom, was hospitalized Saturday after collapsing unconscious during a basketball match in Mandaluyong City. He was rushed to a nearby hospital and declared in stable condition.

“It is with deep sorrow that I announce the passing of my brother, Lucio ‘Bong’ Tan, Jr. this morning, November 11, 2019,” Vivienne said.

“His untimely passing leaves a big void in our hearts and our group’s management team which would be very hard to fill. Bong was a son, husband, father, friend and, most importantly, our elder brother whom we all relied on for advice, counsel, and leadership,” she added.

Tan is survived by his wife Julie and sons Hun hun (Lucio Tan III) and Kyle Tan.

“Our sincerest thanks to all who offered prayers and shared words of comfort during this hour of grief. Our family continues to request everyone to respect our wish for privacy as we go through this very difficult time,” Vivienne said.

Tan is the namesake son of taipan Lucio Tan, one of the country’s richest individuals with a fortune valued by Forbes Magazine at $3.4 billion.

The younger Tan’s death comes as he was taking on larger responsibilities within his father’s sprawling business empire in line with the family’s succession plans.

Last October 28, he was named president and chief operating officer of PAL Holdings, which owns Philippine Airlines, one of the group’s crown jewels.

He was overseeing a plan to reverse years of losses at PAL, which had lost market share to aggressive budget airlines apart from difficult operating conditions and volatile fuel prices.

In an interview last August, Tan said PAL plans to further cut costs and tap more online bookings in a bid to return to profitability by 2020.

“In every rehabilitation, it gets ugly first before it gets better,” he said.

Tan was also a director of the family’s main holding company, the $2.8 billion LT Group Inc., since 2003.  He held key positions in many of its subsidiaries, which include Philippine National Bank, Tanduay Distillers Inc., Asia Brewery Inc., Fortune Tobacco Corp., and Eton Properties Philippines Inc.

Tan was educated in Manila, Singapore, China, and the United States, where he earned a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Davis and a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University.

Tan was known basketball enthusiast, often organizing company sporting events where he played alongside and against employees. In September, he was named coach of the basketball team of the family-owned University of the East.

Tan’s passion for sports started at a young age.

He was a  member of the national swimming team at the age of 12 and he took up table tennis during his High School years in Singapore, where his father sent him amid rampant kidnapping cases at the time, according to a 2016 profile by the Inquirer.

Basketball was easily his favorite sport and he relished taking on player younger, taller, and faster than he was.

“I can beat them by experience,” he said in the Inquirer profile.

Tan said he peaked in his 30s when he could score an average of 100 points. Up until his 40s, he could play two to three games a day.

“Basketball is the best exercise for me. I like the sweat and the intensity. I enjoy the camaraderie with the team which I lead. You can look at it from any angle—fun, a test of skills or a mind game like chess,” Tan said. /kga

Reinvestigate P-Noy on SAF 44 Mamasapano Massacre

saf poy purisima

Families of SAF 44 seek reinvestigation, hold Aquino accountable
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star)

November 9, 2019

MANILA, Philippines —  The families of the 44 police commandos killed in an anti-terror operation that went awry in 2015 in Mamasapano, Maguindanao trooped to the Office of the Ombudsman yesterday to seek a reinvestigation of the carnage and to hold former president Benigno Aquino III accountable.

Assisted by the Volunteer Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), the kin of the 44 slain members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) filed with the ombudsman a seven-page motion to reopen the investigation.

VACC legal counsel Ferdinand Topacio said their group is confident that the ombudsman, under a new leadership, will find merit in their complaint of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide against Aquino, former PNP chief Alan Purisima and former SAF director Getulio Napeñas.

Topacio said their homicide complaint will be boosted by the affidavit of former PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief and incumbent Baguio City mayor Benjamin Magalong, who chaired a PNP Board Inquiry (BOI) that conducted an investigation on the Jan. 25, 2015 Mamasapano incident.

Former ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales dismissed the original homicide complaint families of the slain commandos filed against Aquino, Purisima and Napeñas in 2016.

Morales, in a resolution promulgated on June 13, 2017, instead approved the filing of cases of violation of Section 3 (a) Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices and usurpation of official functions under Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code against the trio. The cases were formally filed with the Sandiganbayan in November 2017.

The cases stemmed from Aquino’s alleged act of allowing then suspended PNP chief Purisima to participate in the planning and implementation of Oplan Exodus, a police operation aimed to neutralize Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and Filipino bomb maker Abdul Basit Usman.

Marwan was killed but the operation resulted in the death of over 60 people, including 44 members of the PNP-SAF.

Early this year, Morales’ successor, Ombudsman Samuel Martires, moved for the withdrawal of the cases, saying that upon review of his office, “no sufficient ground and evidence” was found to support the graft and usurpation charges.

The Sandiganbayan Fourth Division, on Aug. 22, approved the withdrawal of the cases “without prejudice to the filing of the appropriate charge/s” against Aquino and the two former police directors.

‘Cases are a joke’

Topacio yesterday reiterated his support for Martires’ move to withdraw the Morales-initiated cases, branding them as “silly” charges.

“It’s a joke. Those two cases are a joke, to be blunt about it. We were fooled by Conchita Carpio-Morales. They were destined to fail… From the start we have already expressed our opposition to such charges and said that we will not participate (in the proceeding). Because it’s a joke that will give validity to the travesty of justice of the ombudsman,” Topacio said.

The VACC had earlier accused Morales of rushing the filing of graft and usurpation cases against Aquino in order to shield him from graver charges.

Topacio explained that each count of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide carries a penalty of imprisonment of four years. He said Aquino must be held liable for 44 counts of the offense for the death of the 44 members of SAF.

Topacio said a graft case only carries a maximum penalty of 15 years of imprisonment while penalty for usurpation of authority is convertible to just a fine.

The VACC had earlier filed a petition for certiorari before the Supreme Court (SC) assailing the ombudsman’s June 13, 2017 resolution dismissing the multiple homicide complaint.

The SC, in a decision promulgated as a whole last Sept. 3, junked VACC’s petition. The high tribunal said it did not find any “grave abuse of discretion” on the part of the ombudsman in dismissing the complaint.

Topacio said the reopening of their homicide complaint cannot be considered a violation of the constitutional provision against double jeopardy as the accused are not yet convicted in court. Topacio pointed out that Aquino, Purisima and Napeñas were not yet even arraigned for their cases at the Sandiganbayan.

Meanwhile, Magalong, who was present during the filing of the motion for reinvestigation with the ombudsman, said his affidavit was based on the findings of his team’s investigation on the Mamasapano incident.

“Everything was lifted. Whatever were the significant findings in the Board of Inquiry report, they’re in there (the affidavit),” Magalong said.

The BOI report released by Magalong’s team in March 2015 concluded that the PNP’s chain of command was violated when Aquino directly dealt with Purisima and Napeñas instead of then PNP officer-in-charge Leonardo Espina.

Categorically asked by reporters if he personally saw any negligence on the part of the former president, Magalong answered: “Yes, of course. We (BOI) really noted some glaring errors that were committed.”

“If only the decision makers at the time – president Aquino and general Purisima – were decisive, the incident could have never happened,” Magalong added.

 

City of Manila could be underwater in 30 years

envi rp cities lulubog

In 30 years, rising seas will threaten Philippine cities, towns home to 6.8M
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar)
November 6, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — In only three decades, areas in the Philippines now home to around 6.8 million people will likely be inundated as the sea levels continue to rise.

By the end of the century, land currently occupied by 8.6 million Filipinos could be lower than the height of average annual coastal flood.

The figures are among the findings of the study produced by New Jersey-based science organization Climate Central.

The research, published in the journal Nature Communications, found that 250 million people across the globe currently live on land below current annual flood levels and 110 million live below the high tide line at present.

Using a more accurate way of calculating land elevation called CoastalDEM, the study of authors Scott Kulp and Benjamin Strauss suggests there are 5.4 million Filipinos already occupying land below annual flood levels.

Annual flood level is used to denote the water level at the shoreline that local coastal floods exceed on average once per year.

Conservative estimates

The new projections for the Philippines—an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean—are based on a relatively conservative scenario of expected changes. This assumes humans will moderately reduce warming emissions roughly in line with the 2015 Paris climate agreement’s two-degree celsius target and there will be a fairly stable Antarctica.

The numbers also used by the authors were based on a 2010 population data—100 million.

But assuming the high greenhouse gas-emissions continue unabated along with Antarctic instability, seven million Filipinos live on land that could be threatened by inundation by mid-century. By 2100, the number will rise to 13 million.

7 million Filipino below high tide line by 2050

The new data showed that 4.3 million people in the Philippines live in places that are below the high tide line.

Tideline is used to indicate the long-term average of the highest daily local tide level.

“[This] suggests that this land is protected today, possibly by coastal defenses. It is also possible that our data underestimate elevation in some places,” Peter Girard, director of communications at Climate Central, told Philstar.

Even under a highly optimistic scenario, 5.2 million Filipinos will occupy land that will be underwater at high tide by 2050. The number will increase to 6.9 million by the end of the century.

If emissions continue to rise, land currently home to 5.4 million Filipinos will fall below the level of high tide by mid-century. By 2100, the number will double to 11 million.

Vulnerable areas

The study suggests that waters threaten to consume Metro Manila—the country’s political and economic center—and areas in Bulacan facing Manila Bay.

Southwestern Metro Manila

An airport city complex is set to rise over the northern coast of Manila Bay, with environmental groups fearing that the reclamation will bring intense flooding in the coastal and low-lying areas of Bulacan and in nearby places.

Northwestern Metro Manila and parts of Bulacan

Cebu City—the center of commerce, trade and education in Visayas—and Zamboanga City are also imperiled, according to the study.

The greatest effects of the sea level rise will be felt in Asia.

Mainland China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand account for roughly 75% of the 300 million people on land projected to be below average annual coastal flood levels at mid-century, the report said.

The research shows that urgent shifts in action are needed to prevent catastrophic changes across the globe, Girard said.

“Governments can take two critical actions to avoid the most severe consequence: cut carbon emissions as much and as quickly as possible to slow the pace of sea level rise,” he said.

“That will provide more time to determine how to respond to this threat and to plan and build coastal defenses to protect their citizens.”

Rising seas

In its report released last September, the United Nations-backed International Panel on Climate Change warned.

The report of the United Nations-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released in September showed that the world’s oceans and cryosphere—glaciers and polar regions—are getting warmer, more acidic and less productive.

Sea levels are projected to rise nearly half a meter by 2100 if Earth warms 2 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels and 84 centimeter in a 3C to 4C world.

Climate Change Commissioner Rachel Herrera earlier told Philstar that rising sea levels will likely cause more storm surges and flooding and endanger coastal communities.

“The most affected sectors will be agriculture and fisheries, impacting on fish catch and our food supply,” she said.

Global temperatures have increased 1 degree celsius above pre-industrial levels and are on track to rise another two or three degrees by 2100.

If the Paris treaty’s goal of capping warming at 1.5 to 2 degrees celsius is to be met, emissions of warming gases must drop to 50% by 2030 and to “net zero,” IPCC concluded in a report released in 2018. — with a report from Agence France-Presse

MINDANAO EARTHQUAKES: PUBLIC RELATIONS gone bad from YELLOW Yoly, a marketing specialist

yoly karma hotter

Yoly Ong, a top communications practitioner, got it all wrong with a series of statements that insulted the sensitivities of the Davao/Mindanao earthquake victims who she called Davao Disaster Survivors (a play on the DDS initials that mean Duterte Diehard Supporters). Yoly admonished the quake victims to make amends before it is too late so as to prevent more natural disasters (as in the earth swallowing them alive characteristic of really big ones) that she blamed on their popular support for the Philippine President (who she already judges to be HELL BOUND).

As she shed crocodile tears, she could not help but reveal a conspiracy to destroy her reputation thru an orchestrated and well funded campaign. She dug herself deeper by stating that she had nothing against ordinary citizens from Davao/Mindanao, her anger was directed only against the DDS (who did not deserve to be aided). Considering that the majority of the citizens in Mindanao are pro-government and thus could be labeled as DDS, then she actually insulted more people than she spared from her spite.

In the light of the fact that she is in the business of advertising, marketing, communications and public relations campaigns, she should have been the last person to be caught with her foot in her mouth. In fact, she should be the one to be advising politicians, celebrities and corporate executives on how to mitigate and minimize bad publicity. In this case she eagerly spewed fire and venom at a time when her opinion was not even being solicited. Yoly was right when she lamented she has “allowed” her politics to cloud her “better judgment” in the situation.

DEAD: Mayor David Navarro – reputed Kuratong Baleleng, Parojinog associate, PDEA Drug List

The storied life of David Navarro came to a blazing end. Just like his partner in crime former Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Sr., gunfire ended his colorful career. The second generation Kuratong Baleleng (founded by Octavio “Onkoy” Parojinog Sr.) members invested in political careers and secured elective positions in Misamis Occidental provincial politics and as city/municipality mayors. At least 8 mayors in Misamis Occidental have been linked to drugs.

Navarro was Clarin Mayor. Reynaldo Parojinog, at the time of his death was Ozamiz City Mayor. His daughter, Nova Princess, was Vice Mayor. She is romantically linked to New Bilibid Prison top drug inmate, Herbert Colangco. The Parojinog raid killed not only Reynaldo but also his wife Susan, Misamis Occidental provincial board member brother Octavio Jr., sister Mona and Daryl, a nephew. His daughter Nova and son Ricardo, city councilor of Ozamiz City are currently in jail. This effectively neutralized or at least drastically immobilized the Parojinog family. Navarro and Sinacaban Mayor Cris Mahilac (also in the President Duterte drug list) have become social media sensations of sorts. Navarro with a multitude of top of the line designer handbags displayed by his wife and Mahilac with photos of expensive cars and the use of PHP 500 and 1000 peso bills as wallpaper in their mansion.

pnp navarro and matrix

 

Nalzaro: Who ordered the killing of Mayor Navarro?

Saksi

DURING the arrest of Clarin, Misamis Occidential Mayor David Navarro late Thursday afternoon, Oct. 24, 2019, at the Mactan airport, my source from the intelligence community alerted me to watch out because something might happen to Mayor Navarro. The source said Navarro was suspected of having a hand in the robbery that happened at J Centre Mall on A.S. Fortuna St. in Mandaue City last week. Most of the robbers who struck the mall came from Tangub, Misamis Occidental, a neighboring city of Clarin town.

Last Wednesday night, Oct. 23, a male and a female massage therapist in an uptown spa in Cebu City filed complaints against the mayor for physical injury and acts of lasciviousness at the Abellana Police Station. The complainants alleged that Navarro, who was drunk, entered their establishment and asked for a female therapist. But the manager refused to give him one as there was no available female therapist. The mayor then challenged everybody to a fistfight.

He then mauled John Dueñas, a male massage therapist. The mauling incident was captured by the establishment’s CCTV. The female massage therapist, who was sent by the manager to the room of Navarro in the same hotel where the spa is located, also complained because the mayor forced her to give him a hand job.

Upon the filing of the complaints, Navarro was arrested by the police as he was about to fly to Manila at the Mactan airport. He was brought to the Abellana Police Station early Thursday night. He stayed overnight at the station’s detention cell.

On Friday afternoon, Oct. 25, escorted by family members and a police team, Navarro was taken to the fiscal’s office to face complaints for physical injury and acts of lasciviousness. But before the group could reach the City Prosecutor’s Office on M. Velez St., he was shot dead while on board a van in broad daylight in a daring ambush by unidentified persons. Navarro was dead on the spot. One of his bodyguards and a police escort were wounded.

Navarro was one of the narco-politicians named by President Rodrigo Duterte last March. He was reportedly closed to the Parojinog family of Ozamiz City, the alleged leaders of the dreaded and notorious Kuratong Baleleng Group. Clarin is just 22 kilometers from Ozamiz City, whose Mayor Reynaldo “Aldong” Parojinog was killed in an anti-drug operation in his residence two years ago.

Who was behind the killing of Mayor Navarro? Was there an order from the higher up? Your guess is as good as mine.
***

This is a rejoinder to my Wednesday column entitled “Nagging questions in a mall heist.”

In a paid advertisement in the local dailies, M Lhuillier, one of those victimized by the robbery gang inside J Centre Mall on A.S. Fortuna St., Mandaue City last week, offered P500,000 as a reward to anyone who could give the company and law enforcement agencies information on the identity of the perpetrators that would lead to their arrest and prosecution and the possible recovery of the jewelry carted away by robbers.

The ad says “a group of robbers forcibly took substantial amount of jewelry and cash from the company in the evening of Oct. 18.” When you use the term “substantial,” it means a “considerable size or worth.” The amount is not certain. But how come M Lhuillier immediately claimed “that the robbers took some P50 million worth of jewelry” right after the robbery? That’s why I asked if the figure was accurate. Did the establishment tell the police the exact amount of cash and jewelry carted away by the robbers?
I am one of those who expressed suspicion that the figure was bloated by management for insurance claim purposes. I am not accusing the owners but the figure they presented could raise some eyebrows. Were there pure gold and diamonds on display? But the most intriguing thing was that of the P136 million worth of cash and jewelry allegedly taken by the robbers, not a single ring, bracelet or necklace has been recovered.

Kadudahan, no?

 

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