Robredo: FIRED, FIRED UP, FIRES first salvo for 2022

leni laban

With a feeling of righteous indignation, the deposed DRUG CZAR came out fighting, pointing to the Palace as the cause of her removal from office in the government anti-drug campaign. Should she run for President in 2022 as would be her natural course of action since she now leads the tattered political opposition, that speech will be remembered as her first salvo. It would be an uphill battle since the Duterte Administration, now on its fourth year in power, still maintains high popularity ratings but she laid out the primary focus of her presumed Presidential run strategy – to put the Duterte Administration on the ropes for its conduct of the War on Drugs. In the final 2022 analysis, it would be the Filipino electorate who would decide what version or narrative of the drug war to believe and with it the next President of the Philippines.


Robredo to Duterte: What are you scared of?

By: Stephanie M. Florida – Philippine Daily Inquirer
November 26, 2019

Robredo to Duterte: What are you scared of?

SAN FERNANDO, Camarines Sur, Philippines — “If they think this is over, they don’t know me,” Vice President Leni Robredo said on Monday, after President Rodrigo Duterte fired her from her lead role in his brutal war on drugs.

“I have just begun,” Robredo told reporters here. “If we had the same goal, why did they not just cooperate? Were they not really serious in fighting drugs or did I put some interests at risk?”

Classified information

The President fired Robredo as cochair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs on Sunday, 18 days after she accepted his offer of a lead role in the war on drugs—with a directive to all agencies to support her and a promise to give her “everything” she would need to press the crackdown on narcotics.

But when she requested access to the government’s list of high-value targets last week, the law-enforcement agencies on the committee balked, and Duterte declared that he did not trust her because she was with the political opposition.

Robredo asked why the President appointed her to the committee if he did not trust her.

“He should be direct with me. I’m a straight talker,” she said. “If he does not want me here anymore … and wants to take back the appointment, he should just say the word.”

The President’s spokesperson, Salvador Panelo, told reporters in Busan, South Korea, on Sunday night that the President took offense at Robredo’s “taunt.”

“You don’t say that to your boss who is the President of the Philippines,” Panelo said.

Mr. Duterte himself had said he had not seen Robredo work, though Panelo said the President had not found the time to read two reports that had been submitted by the Vice President after her meetings with members of the interagency committee, US and UN officials and representatives of several organizations.

‘Report to the nation’

Robredo was to submit a third report to the President this week, her office said on Sunday before news broke that she had been fired.

It would include all that she had found out about the campaign against illegal drugs, she said.

“I will disclose all that I have discovered and my recommendations,” Robredo said. “They may have taken away my position, but they can never take away my determination.”

Robredo swore to continue trying to stop the killings in the crackdown on drugs and bring the killers to justice.

‘What are you scared of?’

She said: “When I took on the challenge, I asked them, ‘Are you ready for me?’ Now I ask, what are you scared of?”

Addressing the President, she said: “I did not ask for this position. I did the job that you transferred to me seriously.”

What the nation wants, she said, is a government that is a true champion of the people against illegal drugs.

“The enemy is drugs and the drug lords, not me,” she said.

In Busan, where Duterte was attending the 2019 Asean-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit, Panelo ratcheted up the attack on Robredo, belittling her plan to disclose to the public what she had learned about the counternarcotics campaign.

In a text message to reporters covering Duterte’s participation in the summit, Panelo scoffed at Robredo’s question about what the administration feared the nation might find out if she was given access to classified information.

“She can do anything she pleases,” Panelo said. “Anything that she claims she has discovered [is information provided] to her. She was precisely appointed, apart from giving her the opportunity to assist in the campaign against illegal drugs, to let her know that everything in the drug war is transparent.”

‘Fired for incompetence’

Panelo insisted that Robredo “was fired for incompetence, in addition to her failure to introduce new measures she claimed she had, as against what she claimed to be ineffective method in fighting the drug menace.”

He added: “She was weighed and found wanting.”

Robredo has been a relentless critic of President Duterte’s war on drugs, which the Philippine National Police acknowledges has killed more than 6,000 suspects but human rights groups say the death toll could be much higher.

In an interview with Reuters on Oct. 23, Robredo said the war on drugs “was not working,” angering Duterte.

Hitting back, Duterte offered Robredo the position of drug czar for six months, but later changed it to cochair of the interagency committee on narcotics.

Against the advice of her allies, Robredo accepted the offer on Nov. 6, causing consternation among allies of the administration who had expected her to reject the job.

When she asked for the list of the government’s high-value targets, her new coworkers stonewalled her, and President Duterte lashed out at her in a news conference, calling her “scatterbrain” and accusing her of “grandstanding” in the press.

On Sunday, after Robredo had made it clear that she would not be stopped, Mr. Duterte fired her.

‘Caught in his own trap’

In a statement emailed to the press on Monday, Sen. Leila de Lima, detained on drug charges that the Duterte administration brought after she began investigating the killings in the war on drugs in 2016, interpreted what happened.

“By firing [Vice President] Leni Robredo, he has admitted that he was caught in his own trap, defeated in his own challenge, and thoroughly exposed as a man without honor and whose word is as good as the next lie that comes out of his big mouth.”—WITH A REPORT FROM DJ YAP


#Duterte #Robredo #WarOnDrugs #Halalan2022


Duterte FIRES Drug Czar Robredo

leni leave

Leni was (and most probably will still be) a pain in the neck of the Duterte Administration with all her criticisms against the War on Drugs. So one day, the President offered her a position in the government anti drug campaign. There was the initial hesitation to accept the appointment as her opposition supporters sensed a trap. It was obvious that a rejection on her part would open her to charges of abandoning a chance to have her voice officially heard in the planning and conduct of drug raids and buy busts. There was the hair-splitting on whether she got a cabinet level post (she did not), the request for additional budgetary support, the consistent message that drug suspects need not die while being arrested and the consultation with international agencies. The Palace issued a warning that divulging state secrets to foreigners could get her fired. Then President Digong made mention that he DID NOT TRUST Leni to which the Vice President answered that if she was not trusted, why was she appointed in the first place. All these events played out in public view, in press conferences, speeches and interviews and it was obvious that the top two officials in the land had a wide gap in management style and perception on how to get the task done. Leni mentioned that she would not resign. Senator Kiko Pangilinan opined that it would be better for the President to fire Leni rather than for her to suffer from daily Palace tirades. In the end, the President had enough and did the only logical move in a messy situation that was dragging for many days – he FIRED her. Actually this is the second time Leni got the axe, the first time was as head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council in the first year of the Duterte Presidency.


Duterte fires Robredo as ICAD co-chair — Medialdea

GMA News Online

President Rodrigo Duterte has fired Vice President Leni Robredo as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea told GMA News Online on Sunday.

Medialdea confirmed the termination with a one-word text message: “Yes.”

In a statement, Malacañang said that the firing “is in response to the suggestion of Liberal Party President, Senator Francis Pangilinan, to just fire the Vice President from her post. This is also in response to the taunt and dare of VP Robredo for the President to just tell her that he wants her out.”

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo had earlier also characterized Robredo’s asking about her mandate as ICAD co-chair as “taunting” and “daring” the President to say he does not want her in the job.

“If VP Robredo wanted clarification in the scope and limits of her new task, she could have sought audience with the President, which she failed to do. As always, she talked—not with her appointing authority—but right in front of the cameras asking the President on her supposed mandate,” Panelo said in Sunday’s statement.

“If VP Robredo is really serious in addressing the cause of the drug problem, she should have gone down to the grassroots—talking to the victims, to their families, and to the communities. Instead, she opted to have audience with the United Nations and the United States embassy officials who remain out-of-touch from the realities of the local drug problem on the ground,” he added.

In the 18 days since Robredo accepted the post, she has visited Market 3 in Navotas City, a hotspot in the police’s anti-drug operations; met with reformed drug users in Dinalupihan, Bataan; and gone to a drug rehabilitation center in Quezon City.

She has also met with anti-drugs stakeholders such as the Dangerous Drugs Board, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Health.

GMA News Online has reached out to Robredo for comment.

‘A need to know everything?’

On Saturday, Duterte said that Robredo’s mandate as ICAD co-chair is indicated in the Executive Order (EO) that created the committee.

“She would be asking for the job description. It’s there in the law, it’s the EO creating itong ICAD. Nandiyan lang, basahin lang niya ‘yan, it’s all there and that’s where she would really exercise her duty,” Duterte told reporters.

“Is there a need for you, Leni, to know everything? I don’t think it’s good,” he added.

Duterte had said that he would make Robredo the country’s “drug czar” and give her law enforcement powers after Robredo criticized the administration’s bloody anti-drugs campaign, saying that it is not working since the number of drug users and traffickers are still rising despite it.

Robredo accepted the position on November 6, a day after Duterte designated her co-chair of the anti-drugs body along with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Aaron Aquino.

Just hours earlier on Sunday, Robredo said that while the President may fire her, she would not leave the post by resigning.

“Siya din iyong may kapangyarihan na tanggalin ako,” she said of Duterte. “Ako, siyempre, kapag tinanggal ako, wala naman ako, wala akong magagawa. Pero hindi ako magre-resign, dahil ngayon pa—ngayon pa na ang dami kong nakita na kailangan pang gawin, ngayon pa na tingin ko marami akong maitutulong. Kaya habang hindi pa ako tinatanggal, gagawin ko iyong trabaho ko.”

‘I cannot trust her’

Duterte has been critical of Robredo in the days since he appointed her to the position, saying he does not trust her and keeping the list of high-value drug targets from her.

He also said that certain information should only be given to her on a “need to know” basis.

He also threatened to fire her if she revealed “state secrets” after Robredo met with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), community-based advocacy groups, and US Embassy officials to discuss the drug problem in the country.

However, earlier on Sunday, Duterte apologized to Robredo for thinking that she had invited a US prosecutor and the UN to conduct a probe into the administration.

Late last week the Philippine National Police’s officer-in-charge Police Lieutenant General Archie Gamboa said that the PNP supports Robredo as ICAD co-chair.

Asked if he sees Robredo as an ally of the administration’s drug war, Gamboa said: “Of course, oo naman.”

In his statement, Panelo said that Robredo “has not presented any new program that she envisioned to implement. In a campaign where people’s lives are at risk, a day is an eternity. The government can not twiddle its thumb and sit idly hoping for a flash of brilliance from the Vice President.

“It is time to put the issue to eternal rest and bury it in the graveyard of what could have been, as well as dismiss any obstacle that impedes the government to focus on the issue at hand,” he added. — BM, GMA News

Relentless anti-drug cop killed in ambush

leni officer cropped

Lesson for Drug Czar Leni – DRUG LORDS are ARMED and DANGEROUS


Did Yape’s dogged pursuit of criminals kill him? 

BENJIE B. TALISIC – Sunstar Cebu
November 22, 2019

BEFORE he was gunned down in front of his wife in Cebu City Thursday, Police Lt. Col. Joie Pacito Yape Jr. led the arrest of prominent personalities, including elected government officials.

Investigators are now looking into whether his dogged pursuit of criminals led to his murder.

Central Visayas Police Office Director Valeriano de Leon on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, ordered a thorough investigation into the killing of Yape.

“This is unacceptable. I’m ordering the City Police Office to thoroughly investigate, identify and arrest the suspects in this dastardly act,” de Leon said in a statement Friday, less than 24 hours after Yape was gunned down in Cebu City.

Yape, 49, was walking with his wife along Molave Street in Barangay Kamputhaw when he was shot and killed at 5:35 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21.

Two men on a motorcycle, both wearing helmets, rode close to the couple near a hotel on Molave Street. The back rider shot Yape three times before they sped off towards Escario Street.


De Leon ordered the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) to form a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) to find the culprits behind Yape’s murder, saying this was the usual procedure whenever a member of the police force was killed.

The SITG will initially comprise units of the CCPO and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Metro Cebu.

De Leon frowned on the return of motorcycle- riding gunmen carrying out ambush attacks in the city.

“I have given them (CCPO) instructions to broaden their information gathering so we can identify these guns for hire,” de Leon said.

The regional police chief believes Yape’s killing may have been related to his work, especially since Yape used to head the Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB) of the Cebu Police Provincial Office.

Yape’s credentials

At the time of his ambush, Yape was assigned at the Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service (IAS) in Camp Crame in Quezon City. He was in Cebu City for a three-day seminar on law and procurement planning.

As chief of the PIB, he led anti-drug operations against high-value targets.

Yape led the team that arrested former Medellin mayor Ricardo Ramirez in 2017 for possession of unlicensed firearms, ammunition and drug paraphernalia.

Ramirez was killed in his hospital room last June after 15 armed men stormed the Bogo-Medellin Medical Center where he had been held under hospital arrest.

CCPO Officer-in-Charge Col. Geovanie Maines, who is concurrently the deputy regional director for operations, said based on initial investigation, Yape’s assailants had waited outside the hotel where the seminar was being held.

Yape was also in Cebu City to attend an administrative hearing at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Maines said they will look into Yape’s work as Cebu PIB chief, during which he clashed with a number of big personalities.

He said that the hearing Yape attended at the Provincial Internal Affairs Service had to do with an administrative case they were facing in connection with an operation conducted in Medellin town when Yape was still PIB chief.


Yape’s wife, Lovely, a former Sanggunian Bayan member of the first district of Misamis Occidental, witnessed her husband’s murder.

Lovely told Superbalita Cebu it was hard to tell who could have ordered the hit on her husband since even while still assigned in Cebu, Yape had already made many enemies.

According to Lovely, from Cebu, Yape was assigned in Southern Leyte province. He then became chief of the City Intelligence Branch of Ormoc City, Leyte and police chief in Calbayog City, Samar before he was assigned to Camp Crame.

Among the people Yape’s team arrested in 2017 while he was PIB chief were self-confessed hitman Jinnefer Mercader, then barangay captain of Barangay Lugo in Borbon town; Mark Ferdinand “Dindin” Bas, barangay captain of Lagtang, Talisay City, who then CPPO director Eric Noble linked to self-confessed drug lord Franz Sabalones; Leodegreco “Greco” Sanchez, son of the late Cebu vice governor Greg Sanchez, for illegal possession of firearms and drug paraphernalia; and San Fernando town councilors Johnny Arriesgado, Edwin Villaver and Alfonso Donaire IV, who then Police Regional Office 7 director Noli Taliño tagged as drug protectors.

Unidentified men shot Bas dead in Sibonga town in October 2018. Magsico Barangay Captain Arriesgado, who sat in the Municipal Council as Association of Barangay Councils president, met the same fate in San Fernando in January 2019, as did Donaire in Zambanga del Sur in February 2019.

Yabe also made enemies with prominent families in Calbayog after making arrests, Lovely said.

Yape’s body will be brought to the town of Jimenez in Misamis Occidental for his wake and interment on Saturday, Nov. 30. (with TAP)


Leni – Dati NGAWA ng NGAWA, ngayon DAKDAK ng DAKDAK

leni lp sign

Duterte says he cannot trust Robredo

By: Nestor Corrales
November 19, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he could not trust Vice President Leni Robredo, and will not to allow the opposition stalwart to be part of his Cabinet.

“My problem with Robredo is she talks too much. If that is the way her mouth behaves there can be no position for her,” Duterte said in a hastily called press briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday night.

“The problem is I cannot trust her not only because she is with the opposition. I do not trust her because I do not know her,” he added.

Despite not trusting her, he said he would not fire Robredo as his anti-illegal drugs czar.

Duterte appointed Robredo on October 31 as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).



Palace: Missteps in drug war cost Robredo Cabinet rank

By: the Inquirer staff
Philippine Daily Inquirer
November 20, 2019
President Duterte has “reservations” about trusting Vice President Leni Robredo with sensitive information because she has made “missteps,” including consulting “enemies of the state” who have prejudged his war on drugs, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

Explaining Duterte’s change of mind about making Robredo a member of his Cabinet, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Vice President’s seeking advice from foreign institutions and officials who had called the drug war a violation of human rights and a crime against humanity “did not sit well with the President.”

Talking to reporters on Tuesday, Robredo said it did not matter to her if her post was not Cabinet rank.

What matters to her, she said, is that she’s doing her job.

If the President has reservations about trusting her with sensitive information, she said, that’s “not my problem.”

“If they do not trust me, then why did they designate me in the first place?” she said.

Classified information

Panelo said Robredo’s “insistence on getting access to classified information” the disclosure of which “could imperil the welfare of the Filipino people and the security of the state” added to Duterte’s reservations.

Robredo, who accepted her appointment by Duterte as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs two weeks ago, had asked law enforcers for up-to-date information on the crackdown on narcotics and a list of their high-value targets.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Philippine National Police have refused to give her a copy of the target list, which they hold as classified information.

Panelo said becoming a member of the Cabinet would give Robredo “unlimited access to state matters” that “if transmitted by her, whether purposely or otherwise, could result [in] adverse consequences.”

Panelo, however, said Duterte was not thinking of recalling Robredo’s appointment, as that decision by the President was “not a mistake.”

‘Talk right and left’

In a television interview on Monday night, Mr. Duterte said he did not appoint Robredo to a Cabinet post when he made her his drug czar.

He said Robredo had a tendency to “talk right and left,” which might compromise sensitive information that she might hear in Cabinet meetings.

He noted that he and the Vice President belonged to different parties.

Robredo defended her meetings with representatives of foreign organizations, saying the drug problem is “transnational.”

“I do not understand why they are bothered by that. The drug problem, especially where the supply comes from, is transnational. These are often sourced from other countries,” she said. “We cannot constrict the [drug] supply if we do not cooperate with other countries.”

Last week, Robredo met with officials from the US Embassy in Manila, including representatives from the Department of State’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation and US Agency for International Development, for discussions of US counternarcotics programs in the Philippines and possible collaboration in reducing drug demand in the country.

She also met with representatives of several organizations, including the UN Office on Crime and Drugs, and announced plans for talks with interior department, Dangerous Drugs Board and health department officials this week about policy, rehabilitation and reintegration.

On Thursday, Panelo said Robredo was doing the right thing.

“If you were in her place, what will you do? Of course, you have to know the situation first, meet all the people there. Then you will get advice from experts, then you come up with your scheme. That’s only right,” Panelo said.

‘It’s educational’

He also expressed approval of Robredo meeting with US and UN officials, describing it as “educational.”

“There’s a coordination between this government and the American government with respect to that,” Panelo said, referring to the war on drugs. “Just to be informed, she has to inform herself. How can she take the next step if she doesn’t know what’s happening?”

“It’s educational. She doesn’t know anything about it. So that is the right step, knowing what are the facts, what are the agreements and what are you presently doing. How would you make a move if you don’t know the situation [on] your turf?” he said.

In a telephone interview with reporters on Tuesday, however, Panelo said Robredo talking with “certain institutions and people that are supposed to be enemies of the state” was a “dangerous sign.”

Asked to explain “enemies of the state,” he said “any institution that has already prejudged the war on drugs” was “an enemy of the state.”

He also named former Human Rights Watch Asia director Phelim Kine, who has called the drug war “murderous,” and International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, who is investigating the thousands of killings in the crackdown, as enemies of the state.

Asked if the Catholic bishops, too, were considered enemies of the state, Panelo said: “Those who think the war on drugs is a violation of human rights and a crime against humanity, those are the ones being referred to by the President.”

Still trusted

He said the President still trusted Robredo, but as for himself, “I’m still waiting for her program, how she will do her job.”

Panelo also said the Vice President did not need access to sensitive information to get a complete picture of the drug problem. Even ordinary people are aware of it, he said.

Robredo said she would “not waste time arguing.”

“I will try as much as I can to get the data that I need, but I understand that it is still their decision whether they will share it with me or not,” she said.

“When I accepted the job, I already knew that there were some aspects I could not control. But I spent all my time in my first two weeks fixing everything I needed for the antidrug campaign,” she said.

‘Fire they can’t put out’

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a former Philippine National Police chief and now also an adviser to Robredo on the campaign against narcotics, said the Vice President had been put in a no-win situation.

Speaking in a television interview on Tuesday, Lacson said Robredo would have been beset with criticism had she refused her appointment to the interagency committee.

Now that she had accepted it, some would ask if the President’s offer had been a ruse, he said.

It seems that she has been doing things that others are not prepared for, Lacson said.

“And now it appears to be some kind of a fire they could not contain or put [out],” he said. —REPORTS FROM JULIE M. AURELIO, MEG ADONIS AND LEILA B. SALAVERRIA



Palace: Robredo made ‘missteps’ for talking to ‘enemies of the state’

By: Nestor Corrales
November 19, 2019
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo has made “missteps” for talking to “enemies of the state”, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision not to make her a Cabinet member, Malacañang revealed Tuesday.

Robredo was appointed Duterte’s drug czar on October 31, making her co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).

After accepting her appointment as ICAD co-chair on November 6, Robredo met with US officials and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

“The VP’s actions are all documented in mainstream and social media. These missteps not only derailed PRRD’s well-meaning intent for the Vice President to be part of the Administration but registered red signs that could not be ignored,” Panelo said.

Further, Malacañang pointed out Robredo’s request to have a list of high-value targets in the Duterte administration’s brutal drug war as disclosed by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino.

“Ms. Robredo’s insistence on getting access to classified information, a revelation of which could imperil the welfare of the Filipino people and the security of the State, added to PRRD’s reconsideration of his earlier desire to appoint her in the Cabinet,” Panelo explained.

“Her requests for unrestricted data to help her fulfill her role is an admission that the earlier criticisms of the political opposition to which she belongs against the anti-drug operations have no factual basis,” he added.

Additionally, Panelo said Robredo, “being a member of the Cabinet, “ gives her “unlimited access to sensitive State matters which if transmitted by her whether purposely or otherwise could result to adverse consequences, especially since the VP has the tendency to be generous with acquired information and knowledge to others whose predilection may not be in the best interest of the country.”

In a phone interview with reporters, Panelo said it was “a dangerous sign” that Robredo was talking to “enemies of the state.”

“Since she has talked with certain institutions and people who are supposed to be enemies of the state, to the mind of the President, that is a dangerous sign, that means, you may not be doing it purposely but it’s dangerous that’s why he (Duterte) already made the statement that what you are doing is dangerous,” he said.

“He (Duterte) has reservations,” Panelo said.

Despite this, however, Panelo said Duterte still trust Robredo.

“Yes, there’s still [trust]. [We’re] still waiting for her program, how will she perform her job,” he said.

He then explained Duterte’s “reservations” on Robredo “has nothing to do with trust.”

“It has something to do with the effectivity of your ideas. If you can help me, I will get you,” he noted.


#Duterte #Robredo #WarOnDrugs



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

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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