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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  • 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.