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Narrow fiscal choices EDITORIAL 06/07/2010

Monday, June 7, 2010

Narrow fiscal choices

Click to enlarge

Presumptive president-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino should get his numbers right, since he seems to set too lofty promises that he cannot keep even before he actually steps into Malacañang.

Noynoy recently changed his promise on no new taxes or even a tax increase just recently, saying that he is keeping his options open due to the ballooning budget deficit which is expected to exceed P300 billion this year after a record P298 billion shortfall last year.

On the contrary, the no tax campaign promise was traditional politics (trapo) at its worst since he even bragged during his sorties to “read my lips. No new taxes” obviously to get the vote of the lower economic class of the society that is still stinging from the effects of the expanded value added tax (eVAT) imposition of Gloria sometime in 2006 that raised the sales tax by two percentage points and widened its coverage to include electricity and fuel.
The eVAT had a fleeting effect on government finances since both the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs remained habitually off target on their collections even after this was imposed.

A recommendation from Gloria’s economic team to Noynoy was to again raise the VAT or the sales tax to 15 percent, which would be a three percentage point increase to head off a fiscal disaster that seems to be where public finances are heading after Gloria intentionally spent the lights out of the treasury in her last two years in office.
Noynoy is starting to learn his economics and it seems that like Gloria at the start of her stolen 2001 presidency, the likely president will be addressing a growing nation in contrast with ever-declining government revenues.

Without a valid mandate, Gloria transacted alliances in Congress to get her fiscal measures moving, which is always a painful undertaking for any legislator since proponents of such measures will carry the stigma of public hate all throughout their political lives....MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100607com1.html

The ways of losing candidates FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 06/07/2010

The ways of losing candidates

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
One shouldn’t begrudge Sen. Mar Roxas and his camp for making an issue over the so-called null votes, said to be both an overvote, a no vote ballot and a machine-unread vote.

For that matter no one should begrudge a losing candidate for any position to make this an issue along with their claims of electronic fraud.

At the same time, one shouldn’t get all upset over the insistence of Jojo Binay and his camp to object to the Roxas camp’s broiling over the issue of null votes.

The reason is simple: If the results showed the reverse and favored Roxas, the Binay camp would have made an issue of this null vote. But as Roxas appears to be losing the race, this is expected from the Binay camp.

Few, if any, of the losing candidates would want to go through an electoral protest, whether in the Comelec, the House, the Senate, or the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), which is the Supreme Court (SC).

Apart from such moves that entail millions of pesos just for a review of the vote count, the fact is that as electoral protests go in this country, such protests are useless, since it takes forever for the respective bodies to declare a protestant the winner. More often than not, as evidenced in the very recent past, it takes some three years for the Comelec to reverse the victory of a governor, mayor or a lower office.

By the time a reversal of decision is rendered by the Comelec, the “real” winner of the local race would not even be able to sit, as another election has been scheduled.

Cases in point are the resolved cases of the Bulacan governorship where the losing candidate was declared the winner, while declaring Jon-jon Mendoza as having lost the polls. But up till today, Mendoza sits as Bulacan governor, since there was a status quo ante order granted by the high court.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100607com2.html

With home trouble, Obama faces hard choices on trips ANALYSIS 06/07/2010

With home trouble, Obama faces hard choices on trips



WASHINGTON — Faced with mounting challenges at home, President Barack Obama will soon have to choose between jamming foreign trips onto this year’s tightening schedule or neglecting key US partners.

Obama, who traveled overseas more than any other president in his first year, on Thursday called off a visit to Australia and Indonesia for the second time to focus on curbing a major oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

“The President made a decision that with all this going on, particularly with our (oil disaster) response right now, it would be difficult to go,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters en route to Louisiana.

Obama earlier delayed the Pacific trip to lead his top legislative priority of health care reform. His domestic calendar will remain busy, with his Democratic Party fighting to keep control of Congress in Nov. 2 elections.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if more of these foreign visits are canceled between now and the mid-term elections,” said Brian Katulis, an expert on national security at the left-leaning Center for American Progress.

“Sometimes I think foreign policy issues go over the heads of most ordinary Americans and they’re going to vote, it seems, on the bread-and-butter issues here at home,” he said.
But even in an age of instant communications, Obama can send a powerful message that another nation is important when he heads overseas, Katulis said.

“Given that we have a president who had a Nobel Peace Prize instead of shoes thrown at him in his first year, there’s a certain desire in most parts of the globe to see this guy,” he said.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100607com3.html

‘Smartmagic’ C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 06/07/2010


Jonathan De la Cruz
“Smartmagic” is how many of the IT experts, both local and foreign, we have been talking to over the past two and a half weeks in the course of the House inquiry on the conduct of our first ever automated election system (AES), have come to describe the system as finally put into play. That was not unexpected. In fact, given the avalanche of questions and imponderables which the Comelec and its AES contractor, Smartmatic-TIM, have failed to satisfactorily answer it, was bound to be the conclusion. It was clear that the system had been so mangled (handicapped by various instructions and interventions of the system by the ultimate manager — the Comelec — was how people in the know described it) from its original conception that what was actually put in place on election day was far from what the bidding documents said the system should be. In the words of one observer after the House conducted that inspection in Cabuyao — it may be true that the system worked in a controlled environment as in the Smartmatic plant — but the system was made to work in an entirely different and, yes, highly vulnerable one.

So to the question can the system be interfered with?, the obvious answer is YES. And that is what happened as borne out by the tales of woe and wonder which have been coming out thus far. And not just from losing candidates, as one misinformed reporter mentioned, but from the experts and independent observers who have taken time out to voice their concerns and detail their observations. To be fair, Comelec and Smartmatic tried their best to defend the system and the manner they did their work but sadly, their explanations left a lot to be desired. It was good, as one expert noted, that in the case of the presidential contest it was a landslide of sorts, thus making what normally would have been major problems became “acceptable.” Imagine if the contest had been a close one (as in many local contests and, if we believe the camp of LP vice-presidential bet Sen. Mar Roxas, the vice-presidential race itself) then the legitimate flaws (and there are lots) would have tied these to the courts for years. In this expert’s view, the “hanging chads and pregnant ballots” in the now famous Florida count which decided the Bush-Gore presidential bout in 2000, would “have paled in comparison.”.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100607com4.html

The swarm of locusts DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 06/07/2010

The swarm of locusts

Herman Tiu Laurel
Like the Biblical plague, thousands of locusts are descending upon the Philippine bureaucracy’s plains once again. New would-be appointees to the 5,000 posts the Aquinorroyo II regime will be recompensing for real or imagined service if the last electoral exercise is to strip bare the country’s political landscape.

Excluding President Joseph Estrada, there have been three full-fledged Yellow governments already since 1986. From the Edsa I regimes of Cory and FVR to the decade-long Edsa II Aquinorroyo era, where platoon changes occurred among political appointees, with others getting retained for one reason or another. The only change in the past 25 years has been the nation’s socio-economic crisis going from bad to worse. Instead of offering salvation or alleviation, the thousands of appointees from the Yellow movement have only burdened the nation. Let’s look at some of them.

Cory’s Cabinet had the likes of Joker Arroyo, Jess Estanislao, Frank Drilon, and many others. Joker’s fight with then Finance Secretary Jaime Ongpin was said to have led to the latter’s suicide (although others maintain he was “suicided” by a US financial mafia). Joker, of course, also abolished the Department of Energy which precipitated the nation’s energy and power crisis — a crisis that has never left us since.

Jess Estanislao, meanwhile, as Finance Minister of Mrs. Aquino, abolished the OPSF (Oil Price Stabilization Fund) as part of their administration’s overall deregulation of the economy. In as much as he claimed that it burdened the government, 25 years later, we can find more regulated economies like China or Thailand that are enjoying more robust growth with OPSFs of their own.

Drilon, for his part, was alleged to have used DoLE funds and resources for his late wife Violy’s IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines) campaign.

In all, Cory had the most number of appointees during her one-year revolutionary transition stint. She named carpetbaggers not only to national posts but also appointed literally tens of thousands of local officials in the nearly six dozen provinces, 2,400 municipalities and thousands of barangays.

While Cory’s administration claims to have “restored democracy,” it literally wiped out all elected positions to entrench its own unelected local officials, including the Ampatuans of Maguindanao, who 24 years later would come to haunt the entire nation.

When Cory anointed Fidel Ramos and ensured that he would be her heir, a new Cabinet and a host of underlings came, such as Bert Romulo, Bobby de Ocampo, Ruben Torres, Francisco Viray, down to Bebot Bello et al.

A standout among FVR’s Cabinet whom the grapevine is buzzing to be the next Finance man, former Finance Secretary Bobby de Ocampo, is someone I used to call “Bobo” de Ocampo for failing to heed our warning during a media kapihan I hosted at the old Cyber Press Café along Timog Avenue. It was March 1997 and I had gotten wind from the LaRouche Movement in the US of the plot by George Soros to crash the Asian currencies starting with the Thai baht, followed by the peso. De Ocampo, who was guest at that kapihan, said that it couldn’t happen to the peso because it was very stable at P35 then. Two months later, the peso crashed to P45. Yet even with that egregious error, he was still named “Finance Secretary of the Year” by Euromoney magazine and later became president of the Asian Institute of Management!

Dr. Francisco Viray and Engr. Delfin Lazaro were FVR’s Energy secretaries who were both party to the ensuing “Dark Age” which made the country suffer 12-hour blackouts and provided FVR the excuse to sign the larcenous purchased power agreements (PPA) that led to one of the highest electricity prices in the world.

Ruben Torres was infamous for allegedly raising his 1998 senatorial campaign funds from the OFW deployments to Taiwan, which were just opening massively at that time. Now, we are told that he is allegedly enjoying a life of ease in his Zambales farms.
As for Bert Romulo, Cory Aquino’s Budget secretary, Gloria’s Finance secretary, Executive secretary and now Foreign secretary, perhaps an article wouldn’t be enough to chronicle the widespread protests from the rank-and-file of the Department of Foreign Affairs against his tenure. 

And who could forget FVR’s Public Estates Authority (PEA) chief, who’s now floating along on the PEA-Amari golden parachute?

When GMA’s turn came, her co-conspirators to the Edsa II coup also got their juicy appointments. Gen. Edgardo Espinosa (alias “Spine”) got into Meco in Taipei (but was ousted soon afterwards allegedly for corruption). Then, we also witnessed Gen. Leandro Mendoza becoming DoTC chief; the shameless Hilario Davide getting the UN ambassadorship without confirmation; “civil society” fixtures like Dinky Soliman and Cesar Purisima getting the DSWD and DoF portfolios; and the likes of Bert Romulo and Bebot Bello continuously bungling their jobs but still itching to be re-appointed by Aquinorroyo II.

I myself got an offer for a directorship one month before election day. It was flattering but I declined it. The idea of joining the locust swarm revolts me. I’ve seen how these thousands of parasites — uncommitted to the public good and incompetent to eke out a living on their own — get appointed to cushy posts and live cushy lives at the expense of the truly hardworking people of this nation.

(Tune in to 1098AM, Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Destiny Cable Channel 21, Talk News TV — Infowars Edition, on “Gore and Smartmatic Info War vs Filipinos” with Mon Pedrosa and Adolfo Paglinawan, Tuesday, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.; also visit http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)  

(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100607com5.html

Voice HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 06/07/2010


Aldrin Cardon
We can imagine the smirks in the faces of the many experts in European politics and other advanced democracies, from where the architects of our Constitution got the inspiration to favor proportional representation through the party-list system to help create a healthy, vibrant democracy, or so we hoped.

The party-list aims to provide the marginal sector of society a strong voice in Congress with an allocation of 20 percent of the seats, a representation strong enough to make their representations heard under ideal circumstances, and pretty much similar to the models in 21 of 28 countries in Western Europe, among others, which use the party list system as a devise to provide a more accurate representation of parties, and greater likelihood of majority rule.

But the Philippines’ gutter politics, mostly entrenched in base of dynastic patronage, had sure found more ways to circumvent laws than to skin a cat, that even the party-list system has found itself under the thumb of traditional politicians, big business and interest groups have prostituted our own party-list system.

Even Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rene Sarmiento has called it flawed, and needing a thorough review so that possible amendments to Republic Act 7941, or the Party-list System Act, could be introduced to make clear which sectors are really marginalized and underrepresented.

The Comelec itself has muddled the party-list issue when it disqualified parties like Magdalo (originally a group of soldiers charged for leading a mutiny against President Arroyo), Migrante (a Left group representing overseas contact workers), and Ang Ladlad (an amalgamation of third sex and gay liberation groups), with seeming haste.
The Comelec even played the moral checker in its denial of Ang Ladlad with its seemingly accusatory rejection of its bid to seek representation, which the Supreme Court later overruled, but not after Ang Ladlad’s campaign train has already lost steam, it did not win a single seat in the next Congress.

The Comelec, however, seems to favor party-lists with known connections to President Arroyo, and others which openly mock the spirit of the party-list system.

Mikey Arroyo would soon reclaim a seat in Congress through Ang Galing Pinoy, a party which claims to represent security guards and tricycle drivers.

Mike Velarde of El Shaddai openly campaigned and is listed as a fifth nominee for Buhay, even if RA 7941 explicitly bans religion from mixing it up with party-list politics. Darn, even the Constitution does not allow religious meddling in politics, or so we hoped.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100607com6.html

House party SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 06/07/2010

House party

Dinah S. Ventura
Official results of the May 2010 elections have yet to be declared, and while people are anxiously awaiting the proclamation of the next president and vice president, not many are as interested in the party-list results... except maybe those who are in the party-lists themselves.

But maybe we should all pay attention. After all, party-lists make up a chunk of Congress — some 57 seats are allotted for them in the House, and we all know every seat counts for any sitting president.

So why shouldn’t we wonder why strange goings-on seemed to be happening way before election time? At the beginning of this year, grumblings could be heard from some of these interested, er, parties. One of the loudest was Ang Ladlad, which the Commission on Elections (Comelec) decided not to approve, but which the Supreme Court overturned. It may have been a small victory if Ladlad failed to get enough votes to make it to Congress.

Another group was complaining in January that the Comelec seemed to be operating under the thumb of Malacañang, as it kept rejecting and delisting three party-list groups known to have been critical of the Arroyo administration, particularly the scandals, issues and controversies that hounded her government. These were the party-list groups of the progressive Makabayan coalition — the ACT Teachers’ Party-list, Courage Party-list and Migrante Sectoral Party. According to a Bulatlat report, the “Comelec separately rejected the petitions for registration of Act and Courage for the 2010 party-list elections and delisted Migrante along with 25 other party-list groups.

They said they were not given enough time to challenge the Comelec decisions, and that though they were able to prove their presence in the majority of provinces and municipalities, the Comelec still rejected them.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100607com7.html

President, VP named within 3 days — NBoC By Gerry Baldo 06/07/2010


President, VP named within 3 days — NBoC

By Gerry Baldo

A new president and vice president could be proclaimed anytime this week, between Monday and Wednesday, according to leaders of Congress who also head the National Board of Canvassers (NBoC). 

Five Certificates of Canvass (CoCs) remain to be opened by the NBoC and House Speaker Prospero Nograles said that the proclamation ceremonies could be done as early as today after the Senate and the House joint committee on canvassing could prepare its report on the results of the canvassing.

“That’s very possible, we can do it,” Nograles said yesterday in answer to queries about the possible proclamation of the new president and vice president.

Nograles, however, said that the number of votes from the remaining five provinces could still change the outcome of the race for the vice presidency between Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay and current second placer Liberal Party contender Sen. Manuel Roxas II. Roughly 1.4 million votes are expected to be canvassed from these provinces.
At the suspension of the session on Thursday the two leading presidential candidates including Liberal Party’s Sen. Benigno Aquino III and Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino’s former President Joseph Estrada posted 14,641,803 and 9,125,823 votes respectively.

In the vice presidential race, the leading candidate, Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino’s Binay posted 14,084,876 votes as against Roxas’ 13,440,127 votes, or a lead of 644,749 votes. 

On Thursday the joint committee, acting as the National Board of Canvassers suspended with only five remaining COCs left to canvass including those from Davao City , Bacolod, Lanao del Sur, Eastern Samar, and Mountain Province.

Nograles said that the votes in the five provinces that are yet to tallied could be material to the vice presidential race. Canvassing will resume at 1 p.m. today.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, however, said it is most likely that the NBOC will make the proclamations on Wednesday.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100607hed1.html

Don’t blame Gloria, Palace says on FoI bill’s demise By Aytch S. de la Cruz 06/07/2010

Don’t blame Gloria, Palace says on FoI bill’s demise

By Aytch S. de la Cruz

The Palace was busy yesterday fending off blame on President Arroyo for the failure of the Freedom of Information (FoI) to pass on the last day of session of the House of Representatives due to lack of quorum as a spokesman for Arroyo remarked that the allegations were a “sad commentary” on the habit of Arroyo’s critics to blame everything on her.

The four Arroyos in the House, the president’s sons Representatives Diosdado Arroyo and Juan Miguel Arroyo, the president’s brother-in-law Rep. Ignacio Arroyo and sister-in-law Rep. Ma. Lourdes Arroyo, were, however, all noticeably absent during the House’s last day of session. 

In a press statement sent to reporters through electronic mail, deputy presidential spokesman Gary Olivar said the recent demise of the FoI bill was a “sad commentary” on the character of Arroyo’s long-time critics who, he said, have made it their life’s work to blame her “for everything wrong under the sun, short of El Niño and La Niña.”
“Was it she (Arroyo) who failed to muster a quorum of 135, even if the bill reportedly had 180 cosponsors? And wasn’t it she who proved her commitment to press freedom a while back by opposing, almost all by herself, the Right to Reply Bill?” Olivar argued.

Press Undersecretary Rogelio Peyuan, meanwhile, insisted that Malacañang was not remiss in its duty in reminding congressmen to deliberate upon this bill before they close the regular sessions.

“I would like to remind each and everyone that the Palace, in several occasions in the past, has been calling for the members of the Congress and for them to know that we are in support of that bill. So I think it would be very unfair if they will be accusing that the President did not do enough. Palace has been endorsing the passage of the bill for a long, long time,” Peyuan asserted.
The FoI bill has been pending in the House for fourteen long years and contrary to Malacañang’s claims, it was not listed as among President Arroyo’s eight priority bills during her administration as announced by erstwhile Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita earlier this year.

Her spokesmen, however, insisted that it was also Arroyo’s desire to have the FoI bill ratified.

“I don’t think that we were too late in all the moves. It so happens that I suppose everybody has been busy during the entire electoral campaign period and that they have a lot of other agenda also in the House, I understand. But the Palace was never remiss in its duty to endorse and support the bill in so many occasions that it has made its pronouncements or statements before the public,” Peyuan stressed.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100607hed2.html

Bangit question: GMA’s great conundrum before she leaves By Angie Rosales, and Mario Mallari 06/07/2010

Bangit question: GMA’s great conundrum before she leaves

By Angie Rosales, and Mario Mallari

He may have the stars but he won’t shine, for now or forever.

Shortly after his ad interim appointment had lapsed, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Delfin Bangit risks “floating” as a four-star general should presump-tive president apparent Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino consider his own man for the post the moment he takes his oath on June 30.

Such a fate now hangs over the head of Bangit, who was recently promoted by outgoing President Arroyo from the rank of three-star general shortly after naming him Chief of Staff, succeeding Lt. Gen. Victor Ibrado only last March. 

Bangit served as Arroyo’s Presidential Security Group chief before he was named Chief of Staff. He was also believed as one of the four military generals mentioned in the taped Hello Garci scandal that marred the re-election of Arroyo in 2004.

With his temporary appointment lapsing with the adjournment of Congress, Bangit’s case has created sort of a bedlam in future appointments by the incoming administration, especially in the case of the Chief of Staff.

Should Aquino snub Bangit, he will sink into a “floating status” as a four-star general without an assignment. But Aquino could no longer appoint another four-star general, even if he names a three-star general as his Chief of Staff, as under the law, only one could become a four-star general at a given time, and that the highest military rank is usually reserved for the Chief of Staff.

It is also unlikely Bangit will give up his four-star rank. 

AFP spokesman Lt. Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., stressed Bangit and several other top military officials will not resign despite the recent CA decision to let his appointment expire. He said resignation in the military is viewed as “cowardice”.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100607hed3.html

Ex-ARMM gov wants new prosecutors to handle murder raps By Benjamin B. Pulta 06/07/2010

Ex-ARMM gov wants new prosecutors to handle murder raps

By Benjamin B. Pulta

Detained former Auto-nomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Zaldy “Datu Puti” Ampa-tuan wants a new panel of prosecutors to handle the multiple murder charges againts him in connection with the gruesome mas-sacre of 57 persons in Maguindanao in November last year.

In a nine-page motion, defense lawyer Redemberto Villanueva sought to disqualify the prosecution panel led by Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon.

The panel had challAenged acting Justice Secretary Alberto Agra’s April 16 resolution initially dismissing the charges against Zaldy and fellow accused, Datu Akhmad “Tato” Ampatuan Sr. allegedly due to insufficiency of evidence against the two.

Villanueva also asked that a new panel be constituted who will handle the prosecution of his criminal cases, which are now pending in different courts.

“The actions of the members of the said panel did not only show their penchant to disobey lawful authority but also betrayed their personal predilection on the merits of the said case, insofar as accused Zaldy and Akhmad are concerned,” he said.

Villanueva was referring to the panel’s action on April 19 publicly denouncing Agra’s resolution and walking out of their offices afterwards.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100607hed4.html

Maldives frees 7 Pinoys as farewell gift to retiring RP envoy 06/07/2010

Maldives frees 7 Pinoys as farewell gift to retiring RP envoy


As a gesture of goodwill and as a farewell gift to a retiring Philippine ambassador, Presi-dent Mohamed Nasheed of Maldives has ordered the release of the seven overseas Filipino workers incarcerated in Maafushi Prison.

The seven Filipinos, who were working in the hospitality industry in Maldives, pleaded guilty to credit card theft and fraud and sentenced to 25 years in prison in February 2009.

President Nasheed informed Ambassador to Bangladesh Zenaida Tacorda-Rabago, who is also non-resident envoy to Maldives and Sri Lanka, during her farewell call last month.

Rabago said the embassy has long been seeking avenues for their release or deportation through the
recently approved clemency law of Maldives which empowers the President to grant pardons to prisoners.

Rabago also reiterated the country’s request for support for its bid for Observer Status in the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to President Nasheed. 

The Maldivian President gladly obliged, and informed her that he will personally write the OIC Secretary-General of his country’s strong support.... MORE  

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100607hed5.html

Pangilinan formally declares bid for Senate presidency By Angie M. Rosales 06/07/2010

Pangilinan formally declares bid for Senate presidency

By Angie M. Rosales

The race to the Senate presidency is on officially. 

Sen. Francis Pangilinan yesterday said he was “serious” in his plan to seek the seat currently occupied by Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, the upper chamber leader, formally declaring his bid over radio which is expected to be challenged by the camp of losing presidential candidate Manny Villar, himself a former Senate president.

In an inter-view over at dzRH yesterday, Pangi-linan claimed some senators have already pledged their support to his bid for the Senate top post. 

He, however, failed to mention names.

Other than Pangilinan, also said to be interested in the Senate presidency are Senators Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Villar Jr. and returning member, Senator-elect Franklin Drilon, Pangilinan’s partymate with the Liberals.

Pangilinan said he had discussed the matter with Drilo and have agreed to field in only one candidate.
Three other senators complete the LP bloc – returning members Ralph Recto and Sergio Osmena II and neophyte member, Senator-elect Teofisto Guingona III.

Pangilinan vowed to get the support of his colleagues to enable him to muster the needed 13 votes.

It is not clear yet whom between Pangilinan and Drilon will be field by the LP.

In another development, Sen. Edgardo Angara is seeking the creation of a legal body to govern political parties, which is seen as a tool to stem “turncoatism” among politicians.

“We have seen issues between feuding members within and among political parties. Now that the elections are over and we are ready for a new government, it is also time to move on and put in place, as preparation for future elections, a better political party system that is governed with stable mandates,” he said..... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100607hed6.html

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