we saw the above tweet by philippine daily inquirer this morning. the strong coffee we were drinking was no match to that tweet waking us up.
first thing that popped in my mind was – “what? wow is roxas that rich that he will ‘give P4B to survivors’?”. i thought roxas would be the biggest individual donor to yolanda survivors. i thought roxas deserves a monument with his P4B donation to yolanda survivors.
i immediately clicked the PDI (philippine daily inquirer) link to read the full article and this was what we found out – contrary to the headline of the article, the P4B that “roxas will give to survivors” is not coming from his own pocket but actually from the government.
that headline surely and very strongly communicated the P4B was coming from mar roxas’ own pocket not from any government fund or government project.
the words said it (“Roxas to give P4B for survivors“) and not only that the lead-in to the headline also reinforced it – “Christmas in Lent”. that lead-in clearly says it is like some christmas present that roxas is giving to the survivors.
(full article here : http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/593735/christmas-in-lent-roxas-to-give-p4b-for-survivors)
all that of course is incorrect. in fact the whole article talked about the funds coming from government funds. there was nothing at all in the article where it said it will come from the personal funds of roxas but all of it from the government.
it feels like two different people handled this article – the person who wrote the article is a different person who wrote the headline.
The P4 billion is apart from the almost P1.8 billion in rehabilitation funds that the government has started distributing to typhoon-stricken cities and municipalities in three regions in the Visayas, Roxas said at an orientation seminar on the Recovery Assistance on Yolanda here.
so what happened there?
we think the misleading headline is the result of some PR work from Mar Roxas for the 2016 presidential campaign. the roxas campaign was able to get to the PDI reporter and/or the PDI desk editor on this one. often, the desk editor is the one responsible for writing the headlines for articles submitted by field reporters to the “desk”. the desk editor also has the prerogative to rewrite or add things to the article from the original that reporters write.
it is either the roxas PR team got to them or the PDI writer and/or desk editor somehow found it smart to write a misleading headline on their own. of course the first part is speculation on our part and perhaps even the second one too.
to be fair the PDI is one of the most if not the most difficult to do PR work with. they are very independent will write and publish what they want regardless of who it is trying to influence them.
we suspect that this was PR spin for two reasons – (a) the framing of the fund release is highly suspect, it was being framed as like a christmas gift (“christmas in lent”) and (b) “roxas giving P4B” is an idea that is not at all in the article. it does feel very much that the one who wrote the article is not the same person who wrote the headline.
on the first one, the closest that to the framing of a “christmas gift” was what roxas said was this which was in the article:
“Advance Happy Easter. May you spend your money wisely to help your [constituents],” Roxas told local officials of Capiz as he handed over more than P200 million in rehabilitation aid for his home province.
roxas mentioned “happy easter” but somehow the framing morphed into a “christmas gift”. “framing of messages” to favor or skew the message to a particular person or group is typically done by PR practitioners, not editors of newspapers. in this one, it is obvious the effort was meant for the benefit of mar roxas.
the other part of this is that we think saying the money is some kind of “gift” we feel is very insulting and degrading to the survivors. gifts, specially christmas gifts are a happy occasion and a source of joy, something that is given willingly. these funds are not at all in that context, the funds for the rehabilitation of destroyed properties of people. the people suffered and lost a lot. this is being received as a gift in the context of Christmas joy, it is aid or help to the misery that the people had to endure and are still enduring.
we understand mar roxas has plans to run for president in 2016 and by the looks of it the campaign period has already started with efforts already being done by his main competitor, vice president binay.
with that we also understand that there should now be PR efforts for the presdinetiables, but we think this kind of PR effort for the presdientiable mar roxas is very much misplaced and incorrect from a marketing and political campaign point of view.
if we are right about this being spin for the mar roxas campaing, then we think the campaign has not developed and is not following a strategic plan for the roxas campaign. that is a very dangerous lack and can hurt the presdientiable roxas.
SC upholds RH Law
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Voting unanimously, the Supreme Court upheld yesterday Republic Act No. 10354 or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act, but struck down certain provisions.
In summer session here, justices of the high court voted to declare unconstitutional eight provisions in the controversial law and in its implementing rules and regulations (IRR).
Voided were portions of Section 7 of the law, which require private hospitals owned by religious groups to refer patients to other health facilities and allow minors suffering miscarriage access to modern family planning methods without the consent of their parents.
The SC also struck down Section 17, which requires healthcare providers to grant free services to indigent women as prerequisite to securing PhilHealth accreditation.
Also voided were provisions in Section 23 penalizing health workers who fail or refuse to disseminate information on RH programs regardless of his or her religious beliefs, or those who refuse to refer non-emergency patients to another facility regardless of religious beliefs, or public officials who refuse to support RH programs regardless of his or her religion.
Also branded as unconstitutional is a provision in the IRR allowing married individuals not in an emergency or life-threatening case to undergo RH procedures without the consent of their spouses.
The high court also declared unconstitutional Section 3 of the law’s IRR, which defined “abortifacient” as only contraceptives that “primarily” induce abortion.
The magistrates, who came up with 10 different opinions, voted differently on these provisions.
But except for the eight provisions, all 15 justices voted to declare “not unconstitutional” all other provisions questioned in the consolidated petitions.
The SC did not use the term “constitutional” in deciding on the legality of the RH Law, saying it used the double negative term since the constitutionality of the assailed law was assumed in the case.
The grounds used by the high court in making the decision, however, were not immediately known as copies of the ruling as well as those of separate opinions had not yet been released.
Associate Justice Jose Mendoza penned the decision, while Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno wrote her separate opinion in Filipino.
read the SC decision here : http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/microsite/rhlaw/
in a tweet, the supreme court had an explanation on the double negative in their decision of the RH Law being ” not unconstitutional as follows (http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1s1attl ) :
* The formulation that uses the double negative “not unconstitutional” is peculiar to constitutional adjudication and is premised on the presumption that all laws are presumed to be constitutional and the burden of showing that a law is unconstitutional is on the petitioner. Failing that burden, the declaration is in the double negative—“not unconstitutional.” To assert that it is “constitutional” would presume that the law operates on a starting point of unconstitutionality, which is not the situation; also to declare that a law is “constitutional” connotes a degree of permanent immutability, i.e., that the law can never be declared unconstitutional.
the main decision, read it here:
today at rappler.com headline article was the supposed presidential run of senator peter alan cayetano whose preparations has started, beginning with forming a team, assigning a foreign strategist and and monitoring media.
this is early preparation considering that the next presidential election is still in 2016, a good 2 years from now.
preparing early for the election, even 2 years ahead of time we think is a good thing. the presidential election is the most major political campaign anyone can run in any country.
hilary clinton resigned her post as secretary of state last year which we think is a move in preparation for her own presidential run also in 2016. clinton quitting her high profile position in government was the right thing to do – she quit on a high note, she succeeded very well in that job and not being there now will mean she will not make mistakes and hurt her run when it gets close to the elections. she will also distance herself and keep her slate clean from any political issues that might crop up close to the election and those that might crop up during the balance of the obama administration that she might or might not support, specially those she might take up issue against during the election.
no such kind of preparation for cayetano but forming his team now to look into ir or to pave the way for a presidential is similar in intent to that of clinton’s.
we have no issues with doing early preparation, like forming a team, for cayetano’s presidential ambitions, we have issues with the move being announced or made known to the public.
the public includes his current and future political opponents, specially those who also have plans of running for president. these are his competitors, telegraphing his intentions to them now means his opponents can monitor him, make plans against him or worse make him a target of a political demolition job.
in marketing and advertising, you never, ever tell your competitors what your plans are specially for the future. marketing and advertising companies keep these plans and moves a total secret from competitors. things like codes, secret meetings and confidentiality clauses are made to make sure no information gets out to competition.
the worry is competition might execute preemptive moves. marketing and advertising moves that will preempt your moves and thus render your moves useless, prevent you from doing yours or weaken your efforts.
in marketing and advertising, preemptive moves against a competitor could be things like run a price-off promotion to get to lead the consumers with your products to prevent them from trying your new product; increase media weights of ads to drown out your launch efforts and even launch a competitive product similar to yours.
these preemptive moves have been done before in marketing and advertising and they can be done in similar ways in a presidential run.
the most obvious way to preempt cayetano’s presidential plans is to a demolition job on cayetano. his opponents may make every single mistake, even small ones a national issue. when this is done, cayetano will need to spend a lot of time answering them rather than building a case for his presidency.
we think this announcement is a tactical error on the part of cayetano.
there are many things that can be done now by cayetano that his team can do. there can be obvious ones and those kept secret and out of view from voters and his opponents. what he needs to do is develop a strategy and plan for this effort with very clear goals and assessment points.
announcing to the public his plans to run is not one of them.
read rappler.com article here : http://www.rappler.com/nation/51787-cayetano-eyes-2016-presidency
the pork barreal scam or the PDAF scam has taken a large portion of the country’s attention in the past months. since it was first published as headline news on the front pages of Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), it has stayed and not left the consciousness of the nation.
if at all, it the issue has even grown from just the PDAF to now the DAP which while very different from each other, the DAP has taken the same sinister image of the PDAF.
corruption has once again become the number 1 issue among the people and the PDAF is the one and only poster boy for it, the DAP following closely.
the pork barrel in all its forms, in all its systems in whatever set of letters it gets resurrected into should be abolished :
1. The PDAF is a duplication of what line agencies and LGUs (local government units) are mandated to do. Line agencies like the DSWD (social welfare), DOH (health) and DPWH (public works) and others perform the same function as what the PDAF funds are “claimed” to be used for. LGUs are the elected local officials like the governor, mayor and barangay officials who are primarily responsible for day to day life in the barangays.
The PDAF are spent on the same projects and programs that line agencies and LGUs already have or are supposed to do.
2. The legislative branch of the government, House of Representatives (congressmen) and the Senate (senators) have a specific role as mandated by the constitution – they write the laws of the land, not perform the function of the line agencies and LGUs. It is the reason why they are called “lawmakers” or legislators, not government agency or local government executives.
Some legislators defend the PDAF on the basis of them “representing” their specific constituents and therefore are in a better position to know what the needs of their localities.
That thinking is infirm in two points – the lawmakers are the representatives of their localities in lawmaking, not in daily life improvements and needs which the line agencies and the LGUs perform on a daily basis.
The LGUs who actually live and serve right in the localities of the barangays are better if not as fully equipped as the lawmakers are in knowing what is needed by the constituents.
3. The PDAF institutes and nurtures the padrino system or the politics of patronage between the president of the country and the lawmakers. The control and disbursement of the PDAF has several gatekeepers. The first gatekeeper is the president who through the DBM allocates the amounts among the lawmakers and approves the projects which the PDAF fund will pay for. This system makes the lawmakers beholden to the president for his PDAF. The lawmaker may feel the need to please the president if not not go against the president and bend his principles on questions of legislation so that the president will return the favor and release his PDAF. The lawmaker might vote in favor of legislation not on its merits but just so to buy favor from the president. In fact some legislators have admitted as much on it where it apparently was rampant during the arroyo administration.
The president may also use the release of the PDAF as a bargaining chip to force lawmakers to go his way. This in fact has been one of the rumors during the impeachment trial of the Supreme Court chief justice where lawmakers who were not supportive of the impeachment charged their PDAF was being put on hold or its release delayed by the president.
4. The same padrino system and politics of patronage is also being instituted and nurtured between the lawmakers and voters. Unfortunately, it has been a habit of Pinoy voters to ask money from their lawmakers for their emergency needs like money for sickness or death for example. The lawmaker who gives them the money expects that the voter to whom he gives his money to will vote for him in the next election. At the same time, to ensure getting the money, the voter who receives the money promises to vote for the lawmaker.
We often here voters admit that they vote for a certain candidate and also campaign for the candidate among his/her friends and relatives because the specific congressman has “helped” him with his financial emergencies.
When this happens, the voter votes for the candidate not for his skills or record but because he was given money by the candidate.
5. Lawmakers have used the PDAF like their own re-election campaign fund. The PDAF is taxpayers money but the lawmakers have used it like it is their personal fund that they can use in any which way they want to, including getting them reelected.
Epal politics, where elected officials put their names and faces on ambulances, waiting sheds and buildings evolved from the PDAF. Epal politics make it appear that these came from them, like they spent their own money on them while in truth these are from their PDAF which are taxpayers money.
6. As shown in the most recent pork barrel scam that is occupying the minds of the nation, the PDAF is the petri dish for corruption. It has been used by the lawmakers to amass wealth for themselves with the help of a citizen like Janet Napoles.
Based on news reports, the money stolen by the lawmakers and Napoles is at minimum P10B! and this is just the initial report. there should be more to be revealed.
People see the PDAF is cancer itself that has invaded the pinoy soul. While most of us are not involved in it nor are the beneficiaries of it, we see it now as affecting our lives in a very major and negative way. It is very painful to hear our government leaders talk or complain about not having enough funds to hire more competent people to do the work, for facilities and equipment in government hospitals, or not enough bridges and roads and many other things lacking and yet now we know at least P10B of taxpayers’ money may have been siphoned off to the pockets of lawmakers and individuals.
We see more than corruption here, we also see grave injustice, the type that tarnishes the soul of the nation. To cleanse it, the PDAF needs to be abolished. maybe starting from a clean zero state will help us rebuild our souls.
Via Aurora Pijuan
Dear Ms. Constancia “Nene” Lichauco
We believe you will be running for the Chairmanship of Barangay Bel-Air again. It is fair to expect that you will run on a platform of governance that is not only efficient but one of TRANSPARENTCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY. Indeed, it is only then that you invest the Chairmanship with the trust it deserves.
We, your constituents, are proud of our Barangay being among the wealthiest villages. Our annual budget approaches P200 million, derived from our share in Real Property Taxes (RPT), clearances, IRA, Community Tax Certificate (CTC) payments and other miscellaneous sources such as interest from investments and payment of IDs.
You will then understand why our Barangay affairs and interests concern us.
Of late, we had been bothered by the Manila Times three-article series written by Assignments Editor, Joel M. Sy Egco, posted at http://manilatimes.net/graft-bel-air-style/34329/ (August 28, 2013, 11:00 pm).
Those articles said that criminal and administrative cases have been filed against you and other respondents for having allegedly committed various acts involving millions of Barangay funds that violated:
1. RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) Sec. 3 (e) by giving undue advantage to Two Chefs “through evident bad faith, manifest partiality or, at the very least, through gross inexcusable negligence.
2. Revised Penal Code, Article 171, paragraph 4 (falsification by public officer/employee by making untruthful statements in a narration of facts) when you issued the Price Canvass reports, Abstract of Canvass and Award, Purchase request “which showed that a personal canvass was conducted for the purpose of securing a service contract when in fact there was none.”
3. Revised Penal Code, Article 171, paragraph 4 “when she signed the service contract stating that she is authorized to act in behalf of the barangay when in fact there is no showing from the records that she is indeed authorized.”
4. RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) Sec. 3 (h), which prohibits officials from “directly or indirectly having financial or pecuniary interest in any business, contract or transaction in connection with which he intervenes or takes part in his official capacity, or in which he is prohibited by the Constitution or by any law from having any interest.”
We cannot help but wonder at the veracity of these articles as they seem to have been based on the findings of the Commission on Audit (COA) branch in Makati City and of Associate Graft Investigative Officer 3 Janice O. Baltazar of the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Office (FIO), which have been extensively quoted.
Associate Graft Investigative Officer 3 Janice O. Baltazar was even quoted as saying the respondents, including you, “could be liable for serious dishonesty, grave misconduct, falsification of official document and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service under the rules of the Civil Service Commission.”
It was also disturbing to read from the articles that the favoured food provider that had been doing business with our Barangay officials for years, Two Chefs Corp., ‘was’ owned by your daughter-in-law, Patricia Warren. Perhaps it still is?
The articles have it that Two Chefs Corp. was SEC-registered “in October 1996, with a capital stock of only P10,000” and “the Lichaucos are listed as the original incorporators. Four of them —Francisco Jr., Ma. Theresa, German and Ma. Liza—have the same home address, 17 Aquarius St., Bel-Air” the same address as yours, we believe.
The articles also suggest — and the COA & Ombudsman seem to support it — that the services offered by your daughter-in-law’s Two Chefs Corporation “were more expensive, if not more blatantly illegal, since the money used to pay the contracts came from your own discretionary funds.” In particular, the articles say, the “bulk of the discretionary fund that was released to the barangay chieftain would represent payment to Two Chefs Corp. in the amount of P404,560” as shown in the “Summary of Expenses for the month of April & May 2003” which you yourself supposedly “noted”, apparently in reference to “several meetings of the Pasinaya committee, dancers, choir and rehearsals between April 4 and May 25.”
The articles also pointed the following:
“ …a Land Bank check for P547 million and bearing account number 000052-1309-05 was issued to “CONSTANCIA Q. LICHAUCO.”
The article also said that what is odd in this transaction is that under the “Summary of Expenses for the month of April & May 2003” that was approved by Lindo and “noted” by Lichauco herself, bulk of the discretionary fund that was released to the barangay chieftain would represent payment to Two Chefs Corp. in the amount of P404,560.
Moreover, the article claims, you allegedly paid Two Chefs ( Patricia Warren Lichauco) P280T for a “fake Assembly,” to wit:
On December 28, 2006, Lichauco again requested the approval of ROA No. 00-61-376 representing payment of P280,000 to Two Chefs for “foods served on official activities.”
Finally, did you really allow “flying” voters to cast their ballots in your precinct? The Manila Times articles claim that “another set of documents shows that 42 other people are listed as residents in Lichauco’s house on 17 Aquarius Street, Bel-Air.” All the names are listed in the article, including that of Roberto Orendain Gaa, a priest. If you were surpirsed to learn about this, as a governemnt ofificial, what did you do about it?
And how true is it that even our Barangay Hall at 40 Solar Street serves as the registered home address to 30 other voters? Since when was the barangay office a residence? The articles also have a list of their names.
We would appreciate hearing the truth from you. We wish you no ill will, but we wish these concerns to be addressed so that our votes would not be frustrated. And they will be frustrated if we re-elect you, only to see you removed by the Courts for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and The Revised Penal Code.
You Barangay Bel-Air Constituents