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Noynoy Aquino – the problem solver we can trust

May 7, 2010 6 comments

BENIGNO SIMEON C. AQUINO III : What’s important is I see problem and solve it
By Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer

(Editor’s Note: The presidential profiles will be running in no particular order but as the stories come in from our reporters in the field.)

(Eighth of a series)

MANILA, Philippines—He looked more like a cockfighter’s kristo—a bet caller —than a presidential candidate as he waved a fistful of paper notes with one hand and held up the back of his sliding Paddock’s jeans with the other in a late-night rally in Zamboanga City whose size could rival that of an Eraserheads’ reunion concert.

With his thinning hair, stooped shoulders and awkward gait, Sen. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III could not care less about his looks in a campaign where he faces the most expensive political bid ever mounted in the Philippines and one of the most vicious personal attacks against a presidential candidate in history.

In the course of the 90-day campaign, Aquino has proven that looks, and a person’s biodata, can be deceiving.

Put down by his critics at the start of the campaign as “walang alam”—a know-nothing—just like his late widowed mother who dared to challenge a brilliant but ruthless dictator in 1986, the 50-year-old Aquino has surprised a lot of his cynics with his self-confidence, keen grasp of major issues, and his diligence in doing his homework before facing the media and other organizations.

His opponents claimed that he would be unmasked in the presidential debates, but Aquino appeared intelligent, well-prepared and poised in these forums and was never the one to pass up on answering a thorny issue such as the Hacienda Luisita case and doubts on his state of mental health. He was modest, warm, folksy and appreciative when meeting people in motorcades and town rallies far from the cold and snotty hacendero he was pictured to be by his foes.

“He has grown before our eyes in the campaign and proved himself worthy as our next president. I never saw this side of Noy before, because he always looked ordinary to me being the son of a martyr and democracy’s saint,” said Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, an adviser to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a strategist of the administration candidate Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro until a month ago, and a classmate of Aquino at Ateneo de Manila University.

“He has earned and gained a stature that is his own and has shown his mettle under pressure and amidst criticisms from his opponents. It was actually there all along and I have seen it up close, but I guess it’s only now that he is given the opportunity to show it to people other than his close friends,” said Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, who backed out of the presidential race and has openly campaigned for Aquino’s election.

Trustworthy

Ramon del Rosario Jr., chair of the Makati Business Club, was surprised at how Aquino had weathered all the challenges in the campaign and remained as the leading candidate heading into the elections.

“I first met Noy in 1986 and I think he demonstrated throughout the campaign his leadership qualities, honesty, maturity, consistency and to take principled positions. He will be a strong, trustworthy president,” Del Rosario said.

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manny villar : poverty can be eliminated

May 6, 2010 2 comments

MANUEL B. VILLAR: It’s not impossible to end poverty

By Michael Lim Ubac, Nikko Dizon
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 05:32:00 05/06/2010

(Editor’s Note: The presidential profiles will be running in no particular order but as the stories come in from our reporters in the field.)

(Seventh of a series)

MANILA, Philippines—From selling seafood in Divisoria to leading the two chambers of the Philippine Congress, the boy from Moriones in Tondo, Manila, now wants to reside in Malacañang.

“Is it difficult to think that a poor fellow can also become President of the Philippines?” Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Sen. Manuel Villar asks rhetorically during his campaign rallies all over the country.

The real estate magnate and lone billionaire in the presidential derby shuns long introductions and quickly reminds the crowds about his humble beginnings in Tondo—once home to the Smokey Mountain dump, which in the 1980s became the symbol of crippling poverty in the country.

Critics, however, question his rags-to-riches story to the point of digging up his family income in the 1960s, which they say was of middle-class standards at the time. They sneer even at his campaign jingle: Did he really swim in a “sea of garbage” as a kid? Was Manila that filthy back then?

More recently, he denied wrongdoing and dismissed as mere politicking allegations that he pressured stock market officials in 2007 to bend trading rules and let him rake in earnings that now form part of his campaign kitty.

Brown ‘taipan’

Still, this “brown taipan” has attracted the biggest crowds in the presidential race—thanks largely to the “concert” troupe he brings along when touring major cities. Attendance in a Davao City rally last month, for instance, was pegged at 120,000, despite heavy rains, according to police estimates.

In his public addresses, Villar seems to stress that, for all his affluence, he should not be counted among the country’s Old Rich oligarchs. In fact, he considers their perennial lock on the country’s economic and political power as a hurdle to his antipoverty vision. (Insiders in the Villar camp say he has fully calculated the risks of making such statements.)

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nicanor perlas – good governance and beyond

May 5, 2010 Leave a comment

NICANOR P. PERLAS: New governance goes beyond gov’t

 By DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 04:03:00 05/05/2010

(Editor’s Note: The presidential profiles will be running in no particular order but as the stories come in from our reporters in the field.)

(Sixth of a series)

MANILA, Philippines—“My first lady is the Philippines, Inang Bayan,” independent presidential candidate Nicanor Jesus Perlas III wrote on his Twitter account, “InaNickofTime,” on April 10.

But Perlas, who is separated from his American wife, did not type the “status update” himself. He had only relayed the message to a staffer via text message.

These days, Perlas hardly gets any time on the Internet like he used to, busy as he is traipsing across the country to woo voters in a no-frills campaign that runs on a budget of P4 million. The last time he checked his e-mail was “four to six weeks ago.”
But some habits are hard to break, even for the 60-year-old Perlas, a health buff who doesn’t smoke, drink and eat red meat.

He still tries to get at least five hours of sleep despite a hectic schedule and even if it means dozing off in the airport, his car or wherever his itinerary brings him. “I make sure (I get) no less than five hours of sleep,” he said, although he admitted that this was getting harder and harder to keep up.

For breakfast, he gets something light and fruity, like one Friday morning, when he started his day with a yogurt banana shake with a honey-calamansi-coconut juice drink on the side.

His main source of protein is fish. “No pork, beef or chicken for me,” he said.

When in the city, he stays in the Ortigas flat of his 20-year-old son Christopher Michael, a business management student at De La Salle University. Two years ago, he parted ways “by mutual, respectful and friendly agreement” with his wife Kathryn Carpenter, a teacher.

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erap estrada – the president who will finish plans for the poor

May 4, 2010 9 comments

JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA: I want to finish my plans for the poor

By Norman Bordadora
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 04:43:00 05/04/2010

(Editor’s Note: The presidential profiles will be running in no particular order but as the stories come in from our reporters in the field.)

(Fifth of a series)

MANILA, Philippines—On a humid night in Tuguegarao City, where the earlier daytime temperature reportedly hit a sweltering 39 degrees Celsius, a crowd of around 5,000 came to see him and didn’t seem to mind the heat building up inside the Cagayan Sports Complex.

At 73 and even with a drawl, former President Joseph Estrada could still make multitudes hang on to his every word—whether it leads to a litany over what he maintained to be his “unlawful” ouster and conviction for plunder, or to one of his so-called “Eraptions.”

That night, he deftly combined both: “My beloved mother once told me, ‘what’s with you, Joseph? You didn’t finish your studies. You didn’t finish your presidency. Now, even your (jail) sentence, you didn’t finish.’”

The audience composed mostly of farmers, workers and vendors lapped it all up, their hearty laughter turning into cheers and chants of “Erap! Erap! Erap!”

But after delivering the punch line to full effect, Estrada shifted moods and made the follow-through in all earnest: “And so I promised her that time that I will finish the programs that I started for the Filipino masses.”

The scene had become a hallmark of almost every Estrada sortie since the former multi-awarded actor embarked on what could be his ultimate sequel: To regain the presidency after a disgraceful fall from power.

In between wisecracks, the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) standard-bearer would remind listeners that people didn’t have to form long lines for rations of rice during his abbreviated tenure in Malacañang, unlike during that of his predecessor Fidel V. Ramos or his successor Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

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presidentiables stand on how they will generate jobs

May 2, 2010 3 comments

 

source: http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/talkofthetown/view/20100501-267548/How-theyll-generate-jobs

How they’ll generate jobs 
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:13:00 05/01/2010

FILIPINOS CONTINUE TO LEAVE FOR JOBS OVERSEAS. THERE ARE SIMPLY not enough jobs available in the country. While remittances help keep the economy afloat, the social costs of a parent or spouse working abroad are huge. A bright spot is the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, which has absorbed tens of thousands of college graduates. But the BPO sector benefits mostly the middle class. It is closed to the poor who have less education. A big number of Filipinos are unemployed or underemployed or have simply given up hope of finding a job. How the next administration will address the unemployment problem can be gleaned from the answers of the presidential candidates to the following questions:

How will you generate jobs? What policies and programs will you pursue to create jobs?
What kind of jobs will be generated under your administration? What sectors, industries?
Will you encourage the export of labor?

Benigno Aquino III
Liberal Party

THE NO. 1 ITEM IN OUR PLATform is job generation. The theory is we could increase the quality and remuneration of jobs available here. It might not match those in other countries but with the added benefit of having your family and you are a first-class citizen here. We might have enough people who will decide to stay.

We want something like (US President Franklin) Roosevelt’s job creation program—building schools or public works projects with a big labor bias. If the project will not be delayed and it’s OK cost-wise, then we will choose a labor-intensive program.

We have so many areas that have a big potential like the BPO sector, IT and agriculture, particularly post-harvest production. Agriculture can be subdivided [into subsectors]. There are also many others that have not been exploited like fruits, [which can be processed into] fruit juices.

My understanding of the law is that the state cannot make it a policy to export our workers. Nevertheless, I want to make sure that the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and our embassies and consulates really help all our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

A very significant portion of the population are OFWs outside the country. So the main point is that if they leave, it’s because they want to and not because they have to.
Interview by Philip Tubeza

 

JC de los Reyes
Ang Kapatiran

WORK IS A WAY OF FULFILLing part of our human potential given to us by God. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers, owners and managers must be respected—the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to organize and join unions, to economic initiative, and to ownership and private property.

Ang Kapatiran shall ensure rapid and sustained economic growth for sustainable poverty reduction and better quality of life for all by:

Reviewing and rationalizing all outstanding public debts and limiting future government borrowings within the growth level of our exports or GDP;

Raising private and public savings rates to increase total investment rate;

Enhancing investments in human resource development, especially by strengthening education in the sciences, mathematics, engineering and English;

Streamlining government bureaucracy to reduce personnel expenditures;

Drastically improving tax administration and revenue collection;

Abolishing laws, rules and regulations that give government revenue personnel the discretion to allow or disallow certain deductions or exemptions;

Prioritizing agricultural development to attain a high degree of self-sufficiency by encouraging productivity through the introduction of new technologies and support-infrastructure;

Creating microfinance and other credit facilities for small enterprises by harnessing OFW remittances and more exports for economic development;

Encouraging livelihood through the formation of cooperatives and other small enterprises and development programs to alleviate poverty in the grassroots level;

Implementing the agrarian reform program;

Promoting industrialization by encouraging the expansion of useful industries, including telecommunications and information technology;

Attaining a stable balance of trade by encouraging the development of new export products and improving existing ones.

In summary, Ang Kapatiran shall work for a “job-filled society”—industrialization for the economic well-being of all, agricultural development, microfinance and other credit facilities for small- and medium-enterprises, and positive investment climate to reverse the outflow of OFWs.
Interview by Jerome Aning

 

Joseph Estrada
Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino

WE WILL GET RID OF THE secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the New People’s Army (NPA). So we will start developing the countryside. Right now, the government cannot develop the countryside.

In the early ’50s and ’60s, informal settlers or squatters were concentrated in Metro Manila. Today, in all urban areas, there are squatters because the countryside remains undeveloped. There’s the NPA. In Mindanao, there’s the MILF.

We will concentrate on services and agriculture to generate jobs. When there’s peace and order, there’ll no longer be [adverse] travel advisories from other countries. We will improve our tourism.

We cannot stop the export of labor soon. Maybe within two to three years. It will take time to generate jobs. Like for example, during my time, if you will remember we planned to change the economic provisions of the Constitution so that we can generate jobs.

We will allow foreigners to own land here except agricultural land. If we allow foreigners to own land they can compete with our local realtors and once (they own land) they will develop that. Once they develop that, it will generate jobs.
Interview by Norman Bordadora

 

Richard Gordon
Bagumbayan

WE HAVE NATURAL TRAITS and skills for tourism. We can be the beach capital of the world. We have enough airports already. Our problem is we have to do some policy on certain airports to be declared “open skies.” Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam have open skies.

The educational system is producing many hotel and restaurant management graduates. That is the future. Because of the tourism law which I authored, we can now invite more investors to build establishments without overtaxing the environment.

We can spread out hotels. Tourists will not want to go to Boracay every year. They want to go to new destinations. Our graduates can be tuned into tourism and entrepreneurship. But our education must also leapfrog to information technology. So you will want more software development.

We may have to export labor for a while, but we will encourage enhancing labor skills. I am not going to send a maid. I am going to send a governess. There is a value added.

We also have to make sure that we harness savings instead of encouraging a consumption-based economy. We will have a provident fund in which we are able to raise money from the savings of our overseas workers. Professional people should run the fund as they do it in Singapore.
Interview by Edson C. Tandoc Jr.

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Presidential Aspirant Nicanor Perlas Calls for Election Postponement

April 17, 2010 1 comment

Independent presidential candidate Nicanor Perlas and the Partido ng Marangal na Sambayanan (PANGMASA) called for a postponement of the national elections by three months during the presidential forum of Listen Mindanao at the Holy Cross University in Davao City this morning.

Perlas who warned the public of the strong possiblity of an ‘electronic Garci’ two months ago, said, “There is no way of determing the real winners of the automated election within 48 hours as the Comelec announced. The way things are being handled by the Comelec, the automated system will be the black hole of the election. Pushing through with the May 10 elections will just further plunge the country into chaos that is potentially violent.”

Nicanor Perlas cited the admission of the Comelec to glitches by an estimated 30% of the machines which will result in a manual count. He also mentioned that the Comelec admitted in a forum that the winners will not be known within 48 hours due to the sheer number of candidates. Moreover, he added, that absentee voting in Hongkong recently was marred by a malfunctioning machine that jammed and rejected ballots and that there is likewise a call for the review of the indelible ink contract and bidding process.

Section 5 of the Omnibus Election Code and Rule 26 of Comelec’s Rules of Procedure allow the postponement of election for serious causes that prevent the holding of a free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible election.

“This election is suppose to resolve the legitimacy of the government that is under question due to the massive cheating and tampering of election results in 2004. But this is not going to happen the way Comelec’s preparations are going.The system is too complex. There are too many loopholes and too many changes even now with elections just three weeks away , that the electorate is not assured of a free, orderly and honest election.”, added Perlas.

Perlas in various presidential fora had earlier issued the warning of a repeat of the Garci scenario. “The probability is increasing every day for cheating facilitated by electronic devices. What will happen is that there may be an election but there will be failure of election.”, he stated. To avert such a failure, Perlas had proposed a manual count fall back option in a hybrid balloting, stating that even Germany and the Netherlands had scrapped automated elections after discovering that a high school student could hack the voting machines.

Nicanor Perlas is holding nationwide consultation and discussion with his supporters for possible actions in a failure of elections scenario.

Media Contact:

Cecille Ferrer(Media)-02-6345058/09178997603/09155336185
Tammy Dinopol(Campaign)-09209064793
Dave D’Angelo (PANGMASA)-09165450452

GMA has more than one presidential bet – Perlas

April 10, 2010 5 comments

Nicanor Perlas on an article published in “The Visayan Daily Star” revealed that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has clearly more than one presidential bet. He based this revelation based on the current developments and his rival candidates body language.

Independent presidential candidate Nicanor Perlas yesterday warned voters to be careful about whom they vote for because President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo “has more than one horse in the presidential race.”

“She is a survivor, she wants to survive,” Perlas said at a press conference at the Business Inn in Bacolod City.

“The May 2010 elections is not going to be an ordinary election, it can plunge us back to a legal form of martial law or dictatorship,” he said, if the people are not careful about whom they elect for president.

There are a number of presidential candidates who are allies of Arroyo, it is not just administration candidate Gilbert Teodoro, and it is up to the public to figure out who they are, Perlas, who was campaigning in Bacolod City, said.

“It is so clear in the presidential forums, just see who avoid the questions on what they will do to GMA if they become president. It is very clear from the answers who are aligned with her,” he said.

He said if a pro-Arroyo president and a majority of her allies running for seats in the Lower House win, she will be able to become speaker of the House and move towards a parliamentary form of government.

Read full article here http://www.visayandailystar.com/2010/April/06/topstory4.htm

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