Archive for June, 2009

BINAY ASKS MALACANANG: SHOW ACTUAL BENEFITS OF ARROYO’S FOREIGN TRAVELS

Posted in UNO Press Release with tags , , , , , , on June 29, 2009 by joselito capariño

PRESS RELEASE
JUNE 29 2009
REF: JOEY SALGADO

Makati Mayor and United Opposition (UNO) president Jejomar C. Binay said Malacanang should account for actual investment, development assistance and jobs generated by Mrs. Arroyo’s foreign travels since 2001.

Binay said the so-called fruits of  Mrs. Arroyo’s travels released by Malacanang was just a list of commitments and not actual benefits.

“Which of these commitments and pledges of development assistance were fulfilled? How many jobs were actually generated? How many Filipinos were actually employed in the countries she had visited?,” he said.

“Malacanang should give substance to their press releases. What they should provide are the actual benefits from her travels, not a convenient list of commitments and pledges,” he said.

“Government expenses are justified by the benefits they bring to the taxpayers. But until now, we have not seen any proof of concrete benefits from Mrs. Arroyo’s foreign travels. The only ones who seem to benefit from these travels are her family and personal assistants, not to mention scores of political allies and their families,” he said.

Binay cited the 2007 visit to China , when Malacanang said Mrs. Arroyo’s 12-hour trip netted investments totaling almost $1 billion.

“When Mrs. Arroyo arrived from her unscheduled visit to Boao , China to personally witness the signing of the NBN-ZTE deal, Malacanang was quick to announce that she brought home $904.38 million in investments,” he said.

“Where are those investments now? What we got was the scandal-ridden NBN-ZTE deal. Did the millions materialize in the Philippine economy or in the pockets of some very powerful personalities?,” he added.

He also said when Mrs. Arroyo returned from her unscheduled trip to Dubai , Malacanang rolled out a list of investment pledges and job openings.

“Again, what happened to those pledges and the supposed job openings?” he said.

Binay reminded the Palace that the recruitment industry is not upbeat about job prospects in the Middle East, particularly Dubai which has been badly hit by the financial crisis.

“Malacanang should be more prudent in their announcements, especially of job openings since they raise false hopes among many of our countrymen. As a result, they become easy prey to illegal recruiters and human traffickers, as what we have seen in the last few months,” he said.

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BINAY: ARROYO COULD BE UNSEATED LIKE HONDURAN PRESIDENT

Posted in UNO Press Release with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2009 by joselito capariño

PRESS RELEASE
JUNE 29 2009
REF: JOEY SALGADO

Makati Mayor and United Opposition (UNO) president Jejomar C. Binay today warned Mrs. Arroyo that she could be unseated and exiled like the former president of Honduras if she persists in extending her stay in power beyond 2010.

Binay issued the warning even as he said reports of a planned “self-coup” involving generals known as Gloria loyalists would further fuel unrest within the military and galvanize opposition to her regime.

“Mrs. Arroyo should view the events in Honduras as a wake-up call. She should not test the patience of the people, especially the military with the supposed plan to force the current Armed Forces chief into early retirement to pave the way for a diehard Gloria loyalist,” he said.

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was unseated in a coup Sunday, hours before a referendum criticized as an attempt to stay in power beyond his term. Zelaya had pushed for a revision of the Constitution to allow him to serve another term even after the country’ Supreme Court ruled it illegal.

Binay said reports of a “self-coup” within the military leadership – where generals identified with Class ’78 of the Philippine Military Academy will get key positions before the end of the year – have been circulating for the past months. Mrs. Arroyo is an adopted member of Class ’78.

Such a plan, he said, falls in place with the recent moves by Mrs. Arroyo to extend her hold on power by pushing for amendments to the Constitution.

“Nothing happens by accident under the regime of Mrs. Arroyo. And a plan to consolidate her hold on the military leadership would be a logical part of a larger plan to stay in power beyond 2010,” he said.

Binay said the public “should prepare for the worst.”

“Should Oplan August Moon turn out to be true, then we should prepare for the worst, since you will have both the AFP and even the PNP under the command of known Gloria loyalists, and this will happen during the election period, a very critical period for the country but most especially for Mrs. Arroyo,” he said.

Aside from reports that AFP Chief of Staff Victor Ibrado will be “forced into retirement” and will be replaced by Army Chief Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit, Binay said he also got reports that a certain police general has been telling people that he will be the next PNP chief by December.

“During the election period, Mrs. Arroyo will have complete control over the AFP and PNP leadership. She will definitely use this to her advantage, whether to ensure the victory of her anointed candidate, or to impose emergency rule and even martial law,” he said.

Look for managerial expertise

Posted in Published Articles with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2009 by joselito capariño

Look for managerial expertise

DEMAND AND SUPPLY by Boo Chanco
PhilStar
June 12, 2009

Today, Independence Day, is a good time to think about the qualities of the person we will vote for to be our next president. The recent two part ANC Leadership Forum should have provided clues on what to expect with each of the candidates. Unfortunately, neither of the two episodes got wide exposure. The other problem has to do with the danger of falling in love with the more telegenic and media savvy candidate.

Indeed, that seems to be the problem with the Filipino electorate. It is easy to get the ordinary voter infatuated with a candidate because of personality and other non important attributes. It is easy for the Pinoy voter to get taken by empty promises coming from a candidate with media sex appeal. That’s at the root of our problems.

That’s one reason why both Sen. Loren Legarda and Sen. Chiz Escudero are among the leading contenders even if they are the least qualified. Neither of the two from Danding Cojuangco’s NPC has significant managerial experience. Neither Loren nor Chiz has the track record to assure us they can run the massive bureaucracy called the Philippine government. We should learn from our experience with Gloria Magtatagal Arroyo. As such, all they can offer are promises. Ampaw is a good way to describe Loren and Chiz, which makes them ideal for the vested interests operating the NPC.

If we take an unbiased look at the candidates, the ones that really surfaced as most deserving in recent forums, not just the ANC ones, are those with local government experience. They are able to point to a track record to back up their program of government. I am thinking of Sen. Richard Gordon, Mayor Jojo Binay and MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando. This is why it is unfortunate we do not have more local government officials like Mayor Sonny Belmonte and Mayor Jesse Robredo among the aspirants. Gov Panlilio does not count because he is a first termer and still needs time to show what he can do.

Sen. Dick Gordon appears to be most ideal because of his colorful and productive public service record. He was mayor of Olongapo, first chairman of Subic Bay Metro Authority at a time of crisis, tourism secretary and now Senator of the Republic. He is also a very active hands-on head of the Red Cross.

In all the posts he has held, Dick has displayed a rare kind of passionate, visionary leadership that produced the results he has promised. Dick is not the easiest person to be with and his temper is legendary, but there is no denying he has a good heart that’s committed to public service. Trained in UP and Ateneo, he also has the intellectual qualities a President must have.

But Dick’s not up there with the survey leaders. Some say that Dick’s glory days are past. He was hot during the Subic days but politicians like movie stars have expiry dates with the fickle public. Weather weather lang! And he doesn’t have a funding source that could give his candidacy a chance to win.

Mayor Jojo Binay is the dark horse to watch out for… a real Obama-like figure. His television advertising is the simplest and for me, the best… no gimmicks… walang padyak. He made his Makati constituents talk about the social welfare benefits they enjoy from cradle to grave — free medical care, free school up to university level, free job training and a more extensive senior citizen care program. At the end of the commercial, the Makati citizens simply said: Ganito kami sa Makati ngayon. Sana buong bayan din.

Oo nga naman. Bakit sila lang sa Makati? In other words, Jojo Binay is not just promising you heaven on earth the way a Loren or a Chiz would. He has delivered and he has his Makati constituents to confirm it.

I have known Jojo from our UP days and he is not a bad speaker and should do very well in presidential debates. But he does not have the media savvy and telegenic looks of a Loren or a Chiz.

Ok, some would say that he had become prosperous as mayor of Makati. But then again, many of them got prosperous while in Malacanang or other public offices too but failed to deliver even half of what Binay has delivered to his constituents. Maybe we can’t expect our public officials to be saints. But like Binay, they should at least deliver the services expected of government.

Chairman Bayani Fernando is one determined candidate for President and it would be dangerous to rule out a man with such determination. He also has a track record to point to as Mayor of Marikina. The transformation of Marikina from a backwater suburb of Manila to what it is now is a tribute to Bayani’s determination to do just that.

Bayani’s record in MMDA is more controversial. It was a more challenging assignment that was mission impossible in the sense that he carried no political power which continued to reside with the mayors who refused to work with him. For me, what he had been able to accomplish was about as much as anyone could do to respond to such problems as traffic and floods. If we gave Bayani political power to transform the nation, I am sure he will work on it 24/7 and with the tenacity and precision of a fired up engineer working on a landmark building or bridge.

The other selling point of Bayani’s candidacy is his wife, present Marikina Mayor Marides Carlos Fernando. She has even improved on what Bayani has started in Marikina. And if she becomes First Lady, we are effectively getting two for the price of one. Think Hillary Clinton.

Sen. Mar Roxas has an extensive business background primarily as an investment banker in New York, not the best thing to have in a resume these days. I have no doubt that Mar would make an honest non corrupt President but I just wonder if he has the decisiveness the job entails and the ability to reach out to the masa, given his pedigree. He is said to be considering Ping Lacson as running mate, something that makes me wonder what Mar Roxas is really all about.

Unfortunately, the two real front runners, Sen. Manny Villar and Vice President Noli de Castro decided to skip the forums, probably thinking they have little to gain from them. They however deprived the voting public a chance to more carefully assess their qualities for the job.

Sen. Villar can point to his rags to riches life story as proof that he knows how to manage. Indeed, it is said that this self made billionaire is the only candidate who can finance his multi billion peso campaign by himself. His life story can inspire Filipinos to aspire for and attain a better life.

VP Noli is probably best where he is right now. I know Noli quite well from our days working together at ABS-CBN. I cannot forget how he responded to me when I tried to convince him to run for public office for the first time. Like Dolphy, he responded only half jokingly, papaano kung manalo?

To Noli’s credit, he has shown he can deliver on his assignments. As this administration’ s housing czar, he has done more than what past administrations have. Noli takes his work seriously and will be the first to tell you if he thinks he needs more professional advice to see it through.

I don’t know if Noli will decide to run for the top post but I am hoping that at some point, he will agree to run for re-election under Manny Villar, his Wednesday Club colleague. Noli and Manny share many advocacies from mass housing to OFW welfare. They are ideal together. If nothing else happens, a Villar-De Castro team will ensure that every Pinoy ends up with a roof over his head and that’s a pretty good goal to think about.

What about Gilbert Teodoro? He is a bright and well connected politician with a pedigree. I was probably the first to see his potential long before he was appointed to DND. But he lacks actual public service time that would test his mettle and his heart. His short tenure thus far at DND is not enough to measure what he is made of. But don’t rule him out for future contests beyond 2010.

As for Erap? I think he is just kulang sa pansin. He knows his time was in the past and the nation ought to move on. If he loves this country, he will spare us the trauma of reliving those bitter days of EDSA 2 which will resurface with his candidacy. Maybe he should just be a king maker and endorse one of the others who also share his dreams and ideals.

Where do we go from here? As I said, look for proven managerial expertise… and a heart that clearly beats for the people.

Boo Chanco
bchanco@gmail.com

BINAY QUESTIONS LIFTING OF SELF-QUARANTINE RULE

Posted in UNO Press Release with tags , , , , , , , on June 28, 2009 by joselito capariño

PRESS RELEASE

28 JUNE 2009

REF: JOEY SALGADO

BINAY QUESTIONS LIFTING OF SELF-QUARANTINE RULE, SAYS DOH DECISION WILL BENEFIT MRS ARROYO AT PUBLIC’S EXPENSE

Makati Mayor and United Opposition (UNO) president Jejomar C. Binay today questioned the decision of the Department of Health to ease the mandatory self-quarantine rule for travellers just a few days after the agency mulled declaring a full-blown community outbreak of AH1N1 in Metro Manila.

Binay said the lifting of the self-quarantine rule would conveniently benefit Mrs. Arroyo, who is scheduled to arrive from her travel to Asia and Latin America , but would be inimical to public welfare.

“I sincerely hope that the DoH decision to lift the mandatory self-quarantine rule was not intended for the convenience of Mrs. Arroyo. Such a move is highly irresponsible as it places the comfort of one person over the welfare of the entire population,” he said.

“We are puzzled why the Department of Health would ease restrictions on self-quarantine when just two days ago it was studying the possibility of declaring a community-outbreak in Metro Manila,” he said.

The opposition leader said just last Friday, the DoH confirmed that the country had 861 cases of AH1N1 flu virus, the second highest in Southeast Asia . DoH officials also said they were studying whether or not to declare a full-blown community outbreak in Metro Manila, where 70 percent of the 861 cases have been reported.

Last week, the DoH placed Metro Manila under a “low-level” community outbreak after several cases of A(H1N1) were reported in schools.

“The easing of the self-quarantine rule is rather convenient for Mrs. Arroyo, who is set to return to the country from her jet-setting in Asia and Latin America . And it would not stand in the way of her future travel plans considering that she appears to have been bitten by the travel bug,” he said.

“We do not claim to substitute our judgement over that of the DOH on these matters, but as responsible government officials, we should make sure that all steps are taken to protect the public,” Binay said.

He added that the self-quarantine rule “does not entail any cost on the side of government.”  “As a matter of policy, I would rather continue its implementation,” he said.

Earlier, Binay reminded Mrs. Arroyo and the members of her travel entourage – which includes 16 congressmen, their wives and children   – to observe the self-quarantine period upon their return to the country.

“They have travelled at taxpayers’ expense and the least they can do is not to infect the public with new strains of A(H1N1),” he said.

Mrs. Arroyo left for Japan and Brazil last week just a few days after arriving from South Korea and Russia . She also took a detour to Colombia in what Palace officials described as a private visit that was not on the official itinerary.

The Makati mayor said if public outcry over the cost of Mrs. Arroyo’s frequent travels has not stopped her from leaving the country, he hopes the A(H1N1) virus should put the brakes on her “jet-setting ways.”

“Perhaps, Mrs. Arroyo should seriously consider restricting or completely foregoing her jet-setting ways since the World Health Organization has declared a global pandemic,” he said.

“If she wishes to ignore the outcry over the cost to the taxpayers of her frequent foreign travels, she should at least consider the consequences to public health,” he added.

BINAY ORDERS EARTHQUAKE DRILLS IN ALL PUBLIC SCHOOLS, BUILDINGS

Posted in Makati Press Release with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2009 by joselito capariño

PRESS RELEASE

27 JUNE 2009

REF.:  MAKATI ICRD, 8998938

Makati steps up earthquake mitigation measures


Makati Mayor Jejomar C. Binay has ordered the Department of Education-Makati to prioritize the conduct of earthquake drills in all Makati public schools as part of the intensified disaster risk reduction program being implemented by the city government.

Binay, who is chairman of the Makati City Disaster Coordinating Council (MCDCC), has also ordered MCDCC to immediately coordinate with private building owners and tenants, particularly those in the Central Business District, on the holding of earthquake drills and other measures to strengthen their readiness in case a major earthquake hits the city.

“In light of renewed concerns over the high probability of a major earthquake hitting Metro Manila anytime, we need to step up our capability-building efforts to lessen the damage to lives and properties that can be inflicted by such an occurrence,” Binay said.

Binay was referring to recent news reports on the projected devastating impacts on Metro Manila of an earthquake with a magnitude of 7 or higher, which were presented by a senior United Nations official at the just-concluded Global Disaster Risk Reduction Conference in Geneva , Switzerland .

Binay said all 28 public elementary schools and 10 high schools of Makati must undergo earthquake drills as soon as possible.  At a meeting last Tuesday, Binay instructed DepEd chief Elena Ruiz to mobilize all school disaster coordinators to facilitate the proper and orderly execution of the drill in every school.

Binay said since last year, the city government has been pursuing various initiatives to strengthen its capability for earthquake mitigation and preparedness, including earthquake drills in public and private schools, the City Hall, barangay halls and other public buildings, and establishments in the Central Business District. City engineers and building officials have also been conducting regular inspections to monitor the structural stability of all public and private facilities in the city.

Binay said most of the city’s engineers are officers and members of the Makati Chapter of the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE), which has been actively involved in the Disaster Quick Response Program of the National Disaster Coordinating Council.

To date, all 33 barangays of Makati have organized and functional Barangay Disaster Coordinating Councils that focus on capability-building, including regular training and seminars on disaster preparedness for barangay officials and first-responders.

In January last year, the city government partnered with the Earthquakes and Megacities Inititative (EMI) for the conduct of a Localized Disaster Risk and Vulnerability Management.  A memorandum of understanding signed by Binay and EMI chairman Dr. Fouad Bendimerad became the launching pad for the implementation of the Makati Risk Sensitive Urban Redevelopment Planning pilot project, which is aimed to modify and lessen the physical, social and economic vulnerability of the city to earthquake-related hazards through a comprehensive land use planning.  Through the project, target areas for redevelopment in the city have been identified and subjected to risk assessment surveys and other studies vital to the formulation of a strategic action plan.

The multi-awarded MCDCC is considered one of the best in the country, while one of its components, Makati Rescue, has received many recognitions for its exemplary participation in search, rescue and relief operations extended even to other localities.  The Makati C3, the city’s own state-of-the-art command, control and communications center, serves the emergency needs of stakeholders on a 24/7 basis.

BARBADOS TIES + COLOMBIA SECRET TRIP = ANOTHER ZTE-NBN?

Posted in UNO Press Release with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2009 by joselito capariño

UNO PRESS RELEASE
26 JUNE 2009
REF: JOEY SALGADO


It smells like another ZTE-NBN in the making.

Makati Mayor and United Opposition (UNO) president Jejomar C. Binay said the “instant” diplomatic ties with Barbados – where the supplier for the billion-peso poll automatic project is based – and Mrs. Arroyo’s sudden side trip to Colombia remind him of a controversial side trip to Boao in Hainan, China in 2007.

“It’s like a rerun from a bad movie that we’ve seen before. The secret trip, the undue haste to sign an agreement, the alleged involvement of a Palace favorite, and a foreign company with a billion- peso contract in the Philippines ,” he said.

“Under the regime of Mrs. Arroyo, nothing happens by accident. The side trip to Colombia and the instant ties with Barbados are not spur of the moment decisions. Mrs. Arroyo needs to do some explaining when she returns,” he said.

Early this week, Mrs. Arroyo took a sudden detour to Cartagena , Colombia en route to Brazil . Palace officials and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) admitted they were not aware of the side trip.

Binay said such secrecy also attended Mrs. Arroyo’s unannounced visit to Hainan , China in the early morning of April 21 2007, to personally witness the signing of the ZTE-NBN deal.

A Malacanang press statement issued at that time – where Mrs. Arroyo was described as coming and going “like a thief in the night” – said the secret trip resulted in Chinese investments totaling $904.38 million.

The ZTE-NBN project was scrapped after a controversy involving overpricing and fat commissions reportedly given or offered to senior government officials and Mrs. Arroyo’s husband erupted.

“At the risk of repeating myself, I would like to ask, why Barbados , and why the rush to sign a diplomatic agreement with this island-state?,” he said.

The opposition leader said Mrs. Arroyo and her family appear to have been bitten by the Caribbean bug.

“Mrs. Arroyo seems to have been bitten by the Caribbean bug, and I wonder which of the attractions took her fancy. And I guess the taxpayers would also like to know what benefits would be derived by entering into diplomatic ties with Barbados and her side trip to Cartagena ,” he said.

Barbados , a known tax haven, is also where Smartmatic – the foreign supplier for the poll automation project – is based. Until now, the identities of the company’s investors have not been revealed, although it has been reported that a company owned by a businessman with links to the Palace will handle the warehousing and distribution of the machines.

OPPOSITION WILL BACK RANDY DAVID

Posted in UNO Press Release with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2009 by joselito capariño

UNO PRESS RELEASE
26 JUNE 2009
REF: JOEY SALGADO


The United Opposition (UNO) will support the bid of University of the Philippines (UP) professor Randy David should he decide to run against Mrs. Arroyo for the congressional seat in the second district of Pampanga.

“Randy David will be fighting a tough battle, but his is a principled one, and we will support him,” Binay said.

“We will support Randy David or any other like-minded citizens of Pampanga,” he said.

“Mrs. Arroyo appears convinced that she will get the congressional seat on a silver platter. From there, the post of Prime Minister under a parliamentary system is hers.  But we believe that there are many concerned citizens like Randy David who are willing to fight an uphill battle rather than let Mrs. Arroyo have her way,” he said.

The opposition leader said Mrs. Arroyo might see a repeat of the 2007 gubernatorial election where her candidate lost to Fr. Ed Panlilio.

“I am certain that many Kapampangans are looking forward to new leadership in 2010. That will not happen if Mrs. Arroyo succeeds in getting herself elected to Congress and becomes Prime Minister under a parliamentary system of government,” he said.

He also blasted Malacanang for questioning the motives of David.

“Randy David proceeds from the purest of intentions, while Mrs. Arroyo is driven solely by her desire to hold on to power beyond 2010,” he said.