BINAY – ARROYO GOVT HAS IGNORED INT’L HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITMENTS

Posted in UNO Press Release with tags , , , , , , on September 18, 2009 by joselito capariño

PRESS RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 18 2009
REF: JOEY SALGADO

Makati Mayor and United Opposition (UNO) president Jejomar C. Binay today said the Arroyo administration has totally ignored recommendations by international human rights groups to institutionalize reforms to end human rights violations.

The recent killing of a priest in Samar , a tribal leader in Agusan and the spying incident on National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera shows that the administration is more intent on silencing opposition rather than observing human rights.

“The Arroyo administration may have issued policy statements condemning political killings and affirming its support for human rights. But all of these are for the consumption of international groups,” he said.

“The reality is that the Arroyo administration continues to spy on its citizens, and by inaction, tolerates human rights violations and political killings,” he said.

Binay said Amnesty International had even reminded the Arroyo administration to hold true to its publicly stated commitment to the United Nations in 2008 to decrease political killings and enforced disappearances, and effectively implement reforms.

On Thursday, the Navy admitted sending a trainee to spy on Lumbera, who recently criticized Malacanang’s abuse of authority in conferring the recent National Artist Awards.

Human rights watchdog AI earlier blamed the Arroyo administration for the resurgence of political killings in the country, citing the killing of Fr. Cecilio Lucero last Sept. 6. Earlier, Higaonon tribe leader Datu Mampaagi Belayong was killed in front of his family, reportedly by members of a paramilitary group.

“Recent politically motivated killings in counter-insurgency areas raise concerns about the safety of human rights defenders and community leaders in such regions,” it said in a statement.

AI called on the Philippine government to provide protection to people at risk of being targeted, and to initiate “prompt, impartial, independent and effective investigations into all killings.”

Local human rights group Karapatan said at least 34 cases of extra-judicial killings occurred in the first half of 2009, and more than 1,000 in the last decade.

KOKO PIMENTEL – PUNO SHOULD ALSO RESIGN AS DILG CHIEF

Posted in UNO Press Release with tags , , , , , on September 17, 2009 by joselito capariño

PRESS RELEASE
17 SEPTEMBER 2009
REF: JOEY SALGADO

PDP-Laban Secretary General Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III today called for the resignation of Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno to allay suspicions that he will use his authority to coerce local government officials into supporting the administration’s Teodoro-Puno tandem.

“The post of DILG Secretary is a powerful position. And therefore, it should not only be Secretary Gilbert Teodoro who should resign, but also Secretary Puno,” he said.

Pimentel said Cabinet members enjoy undue advantage over other aspirants for national office because of the government resources at their disposal and the authority they exert over government agencies and personnel.

“Appointed governmental officials who have declared their intention to run and have been endorsed by their respective political parties should relinquish their positions,” he said.

“In the case of Secretary Puno, he needs to allay suspicions that he will use his position as DILG chief to arm-twist local government officials into supporting his vice presidential bid, and that of his presumptive standard bearer, Secretary Teodoro,” he said.

By resigning, Pimentel said Puno “will also be able to address fears that the Philippine National Police, which is also under his supervision, will be involved in partisan political activities.”

Last Wednesday, the National Executive Committee of the Lakas-KAMPI-CMD named Teodoro as its presidential candidate for the 2010 election, and Puno as his running mate.

MACHINERY WON’T DELIVER VOTES FOR ARROYO’S ANOINTED – BINAY

Posted in UNO Press Release with tags on September 16, 2009 by joselito capariño

PRESS RELEASE
16 SEPTEMBER 2009
REF: JOEY SALGADO

The administration’s much-vaunted political machinery will not deliver the votes for Mrs. Arroyo’s anointed candidate because of widespread dissatisfaction over her eight-year rule, Makati Mayor and United Opposition (UNO) president Jejomar C. Binay said.

“The machinery is useless in the face of widespread dissatisfaction over Mrs. Arroyo. Only a miracle will save the administration candidate from certain defeat,” he said.

Binay said contrary to claims made by party leaders, the administration’s machinery is already disintegrating since most local officials belonging to Lakas-KAMPI-CMD have already joined or are poised to join political parties identified with the opposition.

He said he was able to confirm this in his meetings with local officials from the provinces.

“Most of the local officials I talked to have either switched loyalties or are planning to bolt the administration party. Some of them, on the other hand, will be silently campaigning for opposition candidates,” he said.

“These local officials don’t want to be casualties of the people’s dissatisfaction with the Arroyo administration,” he added.

Binay said the 2010 national election will be all about the track record of Mrs. Arroyo, which her anointed candidate has pledged to continue.

“When Mrs. Arroyo’s candidate says he will continue her programs, the people can only see six more years of hunger, poverty, human rights violations, and abuse of authority,” he said.

“The people have had enough of Mrs. Arroyo’s misrule, and they are definitely looking for national leaders who are the direct opposite of Mrs. Arroyo,” he added.

BINAY WELCOMES ERAP DECISION TO MEET WITH NOYNOY

Posted in UNO Press Release with tags , , , , , , on September 16, 2009 by joselito capariño

PRESS RELEASE
16 SEPTEMBER 2009
RFERENCE: JOEY SALGADO

Makati Mayor and United Opposition (UNO) president Jejomar C. Binay today welcomed the statement of former president Joseph Estrada that he is willing to sit down with Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

Binay had been proposing the talks after Aquino announced his plan to run for president in 2010 under the Liberal Party (LP). The Makati mayor had said he hopes that talks between Estrada and Aquino would lead to a possible unification of the opposition.

“I am very happy that former president Estrada is willing to meet with Senator Aquino. It is a welcome development,” he said.

Estrada said in an interview with ANC’s Ricky Carandang Tuesday night he was willing to meet with Aquino to discuss unifying the opposition. ANC reported that Estrada said more than anything else, his concern now is to unite opposition and that Mayor Binay has yet to arrange the meeting.

Alrhough no date has been set for the Erap-Noynoy talks, Binay said the meeting “will be between friends.”

“The former president and Senator Aquino go way back. There will be no preconditions and no expectations for this meeting. It will be just two friends sitting down to talk,” he said.

Binay is considered a close family friend of the Aquinos. He was the first local official appointed by former President Corazon Aquino in February 1986 under the revolutionary government, and took part in defending the Aquino government from several coup attempts.

On the other hand, he was chair of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) during the Estrada administration, and remained allied with Estrada even after the later was removed from power in 2001. The PDP-Laban, which Binay heads as national president, is allied with Estrada’s Partido ng Masang Pilipino (PMP).

DROP IN RP’S GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS LINKED TO HIGH-LEVEL CORRUPTION, MISMANAGEMENT – BINAY

Posted in UNO Press Release with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2009 by joselito capariño

PRESS RELEASE
15 September 2009
REFERENCE: MR. JOEY SALGADO

Makati Mayor and United Opposition (UNO) president Jejomar C. Binay said the sharp decline in the country’s global competitiveness rating shows growing worldwide concern over the persistence of high-level corruption and mismanagement of government under the Arroyo administration.

It exposes the emptiness of Malacanang’s claim that investor confidence has improved under the Arroyo administration, he added.

“On the contrary, investor confidence has been waning because of the reports of corruption involving high government officials, including Mrs. Arroyo and her political allies. Investors also take into account the mismanagement of government resources that has resulted in inefficiencies,” he said.

The opposition leader said local businessmen have also expressed dissatisfaction at the way the administration is managing the economy, citing statements made by former Central Bank Gov. Jose L. Cuisia Jr., presently a trustee of the Makati Business Club.

Cuisia had said that many in the business sector feel the Arroyo administration has failed to deliver satisfactory performance based on these criteria: competitiveness, employment, export growth, foreign direct investments, and fiscal stability.

Binay said the former CB governor correctly stated that corruption is the most problematic factor cited for doing business in the Philippines .

“These sentiments, as well as the results of the global competitiveness survey, expose the emptiness of Malacanang’s claim that investors continue to look favorably on the Philippines because of Mrs. Arroyo’s leadership,” he said.

A report by the World Economic Forum said the Philippines fell from 71st to 87th in this year’s Global Competitiveness Report.

The report cited corruption, inefficient government bureaucracy, and inadequate infrastructure as among the reasons for the decline and why investors find it problematic to continue investing in the Philippines .

The sharp drop in the rating is considered the biggest drop recorded by a country in the survey of 133 countries.

The Global Competitiveness Report factors in 12 pillars of competitiveness, among them institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic stability, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labor market efficiency, financial market sophistication, and technological readiness.

MAKATI GIVES P1.2 MILLION ASSISTANCE TO LOCALITIES AFFECTED BY TYPHOONS JOLINA, ISANG

Posted in Makati Press Release with tags , , , , , , on September 14, 2009 by joselito capariño

Press Release
September 13, 2009
Ref: Makati ICRD, 8998954

The Makati City Council, upon the request of Mayor Jejomar C. Binay, has approved a City Ordinance appropriating P1 Million to assist various municipalities in the province of Zambales after the damage brought by tropical storm Isang last July.

The amount will be used to buy relief goods and other basic needs of the storm victims.

Binay said local government units (LGU) should be able to rely on each other in times of disasters.

“We cannot idly stand and watch fellow Filipinos suffer from the devastation wrought by Isang. Zambales was hit hard. The proper course of action is to help them rebuild and to give them hope that a bright tomorrow awaits them,” Binay said.

The mayor said the city government will be extending support to Makati’s sister LGUs and other localities devastated by the recent typhoon in Zambales.

The amount will be taken from the city’s Executive budget under calamity fund.

Meanwhile, the City Council also approved an ordinance appropriating P200,000 as relief assistance to victims of landslides and mudflows in Tubungan, Iloilo . The landslides were caused by Typhoon Jolina during the first week of August.

“The different local government units must help each other in times of disaster. We must take initiative and extend support to our fellow Filipinos in the affected localities,” Binay said.

OPPOSITION PARTIES THAT COALESCE WITH LAKAS-KAMPI FACE REJECTION IN 2010; COALITION SHOULD BE AMONG OPPOSITION GROUPS – BINAY

Posted in UNO Press Release with tags , , on September 12, 2009 by joselito capariño

PRESS RELEASE
12 SEPTEMBER 2009
REF: JOEY SALGADO

Makati Mayor and United Opposition (UNO) president Jejomar C. Binay today said opposition parties that enter into a coalition with the administration Lakas-Kampi-CMD run the risk of being called turncoats and could face rejection at the polls.

“Once a political party that identifies itself as opposition enters into a coalition with the Arroyo administration , that party becomes part of the administration,” he said.

“If we are to enter into a coalition, it should ideally be a coalition among opposition parties,” he added.

The opposition leader, who announced his decision to run for Vice President to pave the way to talks for a common opposition candidate, said the public’s dissatisfaction with the Arroyo administration will taint any opposition party that aligns itself with Lakas-Kampi-CMD.

“Because of her unpopularity and the widespread public dissatisfaction with her administration, Mrs. Arroyo’s endorsement will be the kiss of death for her anointed candidate, whether the candidate is from Lakas or from an opposition party,” he said.

“Mrs. Arroyo’s candidate will be identified with and will have no choice but to defend and justify Mrs. Arroyo’s failure to lift people from poverty and her scandalous mismanagement of government resources,” he said.

Binay said he remains optimistic that opposition parties can unite. All it would take, he said, is for party leaders to sit down without any preconditions.

“While there are those who say that opposition unity cannot be achieved at this point, I remain optimistic that we can still agree on commonalities. There are more things that unite us rather than divide us,” he said.

But regardless of the outcome of unity talks, it is clear that the 2010 election belongs to the opposition, he said.

“The public is looking for candidates who can offer a government that is the direct opposite of what we have now under Mrs. Arroyo. The opposition parties all agree that the people deserve better,” he said.

Mrs. Arroyo’s popularity ratings have been sliding in the last few years. A recent Pulse Asia survey said 43 percent of Filipinos distrust Mrs. Arroyo and disapprove of her performance.

Binay also cited results of surveys done by Social Weather Station (SWS) showing that hunger had quadrupled from five per cent in 2003 to 20 percent in June 2009.

Public dissatisfaction with the Arroyo administration’s failure in addressing hunger and corruption have been placed at -21 per cent in the August SWS survey, posting the highest dissatisfaction.

“Mrs. Arroyo’s declining popularity is the surveys is an accurate indicator of the people’s dissatisfaction over the unabated scandals and the sordid tales of abuse of power involving Mrs. Arroyo and her allies,” Binay said.