Former President and now Pampanga Representative. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo refused to give advice to the President on how to handle the maritime dispute over the South China Sea. She has no doubt that he knows what he’s doing.
Youtube video by; Elena Grace Flores
[VIDEO]: Arroyo said that he cannot give any recommendations for the West Philippine Sea dispute because she does not have all the facts like the President does.
Won’t Dare Give Recommendations
Arroyo frankly said she would not dare make any recommendation to the president because she does not have access to all information that he has in his hands. “I can only share what happened in my administration. I do not know all the facts that are available to the current administration, so I do not dare to make any recommendations and I keep that attitude because of my own experience as President,” Arroyo elaborated.
Charge it to Experience
During Arroyo’s several people gave her recommendations on how to handle the South China Sea dispute. Since they did not have all the facts, this can create more misunderstandings. “As far as I’m concerned, the President knows what he is doing. I do not have any specific recommendations to make,” she added.
No South China Sea Conflict During her Time
It was under her presidency when Republic Act No. 9522 was enacted. It is the Amended Definitions of the Archipelagic Baseline of the Philippines. The declaration of the Philippine ‘sovereignty and jurisdiction’ over Scarborough Shoal is stated there. The shoal is a traditional fishing grounds for Filipinos near Masinloc, Zambales. The tension arises between the Philippines and the Chinese in 2012 when the Aquino administration brought the case into the Hague.
Crucial Economic Ties
Filipino fishermen are only able to fish there again after the current president resumes the Philippine-Chinese ties when he assumed power. Arroyo, however, thinks that the National Security Council should focus on economic ties with China. Du30 just ordered troops to occupy uninhabited islets and shoals which are Philippine territories in the Spratly Islands. They were driven away by the Chinese coast guard but Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that it was just a matter of protocol. The answer should only be, “we are entering the Philippine territory.”
The Sandiganbayan’s First Division did not push through today’s plunder trial – instead, it is set for June 1. It’s the 6th schedule after 5 postponements since January. This is apparently to give way to the additional marking of voluminous evidence related to Revilla’s pork barrel projects. It allegedly allowed him to pocket P224.5 million in kickbacks.
Youtube video by; Elena Grace Flores
[VIDEO]: Bong Revilla’s hearing is again postponed to June 1, 2017
Lead prosecutor Joefferson Toribio defended the delay in the marking. He said that each SARO has 4 thick folders of evidence. Revilla’s plunder case is connected to 16 SAROs all in all. So, the enormous amount of evidence can use up a lot of time when scrutinized thoroughly.
Disagreement on Unclear Copies
Toribio also complained that Revilla’s lawyers are also delaying the trial. Revilla’s chief of staff, Richard Cambe moved to withdraw some documents for being illegible. Toribio said that while producing clearer copies, Revilla’s lawyers refused to agree that the clearer copies and the original illegible copies are identical.
Concerned with Detained Revilla?
First Division Chair Associate Justice Efren dela Cruz did not accept Toribio’s reasons because it was the Revilla camp’s prerogative to be thorough with the documents. Dela Cruz told Revilla’s lawyers: “He’s just concerned for your client who is detained,” which lightened up the mood in the court – but certainly, Revilla is for sure still frustrated with longer time in jail.
The prosecution is due to present 48 witnesses who would prove that the projects supposed to be funded by Revilla’s pork barrel are non-existent. Revilla’s new lawyer, Estelito Mendoza, contested the inclusion of such testimonies which Revilla’s previous lawyers had allowed. But Dela Cruz mentioned that these testimonies can’t be removed just because a new lawyer wants to reorganize things.
The Sandiganbayan Third Division after investigating for a long time has found probable cause to continue the case of dismissed-Makati mayor Junjun Binay for graft and falsification of public documents over the allegedly overpriced construction of the P2.2 billion Makati car park building.
Youtube video by; Elena Grace Flores
[VIDEO]: Makati Building 2 case now has probable cause against Junjun Binay after a long search.
In a resolution released on April 18, the anti-graft court said that there was probable cause to try Binay for falsification and graft raps because he was then the head of procuring entity called HOPE who was responsible for evaluating the documents by the Bids and Awards Committee.
Falsified in Newspaper?
The court said there was a basis to proceed with the trial of Binay’s six counts of falsification of public documents. It noted that the invitation to apply for eligibility and to bid (IAETB) was allegedly falsified in the Balita newspaper by superimposing on a Sudoku game printed in a similar newspaper issue.
“Instead (of the IAETB), a Sudoku Loco game is printed in the same location where the IAETB appears in the accused’s copy. After the said examination, the Court agrees with the finding of the Ombudsman that the purported IAETB seems to have been merely superimposed in the copy of the said newspaper,” the court said in the statement.
Binay’s defense was rejected saying that a newspaper is a private document and he should not be liable for falsification. The court sums up that the documents only showed that Binay and his co-accused have probably committed the falsification and graft charges. This can probably lead to the prima facie records of the case that can prove that the bidding for the Makati car park building was rigged. Most of the accused including Binay have posted bail. There’s no need for the court to issue warrants for arrest.
Bongbong Marcos said that it is clear in the law that the counter-protest of Leni Robredo can be dismissed for failing to pay to the Supreme Court the initial deposit as ordered by the Supreme Court. They can argue all they can but they should comply first.
Youtube video by; ABS-CBN News
[VIDEO]: The lawyer of former senator Bongbong Marcos is accusing the camp of VP Leni Robredo of delaying the election protest proceedings after the latter sought clarification from the tribunal about its order that she pay for her protest.
Willing to Pay
Robredo’s legal counsel, Maria Bernadette Sardillo said that they are willing to pay the amount, but only at a later time after the tribunal resolves their motion to determine that there is a basis for the recount to happen. The Marcos camp also asks the Supreme Court to lower the bond based on the number of clustered precincts involved and not per registered precinct.
No Capacity to Pay Yet
Sardillo said that Robredo does not have the capacity to pay the P15 million. This is the reason why they need to come up with the funds. This is fairly difficult at the first tranche of P8 million. The PET requires this payment for the expenses of ballot recount in more than 8,000 clustered precincts. The Vice President’s 2015 statement of assets, liabilities and net worth shows that her net worth is only at ₱8.7 million.
Robredo cannot Solicit
Since Robredo is a public official, she cannot solicit like what Marcos did. Based on Republic Act 6713, officials and employees shall not solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan or anything of monetary value from any person in the course of their official duties. This is why they are buying time to come up with an acceptable source of funds.
Marcos is now a private citizen and thereby can collect donations. The ₱36 million he paid to the PET was from friends and supporters collected complete the first tranche in a manager’s check. If the tribunal sets Marcos’ protest in motion, his lawyer is confident that three material witnesses can directly prove fraud in the vice-presidential election. He insinuates that they are in a protective custody right now and their testimony will be very very damaging to Robredo, Rodriguez said.
Leni Robredo and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez get the highest disapproval and distrust ratings among the 5 top officials in Philippine politics. This is according to the March 2017 Ulat ng Bayan Pulse Asia survey.
Youtube video by; Rappler
[VIDEO]: A March Pulse Asia survey shows Vice President Leni Robredo and Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez got the highest ‘disapproval’ and ‘distrust’ ratings among the 5 highest ranking government officials.
Still in Top 3 for the Trusted Officials
Robredo, however, makes it among the 3 officials who got the trust and performance approval of the majority of Filipinos. The President and Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III are the other two.
Reason for Distrust on Robredo
Robredo’s anti-drug war video message at a UN side event is believed to be the culprit of her high distrust rating. Sixteen percent of respondents disapproved of Robredo performance. It’s the same ratings she got in the quarterly poll in December 2016.
Highest Disapproval Rating
Robredo got the highest disapproval among Class ABC respondents, from 14% in December 2016 to 29% in March. This is not surprising because these levels of society are abreast with current events in politics.
In Geographic Terms
In terms of geographic area, Robredo got the highest disapproval rating in Metro Manila (25%) and Mindanao (18%). Robredo is followed by Speaker Alvarez with a consistent disapproval rating of 14% in the last two-quarters, perhaps after being told by the president to leave Robredo alone as he intended to file an impeachment complaint against her.