Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ang Kapatiran cries foul on ABS-CBN

MANILA — Ang Kapatiran Party presidential bet JC De los Reyes will file a case with the Commission Elections (Comelec) before the Holy Week due to the unfair election coverage of media giant ABS-CBN.

In a press briefing at a Pasig City restaurant, the party forwarded three demands to the network:

* that the network publicly rectify the exclusion of lawyer Dominador
“Jun” Chipeco from the debate
* the public correction of the false news report or press release that implies the presence of Mr. Chipeco in the debate.
* the party respectfully request a reply (to this letter) within 24 hours as the continuing seeming discrimination against Ang Kapatiran maybe causing damage to the positive image public image we have generated and in fairness to our supporters who expect this.

The party particularly reacted on the network’s “apparent and deliberate exclusion” of Chipeco from the “Harapan: The Vice Presidentiable Forum” last March 21 and in the online news report about the debate.

Party president Eric Manalang said they forwarded the letter to the office of Maria Ressa, ABS-CBN’s Senior Vice President for News and Current Affairs, but the company has yet to issue a statement on the matter.


Comelec warns candidates vs Holy Week campaigning

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has reminded candidates that campaigning is prohibited during some days of the Holy Week.

Citing Resolution No. 8758, the poll body reiterated that campaigning is prohibited on April 1, Maundy Thursday, and April 2, Good Friday.

“It is unlawful for any person, whether or not a voter or a candidate, or for any political party, or association of persons of engage in election campaign or partisan political activity on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, eve of Election Day and on Election Day,” the resolution noted.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez is also urging candidates to refrain from playing their campaign jingles during the said dates in deference to the Holy Week.

Millions of Catholics all over the Philippines and around the world are observing Palm Sunday on March 28, the official start of the Holy Week.

By waving palm fronds or “palaspas” during the day’s Mass, Catholics celebrate the entry of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, Jimenez added that local candidates have 3 days to remove their previously erected propaganda materials as they are now officially covered by existing campaign rules and regulations for the official campaign period.

Jimenez said that candidates who fail to remove campaign materials made or done in violation of the election laws prior to the campaign period can face disqualification.

Source: ABS-CBN News

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

No funds for artificial birth control under my presidency — Gordon

Presidential aspirant Sen. Richard Gordon on Tuesday said he would not provide funds for artificial birth control methods should he win in the May 10 elections.

Gordon added that he would only spend money for condoms to prevent the rapid increase of HIV cases, but not for population control since it is up to the parents which birth control method they would like to use.

In ANC’s Presidential Debate on Health Care, the Bagumbayan standard bearer said that instead of spending on contraceptives, he would rather use the money to improve the country's educational system.

"This is a democracy. You don't even have to allow them, they can do it...the point is, are you going to spend money that would otherwise go [to] education?" he asked.

Gibo to fund both

In the same forum, administration party bet Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said that he would fund both natural and artificial means of birth control.

Teodoro maintained that he advocates “a moral choice," saying that he is willing to fund whatever birth control method an individual chooses, but not abortion.

“We respect choices… (We should) allow Filipinos to make choices, and once the choice has been made, you support," he said.

Teodoro likewise said that the solution to population growth should be based on a “consensus" among stakeholders—such as the government, the Church and non-government organizations.

“We have to have a working dialogue and consensus, because the issue is very close to the heart. We must not stop on snags that prevent us from managing our population wisely," he said.

The forum was attended by some of the big names in the health sector, including Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral and former Health Secretary Alberto Romualdez.

Source: GMA News

Villar camp: It's not just the ads

Remulla cites pro-poor pitch, rags-to-riches tale

MANILA, Philippines - The recovery made by Sen. Manny Villar in the presidential race is not just due to his ad spending but also his rags-to-riches story and his pro-poor program, a spokesman of the Nacionalista Party (NP) said.

In an interview on ANC's Strictly Politics on Tuesday, NP senatorial bet Gilbert Remulla said the biggest issue for voters in the May 10 polls is poverty, and all other problems are just "side issues."

"We have been able to give the right message: it is about helping the poor, giving them housing, better education...," Remulla said, when asked by host Pia Hontiveros what the Villar camp is doing right.

Remulla said Villar's promise to help the poor, plus his rags-to-riches narrative, are the reasons why he has been able to connect with voters.

He said Villar is also connecting with upper- and middle-class voters who prefer someone who has more leadership experience, unlike his closest rival, Sen. Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino III of the Liberal Party.

Villar has been an entrepreneur, CEO, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Senate President.

Villar has regained lost ground from the September-October 2009 presidential surveys when he trailed Aquino by at least 25 percentage points.

Sympathy for the Aquino family following the death of the late President Corazon Aquino last August 1 due to cancer changed the political landscape and pushed her son, Noynoy, to join the presidential race and become the favorite to win.

Support for Aquino declines

However, support for Aquino has dissipated since then, allowing Villar, with the help of a massive ad spend and marketing campaign, to catch up with Aquino.

Remulla said voters who want to "romanticize the past" are those who will vote for his chief rival, Aquino.

A pollster has attributed the decline in support for Aquino to the bursting of the "Cory-Ninoy" bubble.

Asked whether the recovery is due to the ad spending, Remulla said it's also due to Villar's "very good narrative."

Villar has projected himself as someone who comes from the poor, went through hardships like many Filipinos, and became rich due to a successful foray in real estate.

"It's the narrative and the message," Remulla said.

He pointed out that it cannot be just the ad spending, noting that there have been senatorial candidates who spent huge amounts for ads but still failed to win a Senate seat.

"If you have a bad message, it [advertisements] would not have mattered," Remulla said.

Big ad spending

Villar has hired big advertising companies for his marketing campaign, but Remulla said the private housing developer has also contributed his marketing skills.

Remulla declined to say how much the Villar camp has spent for political ads, claiming he was not privy to such information.

However, a study has showen that Villar spent P543 million from October to December 2009 alone, landing him in 14th place in the country's top 20 advertisers in the last quarter of 2009.

Other reports say Villar has spent more than P1 billion in political advertisements. His opponents are complaining that they're being outspent by a ratio of 8 to 1.

Remulla claimed Villar is spending his "own money he earned from business," unlike some public officials who are using taxpayers' money.

Asked how a Villar government will help the poor, Remulla said the goal is to increase the tax base from around 11% to the 17% the Philippines had already achieved during the Ramos administration.

The additional revenues will be used for pro-poor programs such as giving more funds for state colleges and universities that provide subsidized tertiary education.

With the start of the official campaign period on Tuesday, Remulla said the Villar camp will be complying with the limit on political ads of 120 minutes per TV station for the 90-day campaign period. He said this would mean a level playing field in the ad spending game.

Here are some of Villar's political ads

Source: ABS-CBN News

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Arroyo OKs state of calamity in Mindanao

MANILA, Philippines (Update 1) - President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has approved the National Disaster Coordinating Council's (NDCC) recommendation to place Mindanao under a state of calamity to address the power crisis in the island due to the ongoing dry spell, a Cabinet member confirmed Thursday.

Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales, concurrent NDCC chairman, said Mrs. Arroyo approved the recommendation Thursday.

In an interview, Mindanao Development Authority chairman Jesus Dureza said government officials will meet with the business council of Mindanao and energy producers from the private sector to address the severe power shortage on the island.

Dureza said the the El Niño phenomenon has disabled the region's hydro-electric power plants, causing 5- to 8-hour blackouts. Highly dependent on hydro power, Mindanao has been experiencing power shortfalls and rotating blackouts since 2009 when the ongoing dry spell caused water levels in resevoirs to go below normal levels.

"It's critical not just for elections but for business in Mindanao. We now have daily rotating brownouts lasting 5 to 8 hours and we are still at the onset of El Niño so we only expect rains in July," he told ANC.

Dureza said hydro-electric power plants in Mindanao are only producing a tenth of the usual 1,000 MW power generating capacity. A March 10 power systems update by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said Mindanao has a shortage of 748 megawatts (MW), compared to a slim 159-MW power shortage a month ago.

Dureza said that under the EPIRA Law, the government cannot go into the business of power generation but will have to rely on the private sector for its energy needs.

To solve the power crisis, he said some businessmen have proposed to lease mountable generators from China, which can be used until July.

He said, however, that leasing the generators would drive up electricity prices even as the additional power is passed on to the entire grid. "We have to adjust to the reality of having power but paying a higher cost," he said.

He added that he will leave it to policy-makers to decide if the government should subsidize the expected increase in electricity prices.

Dureza said he will also ask Mindanao businesses to implement measures to mitigate the expected energy shortfall.

"Some plants can be convinced to shut down operations during peak hours, disconnect from the grid and use their own standby generators. They can reconnect when it's already nighttime when people aren't using as much power," he said.

Dureza said calamity funds to be released to the LGUs will have to be used to mitigate the effects of the El Niño phenomenon, not just the power crisis.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Ricardo Saludo earlier said a declaration of state of calamity would allow local government units in the southern island to tap much-needed calamity funds and impose price controls on basic products in affected areas.

"For national funds that will flowdown to the LGUS, meaning calamity funds that will come from the national to address this crisis, that can be clearly monitored by the national government. As far as the LGUs are conerned, they have their own mechanisms of control," Dureza said.

Source: ABS-CBN News

Gibo became arrogant, says Danding's daughter

MANILA, Philippines - The camp of Liberal Party presidential bet Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino has found an ally in Lisa Cojuangco Cruz, daughter of business tycoon Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco Jr.

The younger Cojuangco joined her cousin, Kris Aquino, during a campaign sortie for Noynoy in Iloilo City. Cojuangco even sported yellow shoes as a sign of support for her cousin.

In an interview, Cojuangco repeated her mother's statement that her family will support any presidential candidate except Danding's nephew, former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro. She said her father felt insulted by Teodoro's decision to leave the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) headedby Danding for Lakas-Kampi CMD.

"Masamang-masama ang loob ng daddy ko. He was given all the best, better than all the children. Basta na lang umalis. Walang kinalaman si GMA (President Arroyo). Lumaki ang ulo eh. Kailangan niyang bumaba," she told ABS-CBN News.

She added though that the ongoing squabble does not affect the younger generation of Cojuangcos.

Last month, Danding's wife, Gretchen, told reporters that her husband would support any candidate except for Teodoro. (Read: Anybody but Gibo, says Danding's wife)

"Anybody but Gibo. Anybody," she told reporters, after being asked who her husband would support between Teodoro and their other nephew, Noynoy Aquino.

"I'm just a wife that's why ga lain ang buot ko (sumasama ang loob ko) for my husband," she said in Ilonggo.

Mrs. Cojuangco said Teodoro failed to inform her husband that he was leaving the NPC to join Lakas-Kampi-CMD despite receiving help from Danding for the past 9 years. "My husband had the biggest plans and belief for him, being so intelligent," she said.

She also belied reports that Teodoro and her husband are okay with each other.

"He tells everybody everything's right with him and his uncle. Sala eh (mali eh). Maybe with him, but his conscience tells him otherwise. I don't know what kind of conscience that is," she said.

Teodoro earlier said he respects his Aunt Gretchen's opinion but added that family matters should take a backseat to affairs of the state.

"Ang sa akin ay karapatan nila iyon. My comment is - matters of state are of supreme importance. Familial considerations should not enter into any consideration of the national interest," he said in an interview after a presidential forum organized by the Philippine Daily Inquirer in UP Diliman.

Source: ABS-CBN News

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Malacanang bares new Cabinet appointees

PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo named Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro Mendoza as replacement of Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, who recently resigned to run for congressman of Batangas.

Ermita, who was Press Secretary Crispulo Icban Jr.'s guest at his press conference Wednesday, also announced the appointment of Solicitor General Alberto Agra acting justice secretary replacing Agnes Devanadera who is running for congresswoman of Quezon Province.

The President also named Agriculture Undersecretary Bernardo Fondevilla as ad interim secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) head Ma. Elena Bautista as new director general of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) Deputy Director General Rogelio Pijuan as new Tesda chief.

They would replace outgoing secretaries Arthur Yap of the DA, Hermogenes Esperon Jr. of PMS and Augusto Syjuco of Tesda who all resigned to run for congressmen of Bohol, Pangasinan and Iloilo, respectively.

Also being considered as new Budget Secretary is Senior Deputy Executive Secretary and Presidential Legislative Liaison Office head Joaquin Lagonera replacing Rolando Andaya Jr., who is running for congressman of Camarines Sur, and Deputy Executive Secretary Natividad Dizon as Chief Presidential Legal Counsel replacing Raul Gonzalez who is running for mayor of Iloilo.

Read the whole story at

Angara denies being Villar's emissary in bribe try

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Edgardo Angara denied Thursday that he approached Sen. Richard Gordon to withdraw from the presidential race in exchange for cash and a possible Cabinet position under a Villar presidency.

"There is absolutely no truth to that. I was surprised to hear my name being dragged into the issue," he said in a statement.

Angara, who was rumored to be the choice of Villar supporters to be the next Senate President, said the electorate should not dawdle on petty politics but focus on a serious and honest examination of the candidates' platforms.

He added that the next president would face big challenges such as "a dwindling food and water supply, a growing population, poor educational standards, lack of healthcare, and a slipping national competitiveness."

Gordon on Tuesday accused fellow presidential aspirant Villar of attempting to bribe him to withdraw from the race. He said Villar sent an emissary who offered him a Cabinet position and reimbursement of his campaign expenses in exchange for backing out of the presidential race.

The alleged bribe offer was done in the last week of January at the height of deliberations on the Senate Committee of the Whole's report recommending the censure of Villar for unethical conduct in connection with the C-5 road project.

Gordon said the objective of the Villar camp was to convince him to side with them so that they would be able to oust Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile as Senate President and stop the Senate plenary deliberations on the ethics case.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Enrile said his chief of staff called him in the last week of January and said that another senator "who Villar was supporting to replace me as Senate President, had approached Sen. Gordon to join the plot to oust me and install a new leadership in the Senate."

He said the offer to Gordon was repeated twice with increasing offers of money, reimbursement of his presidential campaign expenses and a Cabinet position if Villar was elected president. He said Gordon turned down all the offers.

"I have known Sen. Gordon from his younger days, and one thing I can say is that this man cannot be bought. Sen. Villar is dead wrong about Sen. Gordon. You do not put a price tag on everyone, especially not Dick Gordon. Gordon is not for sale," he said.

Enrile said he knew about the plot of several senators to unseat him as Senate President as early as December. He said Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, a known Villar ally, called his chief of staff that Villar would try to unseat him if he moved to gather votes for the committee report ordering Villar's censure.

He said Angara feigned ignorance about the coup plot after it failed to push through.

Villar allies gang up on Enrile

Meanwhile, several senatorial candidates of the Nacionalista Party came to Villar's defense and denied that their standard-bearer would do anything illegal.

Nacionalista spokesman Adel Tamano said Gordon's claim that Villar tried to bribe him was unbelievable. He said making Gordon back out of the race would not benefit Villar since the former's supporters are from the upper class and do not support Villar.

"You have to remember, si Sen. Villar, he is not a lawyer di ba? He is a businessman. He is a guy who became rich by making wise investments. Why invest in Dick Gordon when his ratings are so low? Why do an act na may legal consequences, na baka may makaalam pa? Ang laki ng risk and your returns are so low.," he said.

Another NP candidate, Gilbert Remulla, said Enrile had an axe to grind against Villar after the failed power grab in the Senate.

Still another NP candidate, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., backed Tamano's argument that Villar is the man to beat in the presidential election. He said the bribe offer was highly unlikely and is not in the character of Villar.

"Actually when it comes to the presidential race, he is the only game in town. Kaya it’s possible that they are trying to be part of the groundswell that is developing for Manny Villar," he said.

Source: ABS-CBN News

Villar's ads exceed combined airtime of 5 rivals

MANILA, Philippines--The advertisements of Nacionalista Party (NP) standard bearer Manuel Villar Jr. were aired for a total of 8,730 minutes (6 days) in a span of 3 months before the start of the official campaign period, exceeding the combined airtime of 5 other leading presidential candidates during the same period.

This was according to data of AGB Nielsen Media Research which were presented on Thursday by Pera at Pulitika (PaP), a consortium seeking to monitor election campaign financing.

Television and radio ads of the 6 top presidential candidates were aired for a total of 15,479 minutes from Nov. 1, 2009, to Feb. 8, 2010. The official campaign period started on February 9.

If played continuously, all these ads will take nearly 11 days to watch and listen to.

Senator Benigno Aquino III, former president Joseph Estrada, former defense secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., Senator Richard Gordon, and evangelist Eddie Villanueva had a combined airtime of 6,747 minutes or over 4 days.

Lawyer Roberto Cadiz, PaP consortium chairman and Libertas executive director, said the May 2010 polls is proving to be the most expensive elections. Citing historical data, Cadiz said they are expecting most of the candidates to spend 95% of their campaign kitty on media.

Total television and radio airtime (in minutes) from Nov. 1, 2009 to Feb. 8, 2010


Television airtime

Radio airtime

Senator Benigno Aquino III



Former President Joseph Estrada



Senator Richard Gordon



Former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro



Brother Eduardo Villanueva



Senator Manuel Villar



Total of all candidates



Source: Pera't Pulitika, AGB Nielsen media research group

Ad spending

Based on published rate cards, Villar’s ads cost a total of P1.2 billion in 3 months. It’s almost equal to the combined spending of P1.3 billion by 5 other leading presidential candidates.

Republic Act 9006 or the Fair Elections Act mandates media organizations to give candidates various discount—30% for television, 20% for radio, and 10% for print.

Villar has earlier claimed that he got a 66% discount because he bought the media spots very early.

Ad spending from Nov. 1, 2009 to Feb 8, 2010


Ad spending

Senator Benigno Aquino III

P357.58 million

Former President Joseph Estrada

P92.7 million

Senator Richard Gordon

P245.9 million

Former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro

P472.8 million

Brother Eduardo Villanueva

P103 million

Senator Manuel Villar

P1.2 billion

Total of all candidates

P2.5 billion

Source: Pera't Pulitika, AGB Nielsen media research group

Copyright 2009 Election 2010. Powered by Blogger Blogger Templates create by Deluxe Templates. WP by Masterplan