Gilbert Remulla

Transcript of interview of BSAIII by Anthony Taberna, Umagang Kay Ganda

Transcript of interview of Senator Benigno S. “Noynoy” Aquino III by Anthony Taberna, Umagang Kay Ganda, January 26, 2010

Transcript of Interview by Anthony Taberna at Umagang Kay Ganda

Anthony Taberna: Senator, isa po sa mga katunggali ninyo ay may commercial na natatandaan na po ng mga bata, eto po at itatanong ko sa inyo, kayo po ba ay nakaligo na sa dagat ng basura?

Sen. Noynoy Aquino: Hindi pa ho yata.

Anthony Taberna: Nag-pasko na ho ba kayo sa gitna ng kalsada?

Sen. Noynoy Aquino: Meron din ho yata nun, lalong lalo na po after Malacanang eh’, dipende ho kung saan aabutan. Pero ang nanay ko ho kasi talagang importante iyong Christmas eve na magkakasama kami, nung mag-asawa yung mga kapatid ko hanggang alas-diyes, so kadalasan ho kasama ho yung mga neighbors dun sa Times po.

Anthony Taberna: Naniniwala po ba kayo na para makatulong ang isang kandidato o kaya ay naghahangad maging Pangulo sa mga mahihirap ay kailangan ngang maging mahirap?

Sen. Noynoy Aquino: Palagay ko ho mas importante naranasan ninyo yung naranasan nila, pag sinasabi sa bansa natin yung mahirap, sinasabi katarungan, hindi nga nabibigyan ng adequate na abogado, hindi nasusulong yung kaso, hindi naipapakita yung kanilang punto. Kami po ay dumaan sa panahon ng martial law, yung nag-accuse po sa tatay ko si Marcos, yung may tangan po dun sa mga opisyales ng militar na humusga sa kanya si Marcos, yung magre-reveal nung kaso si Marcos, eh’ talagang talo pa po yung kangaroo court. Talagang wala ka ng kalaban-laban, marami naman po kaming dinaanan na kami rin po ay naapi, so alam po natin kung ano yung nadarama ng mga naapi, so palagay ko naman ho ayaw nating maulit yung pang-aapi kaya naman tayo ay may supisyenteng eksperyensa na para labanan yung pang-aapi.

Anthony Taberna: Pero yung pong sinasabi nilang kailangan mo munang dumaan sa pagiging gutom para malaman mo kung gaano kahirap ang maging gutom, kailangan mo munang… didiretsuhin ko na po, si Sen. Manny Villar, kailangan daw pong dumaan ka sa pagiging tindero ng hipon sa palengke para po malaman mo kung ano ang nararamdaman ng mga tindero, ganoon po ba yun?

Sen. Noynoy Aquino: Palagay ko naman ho lahat tayo hindi naka-inom ng lason pero alam natin na nakakamatay ang lason, wala hong may eksperiyensa na ang pag-inom po nung lason ay nabuhay, yun pong sinasabi niyang kuwento. Puwede namang dumaan ka doon mali naman yung leksiyon eh’ di wala rin hong silbi, ang point ko lang ho dito, when you are poor and you have so much of one thing for so many things, yung that is something that, yung people who have been deprived of whatever can also matter, can also be passionate about striving to changes.

Anthony Taberna: Kayo po ay may mga pinapalabas naring mga TV advertisements, magkaano na ho ang inyong ginagastos?

Sen. Noynoy Aquino: Kailangan ko hong i-check dun sa ating accountant, hindi ho ako binibigyan ng running total, pero malayo ho dun sa mga katunggali natin, siguradong-sigurado po yun.

Anthony Taberna: Kamusta ho ang pagdating ng tulong pinansiyal pagdating po sa politika para sa parating na halalan?

Sen. Noynoy Aquino: Maganda naman po, lalo na po nag-umpisa kami ng wala dahil hindi naman po ako nag-planong tumakbo, supisyente naman po para mapondohan yung ating mga sorties, yung mga political ads natin at tsaka maitulong dun sa mga volunteers natin.

Anthony Taberna: Magastos po yan ano, ang sabi po doon sa inyong TV ad, hindi po kayo magnanakaw, mayroon po ba kayong pinatatamaan doon?

Sen. Noynoy Aquino: Mayroon po mga naku-kuwestiyon kung saan nga po napunta yung pondo ano, more than anything nga po ang hina-highlight natin dun, tayo naman po ay nanggaling na ng Malakanyang, tayo naman po ay nanging opisyales sa gobyernong ito hindi naman natin inaabuso yung kapangyarihan na naipag-kaloob sa atin at sa pagkakataon. Noong panahon na ang nanay ko po ang Presidente at ang tawag po sa akin ng mga kabarkada ko ay “tanga”. Nung tinanong ko po paano naging “tanga” dahil naka-deans list naman ho ako kahit papaano, eh’ ang sagot ho eh’, may pagkakataon kaming kumita, tumiba-tiba eh’ hindi raw namin sinamantala kaya raw po kami “tanga’, ganoon na nga lang po eh’ di’ thank you.

Anthony Taberna: Pero dito po sa kasalukuyang bakbakan sa pagka-Pangulo, nung sinabi po ninyong hindi ako magnanakaw, magandang-maganda po ang dating nun, ang kahulugan po ba nito, yung ibang mga kandidato ay maaaring magnakaw o nagnanakaw.

Sen. Noynoy Aquino: Tandaan po ninyo ang focus po namin ay ang kasalukuyang pamamahala, balikan po natin yung ZTE, yung ZTE po ayon sa board meeting ng NEDA P5 milyon dapat ang nagastusan dun sa backbone ng ZyberEd. Yun pong tinatawag ni Jun Lozada na “tong-pats” ang tinatantiya ay mga P14 billion, so P5 billion lang talaga yung proyekto yung paghahati-hatian nila P35 billion, hindi ho ba pagnanakaw yun? Yung pagde-deprive ng mga puwedeng naging eskuwelahan, ospital, kalsada, kuryente sa mamamayan. Imbes na kumuha na lamang ng kapiraso ng P5 million, naging importante yung dinagdag na times seven ho bale ang dagdag.

Anthony Taberna: kayo po ay hindi magnanakaw, kami po ay maniniwala doon sa inyong pangako na iyon, pero paano po iyung mga nakapaligid sa inyo?

Sen. Noynoy Aquino: Kapag yung nasa itaas po ay magli-lead by example, kakabahan naman po maski papaano yung nasa ibaba at mayroon kayong moral superiority para habulin lahat ng hindi susunod. Pero minumungkahi po namin na hindi lamang lalabanan ang korapsiyon, pero bigyan naman natin ng pagkakataon yung matino na manatiling matino, Presidente po ng Republika P50,000 po ang suweldo, gross, ang pinapangasiwaang budget ay P1.5 trillion, baka mayroong matukso ho diyan kapag hindi maisagot ho yung tuition ng anak. Kailangan pong gayahin natin tulad ng Singapore na kung saan mataas-taas yung porsiyento ng private sector counterpart, sa Pilipinas po entry level pantay, pag na-promote na yung private sector ang layo na po ng agwat, so paano kapag ganoon na kataas yung super levy, sa ma mababa, mas mababa po talaga, medaling tuksuhin, kaya kailangan din po nating itaas ang antas na yun para makayanang labanan yung tukso.

Anthony Taberna: Lahat po ng mga kasama ninyo ngayon, mga sumusuporta, mga pulitiko na lumapit po sa inyo at sumakay sa Liberal Party ay dumaan po sa pagsala para matiyak na, oh’ eto ay talagang hindi rin mangnanakaw.

Sen. Noynoy Aquino: As much as possible po, pero pati naman pos a Bibliya ano, si Kristo nagsalita ng “those who have no sin cast the first stone”, sasabihin ko ho ba kami lahat dito ay Santo maski paanong husgahan, baka mayroon din yung may kasalanan, pero ang point ho nun, nanigurado kami na walang major na kasalanan. Wala naman pong perpektong tao.

Anthony Taberna: Nangangamba po ang iba Senator na baka po kayo ay diktahan ng civil society na nag-upo rin noon kay Pangulong Arroyo matapos maalis si Erap pero iniwanan din po lumaon ito pong si Pangulong Arroyo, hindi daw po kaya ganito rin ang sapitin ninyo sa kanilang mga kamay?

Sen. Noynoy Aquino: Dapat po kasi open, mayroon akong idea, mayroong idea yung aking katunggali na baka pinagsama natin yan mas maganda yung produkto, at same time sa dulo po nito yung Pangulo ang may responsibilidad sa lahat ng desisyon na gagawin niya, so ako naman po kapag naharap ko yung magulang ko masabi ko sa kanilang tama yung ginawa ko, para masabi ko ho yun, hindi ako puwedeng diktahan nino man, pati nanay ko po. With all due respect to my mother may mga panahon na nagtalo din po kami sa ibang desisyon, at one point in time siya ho ay tutol sa death penalty, ako ho ay may pananaw na yung talagang paulit-ulit na heinous crimes ang ginagamit ay may karapatan ang lipunan na proteksiyunan ang sarili niya, later on medyo nag-rethink nitong posisyon na ito, nakita ko yung justice system natin na kung saan yung public attorney’s office sobrang dami ng kasong hinahawakan, hindi nga po nabibigyan ng kaukulang pansin na masinsinan yung mga naaakusahan ng krimen, so hangga’t hindi natin maiaayos yun, masigurado na mapangalagaan yung mga karapatan nila. Baka nga may mapapahamak pag mayroon tayong death penalty na hindi naman pala dapat parusahan.

Anthony Taberna: So kayo po ba ay papayag na madiktahan ng sinoman sa inyo pong pagpapasiya?

Sen. Noynoy Aquino: Ang reputasyon ko ho eh’ matigas ang ulo, so yun bang pati nung nasa House, dun sa mga kasamahan ko doon na nakasabay ko doon, mayroong sinasabi na ito ay majority decision, ako po ay hindi automatic na sumasama dun sa majority decision, eto ba kaya kong panindigan na desisyon o hindi, kapag hindi ko kayang panindigan hindi ho ako sumasama sa kanila.

Anthony Taberna: Tutukuyin ko na po, isa sa grupo na malapit na malapit sa inyo ngayon ay yung kontrobersiyal na law firm na kung tawagin ay The Firm, ito po ay malaking papel sa administrasyong Arroyo mula po nung Day 1 at in fact naging abogado pa po sila sa marami ilang kaso ng katiwalian ng administrasyon ng Pangulong Arroyo si First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, ano po ang sagot ninyo doon sa mga obserbasyon nab aka kayo ay paikutan lamang ng mga ito?

Sen. Noynoy Aquino: Kung puwede ho nilang subukan, pero isa lang po ang kasama namin dun sa The Firm, si Nonong Cruz, dating kalihim ng tanggulang pambansa, yung lahat ng kasama ko ngayon, siguro kung kakilala nila ako, isama na ninyo yung mga ka-klase ko nung grade school, high school at college. Hindi ako puwedeng dinadala kung saan saan lang, sa palagay ko hindi tama, yung Lolo ko po nung high school ako ang sabi ay talagang napaka-importante na may barkada ka pero huwag kang nagpapadala, huwag kang kaladkarin, kailangan ikaw ang lider. Paulit-ulit ho sila ng ganoon, so again, lahat ho ng desisyon ko at the end of the day, kailangan kaya kong panindigan.

Anthony Taberna: Kagabi po medyo napuyat kayo sa pagtalakay sa C-5 controversy, senator isang diretsang tanong, puwede po ba kayong mag-inhibit na lamang doon po sa pagsisiyasat na ito para po mawala na yung pangangatwiran na kayo ay namumulitika lamang ditto sa isyu laban kay Sen. Villar?

Sen. Noynoy Aquino: Ang problema ho yung numero namin sa Senado, kasi ho kami ay 23 total, isa yung naka-kulong, 11-11 na nga ho ang puwedeng mangyari, walang desisyon, kailangan ma-resolve yung issue, kung hindi na ho kailangan yung partisipasyon ko pero maaaring na-resolve yung issue one way or the other baka puwede po nating pag-isipan yan. Pero uulitin ko po kung namumulitika ako ho dito, si Senator Alan Cayetano at si Gilbert Remulla mismo ang magpapatunay na umpisa-umpisa pa lamang ho at hanggang sa mga araw na ito, nakiki-usap ako kay Senator Villar, pumunta ka dito kung talagang wala kang kasalanan mapapakita mo yan, mabigyan ka ng karapatan mo na magkaroon ng proseso, kung saan puwede mong ipagtanggol yung sarili mo.

[Archived from the official campaign web site of President Benigno S. “Noynoy” Aquino III]

Voting machines fail

Voting machines fail
76,000 memory cards to be replaced
By Michael Lim Ubac, Tarra Quismundo, Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Now, it can be told officially. The tests produced weird results.

This sent embarrassed officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and its partner, Smartmatic-TIM, scrambling to save the historic computerized balloting on May 10 by recalling 76,000 compact flash (CF) cards that are in the heart of the counting machines.

“We didn’t expect this to come out, but we are responding on time,” Cesar Flores, spokesperson for Smartmatic-TIM, at a nationally televised news conference said.

Flores blamed the glitches, which first surfaced in two precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines last month at the start of advance overseas voting in Hong Kong, on “human error.”

“We are taking all measures to remedy this,” Flores said, just five days before the May 10 national and local elections.

“We are optimistic that there will be no failure of elections,” said Commissioner Rene Sarmiento. “We are taking all measures to remedy this.”

“I will not be honest if I will say that my confidence has not been diminished because, as I said, what will happen next?” said Henrietta de Villa, chair of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), the Comelec’s citizen’s arm.

In mock elections on Monday conducted by the Comelec and Smartmatic-TIM in six towns in Occidental Mindoro, votes for presidential candidates Manny Villar and Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III were counted for Gilberto Teodoro Jr. of the administration party, according to the Nacionalista Party (NP).

This prompted supporters of Villar led by his NP spokesperson and senatorial candidate Gilbert Remulla to rush to the Comelec office in Manila to file a complaint.

Automated cheating?

Remulla showed to reporters a tally sheet from the PCOS and a manual count.

“There were five votes for Villar, five votes for Aquino, but when it came out (in the machine), there were no votes for Villar, no votes for Noynoy and 10 votes for Teodoro,” Remulla said.

“Is this automated cheating?” he asked, adding that the inability of the machines to properly count the votes in the mock elections proved persistent talk of a failure of elections.

Comelec officials reported that in tests in three far-flung towns of Cuyo, Magsaysay and Brooke’s Point in Palawan province, the machines only read portions of the ballots containing the names of candidates for national races, according to the Inquirer’s Southern Luzon Bureau.

Similar problems occurred in tests in the provinces of Bataan and Pampanga.

Flores said that the eleventh-hour glitch surfaced Monday during testing and sealing of machines in 50 to 100 precincts to show that the automated election system is working and has no malicious data.

Cards to be replaced

He said the problem was in the flash cards, equivalent to the SIM card in cell phones.

Although the company has no final numbers on defective compact flash cards, it is moving to replace the memory cards for all the 76,000 PCOS machines already sent to regional hubs for field distribution, according to Flores.

Present at the news conference were representatives from the Comelec Advisory Council (CAC) and its technical evaluation committee, and Makati City Rep. Teodoro Locsin Jr., one of the co-chairs of the Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Elections.

The wrong tallies stemmed from the memory cards, Flores said.

He noted that the cards contained wrong “instruction” regarding the local ballot face that caused the PCOS machines to give “contradictory” readings of the names and the votes for the local contests.

Officials said the PCOS machine read the races for the national posts correctly.

Precinct-specific cards

Each PCOS machine contains a compact flash card which has the details on the specific precinct. It has the number of voters per precinct and the names of the candidates vying for local posts, among others.

For the ballots, which are precinct specific, to be read and recorded correctly, the program inside the card and the software inside the PCOS machine must work together.

During the printing of the ballots, the spacing of the local ballot face was adjusted to double space from single space, the formatting used for the national contests.

This change was not included in the compact flash card, Flores said. As such, the PCOS machine read the local ballot face as if it had a single-space format, causing the machine to wrongly allot votes to certain candidates or skip other names.

“The flash cards inside the PCOS were not able to locate certain candidates to positions,” Flores explained.

“For some reason, the configuration was telling the machine that the second row visually is actually the third row,” he said. The next row was read as a “blank space,” he said.

Who’s to blame?

Although there had been several mock elections and the PCOS machines were tested before they were dispatched, the problem was not discovered until Monday, Flores said.

He said that the ballots used in the mock elections and in the warehouse testing had different faces from the ballots that would be used on May 10.

Flores blamed the Comelec for the snafu, saying the poll body did not want to use real ballots to test the PCOS machines. The Comelec was authorized to print no more than 50.7 million ballots, the number of registered voters.

Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said Smartmatic-TIM had 20,000 flash cards on hand, which they had started to configure with the right instructions.

The company has also ordered more memory cards from local and overseas suppliers, he added.

Flores said the problem was “surmountable.” Correcting the instruction on the memory cards is “easy,” he said, adding that the challenge the company and the Comelec face is on the delivery of these cards to the precincts.

‘It will be done’

Although the schedule was “tight,” Flores said the company would be able to change the compact flash cards starting Wednesday night.

“It is a tight schedule but it can be done and it will be done,” he said.

As of Tuesday, the Comelec and Smartmatic-TIM had yet to finalize the delivery of the replacement cards.

Larrazabal said the Comelec was devising a procedure for the orderly recall of the flash cards to allow for an inventory. He said the Comelec would probably destroy the defective cards recalled.

Pending the replacement, the Comelec and Smartmatic canceled the testing and sealing of the PCOS machines.

Flores said the operation would resume on Thursday and Friday. Machines that will not pass the testing and sealing will not be used on May 10, he said.

New round of tests

Under the law, the testing and sealing operation of the PCOS machines is scheduled three to seven days before the elections.

“The machines from Tuesday will be tested again on Thursday. Some on May 7. All machines will be tested before Election Day,” Larrazabal said.

CAC chair Ray Roxas Chua said he did not expect defective memory cards to cause delays in the last-minute election preparations.

“We are not sugarcoating this. This is definitely a setback, but one that is not insurmountable,” said Chua, who is also information and communications technology secretary.

De Villa said she had received several calls and text messages from volunteers reporting problems with the PCOS machines in Pasay, Parañaque, Makati, Pasig and Las Piñas, and Batangas and Mindoro.

“Most of the complaints were PCOS failure, PCOS did not count, PCOS counted national (votes for national candidates) but could not read the local, all candidates for mayor except one,” De Villa said.

Problem can be fixed

She said that the Comelec had vowed to fix the problems. She expressed confidence in the automated polls and disagreed to proposals to hold a total manual count of election results. “It will just be confusing,” she said.

“And how can you validate a system with a process that is also corrupted? We wanted to automate because we were so unhappy with the manual system that has been corrupted, so why are we validating a new system with a corrupted system?” De Villa told reporters.

In the provinces, officials said unexpected problems arose during the testing and sealing of the vote-counting machines, prompting the suspension of their distribution. They said the Comelec office in Manila had sent instructions that technicians would be sent instead to fix the problems.

In San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, acting election officer Perlita Villanca told local radio dzVT that the testing and sealing of the PCOS machines had been deferred. PPCRV volunteers reported that in Magsaysay, Sta. Cruz and Sablayan towns, the machines did not count votes for a congressional candidate.

In San Fernando, the Comelec recalled PCOS machines in Central Luzon after 95 percent of some 700 units used in tests in Pampanga and Bataan failed to count votes for local candidates.

Officials said the distribution of machines in Cebu, Negros Occidental, Zamboanga del Sur, in Region IV, composed of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan had been ordered suspended.

Comelec Director Juanito Icaro said the advice from the Comelec national office was only “to stay put” and technicians would be sent instead. With reports from Redempto D. Anda, Marrah Erika Lesaba, Maricar P. Cinco, Fernan Gianan, Mar Arguelles and Madonna T. Virola, Inquirer Southern Luzon; Carla Gomez and Nestor Burgos Jr. and Jhunnex Napallacan, Inquirer Visayas; Ryan D. Rosauro and Julie S. Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao; Tonette Orejas, Charlene Cayabyab, Carmela Reyes-Estrope and Anselmo Roque, Inquirer Central Luzon; and Delmar Cariño and Charles Keith, Inquirer Northern Luzon

Smear tactics vs Aquino hurting Villar, rues Tamano

Smear tactics vs Aquino hurting Villar, rues Tamano
By Nikko Dizon
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Unburdening himself for the first time, Nacionalista Party senatorial candidate Adel Tamano said there were “misguided people” in his party “enjoying” the black propaganda meant to smear the name of Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, chief rival of NP standard-bearer Sen. Manuel Villar for the presidency.

“The [recent] survey result showed that negative campaigning has backfired on the Nacionalista Party,” Tamano, one of the NP’s two spokespersons, told the Inquirer by phone on Friday.

“I’m in pain … the negative campaign is backfiring and hurting our candidate,” he added.

“I don’t know for a fact if there is a dirty tricks department in our camp but I am not naïve. Different political parties do [have a black ops department]. Even if you don’t have any moral issues about it [black propaganda], is it effective?” he pointed out.

This is the first time that a senatorial candidate from the NP has criticized the perceived black propaganda used in forwarding the candidacy of Villar.

Text messages circulated on Thursday that Tamano and fellow senatorial candidate Susan “Toots” Ople were thinking of quitting the NP after a supposed falling out with other party spokesperson, Gilbert Remulla, and NP secretary general, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.

Ople denied the rumor while Tamano said he had no plans of resigning.

“I am not resigning because if I do, the misguided people in our party and the [misguided] supporters would continue to enjoy the black propaganda,” he told the Inquirer.

No chance to talk

Nonetheless, Tamano said he would discuss his sentiments with Villar at the NP’s campaign sortie in Bulacan on Thursday night. “I want to tell him how I feel and ask him if I still have the trust of the party. Kung wala na (if I don’t have it), then I would resign.”

Tamano told the Inquirer on Friday that he and Villar did not have a chance to talk in Bulacan.

Meanwhile, Villar’s numbers in voters’ preference surveys had been slipping, with the latest Pulse Asia result released Friday putting him in a tie with former President Joseph Estrada. Aquino had a comfortable lead.

Waging a lonely campaign against black propaganda, Tamano had been particularly outraged by NP supporter Guido Delgado’s release of an unverified psychiatric report on Aquino and publicly denounced Delgado’s move.

Focus on the vision

He had also confronted Remulla, at a press conference on the latter’s admission that he visited Maguindanao massacre suspect, Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. and asked Remulla to categorically state if the call on Ampatuan was sanctioned by the NP.

Remulla had stressed that the party was not involved in his visit to the elder Ampatuan.

In stressing what appeared to be the folly of Delgado’s release of the unverified psychiatric report on Aquino, Tamano said: “Why should we frame the debates in terms of mudslinging? Wala kaming laban kay (We cannot make a dent on) Noynoy because he is protected by Ninoy and Cory. Matatalo kami(We would lose) if we keep on using that [psychiatric report]. Why don’t we just focus on the competence and vision of our presidential candidate?”

The stinging result of the Pulse Asia survey on the presidential race which had Villar neck and neck with Estrada had made Tamano all the more bullish in pushing for a “positive campaign” in the last few days before Election Day.

Focus on Villar strength

Tamano said he hoped for a “change in tone of the campaign” and in the “strategy in terms of clarifying our message.”

“We should spend the last couple of days clarifying the message in terms of the vision and accomplishment of our candidate… we should be focusing on the strength of our candidate and not the weakness of his opponent,” he said.

Tamano said he would seek out Villar during a campaign sortie scheduled in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, this weekend.

“I don’t want it said that he (Villar) has to explain to me. I just want to express my sentiments and I would like him… to show what a great leader he is now and would be for the country,” he said.

On going public with his sentiments about the negative campaigning, Tamano admitted on Thursday that there could be a faction within the NP that “doesn’t trust me anymore.”

This, however, would not make him waver in his stand, he stressed.

Doing it with integrity

“This isn’t about winning and losing. It is about doing things with integrity,” he said.

Tamano, who ranked 23rd-29th in Friday’s Pulse Asia survey on voters’ preference for senatorial candidates, is seeking to represent Filipino Muslims in the Senate just like his father, the late Sen. Mamintal Tamano.

Villar loses support among poor: survey

Villar loses support among poor: survey
By Carmela Fonbuena
abs-cbnNews.com/ Newsbreak

Erap ties NP standard-bearer for 2nd place

MANILA, Philippines—The new Pulse Asia survey conducted 2 weeks before the May 10 polls is double whammy for Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearers Senators Manuel.In the April 23-25 survey, Villar and Legarda plunged 5 points and 3 points, respectively.

With 2 points margin of error, that means Villar lost from 3 to 7 percentage points. At 500,000 voters per statistical point, the drop is equivalent to 1.5 million to 3.5 million votes.

The numbers of Liberal Party (LP) bet Senator Benigno Aquino III and Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) bet former President Joseph Estrada were steady. Their 2-point gains are within the margin error.

“We’re not really surprised that President Estrada’s ratings rose. We stuck to our strategy of going directly to the people, and they have realized that Estrada is the real leader of the poor,” said PMP spokesperson Ralph Calinisan.

“I think people are starting to realize…that Estrada is the real ally of the masses…. We’re winning back the D and E votes, which are really the Estrada votes,” said Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco, PMP spokesman in Metro Manila.

Aquino stays on top with 39 points. It’s 1-percentage point less than the combined numbers of Villar and Estrada, who are tied at 20 points.

Administration bet former Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. is stuck at 7 percentage points.

The undecided group is also steady at 9 percentage points. It’s equivalent to 4.5 million voters.

NP not discouraged

But NP spokesmen and senatorial candidates Adel Tamano and Gilbert Remulla said they are not discouraged by the survey results.“Five points going down is not fatal. We are very confident hahabol kami (we are going to catch up),” Tamano told abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak in a phone interview.

“There is a false perception that Noynoy is going to win. I tell you, expect some surprises. This is going to be the longest 10 days,” he said. Tamano said the NP is counting on endorsements and their local machinery to deliver votes for Villar.

Remulla also accused the survey firm of being biased against Villar. “Pulse Asia surveys have never been kind to Senator Villar from what we believe is due to its ownership structure,” he told abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak in a mobile text message.

Aquino’s first cousin, Rapa Lopa, was former president of Pulse Asia. But Lopa has divested in the survey firm since Aquino joined the presidential race.

But Villar supporter political analyst Prospero De Vera acknowledges that the new survey is bad news.

“The numbers are bad. It’s the result of a concentrated black propaganda from both Erap and Noynoy camps. The attack has been so vicious in the past few weeks,” De Vera told abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak in a phone interview.

Binay’s dramatic increase

In the vice presidential race, Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay has overtaken Legarda with his dramatic increase of 9 percentage points, or the equivalent of 4.5 million voters.Binay registered 28 points compared to Legarda’s 20 points.

According to the analysis of Pulse Asia, the vice presidential race is now between Senator Manuel Roxas II of the Liberal Party and Binay. Roxas remains on top with 37 points.

But Roxas is already confident of the LP’s big win in May. “I am happy that Noynoy Aquino and I will become the next president and vice-president of this country. We pledge to pursue our commitment to reform our government so that our people can enjoy the fruits of good governance as this will result in true progress and development for all the peoples of this country,” Roxas said in a statement.

Noynoy gets poor, Erap gets Mindanao

Villar’s numbers show he is losing the support across the board—in all regional breakdowns and all socio-demographics.

Candidates’ gains and losses
Error margin
Aquino
Villar Estrada
Nationwide
2 2 -5 2
NCR 7 -3 -2 2
Balance Luzon 3 4 -5 1
Visayas 5 6 -7 3
Mindanao 5 -1 -7 5
ABC Not available -4 -1 -1
D Not available 2 -6 4
E Not available 3 -4 0

Villar is losing to Aquino and Estrada his support base among the poor.Villar dropped 6-percentage points and 4-percentage points in classes D and E, respectively. Aquino gained 2 percentage points in Class D and 3 percentage points in Class E. Estrada gained 4 points in Class D.

The foundation of Villar’s campaign has always been his rags-to-riches story. He says that if he can get himself out of poverty, he can also do it for the rest of the Filipinos.

But this claim was put in question when various camps starting in March belied Villar’s poverty. (See Aquino joins ‘Villar is not poor’ chorus)

“Maybe the poor voters are getting confused. Probably they got confused by all these accusations,” said Villar supporter, De Vera. “Our messaging has been drowned out by negative attacks. It’s not anymore issues.”

By region, Villar is losing to Aquino his supporters in Balance Luzon and the Visayas. Estrada continues to shrink Villar’s support base in Mindanao.

In the March 2010 survey, Estrada registered a big gain in Mindanao at the expense of Villar.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, who is vice president for Mindanao of Estrada’s PMP, said the supporters of Estrada are returning to his side after the Supreme Court’s decision in January 2010 to junk the disqualification case against him. (See Erap, not C-5, caused Villar’s survey drop)

The other candidates, including disqualified bet Vetellano Acosta, got 1 point to 3 points increases across the board.

Victim of black propaganda?

Villar’s camp said the surveys numbers are a result of a concentrated black propaganda against Villar.

“In the past few weeks, we have seen intensified black propaganda and vicious attacks from both the Erap and Aquino camps,” Remulla said.

“Jamby, si Erap, si Gordon, and the Liberal Party, they’re all hitting Manny [Villar] at the same time. There has been a flurry of negative campaigning. It’s below the belt,” Tamano added.

Among the key developments identified by Pulse Asia during the survey period are the following:

  • Defections from Lakas-Kampi CMD to NP and LP
  • Allegations made by Estrada and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile that while serving Senate President in 2007, Villar used his position to pressure the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) to decide in his favor on a matter concerning the public offering of his real estate company’s shares

De Vera assailed the LP camp for “concocting” the alleged “Villaroyo” alliance between President Arroyo and Villar.“All evidence show that it’s (defections from Lakas-Kampi CMD) practically equal. And they got Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, the most notorious and most loyal adviser of President Arroyo. While he joined LP, he said he is still loyal to President Arroyo. What other proof of a distorted politician is that?” De Vera said. (See Lakas-Kampi defections: ‘Villaroyo’ or ‘Gloriaquino’?)

He also challenged Estrada to file a case against Villar in allegedly exerting his pressure on the PSE. “The PSE has cleared Villar. Why don’t they file a case?” he said.

Blaming the media

De Vera also laments what he calls “media’s bias” against Villar.

“It’s the black propaganda peddled through accusations in press conferences, the media, and the SMS. These have been driving the campaign since 2 weeks ago,” De Vera said.

“The Noynoy camp has a significant advantage in the media. They are backed up by ABS-CBN. They are also backed up by columnists, who hide behind their columns. Villar doesn’t have any of this,” he said.

In a press conference on Monday, Villar’s family also blamed the media for the negative stories on Villar (See Villar’s mom: Stop picking on my son)

While Villar has dominated political advertising in television and radio, Tamano said the ads are powerless against all the attacks.

“It’s very difficult to answer all allegations. It’s not one-on-one. It’s one side versus four,” Tamano said.

Tamano said in the remaining days in the campaign period, the NP will stress their message on competence. “The real debate should be who is most competent. If we go back to that, I believe we are going to get the undecided voters,” he said.

“Our voters have shifted to the undecided and we are doing all that we can to win them back. We believe there is enough time. Once that is done, it will be back to manageable levels and our party machinery will see us to victory,” said Remulla. (abs-cbnNews.com/Newsbreak).

Victims’ kin ask Remulla: Explain visit to Ampatuan patriarch

Victims’ kin ask Remulla: Explain visit to Ampatuan patriarch
By Miko L. Morelos
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Two widows of media workers who were among the 57 people killed in Maguindanao last year yesterday wondered why Nacionalista Party senatorial candidate Gilbert Remulla had to see Andal Ampatuan Sr., a principal suspect in the massacre, about his (Remulla’s) security in a jailhouse visit in Davao City early this month.

“Is [Remulla] that weak that he had to ask for security from someone in jail?” asked Myrna Reblando, widow of Manila Bulletin correspondent Bong Reblando, in Filipino.

“Why was he asking for security from [Ampatuan]? Why didn’t he ask it from the military or the police,” said Editha Tiamzon, widow of UNTV driver Daniel Tiamzon.

Ampatuan is the patriarch of the clan that until the massacre, controlled Maguindanao and other parts of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Remulla admitted visiting Ampatuan, saying that he did so to discuss his security concerns. “If you have children, you would understand,” was all he would cryptically tell reporters.

The widows speculated the visit was political with the elections drawing near.

The Ampatuans were closely identified with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo whom they were suspected of fraudulently helping win the 2004 elections in their territory.

“I think [the visit was] a negotiation because the elections are near and [the Ampatuans] have a wide connection in the area,” Reblando said.

“The Ampatuans are good in doing dirty tricks,” Tiamzon said. With a report from Emil Sarmiento

Villar remains confident, believes he would overtake Noynoy's ratings

Villar remains confident, believes he would overtake Noynoy’s ratings
By Christina Mendez
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Nacionalista Party (NP) presidential candidate Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. remained optimistic that he would overcome the 12-percentage point lead of his main rival Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III in the latest surveys.

With 14 days before the elections, Villar said the NP has been beefing up support from the ground to ensure their victory on May 10.

“Surveys are important but in the ultimate hour, the support of local officials as well as big groups and your entire organization working for the delivery of your votes all come into play. All these are important,” Villar said.

Villar said the remaining two weeks would be the deciding factor.

Villar cited the case of former President Fidel Ramos who emerged the winner in the 1992 elections even as he was rating low in the surveys.

He said the voting public should review the credentials of candidates and their record and experience.

“If you are a legislator for example, ask if that (candidate) already passed a law or not. If none, then that should be used as a gauge in choosing who should lead the country,” he said.

Villar said he is proud of his accomplishments having passed a number of bills in the Senate. He said this feat alone would reflect on one’s leadership capability.

NP spokesman and senatorial bet Gilbert Remulla said the battle has shifted into capturing areas for solid votes.

“While we acknowledge the veracity of pre-election polls by various survey firms, we believe that surveys do not make a candidate win. The war has now shifted from media battles to capturing battlegrounds that will deliver the actual votes. This is the real deal, and we are prepared to go for the kill,” he said.

Remulla said Aquino’s lead in the surveys has gone back to the single-digit level with two weeks before the national elections.

Noynoy: Mar is my only vice president

Noynoy: Mar is my only vice president
By Delon Porcalla
The Philippine Star

TACLOBAN CITY , Philippines  – Liberal Party standard-bearer Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, the frontrunner in the presidential race, assured the people yesterday that Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II is his only running mate, amid speculation that there is a growing support for an Aquino tandem with Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay, the vice presidential bet of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino.

Aquino said he is confident that if he wins as president and something untoward happens to him, the government will be left in good hands under Roxas.

“Gusto ko iliwanag, sa akin kandidato ko kaisa-isa kong partner sa laban na ito, si Mar, dahil sigurado akong ipagpatuloy niya kung sakaling di ko kayanin (I want to make it clear that I have only one candidate and one partner in this fight, and that is Mar, because I am certain he will finish what I have begun),” he said.

Some groups have been pushing for an Aquino-Binay tandem in the May 10 elections.

Sen. Francis Escudero, who is also supporting the Aquino campaign, had endorsed Binay, the running mate of PMP standard-bearer former President Joseph Estrada.

Escudero is allegedly one of the prospective rivals of Roxas in the presidential race in 2016.

Aquino said he and Roxas would both win in the polls and they would implement genuine reforms in the country.

“The numbers of my partner (Roxas) are consistent, His lead is big and his lead will be wider in the coming days,” Aquino said during his campaign sorties here.

He said the struggle of the rivals of Roxas for vice president is now just for the No. 2 slot and they can no longer beat Roxas.

A BusinessWorld-commissioned survey conducted recently by the Social Weather Stations showed Roxas still leading the vice presidential race with 39 percent. Binay and Nacionalista Party vice presidential bet Sen. Loren Legarda were virtually tied at second place with 25 percent and 24 percent, respectively.

Noynoy said Villar is to blame for low ratings

Aquino also claimed yesterday that his main rival Nacionalista Party Sen. Manuel Villar has only himself to blame for his decline in the surveys.

“He (Villar) only helped all of these doubts (against him) grow bigger and bigger. He had the opportunity but he chose not to answer all of these issues squarely. I think he only has himself to blame for all these,” Aquino said.

PMP standard-bearer Estrada had overtaken Villar in a recent survey commissioned by Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno, where Aquino got 41 percent, Estrada obtained 25 percent while Villar only garnered 23 percent.

PMP senatorial bet Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile had also disclosed that Villar who was then Senate president in 2007, allegedly pressured officials of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) to lift the “lockup” rule over shares of stocks of Vistaland and Lifescapes, Inc. to allow Villar to sell his stocks and allegedly earned P26 billion.

The latest controversy involving the NP was the recent admission of one of the party’s senatorial bet former Cavite Rep. Gilbert Remulla that he had talked to detained former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. in Davao City, a suspect in the killing of 57 people that was known as the Maguindanao massacre.

Aquino said that Villar had also refused to properly answer questions regarding the C-5 Road extension project that allegedly increased the value of the property of the Villar family in Las Piñas.

“He has consistently refused to answer the C-5 issue, for one,” said Aquino.

Aquino also felt vindicated by the admission of Remulla that he had a met the controversial Ampatuan patriarch, after the former Maguindanao governor’s detained son Andal Ampatuan Jr. held a press conference at his detention cell at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig and announced his endorsement of Aquino’s presidential bid. Andal Jr. had earlier expressed his support for Villar and Remulla.

“It turned out it was the other way around. I’m happy that the truth is now coming out. “The truth is I don’t know any of them (Ampatuans), although I would admit that one of them shook hands with us during our budget deliberations. No more, no less,” Aquino added.

“I think it is very clear from this issue (Ampatuan meeting) alone on what style of governance they (NP bets) are practicing,” he said.

Meanwhile, Aquino also endorsed the candidacy of re-electionist party-list Rep. Florencio “Bem” Noel of An Waray, who he said has helped his constituents through the years. Noel and Aquino were former colleagues in the House opposition bloc.

After his visit to Tacloban, Aquino went to Catbalogan in Samar, then to Maasin and Baybay in Leyte.

Villar should blame self for falling ratings: Aquino

Villar should blame self for falling ratings: Aquino
By RG Cruz
ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines – Liberal Party presidential candidate Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III on Tuesday said his rival, Nacionalista Party standard bearer Manny Villar, has no one to blame but himself for his falling ratings in pre-election surveys.

“Wala siyang dapat sisihin kundi sarili niya,” Aquino told reporters who asked about the NP bet’s continuous slide in the ratings.

A Social Weather Stations survey, conducted on April 16-19 and published on Monday, showed that support for Villar dropped by 2 points to 26%.

On the other hand, Aquino, the son of the country’s late democracy icon, Corazon “Cory” Aquino, edged up 1 point to 38%. The country will hold national elections and launch its first automated vote count on May 10.

Villar’s ratings have slipped since February, when he closed in on Aquino’s lead with a two-point margin, partly due to allegations by his critics that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her husband were supporting his candidacy.

Compared to Villar, Aquino’s ratings have been steady at above 35% since the country’s two main independent pollsters, SWS and Pulse Asia, started surveys on presidential candidates late last year.

In Tuesday’s interview, Aquino said Villar was given every chance to respond to all the allegations leveled against him. Villar has been accused of unethical behavior for allegedly authorizing insertions in the C-5 road project while his party has been accused of releasing a fake psychiatric report about Aquino.

Recently, former president Joseph Estrada accused Villar of pressuring members of the Philippine Stock Exchange Board board so he can illegally profit from the public listing of his company’s shares in 2007.  Villar has denied all of the accusations.

Aquino said Villar’s continued refusal to directly address the issues leveled against him has had a negative effect on his campaign.

“Dami namang pagkakataon na sagutin ni Senator Villar ang mga issue sa kaniya. Pinili po niyang di harapin. Yung duda po. Yung paniniwala na di tama yung mga kilos,” he said.

Black propaganda

The LP bet dismissed accusations that his camp is behind the slew of black propaganda against Villar. He admitted tipsters approached them about the latest allegation against Villar but that there were no documents backing up the claim.

He also dismissed the NP bet’s claim that command votes of Villar’s allies at the local level could easily surpass Aquino’s survey lead. Aquino said the admission of NP senatorial bet Gilbert Remulla that he met with ex-Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. would actually cause problems for the Nacionalista candidates.

“Command votes sa Maguindanao? Dahil inamin na rin ho naman ng kandidato nila nakipagkita siya kay Andal Sr. Palagay ko figment of imagination yun,” he said.

Aquino dismissed a possible repeat of the scenarios of the 1992 and 2004 presidential elections when the survey leaders were defeated in come-from-behind victories by their chief rivals. He also debunked rumors that his allies are secretly backing Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino vice-presidential bet Jejomar Binay instead of his running-mate, Mar Roxas.

“Itong alliance po namin ni Mar di dahil kapartido lang kami… Sa aking pananaw, talagang pinakaangkop na kandidato na kaya kong igarantya sa sambayanan na kung may mangyari  sa akin, na ipagpapatuloy inaasam asam natin na saktong-sakto si Mar Roxas po iyon,” he said.

Palace opposes parallel manual count

Palace opposes parallel manual count
abs-cbnNEWS.com

MANILA, Philippines – A spokesman for President Arroyo on Tuesday opposed a petition for a parallel manual count of the May 10 polls.

In a press conference, Deputy Presidential Spokesman Roger Peyuan said the timing of the petition is suspect, just two weeks before the country’s first ever nationwide automated poll.

“Why are we spending for automation if we will just go back to manual? What do we really want?” he asked reporters.

Peyuan added that the proposal to automate the nationwide election underwent meticulous study by various committees under the Commission on Election, Senate and Congress. He said the petition for a manual audit was only done after Comelec had finished printing all 50.9 million poll automation ballots.

“I don’t think it’s permissible at this point in time,” he said.

Various groups have called on the Comelec to implement a parallel manual count of the May 10 elections to allay fears of possible cheating in the first ever nationwide automated election. Among the groups who have supported the proposal are the Makati Business Club, the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX), National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections and Philippine Bar Association.

Six of the 9 presidential candidates also sent a letter to Comelec to conduct a simplified parallel manual count for president, vice president and any of three local posts: governor, member of the House of Representatives, or mayor. The proposal said the results of the parallel manual count will be compared to the tally by the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.

“The credibility of automated elections has suffered because the Comelec has removed many of the safeguards that were initially set in place – a credible source code review, ultraviolet mark checking, and the authenticity check through digital signatures, among others,” read the letter.

“Credibility and acceptance of the outcome of the elections can be restored by simply adding this one step – the parallel manual count.”

The letter was signed by former President Joseph Estrada, Sen. Benigno Aquino III, Sen. Jamby Madrigal, Bro. Eddie Villanueva, Olongapo City Councilor JC de los Reyes and Nick Perlas.

Sen. Manuel Villar Jr., Bagumbayan standard-bearer Richard Gordon and former defense secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. did not join the call.

In an interview, Gordon said he opposed the parallel manual count since he is confident that the poll automation process will work.

Teodoro, on the other hand, said he opposed a manual count since it could lead to trending.

Nacionalista Party spokesman Gilbert Remulla, meanwhile, said their group is not inclined to back a parallel manual count because “it is very late in the game.”

“We don’t know the rules and why they only want a parallel count for the president, vice president and mayor?” he said.

“It might turn out that the election fraud will happen (in the manual parallel count). What will happen in a situation when the results (of the automated count and the manual count) won’t match?

“Which will be more credible – the automated counting or the manual count which is also prone to errors.”  With a report from Philippine Star

Bong, Jinggoy statistically tied

Bong, Jinggoy statistically tied
By Helen Flores
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – The latest survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed that two actors who are also re-electionist senators are again leading the senatorial aspirants in the May 10 elections.

Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. of the administration Lakas-Kampi-CMD and Sen. Jinggoy Estrada of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) were “statistically tied” at first place, receiving 54 percent and 53 percent, respectively, according to results of the SWS survey published by the BusinessWorld newspaper yesterday.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago of the People’s Reform Party is still third with 43 percent, down from 44 percent last month.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile of PMP and Sen. Pia Cayetano of the Nacionalista Party (NP) both got 36 percent and are now in fourth and fifth slots, respectively.

Former senator Franklin Drilon of the Liberal Party (LP) was in sixth place with 35 percent.

Former senator Vicente Sotto III of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (33 percent) and former head of the National Economic and Development Authority Ralph Recto (30 percent) maintained their seventh and eighth places, respectively.

Independent bet former senator Sergio Osmeña III improved to ninth spot from the previous 11th place after receiving 29 percent. Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. of Kilusang Bagong Lipunan garnered 28 percent and is now in 10th place, while Sen. Manuel Lapid of the administration party is in 11th place with 27 percent.

The SWS said these candidates have consistently been in the list of 12 possible winners since the firm’s Dec. 5-10 survey.

Former Cavite Rep. Gilbert Remulla of the NP got 21 percent to land in the 12th and last spot, followed by Bukidnon Rep. Teofisto Guingona III of LP and businessman Jose de Venecia III of PMP, who both got 20 percent.

BusinessWorld reported that the SWS described as “not far behind” the PDP-Laban senatorial candidate Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana, daughter of Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel Jr.; who got 18 percent.

LP bet Sonia Roco, widow of senator Raul Roco, Akbayan party-list Rep. Riza Hontiveros-Baraquel also of LP and detained Col. Ariel Querubin (NP) all got 16 percent while another LP bet, Muntinlupa City Rep. Ruffy Biazon, got 15 percent.

Emilio Mario Osmeña of Promdi and detained Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim (LP) both got 13 percent.