Countdown

SEARCH FOR TRUTH - Ernesto M. Maceda (The Philippine Star) - May 16, 2016 - 10:00am

The countdown on presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s promise to stop crime and corruption has started even if his term officially starts on June 30.

Crime incidents surged to more than a million a year under President Benigno Aquino III’s watch.

President Digong has promised to kill drug lords and criminals, stop jueteng and illegal gambling, cut red tape, increase infrastructure, reorganize the bureaucracy, focus on the rural areas through enhanced agricultural development, boosting farmer subsidies,   start a peace dialogue with the New People’s Army/National Democratic Front (NPA-NDF), expand the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program, termination of labor contractualization, release of political detainees, and increase resources for local government.

He also plans to call a constitutional convention. He promised to initiate all these in three to six months.

He even went as far to say if his reforms are blocked he will abolish Congress and declare a revolutionary government.

He also persisted in his federalism advocacy to devolve powers and resources from the central government to the regions.

Meanwhile, he announced the heads of six transition teams, headed by former Agriculture Secretary Sonny Dominguez. Some observers expressed surprise about the designation of Bong Go as head of the Peace and Security panel.

Healing president

Presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte has started on the right foot by calling for healing and national unity.

He has announced plans to release former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

He also told Vice President Jejomar Binay, who is being accused of graft charges during his tenure as mayor of Makati, that running after him is not his priority; that Binay would not have any problem with him, adding he would rather spend looking for solutions rather than go around finding faults.

This was the first big mistake of President Benigno Simeon Aquino Jr. He did not go for healing and reconciliation with the losing presidential candidates in 2010.

Meanwhile, former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo and his allies, Makabayan officials Liza Masa of Gabriela and Rafael Mariano of Anakpawis, are urging President Duterte to charge outgoing President Aquino and his top officials with graft and corruption in connection with the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), among other alleged irregularities, both of which were declared illegal by the Supreme Court (SC) in 2013.

Duterte’s core group

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, through his spokesman’s pronouncements, have indicated the following personalities as advisers or probable Cabinet members. They are Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Sen. Pia Cayetano, former Department of Agriculture (DA) Sec. Sonny Dominguez, former chief of the government peace panel Jesus Dureza, former Justice secretary and peace negotiator Silvestre “Bebot” Bello, former Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Sec. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez, former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, former Department of National Defense (DND) Sec. Gilberto Teodoro, former Clark Development Corp. (CDC) president Art Tugade, Duterte’s legal counsels Atty. Sol Panelo and Atty. Salvador Medialdea.

Also mentioned is former President Fidel V. Ramos.

Duterte has named Carlos Sonny Dominguez III as finance secretary.

He also designated Tugade as secretary of DOTC.

Robredo claims win

After attending thanksgiving mass at the University of Ateneo de Manila on Sunday, Rep. Leni Robredo has claimed victory, saying that with 99.15 percent of the votes submitted Senator Bongbong Marcos cannot mathematically catch up with her lead of more than 200,000 votes.

But Marcos was firmed on his decision not to concede while the transmission of remaining votes from the vote counting machines (VCMs) still could not transmit election results.

Robredo’s head of policy, Boyet Dy, said only nine towns have yet to transmit their results. As of 5:45 p.m. Sunday, Robredo led with 14,022,898 votes, with Marcos getting 13,803,654 votes. He added that according to the latest count, including the overseas and local absentee voting, Robredo leads Marcos by 257,567 votes.

But Marcos also declared he has won the vice presidential race last Sunday, after Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon tweeted that he got 176,669 votes in the unaudited OAV tally, compared to Robredo’s 89,935. His camp slammed Robredo for claiming victory ahead of the official count, saying it was a “grave disservice to the public.” Also, a winner may only be proclaimed based on the results of the canvassing.

Rage from both supporters seem to be building up. Some says that Marcos and Robredo are both victims here; and the real villain is President Aquino, who earlier declared he would lead a “people power” should the Filipino voters choose Marcos as their Vice President. By this statement, he gave reasons for people to speculate that he allegedly resorted to Plan B – to make Robredo the vice president in lieu of Marcos – when his “Plan A” – to shove Mar Roxas to number one position if the gap between him and Duterte was not that wide – did not prosper.

Tidbits

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte was born on March 28, 1945, which makes him an Aries sign and a born leader. His common law wife Honeylet Avanceña is a registered nurse. It has been his announcement that her daughter, Mayor Sara Duterte, will discharge the roll of First Lady.

The Duterte administration will propose the restoration of death penalty by hanging, for heinous crimes. He would also give security forces “shoot-to-kill orders” against organized criminals or those who violently resisted arrest.

Three soldiers were killed in a clash with the NPAs in Toboso, Negros Occidental.

Duterte plans to sell the presidential yacht, Japan-built BRP Ang Pangulo. Also, he wants all aircraft assigned to the Presidential Airlift Wing or the Bluebirds to be converted as “air ambulances.”

 

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