Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Hagedorn declines Erap’s UNA invite, says he’s no political butterfly

PALAYAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, April 2, 2013-Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn said on Tuesday he has been lured by deposed former President Joseph Estrada to join the United Nationalist Alliance which the latter headed together with Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile but declined the offer and remained an independent senatorial candidate so he won’t emerge a political butterfly.

          “Erap (Estrada’s nickname) is my friend and he’s been calling me to join the UNA senatorial slate. But I didn’t accept the offer so I won’t turn out as a political butterfly,” Hagedorn told reporters here on the sidelines of a pro-women rally arranged by businesswoman Rianne Cuevas.

          Hagedorn said that while he is an independent candidate, he will rely on the support of three big groups : the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) and the Liga ng mga Barangay.

“I count on their solid support and with this, I hope to get elected in the Senate in May,” he said. He said he has no problem with mobility and logistics, unlike other independent senatoriables.

          Hagedorn said his advocacies will focus primarily on environment, local governance, tourism and agriculture. He said only two percent of environmental laws are being implemented in the country.

          He said he would move for a revision of the Local Government Code and make it attuned to present realities as well as craft legislations that would widen the tax base for local government units by including the value added tax in the computation of internal revenue allotments (IRA).

          “We should base it on the previous year and not on the last three years,” he said, adding he favored the inclusion of coastal areas in the computation of the IRA of coastal LGUs.

          Hagedorn said he is for the return of the four to five-year terms of office of local and national officials without any term limits or restrictions and for the strengthening of safeguards in the enforcement of the recall petition.
          He said he would apply the Puerto Princesa experience in helping spur tourism and agricultural development in the country.

          Hagedorn stressed the need for the government to come up with a national land use plan which will be attuned to the comprehensive land use plan of LGUs.

          He said this was necessitated by a recent development in Puerto Princesa wherein certain quarters wanted to undertake mining activities at the world-famous Underground River which the city government opposed.

          “This proposal to undertake mining at the river was approved in the national level which was made because there is no national land use plan. The thing is, they have to coordinate with local government units. The mere fact it was accepted in the national level means they were raising false hopes among the interested mining companies,” he said. (Manny Galvez)     

Jack to JPE, Miriam : ‘kiss and make up’

PALAYAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, April 2, 2013 – United Nationalist Alliance senatorial candidate Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile has this one fervent wish: that his father, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and the latter’s nemesis, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago would end their bitter word war, kiss and make up and be friends just like the old times.

          “I hope both sides will stop their personal attacks and look back at the times they worked together. That they would remember their harmonious relationship for the sake of the country,” he said at a press conference here following a provincial sortie.

          The younger Enrile graced a gathering of women at Plaza Concepcion here on the invitation of businesswoman Rianne Cuevas.

          The word war between Enrile and Santiago broke out over the additional P2.2 million in maintenance and other operating expenses (MOEE) that Enrile gave 18 senators last Christmas.

          Santiago and three other senators – Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter cayetano, Pia Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV – got only P600,000 each  

          Congressman Enrile said he holds no grudges against Santiago in spite of her tirades against his father who, he recalled have spent quite a good time with Santiago as friends. He said that during the lady senator’s silver wedding anniversary, he even represented his father in the event.

          Short of saying the Senate President be spared from scathing criticisms, the younger Enrile said his father is an elderly statesman who is already 84 years old and has served the nation for 50 years already.

“I think he has served well yet this late stage in his political career, it seems he is being targeted,” he said.

He said though that his father understands the game of politics and is very much capable of answering the allegations against him.

The younger Enrile, who graced a pro-women event here said he would gladly accept the title of “Honorary Woman of the Senate” if he gets elected in May.

The titular role once belonged to the late former senator Raul Roco owing to his advocacy of women’s causes during his Senate stint.

Enrile said that as a father of two daughters, issues involving women are closest to his heart.

He said women should be treated equally with men who at times they even beat in certain fields, including politics. (Manny Galvez)      

Ecija congressional bet sets face-off with disqualification petitioners before Comelec

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, April2, 2013–A 32-year-old congressional candidate who is facing a disqualification petition before the Commission on Elections  for allegedly being a US citizen is facing off the two petitioners in a conference set tomorrow at the poll body’s office in Intramuros, Manila.

Magnolia Rosa C. Antonino-Nadres is set to appear before the Comelec’s First Division to answer the petition seeking to disqualify her in the congressional race in southern Nueva Ecija.

Earlier, Clerk of Commission Ma. Josefina dela Cruz, in a summons with notice of conference directed Antonino-Nadres to appear in the Wednesday conference, effectively giving due course to the petition.

          Dela Cruz warned Antonino-Nadres that failure to appear before the scheduled conference shall be considered as a waiver and render the petition deemed submitted for resolution.

          A separate notice of conference has been sent to lawyer Tyrone Contado, counsel for petitioners Pedro Fajardo and Desita Garcia.

          Both parties have been given 10 days after the date of conference within which to file their respective memorandum.

          Antonino-Nadres, of San Francisco St., Barangay Langla, Jaen, Nueva Ecija, is the daughter of outgoing three-term fourth district Rep. Rodolfo Antonino.

          More popularly known as Megan, Antonino-Nadres is seeking to succeed her father in the district which covers Gapan City and the southern Nueva Ecija towns of Cabiao, Gen. Tinio, Jaen, Penaranda, San Isidro, San Leonardo and San Antonio.

She is running under the National Unity Party founded by the elder Antonino against two-time San Leonardo Mayor Froilan Nagano, comebacking former two-term Rep. Julita Lorenzo-Villareal and Villareal’s sister-in-law, former San Isidro mayor and Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) executive director Sonia Lorenzo.

          The five-page petition filed by Fajardo and Desita Garcia said respondent Antonino-Nadres is disqualified to run for Congress in the fourth district based on Article 6 of the 1987 Constitution which provides that no person shall be a member of the House of Representatives unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines.

          The petition added that pursuant to Section 2, Article 4 of the same Constitution, it is stipulated that natural-born citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Filipino citizenship.

          Antonino-Nadres’ camp has dismissed the petition as politically motivated and is allegedly meant to sow confusion among the people.

          But Nagano dismissed Antonino-Nadres’ claims, saying the fact that the petition was given due course by the Comelec means there must be some merit on the said petition. He said the conference affords Antonino-Nadres the chance to deny the claims contained in the petition.

“The conference is the proper forum for Antonino-Nadres to deny the allegations that she is a US citizen. There, she is given her day in court,” he said.  

          The petitioners cited some grounds on why Antonino-Nadres should be disqualified among which are that she is a US citizen, she is not registered with the National Statistics Office and she holds an American passport.   

          It cited that in her certificate of candidacy filed on October 2,2012, Antonino-Nadres wrote that she was born in San Mateo County, California which, pursuant to the doctrine of “jus soli” is a citizen of the US.

          NSO administrator and civil registrar general Carmelita Ericta, in a certification issued last February 19 said Antonino-Nadres is not registered with the NSO. Antonino-Nadres only registered as a voter in Jaen in 2006.

The petitioners also claimed the respondent is a holder of an American passport which she had consistently used in entering and leaving the Philippines as gleaned from a certification issued last February 22 by the Bureau of Immigration confirming that she used the foreign passport in her numerous travels since 1996.

          They added that being a citizen of the United States of America or at least having dual allegiance, Antonino-Nadres is disqualified to run for the position of Member of the House of Representatives which requires a natural born citizen of the Philippines. (Manny Galvez)

Team PNoy to stick to issue-based campaign

The Team PNoy senatorial slate will continue its issue-based campaign tact even as it expects mudslinging in the remaining days of the campaign period for the mid-term elections, Bam Aquino said on Tuesday/April 2.

Another Team PNoy senatorial bet, Risa Hontiveros, meanwhile, urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to hold more debates among senatorial candidates to educate voters on various issues and platforms of governance by contending political coalitions.

In a press briefing at the Team PNoy Headquarters in Makati, Aquino said: “One thing that won’t change is the Team PNoy strategy to stick to the issues and push for a clean and issue-based type of campaign.”

 Aquino, who broke into the Magic 12 in recent surveys, said he expects the campaign to heat up in the remaining few weeks, and the opposition to step up its mudslinging tactics against President Aquino's hand-picked candidates to help him in the last three years of his term.

“I’m sure talagang iinit yung laban. Marami sigurong ibabatong mga kung anu-ano. But rest assured na the candidates of Team PNoy will stick to the issues, to our advocacies, sa mga plano natin para sa bayan,” Bam Aquino said.

Aquino said further the Team PNoy coalition will work to keep the May 13, 2013 elections “honest and clean as much as possible.”

Aquino called on all political candidates to address directly socio-economic concerns of the greater number of Filipinos, notably poverty alleviation and job-generation.

“Hindi na iyong bangayan na personalan or mga bagay-bagay na hindi naman importante sa taong bayan,” Aquino said.

On the other hand, Hontiveros said: “At kung pwede, my wish sa remaining campaign days, sana mas maraming debate pa. So Comelec, kayo ba ang aking fairy godmother? Media, kayo ba ang aming fairy godmothers? Wish. Sana mas maraming debate pa.”

Hontiveros acknowledged her low-ranking in survey, but noted that she is “nearing the striking distance.”

“I’m still the lowest in our team pero every survey, nag ge-gain ng ilang percentage points. So, iyong mga ganyang survey results, always just inspire me to fight harder, work harder. Ganoon pa rin ang gagawin ko,” Hontiveros told the press briefing.

Hontiveros said she expects to enter the Magic Circle of 12 in the second half of the campaign.

“In this second half of the campaign at umaasa pa rin ako na maging bahagi sa Magic 12 at pumasok sa legislative team ni Presidente sa Senado," she said.

Aquino’s scial enterprise, HAPINOY, has been awarded around the world for its poverty-alleviation program using innovations in micro-enterprise, micro-finance and the Filipino staple, the sari-sari store.

Hontiveros, known in her stint in the House as a defender of the rights of the marginalized and symbol of integrity in public office, is expected to expound on her various advocacies, including women’s rights, for which she was once arrested.


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