Economy is Getting Better

To unexpected circumstances, the economy grew at 7.1 percent this Philippines third quarter, compared with 3.2 percent slack in 2011.

Reported by the National Statistics Coordination Board that economic growth is caused by the implemented ‘service sector’ like ‘robust performance’ of transport, storage and communication, financial intermediation, real estate, Renting and business activities and agriculture.

The palace of Malacañang is pleased to this news that beats economy on the other countries in Southeast Asia such as Indonesia which recorded a 6.2 percent said the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Malaysia with only 5.2 percent, Vietnam with 4.7 percent, with 3 percent Thailand and Singapore with 0.3 percent.

“We were very pleased with the news that was relayed to us by NEDA director general Arsi (Arsenio) Balisacan and certainly it was beyond our expectations. We knew that it was going to be a good number,” said the presidential spokesperson, Edwin Lacierda.

Lacierda also assured of not only the entrepreneurs benefit from the growth of our GDP but also felt by ordinary people across the country.

In this regard, said the progressive legislators in the Lower House of Congress to hint that the Aquino government to the Filipino people of the country’s economic growth by providing employment and reducing poverty in the country.

US envoy apologizes to DFA ; Palace says no need to apologize to the President

US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr.

US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr.

After stating that 40% of male tourists visiting the Philippines come only for sex tourism, US ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. sent an aplogy text message to Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario.

Del Rosario said that he received the text message from Thomas last Friday, October 6, 2011, stating that the US Ambassador is sorry for not backing up with statistics and figures about his statement.

Thomas’ also extended his apologies to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima whose department was tagged as the source of the statistics regarding the sex tourism.

“There are two things involved here: Having no statistics to back it up, we believe that we have confronted… we don’t have a policy of inviting tourists here for sex purposes. Number two, notwithstanding that, we recognize that there are certain people who come here and engage in those services and that’s the reason why we continue to prosecute these people.” Pres. spokesperson Lacierda said.

Sec. Lacierda also pointed out the removal of the Philippines from the Tier 2 watch list in the 2011 State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report released by the US government last June.

“The fact that we were able to remove ourselves from the list shows the effort of this present government to combat all these nefarious acts,” he said.

Malacañang also accepted the apology of Thomas and declared the issue closed.

“I think the statement of Ambassador Thomas clearly showed that he was not able to back up the statistics and hence he apologized to Secretary Del Rosario and to our government.” Lacierda said.

“We, in fact, thanked the ambassador for his statement.” Lacierda said.

Lacierda also said the Ambassador’s remarks did not affect the strong relations between close allies Philippines and the US.

Malacañang supports the idea that Gibo is not cheated!

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang, last Wednesday, said that an alleged poll of a fraud operator claims that about five (5) million votes were shaved off from the administration, for the presidential candidate Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro. They say that this is in fact unbelievable.

“Ano ba ang basis niya (What is his basis)? That will be tantamount to conspiracy of Comelec (Commission on Elections),” presidential political affairs adviser Prospero Pichay told reporters.

Pichay was reacting to a masked man’s claim on Tuesday that they were paid to shave off millions of votes from presidential and vice-presidential candidates and padded them to leading bets Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay.

He suspects that the people behind the supposed whistleblower are candidates who cannot accept defeat.

Teodoro and Nacionalista Party presidential candidate Sen. Manny Villar have conceded to Aquino.

The witness said his group was able to cut a P1.7 billion deal with Binay in exchange for 7 million votes. He added that the deal included another 7 million votes for the presidential elections.

He said Binay picked Aquino as the other beneficiary of the electronic poll fraud.

The witness claims that they shaved and padded votes by cutting off the transmission of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines and instead, sent fake results to the Comelec central server.

He said 4 million votes were shaved from Binay’s running mate, former president Joseph Estrada, and 2 to 3 million votes from evangelist Brother Eddie Villanueva.

Binay has belied the allegations of the witness. He denied being involved in poll fraud, adding the support he got was the result of voters’ belief in him and in his experience as a local chief executive.

Pichay said the witness’ claim is meant to cast doubt on the successful nationwide automated elections last May 10.

“Unless proven otherwise, this automated elections is a big success. Let us not discredit this election. The people have spoken. Let us not tarnish this elections,” he said. — report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Malacañang has no plans of a Military take over in case of election polls failure

Presidential Spokesperson Gary Olivar

Presidential Spokesperson Gary Olivar

MANILA, Philippines – President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s spokesman assured Thursday that Malacañang will not order the military to intervene in case of a total failure of the automated elections.

“Mangyari man iyon ay there are are available remedies sa Comelec, sa korte at Kongreso. May mga remedies na available (Assuming it happens (total failure of elections), there are available remedies available in the Comelec (Commission on Elections), the courts and in Congress. There are available remedies),” deputy presidential spokesperson Gary Olivar said in an interview over ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda.

Olivar said Malacañang is confident that a total failure of elections will not ignite a high level of unrest that “needs military intervention.”

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Arroyo allies in Cebu nix Teodoro for Villar

Villar gains support of Garcias, 3 other solons

MANILA, Philippines—While Malacañang was not looking, Nacionalista Party (NP) presidential candidate Sen. Manuel Villar has quietly gained the support of the biggest political party and the most powerful political family in vote-rich Cebu, according to well-placed party sources.

Villar met with congressmen and local officials belonging to One Cebu and the Garcia family behind closed doors at Marco Polo Hotel in Cebu City on Wednesday.

Although details of the meeting were not disclosed to local journalists, Alvin Garcia, who is seeking to regain the city’s mayoral post, announced an alliance between his party, Kugi Uswag Sugbo (Progress for Cebu) or Kusug, and the NP in a press conference at the same hotel.

His position was different from that taken by his cousin, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn “Gwen” Garcia, who founded One Cebu and has expressed support for Lakas-Kampi-CMD standard-bearer Gilbert Teodoro.

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Palace exec blames media for spread of junta rumors

Nearly a week after receiving criticisms for raising the possibility of a military takeover in case of a failure of elections, a Malacañang spokesperson lashed out at media on Tuesday for starting it all.

In a radio interview, deputy presidential spokesperson Charito Planas said the media blew the entire matter out of proportion, as they were in a jumble to make “headlines.”

Tinanong ako kung sakali magkaroon ng failure of elections, ano ang mangyayari at sinabi ko walang failure of elections. E, kaya lang ang media gusto mag headline gusto magtanong (I was asked what would happen if elections fail. I said, there was no chance of that. But the media wanted a headline, so they kept asking),” Planas told radio dzXL.

Planas said she repeatedly stressed at last week’s Palace interview that there will be no failure of elections.

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Pacquiao back, mulls retirement from ring

Manny Pacquiao (left) holds a cake while President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (right) gestures during his courtesy call in Malacañang shortly after he arrived from the US where he defended his WBO crown against Ghanaian Joshua Clottey last March 13.

Manny Pacquiao (left) holds a cake while President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (right) gestures during his courtesy call in Malacañang shortly after he arrived from the US where he defended his WBO crown against Ghanaian Joshua Clottey last March 13.

MANILA, Philippines—Barring an irresistible offer from the camp of Floyd Mayweather Jr., the boxing world may have seen the last of its best pound-for-pound fighter.

Manny Pacquiao dimmed the luster of his homecoming Monday by saying that he was seriously thinking of hanging up his gloves.

“It’s OK for me to retire. No problem with me … I’ve been in boxing for so long. Since I was 12 years old, I have been fighting in the ring [and] now I’m already 31 years old,” Pacquiao said in Filipino during a press briefing in Malacañang a few hours after he arrived from the United States.

He said his mother, the popular Aling Dionisia, had been begging him to quit boxing, mainly to spare his body from further punishment.

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Palace pledge: Arroyo gone after June 30

But fears of failed elections remain

MANILA, Philippines—Amid fears of failed polls in May and a military takeover, spokespersons of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Palace officials Sunday insisted that she had no plans of extending her term beyond what was prescribed in the Constitution.

“Malacañang assured the public that (the President) will definitely step down on June 30,” said Charito Planas, Ms Arroyo’s deputy spokesperson.

“The tours she has been making around the country are her last-minute rounds to check that all her finished projects are being maintained and will be maintained, [and that] all ongoing projects are being continued and the unfinished ones to be assumed and continued by whoever will win in the coming polls,” Planas said in a statement.

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Arroyo can name next Chief Justice, says SC

Puno designates Carpio acting Chief Justice

MANILA, Philippines—Reinterpreting the constitutional provision against an outgoing president’s so-called midnight appointments, the Supreme Court Wednesday gave President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo the authority to appoint the next Chief Justice.

Nine of the 15 justices voted to allow Ms Arroyo, who steps down from office on June 30, to appoint the successor of Chief Justice Reynato Puno, who retires on May 17. According to the nine, Section 15 Article VII that prohibits midnight appointments does not apply to the Supreme Court.

The high court ordered the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to submit the short list of nominees for Chief Justice to Malacañang “on or before May 17.” But it did not say whether Ms Arroyo could appoint Puno’s successor before the vacancy occurs.

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Arroyo eyes crisis powers

Brownouts in Mindanao worsening

MANILA, Philippines — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo plans to declare a power crisis in Mindanao in the next few days to give the government more leeway in dealing with the worsening supply shortage on the island, Malacañang announced Thursday.

The announcement came as the power supply in the Luzon and Mindanao grids further worsened on Thursday. Since Monday, Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon have been suffering from rotating brownouts.

Ms Arroyo said she concurred with Energy Secretary Angelo T. Reyes on his proposal to declare a crisis and allow the government to contract for generation sets for Mindanao.

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