PNoy’s website, hacked

A hackers’ group posted a statement on the official website of President Benigno Aquino III early on Thursday, slamming his “mishandling” of the crisis in Sabah.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Sonny Coloma said that the hacking of the website, 1.president.gov.ph, was detected at around 1:30 a.m.

“An errant sentence critical of the government on the Sabah issue was found to have been inserted in one of the news items within the website,” Coloma said.

The President’s website was breached by hackers’ group, Anonymous Philippines.

It posted the message: “Greetings, President Aquino! We have watched how you signed into law a bill that endangers and tramples upon the netizens’ freedom of speech and expression. Now, we are silent witnesses as to how you are mishandling the Sabah issue. We did not engage the Malaysian hackers who invaded our cyberspace since we expected you to appropriately and judiciously act on the same, but you failed us,” the message read.”

The group added: “You did nothing while our fellow brothers are being butchered by the Malaysian forces, and while our women and children become subject of human rights abuses. If you can’t act on the issue as the Philippine President, at least do something as a fellow Filipino. We are watching.”

The website was already up as of 10 a.m.

PNoy Encourages Investors to Expand Businesses in the Philippines

President Benigno Aquino III urged Tuesday potential investors to consider expanding their respective businesses in the Philippines since the country is now in a better position to offer more and readily meet their requirements in order for their investments to prosper.

In his speech during the opening of the Philippine Investment Forum 2013 at the Peninsula Manila in Makati City, Aquino said that potential investors could partner with the government in investing in three priority sectors.

These include agriculture, which is the source of income for some 12.1-million Filipinos; tourism, which expects some 56-million visitors by 2016; and infrastructure, which will support agriculture and tourism through the development of road networks, ports, and airports that will ensure the safety and efficient passage of tourists and goods all over the country.

“At the end of the day, we are inviting you to come to the Philippines whether in these three sectors, or in others, because we know that, here, hard work, innovation, and creativity are rewarded with success,” the President said.

“This is not an empty promise — you will have the Filipino people and our administration as committed partners,” he added.

Aquino underscored the creativity, dedication, and loyalty of Filipino labor, saying these are the characteristics that firms want in their work force.

“Given the opportunity, they (Filipino workers) will do the same for you, whatever industry you may be involved in,” the President said.

“The investments that you will bring into our country will redound to tens of thousands of jobs for our countrymen—men and women who will be able to put food on their tables, send their children to school, and meet the needs and wants of their families,” he said.

“Together, we will be empowering them: giving them greater power to contribute to economic growth and opportunities to uplift their lives and even the lives of their fellow Filipinos. All together, we will be building the success of the industry, the Philippines and the Filipino people,” he added.

The President noted that since he assumed office in 2010, he had spent the last two years and eight months on weeding out graft and corruption in order to provide a level playing field for all as well as to “ensure that integrity, transparency, and accountability characterize our actions.”

“Over the past years, we have been doing everything we can to level the playing field—from reforming the judiciary, to streamlining the process of setting up business in the Philippines, to following the proper bidding and procurement processes. We are also investing heavily in our countrymen—empowering them to take stock of their lives and to realize their potential,” Aquino said.

The Philippine Investment Forum 2013 brings together policymakers, business leaders, economists and key overseas investors in painting an overview of the Philippine economy including analysis into all its key sectors.

SWS: Poor Families Rise To 11.1M

A recent survey conducted by Social Weather Stations (SWS) discovered an estimated 11.1 million Filipino households consider themselves poor last March, while up from 9.1 million households in December.

The results of the survey was first published in BusinessWorld and found out that 55 percent of the respondents rated their households poor, 10 percent higher than the 45 percent three months earlier.

A rise of 9 points from the 36 percent or 7.2 million families are recorded in the previous quarter saying that they were poor in terms of food, an amount that translates to approximately 9.1 million families which accounted for the 45 percent.

It was with the Aquino administration that the figures went up this high.

SWS used face-to-face interviews as a mean to use for the noncommissioned survey, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points for national percentages and plus or minus 6 percentage points for area percentages.

The record for self-rated food poverty was posted at 59 percent under the Ramos administration in April 1994 and in September 2002 under the Arroyo administration, while the record for self-rated poverty was posted in July 1985 at 74 percent under the Marcos regime.

Malacañang reacted last Thursday to the survey results saying that it was “natural” to see variations in the levels of self-rated poverty because the government’s antipoverty programs were taking time to be significantly felt.

Programs take time

President Benigno Aquino III’s spokesperson, Secretary Edwin Lacierda, acknowledged that discernments of poverty were among the indicators that the administration was looking at.

“As we have said in the beginning, antipoverty programs take some time before the effects are felt on a sustained basis,” Lacierda said in a news briefing.

“In the meantime, it is natural to see fluctuations in self-rated poverty,” he added.

Lacierda, nevertheless has provided subjective evidences of the government’s conditional cash transfer program benefiting target beneficiaries.

“We have heard for instance, when we were in Roxas City… one mother showed how her child was able to buy a new school bag, new shoes. She was also able to buy vitamins for her child,” Lacierda said.

For the survey, SWS showed a card to 1,200 adults nationwide and asked them, “Where would you place your family on this card?” The choices included “not poor,” “on the line” and “poor.”

Self-rated poverty scaled sharply in Mindanao having 72 percent in March from 38 percent in December. Also, it mounted in the Visayas island from 52 percent previously to 61 percent.

But on the other hand the percentages for Metro Manila from 47 percent to 46 percent while the rest of Luzon managed to maintain its 45 percent, remained basically unaffected.

Self-rated poverty also levitated among those living in the rural areas having 49 percent last December and 66 percent in March, but rarely changed among those in the urban areas amounting to 41 percent to 40 percent respectively.

Food poverty

For self-rated food poverty, SWS asked respondents “Based on the type of food eaten by your family, where would you place your family on this card?” Respondents were made to choose from “not poor,” “on the line” and “poor.”

Self-rated food poverty poured in Mindanao with respect to 30 percent last December while 64 percent in March. It also escalated in the Visayas from 43 percent to 47 percent but hardly changed in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon with just a difference of 1 percent last December.

SWS also determined the self-rated poverty threshold of respondents who considered their households poor or food-poor by asking how much they  needed monthly so as not to consider themselves poor.

The median poverty threshold rose in Metro Manila to P12,000 from P10,000, in Luzon outside Metro Manila to P10,000 from P6,000, in the Visayas to P8,000 from P6,000 and in Mindanao to P7,000 from P6,000.

The median food-poverty threshold in Metro Manila rose to P6,500 from P5,000. In Luzon outside Metro Manila, it rose to P5,000 from P4,000.

It went up to P4,500 from P3,750 in the Visayas and to P4,000 from P3,500 in Mindanao.

Aquino Inspects Metro Land, Air, Sea Terminals

Last Monday, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said that transportation services at Metro Manila’s major land, air and sea terminals have considerably enhanced from conditions last year, but further improvements can still be done.

Manuel Roxas II, Transportation and Communicatons secretary, accompanied President Benigno Aquino III last Monday on an inspection tour at Cubao bus terminal, Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and Manila North Harbor.

According to Roxas, Mr. Aquino who made the same rounds last year has noted improvements at Cubao terminal, NAIA and North Harbor.

“Last year, there was really chaos. Now, people are queuing properly and we have more security measures,” Roxas uttered.

Before President Aquino leaves for Cambodia to attend the two-day 20th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders’ summit, he supervised the inspection first.

President Aquino told the reporters that he was there not only to assure that the security procedures is well executed at the terminals but also to ensure that terminals provides convenience and safety for departing passengers.

North Harbor

Even with the improvements, Secretary Roxas said that President Aquino still found numerous problems that he wants to be resolved as soon as possible.

“One problem that the President saw was that some of the urinals were not that clean. I will make sure that this is dealt with,” Roxas said.

The President’s inspection began at Manila’s North Harbor, the country’s busiest domestic terminal at around 10 o’clock in the morning.

A commercial vessel with a capacity of 1,929 passengers that was docked at Pier 2 and scheduled to depart at 3 o’clock in the afternoon namely MV St. Michael Archangel, was boarded by President Aquino together with Secretary Roxas and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

The ship’s route is at Misamis Oriental province, with stops at Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro and Iloilo.

President Aquino and Secretary Roxas were satisfied with what they saw. They’ve found out that the vessel had enough life jackets, life rings, fire extinguishers, and other emergency equipment.

Data from the Coast Guard presented that more than 147,000 passengers lodged over 1,000 vessels that navigated to several destinations nationwide over the past 24 hours (from 6 a.m., April 1 to 6 a.m. April 2).

Terminal 3

Around 11 a.m., Mr. Aquino was at NAIA Terminal 3. The president accompanied one passenger to check how long the travelers had to fall in line outside the terminal before they could get inside the building.

“Our benchmark is that it should take a passenger 10 minutes at most to get into the terminal,” Roxas told the reporters.

“The Presidential Security Group (PSG) was already telling the President to get inside because he was exposed outside the terminal. But he wanted to see for himself. Fortunately, it only took them 5 minutes,” he added.

“It looked like they met their objectives,” President Aquino told the reporters.

“We are gradually improving facilities in the airport to better serve our people, especially during occasions like the observance of Holy Week,” Roxas said.

Cubao bus terminal

“We want to advise our people to allot more time when they travel this Lenten season. They shouldn’t make their travel plans at the last minute to avoid crowds and reach their destinations as planned.”

President Aquino had lunch with top airport administrators before leaving for the Cubao bus terminal inspection.

He arrived approximately 1 p.m. at the Cubao bus terminal for a 30-minute inspection. The land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) established a random drug-testing center.

Also at the bus terminal, LTFRB organized a pre-departure briefing for around 30 drivers, 11 of them were also subjected to breath analyzer tests to check if they had been engaged to drinking. All the drivers offered themselves for drug testing.

The random drug testing prepared last year by LTFRB for bus drivers has become a regular part of the “Oplan Ligtas Biyahe (Safe Journey)”, a program to ensure safe travel during Lenten season.

“We are making random drug testing a regular part of our ‘Ligtas Biyahe’ program to make sure our bus drivers are fit to bring passengers to their destinations safely,” Roxas said.  “We are doing this to ensure the safety of our bosses: the travelers.”

President Aquino said that the procedures at the bus terminal were “more systematized, and all the passengers I spoke to were smiling.”

Also the President noted that even the traffic on EDSA was easier. “So far I am much happier and I am confident that the preparations were all good,” he said.

Valerie partying with Pnoy amid Sendong tragedy

“Done w/ work.. Tnx for having me.. :) It was nice to see Pres. P-Noy laughing at my jokes & enjoying my performance..ü #Malacañang #PSGNight,” Valerie Concepcion’s controversial tweet that landed on the top trending topics of Twitter and later on was deleted after getting many dislikes and negative comments.

Pnoy attended the said PSG (Presidential Security Group) party with the people who saved his life as well as their families. However, Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang said Aquino just dropped by the PSG party. Carandang said in an interview that the PSG party have already been earlier scheduled and paid so it was impossible to cancel it.

Meanwhile, Valerie has apologized for her tweets.

“I just want to clarify that I was invited to perform at Malacañang’s Christmas Party for their employees with their husbands/wives and kids. Yes, the president attended the gathering. I do not see anything wrong with that since it’s his obligation and responsibility being the head of Malacañang to be present and show his support for his hardworking employees and their respective families.

“But I believe that it doesn’t mean that the president is not thinking of ways to help our kababayan(s) in Mindanao. It doesn’t mean that the president is disregarding the plight of our fellow Filipinos. Let’s not be too quick to judge.” She continued, “But if I, in any way, offended you guys and sounded insensitive, I am very sorry. It wasn’t my intention to do either. I can’t imagine how difficult life is for the people affected in Mindanao and how difficult it is to be the president of the Philippines at this moment. Once again, I am very sorry for all those people I have offended. May God bless us all.”

Pnoy’s sisters also defended him on ABS-CBN morning show “Kris TV”.

“Ngayon, ‘yun namang party ay matagal nang naka-schedule ‘yon. Siyempre, may mga masasamang nangyayari at may malungkot but then, life should go on. Hindi naman pwedeng huminto na lang ang buhay at magmukmok na lang tayo,” Ballsy said.

Kris added, “I think hindi niyo po maiaalis sa amin na gusto naming i-depensa ang kapatid namin. The entire night, also Saturday, when we were together, he was constantly on the phone monitoring everything. I think today ang pagpunta ko although I’m going with ABS-CBN. I’m also representing him. I think in many cases talaga, the three of us were able to do that and also there are a lot of security concerns as well.”

“Pero siguro hindi niyo maiaalis sa amin na sabihin namin na it’s not like he doesn’t care. Give me a break, diba? Siyempre pangulo siya ng Pilipinas at mahal niya ang ating mga kababayan. So siyempre, gagawin naman niya ang lahat. Sana huwag napakabilis ng batikos kasi napakaraming ahensiya ang nagtatrabaho na. It’s just that a President is not like you or me na we can hop on a plane and go there because there are a lot of national concerns.”

Pnoy is said to visit the typhoon affected areas this Tuesday.

House speaker asks PNoy to visit typhoon victims

The flooded cities of Pampanga, Bulacan and Nueva Ecija

Typhoons “Pedring” and “Quiel” has already left the country but the destruction and floods caused by these typhoons still haunts the residents of Bulacan, Pampanga and Nueva Ecija.

And amidst the crisis faced by the Filipinos, they clamor for the presence of “Father” of the country which is the President Benigno Aquino III.

Critics and even the speaker of the House asked the President to visit the areas affected by the Typhoon and at least have photo ops so that the said residents can at least feel that they are also important to the President and feel encouraged.

Meanwhile, the Malacanang Palace said the President has been busy fixing the Disaster Preparedness of the country that’s why he hasn’t been around for the past days. The preparedness of the country once again gain criticisms for not learning from the past typhoon disasters.

However, in recent news, the President is already visiting the affected areas as of press time. He visited Tarlac first then will visit Bulacan and Pampanga within the day. While affected residents said that more than the presence of the President, what they need is support, concrete action plans and relief goods from the government.

VP Binay: named as the Most Trusted Government Official

BY: KRIS JOHN ENCOMIENDA

In the latest trust and approval survey conducted by PulseAsia, revealed that the most appreciated and well-trusted government official is Vice President Jejomar Binay overtaking President Noynoy Aquino, having 83% trust rate from the 78% registered last October as compared to Pnoy’s rate of 74% as of this month, decreased from the 78% registered last October, according to ABS-CBN.

The survey is conducted February 24 to March 6, 2011 were: the diplomatic row between the Philippines and Taiwan over the deportation of 14 Taiwanese nationals to China; the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the EDSA Revolution; and the evacuation of Filipinos in Libya amidst the ongoing civil unrest in the country; the execution of three convicted Filipino for drug trafficking in China that is supposed to happen on February 20 and 21 but is put on hold because of Binay’ humanitarian visit to Beijing, China.

Joey Salgado, Binay’s spokesman, said the Pulse Asia survey encourages the vice-president to work even harder.

“VP Binay is grateful for the people’s support. It encourages him to work harder for our people. The VP knows that our country is facing so many challenges and he asks that we all work together to face these challenges and help President Noynoy move our country forward,” he said.

Other developing stories at the time the survey was a total of 1,200 representative adults participated in the survey. It has a ± 3% error margin at the 95% confidence level.

source: GMANews, ABS-CBNnews

Commemorating 25th Year of EDSA

FACES OF 25th YEAR OF EDSA

FACES OF 25th YEAR OF EDSA

BY: KRIS JOHN ENCOMIENDA

Going back to where Philippines came from last 25 years.

The People Power Revolution or simply EDSA Revolution/Philippine Revolution of 1986 were a series of popular nonviolent revolutions and prayerful mass street demonstrations in the Philippines which totally marked the restoration of the country’s democracy. It became a subsequent inspiration for the Revolutions for communist dictatorships countries all around the globe.

EDSA that is also referred to as the Yellow Revolution due to the presence of yellow ribbons during the arrival of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. and the takeover governance of the first woman to hold the office of the presidency, over Marcos which is Corazon “Cory” Aquino, also the first popularly and democratically-elected female president and head of state in Asia and 1986 Time Magazine Woman of the Year.

EDSA revolution protests were the culmination of a long campaign of civil resistance by the people against the 20-year running authoritarian, repressive regime of then president Ferdinand Marcos and made news headlines as “the revolution that surprised the world” took place at Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, known by its acronym EDSA, in Quezon City, that involved over 2,000,000 Filipino civilians as well as several political, military, and religious figures, such as Cardinal Jaime Sin. The protests, fueled by a resistance and opposition of years of corrupt governance by Marcos, occurred from February 22–25, 1986, when Marcos fled Malacañang Palace to the Hawaii and conceded to Corazon Aquino as the legitimate President of the Philippines.

Paint Araneta Yellow (PAY)

Today, the celebration of the 25th year of EDSA is headed by our 15th and present President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, the only son of the One of Time Magazine’s 20 Most Influential Asians of the 20th Century of 1999 Cory Aquino and one the Man, the Legend, Philippine Senator Ninoy Aquino. The celebration is held today at the Araneta Coliseum, the President’s supporters will be on their Yellow shirts (Pay Araneta Yellow) from 2 PM to 7 PM. Noynoy and Mar Roxas, together with their troops, will lead the people in reliving EDSA and rededicating themselves to fulfilling the unfinished promise of EDSA, this celebration is simulcast live in different T.V. networks such as ABS-CBN, GMA and TV5. Different artist from different generations will be performing in this remarkable event this year in line are Ogie Alcasid, Regine Velasquez, Dingdong Dantes, Spongecola, Parokya ni Edgar, Brownman Revival, Juana Change, Ryan Cayabyab Singers, Jim Paredes, Noel Cabangon, Christian Bautista, Eric Santos and many more.