‘No Need For Noy To Sign Waiver’

Malacañang sees no need for President Aquino to sign any waiver on his bank accounts despite the challenge hurled by Senators Francis Escudero and Alan Peter Cayetano, who want all members of the Cabinet to give the public access to their assets.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte pointed out that doing so would lump Aquino with expelled chief justice Renato Corona, who was found guilty of non-disclosure of assets, betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution.

“Is it fair to put the President, who has not been accused of graft, who has not been accused of dishonesty, to put him in the same category as the man who was just removed from his post, from being the highest magistrate of the land?” Valte asked.

Despite Aquino’s promise during the 2010 presidential campaign to sign a waiver of his bank accounts once elected president, Valte argued there is no need at this point to make good on this promise, since it was made in a different context at the time.

Valte echoed the statement of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile that signing bank waivers are mere “theatrics,” especially because such waivers have always been included in the annual statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) that they regularly submit.

“Under the Bank Secrecy Law, there are exceptions there that would trigger the opening of the accounts,” she said.

“It’s all theatrics. Again, there is already a waiver in the SALN that authorizes the Ombudsman to get all the relevant information from all government offices,” she said.

She also added that Aquino has always made available his SALN, from the time he entered government service when he won as Tarlac congressman in 1998, when he was elected senator in 2007 and until now that he is President.

“From 1998 onward, they have all been available publicly. Nobody had said that his SALN disclosure was incomplete or they have not been truthful. And the same goes for members of his Cabinet,” Valte said.

So far, no incumbent Cabinet official – perhaps even past ones – has declared his dollar account/s, if there are any, in the SALN that he has submitted.

Valte qualified, however, that it will be up to members of the official family – in an individual capacity – to sign a waiver if they want to, either on their peso or foreign currency deposits.

“It will be the personal decision of the Cabinet members if they want to sign a waiver under the Bank Secrecy Law and under the FCD Law if applicable,” she said in her weekly interview over state-run radio dzRB.

P-Noy Meets With INC Head

Malacañang said that the President of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III, visited yesterday the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC)’s central office which is located in Quezon City to get to know with the religious group’s leader and “touch base” with the organization’s followers.

Eduardo Manalo, INC’s leader meets Aquino on the eve of the appearance of Chief Justice Renato Corona before the Senate impeachment court, but Malacañang then refused implications that the meeting is about or something to do with the impeachment trial.

Presidential spokesperson, Edwin Lacierda said that, “The purpose of the President is to touch base with his supporters and you don’t need to get the support right now.”

The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) management is apparently seen lobbying for the release of Corona, whose lead counsel is former justice Serafin Cuevas who is a member of the sect.

“Unfortunately, the schedule of the President and the schedule of Ka Eduardo (Manalo) could not jibe. It was only this Monday or today that they were able to find a common schedule,” Lacierda said. “The unfortunate thing was it was only today that they were able to find a common schedule.” He added.

Lacierda stated that Aquino’s meeting with the Iglesia ni Cristo’s leader was “warm.”

Aquino personally called for the impeachment of Corona in December 2011.

The last time that Aquino had a chance to visit the INC headquarters which was then considered as his first visit as well was before the May 2010 presidential elections when he was still a senator. He was accompanied by his sisters Ballsy Cruz and popular TV talk show host Kris Aquino.

“As you know, the INC supported the President during his senatorial campaign and during also his presidential campaign,” Lacierda recalled.

The spokesman admitted the impeachment trial was discussed, primarily because it was among the “burning issues of the day.”

“He explained to Ka Eduardo the reasons for the impeachment – that this is part of his reform agenda.

“The President only mentioned the reason why there was an impeachment against Chief Justice Corona and he explained his reasons,” he said.

Lacierda similarly modulated the implication of Aquino’s visit to the INC central office at Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City, when he could just have received the religious leader at his office in Malacañang.

“I asked that and the President mentioned it’s always a practice of not only this President but also the other presidents, to visit the head of Iglesia ni Cristo in Central. This is nothing new,” he said.

The other topic discussed, aside from the impeachment according to Lacierda, was the government’s skills development program that will be implemented through the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) which is being headed by Joel Villanueva, son of evangelist Bro. Eddie Villanueva of the Jesus is Lord Movement, and is said to be an administration senatorial candidate in 2013.

Lacierda rejected allusions that Aquino was seeking for INC’s support for the future candidate, Villanueva.

“It was only a discussion of what the government has been doing. But there’s certainly no way something was discussed about Villanueva,” he said.

“There are certain matters that we do not list out in the schedule,” he added, dismissing the accusations that the administration had not been transparent in its meeting with the INC.

Not bothered

Lacierda also mentioned that he doesn’t consider Roman Catholic priests’ celebration Masses for Corona just to show a support from the Church leadership for the plagued Chief Justice.

“We have no response to that. This is a free country. There’s a separation between Church and State. So let them – if he wants to celebrate Mass for the Chief Justice, by all means. We have no response to that. And obviously, only a Catholic priest can celebrate a Mass, a Catholic Mass. So there’s nothing we can do about it,” he said.

He referred to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines saying that they’re not even aware of any official stand of the CBCP regarding Corona’s impeachment.

“They have not released any statement. So we just rely on statements. We don’t rely on individual bishops. As far as we know, they have not published in their website any official position taken by the CBCP,” he said.

Lacierda said they haven’t heard anything from CBCP president Jose Palma “other than those short interviews.”

“But as an official position, we have not seen any official position taken by the CBCP. Any organization can make a position. Right now, it is in the hands of the senator-judges. So let’s wait for the testimony of Chief Justice Corona,” Lacierda said.

Meeting defended

There was nothing wrong with regards that the President having a meeting with INC leaders, just for the issue of the prosecution panel in Corona’s impeachment trial.

“It’s not uncommon for presidents to solicit the support of the influential group even harking back to the 1970s,” Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara said.

House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II also defended President Aquino’s visit to the INC.

“There’s nothing wrong about it. He just presented his sentiments on the impeachment of the Chief Justice and his campaign for reforms, which sentiments are known to the public,” he told the reporters.

He said the President’s visit may be compared to Aquino’s past meetings with Catholic bishops at the height of debates on the controversial Reproductive Health bill.

“If there are groups big or small that are holding contrary views, it is not unusual for us politicians to approach them to present to them our side. To ignore them would mean insensitivity on our part,” he said.

“In the case of the Chief Justice, whether there is lobbying or not from any group, we are confident that the strength of the evidence we have presented against him would get him convicted,” Gonzales stressed.

But Zambales Rep. Milagros Magsaysay said Aquino’s visit only showed his insecurity.

“Why is he going out of his way to explain Chief Justice Renato Corona’s impeachment when he should have nothing to do with it in the first place?” Magsaysay said. “He looks so defensive especially when a so-called congressional source said the INC was influencing senator-judges to acquit the Chief Justice.”

No INC meeting

Meanwhile, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile contradicted the reports that he met with any representative of the INC.

“I quarantined myself,” Enrile told reporters.

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, for his part, said “lobbying for or against any issue is normal.”

“Whether it is happening I don’t know. I’m one of those who can say nobody had approached me to lobby then and now,” Sotto said.

“That’s part of the normal interaction between politicians and constituents. All sectors whether you are Iglesia or civilian or non-sectarian can talk to both sides,” Sen. Edgardo Angara said.

United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) secretary-general and Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco also denied that the INC was trying to influence senator-judges identified with UNA.

“As the secretary-general of UNA, I would like to state that there is no truth to that rumor. No emissaries from the INC have sent feelers to senator-judges belonging to UNA for the purpose of pleading for the Chief Justice,” Tiangco said in a statement.

“It is disappointing to read of an ‘anonymous’ source trying to besmirch the reputation of both INC and UNA,” he said. “This congressional source insists he remain anonymous while he attempts to discredit UNA and debase the INC.” – With Christina Mendez, Jess Diaz, Paolo Romero, Jose Rodel Clapano

Timeline: Resumption of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona

Day 35 (May 7) The impeachment court allows the defense panel to subpoena Justice Secretary Leila de Lima as “hostile” witness, but two defense witnesses are barred from testifying since their testimonies bore no relevance to the case.

Day 36 (May 8) Chief Justice Renato Corona promises to testify before the Senate impeachment court based on the documents presented to the Office of the Ombudsman on his alleged $10-million bank deposits.

Day 37 (May 14) Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales presents an Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) report, which reveals Corona allegedly had 82 accounts with a “transactional balance” amounting to $10 million, spread out over five banks and not declared in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.

Day 38 (May 15) Ombudsman Morales continues her testimony, saying there were “significant” transactions on Corona’s alleged dollar accounts during the 2004 and 2007 election periods and before the impeachment trial began.

Day 39 (May 16) The defense panel presents three complainants who filed charges against Corona before the Ombudsman in an attempt to show that their claims were baseless. Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile compels Kaya Natin! Movement lead convenor Harvey Keh to explain why he should not be cited for contempt for handing over to his office confidential records of Corona’s alleged dollar accounts.

Day 40 (May 22) Corona testifies before the impeachment court.

Phl Seeks Win-Win Situation In Shoal Row With China

President Benigno Aquino III said that the country will pursue a win-win situation with China within the claims with both countries regarding Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal.

Aquino told the business forum of the Joint Alumni Clubs of US Universities last Wednesday that, “We have not stopped having communication with them in trying to look for a win-win situation.”

However, while the country intends to look for a win-win scenario for both parties, Aquino mentioned that he would still keep track of upholding and enforcing the laws.

“If it’s clear that we have a 200-mile exclusive economic zone designated by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and both of us are parties to it, is it too much to ask that our rights are respected by our neighbors, in the same token that we respect their rights?” he asked.

With determination, Aquino also claimed that he is not going to give up any areas that belong to the country.

“I am not empowered to give up any of our territory,” he said.

Aquino added that the authority intends to handle the matter diplomatically.

“We do not want to present a threat to them in any shape, manner, or form in terms of military action,” he added.

On the other hand, Albert del Rosario the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, revealed that the Philippines has more investments in China than China has in the Philippines.

He stated that the Philippine investments in China amounts to nearly $3 billion as against to China’s investments in the Philippines which is approximately less than a billion and a half ($1.5).

Last Wednesday, Del Rosario told the Makati Business Club and the Management Association of the Philippines that, “We benefit from our relations with China just as China benefits from its relationships with us.”

Del Rosario also mentioned that China, in which is considered the Philippines’ 3rd largest trading partner, signed a memorandum of agreement during President Aquino’s state visit last year that both countries would work towards accomplishing $60 billion in 2-way trade within a 5-year period and 2 million inward visitors within 5 years.

“It was also agreed upon that the bilateral agenda would be moved forward in the most positive way, while the areas of contention such as the West Philippine Sea would be abstracted and dealt with separately,” he added.

Having the fact that Chinese investments in the country is only half of Philippine investments in China, Del Rosario then said that Filipino businessmen will not be discouraged from investing in their country despite the recent activities and happenings taken by the Chinese travel agencies suspending tour packages to the Philippines as tensions over the borderline of the islands in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) increased.

Also, China possessed Philippine fruit exports suspected of carrying pests amid a tense argument between the two countries over Panatag Shoal.

“I don’t think that we should be discouraging our businessmen from investing in China. It’s a good thing if they see how we do it here but what we’re trying to do is at least equalize the amount of investments that go out and we’re hoping that more Chinese investors will take an interest in the Philippines,” Del Rosario said.

“We’d like to believe it’s not,” Del Rosario replied when he was asked if the suspension of tour packages to the Philippines, the reduction in flights, and the possession of Philippine bananas are forms of pressure by China among the maritime argument between Philippines.

“We’d like to believe it’s a technical issue,” he added.

Economic pressure

If China continues to exert economic pressure to the Philippines such as blocking bananas and canceling tour packages, then, the lawmakers said and warned that the economy of the Philippines would be in danger.

Ang Kasangga party-list Rep. Teodorico Haresco and Iloilo Rep. Jerry Treñas said the suspension of tour packages and the controls on fruit importations is “China’s subtle warning versus Philippine on its vast economic arsenal.”

Also, they urged that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) should step up efforts in paving the way for the creation of a joint Philippine-China study commission, which would focus on finding mutually acceptable solutions to end the dispute in the Spratlys.

“The decision of Chinese travel agencies to suspend travel to the Philippines could be China’s subtle warning that it does not even need its military to bring widespread economic destruction in the country,” Haresco said.

He warned the suspension of tour packages to the country by Chinese travel agencies “could be the beginning of a larger and more sustained campaign to remind the Philippines and even the US that its economic arsenal is as devastating as its three-million strong People’s Liberation Army.”

Also, he added that the effect of the travel suspension would already deny the economy millions of dollars in potential tourism revenues and warned that Beijing might even go further by obliging a ban on Filipino overseas workers, including those working in Hong Kong and Macau.

Haresco said that the only way to fix the problem in the Spratlys is through direct mutual dialogue with China without discounting the possibility of entering into a joint exploration arrangement in the areas claimed by the Philippines.

While the United States will always remain a valuable supporter to the Philippines, bragging Washington into the Spratlys argument “will do more harm than good” as this is being viewed as an indirect needling by Beijing.

Tactical support

On the other hand, Malacañang, restated that the presence of a US submarine in Subic had nothing to do with the Philippines’ disagreement with China over the disputed Panatag shoal.

Edwin Lacierda, Presidential spokesman, illiterates that the US government made a request last April 3, 2012, days before the April 10 standoff saying that they be allowed to dock their submarine in the area.

“And so it (US request) was addressed to the Department of National Defense and the DND gave its approval on April 24. So, I don’t need to answer or respond to the statements made by the Left,” Lacierda explicated.

Earlier, security officials revealed the visit of submarine USS North Carolina (SSN-777) in Subic was a routine port call scheduled last April 3, before the standoff between Philippine and Chinese vessels in Panatag shoal started. The US attack submarine rose last Sunday in Subic Bay.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said the visit of a US submarine in Subic violated the country’s sovereignty.

In a statement, the CPP said the US is using the entire Philippines as a vast military base where it could dock its ships, land its fighter jets, fly its drones, conduct repairs and replenish supplies.

Filipino protesters led by former military rebel Nicanor Faeldon said they are planning to sail to Panatag as a show of support.

“They want to protest against the aggression being committed by China against our country, Faeldon’s spokesman kit guerrero said.

He said at least two fishing vessels carrying faeldon’s group were expected to arrive at the shoal later on Friday.

“They are intending to stay there at least three days and fish, if they are not prevented from doing so, Guerrero said, adding that planting a Philippine flag on the rock was also an option.

Fishermen from Batanes, Faeldon’s home province, along with fishermen from Masinloc, Zambales would be joining Faeldon to fish in Panatag that China has included in its declared fishing holiday.

The Philippines has reminded China that the West Philippine Sea is not the sum total of their bilateral relations.

The Philippines remains a safe and a welcoming country even as tensions over the disputed islands escalated.

Stay on the line

China has demanded manila not take measures in the political and legal aspects, saying it will worsen and complicate the situation.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said last Monday in a press conference in Beijing that the Philippines should adhere to “diplomatic negotiations” to resolve the standoff.

“In particular, diplomatic negotiations should be adhered to in resolving the current situation, rather than continuing to incite public opinion and send contradictory messages,” Hong said.

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.

Comelec To Get P430 Million For New ARMM Voters’ List

Yesterday, March 28, 2012 President Aquino approved in the notion of the P430-million financing that the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) is looking for to withdraw the voter’s list in the Autonomous Region Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) following reports that its population has been increasing over the years.

According to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, “Considering that ARMM reforms have been high in our agenda, I think P430 million will not be too much compared to the restoration of the credibility in the upcoming elections,” President Aquino just gave his nod.

Secretary Abad told the reporters in a chance interview that the money will be obtained from the original budget for the ARMM election proper that were postponed in August 2011 and also from the “discretionary funds” of the President.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., who were also present in the meeting in Malacañang have proposed the amount that will be needing for the “total annulment” of the voters’ list in the five provinces of the ARMM. In line with this it has been notoriously known for “command votes” in years.

Maguindano, Basilan, Lanao Del Sur, Sulu, and Tawi – Tawi composes the ARMM.

“Mr. President, we are going to seriously consider annulling the voters’ list in the entire five provinces of ARMM,” said Brillantes. With this, they’ve observed that this is the quickest way to cleanse the Comelec records of double registrants and other election-related difficulties.

“There will be total annulment of voters’ list of the five provinces. This is what we are going to do,” Brillantes uttered, ARMM officer-in-charge Gov. Mujiv Hataman proposed that the general registration be performed in May instead of June.

“We have reservations about pocket registrations because some sectors might just put political color into it. We prefer and we want to pursue a general registration, and hopefully to have a biometrics system in 2013,” Hataman alleged.

Preceding to the agreement of the P430-million funding, Hataman thought they would be needing at least P280 million to push through general registration and also that the regional government considers this can still be done within a week or two but the COMELEC said that 17 days would do.

Brillantes assumed that the amount was high as for the government wants to gain machines that will be used for the purpose, as well as organize and utilize personnel.

Brilliantes aforesaid, “We can have several machines, but if there are no election inspectors then it will just delay the whole process. An election inspector should be there to conduct the oath for registrants.”

President Aquino observed from the PowerPoint presentation of the National Statistics Office that the ARMM population has been “very substantial,” mainly when records from 2007 and 2010 years were compared, which were both election years.

It was presented by NSO that ARMM had a population of 4.1 million in 2007 but in reality it was revealed last 2010 that it was only around 3 million, or a disparity of 1 million in only 3 years’ time.

One of the provinces in ARMM showed that there was only a difference of 432,000 in the population figures for 2007 and 2010.

NSO articulated that the ARMM had a population of 1.6 million in 1980, increasing to 2.1 million 10 years later (1990), then to 2.8 million in 2000 and 4.1 million in 2007, but decreased to 3.3 million in 2010.

“The population of the Philippines and Mindanao, both excluding ARMM, were falling from 1990 to 2007, whereas in ARMM, it was not only growing, (but) it was growing at an improbable rate,” according to Budget Secretary Abad.

For many years, ARMM has been considered to be the bailiwick of any administration and has been general with so-called “command votes,” which the region is always predictably to deliver to any administration candidate.

China to execute Filipino on December 8


Manila, Philippines- An OFW faces once again a death sentence in China on December 8, after being arrested at Guilin International Airport while trying to smuggle 1.495 kilos of heroin into Guangxi province from Malaysia back in September 13, 2008.

The High People’s Court (HPC) of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region informed the Philippine Consulate-General in Guangzhou Wednesday that the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) in Beijing affirmed the lower court’s decision on the carrying out of the death penalty on the Filipino.

President Aquino has asked Chinese President Hu Jintao, that the 35 year old Filipino National be given a less severe sentence.

We have exhausted all legal efforts. We have exhausted all efforts and the sentence would be carried out on Dec. 8,” Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.

We recognize the decision of the judicial authorities in China. It was made based on the evidence that the Filipino national was carrying heroin and, therefore, based on their law, it was subject to the death penalty. Again, it was done in compliance with their legal processes, we respect that. And I believe that in the same manner that the three Filipinos who were previously executed, this should not cause a hiccup in Filipino-Chinese relations,” he added.

President Benigno S. Aquino III instructed Vice President Jejomar C. Binay to go to Beijing and appeal the scheduled execution of the Filipino.

Vice President Jejomar Binay is set to leave for China to personally hand over the letter appeal of President Aquino to Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Binay’s spokesman Joey Salgado said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is now making the necessary arrangements for Binay’s trip to China “at the earliest time possible.”

The President sold his Porsche

President Aquino white Porsche

President Aquino white Porsche

President Aquino decided to buy a luxury car few months after his inauguration. It was his personal decision. The money that was used in buying the luxury car was his own however, citizens still questioning why he needed to buy one.

Aquino said it was security distresses and not for controversy surrounding that he bought second hand luxury car. And now, prompted him to get rid of the Porsche.

“It’s putting an unnecessary risk on the people who are guarding me. It is too exposed and it is like an advertisement, saying, ‘Here I am. I am most vulnerable here’,” the president told reporters.

“I just relegated it to the garage and it would deteriorate if it is not used. So it’s time to let somebody (else) experience it,” said the 51-year-old bachelor.

Aquino did not mention who bought the car and how much it was bought. However, he said the it was sold by the how much he bought the car.

Aquino government to spend less money

Despite discovering that more than 60 percent of this year’s expenditure had been exhausted by the previous administration, all in the first half of 2010, Malacañang refuses to ask for a supplemental budget.

Aquino said that he was unprepared to request a supplementary budget, as it may cause an impact on the country’s credit rating and financial gap.

The BIR and the BOC have been assigned to collect P830 billion and P280 billion, respectively, in hopes of keeping the budget deficit to a maximum of P300 billion.

Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said in a phone interview that spending was pushed since the Budget department under the preceding administration released the complete allotment for salaries for 2010 all at once.

President Aquino said that a lot of unnecessary expenses had been made, and that he cannot divulge the details without the proper facts.