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Noynoy’s proclamation: a brief observation

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Senator Benigno Simeón “Noynoy” II Aquino y Cojuangco was proclaimed as the 15th president of the Philippines yesterday at the Batasang Pambansâ. In the same historic event, former Macati City Mayor Jejomar Binay was declared as Noynoy’s Vice President. Earlier during that day, Joseph “Erap” Estrada finally conceded (through the lips of his son Jinggoy who was reelected into the Philippine Senate).

But wait… I thought I saw Charo Santos de Concio in the crowd! She was seated with the Aquino sisters (accompanied by Boy Abunda) who were all dressed in black. That “special appearance” finally puts to rest the allegations that ABS-CBN was favoring a presidential candidate during the recently concluded 2010 Philippine National Elections.

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The crowd was in a frenzy. Some were still holding the “Laban” hand sign. There were cheers of “Noynoy! Noynoy!” and “Cory! Cory!” Some even cheered “Noy-Bi! Noy-Bi!”

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It took some time before Noynoy was escorted into the podium. Media reporters dashed onto him in a mad scramble. In a mad and futile scramble as always.

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Juan Ponce Enrile was in a pensive mood all the time. But when Jejomar went up the podium, his face beamed with delight! Meanwhile, his congressional counterpart, Próspero Nograles, was furiously banging the gavel whenever he had the chance.

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After the proclamation was the press conference. Vice President Binay didn’t join Noynoy in that event. Not a surprise. But what was surprising was the way Noynoy handled the interview. He always had a quick and ready answer to all the questions the media threw at him. He was, however, a bit irked with a reporter from Radio Veritas. That reporter questioned Noynoy’s stand against the controversial RH Bill to which Noynoy had a quick retort: that he had already explained his stand on the issue numerous times during his campaign sorties. But he still patiently enumerated his plans about the reproductive health issue.

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With regards to the status of the nation’s coffers, Noynoy said that he will be very transparent about it. As much as possible, he said that he will update the nation of our true economic state no matter what. It appears that he will not “paint a rosy picture of our economy”.

Shades of Erap.

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He was asked many times about what his plans are during his first 100 days. Even the last reporter who asked him –a Japanese lady from the NHK media network– threw in the same question. A visibly irked Noynoy, who was still all smiles, finally refused to answer it and said that he will just have one of his staff give the Japanese reporter an English translation of what he said just a few minutes back. The Japanese reporter didn’t give up. So Noynoy cleverly told her that he’s not a jukebox that can be made to repeat itself by someone ¡Ang taray!.

Shades of Tita Glo.

The torch was passed to clamorous cheers in a blaze of yellow as Congress Wednesday proclaimed Sen. Benigno Aquino III the country’s next president and Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay vice president.

It brought a festive end to eight days of contentious canvassing following the country’s first nationwide automated elections.

Wild applause and loud cheering filled the session hall of the Batasang Pambansâ in Quezon City as Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Speaker Próspero Nograles raised the hands of the country’s next leaders.

Aquino was declared winner at exactly 4 p.m., paving the way for a peaceful transition of power as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is set to step down on June 30 after nine years in office. Binay was proclaimed at 3:56 p.m.

The winners’ families joined them at the podium, but Aquino’s girlfriend Shalani Soledad remained seated in the VIP gallery.

Ex-President Joseph Estrada, ousted in a popular uprising in 2001 and later convicted and imprisoned in 2007 on plunder charges only to be pardoned weeks later, accepted his political defeat.

“I join our people in extending unqualified support to the new President with both hope and prayers he will serve our country faithfully and will perform his duties honorably without fear or favor,” Estrada said in a statement read by his son Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada.

No objections were heard at the joint session as the floor leaders moved for the proclamation, and the affirmative rulings sent the Aquino and Binay supporters into a frenzy of chanting.

Binay’s supporters were more vocal, loudly chanting “Binay, Binay” at every chance they got.

The side of the gallery filled with Aquino’s supporters, who formed a sea of bright yellow, also chanted “Noynoy” and “Aquino” at various intervals, but their shouts were sometimes drowned out by the Binay supporters.

At one point, the Binay side of the gallery chanted “Noy-Bi,” but the Aquino side did not join it. Aquino’s running mate, Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, was not present at the proclamation.

The cheering got so loud that Enrile had to remind the gallery to maintain order and to sit down.

Aside from their supporters in the gallery, Aquino and Binay did not lack for backers on the floor. Lawmakers from various political parties lined up on the aisle where they would walk, waiting to offer their congratulations. Inquirer.net

Villar sh!ts on PSE for more money?

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Great. How timely.

Just when I’m all set to buy some stocks from listed companies in the Philippine Stock Exchange, then sh!t like this happens…

Estrada, Enrile accuse Villar of pressuring PSE on stock sale

Sen. Manuel Villar, Nacionalista Party standard-bearer, earmarked for his presidential campaign P5 billion which he raised from an allegedly irregular transaction three years ago involving his real estate firm’s shares, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said Thursday.

The P5 billion came from the P26 billion that the family-controlled Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc. (the corporate successor of real estate developer C&P Homes Inc.) raised in the stock market, said Enrile, senatorial candidate of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP).

Enrile accused Villar of influencing the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) board in June 2007 into approving his request to release almost 30 percent of his shares in Vista Land from the lock-up period in violation of stock exchange rules.

“If he can do this when he is still not the President, how much more if he is already the President of this country?” Enrile said at a news conference at the campaign headquarters of former President Joseph Estrada’s PMP in Mandaluyong City.

“Is this the type of person that the country should install as the next President of the Philippines?” he added.

Prohibition

The lock-up requirement is a prohibition on all listings and public offerings of shares of stock of private corporations.

It prohibits major shareholders like the Villars from selling their shares within a certain period to protect small shareholders from the devaluation of the shares, according to Enrile.

“In simple terms, those who want to generate funding for their companies by selling their shares to the public are prohibited from selling or dumping their own shares within a certain period because such will affect the price or value of the listed shares, thus unjustly enriching the majority shareholders at the expense of and to the detriment of the public,” Enrile said.

Villar at PSE meeting

Enrile presented minutes of a supposedly confidential PSE meeting in 2007 and a letter of PSE chair Hans Sicat as proof of his allegations against Villar. (Sicat joined the PSE board and became its chair only last year.)

The minutes showed that Villar was present at the PSE board meeting on June 29, 2007, when the board approved the release of 29.28 percent of his shares. Enrile said it was Villar himself who requested an audience with the PSE directors.

“From the record of all these proceedings, there is no doubt in my mind that Sen. Manuel Villar himself lobbied and exerted pressure to railroad the approval of his family-owned company’s request for exemption to enable him and his family to sell their shares which were otherwise subject to lockup at a hefty premium!” Enrile said.

How does his election campaign song go again?

♫ Hindí bawal mañgarap
Ang mahirap
Bastá’t maáabot itó
Sa malinis na paraán… ♪

Click here for more of the Villar-PSE debacle.

Another ambush strengthens support for Martial Law in embattled Maguindanáo

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The newstory below sounds awfully familiar…

Convoy bearing massacre evidence ambushed

Suspected followers of the Ampatuan clan in Maguindanáo ambushed a military and police convoy Thursday night as it headed for General Santos City with evidence in the Nov. 23 massacre that the authorities collected in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanáo, police said.

Senior Supt. Willie Dangane, Cotabato City police director and deputy Task Force 12 Alpha, was on board a Toyota Altis police car with evidence recovered from the mansion of Andal Ampatuan Sr. in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanáo’s provincial capital, when three men standing at a road side opened fire with M-16 rifles at about 8 p.m.

With Dangane in the car was Chief Supt. Felicísimo Khu, chief of the Central Mindanáo police. Neither official was hurt in the firing. Inquirer.net

As of this writing, there is still no resolution over Arroyo’s questionable Martial Law declaration. It is still being debated in Congress.

But if we are to compare this sad current event to the first Martial Law imposed by ex-strongman Ferdinand Marcos, the abovementioned ambush on the military and police convoy in Maguindanáo would be questionable, too.

Remember what happened to then Minister of Defense Juan Ponce Enrile on the night of 22 September 1972? He was also “ambushed” on his way home to his posh Dasmariñas Village home in Macati City. According to government reports, it was perpetrated by “communist terrorists”. Fortunately for Enrile, he escaped unharmed. And ironically, he’s now the Senate President presiding over the first joint Congress (together with House Speaker Próspero Nograles) which discusses the validity of Martial Law in Maguindanáo.

Prior to the Enrile “attack”, communist insurgency and student left activism have been giving the dictator a lot of headache. So upon hearing of the “ambush”, an angry President Marcos called the attack on his Sancho Panza “the last straw”. He then proceeded to sign Proclamation 1081 placing the entire Philippines under military rule, officially (and more popularly) known as Martial Law.

What happened next was one of the darkest periods in Philippine History.

Years later, when the people rebelled against Marcos in the now famous 1986 People Power Revolution, the beans were spilled. Together with then Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen Fidel Ramos (who later on became the 12th President of the Philippines), Enrile admitted to members of the press that the 1972 ambush was fake — it was staged for the sole purpose of declaring Martial Law, a vile scheme to arrest all those who opposed Marcos’ rule! It turned out that Enrile and Ramos were part of the infamous and mysterious “Rolex 12”, the group of military advisers who had helped Marcos plan Martial Law.

Could it be possible that yesterday’s “ambush” against the military and the police carrying evidence against the Ampatuan clan is simply a ploy, a fake, a farcical tactic of the hated Arroyo regime? The dubious Martial Law imposed in Maguindanáo is in grave danger of being revoked by lawmakers. The modern “Rolex 12″ surrounding La Petite Demoiselle will do anything to prove the legitimacy of Martial Law in Maguindanáo.

In the first place, why declare Martial Law just now? If veritable, the writ of habeas corpus should’ve been declared in Muslim Mindanáo a long time ago. Remember that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front has been wreaking havoc in that area. And before them, there was the Moro National Liberation Front. But never was Martial law imposed. Why?

Isn’t it that the Ampatuan clan helped Arroyo “win” in the controversial 2004 Philippine National Elections? Filipino hero and legend, Fernando Poe, Jr. lost heavily in Maguindanáo, the Ampatuan clan’s stronghold. And that election loss in the said province is something quite unthinkable even up to now since the King of Philippine Cinema is very popular all over Mindanáo.

Isn’t it that Maguindanáo is also at the center of the Hello Garci maelström?

It appears that the pieces of the puzzle are starting to show up one by one, creating a clearer picture of today’s corruption. The smoke is starting to clear. And Arroyo is having a hard time fanning the flames to cover up her fake presidential @$$.

These people who are bloody drunk with wealth in power — don’t they realize that they are not forever?

Good Procurement, Good Governance — Our Last Resort Against Corruption

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Use eProcurement to curb corruption once and for all!

Use eProcurement to curb corruption once and for all!

This is already old news, but it’s still worthy reading:

OVERPRICE CONTROVERSY
DepEd suspends order of noodles

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Education has suspended its purchase of P427 million worth of instant noodles from a supplier amid allegations raised in a Senate hearing that the food items were overpriced and lacked nutritive value.

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus also informed Senator Mar Roxas, chair of the education committee, in a May 11 letter that he has also ordered a review of the department’s school feeding program.

The Roxas committee is leading the Senate inquiry into the allegedly overpriced instant noodles fortified with “malunggay” (Moringa sp.) and eggs that Jeverps Manufacturing Corp. has been supplying the DepEd.

Lapus said the review of the school feeding program would be conducted with the help of independent experts “with the objective of resolving questions such as nutritional content, cost-effectiveness and efficiency of field implementation.” The review is supposed to finish by next month.

Saying he was glad that Lapus had suspended the signing of the contract with Jeverps, Roxas on Tuesday announced that his committee would defer the inquiry into the controversy but would monitor the review of the school feeding program.

Roxas said the two hearings showed that the Jeverps instant noodles priced at P22 for each 100-gram packet was overpriced when compared to other noodles in the market.

He said Nestlé and Universal Robina Corp. had testified that their instant noodles cost P3.50 per pack, not including the costs for flavoring, enhancements and packaging.

At the hearing, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile asked how Jeverps would be able to get its supply of malunggay to produce 19 million instant noodle packs for the DepEd.

“I am not aware of any large-scale production of malunggay,” Enrile said.

Enrile later told reporters he doubted whether Jeverps had a supplier of malunggay.

“It casts doubt on the quality of the products being marketed with malunggay content,” Enrile said.

Roxas said he found it puzzling that the big noodle makers like Nestlé and Universal Robina Corp. were not aware of the DepEd’s bidding of contracts.

URC officials said they were invited by the DepEd to bid for its school feeding program only once in 2007. Nestlé officials said they did not get any invitation at all.

DepEd officials said the bidding for the noodle-supply contract was published in the newspapers.

It was learned at the hearing that Jeverps has been paid more than P750 million as a supplier of the DepEd’s Food for School Program for 800,000 first-grade and pre-school students in the past few years. (from Inquirer.net)

Since joining the eProcurement industry last January, I realized that eProcurement is the best solution to solve bad procurement practices in the Philippines.

Transprocure‘s Charlie Villaseñor, Asia’s eProcurement guru, is correct: with good procurement comes good governance. And since that is not the case with the Philippine government (as can be gleaned from the above report), it forced an angry military officer to rebel against it. That military officer is Antonio Trillanes IV who is now a detained Senator. Trillanes was a former procurement officer of the Naval Training and Education Command of the Philippine Navy. In that position, he successfully reformed his institution’s procurement system resulting to a savings of more than four million pesos. In that same position, he was able to witness first hand the massive corruption in the Philippine Navy’s procurement system — and that was just the tip of the presidential iceberg. Trillanes was against forces more powerful than him, but that didn’t stop him to rise up in arms. The rest is Oakwood history.

eProcurement enhances and promotes transparency in government contracts and biddings. According to David Magno, a Project Manager for Hubwoo, there has been prevailing news that the government had already implemented an eProcurement system throughout its bureaucracy. But suppliers got discontented over the system’s ineffective process, thus ending eProcurement’s spur of the moment in our government around four years ago. Hopefully, our current crop of presidential hopefuls (from Gilbert Teodoro to Noynoy Aquino III) will include in their program of government ways to properly and strictly deploy and implement eProcurement technology not only in all government departments but in all major businesses as well. This will help not only in curbing corruption, it will also help institutions in garnering massive financial savings — a potential boon for our economy. San Miguel Corporation is one best example.

Hubwoo‘s suite of solutions should be brought and implemented here in the Philippines. Although Hubwoo started only a decade ago, it is meticulously handled by management experts who are well-versed, experienced, and thoroughly exposed in the world of eProcurement. Furthermore, Hubwoo provides a fully integrated suite of tools and services, delivered as-a-service to companies. Impressively, it also boasts of the first SAP® global BPO partnership dedicated solely to procurement Right now, the French-based company is holding various roadshow events in the US and Europe to help explain more what its business is all about. Hopefully, it would be able to do the same here in Asia, ESPECIALLY the Philippines.

If Hubwoo won’t be able to solve the problem of corruption in our government’s and businesses’ procurement processes, THEN NOTHING WILL.

Related links:

eProcurement in the Philippines
Law review to improve e-procurement efficiency in Philippines

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