Headlines for Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Benigno S. Aquino IIIAquino turns tables on SC, says it implemented DAP-like measure
MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday again assailed the Supreme Court (SC) for its decision declaring parts of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), saying the judiciary had its own cross-border transfers. “Nadiin pa ang paninindigan natin na naaayon sa batas ang DAP dahil ang mismong Korte Suprema ay sumang-ayon sa ganitong klaseng mekanismo,” Aquino said after citing instances where the judiciary requested for a transfer of funds for certain infrastructure.

Binay: Aquino should’ve accepted Abad resignation
MANILA, Philippines—Vice President Jejomar Binay for the first time on Wednesday admitted that he disagreed with President Benigno Aquino III’s decision to reject Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad’s resignation over the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) controversy. When Aquino announced during a Cabinet meeting last July 11 that he received and decided to reject Abad’s resignation, media reports said Binay was the only one who did not applaud the announcement. “Kasi ho yung pagpapalakpak sa aking pananaw eh yung mga kasama ko sa Cabinet ay pumalakpak (dahil) sinusuportahan nila yung pahayag dun sa naging desisyon ng Pangulo na huwag tanggapin ang resignation ni Secretary Abad,” Binay told Radyo Inquirer 990AM.

Jejomar BinayBinay foresees series of graft complaints
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Jejomar Binay believes that the recently filed plunder complaint against him was the first among many that his political opponents lined up. "Believe me, this is only the beginning. We expect more to come," Binay said in a state news report. He denied allegations of overpricing against him and his son, Makati Mayor Erwin Jejomar Binay, in a construction project in his hometown. "Like the one filed on Tuesday, these complaints will be devoid of facts, devoid of legal basis and fueled by dirty politics that was supposed to have been swept away with the previous administration," he said.

US to give C-130 planes to Philippines
MANILA, Philippines — The United States will give two Lockheed C-130 "Hercules" planes to the Philippines, newly appointed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang revealed. In a state report, Catapang disclosed the impending donation in a visit to the 1st Air Division headquarters in Clark Field, Pampanga, citing American military officials. "I just talked to our US counterparts [and] they told us they are making available another two C-130s to address our humanitarian assistance disaster relief concerns," Catapang said.

Albert del Rosario (L), and Philip GoldbergWhy US helps Philippines: We're not 'Big Brother'
MANILA, Philippines — The United States is no longer the Philippines' "Big Brother" as the 19th century foreign policy concept goes, the American Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg said. Goldberg was quick to dismiss left-wing notions of a strong US watching over its smaller Southeast Asian ally, saying the two countries are now "friends." "[It] is a concept from the last century. I'd like to say now that our relationship is much different and much healthier in that sense, because we're no longer 'Big Brother'," Goldberg said in an interview over Radyo Singko on Wednesday.

Gazmin, Canada trade chief talk defense, $105M chopper deal
MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Canadian Trade Minister Edward Fast discussed the two countries' increasing defense cooperation as well as a helicopter project. Gazmin and Fast highlighted the recently signed contract for $105 million (P4.5 billion) for firm Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Ltd. to supply eight specialized helicopters for the Philippine armed forces. "This contract is an outcome of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Canadian Commercial Corporation and the Department of National Defence of the Philippines," a statement released by the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada said.

Joseph “Erap” EstradaJoseph Estrada: Past ‘inefficient governance made Manila the gates of hell’
MANILA, Philippines—Former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada on Wednesday said the “inefficient governance” in Manila by the past administration made the city the “gates of hell.” “Six years of inefficient governance made Manila the gates of hell,” Estrada said during his State of the City Address (Soca) at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila. Estrada said that he inherited from the previous government “poor peace and order, saddled debt, and bloated bureaucracy.”

MVP extends 'sincerest apologies' for Gilas vs NBA cancellation, assures refund
PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan extended his "sincerest apologies" over the cancellation of the series of games between Gilas Pilipinas and a selection of NBA stars scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday. "We apologize to Filipino fans for disappointing them tonight," said the telecommunications mogul, who also serves as president of the country's national basketball federation. Pangilinan also assured that fans who bought tickets to the event would be given a refund. NBA players James Harden, DeMar DeRozan, Brandon Jennings, Kyle Lowry, Damian Lillard, Terrence Ross, Kawhi Leonard, Tyson Chandler, Matt Barnes, Ed Davis, and Nick Johnson were supposed to take the court against Gilas in the event.

Janet Lim NapolesJanet Lim Napoles opposes BJMP transfer
Alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles has asked the Sandiganbayan not to allow her to be transferred to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP). Napoles’ lawyers urged the Sandiganbayan First Division to deny the prosecution’s motion seeking her transfer “for lack of merit.” Napoles is currently detained at Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Napoles said that she is a high-risk detainee with “grave, real and imminent threat to her life and security.” The lawyers explained that “the cases brought against her are intensely controversial and involves highly powerful and controversial personalities.”

Woman dies in tsunami scare in Quezon; Phivolcs says no such threat
An elderly woman died as some 5,000 people fled in panic after text messages circulated in two towns in Quezon province Tuesday night about a supposed tsunami threat. The text messages first spread in Candelaria town, GMA News stringer Peewee Bacunio reported on dzBB radio. Some 5,000 people fled their homes after receiving the supposed text messages indicating the tsunami was coming from Batangas. One elderly woman died after she had a heart attack, GMA's News TV Live reported Wednesday.

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