NEWSCAPS
August 13, 2013
(POLITICAL)
I. PORK BARREL SCAM/ MALAMPAYA FUND

After a daylong meeting in the National Bureau of Investigation
(NBI) with Benhur Luy and Merlina Suñas, Justice Secretary
Leila de Lima said that 97 mayors had been summoned to
shed light on allegations P900 million from the Malampaya gas
fund intended to rehabilitate towns and cities ravaged by
Storms “Ondoy” and “Pepeng” in 2009 went to Janet LimNapoles, the alleged brains behind a P10-billion pork barrel
scam.
 Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes yesterday said
that his agency started its probe into the Malampaya fund as
early as November last year after a team from the Commission
on Audit (COA) found that at least two former mayors did not
receive agricultural packages from the fund intended for their
towns. He identified the mayors as Ramon Tinawi of Hingyon
town in Ifugao and Allen Jesse Mangaoang of Balbalan,
Kalinga. He said that the two former mayors, in a letter to the
COA, denied knowledge of the project and claimed that their
signatures were forged in the documents pertaining to it.
II. FORMER BUDGET OFFICIALS OF GMA ON PORK BARREL
SCAM
 Former Budget Secretary and now Camarines Sur Rep.
Rolando Andaya Jr. and Undersecretary Mario Relampagos,
budget officials in the Arroyo administration, identified P200
million in savings, channeled it through the Department of
Agrarian Reform (DAR) and designated as beneficiaries
farmers in 40 municipalities but the amount allegedly ended up
being administered by seven nongovernment organizations
controlled by Janet Lim-Napoles.
 Relampagos insisted that the DBM did not issue Saros like the
P200 million DAR allocation. “The Saro is based on the
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requesting agency, the request for funding. On our own, we
cannot do that,” he said.
 Andaya said that the budget was allocated to the DAR during a
Cabinet-level meeting. He does not know how the document,
which served as the basis for the release of the P200 million for
the Napoles NGOs, was faked. He said that he himself would
like to know how these things were manipulated.
 The seven NGOs implicated in the scam are Philippine Agri
and Social Economic Development Foundation, Agri and
Economic Program for Farmers Foundation, Agricultura para
sa Magbubukid Foundation, Social Development Program for
Farmers Foundation, People’s Organization for Progress and
Development Foundation, Masaganang Ani para sa
Magsasaka Foundation, Countrywide Agri and Rural Economic
Development
Foundation.
III. NAPOLES ON HIRING MARCOS, OCHOA, SERAPIO AND TAN
(MOST) LAW FIRM
 Napoles denies hiring lawyer from Marcos, Ochoa, Serapio and
Tan Law Firm and that she does not know Executive Secretary
Pacquito. But Inquirer reporter, Nancy Carvajal, insists that she
has the document with her to show that Napoles is using the
services of MOST law firm.
IV. LENI ROBREDO ON PORK BARREL SCAM PROBE
 Camarines Sur third district Rep. Leni G. Robredo lamented
that the irregularities alleged by several whistleblowers in the
transactions of businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles have
tainted the institution of Congress as well as its individual
members. Robredo saw the need to make a full and
transparent investigation because if the constituents had
doubts on the investigation, this would bring more damage to
the
institution.
V. TYPHOON LABUYO
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 At least three persons were reported dead while 54 others,
mostly fishermen, were missing as typhoon Labuyo swept
across coastal and mountain regions with wind gusts of 200
kilometers
per
hour.
 “An increase in the number of casualties is still possible, but we
hope that this is already the final list of casualties,”
Undersecretary Eduardo del Rosario, executive director of the
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council
(NDRRMC), said.
VI. US MILITARY ACCESS
 Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said that “diplomacy and
defense will once again intersect to secure our nation—this
week we start the negotiations with the United States to
institutionalize this policy through a framework agreement.” The
policy that Del Rosario referred to was the result of the TwoPlus-Two Consultations in 2012 between him and Defense
Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, and their US counterparts, then
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then Defense Secretary
Leon Panetta.
 The Philippine negotiating panel consists of Assistant Foreign
Secretary Carlos Sorreta, Assistant Defense Secretary
Raymund Jose Quilop, Defense Undersecretary Pio Lorenzo
Batino and Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III. The
US panel will be led by Eric John, a former US ambassador to
Thailand. John is a senior negotiator for military agreements of
the Department of State.
VII. PRESIDENTIAL SOCIAL FUND
 Opposition senators and labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno
(KMU) expressed support for the abolition of the P1-trillion
President’s Social Fund to ensure transparency in the
expenditure of public funds.
 Senators Nancy Binay and JV Ejercito said yesterday that the
scrapping of the pork barrel should not be confined to the
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legislative branch of government but also include the executive
department.
 Former National Treasurer Leonor Briones reported that in the
proposed national budget, President Aquino has P1 trillion in
lump sum items under his discretion, including P229 billion in
special purpose funds, P139 billion in unprogrammed funds
and P200 billion allegedly for school buildings.
VIII. NORTH COTABATO BOMBING
 Another explosion rocked Kabacan town in North Cotabato
province yesterday. Kabacan Mayor Herlo Guzman said a 40millimeter grenade was fired from a distance and exploded in
front of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office at about
4:00 AM. No one was hurt in the explosion, but parts of the
Comelec office were damaged.
IX. CAGAYAN DE ORO BOMBING
 Yesterday, the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection
Group (CIDG) said a group called Khilafah Islamic Movement
(KIM), believed to be an affiliate of the global terrorist network
al-Qaida, was responsible for the Cagayan de Oro attack. In a
statement, the CIDG said the KIM member who carried out the
attack was Usman Hapids, alias “Mam Man.”
 The PNP brought murder charges against Hapids and other
KIM members for the deaths of eight people in the Cagayan de
Oro attack.
X. CAVITE OIL SPILL
 A leaking submerged pipeline of Petron Corp. caused an oil
spill that turned Manila Bay into red and prompted a state of
calamity declaration in Cavite town, Commodore Joel Garcia,
commander of Coast Guard Marine Environmental Command,
said in a statement.
 Garcia said that the tanker’s owner, Herma Shipping and
Transport Corp., and the staff of Petron in Rosario, Cavite
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would be charged for barring the PCG from taking oil samples
from M/T Makisig’s fuel tank and the oil company’s pipeline.
XI. FIBA ASIA CHAMPIONSHIP
 President Aquino made a surprise appearance at the Mall of
Asia Arena Sunday night to join the cheering raucous crowd of
close to 20,000 at the 27th Fiba Asia Championship game
between the Philippines and Iran.
 With the game still fresh on his mind, President Aquino told
guests at the inauguration of the Japanese-owned Brother
Industries Inc. factory in Tanauan City, Batangas, “I was
encouraged to attend the basketball game, either as Chief
Booster or Lucky Charm. Since we didn’t win, perhaps I am
now being blamed for our loss.”
XII. OIL PRICE ROLLBACK/ HIKE
 Oil firms are likely to raise the pump prices of diesel products,
but lower the prices of gasoline this week to reflect international
price movements, industry sources said.
 The price adjustments will likely be less than 50 centavos per
liter, sources said. According to sources’ estimates, there may
be 20 to 25 centavos per liter price hikes for diesel and 45 to
50 centavos per liter price cuts for gasoline starting Tuesday.
Kerosene may be up 25 centavos per liter.
 According to the Department of Energy’s latest Oil Monitor
report, Dubai crude was relatively stable in late July to early
August, trading between $104 to $105 a barrel, but better than
expected manufacturing data in the United States and China
signified increased demand by the world’s two largest oil
consumers.
XIII. DPWH ON FLOOD CONTROL
 The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will
undergo a “substantial shift” to flood management once it is
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finished with road repairs and other related concerns,
Secretary Rogelio Singson said.
 He said that climate change had made it “urgent” for his
department to craft flood-mitigating measures involving entire
government agencies instead of individual local government
units affected by seasonal floods.
XIV. TURNAROUND TIME FOR AIRCRAFTS
 A memorandum circular posted on the website of the Civil
Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said that the
regulator was pursuing a 40-minute scheduled ground time,
also called turnaround time, for local flights beginning October
1 but with certain conditions. The CAAP said that the move
was meant to “promote safer and more efficient operations.”
 The document dated August 6, however, said that the
turnaround policy for domestic operations would exclude
Manila, Clark and Mactan, which are home bases.
XV. DEPED 2014 BUDGET
 The Department of Education (DepEd) lauded as a milestone
its higher-than-expected budget for 2014 after adding almost
P3 billion to its original budget proposal.
 Education Assistant Secretary for Planning Jesus Mateo said
that they originally proposed a P334-billion budget for next
year. But after a marathon Cabinet deliberations, Malacañang
decided to propose a P336.9-billion allocation for the DepEd,
which is 14.8 percent higher than its current budget.
XVI. PH SPORTS CONTINGENT FOR MYANMAR SEA GAMES
 Senator Pia Cayetano bewailed as “unacceptable and
defeatist” the decision of the Philippine Olympic Committee
(POC) to send “no more than 200” athletes to the 27th
Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Myanmar in December, and
to reserve the slots only for those with the potential to win gold
at the games.
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XVII. DOH WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM
 After seeing how its officials lost their belly fat and the extra
inches around their waist, the Department of Health (DOH) is
set to bring its six-month weight loss program to four other
government agencies that want healthier and fitter staff. Health
Secretary Enrique Ona announced Monday the DOH would
begin implementing its “Belly Gud for Health: The Executive
Edition” program at the Department of Labor and Employment,
Department of Environment and Natural Resources,
Commission on Audit and Government Service Insurance
System.
XVIII. ANTI-APECO TROOPED SUPREME COURT
 Farmers, fisherfolk and Dumagat and Agta indigenous groups
in Casiguran, Aurora province, trooped to the Supreme Court
(SC) yesterday to ask it to declare unconstitutional the two laws
that created the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport
(Apeco).
 They called on the high court to review and eventually prohibit
the implementation of Republic Act No. 9490, which created
Apeco, and RA No. 10083, which amended it to increase the
free port area to 12,923 hectares. The laws, they claimed,
created a “super body that has powers of the executive and
legislative branches of government.”
 Bishop Broderick Pabilio said that the petitioners hoped that
the court would be fair, considering that nothing happened at
the dialogue between President Aquino and Aurora residents in
December last year when they launched an 18-day, 350kilometer march to Manila to dramatize their opposition to the
Apeco project.
XIX. GUINGONA AMBUSH SUSPECT ARRESTED
 Reynaldo Agcopra, alias “Tarik,” suspect in the April 20
ambush of former Mayor Ruthie de Lara Guingona of Gingoog
City was arrested in Claveria, Misamis Oriental province. Tarik
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is an alleged member of the communist New People’s Army
(NPA).
XX. ARMED MEN ATTACK BUS TERMINAL IN LAGUNA
 Armed men in camouflage uniforms and military hats attacked
a bus company owned by a former partylist lawmaker in
Pagsanjan town, this province, early on Monday, setting on fire
11 of its buses valued at almost P50 million. Army’s 202nd
Infantry Brigade is taking part in the investigation to determine
the involvement of rebel groups, particularly the New People’s
Army (NPA).
XXI. SULU SULTANATE SEEKS UN AND MEDIA PRESENCE IN
SABAH
 The sultanate of Sulu challenged Malaysian officials yesterday
to allow independent international media and United Nations
observers in Lahad Datu, Sabah to prove that there are no
ongoing military operations in the area.
 Abraham Idjirani, spokesman for the Sulu sultanate, said that
Eastern Sabah Security Command director Gen. Datuk
Mohammad Mentek denied that eight Malaysian soldiers were
killed during a recent encounter with members of the so-called
Royal Sultanate Army of Sulu.
XXII. DEPLOYMENT BAN
 Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) chief
Hans Cacdac said that the agency has not received any
recommendation from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)
for the reimposition of the deployment ban in Iraq and Yemen
despite the prevailing unrest in the two Middle East countries.
XXIII. BUSINESSMEN’S SUPPORT FOR BANGSAMORO
 Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles
urged business leaders in Mindanao over the weekend to
support the establishment of the Bangsamoro political entity by
2016. Deles emphasized that the influence of the business
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sector could help realize the vision of the region’s fiscal
autonomy.
XXIV. ATIMONAN SHOOTING CASE
 Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Alan
Purisima has ordered the start of summary dismissal
proceedings against a police officer who went absent without
official leave (AWOL) after he was linked to the killing of 13
people in an alleged rubout case in Atimonan, Quezon last
January 6.
 Superintendent Ramon Balauag, who was relieved as chief of
the Quezon Provincial Police intelligence branch after the
killings, has been AWOL since July 8.
(ECONOMY)
I. PH AS “INVESTMENT HAVEN”
 A Japanese printer manufacturing company lauded the
Philippines as an investment haven as it opened a new
manufacturing facility at the First Philippine Industrial Park,
inaugurated by President Aquino.
 Brother Industries representative director and president
Toshikazu Koike cited the quality of the labor force,
infrastructure, and tax benefits as reasons why the company
chose the Philippines as a manufacturing site.
II. CAR SALES
 The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines
Inc. (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association Inc.
(TMA) said their combined sales went up eight percent to
15,686 units in July from 14,503 units in the same month last
year.
 Passenger car sales for the month grew 16.8 percent to 5,063
units from the previous year’s 4,336 units. Commercial vehicle
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sales meanwhile, climbed 4.5 percent to 10,623 units in July
from 10,167 units a year ago.
III. TRANSPORT MODERNIZATION
 The government is allotting of P29.8 billion for the continued
modernization of the country’s transport system. The amount
forms part of the P48.7 billion that will go to the Department of
Transportation and Communications (DOTC) out of the
proposed P2.268 trillion national budget for 2014.
 The government is setting aside a total of P399 billion for public
infrastructure projects in 2014. The amount, which is equivalent
to three percent of the gross domestic product target for next
year, is 35 percent higher than this year’s appropriated infra
spending of P295 billion.
 More than half of the P29.8 billion or P16.32 billion will go to
the improvement of the country’s rail transport system. About
P9.014 billion will go to the development of air transport
facilities encompassing 37 domestic and international airports.
IV. INFRA SPENDING/ POVERTY REDUCTION
 Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said that
with the proposed infrastructure budget for 2014, which is 35
percent higher than the P295 billion set aside for this year, the
government could substantially boost employment and, in the
process, increase household incomes.
 Balisacan said that the investments to be generated by better
infrastructure such as new roads, bridges, airports, farm and
power facilities would also help promote inclusive growth.
V. REDISCOUNTING LOANS
 Loans extended by the Bangko Sentral ng Pililipinas (BSP)
under its rediscounting facility went down 37 percent to
P15.908 billion in January to July this year from P25.295 billion
a year ago. The borrowing rate currently stands at a record-low
of 3.5 percent.
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VI. SMC EXCHANGE LOSSES
 Huge foreign exchange losses dragged diversified
conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) into the red in the first
semester. “Including unrealized forex losses, net loss
attributable to the equity holders of the parent company
amounted to P2.4 billion,” the food-to-power conglomerate said
in a regulatory filing.
 SMC said that the strengthening of the dollar against the peso
“resulted in foreign exchange losses of P10.2 billion in June
dragging the company’s overall performance for the (first half).”
VII. PH STOCK EXCHANGE
 The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gained 0.62
percent or 39.58 points to settle at 6,443.81, while the broader
all shares index added 0.47 percent or 18.29 points to
3,936.92.
(END)
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