Senate Pres. Juan Ponce Enrile confirmed on ANC-TV that some Senators were planning to oust him as Senate President.

The plot will be led, of course, by 4 Liberal Senators, namely Frank Drilon, Francis Pangilinan, Ralph Recto and T.G. Guingona. Because of recent political realignments, Koko Pimentel could be considered part of the group.


Also friendly to the LP group are NP Senators Alan Peter and Pia Cayetano, Manny Villar, Bongbong Marcos and Antonio Trillanes because of their recent coalition.

If the NP group joins the new move against JPE, it may be possible to form a new majority of 13.

Actually, the contentious issue is the desire of Koko Pimentel, Antonio Trillanes and Bongbong Marcos for seats in the Commission on Appointments.

At the moment, Senator Drilon has assured Senate President Enrile that he is not leading the ouster move. Malacañang also issued a statement backing Enrile.

Senators Panfilo Lacson and Jinggoy Estrada dispel talks about JPE’s removal as Senate President saying he is doing his job well and is fair to all senators.

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BINAY HIGHEST AGAIN . . For the 9th month in a row, Vice President Binay scored the highest approval rating with an 82% satisfaction rating, only 6% dissatisfied or a 76% net approval rating.

President Aquino got a 67% net approval rating. A previous survey also indicated that VP Binay got a 71% endorsement value rating.

It’s a big plus for UNA candidates to be endorsed by VP Binay.

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NO SPOKESMAN . . Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has appointed two persons to act as communicator and resource person for judicial reform instead of an official spokesman. Recall that Justice Sereno had a disagreement with Midas Marquez on his handling of the job.

Deputy Court Administrator Raul Villanueva introduced himself to reporters as “communicator for judicial reform.”

QC RTC Judge Filomena Singh was appointed “resource person for judicial reform.”

The 1st judicial reform announced was a directive to Lower Courts to allow witnesses to submit affidavits in lieu of oral testimony.

Sereno earlier announced that she would not be giving media interviews. She said she wanted to take the Supreme Court back to the days of “dignified silence.” 

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NO FUNDS? . . In 2011, President Aquino announced a P75 billion modernization program for the AFP. DND Sec. Voltaire Gazmin started announcing what equipment would be procured.

The other day, Senate finance committee chairman Frank Drilon clarified that the P75 billion AFP modernization program is a 5-year program that amounts to only P15 billion a year. Worse that in the proposed 2013 budget only P5 billion is provided or P10 billion short.

Again, this is like the big announcement for flood control amounting to P352 billion but for 2012 only P5 billion is made available.

The same with the tens of billions promised for agriculture. They have been reduced and only released in trickles.

Something’s wrong here. It looks like another case of underspending or, perhaps, lack of funds due to poor revenue collections?

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DANGERS IN THE STREETS. . Many accidents happen in the early morning hours when drunken and sleepy drivers are rushing home. If you can avoid it, don’t go out in the late evening or early morning hours.

The other day, a DSWD officer died as he pursued snatchers in Malibay, Pasay City.

 There have been so many holdups too in overpasses and underpasses. Gen. Espina, take note please.

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MAR OUTBURST . . It is difficult to understand the outburst of outgoing DOTC Sec. Mar Roxas berating CAAP Deputy Director General Capt. John Andrews who said at a Senate budget hearing that the Robredo crash was an accident.

Roxas dressed down Andrews telling him he had no authority to release to the public the results of an ongoing investigation of the plane crash. “Besides you are not in the plantilla,” Roxas told Andrews.

CAAP source said that Andrews and several CAAP officials are now considering resignation.

Why the outburst? Is it because Roxas wanted to make the announcement himself? Or is Mar Roxas still holding on to the theory that the plane was sabotaged? That foul play was involved?

Andrews based his statements on a parallel investigation being conducted by CAAP on the crash.

Malacañang and DOTC issued statements disauthorizing Andrews’ opinion.

Sen. Bong Revilla defended Andrews and said he was just being honest. He said Andrews’ statement is based on initial findings of the CAAP investigation.

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PITIFUL . . In an ANC interview, BI Comm. Ricardo David gave the usual excuse of lack of personnel, lack of equipment, lack of funds to explain BI’s shortcomings.

The Reyes’ escape cannot be caused by lack of personnel. BI personnel assisted and escorted him.

After more than a year in office, David has not been able to clean up the Bureau of Immigration. In fact, he retained all the officials hired or designated by his predecessor.

It looks like he is a square peg in a round hole.

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NO EFFECT . . President Aquino signed Administrative Order No. 29 renaming the South China Sea as West Philippine Sea.

The order covers the Luzon Sea as well as the waters around, within and adjacent to the Kalayaan Island Group and Bajo de Masinloc.

As expected, China and Taiwan issued statements not respecting the Administrative Order.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the government only “formalized” the renaming of Philippine maritime areas as recognized in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which covers the Exclusive Economic Zone.

The controversy about West Philippine Sea will remain unresolved for years to come. There is not much we are can do to ward off the Chinese and Taiwanese claim.

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NO NEW FACULTY . . Rep. Antonio Tinio complained that the proposed 2013 budget does not provide for new faculty members for SUCs. This is deplorable as state universities and colleges are doing a great job providing college education for the poor. They should be fully supported by the government.

Naval State University in Naval, Biliran has 8,000 students. It should be helped with more teachers to take care of the increase in enrollment.
 


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