Judy Ann Santos leaving showbiz

Yes, Judy Ann Santos will take a leave from showbiz for 12 to 18 months to take care of her family especially her coming baby whom they plan to give a nickname Buchochoy.

Malaki na ang tiyan ni Judy Ann Santos nang makaharap siya ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at iba pang entertainment press sa shooting ng Viva Films movie niya with Sarah Geronimo na Hating Kapatid. Ginanap ang shooting sa Steaktown restaurant sa Sgt. Esguerra, Quezon City, kahapon, July 1.

"Six months na. Boy siya," sagot ni Juday nang kumustahin ng PEP ang baby niya sa sinapupunan. "Pero itatanong namin ulit sa OB. Every month naman pinapatanong namin, sinisigurado namin kung boy talaga. Para sigurado kasi siyempre yung mga gamit na bibilhin namin, di ba?"

Nag-4D ultrasound na ba siya?

"Nitong pa-checkup pa lang ngayon. Kasi before 3D lang, e. Pero nitong huli, nakita na namin yung face, e," banggit ng young superstar.

Naglilikot na ba ang baby?

"Malikot pero yung malikot na masaya. Hindi yung malikot na masakit," sagot ni Juday.

Hindi rin daw nahihirapan si Juday sa kanyang pagbubuntis.

"No, not at all. Sobrang suwerte talaga ako. Ano lang siya ngayon, e, yung nagpaparamdam-ramdam. Parang may bula lang sa loob mo. Tapos pag madaling-araw, gising din siya. Ngayon, makikita mo parang tambol yung tiyan ko. Pero hindi pa yung bumubukul-bukol at nagwe-wave pag gumagalaw siya," paglalarawan niya.

Pero so far, ano yung mahirap sa kanyang pregnancy?

"Yung ngayon, sa totoo, wala akong naramdamang pagbabago maliban sa hirap akong maghanap ng damit na susuotin. Kasi syempre, di ba, nagbabago na yung size mo? Iba na yung size ng undergarments mo. Nagbago talaga lahat."

"SI RYAN ANG NAGLIHI." Isa pa raw sa hindi niya naranasan ay ang paglilihi, bagkus ang asawa niyang si Ryan ang naglihi.

"Siya yung naghanap ng siomai. Siya yung ayaw ng pabango ko. Siya yung may slight kasungitan. Pero ako, wala, wala talaga. Yun nga ang hinahanap ko, e, yung maglihi ako. Pero spoiled pa rin ako kay Ryan. Kung ano yung hingin ko, ibinibigay naman niya," sabi ni Juday.

Mas naging maalaga ba si Ryan sa kanya ngayong buntis siya?

"Oo naman," mabilis niyang sagot. "Maalaga naman siya before, pero ngayon talagang extra concern din siya sa akin. Every now and then, he would ask me kung okay ako sa set. Sana hindi ako naiinitan. Kasi alam nga niya pag buntis, mabilis mapagod. Yung pag-akyat ko nga lang dito, parang hapung-hapo ako na parang tatalon yung puso ko."

COMPLETE FAMILY. Bagamat sinasabi ni Juday na naranasan na niyang maging ina sa pag-aalaga sa kanyang adopted daughter na si Yohan, iba pa rin daw siyempre yung sa kanya na manggagaling ang isisilang niya. Naka-mindset na ba siya para rito?

"Oo naman. At saka blessing na nga na nagka-baby kami after our first year anniversary. Mas blessing na naging lalake pa siya. So, kung magkakaroon pa ng susunod na baby, hindi na pressure na, 'Dapat lalake, dapat lalake!' Kumpleto na talaga."

Kailan ang due date niya?

"October po ang due. Ang sabi October 14, pero it can be two weeks before or two weeks after. So, naglalaro sa kabuuan ng October."

May napili na ba silang pangalan for the baby?

"Nag-iisip pa rin kami. Si Yohan nga ang pinapapili namin. Sa ngayon, Bochochoy ang name niya [baby]. Si Yohan kasi, Boding. Lahat naman kasi ng mga bata dumaraan sa ganung stage na kailangan may pet name. Ako nga 'Wanbol' dati ang tawag sa akin nina Mommy at Daddy!" natatawa niyang kuwento.

Kukuha ba siya ng yaya?

"Kumuha kami ng assistance ng midwife just to assist me. Pero not really to take care of the baby. Kasi siyempre, limang taon na rin si Yohan. Nung huli ko siyang inalagaan, ibang-iba naman yun ngayon. At saka hindi ko alam kung paano mo siya... Ngayon pa lang naman ako manganganak. Hindi ko alam kung gaano kasakit pagka nanganak ka na. Kakayanin mo bang kumilos kaagad? Assistance lang," sabi ni Juday.

Sigurado rin daw na ibe-breastfeed niya ang kanyang baby.

ENDORSEMENTS AWAIT THE BABY. Inamin din ni Juday na hindi pa man naisisilang ang baby niya ay may mga gusto na agad kunin ito for commercials and endorsements.

"May mga inquiries," banggit niya. "Wine-welcome naman namin yung mga nagtatanong. Sino ba naman kami para sabihing, 'Bakit n'yo kami pinangungunahan?'"

Sa totoo raw, nae-excite pa nga sila ni Ryan kapag nakakatanggap sila ng inquiry. Maging ang endorsement daw nila ni Ryan ay hindi naman ganun kaapektado. May ilan na nga rin daw lumalapit kay Juday na endorsements para sa pagiging nanay niya.

"Nakakatuwa lang isipin na may mga nag-aabang. Siyempre, artista ka. Normally pag nabubuntis ang isang artistang babae, siyempre parang handa na yung mga tao na hindi ka makita kasi mommy ka na. Pero sa point na ito ng career ko at career ni Ryan, parang hindi naman. May mga endorsements naman na nagsasabing, 'We'll be waiting for you until you go back to your old body.' Nakakatuwa. Kasi may nag-aabang sa baby, may nag-aabang din sa akin."

Babalik ba agad siya sa trabaho pag nakapahinga na siya after ng panganganak?

"Hindi ko po masabi, e. Kung sa akin lang, kung pagkapanganak, kung makakabalik agad-agad, bakit hindi. Pero sa sitwasyon ko ngayon na relax na relax ako at wala naman akong planong madaliin yung pagne-nurse dun sa bata, ie-enjoy-in ko siya kasi ang tagal din naman naming hinintay ito, ang tagal naming ipinagdasal ito. So, hangga't kung gaano ko siya katagal puwede ko siyang i-nurse, ine-nurse ko siya nang bonggang-bongga. Kung babalik man ako kaagad sa pagtatrabaho, siguro yung light lang. Siguro yung talk show or pictorial, ganyan. Hindi muna mabibigat."

HATING KAPATID. Dahil nga sa kanyang kalagayan ngayon kaya pinipilit na rin nilang tapusin ang shooting ng Hating Kapatid, lalo na't nalalapit na rin ang showing nito sa July 21. May tatlong shooting days pa raw silang natitira.

"Ako si Rica dito, ang panganay na kapatid ni Cecil [Sarah], na overprotective sister. Kasi mula nung umalis yung parents nila para magtrabaho sa Saudi, siya na yung tumayong nanay at tatay. Siya talaga yung naghirap. Yung buong mundo niya umikot na kay Sarah. Kaya ganun siya ka-protective dun sa kapatid niya," paglalarawan ni Juday sa kanyang role.

First time makatrabaho ni Juday si Sarah, pero puring-puri niya ang kanyang co-actress.

"Si Sarah, wala ka namang maipipintas sa batang iyan, e. Kung may isang bagay man akong ipipintas sa kanya, yun yung hindi siya nakakapagpahinga. Hindi niya nae-enjoy yung buhay niya," sabi niya.

Nakita niya ba ang sarili niya kay Sarah sa pagiging workaholic?

"Oo, at mas higit pa," sambit ni Juday. "May humigit pa pala sa akin sa kasipagan ko noong araw. Yun ang sinasabi ko sa kanya na sana ma-enjoy niya yung youth niya. Kasi hindi mo naman maire-rewind itong  part na ito ng buhay mo, di ba? Yun ang sinasabi ko sa kanya na sa bawat trabaho na ginagawa niya, make sure na ma-enjoy niya."

Love interest ni Juday sa movie si JC de Vara, habang si Luis Manzano naman ang love interest ni Sarah. Kumusta naman katrabaho sina JC at Luis?

"Si JC, nakatrabaho ko una sa Ouija. Magka-love team kami dito. Unang eksena nga namin dito, ang tawag ko sa kanya pamangkin bilang batang-bata, di ba? Pero sa screen, may chemistry naman. So, sana makalusot.

"Naku, si Luis, e, ano naman 'yan, e, kengkoy! Parang hindi mo nakikitaan ng kapaguran," sabi niya tungkol sa dalawang leading men ng pelikula.

Directed by Wenn Deramas, ang Hating Kapatid ay kinabibilangan din nina Gina Pareño, Cherry Pie Picache, Al Tantay, DJ Durano, at si Vice Ganda. [Source: PEP]

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Charice's perfect rendition of Lupang Hinirang at Noynoy Aquino's inauguration

Charice sings it right. That's how it should be.

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Bagong Pilipinas, theme song at Noynoy Aquino's inauguration

Kinikilabutan ako habang pinapanood ito.

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Verizon wireless to offer iPhone in January

Good news to Verizon Wireless customers! It's now the talk of the town that iPhone will become available to Verizon Wireless customers in January. But we don't know if this is still just a speculation but I for one is really looking forward to this.

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Watch video of the flying car

It's real but who can afford it?

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Should I feel bad for Kris Aquino

Yes, I should. Kris has her reasons for giving up and I can respect that. I always felt since the beginning of their relationship that their union is not a match made in heaven. But that's just my opinion and observation. Here is Kris side of the story:

Meanwhile, here’s Kris’ text message to The STAR in reaction to the STAR story that she’s a “controlling” and “domineering” wife:

“That snippet of a conversation you printed occurred on April 26. And that wasn’t the straw that broke the camel’s back – it was what James told Baby James in front of me. Sorry but I can’t make public what it was. That’s why I kept my silence on The Buzz last Sunday. At three-years-old, my son is vulnerable and can be emotionally and psychologically damaged.”

May I make it clear that I didn’t provoke that fight. We were keeping our distance from each other for several weeks when James exploded. Yes, I am guilty of many times saying I wanted out. But I have never involved our son. I have never said words that would hurt Baby James and negate his value as my child. I am trying to be decent and proper.”

“It isn’t valuing my feelings. You of all people and after all you have witnessed in all your years of being Ricky Lo you would know that infidelity once accused and, may I add, broadcast on national television and with lurid details thrown at your face, somehow no matter how it is denied and no matter how hard you may try to believe your husband, the very fact that you needed to be publicly humiliated and privately mocked just puts wounds in your heart and mind that don’t heal.”

“I have never controlled James. More than one year na nga akong hindi nakikialam sa kanya. We have been living under one roof but totally separate lives. I honestly felt I was near my breaking point last week – that I could easily have a nervous breakdown because of presenting an everything-is-OK picture to the world when my home life has been so unhappy for so long. I was tired of lying to the world and lying to myself.”

“Our lawyers discussed with Dondon Monteverde (James’ manager) last Saturday and they will meet with James’ lawyers in the next few days. Under the law, because of the kids I do have a right to our condo in Makati but if he refuses to vacate, ayoko ng gulo. My Mom was insistent before that the practical thing to do was to ask for a prenup. James is smarter than you all give him credit for. He told me then na-in-insulto ang pagkatao nya and I was stupid enough to not insist.”

“I just want a chance to heal. Akala ng lahat ako lang yung madaldal at pwedeng masakit magsalita. Hindi nyo lang alam lahat ng insultong inabot na rin ng pagkatao ko sa years na pinagsamahan namin. I have shared all this with off the record. I am not asking you to take my side but just to see why I am firm in saying this is a separation that will be legalized and finalized.”

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Liz Uy is Noynoy's official presidential hairstylist

No doubt she'll do an excellent job!

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Charice can do country music too

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Gary V and Regine V top performers for Noynoy inauguration

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Kris Aquino's marriage to James Yap is over

or is it?

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Kris Aquino makes another promise

Kris Aquino is leaving The Buzz and Showbiz News Ngayon and I know the show is not the same without Kris. Big adjustments will happen to all of the two shows' followers when she leaves. Who will replace her will remain to be seen. Hope it will not be someone as boring as Ruffa.

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The changes Kris Aquino is making after Noynoy is sworn in

Noynoy Aquino and Kris already gave their reactions to the Despedida Party on Facebook, a page set up as a call for Kris Aquino to fulfill her promise to leave the country if Noynoy wins the election. I visited the page and indeed, it has about 22,000 membership, BUT not all who joined are against Kris. A lot of them actually joined to defend Kris. But today, it’s confirmed that Kris will be making big changes that will affect her career, life, and family all for the success of Noynoy.
Ricky Lo, who is one of Kris’ most trusted entertainment journalist writes:
I deliberately made today’s headline somewhat bitin (hanging) so as to jolt Kris-bashers into a false jubilation — I mean, those who are insisting that Kris should keep her pre-election “promise” that she would live abroad (and work with The Filipino Channel) if and when her brother, Sen. Noynoy Aquino, won in the May 10 elections. Well, Noynoy is now called President-apparent because he’s clearly well on his way to Malacañang.

Kris has already explained in a Funfare “scoop” that what she said was if she would be a hindrance to Noynoy’s presidency (kung magiging pabigat siya kay Noynoy), and President-apparent Noynoy has told Kris to stop the kadramahan already and again said recently that Kris has no reason to leave the country since she hasn’t committed a crime against it or against anybody. Period.
But, yes, Kris is, indeed, leaving very soon — not the country but as host of the ABS-CBN talkshow The Buzz (which she co-hosts with Boy Abunda and KC Concepcion) and the late-night showbiz newscast SNN (Showbiz News Ngayon).
As she announced on The Buzz last Sunday, Kris had a lunch meeting yesterday with ABS-CBN big bosses Gabby Lopez, Charo Santos-Concio and Cory Vidanes, and she promptly texted Funfare the following message:
Hi, Tito Ricky. I promised you an update. We had a fruitful meeting with Boss Gabby, Ma’am Charo and Tita Cory. All my sisters (Ballsy, Viel and Pinky) were with me. Effective June 30 when Noy is proclaimed (sworn in) president, I will graciously give up hosting both The Buzz and SNN. It’s a decision I am at peace with because I know that I will lessen Noy’s stress by leaving two shows I love dearly, but could unintentionally be sources of controversy.
I told you that I have my entire being to help my brother win, and now I will continue to give my entire self to help him succeed as president of our country. If that means sacrificing my exposure and income from two shows I am so closely identified with, then that is what being family is all about, putting the good of all above personal interest. Much love to you. Ikaw lang ang ti-next ko.
Sorry, Ruffa (Gutierrez) but you won’t have to order lechon from Cebu for the “despedida” planned for Kris by her Twitter non-fans. And Lolit (Solis), you won’t have to hire a taxi to escort Kris to the airport because even if she’s “leaving,” it won’t be, I repeat, the country by only her two shows on ABS-CBN.
Here’s Kris’ follow-up text message:
Just to make it clear, Tito Ricky, in case I’m misinterpreted, I will continue with (the teleserye) Kung Tayo’y Magkakalayo and (the reality-TV) Pilipinas Got Talent. ABS-CBN is now looking at other shows that would be best suited for me after the teleserye ends in August.
There.
Really now, could you imagine how drab and boring and unexciting local showbiz would be without Kris Aquino? Honestly, I could not. So I’m glad that Kris may be “leaving” (her two shows) but she’s, as I’ve been saying, here to stay.

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Miriam Santiago telling Kris Aquino to stay away from politics is stupid

Sino ba si Miriam Defensor-Santiago para payuhan si Kris Aquino na lumayo sa politika or huwag tumanggap ng position sa gobyerno. Ni hindi naman niya sinabi kung bakit ayaw niya. Takot ba siya kay Kris? Nakalimutan na ba ni Miriam na ang magkakapatid na Aquino ay puedeng-puedeng pagkatiwalaan ni Noynoy sa maraming maseselang bagay lalo pa at napapaligiran siya ng mga oportunista at kurap sa gobyerno. Hindi naman agad agad mawawala yan. Tatrabahuhin pa yan ni Noynoy. Eh sa laki ng problema at gulong iiwan ni Gloria kay Noynoy, kailangang-kailangan ni Noynoy ang tulong ng mga kapatid niya. Lalong-lalo na si Kris na fearless at malapit rin sa puso ng masa. Matalino si Kris at ang lahat ng kanyang mga kapatid kaya walang dapat ipangamba kung tumulong man sila kay Noynoy. Sa halip na pagbawalan, dapat i-encourage pa nga ni Miriam si Kris pero yan ay kung ang hangad ni Miriam ay ang tagumpay ni Noynoy. Hindi ba ang tagumpay ni Noynoy ay magiging tagumpay ng ating bansa. Dahil hindi naman ipinaliwanag ni Miriam ang dahilan ng pagpigil niya kay Kris, baka naman hindi niya type na maging successful si Noynoy. A oo nga pala. Sila nga pala ni Gloria ang mag BFF sa politika. Hindi ba nga lagin niyang pinagtatanggol si Gloria. O di bah?

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Noynoy Aquino and some of the challenges ahead

Noynoy Aquino and mom Cory Aquino - like mother like son. But learning from mom’s experiences gives Noynoy the advantage which makes him a more equipped president than Cory.

Aquino may face an opposition Congress, with defeated presidential candidate and Sen. Manuel Villar Jr., and President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, incoming Pampanga representative, working to gain the Senate presidency and the House Speakership respectively.
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago raised a potentially challenging situation for the would-be Aquino government, as she stressed that Villar had the "numbers" to regain the Senate presidency. She added that Ms Arroyo, being a shrewd leader and having made preparations for her new life in Congress, could just clinch the House leadership.
But Santiago said Ms Arroyo could only be the next Speaker if her alliances would hold after Aquino’s proclamation by Congress.
"You know politics. Even if they (President Arroyo's allies in the House) belong to parties against Aquino, the minute he is proclaimed as president, they would change parties because you get so many benefits under a sitting President,'' Santiago said over dzBB radio.
"So it's really difficult to make a forecast if they would stay faithful to what they agreed with the President," she added.
President Arroyo last week retook the chairmanship of the Lakas-Kampi CMD party and her advisers said the party was determined on fielding her for the speakership.
In so far as Villar was concerned, Santiago was more certain he had the numbers to regain the Senate presidency and would continue to have them until the convening of Congress in July.
Santiago said she recently spoke with him and that he "seemed interested" in taking back the Senate leadership, currently occupied by reelected Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile.
And by her own count, "over 10" senators would likely vote for Villar. She said this was made up of senators and candidates who ran under Villar's Nacionalista party (including her, Senators Pia Cayetano, Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr.), and senators who supported him in the Senate (Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Loren Legarda, Joker Arroyo, Gregorio "Gringo"" Honasan and Lito Lapid).
"That's why if he wants to become Senate president, he already has it," she said.
Only 21 senators will sit in the next Congress. Aquino, whose senatorial term ends in 2013, is now set to be proclaimed president, while Sen. Panfilo Lacson is still at large, evading his arrest for murder charges filed against him. Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV remains detained for coup d'etat charges; he cannot attend sessions and therefore, cannot cast his votes on proposed laws and resolutions.
Santiago said she knew that so far, Aquino's Liberal party has obtained the support of six senators for their own bet for Senate president.
Meanwhile, Enrile said he was not moving to become Senate president under the new Congress, and would just go with the majority.
Enrile said he would rather be Senate minority leader so he could debate with fellow senators.
And with Villar likely regaining the Senate leadership, Santiago foresaw the Senate under an Aquino presidency "playing a role of a loyal opposition" but she said the chamber should also support Aquino to help the country.
She said it would be "very important" for the Senate and the House to be allied with Malacañang otherwise Aquino would have a difficult time if the two Houses were opposition.
Aquino would have a hard time pushing ahead with his legislative agenda if he failed to get allies in the leaderships of both houses of Congress, she said.
Santiago said with Congress dominated by the opposition to the Aquino government, those close to Aquino would have a hard time committing graft and corruption.
"I myself am not raising any doubt on his honesty and integrity, but I do entertain very serious doubts about the honesty of some people," she said, adding those around Aquino may be eyeing lucrative positions.
"Congress would be watching them," she said.
Apparently speaking about former government officials who left President Arroyo during the height of the "Hello Garci" scandal of 2005, Santiago said they sought the President's resignation because they could not get what they wanted from her.
"Ngayon, kung iniwanan nila si President Arroyo, malamang iiwanan din nila si President Aquino kapag napansin nila na hindi rin nila makukuha ang gusto nila (If they left President Arroyo, they could also leave President Aquino if they failed to get what they want)," she warned.
"I’m very sorry to give them the bad news: Guys, you are not going to get rich this time," Santiago said.

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Live blog coverage of 2010 election - read here

Link to the LIVE BLOG 2010 Election Coverage via Vera Files.

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Why Noynoy Aquino can become greater than Ninoy and Cory


Not everybody really know who Noynoy is, his strength, his weakness, what he really did in his life and why he will probably turn out to be the best president the Philippines will ever have. This report by Gil C. Cabacungan Jr. of Philippine Daily Inquirer was able to capture the very essence of who Noynoy Aquino is as a person, son, brother, and as a leader.

MANILA, Philippines—He looked more like a cockfighter’s kristo—a bet caller —than a presidential candidate as he waved a fistful of paper notes with one hand and held up the back of his sliding Paddock’s jeans with the other in a late-night rally in Zamboanga City whose size could rival that of an Eraserheads’ reunion concert.

With his thinning hair, stooped shoulders and awkward gait, Sen. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III could not care less about his looks in a campaign where he faces the most expensive political bid ever mounted in the Philippines and one of the most vicious personal attacks against a presidential candidate in history.

In the course of the 90-day campaign, Aquino has proven that looks, and a person’s biodata, can be deceiving.

Put down by his critics at the start of the campaign as “walang alam”—a know-nothing—just like his late widowed mother who dared to challenge a brilliant but ruthless dictator in 1986, the 50-year-old Aquino has surprised a lot of his cynics with his self-confidence, keen grasp of major issues, and his diligence in doing his homework before facing the media and other organizations.

His opponents claimed that he would be unmasked in the presidential debates, but Aquino appeared intelligent, well-prepared and poised in these forums and was never the one to pass up on answering a thorny issue such as the Hacienda Luisita case and doubts on his state of mental health. He was modest, warm, folksy and appreciative when meeting people in motorcades and town rallies far from the cold and snotty hacendero he was pictured to be by his foes.

“He has grown before our eyes in the campaign and proved himself worthy as our next president. I never saw this side of Noy before, because he always looked ordinary to me being the son of a martyr and democracy’s saint,” said Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, an adviser to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a strategist of the administration candidate Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro until a month ago, and a classmate of Aquino at Ateneo de Manila University.

“He has earned and gained a stature that is his own and has shown his mettle under pressure and amidst criticisms from his opponents. It was actually there all along and I have seen it up close, but I guess it’s only now that he is given the opportunity to show it to people other than his close friends,” said Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, who backed out of the presidential race and has openly campaigned for Aquino’s election.

Trustworthy

Ramon del Rosario Jr., chair of the Makati Business Club, was surprised at how Aquino had weathered all the challenges in the campaign and remained as the leading candidate heading into the elections.

“I first met Noy in 1986 and I think he demonstrated throughout the campaign his leadership qualities, honesty, maturity, consistency and to take principled positions. He will be a strong, trustworthy president,” Del Rosario said.

Aquino admitted having reached a new level of maturity since he took on the family’s virtual franchise as this country’s savior.

“I’ve grown up in the sense that I gained more knowledge of so many things. I have clearly witnessed the strengths and weaknesses I have and the limits I can go to. Plus, all the principles I have, have been put to the test,” he said in an interview at a seafront rest house in Bacacay, Albay.

Still, Aquino insisted that he was just being himself throughout the campaign. “I just did not get that much exposure when I was in the House and the Senate. I have become perhaps more polished but the fundamentals have always been there. My focus is not self-aggrandizement but to go for results to correct what is wrong,” he said.

When asked why it took his mother’s death for him to come out of his cocoon, Aquino replied: “Is being on the center stage important? What is important to me is that I see the problem and I solve it and improve the situation of the people. Whoever ends up being the hero is just secondary to the strategy.”

Behind the scenes

Aquino explained that he had always worked behind the scenes since he was suddenly thrust into politics with the declaration of martial law and the arrest of his father, former Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. He said he did not feel any need to draw attention to himself because his parents were still there.

His family might not have been poor, but Aquino said he also knew how it felt to suffer, especially with the tragedy that befell his family. He opened up to the public how it felt as a 12-year-old to suddenly become the man of the house and take care of his mother and four sisters, Ballsy (Maria Elena), Pinky (Aurora Corazon), Viel (Victoria Eliza) and Kris (Kristina Bernadette); the feeling of helplessness at seeing his family humiliated by soldiers and his father imprisoned for seven years and seven months; his anger at the people who treated his assassinated father like frozen meat; and the pain of seeing his mother go through a fatal illness.

His rivals have criticized him for authoring zero laws in his 12 years as a lawmaker (nine years as representative and three years as senator) and working only for companies either owned by his family (Intra-Strata Assurance Corp. and Central Azucarera de Tarlac) or were run by friends of his parents (Nike distributor Mondragon Philippines).

But what the public did not know was Aquino’s role in his mother’s administration, when, as a 26-year-old, he became the confidante of his mother who was learning on the job how to fend off coup plotters, opportunists and backstabbers in the Palace.

Aide to his mother

Aquino was hands-on in managing the security of his mother, especially after he took five bullets in one of the military uprisings staged by then Col. Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan just 18 months into his mother’s term (this event fueled his fascination for guns and military hardware).

President Aquino constantly turned to her son for his personal take on policy reforms and proposed deals which was why he has become adept in doing research on his own, a trait he would carry in the elections.

“Whenever my mother wanted a background check on someone or some project, he went to me for help. There are only a few people she trusted during those days and as his only son, it was my duty to protect her and I did,” Senator Aquino said.

The campaign period showed how meticulous and precise Aquino was in preparing for his speeches, debates and campaign rallies. Over the last eight months, Aquino said he had spent his free time and rest days soaking up on issues.

He does not go for off-the-cuff remarks, he thinks deeply before answering any question. He rarely answers with a yes or a no as he makes sure that the audience gets his answer in the proper context.

Not a dictator

Closure is the byword of Aquino in his reply to what he would do in his first 100 days. “They call us bengatibo (vengeful), but isn’t that a way of admitting that they have done wrong? But again, we will give them what they have not given us—due process. I might have my opinion of them but it does not mean it will be the law. I will not be a dictator,” said Aquino, who plans to put up a special commission on his first day in office that would investigate all unfinished probes on corrupt deals under the Arroyo administration.

His campaign slogan is “Walang Mahirap, Kung Walang corrupt”—there’s no poor where there is no one corrupt—and he plans to achieve that in two ways—punish the guilty and reward the bureaucrats with a handsome pay.

Aquino said the only way to instill fear among corrupt officials was to ensure that justice would be swift, certain and painful by improving the conviction rate of government prosecutors, landing a big fish in jail.

But a stick would not work without a carrot as Aquino noted the absurdity of a P50,000-a-month president presiding over a P1.5-trillion annual budget. “What we want is to lead government officials away from temptation because the pay scale they have right now practically guarantees that they will be corrupt,” he said.

Oxygen breaks

Aquino has stayed true to himself even in his vices, the most visible of which is his smoking which he fondly calls his “oxygen breaks.” He never said smoking was good and he never tried to quit, not even at the risk of this becoming an election issue.

He has not weaseled his way out of the raging reproductive health bill debate as he stood firmly for sex education and providing parents with a choice for alternative ways to stop pregnancy even though he knew how sensitive this issue was to the leaders of the Catholic Church, specifically Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales.

“We are not talking primarily about overpopulation, but the lack of capacity of the state to start addressing the problems that are already here such as lack of vaccines for newborn babies and classrooms. You have so many other statistics that say that the youth are not being attended to and are relegated to making do with what is available,” Aquino said.

While he takes the campaign very seriously, this has not stopped him from having fun. Despite the sizzling heat, Aquino said he enjoyed riding on six-wheel trucks with makeshift roofs in his motorcade because he could give away his yellow rubber wristbands to the crowd, like throwing rings in an amusement park.

“There’s a certain style of throwing it, depending on how far you want it to go. I can proudly say I’ve become an expert in throwing these baller IDs,” Aquino said. (The team gives out 15,000 to 20,000 baller IDs worth P2.80 each in every province Aquino visits during a motorcade).

Coke and ‘chicharon’

Aquino proudly shows off the scratch marks and bruises on his arms from the grabbing and pulling in his sorties like a warrior would his battle scars.

“Everybody I saw was smiling, they were happy to meet me. Their enthusiasm was enough to bring me through the day even if my first and last meal for the day is dinner,” he said.

One of the biggest surprises in the campaign was how he has held up with his Marlboros and a diet of chilled Coke, and chicharon from Cagayan de Oro City. “I have sinusitis, but I haven’t had any serious episodes on my health during the campaign period despite foregoing so many meals and not having enough rest periods in between motorcades and long trips,” he said.

“This must be how the Beatles felt,” quipped Florencio “Butch” Abad Jr., the Liberal Party (LP) campaign manager, in describing the throngs of people who have swarmed Aquino’s motorcades and rallies with arms wide open and their hands flashing the ubiquitous “L” sign.

Part of the family

Abad said that when people come near Aquino, they look at him not as a rock or movie star but as a part of their family. “It seems that they know him intimately since his family’s life has played out like a telenovela for decades,” he said.

With the fervent response of the crowds to Aquino’s presence, his campaign team felt no need to juice up his personal appearances by bringing in celebrity endorsers and supporters. Kris and husband, basketball star James Yap, only accompanied Aquino twice in his provincial sorties, while actors Dingdong Dantes and Coco Martin came on stage with Aquino only three times.

In between sorties, Aquino gave a glimpse of his playful side, especially with the children whom he interacts with like it was his second nature. His eyes brighten up whenever a child approaches him and he lets their guard down by immediately asking them: “Who’s your playmate?”

During late-night coffee sessions, Aquino regaled his friends and reporters with his funny anecdotes on the games he played with his nephews, Joshua and Baby James (sons of Kris), and how he always kept tabs on their schedule and their appetite.

Aquino, however, clams up when asked whether he would marry Valenzuela City Councilor Shalani Soledad. He has met her sparingly throughout the campaign, probably to emphasize that he has his priorities set. They are not a showy couple and the most personal gesture they displayed in public during the campaign was when Soledad fixed Aquino’s disheveled hair on stage in a rally in her city.

No punching bag

Aquino might have grown up with the who’s who of the country’s richest families and political shakers, but his feet are clearly on the ground as attested to by the company he keeps and the types of jokes he makes. “Wanna buy watch, Joe” is a standard punch line in his campaign spiels and the joke is lost on the predominantly youthful crowd.

He has an anecdote or a joke to share for each person he meets in the rallies or who hops on his float. His top aide, Zaldy de Layola, said Aquino’s way of relaxing was having mindless chatter with his friends from politics, school and media usually exchanging jokes (the kind Joey de Leon makes) and making fun of other people.

“It keeps my mind at ease after long hours of studying,” Aquino said.

He also makes fun of himself, especially his balding head, and this comes as a surprise to most people who meet him for the first time. But he does have a temper and he fights back when he and his family are insulted.

“I wasn’t raised to be a punching bag. I am Catholic but I am not ready to turn the other cheek all the time,” Aquino said.

Makeover

When his sister, television host Kris Aquino, the country’s version of Oprah Winfrey and Paris Hilton combined, approached him for a makeover shortly after declaring his run, Aquino initially gave in just to please her but eventually returned all the expensive clothes and shoes and immediately went back to wearing his “comfort” clothes—soft-collared shirts, high-waist jeans and soft-soled leather shoes.

Aquino was also firm on not getting Botox or hair implants as Kris suggested.

Aquino keeps his wardrobe simple—blue jeans, white underwear, basic shirts and jeans, and off-the-rack formal wear—because he does not want to waste time on deciding what clothes to wear. He also has an assistant to do his shopping for him.

Aquino explained that his message was for honest change and transparency and he would not be truthful to the public if he marketed himself as a suave, fashion-conscious guy in the campaign.

To maintain his credibility, Aquino has made it a point to screen all campaign funders and political allies to make sure that they are not tainted by any corrupt deals with the Arroyo administration or are instigators of the shady transactions themselves.
Aquino said his campaign might be running on a limited budget from the contributions of volunteers and sales of campaign materials, but it did not mean they cannot afford to be picky.

Taking control

One of Aquino’s biggest regrets in his presidential bid was the lack of time for preparations. He described his campaign as being “rushed” compared to the three-year window of others, and he has used it as an excuse for the sluggish start of his campaign team and the slight drop in his ratings in the opinion polls.

“Just imagine if we had the same preparation time as our opponents. But this rushed campaign also showed how the people wanted to get involved in the process and not just looking in. In that way, our process has matured, which made the experience okay,” Aquino said.

Aquino took control over his campaign in February to ensure that it worked smoothly with his coalition partners’ brain trusts, mainly his uncle, Paul Aquino, and LP senatorial candidate Serge Osmeña.

That he has remained at the top of the surveys should be no surprise if you base it on hard work. Aquino has probably been to more provinces, attended more debates, and conducted more interviews than any other candidate.

His critics have also belittled him as just a pushover, overshadowed by his more glamorous and more glib sibling, Kris, and that he would wilt under the pressure of incessant attacks on his character and family during the campaign.

Mudslinging

Aquino, however, has weathered the worst mudslinging a candidate could endure. He has been labeled witless, a spoiled brat, a womanizer, a nightlife habitué, a chain smoker, and a loony, while his family has been branded as opportunists, slave drivers and even murderers. Yet he has emerged smelling like roses based on the most recent Pulse Asia survey which showed him having a 40-percent share or nearly double his two closest rivals.

Aquino said his opponents tend to exaggerate their claims to gain a greater effect, such as in their charges of corruption by “Kamag-anak Inc.” during his mother’s term and the long-standing struggle between his family and the farmers in Hacienda Luisita.
“They say our relatives were corrupt but have there been cases filed against them when we were not in power from 1992 when my mother stepped down and 1998 when I ran for Congress? They say Hacienda Luisita was wracked with many labor disputes, but there have been only four labor cases in five decades,” Aquino said with some irritation.

But Kris herself would be the first to say that Aquino makes his own decisions and stands by them even if it meant going against a friend or relative. Not even his parents could make Aquino change his mind once he has come to a decision.

Kris has already declared that she and her siblings would leave Aquino on his own if he became president that they would only give him sisterly advice. “We have our own homes, so why should we live in Malacañang?” asked Kris, who clarified that her mother lived on Arlegui Street across the Palace during her reign.

Parents behind every step

Aquino said that if it was his obligation to lead this country out of Ms Arroyo’s hell, he would do it within the mandate given to him. “If I’m elected as president, I would have spent close to 20 years in politics. I think that’s enough for one man. When it’s time to pass your papers, I hope that I will leave this country in a better position,” he said.

With the confluence of events at this stage of his life—his mother’s death, his reluctance to run, his sudden jump to the top of the presidential surveys, and his continued stay at the top despite the deluge of black propaganda—even Aquino could not help but feel a sense of destiny in his presidential run not unlike her mother’s fate.

“I guess they (his parents) have always been behind me in every step I took in the campaign. Every time I have problems, I seek their help, including my lolo (grandfather) and lola (grandmother), who are major influences in my life,” Aquino said.

But will history repeat itself in the sense that his mother was cheated in the 1986 snap polls and it took a People Power revolution to fulfill her destiny? She was also 50 years old when at the cusp of the presidency.

“Hopefully not. We will try our best that it will not happen. I cannot look at this as a personal fight. This is not a question of Noynoy winning the presidency, this is a question of whether or not the people will be able to choose and their choice is reflected without question in the proclamations to be conducted.”

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Noynoy Aquino widens lead in new SWS business world survey

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Noynoy Aquino answers questions about Hacienda Luisita - watch video

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More religious disagrees with Cardinal Rosales on People Power

Unlike Cardinal Rosales, a nun and a bishop made more sense in saying they will join the people in case of electoral fraud or a total failure of elections as told to ABS-CBN.

Here is ABS-CBN's full report:

MANILA, Philippines - A nun on Tuesday said she disagreed with the position of Manila archbishop Gaudencio Rosales not to back a People Power revolt in case of a massive failure of elections on May 10.

"With all due respect to the Cardinal, I don't agree with him," Sister Mary John Mananzan, co-chairperson of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP), told ABS-CBN.

Mananzan described as unrealistic Rosales's argument that people can still rely on the law in case a massive failure of elections delays the proclamation of a new president. She added that she would rather walk with the people in protest than rely on the "severely compromised institutions" in case of electoral fraud or a total failure of elections.

"If your premise is that you can go somewhere to have a redress of your grievances... We all know that it's not true," she said.

Mananzan cited as an example whistleblower Rodolfo "Jun" Lozada Jr., who revealed massive corruption in the botched national broadband contract with China's ZTE Corp. She said that despite his revelations, Lozada is now facing 16 criminal cases and his request for a writ of amparo was denied by the court.

Mananzan said Rosales should look at the numerous signs of possible electoral fraud before saying that a People Power option is crazy.

Rosales on Sunday said it is unlikely that Catholic bishops would support another People Power revolution in case of a massive failure of the country's first ever nationwide automated polls.

Rosales said he is confident that the use of Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines in the May 10 elections would limit cheating in the nationwide polls. He added that any failure of elections should not be blamed on the machines or the Comelec.

"Who will you get angry with? The machines? The Comelec? You should get angry with Filipinos who sell out their country for P5,000," he told reporters.

The archbishop said he does not support calls for a People Power revolt if no winner is proclaimed after the May 10 polls.

"No. For heaven's sake, there is the constitution. Why induce that to the present situation? Remember that time there was a dictator. That is crazy, crazy, crazy. These are two different things. Whoever said that, I never heard it. That is very irresponsible thinking," he said.

Misinformed?

Liberal Party (LP) vice-presidential candidate Manuel "Mar" Roxas II, meanwhile, said Rosales could have been misinformed about the problems facing the automated polls. He added, however, that he and LP presidential bet Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III are not offended by Rosales's statement.

Aquino earlier warned that a People Power revolt would be inevitable in case of massive fraud. The LP bet, who has led in all pre-election surveys, said massive fraud would be the only reason for his loss in the presidential election.

Bishop Deogracia Iñiguez, chairman of the committee on public affairs of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), agreed with Rosales that the law provides certain recourses for the people's grievances.

Iñiguez, however, said he would not think twice in joining a bloodless revolt in case of a failure of elections and if President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo acts as a "holdover" president. "If those in power violate the law, I will be joining the people," he said.

He said he would not rely on the law, "which is useless in a particular situation, like our situation now."

"The present people in power, they can easily escape and subvert the different provisions of the law. In this case, we really need people's power," the bishop said.

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National Teacher Appreciation Week 2010

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to all the teachers who inspired us and that includes those parents who devoted countless of time and effort to teach their children as well. Here is a collection of some of the best teaching quotes out there for your convenience - thanks to Huffington Post.

"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." -Henry Adams


"A good teacher is like a candle: it consumes itself to light the way for others." -Anonymous
"No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another. Thank you." -Anonymous
"Education is the best provision for the journey to old age." -Aristotle
"In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day's work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years." -Jacques Barzun
“Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one." -Malcolm Forbes
"Genius without education is like silver in the mine." -Benjamin Franklin
"The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind." -Khalil Gibran
"Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource." -President John F. Kennedy
"Teach the children so that it will not be necessary to teach the adults." -President Abraham Lincoln
"What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches." -Karl Menninger
"Teacher appreciation makes the world of education go around." -Helen Peters
"The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life." -Plato
"The very spring and root of honesty and virtue lie in good education." -Plutarch
"The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth.'" -Dan Rather
"I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks." -William Shakespeare
"The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery." -Mark van Doren
Last but not least is my favorite:
"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." -William A. Ward

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Noynoy Aquino continue to lead in Guam, Hongkong election polls

Senator "Noynoy" Aquino continues to maintain a commanding lead over former president Joseph "Erap" Estrada and Senator "Manny" Villar Junior. Aquino leads with thirty-eight percent of the votes, according to the latest polling numbers.

In a tighter vice-presidential race, Makati mayor Jejomar "Jojo" Binay has a ten point lead over Senator Loren Legarda.

In Hongkong, at text message was sent saying that Noynoy is also leading the poll followed by Eddie Villanueva. Villar is not even catching up.

[Sources: Abante.com.ph, Guam News Watch]

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Danny Lim: Gloria Arroyo, the single most destructive force in RP

Why vote for Danny Lim? Simple. Read this post why:

“Dissent without action is consent.”

That has always been the principle that has guided Danny Lim: If you believe in something, come out and fight for it.

If Lim had only wanted power and wealth, he would just have toed the line of the government, closed his eyes and followed illegal orders of his commander-in-chief and chances are he would have been one of the three-star generals in command of the Philippine Armed Forces today instead of languishing in detention in Camp Crame.

As Lim wages his senatorial campaign (under the Liberal Party) from his detention cell, he still sees Gloria Arroyo as the “the single most destructive force in RP.”

“The evil she has infused into government has besmirched our institutions and we must go back to the original sin. She cheated in the 2004 elections. She lied. She covered it up and she paid others to lie for and on her behalf,” he said.

Lim expressed confidence that with the change of administration, he would be free to serve the people if he is successful in his senatorial bid.

For the good of our country, vote Danny Lim!
Excerpts from ellen tordesillas

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WHO WILL BE THE FIRST LADY OF NOYNOY AQUINO?

Noynoy is the possible winner in this 2010 election, but people were asking who will be his First Lady if ever. Will it be Ballsy who also served as Tita Cory's personal assistant during her administration? Watch this video and find out.

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Attacks on Noynoy backfires on Villar, cluelessTamano against NP’s black propagandas

MANILA, Philippines—Unburdening himself for the first time, Nacionalista Party senatorial candidate Adel Tamano said there were “misguided people” in his party “enjoying” the black propaganda meant to smear the name of Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, chief rival of NP standard-bearer Sen. Manuel Villar for the presidency.

“The [recent] survey result showed that negative campaigning has backfired on the Nacionalista Party,” Tamano, one of the NP’s two spokespersons, told the Inquirer by phone on Friday.

“I’m in pain ... the negative campaign is backfiring and hurting our candidate,” he added.

“I don’t know for a fact if there is a dirty tricks department in our camp but I am not naïve. Different political parties do [have a black ops department]. Even if you don’t have any moral issues about it [black propaganda], is it effective?” he pointed out.

This is the first time that a senatorial candidate from the NP has criticized the perceived black propaganda used in forwarding the candidacy of Villar.

Text messages circulated on Thursday that Tamano and fellow senatorial candidate Susan “Toots” Ople were thinking of quitting the NP after a supposed falling out with other party spokesperson, Gilbert Remulla, and NP secretary general, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.

Ople denied the rumor while Tamano said he had no plans of resigning.

“I am not resigning because if I do, the misguided people in our party and the [misguided] supporters would continue to enjoy the black propaganda,” he told the Inquirer.

[Source: Inquirer]

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On Noynoy's fake reports, Villar cannot be president if he cannot discern between truth and falsehood

Are you nuts?
By Juan Mercado
Philippine Daily Inquirer

SUDDENLY, THE NACIONALISTA PARTY seems like the outpatient department of an insane asylum ablaze. Chaos erupted after its second bogus “psychiatric report” about presidential candidate Benigno Aquino blew in their faces.

The decent but clueless NP spokesman Adel Tamano sputtered as he called for a “return to principled campaign debates.” His appeal came as a Manny Villar volunteer usurped Adel’s functions to launch “Improvised Explosive Device 2.”

IED 1 exploded three weeks back when the NP shoved into news desks a forged Ateneo psychology department report on Aquino. None of the major dailies fell for it. ABS-CBN checked it out. Both Ateneo and Fr. Carmelo Caluag said it was sham. “It was the first public denial of a salacious document masquerading as fact,” ABS-CBN’s Maria Ressa wrote.

Villar backer Guido Delgado uncorked IED 2 at a press conference
. “It’s not for me to verify it,” Delgado said without blinking. “Check it out yourselves… I did not also believe the report.”

Really? Then, why did he hurriedly call for a press conference? A faceless messenger toted it in a brown bag to a conveniently waiting Delgado.

“People might think that the document, should it turn out to be a fake, came from the Villar camp,” Delgado muttered. He obliged by unzipping an unchecked document—which Malacañang promptly welcomed. All candidates should undergo psychiatric tests, a Palace spokesman intoned.

That smear embeds the “Villaroyo” tag further.

When is one certifiably nuts?

One is bonkers when he can no longer discern between truth and falsehood. Or when one confuses what is right with what is wrong. Like a drunk, a mad man is awe-inspiring since he has lost all inhibitions, F. Scott Fiztgerald once marveled.

Does that description fit Delgado & Co.? That’s not the Adel Tamano we know. Should he quit his NP spokesman’s role, no one would blame Tamano. Speaking for a nuthouse isn’t for the faint of heart.

To quench the raging insmania (a cross between the words “insane” and “mania”), the Inquirer and other media cross-checked. “The essence of journalism is the discipline of verification.”

“An unverified ‘psychiatric evaluation’ allegedly signed by me in 1979 about the mental condition of Sen. Benigno C. Aquino III is currently circulating in the news,” the eminent Jesuit psychologist Fr. Jaime Bulatao wrote. “I categorically deny having written and signed that report.”

Ateneo called the report a “fabricated document.”

“We strongly condemn these repeated attempts to use the Ateneo psychology department for black propaganda,” it said in a statement

Will IED 3, maybe IED4, be lobbed in the homestretch of the May 10 polls? Don’t rule that out. Philippine elections often drive otherwise sober people nuts.

The crass attempts by politicians to manipulate media make urgent a review of the basic principles that underpin our craft. Here are excerpts from the “Statement of Shared Purpose” drafted under Pew Foundation after 20 forums:

“Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth.

“Democracy depends on citizens having reliable, accurate facts put in a meaningful context. Even in a world of expanding voices, accuracy is the foundation upon which everything else is built—context, interpretation, comment, criticism, analysis and debate. The truth, over time, emerges from this forum.

“Journalism’s first loyalty is to citizens.

“News organizations answer to many constituencies like shareholders. Journalists must maintain allegiance to citizens and the larger public interest.

“Journalism’s essence is a discipline of verification.

Seeking out multiple witnesses or asking various sides for comment signal such standards. This discipline separates journalism from propaganda, entertainment, etc. Journalism must develop a system for testing the reliability of journalistic interpretation. Journalists must maintain an independence from those they cover.

“Independence is the cornerstone of reliability. Independence of spirit and mind, rather than neutrality, is the principle journalists must keep in focus. The source of their credibility is still their accuracy, intellectual fairness and ability to inform.

“Journalism must serve as an independent monitor of power.

“An independent press is a rampart against despotism. Our courts have affirmed it. Citizens rely on it. Journalists must protect this watchdog freedom by not demeaning it in frivolous use or commercial gain.

“Journalism must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.

“Public discussion serves society best when it is informed by facts rather than prejudice. It should fairly represent varied viewpoints and interests and place them in context. We must not neglect the common ground where problem solving occurs.

“Journalism must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant.

“Journalism is storytelling with a purpose. It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant. A journalism overwhelmed by trivia and false significance ultimately engenders a trivial society.

“Journalists must exercise their personal conscience.

“Every journalist must have a personal sense of ethics and responsibility—a moral compass. News organizations do well to nurture this independence by encouraging individuals to speak their minds. It is this diversity of minds and voices, not just numbers, that matters.”

We don’t always measure up to these standards. “But the trying,” Flora Lewis of the New York Times once said, “is the holy grail of our craft.”

(E-mail:” juanlmercado@gmail.com)

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Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon reunites but not in film

Mainit ang pagtanggap ng mga taga-Tingloy Is., Batangas kahapon, April 26 sa mga kandidato ng Liberal Party na pinamumunuan ni Governor Vilma Santos-Recto. Napuno ng tao ang covered court ng munisipyo kung saan ginanap ang proclamation rally. Kasama ni Gov. Vi sa pangangampanya sa nasabing isla ay sina Vice Governor Mark Leviste at ang actor na si Christopher "Boyet" de Leon, na tumatakbo sa posisyon na Board Member.

Sa bandang dulo ng programa, hindi rin naiwasan ni Boyet na pagbigyan ang request ng mga tao na kumanta siya. Hindi naman binigo ni Boyet ang hiling at pinaunlakan pa niya ng dalawang kanta. Ang isa ay "Sinasamba Kita," ang theme song ng pelikula ni Vilma kasama si Lorna Tolentino. Ang ikalawa naman ay ang masayang kantang "Sway". Sandaling napaindak pa sa pag-Cha-Cha si Gov Vi nang kunin ni Boyet ang kamay nito para sabayan ang kanta.

Nakapanayam ng Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP) si Boyet pagkatapos ng proclamation rally. Sa ikalawang distrito ng Batangas tumatakbo si Boyet. Sa Lobo, Batangas siya may roots at naninirahan naman sa Mabini.

"So far, so good. Six towns and one city," Boyet excitedly told PEP. "Ito (Tingloy) yung pinakahuling town na binisita ko. I took the opportunity to visit this town with Governor Vilma. I will be staying here until tomorrow.

Ang munisipalidad ng Tingloy ay nararating sa pamamagitan ng bangka. Halos isang oras ang ibinabiyahe para makarating sa naturang munisipyo magmula sa Mabini, Batangas.

"I have been going around the different barangays of San Luis, San Pascual, Bauan, Mabini, and especially Lobo. I also have the most important area, yung Batangas City. These are all coastal towns. Plus there are islands here like Balahibong Manok, Verde Islands, Bunete, Sombrero Island and this one, Tingloy," Boyet said.

Kuwento pa ni Boyet, suportado siya ng kanyang pamilya sa kanyang pangangampanya.

"Yesterday (April 25), the whole family was here. Lotlot was here. Ian was here. My wife [Sandy Andolong]. My sister Melissa. Nag-motorcade kami along the main thoroughfare ng Mabini at Bauan. We're going to have another one in San Pascual to Batangas City. They're all supportive and they had fun. Nakita mo naman ang reception ng tao. People love us here. Napapagod ka pero when you see all the smiling faces that people love you, na-li-lift yung spirit mo," Boyet said.

Nasabi ni Governor Vilma sa proclamation rally na kung sakaling manalo si Boyet, ibibigay niya ang tourism and environment committee ng Batangas.

Boyet accepted the challenge, "I am so happy, and if given the opportunity, it's going to be fun and, at the same time, hard. Ang priority ko talaga is yung environment. Halos lahat ng campaign sorties lahat sa tabing dagat and I enjoyed it so much."
Sabi naman ni Boyet na masaya siya kasama si Governor Vilma Santos sa iisang partido. Noong 2007 elections, lumaban si Boyet sa pagka-vice governor under Partido ng Masang Pilipino ng dating Pangulong Joseph Estrada.

"Yung pagkakataon na nasa LP ngayon si Governor, siguro naman mas maluwag na sa damdamin ko na sumama talaga. And if ever given the opportunity, maiba naman ang lahat at gusto ko din ng pagbabago. We need a different scene and perspective," pagtatapos ni Boyet.

By Paul Mata/Philippine Entertainment Portal

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Angel Locsin graces FHM-Philippines cover for May 2010

Angel Locsin has the sultry, sexy, and exotic look with no effort on her part. She's a natural beauty, with or without make-up.

PEP writes: Angel Locsin's last FHM-Philippines cover appearance took place five years ago. The morena actress has been a constant feature in the leading men's magazine, especially during its annual Sexiest Women in the Philippines deliberations by fans and loyal readers.

Angel appeared on the cover three times—October 2003, March 2005, and October 2005—and won the Sexiest Women list in 2004.  Since then she has figured prominently in the ranking despite the emergence of sexy newcomers every year.

Moreover, the 25-year-old actress was included in the 25 Sexiest Women of the Decade roster last month to celebrate the magazine's 10th year anniversary.

That said, it's only fitting that Angel makes a stellar comeback on FHM for the month of May.

While her previous appearances were nothing short of eye candy for the male readers, her return clearly captures a woman comfortable in her own skin. Angel didn't mind wearing two-piece bikinis for the photo shoot to announce her newfound confidence.

"Hindi pa rin naman ako yung 'Yes, I'm sexy' pero ngayon, mas naa-appreciate ko na yung sarili ko. Mas comfortable na ako as a woman. Ang kapal pa rin naman ng mukha ko kung [sasabihin ko na] 'I'm sexy.' Hindi ganun yung personality ko. I can act sexy but I will never claim that I'm sexy. Ang tao ang magsasabi nun. Sila ang bahala roon," Angel said in the accompanying article.

Angel also candidly talked about her "addiction" to online gaming, communicating with fans via social networking tools, and of course the status of her relationship with vocal admirer Efren Peñaflorida and ex-flame Luis Manzano.

"Lahat ng babae may hinahanap. Basically, lahat napupunta sa honesty. Dapat honest kasi ang dami mong puwedeng sabihin na 'dapat ganito, dapat ganyan' pero kung hindi naman honest sa 'yo yung tao, wala. Hindi rin magwo-work," she said.

Learn more about Angel Locsin in the May issue of FHM-Philippines, now available in newsstands, bookstores, and supermarkets nationwide.

[Source: PEP]

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For the undecided voters, this might help enlighten you

Oscar P. Lagman, Jr. writes:

Villar had said in a televised forum that he is not going to lift a finger to prevent people from filing criminal charges against GMA. I inferred from that somewhat taciturn statement that he will not lift a finger either to file criminal charges against GMA.

Whether his family was really very poor or just not well off when he was a boy is no issue to me. Having been an advertising practitioner, I can tolerate the liberties taken in the production of his commercials.

While I found generally convincing Villar’s speech refuting Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s charges regarding the C-5 Road Extension, certain assertions he made raised questions in my mind. I had expected Enrile to ask the same questions, but Villar’s refusal to be interpellated left those questions unanswered. They continue to nag me.

But what cast a bigger doubt on Villar’s integrity is then Makati Representative Joker Arroyo’s speech in the House of Representatives in 1998 when he accused Villar of using his influence as member of Congress to get government institutions to extend financial accommodations to his companies. Arroyo contended that that was in violation of constitutional provisions. That is why I have difficulty accepting his claim that if he just wanted to enrich himself, he would have stayed in business. His net worth has been ballooning since he was elected to Congress.

I see Noynoy Aquino as the best person who can arrest the worsening situation. For one he has vowed to stop corruption. I believe him. In his 12 years in Congress he has not evinced the imperiousness and wiliness of a trapo. His detractors say he is not deep. I agree. That means he is incapable of Marcosian and GMA machinations.

Noynoy as First Son did not indulge in the luxuries of the presidential palace as the other presidential children Gloria Macapagal, Imee and Bongbong Marcos, and Jinggoy and Jude Estrada did, and which Mikey and Dato Arroyo are shamelessly doing. Neither did First Son Noynoy arrogate unto himself presidential prerogatives and privileges like Imee, Bongbong, and Jinggoy did and Mikey is brazenly doing.

I do not belong to the Noynoy camp. I do not know him personally. I was with a civil society group that was born of the "Hello Garci" controversy. I have gone my own way since the start of the campaign season. I attack Villar and the other candidates, but I am not an attack dog as columnists critical of Villar are branded. Columnists supportive of Villar never grant that those critical of him are as motivated by love of country as they are when they savage Noynoy. I do not attack on the command of anybody like attack dogs do. I follow only the command of my conscience, and my conscience tells me to vote for Noynoy Aquino.

Read full post here which includes analyses of the rest of the presidentiables.

Excerpts from: The person who gets my vote
To Take A Stand -- By Oscar P. Lagman, Jr.

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Four possible reasons why Villar's recent survey is 5 percent down

Villar loses supporters causing his survey to go 5 percent down and Remulla blames it on Aquino and Estrada. Ow wetaminit! I think there are four main reasons for the most recent fall of Villar's survey.
Here we go:

First - it was Remulla who secretly met with Ampatuan and not Aquino nor Estrada. His visit strengthened the secret alliance called Villarroyo;

Second - Aquino and Estrada did not invent the C-5 controversy; no one believed his "we were dirt-poor” story; and most importantly, he continued to refuse to answer all his other corruption issues;

Third - was it Aquino and Estrada's idea to have a Nanay Curing presscon? A lot of people felt embarrassed or were simply turned off by the drama;

Fourth – people just can’t connect Aquino and the fake medical reports (distributed by Villar’s group) because the descriptions were obviously fabricated and were so un-Aquino. The fact that Villar’s group kept on trying to make the fake reports real is so stupid and people tend to believe that it’s Villar who is probably the one with mental issue here for insisting. I believe these fake reports made the undecided voter to decide in favor of Noynoy causing his survey to go up again.

So, Noynoy is right in saying that it's all Villar's fault that his surveys keep going down.

NP spokesperson and senatorial bet Gilbert Remulla said their voters “have shifted to the undecided."
The recent survey showed that Villar’s overall ratings dropped by five percentage points. He was tied with Estrada, whose voting preference picked up by two percentage points, at the top two with 20 percentage points each.
Remulla said they are doing all they can to win their voters back.
“The past few weeks we have seen intensified black propaganda and vicious attacks from both the Erap and Aquino camps," he said in a text message, referring to former President Joseph “Erap" Estrada of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino and Senator Benigno “Noynoy" Aquino III of Liberal Party.
Villar’s critics had questioned the validity of his “poor origins" claim. The senator was also accused of using his influence and pressuring Philippine Stock Exchange officials to advance his business interests.
Remulla added that Pulse Asia surveys have never been kind to Villar, “from what we believe is due to its ownership structure." He did not elaborate.
Well, there’s really nothing to elaborate. It’s actually as simple as that people were enlightened and therefore decided on Noynoy’s favor.

[GMA News.TV]

“Corruption is a product of a criminal mind as caused by some mental issues.”

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New Pulse Asia survey: Aquino 2 percent up, Villar 5 percent down



The race to the presidency has taken a new twist as former President Joseph Estrada caught up with Sen. Manuel Villar Jr., who both ranked second in the latest survey conducted by Pulse Asia this month.

Estrada’s voting preference picked up 2 percentage points, while Villar’s rating fell by 5 percentage points — giving them a score of 20 percentage points each.

Sen. Benigno Aquino III of the Liberal Party maintained his lead at 39 percent, 2 percent higher than the survey Pulse Asia conducted last March.

Administration bet Gilberto Teodoro Jr. maintained his score of 7 percent, while religious leader Eddie Villanueva gained a point to score 3 percent. Sen. Richard Gordon’s rating remained at 2 percent.

Gordon has assailed pre-election surveys, describing them as tending "to create a bandwagon effect on the voters and effectively strips off voters of their right to select their candidates based on their platform and credentials." [See: Gordon sues SWS, Pulse Asia over election-related surveys]

In the latest Pulse Asia survey, those who received 1 percentage point or less were disqualified bet Vetellano Acosta (1 percent), Nicanor Perlas (0.3 percent), Olongapo City Councilor John Carlos de los Reyes (0.2 percent), and Sen. Jamby Madrigal (0.1 percent). Ironically, Acosta posted a higher score than the qualified bets.
Binay highest gainer

As Estrada’s rating soared, so did that of his running mate, Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay, who zoomed past erstwhile second placer Sen. Loren Legarda.

Binay gained nine points to score 28 percent, while Legarda lost three points and scored 20 percent.

Days before the survey was conducted, Sen. Francis Escudero announced he was endorsing Aquino and Binay, instead of Legarda, his former party-mate at the Nationalist People’s Coalition. [See: No problem with Escudero endorsing Noynoy-Binay, LP bets say]

Sen. Manuel Roxas II remained on top with 37 percentage points, although the rating was six points lower than his previous score.

Former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chair Bayani Fernando and television personality Edu Manzano got 3 percent each, while former Securities and Exchange Commission chair Perfecto Yasay Jr. got 1 percent, former broadcaster Jay Sonza got 0.3 percent, and Ang Kapatiran’s Dominador Chipeco Jr. got 0.05 percent.
Nine percent of the respondents gave no answer or were undecided.

Pulse Asia conducted the survey from April 23 to 25 on 1,800 respondents. The pre-election poll had a ± 2 percent error margin.

Pulse Asia’s latest survey is different from the newest survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations, where Aquino scored 38 percent, Villar posted 26 percent, and Estrada ranked third with 17 percent. [see: Noynoy gets 2-digit lead in new SWS survey] — LBG/RSJ, GMANews.TV

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Another possible plunder charge against Manny Villar.

Villar firms illegally secured P4.5-B loan from BSP, party-list group claims.

One of Nacionalista Party standard bearer Senator Manuel Villar Jr.’s companies secured a P4.5-billion loan from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas under highly irregular terms, officials of a party-list group allied with the Liberal Party claimed Thursday.

At a press conference in Quezon City, Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros said the Villar-owned Capitol Bank separately secured four loans amounting P4.5 billion from the BSP in 1998, despite some seemingly unmet loan requirements.

Hontiveros said that under the new Central Bank Act, which Villar himself authored, BSP loans should be secured by "government securities to the extent of their applicable loan values and other encumbered first class collateral."

But there were no securities made and some of the lots made as collateral were found to cover cliffs and timberland considered public domain, said Hontiveros, who is seeking a Senate seat under the Liberal Party.

Villar's camp refused to comment accusation, which came less than two weeks before the May 10 polls. But it said they have yet to get enough information on the matter.

"I have not been informed yet of the details of the alleged exposé," lawyer Naren Rosero-Galang, Villar's counsel, said in a text message to GMANews.TV.

At the same press conference, Akbayan legal counsel Ibarra Gutierrez III said the collateral were of 'dubious validity' and that the BSP should have taken more careful steps in allowing the loans.

"These loans never reached the level of the Monetary Board," said Hontiveros, pointing out that under the law, all BSP loans should be approved by the Monetary Board.

Gutierrez said they will file before the Ombudsman a motion to investigate the case for possible plunder charge against Villar. — with Amita Legaspi/RSJ/LBG, GMANews.TV

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How to vote on May 10, 2010 - step by step

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Reaction on Villar's mother Nanay Curing and her presscon drama

Kung sinuman ang nakaisip na mag-press conference ang nanay ni Villar ay dapat sibakin kaagad.

Hindi nakatulong ang mga sinabi ni Nanay Curing na bulag na ngayon. Dapat tahimik na lang siya. Dapat alam niya na walang iginagalang ang pulitika. Hindi siya dapat magdamdam sa maraming masasakit na salita na sinasabi sa anak niyang si Sen. Manny Villar na may ambisyong maging pangulo.

Sa salitang kalye, “paawa effect” ang labas ng press conference. Ang problema, wala namang naawa. Bagkus, ilan ang nagalit kay Villar dahil pati sariling ina ay kinaladkad sa pulitika.

Natatandaan ko noong malapit ng masibak si Heherson “Sonny” Alvarez bilang Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources. Inikot ng kanyang ina halos lahat ng diyaryo.

Nagtrabaho rin ang asawa niyang si Cecile Guidote. Pero sa bandang huli, sibak din sa puwesto si Alvarez.

Sa tingin ko, lalo lang nagalit si GMA sa ginawang paawa effect ng asawa at ina ni Sonny. Kaya tinuluyang sibakin.

Marami ang lumabas na hindi maganda sa press conference ni Nanay Curing Bamba, ina ni Manny Villar. Una, sa dami ng kayamanan ng anak na senador, bakit sa BF Homes lang nakatira si Nanay Curing?

Dapat kung doon man, malaki ang bahay at lote. Hindi katulad ng tinitirhan niya ngayon.

Ano ang ibig sabihin nito tungkol sa pagkatao ni Villar? Ang ibig sabihin, halos pabayaan niya ang ina at kapatid sa kabila ng laki ng kanyang kayamanan na ang iba ay hindi raw sa malinis na paraan nakuha.

Hindi luluha ang mga taong nakinig sa sinabi ni Nanay Curing. Hindi rin kakampi sa anak niya ang nakinig dahil sa awa sa kanya.

Alam ng lahat na marumi ang pulitika sa bansang Pilipinas. Kung tapunan ka ng putik, gumanti ka na lang. Huwag kang magmakaawa. Ang mga botante ay walang awa sa sinumang kandidato bagaman may napili na silang iboboto.

Ang basehan ay ang palagay na kakayahan. Hindi awa na idinaing ng isang ina.

Kung awa ang pag-uusapan ‘di lalong kawawa si Noynoy Aquino. Pinatay ang ama noong panahon ng Martial Law ni Ferdinand Marcos.

Naging pangulo ang ina dahil nga sa ginawang pagpatay sa asawa. Ibinalik ang demokrasya pero ganun pa rin ang hirap na pinapasan ng Pilipino.

Namatay si Cory sa cancer. Pagkatapos, parang hiniling ng bayan na ipagpatuloy ng anak, si Noynoy, ang misyon ng magulang.

Magandang katwiran iyan para iboto si Noynoy.

Pero kung hagulhol ng ina ni Villar ang gagamitin para dumami ang boto ng anak, palagay ko hindi mangyayari. Walang dahilan para maawa ang mga botante kay Villar dahil sa pagluha ng kanyang ina.

Lahat ng ina ay nagmamahal sa anak. Pero iba ang takbo ng isip ng mga botante. Hindi naman sila anak ni Aling Curing. Bakit sila boboto kay Manny Villar dahil lamang sa pagtangis ng ina sa ginawang pang-aapi sa anak, kung inaapi nga?

Nagalit pa si Nanay Curing sa ilang taga-media, kasama ang kolumnista naming si Arnold Clavio.
Dapat patunayan na lamang ng kampo ni Villar na sinu­ngaling si Arnold. Hindi ginawa. Kaya baka tumalab sa isip ng tao ang sinabi niya.

Katwiran ba iyan para magalit kay Arnold at mga kasama na bumatikos kay Villar? Palagay ko hindi.

Bilyon na ang nagastos ni Villar sa ads sa TV at radio. Pero hindi dahilan iyan para kampihan siya ng mga TV at radio station. Iba ang hanapbuhay ng mga stations na iyan kaysa tungkulin ng mga nagtatrabaho sa media.

Iyon lang, hindi pa naintindihan ng mga tao ni Villar. Hindi sila marunong mag-isip. Nasa kawali na ang kanilang amo, itinalon pa sa apoy sa press conference ni Nanay Curina Bamba, butihing ina ni Manny.

[ABANTE]

More on Villar's mom: Erap Estrada: Villar 'desperate' for using own mom; citizens reacts too

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Angel Locsin prefers men

Star Pinay Angel

Siguro, sa ganda ni Angel, kahit pa totoong tomboy siya, eh pag-aagawan pa rin siya ng mga lalaki.
Naaliw si Angel Locsin sa panunukso namin na tomboy na tomboy ang dating niya, dahil na rin sa pagkahilig niya sa mga pambarakong sasakyan. At ngayon nga, sasakyan pa rin ang motif ng kanyang bar na Fuel Up.

Tukso nga namin kay Angel, lumabas ang pagiging tomboy niya sa mga hilig niya.

Anyway, inamin ni Angel na gusto niyang matsismis na tomboy siya. Bago raw kasi `yon sa pandinig niya, na hindi nga tulad ng mga tsismis sa kanya sa iba’t ibang lalaki, na paulit-ulilt na lang.

Pero, ipinagdiinan ni Angel na hindi siya tomboy. Mahilig lang daw siya talaga sa mga sasakyan.

Aminado rin siyang may mga hinahangaan siyang magagandang aktres, pero never daw siyang nagkagusto sa kanila. At ang pagkakaroon niya ng mga boyfriends ay pagpapatunay lang daw na tunay siyang babae.

Sey pa ng aktres, huwag daw sanang masasaktan ang mga lesbians, pero ang type raw talaga niya ay mga lalake at hindi mga tomboy.

[Rey Pumaloy/Abante]

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Enrile vouches for Noynoy Aquino as not mental, said Villar could be the one

An unlikely defender of the LP candidate was Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile. Enrile is seeking reelection under former President Joseph Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP).

“Even if I’m from the PMP, let’s be fair with one another. I don’t think you can consider Noynoy mentally deficient, otherwise he would have shown that in his work as a senator of the country,” he said.

Enrile turned the tables on Aquino’s principal accuser, saying Villar could be the one suffering from a “physical problem.”

“Perhaps, he has atherosclerosis (building up of plaque in the arteries) because he’s been spending a lot of money yet more and more issues have been floating against him. And his ratings are going down. Of course, you will be stressed,” the PMP senatorial candidate said.

Last week, Estrada and Enrile presented documents purportedly showing that Villar had pressured the Securities and Exchange Commission and Philippine Stock Exchange officials into releasing the lock-up shares of his family’s Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc.

The public offering raised some P26 billion, P5 billion of which Villar is now using to fund his campaign, Enrile said. Villar has denied any wrongdoing.

[Inquirer]

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Escudero: They can't find any other issue against Noynoy

Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero Wednesday dismissed the allegations that Aquino was mentally unfit to become President.

Escudero said that the second purported psychological exam on Aquino was just part of the mudslinging and character assassination that happen during the election period.

“Maybe they no longer have any other issue against Noynoy. That’s why they’re using this issue. But Noynoy has already addressed it and there is no longer any need to explain this again,” Escudero said in an interview.

He said Aquino could answer all the allegations because these were not true.

Escudero said that in the years that he had worked with Aquino, the senator did not show any disturbing behavior that would have raised concerns about his mental health.

“I would not be helping him and would not have endorsed him if these allegations were true,” he added.

[Inquirer]

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Noynoy is a smarter politician than Villar

“There’s really no more sense, rhyme or reason. We could have talked about our platforms, if they have one. Maybe they don’t,” Aquino said.

Aquino said his critics might have learned their dirty tricks from Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.

“He was the one who said something like ‘A lie repeated often enough might be [believed by] some [as the] truth,’” he said.

He said his political opponents were coming up with black propaganda “to create doubt [about his mental fitness] but I have faith in the public.”

Aquino said he never had Bulatao as a professor at Ateneo.

[Inquirer]

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Gordon still didn't get it

In the Inquirer today:

Where there is smoke, there is fire, said presidential candidate Richard Gordon when sought for comment on Wednesday about the second psychiatric evaluation of Aquino. Gordon said: “Why does it (the question on Aquino’s mental state) keep coming back?”

Hello! Gordon has a problem. He can't figure this out. I'll tell you why. It keeps coming back because they are not successful in destroying Noynoy the first time the first fake document was distributed by Villar’s camp. You see, Villar’s money is no longer effective because people believes that he will get them all back through corruption once he becomes president. Therefore, they will keep on coming back with perhaps more fake documents until all fed up Noynoy files legal action. Get it?

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Noynoy Aquino is thinking lawsuit against those behind fake documents

Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III on Wednesday said he is not taking lightly the fake documents purportedly about his mental state that are being circulated, adding that those behind the fabricated psychiatric test results could be sued.

But Aquino said filing legal suits against those behind the fake documents is not his priority at the moment, even as he slammed the falsifiers for being driven by "malicious intent."

"Dalawang beses na at parehong-pareho ito, at sabi natin may malicious intent na (It has happened twice, both were very similar, and we’re saying there is certainly malicious intent)," Aquino said. "Open sila for legal action (They are liable to legal action)."

Source: GMANews.TV

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