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Duterte Is Running for President

Malaya 01.28.15

 

In all of 118 years, only two Bisaya became presidents of the Philippines, and both accidentally: Osmeña, when Quezon died and Garcia when Magsaysay died in a plane crash.  It has been almost 60 years when we had a Bisaya for President.”

 

by Ducky Paredes

 

The news that Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will join the presidential race and has started political sorties in the lead Butuan City  will surely gratly affect the standing of Vice President Jejomar Binay. Being someone who considders himself as a Mindanaoan for having maaaied someone from Medina, Misamis Oriental. I know that Binay has a following in Mindanao among a lot of people.

Duterte announced his plans for a “listening tour” nationwide which will start in 30 days. This will inform the public about his plans to replicate throughout the country the things he has done in Davao City.

A supporter of Duterte, North Cotabato Gov. Manny Piñol, said Duterte will be in Zamboanga City and Pagadian before the end of this month.

Another visit is scheduled to Cebu, then to Puerto Princesa, Dumaguete and Dipolog.

But interspersed in between forays in his regional base, Duterte will also campaign in Baguio, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija and Pangasinan within the next 30 days.

Duterte shows he is a serious presidential contender as he distributed in his Butuan symposium a two-page pamphlet written in Cebuano Bisaya with an enumeration of all the country’s presidents beginning with Andres Bonifacio of the Tagalog Republic of 1896, all the way to the incumbent Benigno Aquino III.

“In all of 118 years, only two Bisaya became presidents of the Philippines, and both accidentally: Osmeña, when Quezon died and Garcia when Magsaysay died in a plane crash.  It has been almost 60 years when we had a Bisaya for President,” says the flyer attributed to a movement called Kita ang Magmugna sa atong Kaugmahon [We should determine our own future].”

The venue was festooned with tarpaulins proclaiming Duterte as “Anak sa Mindanao ug Kabisay-an, Lider sa Katawhan (Son of Mindanao and the Visayas, Leader of the People).”

Duterte’s wanting to be the third Bisaya president comes at a time when Roxas has not improved his standing while Binay still leads the surveys.

Roxas hails from Aklan in the Visayas while Binay is from Northern Luzon.

Roxas, who lost to Binay in the May 2010 elections, opposed the signing of an agreement that would have created a Bangsamoro Juridical Entity in Mindanao in 2008.

Muslim ulamas issued a fatwa against Roxas, deposed President Joseph Estrada, and then senatorial candidate Franklin Drilon, declaring them enemies of Islam and sanctioning votes for them as “haram” or forbidden.

MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said the appointment of Roxas as chief of staff of President Benigno Aquino III did not bode well for the peace process.

“Our leaders in Manila hardly understand the cultural and social realities of Mindanao and impose their policies trying to forge an impractical peace pact,” Duterte told the crowd.

“While I pray for the sake of peace that the BBL or the Bangsamoro Basic Law will pass into law, I know and you know that it will not appease all our Muslim brothers. The only solution to prevent further trouble is to shift to federalism.”

 In his talk, Duterte’s hour-long extemporaneous speech in colorful Bisaya peppered with expletives tells how he disciplined rogue policemen and cleansed his large domain of drug lords and hardened criminals, while instilling a strict sense of discipline among the population. This  that he elicits lusty cheers and thunderous applause accordoing to  Duterte’s supporters.

“I have to protect two million residents of my city, not to count the hundreds of thousands who visit us for business or tourism, which is why I threaten the few criminals who prey upon my citizens or destroy the lives of our youth, warning them they better leave Davao, vertically or horizontally, for all I care [expletive deleted],” Duterte said.  And the crowd, including elderly women who must have come to the hall from the nearby Santo Niño Cathedral, roared in approval.

In the humid capital of Caraga, Duterte flew in around noon Thursday aboard a small helicopter, and immediately drove in a simple motorcade to the Doña Ynes Convention Center where a crowd of professionals, businessmen, market and transport sector leaders, and students from the two largest universities in the city waited for more than two hours.

Other than Agusan del Norte Gov. Maria Angelica Amante, who hails from Cabadbaran, the town where Duterte’s mother Soledad Roa was born and raised, there was none of the usual politicians in a city completely controlled by the Liberal Party.

With none of the usual florid introductions, Duterte went up the platform clad in denims and a striped red shirt and began a lecture on his advocacy: the conversion of our highly centralized system into a federal political structure similar to those of Malaysia and even the USA.

Federalism as a change in the way wedo things in the Philippines is something that Mindanaoans has been waiting for. In fact, the Bangsamoro Law that is now being discussed iin Congress is based on the concept of federalism, something that Mindanaoans believe is what the region needs for Mindanao to grow and for the country to move forward. Certainly, as far as Mindanao is concerned the idea of Metro Manila’s continuing to be  the center of the country’s politics and commerce is the wrong way to go.

Duterte’s espousing federalism as a key element in campaign for a change in our system of governance is something that resonates with most pelople in Mindanao who feel that not enough attention is being given to the island that is contributing a lotto the progreaa ofthe country.

Will Duterte make a good President? He is at least not known to have enriched himself  as Davao City Mayor. That makes him, for me, more qualified than other presidential candidates. If we vote for a crook for President in 2016, where will the country be in 2022?

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To all who remebered my birthday last Monday, thank you all. At 76, it feels good that a lot of you still take the trouble to greet an old man. Salamat talaga.

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hvp 01.27.15

 

 

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Sulat ng OFW

Abante  (01.27.15)

Diretsahan

 

ni Horacio Paredes 

 

  Kelan po ba tayo makakakuha ng totoong maglilingkod sa bayan ng walang kapalit yung sweldo lang nya ang kikitain at tamang gagastosin. Kase sa laki ng kanilang ginagastos sa eleksyon pano po nila babawiin yun kundi magnakaw at humingi ng pabor at komisyon. Sa aking palagay wala na siguro kase yung ugali nating mga Pilipino mismo ang problema mahirap o mayaman lage nauuna ang sariling kapakanan at hindi sa bayan kilala tayong mga Pilipino bilang Sakim sa lahat nagpapayabang palagi basta sikat di po makuntento kung anong meron at ipagkanuno pa ang kapwa Pinoy basta kumita at sumikat.

  Kaya ang pagbabago ay makakamtam kung ang mga Pilipino mismo ang magtakwil sa masasamang ugali natin at ipakulong lahat ng mga magnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan, abusado sa pwesto lalo ng mga Pulis at lalo na dyan sa Airport…kawawa po yung mga OFW, Turista nagbabakasyon tapos lahat ng kanilang inipon ay nawala bigla dahil sa mga siraulong Pilipino pagbaba mo pa lang sa airport nakabukas na ang palad ng empleyado at sasabihin “kumusta po sir” nanghihingi agad ng Pera (Erap).

  Now Erap Estrada ay napatunayan mandarambong bakit nakalimot agad ang mga Pilipino at nanalo pa na mayor.  Natural lang dapat nya mapaganda ang manila pero yung pangit di naman nababalita..puro pakitang tao lang. Paulit-ulit at pabalik balik ang mga pulitiko lahat yan magnanakaw eh…hay naku..GISING PILIPINO.  Kayo mismo ang problema..magbago tayo mayaman man o mahirap…ng magbago bansa natin…wag na kayong anak ng anak at tumigil kayo sa mga masasamang gawain.  – Stephen De Los Santos (OFW)

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Sorry, Stephen. Hindi ako naniniwala na merong ginawang pkunder si Erap. Sa totoo, ang kwartang  sinasabing ninakaw niya ay ang kaniyaqng binigay sa Muslim Youth Foundation na nanggaling naman sa gustong magpakulong kay Erap na si Chavit Singson na kakampi ni Gloria Arroyo noong mga panahon na iyon. Baket ba kala mo pinardon ni Gloria si Erap? Dahil sa nalalaman nito na walang sala si Erap na kaniyang inalis sa pwesto na pagka Pangulo upang si Gloria bilang Bise Presidente ang pumalit sa kaniya bilang  Presidente.

Alalahanin na si Cory Aquino ay humingi ng tawad kay Erap sa kanilang ginawang pagtanggal kay Erap sa sa pamamagitan ng “People Power.” Baket kaya popular pa rin si Erap at marahil na manalo pa rin kung ito’y tumakbo sa pagiging Pangulo? Dahil marahil ang karamihang botante ay hindi nainiwala sa mga bintang kay Erap gaya noong plunder na binintang sa kaniya.

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hvp (01.26.15)

 

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

The Comelec, Pacquiao, Erap

Malaya 01.27.15

 

“Everybody knows that Manny accepted the terms that were negotiated for the fight, including CBS and his management with Al Haymon, but Floyd Mayweather once again throw the fight because he’s a chicken,” Arum told Azteca Sports.

 

by Ducky Paredes

 

An election watchdog (a real one this time unlike that in yesterday’s column that is trying to sell an inferior poll system to the Comelec) has defended the Commission on Elections and the automated election system (AES) amid allegations about the conduct of the last two national polls.

Civil society group Democracy Watch says that while allegations hounding the conduct of the 2010 and 2013 polls were serious, the allegations still would “need solid proofs.”

Several groups have raised criticisms and allegations against the Comelec and AES during the two previous national elections, including the insinuation that the 2013 polls had been rigged to result in a 60:30:10 winning ratio for President Aquino’s Liberal Party.

But Democracy Watch convenor Ford Wong said that an independent study by experts from the De La Salle University last year has debunked the 60:30:10 theory, citing the law of large numbers.

“It is normal for any system to have flaws, what is important is that it has served its purpose of tabulating results correctly and efficiently without any human intervention,” Wong concludes.

He said that the accusers were just “creating their own ghosts to criticize without any basis.”

Wong also notes that while there were minor glitches, the AES has proven to be a better system than manual polls.

He said a good indicator of the success of AES is the lack of system-related election cases in the Senate and House of Representatives. For the Senate there is no pending electoral case, while in the House the pending cases are not even precinct count optical scan (PCOS) related.

“For Democracy Watch, our stand is to further improve any form or brand of automated election system to a high level of reliability and confidence by implementing credible and expanded post-election audit and installing more security features,” he added.

Wong believes that reverting to manual elections is not an option. “Going back to the old ways will bring back the nightmares of election violence, massive cheating and will slide us back to an unstable situation where the legitimacy of elected leaders is in question. This will be a disaster for our country’s democracy and will definitely affect economic stability.”

Still, Wong said there is a need for Comelec to address the criticisms and allegations.

He suggested that the poll body put in place a legal framework should “unacceptable” discrepancies arise from the audit of results.

* * *

Manny Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum is unhappy right about now because of superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr, who styles himelf as an undefeated boxer. has not yet agreed to fight Manny. (How can Mayweather be defeated when he refuses to fight someone like Pacquiao even when Mayweather is harrased at NBA games wth the taunt of “Pacqiao! Pacquiao!). Maywather may never sign a contract for a fight against Arum’s Top Rank stable fighter Manny Pacquiao on May 2nd.

Arum says that they’ve already accepted the terms and conditions that Mayweather asked for in the contract, and he doesn’t understand why Mayweather hasn’t signed his part of the contract.

Obviously, there’s two sides of the equation, so if just one side is talking and not Mayweather, you have to figure that something’s not going right. Since Arum, Pacquiao and his adviser Michael Koncz are the only ones talking right now, we only get to hear what their side is saying.

“Everybody knows that Manny accepted the terms that were negotiated for the fight, including CBS and his management with Al Haymon, but Floyd Mayweather once again throw the fight because he’s a chicken,” Arum told Azteca Sports at http://www.aztecadeportes.com/notas/box-azteca/2015-01-22-18-16/mayweather-es-una-gallina–bob-arum/.

A legend like Mayweather, a chicken or a smart businessman?

Mayweather isn’t stupid. So it doesn’t matter how much complaining and badgering Arum, Koncz and Pacquiao do to try and pressure Mayweather to sign the contract, if the man doesn’t see the contract as being 100% in his favor, he’s not going to sign the contract.

If Arum wants to match Pacquiao against Khan, then he should go ahead and pull him out of the negotiations so he can make that fight. Of course, if he does that it’ll be just like when Arum pulled Pacquiao out of the negotiations with Mayweather in 2009 in order to have him fight one of his Top Rank stable fighters in Joshua Clottey.

The fight brought in disappointing PPV numbers compared to what Pacquiao could have made had he simply stuck it out in the Mayweather negotiations and agreed to the full random blood testing that Mayweather was asking for.

The end of the month deadline that Pacquiao has set for the Mayweather fight will likely cause the fight not to get made, and it’ll be the third time that Pacquiao has blown a chance to make huge money against Mayweather.

At the end of Maywaeather and Pacquiao’s careers, they’ll have wasted a lot of chances to get huge money against each other. Pacquiao needs to be more patient and look to get help with his negotiating team, because obviously they’re not doing things right.

As for Mayweather, maybe, he just wants to still be undefeated  and this is his reason for not geting into the ring with Pacquiao.

For Pacquiao, he should just fight Amir Khan of England and move on with his career. He may never get to fight the one his manager calls a “chicken.” He may not have to because the way that Mayweather is going, the fight against Mayweather may actually never happen because Mayweather simply does not want to get into the ring with Manny.

* * *

When Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada says Becoming president of the country is “providential” and is decided by destiny, what is he  really saying.

 “The presidency is providential. If it is your destiny to become president, it will come and you cannot do anything about it,” he explained.

I think he is thinking of a second try at the presidency.

 

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Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

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hvp 01.26.15

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Don’t Change Back The Way We Vote

Malaya 01.26.15

 

The OES violates Republic Act. No. 8436  (or the Automated Election Law), which mandates the FULL computerization of Philippine elections beginning in 2010. ”


by Ducky Paredes

 

It was downright silly for groups led by the Citizens for Clean and Credible Elections (C3E) and Automated Election Watch (AES Watch) to ask Pope Francis for prayers to “guide officials of the Comelec in conducting the polls free of outside influence and corruption,” and ask the Comelec to defer everything until after the February retirement of Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. and Commissioners Elias Yusoph and Lucenito Tagle out of a sense of propriety and delicadeza. 

What they want is for the Comelec to buy instead their Open Election System (OES) for P4 billion or P5 billion. 

This self-serving lobbying for OES—actually a mongrel system combining manual voting and counting at the precincts with computerized canvassing from the municipal to national levels—is insane, and the Comelec was right in rejecting OES in 2009. The OES violates Republic Act. No. 8436  (or the Automated Election Law), which mandates the FULL computerization of Philippine elections beginning in 2010. 

            The Comelec did right in simply adopting Smartmatic’s extended warranty. It was logical for Comelec to award the contract by direct negotiations to Smartmatic because it was the supplier of both the PCOS hardware and AES software.

Why entrust such a crucial job to another service provider which will be checking on the machines for the first time only when it bags the contract?

 Smartmatic has exclusive rights over the AES/PCOS technology—the machines were built by its subsidiary Jarltech exclusively for use in Philippine elections.

Had Comelec awarded the contract to another company, it could be sued by Smartmatic because the winning bidder other than itself could only diagnose and fix the 82,000 PCOS machines by reverse engineering, which is considered an illegal act;

Contrary to the misperception that the sham activists have foisted upon the public, the Comelec did not award the entire P1.2 billion diagnostic, repair and refurbishment contract to Smartmatic.

What the agency has awarded thus far was the P300 million contract for the diagnostic work. The repair, upgrade and maintenance tasks will be covered by separate P900-million contracts that Comelec plans, for now, to bid out soon

Both 2010 and 2013 elections were highly successful and proven to be models for computerized balloting in the world, judging from the public plaudits from international leaders and veteran international poll observers like the Georgia-based Carter Center of former American President Jimmy Carter. 

Before the Comelec’s decision to just award the contract to its private partner, Smartmatic-Total Information Management Corp. (TIM) legal counsel Ruby Yusi told reporters that the company could sue the Comelec should it decide to award the repair job to another firm via public bidding.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez, who heads the agency’s Education and Information Department, has also demolished in his newspaper column the “midnight deal” charge by the C3E-AES umbrella group. 

As for the dangers of awarding the contract to a different company, Jimenez pointed to the “very high probability that the work might turn out to be deficient for the simple reason that the winner will be working on a machine that it is seeing for the first time. Remember that these PCOS machines were manufactured from scratch exclusively for the Comelec.“

He wrote that, “There are no other machines that are exactly identical to them in configuration and operation. Notwithstanding the oversimplification favored by some sectors—the PCOS, they say, is simply a bunch of readily available components thrown together into a box—the truth is that the PCOS is more than just the sum of its parts.”

For instance, he said, there is “a very real danger” that changes or manipulations of the hardware might actually necessitate software changes that will, in turn, “require an entirely new source-code review lasting six months or longer.”

 “And, finally, the fact is that the plan actually falls under the warranty, which was part of the deal when the Comelec bought the PCOS machines in the first place,” he added. “As such, it is essentially just a continuation of the vendor’s contractual obligation to the Comelec.”  

What stinks to high heavens here is the true agenda of the self-styled electoral reform activists in blasting Smartmatic and its AES/PCOS technology.

It was correct, therefore, for Brillantes to challenge Lagman to put up or shut up, as the latter went on anti-PCOS attack mode anew in claiming last week that the PCOS machines could easily be tampered with.

“We invited him to go here and show it to us,” Brillantes said, adding that the Comelec had sent a letter to Lagman inviting him to show it could supposedly be done.

“I said, it is your duty as former Comelec commissioner that you should inform us on how it can be easily tampered,” Brillantes said. “He should teach so us so we can prepare for 2016 especially since we will be using the same machines in 2016.”

Added the chairman: “He was in the Comelec for 10 months. He never said this. He never mentioned PCOS  machines being rigged, which could be easily rigged, that is the adjective there. He did say you can probably manipulate it but not easily. Now he is saying it is very easy and I dare him to show it to us.”

            In its December 23 resolution, the Comelec explained that it opted to contract directly with Smartmatic for the PCOS diagnostics because “time is of the essence” in the preparations for the 2016 elections.

“Note that it is already December and the bids and awards committee has a little more than 60 days to conduct the bidding. So the two-stage procurement is not within the timeline,” it said. 

In the same resolution, the poll body said it had given the diagnostic work to Smartmatic because the Comelec did not want to take the risk of allowing a third-party provider to handle the project’s “highly technical nature.”

“If the Comelec would allow third parties other than Smartmatic to repair the machines, there is a dangerous risk of damaging the integrity of the system as the third party provider may not be able to fully refurbish the machines because the workings and technology of the machines are not familiar to them,” it said.

Lawmakers share the same concern, warning the public about the possible confusion and disorder if the Comelec were to award its P2-billion contract to automate the 2016 presidential elections to an inexperienced information technology (IT) provider.

House deputy majority leaders Jorge Banal of Quezon City and Sherwin Tugna of the Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption party-list said the proper awarding of the contract for the supply of additional OMR units was crucial to ensuring credible elections in 2016.

Tugna said the credibility of the next elections would be put to question if an IT provider lacks experience in handling automation would be allowed to participate in the 2016 elections.

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hvp 01.25.15

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Tungkol Kay Erap

Abante  (01.24.15)

Diretsahan

 

ni Horacio Paredes

 

Ngayon pa lamang. pinagkakagulohan na ng mga abugado kung ano ang mangyayari kung tumakbo na naman ang dating Pangulo na  ngayon ay Mayor Joseph Estrada ng Manila sa pagka presidente.. Parang natitiyak ko na kung ano ang mangyayari — mananalo si Erap bilang Pangulo ng bansa.

Totoo, maraming natatakot kay Erap. Ito ay dahil nalalaman nila na susunod ang tao sa kaniya kung saan man niya gustong dalhin ang bansa. Hindi ito kayang gawain ng ibang mga pulitiko; iilang tao ang merong ganitong galing na makakaya nilang dalhin ang Pilipinas kung saan nila gusto. Nlalaman natin na kung gustuhin niyang maging Pangulo sa susunod na halalan na mananalo ulit siya. Nakakatakot si Erap dahil sa malapit siya sa tao at kaya niyang dalhin ang bansa kung saan man niya gusto. Ang karamihan sa mga pulitiko’y walang ganitong galing.

Sa usap-usapan ng mga abugado, ang marami ay naininiwalang  dahil sa wala nang re-election ang Presidente, hindi na maaaring umulit ang naging Presidente na kahit na hindi naman niya natrapos ang anim na taon da nakatakdang termino noong siya ay nahahlal. Nalalaman naman nating lahat ang nangyari, Sa totoo ang isang tumulong na tapusin ng maaga ang termino ni Eap bilang pangulo ay si Cory Aquino. Ngunit, pinagsisihan rin ng dating Presidente ang kaniyang ginawa at naging malapit sila ni Erap noong nakita niya na hindi pala maganda para sa bansa ang pumalit kay Erap na kaniyang Bise Presidente na si Gloria Arroyo. Kaya nga nag-sorry si Cory at naging magkaibigan na sila at naging magka-alyado.

Sa kaniyang pinakita ngayon bilang alkalde ng Maynila, nakita nating lahat na maayos ang pamamalakad ni Erap at ako nga’y nag-abala noong sinasabi ng marami na ibabalik raw ng Korte Suprema si Lim na alkalde. Sa totoo, maraming mga mayari ng mga restoran at bar sa Manila ay natakot na bumalik si Lim sa pagka-alkalde.

Maayos ang pamamalakad ni Erap sa Maynila gaya rin ng kaniyang palakad bilang Pangulo ng bansa.

Papaano nga kung siya’y tumakbo ulit s pagka-Pangulo. Ang kaniyang maaaring paglingkuran ay ang hindi niya natapos na termino bilang Pangulo. Umupo si Erap bilang Pangulo Hunyo 30, 1998 hanggang Enero 20, 2001. Sa makatuwid kung makabalik siya bilang Pangulo, halos dalawa’t kalahating taon lang ang kaniyang sunod na maaaring paglingkod bilang Presidente at kinakailangang ipasa na niya sa kaniyang Bise. (Okay lang kung si Senadora Grace Poe ang kunin niyang bise na papalit sa kaniya pagkatapos ng dalawa’t kalahaing taon!)

Pagkakaguluhan na naman ng mga abugado at ng Korte Suprema sakaling makaisip si Erap na  tumakbong muli bilang Pangulo. Napakalaki rin ng magagasta sa halalan para lamang sa dalawa’t kalajating taon sa Malakanyang.

Baka nga mas magaling pa kung umulit na lamang siya bilang Alkalde ng Manila lalo’t kung ang pinakanguan niyang susunod sa kaniya na susunod sa kaniya na si Isko Moreno ay susubok sa pagiging Kongresman ng Maynila.

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hvp (01.23.15)

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Malaya 01.23.15

After the SC decision, he is saying that Isko could run for Congress or still another post, opening up other possibilities for the former President to go for other posts. Another run at the presidency, perhaps?”

 

Erap Wins,  PNoy’s Faux PasI

 

by Ducky Paredes

The Supreme Court has ruled that Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada stays as chief executive of the country’s capital The SC agreed with  the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that Erap  was qualified to run for mayor during the 2013 elections.

The high court, through Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro, dismissed the consolidated petitions of former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim—the candidate Estrada beat in 2013—and his lawyer Alicia Risos-Vidal.

De Castro was the chairperson of the Sandiganbayan Special Division that convicted Estrada for plunder.

The SC justices surprised everyone by voting 11-3 in favor of upholding the Comelec decision. Everyone expectefd a closer decision.

The three justices who voted for his disqualification were: Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, and Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.

Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza inhibited.

Former Mayor Alfredo Lim and his lawyer insisted that President Estrada’s conviction for plunder and life imprisonment sentence in 2007 rendered him disqualified to run for public office.

Before the decison, the Supreme Court said that it had yet to render a decision on the disqualification bid against former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada. Reports were that the SC was close to a vote but the voting was expected to be a close one..

The court also would not say whether the case was included in the agenda of the en banc session on Wednesday (Jan. 21), a meeting moved from the regular Tuesday schedule following the holiday declarations due to the Papal visit.

Rumors about a possible decision on the Estrada case have been the talk of Manila since December, before the court went on break.

Vidal elevated to the Supreme Court her bid to disqualify Estrada after losing the case at the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

She asserted that the former President should not have been allowed to seek public office again given his plunder conviction and the life imprisonment meted him for the offense.

Former President Gloria Arroyo, now detained herself for a plunder trial, pardoned Estrada a month after his conviction in September 2007. If antone had asked her, she probably would have said that she intended for Erap to get back all of his rights as a citizen

Lim later joined in Vidal’s petition.

The Comelec rejected Vidal’s petition citing its similarities with a disqualification bid filed against Estrada in 2010, when he sought the Presidency again. He lost to President Aquino, but showed his still strong following as he placed second overall in the polls.

In his response to the petition in 2013, Estrada said Vidal’s accusations were “insufficient to disturb” the Comelec’s decision to throw out her complaint against Estrada.

The ousted President added that the “absolute pardon” granted him by Arroyo had given him back his “full civil and political rights including the right to seek public elective office.

While Estrada has been saying that the 2010 election was the last one in which he would run because he would give way to his Vice Mayor Isko Moreno whom he had promised to support in the next election. After the SC decision, however, Erap is saying that Isko could run for Congress or still another post, opening up other possibilities for the former President to go for other posts. Another run at the presidency, perhaps?

Why not? It would save the Philippines from a Binay presidency.

* * *

A Palace official defends President Aquino from critics who were dismayed at the Chief Executive for criticizing the Philippine bishops before Pope Francis last week during the Pope’s call at Malacañang  last week;

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that the President simply told the Pope the “truth.”

“The speech was a truth-telling statement. If you review the entire text you will understand the context. It was a narrative that was historically accurate and truthful and there was no singling out of any personality,” Coloma said in a press briefing.

“It was a personal testimony of someone who experienced the events he was talking about and became President and became the leader of the country that was welcoming the Pope. It was a truthful statement and there was no other purpose for that statement except to tell the truth,” Coloma stressed.

While the President praised members of the clergy who fought against the Marcos dictatorship, he had strong words against those he believed took the cudgels for his predecessor, detained President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, now a Pampanga representative.

A columnist called Aquino an “uncouth” host while a Catholic blogger wrote that he showed “immaturity and insensitivity” in his speech before Francis.

Bayan Muna secretary general Renato Reyes said the President could have taken the occasion “to show humility and admit that more needs to be done to help the poor especially ‘Yolanda’ victims.”

Reyes said Aquino “just couldn’t rise about his own concerns and pettiness.”

“In contrast, the Pope spoke not about himself but of the need to hear the cry of the poor and to reject corruption which worsens inequality and exclusion. He spoke about social issues. The two speeches were worlds apart in depth and relevance,” Reyes said.

* * *

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Thanking Ourselves For A Successful Papal Visit

Malaya 01.22.15

 

“Pope Francis expressed his gratitude for the peaceful and successful visit in the country,” said Mar Roxas in a text message.”

 

by Ducky Paredes

           

 “He repeatedly expressed thanks to the nation. He was really happy with the warm reception given him. He was very, very happy with the hospitality shown. He really felt the warmth.” This is our President Benigno Aquino II after he saw off Pope Francis at the aiport.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle called  “a miracle” the fact that the Pop’s visit came off withut a hitch and our people were on their  best behaviour.

“This event is really an act of communion, an act of solidarity, and it is a miracle in itself,” said Tagle at Villamor Airbase after the Pope had left the country for Rome.

“And thanks to God and thanks to everyone, we were able to show to the world that it was possible. Communication, cooperation, collaboration – these are not just ideas. They can be put into action.”

Tagle thanked Filipinos, including those who lined the streets to fervently cheer the Pope wherever he went.

“We want to thank the media people, those in communications and the ordinary Filipino. Those who lined up on the streets. Those who woke up at 2 o’clock in the morning but never got to the quadrant in Luneta but still stayed and up to this day,” Tagle said.

“All of us are overwhelmed right now with thanksgiving and gratitude to God, to our authorities in government, in the Church, and the many sectors of society.”

* * *

Personally, I was also quite amazed at the oputpouring of love for the Pope and how well-behaved the crowd was considering that just past week, during the Black Nazarene procession, there were two deaths cused by the unruly crowd that pushed their way forward, trampling on two who had slipped and fell on the ground. One expected that the crowd that would meet the Pope whould be just  as unruly. They were not.

They waited patiently for the Pope to arrive, even in the sun and rain and only screamed and waved when he showed himself.  The crowd was well0behaved almost, one wanted to say, very unlike  Fillipinos. But, there was something aboput the w=visitorthat seemed to calm the crowd, They immediately respected and knew the man who was Pope.

* * *

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said it well:

“In all the Pope events, the Filipino people demonstrated warmth, discipline, and faith, making Pope Francis’ visit truly meaningful and successful.”

“We thank our countrymen for their solidarity in ensuring the safety of the Pope: From the thousands who patiently lined the route of the papal motorcade; to the organizations that encouraged mindfulness and helped maintain order during the public engagements of the Pope; and to the millions who participated in the papal activities.

“Without doubt, on this occasion, the Filipino people once more showed what could be achieved when we work toward a unified endeavor.”

The Filipino people have proven themselves world-class in showing strong faith in God, according to opposition Reps. Lito Atienza (Buhay Party-list) and  Luzviminda Ilagan (Gabriela Partylist).

Atienza said that the Church leadership, particularly Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, and Malacañang officials have “in one way or another” ensure the success.

“But credit must be shared with every Filipino, who in spite of ardent devotion and strong desire to see or better touch the Pope, maintained disciplined and followed set rules,” the former Manila mayor said.

Police Officer Jhet Siguen noted how the Luneta-goers – particularly those lined up along Roxas Boulevard and Maria Orosa Street – were very cooperative and receptive to the instructions of police officers. “Everybody cooperated.”

He reckoned that the people’s “strong faith” translated to patience and proper discipline, all for the purpose of getting a glimpse of the Pope who is the recognized leader of the 1.2 billion Catholics around the world.

Contributing a lot to the success of the papal visit were the security forces.

Even Pope Franceis took note of this when he personally expressed his sincere gratitude for all the sacrifices of every security man and every civilian during a meeting with Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas before the Poope left.

“Pope Francis expressed his gratitude for the peaceful and successful visit in the country,” said Mar Roxas in a text message after his meeting with the Pontiff at the Apostolic Nunciature.

* * *

We have a letter from Pete Maniego, chair of the National Renewable Energy Board and a fellow Valley golfer on our column last Monday:

I’d like to make the following clarifications:

“1) The FIT-All is only 4 centavos not 40 centavos per kWh;

“2) The FIT-All was based on the forecasted generation of eligible RE power plants, which are entitled to Feed-in Tariff as approved/ certified by DOE and ERC. These are the new plants which become operational after the effectivity of the RE Act of 2008. For determining the FIT-All, forecasted RE generation is used since the petition is filed annually, there RE plants already supplying power to the grid, and payments have to be made to these generators already;

“3) The FIT-All is established and set annually by ERC upon petition by Transco.  Adjustments on the rate will be made annually (or even quarterly) depending on whether or not the collected FiT-All is over or under estimated based on the actual FIT payments made to eligible RE plants; and

“3) The RE developers will be paid based solely on actual power supplied to the grid and not on their forecasted generation.

“As the suit is already pending in court and NREB was included in the suit, it would be inappropriate for me to comment in public on the case (sub judice).  Please consider this as a private message between us intended to correct and/or clarify some matters in your article.”

# # # #

hvp 01.21.15

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Wala Pa Ring Tigil Sa Pagpiga

Abante  (01.22.15)

Diretsahan

 

ni Horacio Paredes

 

Nitong nakaraang ilang araw, muling natawag ang aking pansin sa kaso ng isang umano’y tinatawag na “lemon” na sasakyan na natalakay sa aking kolum sa Malaya noong Oktubre 24 pa. Tungkol ito sa isang mamahaling luxury vehicle na inireklamo ng isang Ricardo Nolasco Jr. dahil aniya’y depektibo at nais niyang mapalitan ng isang bagong kotse. May lumabas na artikulo ukol dito sa iba’t-ibang pahayagan.

 Napukaw ang aking interes sa kasong ito bilang isa ring journalist na dapat maging mapagmatyag sa mga isyung pangmadla na gaya ng “lemon car.” Ngunit kabilang din sa mga isyung pangmadla ang posibilidad na tila may nakatagong mga katanungan sa tunay na may-ari ng mamahaling sasakyang ito — na maaari ding may kaugnay na public interest.

Ang luxury vehicle na nirereklamo ay nagkakahalaga ng mahigit limang milyong piso kaya iyon talagang may kaya lamang ang makabibili ng nasabing modelo. Ang naturang sasakyan ay nabili noong Mayo 30, 2014 at makalipas ang dalawang araw, ito’y dinala ni Nolasco sa car company sanhi ng aniya’y ilang depekto.

Ang paksang ito’y Ilang beses na ring lumabas sa pahayagan noong Oktubre ng nakaraang taon, at nasagot na rin ito ng car company. Iginiit ng kumpanya na kumpleto na ang full diagnostic testing ng sasakyan, at wala nang kahit anong isyu ito. Ilang beses din nagbigay ng clearance ang mga ekspertong mekaniko, na nagpatotoo na balik sa bago ang kundisyon ng sasakyan.  

Sa kabila nito, ang sasakyan ay nananatili sa service center, dahil ayaw itong i-test drive, kunin, o ipa-deliver ni Nolasco. 

Ang nakapagtataka, ayon sa mga tala ng Land Transportation Office (LTO), sa isang nagngangalang Reynaldo Añonuevo naka-rehistro ang sasakyan at hindi kay Nolasco.

Ang tanong: Bakit hindi pa rin matahimik ang istorya? At parehong-pareho pa rin mula noong Oktubre? Talagang bang biktima si Nolasco? O siya ba ang nagbabalak mambiktima?

Kung tayo’y magbabalik-tanaw tungo sa unang pagputok ng Janet Lim Napoles Scandal, matatandaang si Nolasco ay naging chairman at presidente ng Air Material Wing Savings and Loan Association, Inc. (AMWSLAI), isang malaking kooperatiba ng mga retirado at aktibong miyembro ng Philippine Air Force. Sinabi ng whistle blower na si Benhur Luy, na si Napoles ay nakapaglagak ng P510 milyon sa AMWSLAI na nakapangalan sa kanyang asawa at dalawang anak. At ayon kay Luy, naganap ito diumano sa  tulong ni Nolasco. May kaugnayan kaya si Añonuevo kay Napoles?

Nitong nakaraang taon, nang humarap si Nolasco sa sa imbestigasyon ng Senado tungkol sa Napoles scam, ginamit niya ang Bank Secrecy Law upang makaiwas sa mga tanong ukol sa deposito ni Napoles.

 Hindi natin pinararatangan ang sino man sa kooperatiba ng Philippine Air Force. Ngunit dapat linawin halimbawa kung may kinalaman ang naturang P5-million luxury car sa P510 milyong dineposito sa AMWSLAI ng mga inaakusahang kumamkam ng bilyon-bilyon mula sa kaban ng bayan.

 Ukol naman sa sinasabing depekto ng sasakyan, kagaya ng nasabi na, ito umano ay naayos na ngunit ayaw pang kunin Nolasco. Kaya bakit tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang pagpiga niya sa tinatawag na Lemon law? Malamang mas lilinaw ang sitwasyon kung magsalita na rin si Añonuevo.

# # # #

hvp (01.21.15)

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Our Best Ever President (1953-1957)

Malaya 01.21.15

 

His administration was considered one of the cleanest and most corruption-free; his presidency was cited as the Philippines’ Golden Years. Trade and industry flourished, the Philippine military was at its prime, and the Filipino people were given international recognition in sports, culture and foreign affairs. The Philippines ranked second among Asia’s clean and well-governed countries.”

 

by Ducky Paredes

 

            Like most Filipinos, I followed  Pope Francis for the five days that he was in the country. No, I did not line up on the streets for hours only to view him as he zipped past in his Popemobile. I followed him through television from the comfortable sofa in my living room and sometimes from my bed in my room.

            There was something about him that intrigued me — his effect on most people, his easy manner with everyone and his apparent love of people and specifically of Filipinos. He smiled a lot and hugged mostly babies and children. He loved people and truly enjoyed them.

            I thought: “Why don’t we have leaders like him, people who love the country and the people more than they love themselves? Instead why do we have leaders who all take advantage of us and who glory in their superiority over the rest of us given to them by their position in society — positions to which we voted them. Why can’t we have leaders who clearly care about Filipinos and this country, I wondered.

   Instead what we have are leaders mostly politicians who think of themselves and their positions as though these have been given to them as a right which makes them superior to the rest of us. In contrast to them; on the other hand, we have a Pope who loves all men and cares about us all. What  a contrast!

Here is Pope Francis speaking on on governance: Every man, every woman who has to take up the service of government, must ask themselves two questions: ‘Do I love my people in order to serve them better? Am I humble and do I listen to everybody, to diverse opinions in order to choose the best path?’ If you don’t ask those questions, your governance will not be good.

Who in government has ever seriously asked himself similar questions?

* * *

            We actually had a President once who was the best one of all. For one thing, he was clean as a whistle. In the Election of 1953, Ramon Magsaysay defeated the incumbent Elpidio Quirino. He was sworn into office wearing the Barong Tagalog, the first time that this was used in a formal event by a Philippine president. 

            Wikipedia reports that, as president, Magsaysay was a close friend and supporter of the United States and a vocal spokesman against communism during the Cold War. He led the foundation of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) also known as the Manila Pact of 1954, that aimed to defeat communist-Marxist movements in South East Asia, South Asia and the Southwestern Pacific. During his term, he made Malacañang literally a “house of the people”, opening its gates to the public. One example of his integrity followed a demonstration flight aboard a new plane belonging to the Philippine Air Force (PAF): President Magsaysay asked what the operating costs per hour were for that type of aircraft, then wrote out a personal check to the PAF, covering the cost of his flight.

            He brought back the people’s trust in the military and the government.

   His administration was considered one of the cleanest and most corruption-free; his presidency was cited as the Philippines’ Golden Years. Trade and industry flourished, the Philippine military was at its prime, and the Filipino people were given international recognition in sports, culture and foreign affairs. The Philippines ranked second among Asia’s clean and well-governed countries.

   What made Magsaysay different from the rest?

            During his presidency, there was  a document in the Official Gazette that proclaimed the “Magsaysay Credo.” Here it is:

“I believe that government starts at the bottom and moves upward, for government exists for the welfare of the masses of the nation.

“I believe that he who has less in life should have more in law.

“I believe that the little man is fundamentally entitled to a little bit more food in his stomach, a little more cloth on his back and a little more roof over his head.

“I believe that this nation is endowed with a vibrant and stout heart, and possesses untapped capabilities and incredible resiliency.

“I believe that a high and unwavering sense of morality should pervade all spheres of governmental activity.

“I believe that the pulse of government should be strong and steady, and the men at the helm imbued with missionary zeal.

“I believe in the majesty of constitutional and legal processes, in the inviolability of human rights.

“I believe that the free world is collectively strong, and that there is neither need nor reason to compromise the dignity of man.

“I believe that communism is iniquity, as is the violence it does to the principles of Christianity.

“I believe that the President should set the example of a big heart, an honest mind, sound instincts, the virtue of healthy impatience and an abiding love for the common man.”

* * *

In 1953, when Magsayay was elected President, I was just 14, still in 3rd Year  High School. Magsaysay struck me then as a man who loved his country and his fellow-men. In that sense, he was like Pope Francis. One senses the same thing in our present Pope —  his dedication and service to God and Man.

Two years after I finished High School, on March 17, 1957, President Magsasyay died in a plane crash on Mt. Manungal after visiting Cebu. My father, who wrote the Cebu speeches for his friend the President was one of the passengers who died with Magsaysay.

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hvp 01.20.15

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.

Paying Today for Future Electricity

Malaya 01.20.15

 

Atty. Remigio Michael Ancheta asked the SC to stop the ERC for the time being from allowing Transco to collect the P0.40/kWh from electricity consumers. “

 


 

by Ducky Paredes

 

Last year’s UN Framework Convention or UNFCCC held in 2014 in Lima, Peru —dubbed the Lima Call for Climate Action—was envisioned to be the world’s most ambitious accord yet on environmental protection for implementation in 2020. The convention was mired in heated, overextended sessions as participants, particularly the developed states, flexed their muscles in protecting their own national interests.

For one thing, rich nations succeeded in crushing efforts by the developing states for an eco-friendly budget aid to poorer countries. Countries like the Philippines have minimal impact on global warming but are the worst affected by man-made climate change.

The environmental group Germanwatch pinpoints the Philippines and Cambodia as the Top two countries most affected by erratic weather patterns over the 1994-2013 period.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)’s official estimate is that typhoon Yolanda had cost P571 billion in infrastructure and property damages, crop losses and lost incomes and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) counted 6,190 deaths and 1,785 missing persons across 44 provinces.

Regardless of the outcome of this year’s Paris summit, the Philippines has been taking steps in sync with the international movement towards the generation of renewable energy (RE), in a global bid to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases—particularly carbon-based or fossil fuels like petroleum and coal—that puncture the Ozone layer and exacerbate global warming.

A year before Ondoy, the Philippine government actually passed a measure meant to help check global warming by providing incentives for the commercial development and use of RE resources—and thereby reduce the country’s addiction to fossil fuels for power generation.

Better known as the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, Republic Act No. 9513 seeks to accelerate the exploration and commercialization of RE sources such as solar, hydro, geothermal, wind, biomass and ocean energy by providing tax breaks, duty-free imports of RE machinery and equipment along with other fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for their development and use.

RA 9513 aims to achieve energy self-reliance and reduce our dependence on harmful fossil fuels and vulnerability to price fluctuations in the international oil and coal markets.

But this eco-friendly law has encountered a hiccup as Government’s policy makers and regulators came up with a cure that saddles ordinary consumers with higher electricity rates, undermining local industries that could lead to mass layoffs, and spooking investors in the domestic economy and power sector.

While giving incentives to RE developers is good, making households and business establishments pay for it is not. We ought to be billed only for the electricity we use — not for electricity that will be available for future generations!

Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and the National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) would  collect an extra charge from all electricity end-users equivalent to 40 centavos per kilowatt hour (kWh), for a new incentive fund to encourage government-accredited RE developers to put up RE generation plants or facilities.

Under a resolution issued by the ERC last October, beginning this month, your monthly power bills  will include a separate line item to be called the Feed-In Tariff Allowance (FIT-All), which will be paid to FIT-eligible RE users as a means to entice them to build power plants that either harness solar, wind, run-of-river hydro or biomass energy or any hybrid RE system for commercial supply.

Section 2.5 of ERC’s October 2014 resolution requires electricity end-users to “share in the cost of the FITs in part through a uniform charge to be referred to as FIT-All and applied to all billed (kilowatt hours).”

* * *

Fortunately for consumers, a lawyer has come to our rescue. He has  filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to issue a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to stop ERC from implementing this rate hike.

Atty. Remigio Michael Ancheta asked the SC to stop the ERC for the time being from allowing Transco to collect the P0.40/kWh from electricity consumers.

The SC ought to,  at least,  require the ERC and Transco to first conduct extensive public hearings and consultations on this FIT-All scheme.  

In a 32-page petition, Ancheta sought a temporary halt to the ERC order granting TransCo’s application to collect this 40-centavo/kWh increase to pay for the RE cost under the FIT-All system established by RA 9513.

Ancheta argues in his TRO petition that this scheme is unconstitutional as it provides for the advance collection of extra fees from all electricity users as payment to FIT-eligible RE developers through the creation of the FIT-All Fund, which is not provided for or contemplated in RA 9513.

Ancheta told the High Tribunal that this new scheme is “unreasonable and oppressive” as it unduly compels electricity end-users to pay for RE-generated electricity in advance, given that the generation facilities covered by this FIT program have yet to operate or build their power plants.

The implementation of the FIT-All Fund is likewise illegal, said Ancheta, because it deprives electricity consumers of their property without due process of law.

Citing TransCo’s national RE sales forecast of 68,016,055,191 kWh for 2015 in its petition before the ERC, Ancheta said the FIT-All Fund would total P230.12 million per month or P2.7 billion for the entire year.

* * *

The ERC has designated TransCo as the FIT-All Fund administrator and, as such, is empowered to collect the extra tariff from power consumers for payment to FIT-eligible developers so the latter could produce or continue generating their RE electricity.

Based on the per-month consumption of 200 kWh of average residential consumers, Ancheta said this FIT-All fee would translate into an extra charge of P8.12 each in their monthly bills.

This additional tariff is a uniform fee similar to the Universal Charge (UC) that is slapped on all on-grid power consumers who source their electricity through the distribution or transmission networks.

It would be reflected as a separate line item in monthly power bills for a new eco-friendly fund meant to support the development of RE sources such as wind, solar, biomass, run-of-river hydro and ocean energy.

The ERC explains this additional charge is designed to encourage RE developers to build power plants and would thus mean tremendous profits for these companies, as even RE facilities still on the drawing board would be compensated via this FIT-All to be collected by TransCo for 20 straight years.

Argued Ancheta in his petition: “Unless this honorable court strikes down this unreasonable and oppressive attempt to collect from the public an amount that they can otherwise use for basic necessities, the consumers will be required to bear the burden by the start of the year 2015.”

Ancheta says that the ERC committed a grave abuse of discretion in approving TransCo’s rate-hike application for FIT-All because in doing so, it went beyond the provisions of RA 9513.

Also, he said, ERC committed an “invalid exercise” of police power and deprived consumers of due process of law in crafting FIT-All rules and guidelines that provide for the advance collection of payments for the benefit of FIT-eligible developers.

“In reality, the FIT Rules and Guidelines authorize the advance collection of the FIT based on a forecast generation of electricity,” said Ancheta in his TRO petition.

“The public would be made to pay for electricity that has yet to be generated,” he said.

“Put simply, the consumers will be charged the amount of electricity from renewable energy sources well ahead of their actual use thereof or worse, before the energy is actually produced,” he added. “This is contrary to the current manner of billing electricity, where consumers are billed on the basis of their actual consumption.”

“Such collection prior to the actual production of electricity goes beyond the terms of the RE Law and therefore null and void,” the lawyer stressed.

This scheme, he said, is “beyond what is necessary to achieve the purpose of the law to the prejudice of the public i.e., by mandating the advance collection of the portion of the payment to the FIT-eligible RE developers even before actual electrical energy is produced by them and transmitted to the grid.”

* * *

RA 9513’s long-term objective is supposedly to offer a “Green Energy Option,” which refers to the mechanism to empower end-users to choose RE in meeting their energy requirements.

To attain this goal, the law provides for a “Net Metering” system in which distribution grid users have two-way connections to their respective localities’ power grids, such that they are only charged for their net electricity consumption and are credited for any overall contribution to the grids by way of their own generation or conversion of RE sources.

Government financial institutions (GFIs) like the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and Phil-Exim Bank are, under this law, required to extend preferential financial packages for the development, use and commercialization of RE projects endorsed by the Department of Energy (DOE).

As an incentive for local government units (LGUs) and communities hosting RE projects, RA 9513 requires that 80% of the royalty or government share due their localities shall be used directly to subsidize the electricity consumption of their end-users whose monthly consumption do not exceed 100 kWh each.

* * *

In Resolution No. 16 series of 2010 dated July 12 that year, the ERC said the commission drafted the FIT system rules following consultations with and inputs from various industry stakeholders, including Department of Energy-World Bank consultant Marcial Ocampo, National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), National Power Corporation (Napocor), NREB, Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC), Private Electric Power Operators Association (PEPOA) and the Wind Energy Developers Association and the Philippines (WEDAP).

Section 2.5 of this resolution, titled “Feed-in Tariff Allowance (FIT-All),” provides that, “Electricity consumers who are supplied with electricity through the distribution or transmission network shall share in the cost of the FITs in part through a uniform charge (in PhP/kWh) to be referred to as the FIT-All and applied to all billed kWh.”

It was signed by ERC chairperson Zenaida Ducut and commissioners Raul Tan, Alejandrino Barin, Maria Teresa Castañeda and Jose Reyes.

To date, total installed capacity of RE on-grid stood at 5,396.82MW.

 DOE has also awarded a total of 638 RE projects with a total potential capacity of 10,068.031MW.

* * *

The lawyer who took up the case of the consumers against the ERC and the Fit-All Tariff,  Remigio Michael A. Ancheta II, founder of Ancheta & Associates Attorneys -at-Law is a product of the Ateneo de Manila University (A.B., J.D.)

He started his law practice with Carpio Villaraza & Cruz (now Villaraza Cruz Marcelo & Angangco) and thereafter was with the litigation department of Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz (ACCRA), where he received an Excellent-rating for performance. Many of Mr. Ancheta’s clients have remained with him since he started his own practice in 2002, affirming his professional competence, strong work ethic, and unyielding commitment to client service.

How will he fare against the ERC and the giants of the power industry?

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hvp 01.19.15

Readers who missed a column can access www.duckyparedes.com/blogs. This is updated daily. Your reactions are welcome at duckyparedes@gmail.com or you can send me a message through Twitter @diretsahan.