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  1. #1

    Wink Escudero confirms Palace infighting

    Escudero confirms Palace infighting

    By Angie M. Rosales

    A key ally of President Aquino yesterday practically confirmed unending bickering among two major “factions” within Aquino’s inner circle in the Palace after reports the other day that former Sen. Manuel Roxas II, Aquino’s losing vice presidential running mate, had started moves to ease out Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. to pave the way for his assumption of the post.

    Sen. Francis Escudero called on the staff and supporters of Aquino to set aside personal and political differences as it is getting in the way of the administration’s effectivity.

    Roxas was guaranteed by Aquino of a Cabinet post once the one-year ban on losing candidates to assume a government post ends on May nextyear.

    Reports said that Roxas, also Liberal Party (LP) president, is bent on ousting Executive Sec. Paquito Ochoa Jr. from his position as he is allegedly eyeing the said post and that Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ricky Carandang was allegedly behind the floating of the news on Ochoa’s removal from his post.

    Escudero noted that while everything seems to be already going smoothly among Pres. Aquino’s staff, they even had the traditional “exchange gifts” during a recent Christmas party, the senator expressed belief that there remains the issue of “factionalism” within the core group.

    “I think it will take some time before they could patch things up and establish a better working relationship. I hope they will set aside their personal and political differences and attend to their respective tasks with the interest of the country in mind,” he added.

    “They should bury the hatchet. I think all of them, most of them if not all are growing in the office or have already grown in the office and I hope we can see a better working Cabinet come 2011 because I’m sure they’re already well adept with their position, title, influence and control of their respective offices,” he said.

    Among the prominent factions in the Aquino administration are the so-called “Balay” and “Samar” groups.

    Escudero, who supported Pres. Aquino’s candidacy in the last elections, is said to be part of the so-called “Samar” group that backed up the Noy-Bi (Aquino-Binay) tandem during the campaign.

    Balay group” was coined from the Visayan word “Balay” as the Roxases house in Cubao is called, while “Samar group” originated from a street named Samar in South Triangle in Quezon City where the so-called “Noy-bi” (Noynoy-Binay) group held their campaign headquarters.

    Among those identified to belong to the “Balay group” are the members of the “Hyatt 10” that included among others Social Wefare and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad and Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima. Carandang, who is considered to be with the Roxas Balay group claimed he has nothing to do with the rumor on Ochoa.

    Carandang, in a message relayed to Palace reporters, denied reports that he was the one who has been spreading such rumors which has been the subject of idle talks for quite a long time now even before Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Jose Melo announced his early retirement by next year.

    “Someone is just trying to sow intrigue, as you know, people have been operating in the media against me since I began this job,” Carandang said.

    Carandang’s statement was backed by his closest associate in the Communications Group, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, who explained that it is only logical for Aquino to tap the services of Roxas in his government but belied rumors over so-called plans to transfer Ochoa so he could achieve such aim.

    “I remember President Aquino said something to that effect [appointing Roxas in government]. But, again, we don’t know what position he will give him. Remember, during the campaign they carried the same platform. They campaigned on the same promise so it is just logical for the President to ask Senator Mar Roxas to join his [official] family. In what capacity, I do not know,” Lacierda stressed.

    Lacierda claimed it would be up to Aquino whether he would give Roxas a free hand to choose whatever position in his government once the one-year mandatory ban on losing electoral candidates expires next year.

    Aquino, in previous interviews, has time and again denied that he is considering a major Cabinet revamp by next year.

    Ochoa, for his part, has earlier stated that he was not inclined to believe on these rumors which, he said, might have been circulated by his detractors who were not satisfied with his performance as Executive Secretary.

    At a pre-birthday he hosted with the media last November 9, Ochoa expressed that while Aquino sometimes complains about his efficiency, this doesn’t really get him to that point where he would consider his termination from duty because they have always managed whatever issues they have with each other in terms of working relationship at the end of the day.

    When asked if he shares the observations held by many that the source of these rumors came from the Balay faction, Ochoa said he wouldn’t know but his quick denial failed to convince the media as he himself hinted that divisions inside Aquino’s Cabinet persist no matter how hard the administration tries to conceal it.

    “Like I always tell my colleagues, my staff, my deputy executive secretaries and other coworkers in government, there is always going to be intrigues, mudslinging—you would always have someone from another group who dislikes you. Sometimes you would think that the one sitting next to you likes you and you thought you also feels the same but later on, you’d realize you were wrong. So it’s like a sort of part of the normal [life] in government service,” Ochoa was quoted saying that time.

  2. #2
    commonsensical guy
    Join Date
    May 2001
    malabon city,me
    well,this is the scenario chiz is waiting for..step 1(demolition of gloria-completed),now this is step 2(noynoy's disentegration)..step 3-2013 reelection..then step 4,on to 2016 presidency (parting ways with also ambitious binay)..

  3. #3
    the mudslingers are now mudslinging at each other, wonders who among them prayed first to slamat lorrrd to grab some juicy position.

  4. Dec 21, 2010

    duplicate posting

  5. #4
    the daily tribune

    ne of the most startling statements made by Noynoy Aquino during the presidential campaign, and in a press conference yet, was that he and his vice presidential bet, former Sen. Mar Roxas, have agreed to share the workload of the presidency, with Noynoy stating that it would be as high as an 80-20 percent workload share, with Roxas taking on the 80 percent.

    That Noynoy statement was met with incredulity by the public as it was pointed out to Noynoy that the presidency cannot be shared, as not even a vice president is clothed with presidential power and authority.

    Still, this statement was never retracted by Noynoy and in any case, Roxas lost his vice presidential bid as then Makati Mayor Jojo Binay won the polls, and was proclaimed Vice President by the Congress.

    It is evident that Noynoy has not shared the presidential workload with Binay, but from all indications, he appears to have kept his word that he would be sharing the presidential work with Roxas.

    It is no secret that Noynoy’s work schedule is hardly reflective of a 24/7 presidential workload. He can’t be bothered to even attend the morning Malacañang flag-raising ceremony, as he normally pops up for work by 11 a.m., cuts off for a two-hour lunch and does away with any and all governmental concerns by 4 p.m. Apparently, he really is bent on sticking to his 20 percent share in the job of the presidency, a job moreover, he seems to believe consists merely in giving out media ambush interviews and slamming a co-equal branch of government as well as constitutional offices headed by officials he dislikes. It is even doubted that he makes his own decisions.

    Noynoy is strongly perceived as a president who enjoys the title and the perks, but not the responsibility and accountability along with the hard work entailed that go with the position.

    It is also being talked about that even as Roxas is out of elective post, he continues to wield a lot of power, including presidential power — albeit as a de facto president.

    It is also no secret that Roxas’ faction, the so-called Balay group, many of whom are already in high and sensitive positions in the Aquino administration, is at this time, in the ascendancy within the Noynoy circle. The Abad family is certainly in a most important position which is where the money is. There is pere Butch Abad. There is daughter Julia who is not only the Presidential Management Staff chief, but also the official who handles the Presidential Social Fund, which runs into billions, as well as the de facto chief overseeing the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and naturally, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. And not to forget, there is Mama who handles the congressional committee that has to do with funds along with an Abad son who serves as chief of staff or other for Finance Secretary Cesar Purisma.

    Then there is the Black and White group — where the so-called Hyatt 10 group is identified with the Balay group. Teresita Deles and Dinky Soliman are on top of the list, with a lot of clout with Noynoy, too. Not a single centavo was slashed from her humongous budget of P21 million for the unimplementable Conditional Cash Transfer program, which savings incidentally, will all go to Noynoy in addition to his gigantic pork barrel.

    As for the presidential communicators — they all are identified with the Balay group — save for one — Sonny Coloma, a Samar groupie, who, while having the bigger budget, has no real clout with Noynoy.

    The so-called Samar group, identified with the Maria Montelibano and other Yellows, said to have campaigned for the Noybi (Noynoy-Binay) group in the last presidential polls, is perceived to be slowly losing its grip on power

    But if this infighting between the two groups — plus the so-called “stand-alone” group that counts, among others, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima — continues to this day, well over 200 days or six months into Noynoy’s presidency, it is mainly because Noynoy is such a weak, incompetent and indecisive leader who can’t even rein in his warring groups — not even in his 11 to 4 p.m. job. Since he can’t control them, how does he expect to control the country? (bullsye)

  6. #5
    hay, wala talagang stability. kasi naman yung 9 milyon na bumoto kay noynoy, hindi nakita kaagad na walang stability sa matandang 'binata' na yan. imagine, wala pang asawa sa edad na singkuwenta, puro date ang inaasikaso prang high school pa rin ang lovelife, kaya ayan, pati bansa, walang magandang tinatahak at kinabukasan. sana ma impeach na yang presidente na yan at mapalitan ng mahusay husay at with sound mind and body at qualified na successor.

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