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RECENT POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS
(News briefs from leading news dailies)

April 14, 1998

 Fred Lim, a "Hospicio" ward?

Former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim lived the first eight years of his life at the Hospicio de San Jose, an orphanage that is but a stone’s throw away from the palace he would occupy if elected president on May 11. Sources close to Lim said the former Manila Mayor revealed this carefully hidden phase of his life in reaction to stories that he was to the manner born. - The Philippine Star

*Whether this is true or not (would boost his appeal to the masses by identifying himself as a former orphan), we are not quite sure. What we know is the fact that his recently launched biography May Langit Din ang Mahirap written by Nick Joaquin makes no explicit mention of the first eight years of Lim’s life. Whatever the reason remains a mystery.

FVR releases P250 million for war bets

They deserve the praise as well as cash. Thus, President Ramos honored the country’s WW II veterans at the Araw ng Kagitingan celebration with lavish praise and P250 million.

"The increased pensions, the additional benefits, the housing projects, the hospital wards, the extended medical and dental care and the increased voluntary support from private organizations led by Filipino World War Veterans Foundation are just proofs of how we care for them," the President said. (TPS)

* The veterans and veterans’ families are indeed grateful to the president’s "timely generosity" now that we are experiencing economic crisis and El Niño phenomenon. However, critics of the administration said that this gesture is too "timely" for the May polls. The opposition commented that this is a part of the LAKAS party scheme to woo the votes of people. President Ramos was quoted to have been openly campaigning for his anointed de Venecia and all the LAKAS senatoriables during the occasion, saying that "this team (LAKAS-Kampi) will continue" his economic reform agenda.

JDV catching up with Erap, no. 2 at 21%

Vice President Joseph Estrada dismissed as "self-serving" the results of the survey by Facts Base Inc. (FBI) showing Speaker Jose De Venecia, standard bearer of the ruling Lakas-NUCD-UMDP-Kampi coalition, is catching up on him in the popularity ratings. The Liberal Party (LP) also questioned the methodology and sampling used by the FBI in conducting its research. Estrada, presidential candidate of the LaMMP party , pointed out that "this [survey] is another Malacañang press release" and cited LAKAS spokesperson Anabelle Abaya as one of the FBI’s top executive.

On the other hand, the LP media bureau maintained that the Social Weather Stations (SWS) is still the most credible among the various survey groups operating in the country. "As far as we are concerned, Lim is still the No.2 contender in the presidential race," said the LP media bureau chief editor Gerry Zaragosa. He cited that the latest SWS survey showing Lim and De Venecia tied in second place at 14 peercent apiece compared to Estrada’s 28 percent. The FBI survey results released last week put De Venecia at solo second place with 21 percent behind Estrada’s 26 percent. (TPS)

*On a separate news, it will be remembered that weeks ago, Raul Roco, another presidential aspirant lambasted the SWS as having received payment from the leading party for the survey it conducted. He further added that such scheme was a ploy to confuse the voters.

Teachers’ allowance doubled

In another development, Education Secretary Erlinda Pefianco announced that the government has doubled the allowance of public school teachers doing poll duties from P400 to P800. The teachers will also be granted transportation allowance to be given out in the form of cash advance or reimbursement.

Teachers who belong to the militant National Foundation for Teachers’ Development inc. (NAFTED), sought an audience with Comelec officials to air their grievances. The NAFTED also asked for a briefing on poll-related issues, notably the party-list system, saying many of them were still ignorant about the scheme. (TPS)

*In the last ‘95 national elections, there have been reports of teachers’ "absenteeism" during the election day. A PPC-RV volunteer of Bicutan Taguig, Metro Manila complained that in precints she was working with, the teachers asked them to replace the "no-show" teachers as members of Board of Election Inspectors which is a violation of the Omnibus Election Code prohibiting non-teaching persons to be members of the board. She also commented that an absence of twelve teachers, all at the same time and the same place, in one school is quite mysterious and questionable.

Lim’s Citizenship Questioned, IBP seeks Disqualification

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) asked the Commission on Elections to disqualify former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim from running as president in next month’s elections, claiming that hbe is not a natural-born Filipino citizen. The IBP argued that Lim is not a natural-born citizen and, therefore, not qualified to run as president as mandated by the Constitution. The lawyers’ group, an accredited citizens’ arm of the poll body, claimed that Lim’s birth certificate "cast grave and serious doubts" on his citizenship and needed immediate evaluation by the Comelec.

In its eleven-page petition signed by Manila chapter president Rogelio Linzag , the IBP stressed that there was an urgent need to resolve the issue against Lim, adding his birth certificate filed with the National Archives "explicitly states that at the time of his birth on Dec. 21, 1929, his father Alfredo Lim and mother Rosario Lim were not Filipinos but a "Chinese mestizo," and a "Chinese mestiza," respectively. (TPS)

On a separate news however, Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ a constitunal lawyer and member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission argued that the "Chinese mestizo" on Lim’s parents pertains to a race and not a citizenship.

Estrada Slams Anew Admin’s Black Propaganda

Vice President Joseph Estrada dismissed as "old hat" and a paid political advertisement claims that he ordered the 1992 abduction and murder of two relatives of kidnap gang leader Alfredo de Leon. Estrada challenged the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) to file a case against him in court instead of pulling what he described as another media stunt. (TPS)

 

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