He also stressed the need for the Senate joint committee investigating the National Broadband Network (NBN) controversy to invite an independent, private-sector based expert so that an “independent assessment” of the project can be made and sought the Senate’s attention and action over the “subjective and capricious” participation of the executive branch in the Senate’s inquiry on the the national government’s deal with ZTE Corp. for a National Broadband Network (NBN).
Here's a video during the Senate's ZTE probe dated September 26, 2007, courtesy of Youtube.Com that was uploaded by arnold0407 arranged in 3 parts.
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"I feel so sorry for the victims and their families as well as those injured in the bombing incident. My heart goes out to all of them. These innocent people were just out to enjoy some free time in the mall. Nothing can ever justify their unexpected deaths. If indeed C4 was used, then this underscores the need for public vigilance and stricter security measures within legal boundaries. I call on quick action to ferret out the suspects, effect their arrest, and neutralize a larger conspiracy, if warranted. This is a major setback for our economy and will greatly affect our image as a progressive and stable country. But our people's spirit is strong and we shall undoubtedly overcome this tragedy as a nation."
Mar said that they were playing for the Golden Acres in honor of his maternal grandmother Doña Ester Araneta, who died at the age of 94 just this year. They decided to choose briefcase number 15.
In the 1st round, it was a good one because they were able to eliminate small amounts of money and were offered with P51, 000 by the banker. But during the 2nd round, Mar chose briefcase number 16 which unfortunately turned out to be the case of the P 2 million prize. Mar and Korina both expressed hope that they would still be able to open low amounts and even had there sweet moments in order to ease the tensions. Banker’s offer though was not at all-time low as what Mar predicted that it would have been about P30, 000. Kris said that the banker was a Korina fan! Whew! The offer was P50, 000 and still they did not deal.
During the 3rd round, it was good at first until it was Korina’s turn. She chose briefcase number 13 which was held by Charmelle. Mar and Korina know Charmelle’s record in KDOND but forgot to see her until the briefcase was opened. Charmelle is the feared and well-known briefcase girl for holding briefcases with high amounts of money. It was the P 3 million case! Kris made a statement that really made me hear 2010 in my ears. She lamented that even our “future president” wasn’t able to overcome Charmelle. I’m optimistic that Kris would endorse Mar Roxas for President if he decides to run in 2010 given that statement. Back to the game, the banker made an offer of P 2, 139. Though small, Kris relayed to Mar what the banked said that it was a significant digit. It was the Senate bill number of Mar’s cheaper medicines bill.
By the succeeding rounds, they were able to do great having a banker’s offer of P 112, 000, P 175, 000 and P 175, 100 during the 4th, 5th and 6th rounds respectively. But during the 7th round, they decided to open briefcase number 20 which contained the P 1 million prize thus, the banker’s offer went down to P 37, 000. Mar and Korina still decided not to deal with the banker’s offer. In the 8th round, they were lucky to open a small amount. Banker’s offer then was P 75, 000. The last remaining big amount was only P 250, 000. Mar then said that he and Korina promised to give P 75, 000 to the Golden Acres no matter what happens in the game. Still, they decided to continue with the game and unfortunately, they opened briefcase number 9 which contained the last remaining big amount. So, the banker’s offer was down to P 100.
At the end of the game, they realized that the briefcase they chose, which was number 15, contained only P 10. But they had no regrets. They even expressed that the game was really fun. Kris said that it was OK, because ‘if you are not lucky in this game, you are lucky in love’. She even told them to invite her in the wedding. What a game!
Many have also asked me if the rumors are true that Sen. Roxas and Korina Sanchez will be playing in Kapamilya Deal or No Deal. What I can say is YES, they will be playing in KDND. I confirmed it from no less than his chief-of-staff Susan Ople. Though, the schedule of their appearance was not yet given to me. I'll keep you posted.
"Something is very wrong in our institutions if graft and corruption is taken as the norm in transactions using people's money," the senator said.
The senator was in Bacolod late yesterday to speak before the first national Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippines encampment at the Panaad Sports Stadium.
He rallied the youth not to give up on the country and to get involved in the issues affecting the nation.
Roxas also stressed the need for the youth to take their studies seriously in order for them to pursue the best opportunities for the future.
In an interview, the senator hit the National Economic Development Authority for invoking "executive privilege" in refusing to submit documents on the controversial $329-million National Broadband Network project to the Senate. He told the DAILY STAR if the NEDA insists on invoking "executive privilege" the Senate will bring the matter to court.
This calls into question what ought to be public domain, Roxas said.
“We in the Senate remain open to the ideas of the House, and we will enter bicameral talks with the end-goal of making the best bill for our people,” said Senator Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.
Roxas conceded that the sponsors of a similar bill in the House correctly anticipated that big drug companies could manipulate and prevent drugstores from selling imported cheaper medicines.
He said the use of price controls could come in if market competition from cheaper medicines from abroad and generic drugs do not work and make medicines affordable to the public.
“I’m very attracted to that idea (of a must carry provision) because these medicines may come in but if they’re stacked in a warehouse, there won’t be any change in prices,” he said.Read more...
“There is a disconnect between the headline statistics: high peso rates, high GDP (gross domestic product), low interest rates; and people’s everyday experience of hunger and ‘sachet’ consumer pattern. There’s a disconnect between the economics on Ayala Avenue and the real economy,” he said.Roxas was reacting to the report of the National Nutrition Council (NNC) that there was a 50-percent increase in those who experienced hunger from the second quarter of the year (14.7 percent) to the third quarter (21.5 percent).
"In trade negotiations, no deal is always better than a bad deal. The challenge remains for our trade negotiators to show us—in specific, concrete terms—how this agreement will redound to the benefit of our people," said Roxas.Roxas said that even with four hearings already conducted by the Senate "the government’s presentation to the Senate is inconclusive. The ‘gives & takes’ remain unclear."
The Senate Trade and Commerce committee chairman said that the so-called benefits asserted by the executive branch have been countered by groups opposed to ratification of JPEPA.
"For example, the government asserts that JPEPA will lead to the hiring of Filipino nurses, yet the oppositors have singled-out specific chapter and verse in the agreement which says our nurses will be on OJT ("on the job training") status."Roxas maintained that he still keeps an open mind on JPEPA due to his recognition of the strong bilateral relationship between the Philippines and Japan.
"The government says that our health workers will be accorded ‘national treatment,’ or granted the same rights and privileges as Japanese nationals. However, no one could answer whether Filipino nurses will receive exactly the same benefits—monetary or otherwise—or protection as Japanese nurses," said Roxas.
Here's my creation in Gizmoz.Com and tadaah! It's Sen. Mar Roxas speaking! Watch it now! Please share your thoughts to me. I would like to know about what you think of my video clip.
"President Arroyo acted wisely in cancelling the ZTE contract. This will save the nation from further international embarrassment and domestic turmoil. This project should never have been started nor approved in the 1st place.
The procurement law has to be improved by ensuring all govt. projects have to go thru bidding and/or check n balance processes. The Senate trade committee w/c I chair shall continue to pursue this issue in aid of legislation. We need to tighten the approval process for foreign-aided and funded projects to protect the people's money and prevent this politico-diplomatic fiasco from ever happening again.
Cancellation is the appropriate action given that:
(i) the NBN is not our priority right now;
(ii) what was approved was contrary to the govt's policy of no loans, no govt. gtees, private sector driven n user pay;
(iii) full transparency in all govt. procurement, and;
(iv) that this has been surrounded by bribery charges n controversy."
Senator Mar Roxas has lauded his Senate colleagues for their overwhelming support of his cheaper medicines bill after the said bill was approved on its second reading.
“I thank my colleagues in the Senate for their overwhelming support for the Quality Affordable Medicines bill. We look forward to the House version and continue to keep an open mind so we can come up with the best law for the people,” he said.Although President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo already certified Sen. Roxas' cheaper medicines bill, he is now urging anew to certify Senate Bill No. 1658 as an 'urgent bill' which is a consolidation of all the cheaper medicines-related bills.
“The Administration certified it as urgent in the last Congress, and it has committed to do the same now. Ultimately, it will depend on the administration’s political will that would decide the fate of these measures,” he added.Finally, we are now one step closer in bringing these medicine prices down through the help of Senator Roxas and the people who support this bill.
Here's the official statement on Sen. Mar Roxas on COMELEC Chairman Benjamin Abalos' resignation:
“With the resignation of Chairman Abalos, a chapter has just been closed but not the whole book. Justice must be pursued to its logical end in the ZTE affair.
I call on President Arroyo to appoint an immediate replacement who can restore the people’s faith in Philippine democracy.
It is imperative that the President appoint a qualified and credible replacement immediately to oversee the upcoming elections and undertake long-delayed electoral reforms. This is a make-or-break opportunity for the national leadership to restore lost credibility in our elections."
"... Sen. Mar Roxas was also cited, for his obvious facility with numbers and concepts.
I must confess, though, to a certain tentativeness about Roxas’ performance. Yes, he certainly seems to have done his homework. Of all the senators present (the blue ribbon committee alone has 17 members), he alone seems to have the consistent benefit of that old Ramos mantra, “complete staff work.” (How complete? Here’s an alternative gauge: Just about an hour after he tangled with Assistant Secretary Lorenzo Formoso on the government’s estimate of the savings it would generate from the ZTE deal, his news release, complete with his quotes, was already in my email inbox -- and in dozens of other journalists’ inboxes too. The time stamp was 6:59 p.m.)
With his investment banking background, Roxas also knows enough to debate, not only economic policy, but the theoretical framework or philosophical assumption informing a given policy. Witness the altercation with Neri on whether financials should be included in the project evaluation. When was the last time a senator brought Modigliani (the economist Franco, Google tells us, not the artist Amedeo) into a legislative discussion?"
In his column today in Philippine Daily Inquirer entitled ‘Tinimbang ka pa rin’ , Conrado de Quiros said:
"I’ll give the best performance award in the Senate hearing last week to Mar Roxas. He didn’t just ask the right questions, he showed the right reaction to perfidy.Senator Mar Roxas really deserves that best performance award. He has been performing his duties since 2004 without much media blitz. That's why others are asking, "where was Mar Roxas circa 2004-2007?" Now, he has to show his guts and prove to the people that he's the right man for the right job at the right time.
...Roxas could only expostulate while groping for words that he was shocked by Neri’s blithe attitude toward wrongdoing. I share his sentiments completely. There and then, you see the vicious stupidities that have taken hold of this country..."
To read more about Mr. de Quiros' column, click here.
Senator Roxas also hinted that the upcoming barangay and SK polls might be postponed. He said that the Senate committee tasked to review the said proposal will be submitting their recommendations this Wednesday.
"It seems that the recommendation is in favor of the postponement of the barangay elections", Senator Roxas said.So, you want to invite Sen. Roxas in your place, demand here! The more demands, the more chance that Sen. Roxas would come to your place!