President Benigno Aquino III agrees to a grilling by the Foreign Correspondents Association

"On Wednesday, the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines will be hosting the President of the Republic of the Philippines, His Excellency Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III," FOCAP president Manuel Mogato reminded us members today.

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Comparing VP Binay’s accomplishments in Makati to Jesse Robredo’s record in Naga City

Just my opinion by Raïssa Robles - Vice-President Jejomar Binay promises that if he becomes president, he will do for the whole country what he did for Makati. This promise has tantalized many poor Filipinos. But what exactly does that mean? In June 2010, I examined in my previous blog site Binay's achievements in Makati because he was pressing President Benigno Aquino Jr. to appoint him Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) instead of then Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo. This is an update of that post. I've added paragraphs based on my interview with Binay weeks after the piece came out. [NOTE: My blog - with the same name but with a different design - where the original piece was posted crashed because of a malicious virus. ] To understand Binay's brand of governance, I compared and contrasted it to that of another politician - the late mayor of Naga City Jesse Robredo.

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How was VP Binay able to buy three properties even as a young and poor law student?


Just my opinion by Raïssa Robles - Jejomar Binay credits his good fortune to what my satirist hubby Alan refers to as the Vice-President’s “days of swine and roses.” And Alan is right. Binay’s lawyer Princess Turgano recently explained that it was the Binay family’s piggery and flower businesses that enabled the couple to earn an additional net income of P44.35 million from 1994 to 2010. But what I want to know is: How was VP Binay – orphaned as a boy – able to buy two properties at the age of 22 and a third property at the age of 23 -- while still studying law at the University of the Philippines College of Law?

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Binay told me in 2010 he had bought – not leased – the land for his piggery

Listen to my taped interview with VP Binay about his properties, his guns, his being perceived a warlord, his plunder cases and about coffins - Exclusive by Raïssa Robles - Reacting to allegations raised in the Senate hearings, Vice-President Jejomar Binay says he has never owned any of the land he used for his pig farm. This is the exact opposite of what he told me on June 29. 2010 in a one-on-one interview with him for South China Morning Post, the Hong Kong newspaper I write for.

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Why bloggers, reporters need to be cautious when publishing blind items

My reply to Prof. Oscar Franklin Tan's question on libel by Raïssa Robles - Be very cautious when publishing blind items about individuals, I recently told journalism students in Cebu. Because "if you later write a piece that gives the identity of that person away you can be sued. Because under Philippine law, one can be sued for libel based on your body of works and not just on one piece," I said. I did not expect a prominent graduate of Harvard Law school to comment on this particular phrase

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Thank you readers, for sharing my Ph Daily Inquirer piece on the Marcoses 11,500 times

Just my opinion By Raïssa Robles I had not expected this. I thought few would be interested in reading about the Marcoses at a time when the Binays are the hot topic. To all those who shared and read my piece, I would like to thank them all. One thing the Internet has done for writers is to give us almost instant reader feedback. Until I started this blog, I had been used to writing in isolation. But as I said, I wasn't expecting that many people to read it. I thought it would be treated as just a period piece to mark a dark anniversary.

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Thank you, Letty Magsanoc for asking me to write on the Marcoses for the Inquirer

Si Marahas at Mapurot

Out of the blue, Fe Zamora texted me last Sunday. Philippine Daily Inquirer editor-in-chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc wanted me to write a piece on the Marcoses. Could I make the tight deadline? Sure, I said. Because it was a chance to share with the non-digital audience my research and interviews on the Marcos era. The result was a 2,487-word piece that appeared today in the newspaper edition and on the Inquirer website.

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Binay suffers 24.39% drop in two months; Roxas rating doubles

Analysis by Raissa Robles - Vice President Jejomar Binay has something to seriously worry about. In a matter of two months - and with elections still 19 months away - his ratings in the Pulse Asia survey on "Presidential Preference" have dropped by 24.39% - or by 10 percentage points from 41% last June to 31% this month of September. While that of Interior and Local Governments Secretary Mar Roxas, his perceived rival, doubled in the same period - from 7% to 13%. Only 18 percentage points separate Binay and Roxas in the Pulse Asia surveys.

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News commentaries, libel suits and Cebu


By Raïssa Robles - This is the draft of the lecture I delivered during last week's "Reaching Out to Future Journalists forum" held by Sunstar publication at San Carlos University in Cebu City. I have a confession to make. I have turned down many invitations to speak before many forums because I believe a journalist is best read than heard. However, this was one invite I felt I had to accept because of the audience and the topic. I was not disappointed. In that packed hall, I believe, will come some of our future journalists who will make a difference. They came and they listened, even though I'm not a celebrity, but just a blogger and a journo in the trenches :)

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