PALACE CALLS JUNE 12 RALLY 'SHOWCASE OF DEMOCRACY'

Malacañang believes that the upcoming Million People March to be held on June 12, Independence Day, shows that democracy in the country is actively practiced. Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma on Sunday stressed that the government respects the right of the people to voice out their concerns. He also vowed that the government will ensure the safety of everyone joining the rally. "Ang Philippine National Police po ay mangangasiwa sa pagpapanatili ng kaligtasan, katahimikan at kaayusan para na rin po sa kapakinabangan ng ating mga mamamayan sa pagdaraos ng mga mass action sa darating na Araw ng Kalayaan. At sila po ay tatalima sa mga patakaran ng restraint at tolerance at 'yung pangangalaga na rin sa kaligtasan ng mga raliyista," he said. Coloma added that the government is open to the suggestions and comments of the citizens on how to improve governance in the country. READ MORE...

(ALSO) Palace: Police will exercise ‘restraint and tolerance’ at June 12 rallies

Police will exercise "restraint and tolerance" in the face of several rallies planned on Independence Day to protest corruption and the perceived slow progress on the pork barrel scam, a Palace spokesman said Sunday. In a press briefing over state-run dzRB, Palace spokesman Herminio Coloma Jr. said police will be deployed on June 12 to ensure safety and order at the rallies. "At sila po ay tatalima sa mga patakaran ng restraint at tolerance at ‘yung pangangalaga na rin sa kaligtasan ng mga raliyista," he said. Coloma added the government respects the groups' rights to gather and air their views. "Mainam din po na nagkakaroon ng malayang talakayan hinggil sa mga usapin o isyu na kinakaharap ng sambayanan," Coloma said, adding the government is willing to listen to the protest groups. At least two massive rallies have been planned in Metro Manila on June 12. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Group eyes massive June 12 rally vs pork barrel

Civil society groups, church people and militant groups are joining forces on June 12, Independence Day, in a street protest against the pork barrel system. In a press conference, the Scrap Pork Network urged the public to join the protest and voice out their anger about the theft of public funds. One banner set up during the press conference read: "No to Aquino Cover-up, Lahat na Sangkot Dapat Managot." The group said the Aquino administration must prosecute the people behind the pork barrel scam and investigate those being linked to the scam, including allies of President Aquino. Satirist Mae Paner, more commonly known as Juana Change, expressed her disappointment at the manner the Aquino administration is handling the issue of the pork barrel scam. Paner said she is frustrated with the slow disposition of justice. "Di naman kami bobo, di naman kami tanga," she said. Dante Jimenez of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption did not mince words in expressing his disgust with the pork barrel scam. "Paramdam natin sa hayop na yan na hindi na gusto ng taong-bayan ang nangyayari," he said.READ MORE...

ALSO: Cayetano warns Binay will save senators indicted for pork scam if he becomes president 2016

Can and will Vice President Jejomar Binay save opposition senators indicted over the alleged pork barrel scam if he becomes president in 2016? Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano warned of this possibility on Sunday, pointing to the Vice President’s purported silence over the alleged involvement, particularly of Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, in the multi-billion-peso racket. Cayetano, said to be positioning himself as well in the 2016 presidential race, criticized Binay for still considering Estrada as a possible running mate even if the senator had been implicated in the corruption case. “Let’s not be naive.. a president who wants to interfere from 2016 to 2022 and after that, can interfere. Of course, that’s an impeachable offense, if you can catch him,” Cayetano said in a radio interview over DZBB. Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon Revilla Jr. and Estrada were charged with plunder before the Sandiganbayan last week for allegedly amassing millions in kickbacks from their Priority Development Assistance Fund allocations. Enrile and Estrada belong to Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance, the Vice President’s main political vehicle in the presidential election two years from now. Estrada, Revilla, and Enrile, along with Janet Lim-Napoles and five other accused, could be arrested this week once that case is raffled off and warrants are issued by the anti-graft court. Cayetano questioned why Binay had not been supposedly demanding accountability from Estrada, in particular, even in the face of what he called “overwhelming” evidence. “Supposedly if you’re a candidate for 2016, you would say that you would send even your own ally to jail. But it’s not happening in our country,” he said.
“[Binay is] even saying that he would make [Estrada] his vice president,” he added.READ MORE...

ALSO: Revilla moving heaven and earth to stop arrest

Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr., like everyone else, does not relish the prospect of spending a moment behind bars, even if he’s probably played movie characters who ended up in the slammer. His lawyers are exhausting all legal means to stop his arrest, detention and prosecution for plunder in connection with the P10-billion pork barrel scam whereas two of his co-accused—Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile— appeared resigned to the inevitability of arrest. On Saturday, Revilla’s lawyers filed two motions in the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court— one for judicial determination of probable cause and the other for the deferment or suspension of proceedings. In essence, the second motion sought to stop the Sandiganbayan from proceeding with the plunder trial, arguing that a civil case he filed against scam whistleblowers in Bacoor, Cavite, should have precedence over the criminal case. And if these motions are thrown out, lawyer Joel Bodegon said, they would bring the case to the Supreme Court by filing a petition for certiorari. “If you are in his shoes, you will not also want to be jailed,’’ the senator’s counsel said by phone. Only when all the legal remedies have been exhausted will Revilla accept the reality of detention, Bodegon said. Revilla’s main motivation for filing all these pleadings, however, is not to avoid jail but to seek justice, Bodegon added. All three senators, now facing arrest on plunder charges filed against them by the Ombudsman last Friday in connection with the scam, have consistently denied any wrongdoing.READ MORE...


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Palace calls June 12 rally 'showcase of democracy'


MANILA, JUNE 9, 2014 (ABS-CBN) Malacañang believes that the upcoming Million People March to be held on June 12, Independence Day, shows that democracy in the country is actively practiced.

Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma on Sunday stressed that the government respects the right of the people to voice out their concerns.

He also vowed that the government will ensure the safety of everyone joining the rally.

"Ang Philippine National Police po ay mangangasiwa sa pagpapanatili ng kaligtasan, katahimikan at kaayusan para na rin po sa kapakinabangan ng ating mga mamamayan sa pagdaraos ng mga mass action sa darating na Araw ng Kalayaan. At sila po ay tatalima sa mga patakaran ng restraint at tolerance at 'yung pangangalaga na rin sa kaligtasan ng mga raliyista," he said.

Coloma added that the government is open to the suggestions and comments of the citizens on how to improve governance in the country.

"Iginagalang po natin ang karapatan ng ating mga mamamayan na magtipon-tipon at ipahayag ang kanilang mga saloobin. Ito po ay tanda o senyales ng isang masiglang demokrasya," he said.

"Mainam na nailalahad ng mga mamamayan ang kanilang mga saloobin. Mainam din po na nagkakaroon ng malayang talakayan hinggil sa mga usapin o isyu na kinakaharap ng sambayanan at handa naman pong makinig ang pamahalaan sa mga suhestiyon, sa mga panukala kung paano pa po natin mapapasigla ang ating demokrasya na bibigyan ng kahulugan 'yung kalayaan na tinatamasa natin ngayon na nakamit natin noon pang 1898 o 116 na taon na ang nakalilipas," he added.

He also invited all Filipinos to actively participate in the commemoration of the country's 116th Independence Day.

"Batid po natin na masigasig ang ating Pangulo na magsagawa ng mga mahahalagang reporma sa pamahalaan. Kaya po tayo nagtataguyod ng prinsipyo ng matuwid na daan ay para itaguyod 'yung pagbabago na magiging malawak at malalim at 'yung pagpapalakas ng mga institusyong publiko natin. 'Yung pagkakaroon ng integridad sa mga institusyon ng pamahalaan at 'yung mabuting pamamahala at tapat ang paglilingkod ng mga lingkod-bayan sa mga mamamayan. 'Yan po sana ang maging pokus ng ating darating na selebrasyon," he said.


FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

Palace: Police will exercise ‘restraint and tolerance’ at June 12 rallies June 8, 2014 4:45pm

Police will exercise "restraint and tolerance" in the face of several rallies planned on Independence Day to protest corruption and the perceived slow progress on the pork barrel scam, a Palace spokesman said Sunday.

In a press briefing over state-run dzRB, Palace spokesman Herminio Coloma Jr. said police will be deployed on June 12 to ensure safety and order at the rallies.

"At sila po ay tatalima sa mga patakaran ng restraint at tolerance at ‘yung pangangalaga na rin sa kaligtasan ng mga raliyista," he said.

Coloma added the government respects the groups' rights to gather and air their views.

"Mainam din po na nagkakaroon ng malayang talakayan hinggil sa mga usapin o isyu na kinakaharap ng sambayanan," Coloma said, adding the government is willing to listen to the protest groups.

At least two massive rallies have been planned in Metro Manila on June 12.

'Delays and theatrics'

The 6.12.14 Protest Coalition, which claims the membership of 38 non-government organizations, will meet at the Andres Bonifacio monument beside Manila City Hall to protest "painfully slow progress in the investigation and prosecution" of suspects in the pork barrel scam.

In its unity statement, the coalition said "the delays and theatrics, whether by the current crop of suspects or the incumbent administration, make a mockery of the basic tenets of Philippine democracy."

It said the Aquino administration should also look into allegations that political allies and members of the Cabinet participated in the diversion of Priority Development Assistance Fund allocations.

"If you refuse to even start an investigation, then you are coddling the corrupt. We address this to you, President Aquino: Start acting like the President of the nation, not just of your friends," the group said.

Bayan to march to Mendiola

Meanwhile, groups under the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan will meet at the Liwasang Bonifacio, also in the City of Manila, before marching to Mendiola Bridge near Malacañan Palace.

In a statement, Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. also said the investigation into the scam should include even those close to the president.

“As things stand, only a select few have been investigated and prosecuted. Aquino himself has been leading the cover-up of the pork scam by insulating his allies and cabinet members like [Budget Secretary Florencio] Abad and [Agriculture Secretary Proceso] Alcala," he said.

Both Cabinet secretaries have denied involvement in the pork barrel scam. — JDS, GMA News

FROM ABS-CBN

Group eyes massive June 12 rally vs pork barrel By Jorge Carino, ABS-CBN News Posted at 06/03/2014 12:40 PM | Updated as of 06/03/2014 12:43 PM

MANILA - Civil society groups, church people and militant groups are joining forces on June 12, Independence Day, in a street protest against the pork barrel system.

In a press conference, the Scrap Pork Network urged the public to join the protest and voice out their anger about the theft of public funds.

One banner set up during the press conference read: "No to Aquino Cover-up, Lahat na Sangkot Dapat Managot."

The group said the Aquino administration must prosecute the people behind the pork barrel scam and investigate those being linked to the scam, including allies of President Aquino.

Satirist Mae Paner, more commonly known as Juana Change, expressed her disappointment at the manner the Aquino administration is handling the issue of the pork barrel scam.

Paner said she is frustrated with the slow disposition of justice.

"Di naman kami bobo, di naman kami tanga," she said.

Dante Jimenez of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption did not mince words in expressing his disgust with the pork barrel scam. "Paramdam natin sa hayop na yan na hindi na gusto ng taong-bayan ang nangyayari," he said.

Vic Pengson, the network's lead convenor, said he cannot blame Aquino for the turnout of the pork barrel scam investigation. "Di po natin sisisihin si PNoy dahil wala namang laman ang ulo nito. There is nothing between his ears," he said.

Monet Silvestre of the Abolish Pork Coalition, however, does not agree that the President is entirely clueless in the scam.

"Kung meron man pong pwedeng state witness, si PNoy lang yun. At hindi po sya kasing tanga tulad ng iniiisip natin," said Silvestre.

He claimed he was able to talk with people who have videos related the scam. He said the videos would "raise people's blood pressure."

FROM THE INQUIRER

Cayetano warns Binay will save senators indicted for pork scam By Christian V. Esguerra Philippine Daily Inquirer 9:07 pm | Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Binay says he respects courts, due process


Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano. INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Can and will Vice President Jejomar Binay save opposition senators indicted over the alleged pork barrel scam if he becomes president in 2016?

Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano warned of this possibility on Sunday, pointing to the Vice President’s purported silence over the alleged involvement, particularly of Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, in the multi-billion-peso racket.

Cayetano, said to be positioning himself as well in the 2016 presidential race, criticized Binay for still considering Estrada as a possible running mate even if the senator had been implicated in the corruption case.

“Let’s not be naive.. a president who wants to interfere from 2016 to 2022 and after that, can interfere. Of course, that’s an impeachable offense, if you can catch him,” Cayetano said in a radio interview over DZBB.

Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon Revilla Jr. and Estrada were charged with plunder before the Sandiganbayan last week for allegedly amassing millions in kickbacks from their Priority Development Assistance Fund allocations.

Enrile and Estrada belong to Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance, the Vice President’s main political vehicle in the presidential election two years from now.

Estrada, Revilla, and Enrile, along with Janet Lim-Napoles and five other accused, could be arrested this week once that case is raffled off and warrants are issued by the anti-graft court.

Cayetano questioned why Binay had not been supposedly demanding accountability from Estrada, in particular, even in the face of what he called “overwhelming” evidence.

“Supposedly if you’re a candidate for 2016, you would say that you would send even your own ally to jail. But it’s not happening in our country,” he said.

“[Binay is] even saying that he would make [Estrada] his vice president,” he added.

“I’m not judging Vice President Binay for anything else but for his own actuations.”

Cayetano said the public should not “play blind” to the possibility that the choice of the next president would “have an effect on the case of the three [senators].”

Cayetano said the arrest of his three colleagues “would even serve as a good example [and] send a strong message to Congress, to the Senate, to the Cabinet that if you do something bad, you will go to jail.”

If Estrada is picked as Binay’s runningmate and goes on to win the vice presidency, Cayetano said the plunder case against him could still proceed. But if Estrada was convicted, the sentence could not be carried out during his incumbency unless he was removed via impeachment, he said.

“But more than the legal aspect, the biggest question is the influence that a vice president could exert over the case,” the senator told the Inquirer by phone.

“It would send the message to prosecutors, to the justices of the Sandiganbayan that you shouldn’t touch [him], especially if it happens that the sitting President is [his] ally.”

Given the supposed Binay factor, Cayetano joined calls for the creation for a special Sandiganbayan division to hear solely the pork barrel case. He said the Supreme Court should also allow live media coverage of the trial.

“It’s not true that the case cannot be finished within the next 500 to 600 days. There are still [around] 700 days before the [2016] election,” he said over DZBB.

Cayetano warned that the next president would be in a position to influence the pork barrel case, given his or her power to appoint people in the judiciary and the prosecution service.

“They fear that the President [Aquino] would use his power to influnece the case, but it’s the other way around. The next administration is that one that could use its powers to either acquit or send people to jail,” he said.

Joey Salgado, spokesman of the Binay, reiterated the Vice President’s respect for the rule of law and the independence of the courts.

“Should he be elected President by the people in 2016, he will respect the independence of the courts and will not interfere in its proceedings, nor will he extend pardon if the courts decide that the evidence is strong enough to warrant a conviction.

This applies even to the other personalities who have been named in the affidavits of Janet Lim-Napoles, Benhur Luy and the other whistleblowers. For example, should Sen. Cayetano or other legislators find themselves in a similar situation, they can rest assured that a President Binay will respect the independence of the courts.”

Revilla moving heaven and earth to stop arrest By TJ Burgonio Philippine Daily Inquirer 6:26 pm | Saturday, June 7th, 2014


Facade of Sandiganbayan, Senator Ramon Revilla, Jr. (inset). INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTOS

MANILA, Philippines—Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr., like everyone else, does not relish the prospect of spending a moment behind bars, even if he’s probably played movie characters who ended up in the slammer.

His lawyers are exhausting all legal means to stop his arrest, detention and prosecution for plunder in connection with the P10-billion pork barrel scam whereas two of his co-accused—Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile— appeared resigned to the inevitability of arrest.

On Saturday, Revilla’s lawyers filed two motions in the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court— one for judicial determination of probable cause and the other for the deferment or suspension of proceedings.

In essence, the second motion sought to stop the Sandiganbayan from proceeding with the plunder trial, arguing that a civil case he filed against scam whistleblowers in Bacoor, Cavite, should have precedence over the criminal case.

And if these motions are thrown out, lawyer Joel Bodegon said, they would bring the case to the Supreme Court by filing a petition for certiorari.

“If you are in his shoes, you will not also want to be jailed,’’ the senator’s counsel said by phone.

Only when all the legal remedies have been exhausted will Revilla accept the reality of detention, Bodegon said.

Revilla’s main motivation for filing all these pleadings, however, is not to avoid jail but to seek justice, Bodegon added.

All three senators, now facing arrest on plunder charges filed against them by the Ombudsman last Friday in connection with the scam, have consistently denied any wrongdoing.

In September 2013, Revilla filed a case in a court in Bacoor, asking that it nullify the documents presented by the whistleblowers as basis to file plunder and malversation complaints against him and 38 others in the Office of the Ombudsman.

Estrada, speaking over radio, said his colleague and fellow actor, Revilla, has perhaps spent time in jail at least in the movies he’s starred in.

“He’s OK,’’ he said of Revilla. “We can’t do anything about it (being jailed) if that’s the wish of the administration.’’

Before his foray into politics, Revilla made a name as an action star, topbilling movies about legendary heroes like “Ang Panday,’’ among others.

Estrada said he would not evade arrest but would even volunteer to surrender to the Sandiganbayan, or the Philippine National Police once the warrant for his arrest is out. In the past, Estrada was detained for two years on plunder charges that were later dismissed.

“We’re ready to face the case in the Sandiganbayan,’’ he said over dzMM. If at all, he said, he was saddened only by the prospect of spending time in jail away from his wife and children.

Estrada said the 90-year-old Enrile should be spared detention. “Let us be the ones jailed, spare Manong Johnny,’’ he said.

Enrile, in an interview at the session hall on May 21, said he was ready to be arrested even inside the Senate session hall.

“That’s possible,’’ Enrile said about the prospect of the warrant being served at the session hall. “It’s all right. They can serve it anywhere.’’

Enrile said it was even “better’’ for the arresting officers to arrest him in the Senate.

“I was served a warrant here inside the session hall in 1990,’’ he said of his arrest for the crime of rebellion complex with murder.

The senator recalled that Alfredo Lim, then director of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), served the warrant on him. He even delivered a privilege speech before he was taken to the NBI headquarters in Manila.

Years later, when he was charged with a non-bailable offense in connection with the May 1, 2001 siege of Malacañang, Enrile said he agreed to be arrested at home. “They went to my house. They asked permission to go to my house,’’ he said.

Both cases were eventually dismissed.

Senate President Franklin Drilon said he would request the Sandiganbayan not to serve the warrant on the senators inside the Senate building out of courtesy for the Senate as an institution.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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