EVEN WITH CANCER, MIRIAM STILL CONSIDERS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT

JULY 2 --Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Wednesday said she would announce her presidential bid when she gets well next month. Santiago disclosed at a press conference that she has been diagnosed
with lung cancer as of last week. “’Pag galing ko (When I get healed) next month…I’m going to announce my presidential candidacy,” she said. Asked if she was serious with her presidential bid, the senator made no categorical answer and instead pointed out the “mess” brought about by the Disbursement of Acceleration Program controversy. She also pointed out to her million supporters on Twitter and other social media networks. “It depends really. Maybe God will send me another disease,” Santiago joked. Pressed if she would run in 2016, the senator gave a hearty laugh then said: “Well, if there’s nothing else to do.” THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

(ALSO) Miriam: I have Stage 4 lung cancer

JULY 2 --Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago announced on Wednesday that she has been diagnosed with lung cancer. "Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce myself to you as the only senator who has been diagnosed with lung cancer as of last week," Santiago said in a televised press conference. The 69-year-old senator said she has cancer of the left lung which makes it hard for her to breathe. "For the past two or more years, I have had difficulty. I've always been short of breath particularly when I deliver privilege speeches or even commencement speeches," she said. Santiago said her cancer is now in stage 4 but it is not spreading. Like her chronic fatigue syndrome, Santiago said her doctors have no clue on what could have caused her cancer since she does not smoke. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Bongbong, Miriam seen as other presidential bets

JUNE 27 --AFTER Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV set their sights on the presidency in 2016, other potential presidential candidates emerged in Senators Miriam-Santiago and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. The announcement of Santiago, who said in March it was time to elect the country’s third female president, spurred speculations that she’ll announce her candidacy in 2016, but Malacañang shrugged off the speculations and said it had no reason to have any ill will against the outspoken senator. But Santiago announced earlier this month that while she was elected judge of the International Criminal Court in December 2011, she had to step down because of her health. Santiago has been diagnosed as having chronic fatigue syndrome. Marcos, on the other hand, said he is keeping his options open on running for president, but much remains to be done for the remainder of his term as senator and there’s no time nor space in his work to be discussing or planning for 2016. “Of course, when 2016 comes, I will be a candidate,” Marcos told reporters in the regular “Kapihan sa Senado,” but when asked if he would run for higher office, he said: “It’s not yet time to talk about it. It’s still too early since there are still many things to do.”  Marcos, a member of the Nacionalista Party, said he does not believe there is a right or correct time to decide to run for president. “For example, in August 2009, Senator (Noynoy) Aquino was not even a candidate. In May 2010, he was the President. It was so fast. So you can’t decide on the basis of what’s happening today... Many things might happen so you might be making the wrong decision because things change,” he said. * READ MORE...

(ALSO) Alan Peter Cayetano: “I want to be president of this country” 

JULY 6 --Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano revealed his desire on running for President but not in the 2016 presidential elections. In an interview, Cayetano said that there is no assurance as to when the right time is for him to run as president of the country. “I want to be president of this country. I think I can do something great for God and for our people. But is 2016 my time? 2022? 2028? Or never? I wanted to be mayor of Taguig, but it never happened. At hindi ko alam. Ang asawa ko mas magaling sa akin. I’m being honest with that,” Cayetano said. He also mentioned, “I don’t want to run, I want to win.” The senator admitted that he took the service of political consultant and ex-advertising executive Greg Garcia for his preparations for the elections. “He did the vice president’s ads, he did my ads, he did ads of Ping Lacson.” Cayetano also denied that he wants to be vice president. “I’ve thought about it a lot, prayed about it a lot. I’d rather be senator or mayor than be vice president kasi usually people go to be vice president as stepping stone sa president.” The senator is also weighing his chances to win against Vice President Jejomar Binay. “I don’t look at my opponent. I look at myself. Parati kong sinasabi, kalaban ko sarili ko. Can I work harder, have better ideas, do things better? In certain areas, in 2013 (survey), certain regions in the country, I already beat Vice President Binay but is it a fluke? Why do they like me better there than others? But you don’t know,” Cayetano further said. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT...

TRILLANES FOR VP OR PRESIDENT IN 2016?

For 2016 election, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said he will run for either vice president or president. He divulged his plan during a presscon over the weekend, prior to his speaking engagement as guest speaker at the 39th annual General Membership Assembly (AGMA) of Central Negros Electric cooperative (CENECO) at the West Negros University Gym. However, he said, his decision will depend on the outcome of the convention or assembly of their party, Nacionalista Party, on December 24, wherein Manny Villar is their chairman. He also said, his decision will be based on the outcome of his consultation with the people. There are several qualified candidates for higher position from their party. But they will always depend on the party decision. At the CENECO event, Trillanes said, there is an easy solution to the frequent power failure experienced in the country today. The establishment of its own power plant is one and not just depend on outside sources. Presently, Trillanes has pending bill in the senate regarding the establishment of a power plant using renewable energy like solar power and other means. In San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, there is a solar power plant already supplying electricity to the surrounding community. Trillanes also urged the Negrenses to hasten the processing of licenses and clearances plus other documents, with the petition to construct a power plant signed by 160 petitioners. "This is the easiest and fastest answer to address the increasing population and demand for more electricity," Trillanes further said. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: I see a Marcos running for the presidency—Imelda

JULY 2  --Celebrating her 85th birthday in Laoag City on Wednesday, Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos made a prediction for the 2016 elections. “I see a Marcos running for the presidency. I see a Marcos as President. That is destiny,” she told the media in a television interview. She mentioned the name of her only son, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. Asked by the media if the Senator’s alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam could be a deterrent, Imelda brushed it away, saying it’s all politics. Imelda is the wife of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who was ousted in a popular uprising in 1986 called Edsa Revolution. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Marcos ‘keeping options open’ for 2016 elections

JUNE 27--Senator Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos Jr. said he is keeping his options open in 2016 though he said the “obvious” thing for him to do is to run for re-election. “Hindi pa panahon para pagisipan mga ganyan (It’s not yet the right time to think about those things), there’s two years left in this term, there’s still so much to be done, siguro saka na ‘yan kasi (perhaps we can hold that off because) that’s an individual, personal thing,” Marcos said when asked about his possible presidential bid in the next elections. “There’s a lot that needs to be done for the remainder of the year. So, there’s no time or there’s no space in our working lives to be discussing that or to be planning that or to be campaigning. The time will come, of course when 2016 will come, I will be a candidate. The obvious thing to do is for me to run for re-election,” he said. Asked when he deemed it right to announce his concrete plan, Marcos then cited as example the case of President Benigno Aquino III, who decided to run for president just months before the 2010 elections. “The absolute deadline is when you file your COC (certificate of candidacy). Whether or not there is a proper or correct way to decide, I don’t know if there is such a thing,” Marcos said. “I’ve always been advised to keep my options open so I always try to keep my options open for as long as possible,” he added. * READ MORE...

(ALSO) Dream on: Marcoses out to return home to Malacañang

JUNE 26 --BATAC, Ilocos Norte—Some dreams just never die. Imelda Marcos, the dictator’s widow who now represents Ilocos Norte province in Congress, offered a toast on her 85th birthday on Wednesday as she made plans for a triumphal return to Malacañang. Wearing a flowing red gown and diamond rings, the self-declared “poverty-stricken” Imelda was serenaded by throngs of supporters as she emerged from her private chambers in the family mansion in their northern stronghold of Batac. “My only wish is for God to give me a little more strength to prolong my life,” she told reporters who asked about her birthday wish. She said she had seen “the best, best, best and the worst, worst, worst” in life, but insisted she had no plans to ride into the sunset just yet. In the freewheeling often rambling interview, however, Imelda didn’t discuss her fragile health. She was rushed to the hospital last year for extreme fatigue but later recovered. “I still have a vision and hope to bring more help to the Filipino people,” she said. She insisted that Ferdinand Marcos Jr., her senator-son and namesake of her late husband, was “qualified” to contest the presidency in May 2016 when President Aquino, son of the Marcoses’ top political foe, ends his six-year term. “(Returning to) Malacañang would be a great help” in implementing her projects, she said. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Napoles got DAP funds of 5 senators

JULY 3 --Businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles’ fake nongovernment organizations (NGOs) got about half a billion pesos allocated to five senators from Malacañang’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional on Tuesday, records of whistle-blower Benhur Luy showed. The Luy records indicated that Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Bong Revilla and Tito Sotto received a total of P425 million from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) as DAP funds between March and May 2012. The Inquirer obtained last year Luy’s hard-disk drive containing more than 22,000 files of purported transactions that Napoles had in the course of her alleged siphoning of state funds to ghost projects and kickbacks. The digital files were submitted to the National Bureau of Investigation and later to the Office of the Ombudsman. The senators’ DAP allocations were: Estrada, P100 million, special allocation release order (Saro) No. F-12-00221; Marcos, P100 million, F-12-00222; Revilla, P100 million, F-12-0220; and Sotto, P70 million, F-12-00224. All the Saros were dated March 15, 2012. Enrile, the records showed, received P55 million with Saro numbers dated May 14 and May 18, 2012, in consecutive sequence: G-12-00379, G-12-00380, G-12-00381 and G-12-00382. * READ MORE...

(ALSO) Church dares Aquino: Let go of corrupt allies 

JULY 5 --Catholic bishops challenged the Aquino administration on Friday to “let go” of corrupt officials in its ranks. Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said the investigation into the misuse of state funds should not be selective and should not spare administration allies. “A government that professes to tread the straight path must remain true to that profession and must be willing to let go of the corrupt in its own ranks,” the Lingayen Dagupan archbishop said in a statement. Reiterating Church calls for accountability, Villegas was referring to President Benigno Aquino III’s tuwid na daan (straight path) slogan.
Villegas made the call after the Supreme Court on Tuesday declared unconstitutional the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), striking down the presidential budgetary prerogative. The CBCP head also called on the Commission on Audit (COA) and the Office of the Ombudsman to tell the nation where the DAP funds went. “While, indeed, in many cases, it would be impractical, unhelpful even, to undo every project funded by what the high court has ruled to be unconstitutional means, we must nevertheless know how these monies were used, for where there was an illegal and immoral application of funds, there must be restitution,” Villegas declared. According to him, “there is no reason to direct our ire only at the three senators, or at those presently accused.” * READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino told to stop shielding allies from pork barrel scam probe 

JUNE 12 --The collective rage against the pork barrel scam continues to simmer, and the group behind mass protests against the system would see to it that the President’s allies are not spared efforts to clean up the mess from the explosive revelations. Manila Auxilliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, speaking at an anti-pork barrel rally on Independence Day, said the controversy should not be used as a political issue just meant to pin down members of the opposition. “It’s not just those in the opposition who were involved in the pork barrel issue, but also those who are allies. All those involved should be prosecuted, and not just a few should be brought down because of the issue,” Pabillo told a crowd of about a thousand who had massed up at the Bonifacio Shrine in Manila. President Aquino has spoken up in defense of his allies who have been implicated in the controversy, saying there seems to be a dearth of evidence against them.
Pabillo noted that most of those implicated in the alleged misuse of public funds have professed their innocence.
He challenged them to go on leave if their hands are really clean, just to allow the investigation to proceed without any chance of them exerting influence over it. “They don’t have to resign, they could just go on leave for six months so that a proper investigation could be done,” he said. He joined the condemnation of the pork barrel system, noting that despite so much funds being circulated, so many Filipinos have remained poor. He also noted that President Aquino’s election slogan “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap [if there is no corruption, there would be no poor people]” has not been heard of lately. There are many poor people in the country, so this could either mean his slogan was wrong, that there could be poverty even if there’s no corruption, or it could mean there is corruption, which is why there are so many poor people, according to Pabillo. “If what he is saying is correct, then this is a reminder to him that there is still corruption,” he added. * READ MORE...


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Even with cancer, Santiago still considers running for president


File photo of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. JOSEPH VIDAL/SENATE PRIB

MANILA, JULY 6, 2014 (INQUIRER) By Maila Ager - Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Wednesday said she would announce her presidential bid when she gets well next month.

Santiago disclosed at a press conference that she has been diagnosed with lung cancer as of last week.

“’Pag galing ko (When I get healed) next month…I’m going to announce my presidential candidacy,” she said.

Asked if she was serious with her presidential bid, the senator made no categorical answer and instead pointed out the “mess” brought about by the Disbursement of Acceleration Program controversy.

She also pointed out to her million supporters on Twitter and other social media networks.

“It depends really. Maybe God will send me another disease,” Santiago joked.

Pressed if she would run in 2016, the senator gave a hearty laugh then said: “Well, if there’s nothing else to do.”

FROM PHILSTAR

Miriam: I have Stage 4 lung cancer By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated July 2, 2014 - 11:11am

MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATED) Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago announced on Wednesday that she has been diagnosed with lung cancer.

"Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce myself to you as the only senator who has been diagnosed with lung cancer as of last week," Santiago said in a televised press conference.

The 69-year-old senator said she has cancer of the left lung which makes it hard for her to breathe.

"For the past two or more years, I have had difficulty. I've always been short of breath particularly when I deliver privilege speeches or even commencement speeches," she said.

Santiago said her cancer is now in stage 4 but it is not spreading.

Like her chronic fatigue syndrome, Santiago said her doctors have no clue on what could have caused her cancer since she does not smoke.

* "There's always a chance that I might croak," she said. "Nobody is sure of the results in cancer."

The senator said she is taking tablets that will give the benefits of chemotherapy without the side effects. She hopes to be fully cured of cancer in six weeks.

While it may worry some people, Santiago said she was "very excited" upon learning about her health condition.

"I said 'Yes I got cancer!' Because now I am entering another dimension of human life," she said.

"I am not afraid of cancer. There is nothing I am afraid of," she also said.

Despite her condition, Santiago was still able to poke fun and take swipe at her political foes.

"I don't know what the reactions of my enemies are. Maybe they’ll be happy because on one hand I might die and then they could get rid of me but on the other hand, I might survive and I will get rid of them," Santiago said.

Santiago said she was also told that she can still perform her duties as a senator.

Last month, Santiago resigned from her post as judge of the International Criminal Court due to her chronic fatigue syndrome.

FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

Bongbong, Miriam seen as other presidential bets By Macon Ramos-Araneta | Jun. 27, 2014 at 12:01am

AFTER Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV set their sights on the presidency in 2016, other potential presidential candidates emerged in Senators Miriam-Santiago and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

The announcement of Santiago, who said in March it was time to elect the country’s third female president, spurred speculations that she’ll announce her candidacy in 2016, but Malacañang shrugged off the speculations and said it had no reason to have any ill will against the outspoken senator.

But Santiago announced earlier this month that while she was elected judge of the International Criminal Court in December 2011, she had to step down because of her health. Santiago has been diagnosed as having chronic fatigue syndrome.

Marcos, on the other hand, said he is keeping his options open on running for president, but much remains to be done for the remainder of his term as senator and there’s no time nor space in his work to be discussing or planning for 2016.

“Of course, when 2016 comes, I will be a candidate,” Marcos told reporters in the regular “Kapihan sa Senado,” but when asked if he would run for higher office, he said: “It’s not yet time to talk about it. It’s still too early since there are still many things to do.”

Marcos, a member of the Nacionalista Party, said he does not believe there is a right or correct time to decide to run for president.

“For example, in August 2009, Senator (Noynoy) Aquino was not even a candidate. In May 2010, he was the President. It was so fast. So you can’t decide on the basis of what’s happening today... Many things might happen so you might be making the wrong decision because things change,” he said.

* While he recognized that running for a higher office needs long preparations, he said the campaign would not like be for two years.

“I still believe it’s not yet time. It’s still too far,” said Marcos, belying claims that the NP has already asked its members to decide on what position they will seek in the coming elections.

Marcos said the party only aimed to discuss the scope of the NP’s involvement in the 2016.

“We talked about what the NP is going to do, its positioning and alliances, whether there will still be a coalition with Liberal Party,” he said, hinting that the real discussions on the party ticket will likely take place during the last quarter of the year.

“The decision was that the NP would definitely be involved in the 2016 elections. Just because Sen. Manny Villar is no longer a candidate, it does not mean that the NP will stop functioning as a political party,” he said.

“We still need to talk to our members, find out what they are thinking and assess the political situation for all our candidates,” he said.

FROM AMAZINGNEWS BLOG

Alan Peter Cayetano: “I want to be president of this country” by Jansen Tumabing July 6, 2014


CAYETANO

Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano revealed his desire on running for President but not in the 2016 presidential elections.

In an interview, Cayetano said that there is no assurance as to when the right time is for him to run as president of the country.

“I want to be president of this country. I think I can do something great for God and for our people. But is 2016 my time? 2022? 2028? Or never? I wanted to be mayor of Taguig, but it never happened. At hindi ko alam. Ang asawa ko mas magaling sa akin. I’m being honest with that,” Cayetano said.

He also mentioned, “I don’t want to run, I want to win.”

The senator admitted that he took the service of political consultant and ex-advertising executive Greg Garcia for his preparations for the elections.

“He did the vice president’s ads, he did my ads, he did ads of Ping Lacson.”

Cayetano also denied that he wants to be vice president.

“I’ve thought about it a lot, prayed about it a lot. I’d rather be senator or mayor than be vice president kasi usually people go to be vice president as stepping stone sa president.”

The senator is also weighing his chances to win against Vice President Jejomar Binay.

“I don’t look at my opponent. I look at myself. Parati kong sinasabi, kalaban ko sarili ko. Can I work harder, have better ideas, do things better? In certain areas, in 2013 (survey), certain regions in the country, I already beat Vice President Binay but is it a fluke? Why do they like me better there than others? But you don’t know,” Cayetano further said.

FROM THE NEGROS DAILY BULLETIN

TRILLANES FOR VP OR PRESIDENT IN 2016? Edith Colmo's picture SUBMITTED BY EDITH COLMO ON 07.01.2014


TRILLANES

For 2016 election, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said he will run for either vice president or president. He divulged his plan during a presscon over the weekend, prior to his speaking engagement as guest speaker at the 39th annual General Membership Assembly (AGMA) of Central Negros Electric cooperative (CENECO) at the West Negros University Gym.

However, he said, his decision will depend on the outcome of the convention or assembly of their party, Nacionalista Party, on December 24, wherein Manny Villar is their chairman.

He also said, his decision will be based on the outcome of his consultation with the people.

There are several qualified candidates for higher position from their party. But they will always depend on the party decision.

At the CENECO event, Trillanes said, there is an easy solution to the frequent power failure experienced in the country today. The establishment of its own power plant is one and not just depend on outside sources.

Presently, Trillanes has pending bill in the senate regarding the establishment of a power plant using renewable energy like solar power and other means.

In San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, there is a solar power plant already supplying electricity to the surrounding community.

Trillanes also urged the Negrenses to hasten the processing of licenses and clearances plus other documents, with the petition to construct a power plant signed by 160 petitioners.

"This is the easiest and fastest answer to address the increasing population and demand for more electricity," Trillanes further said.

FROM THE INQUIRER

I see a Marcos running for the presidency—Imelda By Totel V. de Jesus |INQUIRER.net 10:56 pm | Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014


Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos and Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. File photos

MANILA, Philippines—Celebrating her 85th birthday in Laoag City on Wednesday, Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos made a prediction for the 2016 elections.

“I see a Marcos running for the presidency. I see a Marcos as President. That is destiny,” she told the media in a television interview.

She mentioned the name of her only son, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Asked by the media if the Senator’s alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam could be a deterrent, Imelda brushed it away, saying it’s all politics.

Imelda is the wife of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who was ousted in a popular uprising in 1986 called Edsa Revolution.

Marcos ‘keeping options open’ for 2016 elections By Maila Ager |INQUIRER.net 4:36 pm | Thursday, June 26th, 2014



Senator Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos. AFP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos Jr. said he is keeping his options open in 2016 though he said the “obvious” thing for him to do is to run for re-election.

“Hindi pa panahon para pagisipan mga ganyan (It’s not yet the right time to think about those things), there’s two years left in this term, there’s still so much to be done, siguro saka na ‘yan kasi (perhaps we can hold that off because) that’s an individual, personal thing,” Marcos said when asked about his possible presidential bid in the next elections.

“There’s a lot that needs to be done for the remainder of the year. So, there’s no time or there’s no space in our working lives to be discussing that or to be planning that or to be campaigning. The time will come, of course when 2016 will come, I will be a candidate. The obvious thing to do is for me to run for re-election,” he said.

Asked when he deemed it right to announce his concrete plan, Marcos then cited as example the case of President Benigno Aquino III, who decided to run for president just months before the 2010 elections.

“The absolute deadline is when you file your COC (certificate of candidacy). Whether or not there is a proper or correct way to decide, I don’t know if there is such a thing,” Marcos said.

“I’ve always been advised to keep my options open so I always try to keep my options open for as long as possible,” he added.

* Marcos said even his group, the Nacionalista Party, has not decided yet what role it would play in 2016.

The NP, headed by former Senator Manny Villar, might start discussing during the last quarter of the year about its involvement in the 2016 national elections.

“(The decision) was that the NP would definitely be involved in the 2016 elections. Hindi dahil si Sen. Manny ay hindi na kandidato (Just because Sen. Manny is no longer a candidate), does not mean that the NP will stop functioning as a political party,” said Marcos.

“The NP will still continue to function as a political party but how we will do that, that has to be decided by the party and you cannot do that instantaneously. Kailangan, kausapin namin mga miyembro namin, kung ano iniisip nila (We still need to talk to our members, find out what they are thinking) and assess the political situation for all our candidates.”

As for the presidency, Marcos said he had no idea if his group would decide early.

Dream on: Marcoses out to return home to Malacañang Agence France-Presse 3:09 am | Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

BATAC, Ilocos Norte—Some dreams just never die.

Imelda Marcos, the dictator’s widow who now represents Ilocos Norte province in Congress, offered a toast on her 85th birthday on Wednesday as she made plans for a triumphal return to Malacañang.

Wearing a flowing red gown and diamond rings, the self-declared “poverty-stricken” Imelda was serenaded by throngs of supporters as she emerged from her private chambers in the family mansion in their northern stronghold of Batac.

“My only wish is for God to give me a little more strength to prolong my life,” she told reporters who asked about her birthday wish.

She said she had seen “the best, best, best and the worst, worst, worst” in life, but insisted she had no plans to ride into the sunset just yet.

In the freewheeling often rambling interview, however, Imelda didn’t discuss her fragile health. She was rushed to the hospital last year for extreme fatigue but later recovered.

“I still have a vision and hope to bring more help to the Filipino people,” she said.

She insisted that Ferdinand Marcos Jr., her senator-son and namesake of her late husband, was “qualified” to contest the presidency in May 2016 when President Aquino, son of the Marcoses’ top political foe, ends his six-year term.

“(Returning to) Malacañang would be a great help” in implementing her projects, she said.

* Symbol of excess

The flamboyant matriarch became the symbol of excess during the brutal 20-year regime of her late husband, who was also accused of looting state coffers and whose martial law rule was marked by human rights abuses.

While the rest of the country wallowed in poverty and thousands of activists were killed or went missing, Imelda and her children enjoyed a jet-setting lifestyle.

She amassed a jewelry collection valued in the tens of millions of dollars and acquired hundreds of paintings by international masters like Monet and Picasso.

The government conservatively estimates the dictator Marcos plundered government coffers of about $10 billion.

The Edsa People Power Revolution in 1986 forced Marcos and his family into exile in Hawaii, where the dictator died three years later.

As the people stormed the abandoned presidential palace, they discovered Imelda’s 3,000 pairs of shoes that came to symbolize the extent of her extravagance.

Imelda and her three children were subsequently allowed to return home, and have since regained significant political clout in the late dictator’s northern home province of Ilocos Norte.

Imelda won a second term as congresswoman representing Ilocos Norte last year, the same year her son was elected senator. He has hinted at joining the presidential race in 2016.

Her eldest daughter, Imee, is the provincial governor.

‘Mother of world peace’

On Wednesday, a regal but tired-looking Imelda dramatically planted a kiss on her husband’s glass coffin as photographers jostled for position.

The dictator’s wax-like remains are kept in an air-conditioned crypt at the family compound which has become a macabre tourist attraction.

Declaring herself the “mother of world peace,” Imelda then hit out at plans by the Aquino administration to auction off her jewelry collection.

She accused the President’s late mother, democracy icon Corazon Aquino who was swept to the presidency, of persecuting the Marcos family after they fled the country in 1986.

“Her first act was to confiscate and sequester all Marcos wealth even before we were tried, and that was illegal,” Imelda said.

She said she would prefer to have the jewels put on public display “because I want the Filipinos to know what is world-class and see that.”

Napoles got DAP funds of 5 senators P425M coursed through bogus NGOs
By Nancy C. Carvajal |Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:55 am | Thursday, July 3rd, 2014


Businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles’ fake nongovernment organizations got about half a billion pesos allocated to Senators from Malacañang’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional on Tuesday, records of whistle-blower Benhur Luy showed. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS and INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTOS


MANILA, Philippines– Businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles’ fake nongovernment organizations (NGOs) got about half a billion pesos allocated to five senators from Malacañang’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional on Tuesday, records of whistle-blower Benhur Luy showed.

The Luy records indicated that Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Bong Revilla and Tito Sotto received a total of P425 million from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) as DAP funds between March and May 2012.

The Inquirer obtained last year Luy’s hard-disk drive containing more than 22,000 files of purported transactions that Napoles had in the course of her alleged siphoning of state funds to ghost projects and kickbacks. The digital files were submitted to the National Bureau of Investigation and later to the Office of the Ombudsman.

The senators’ DAP allocations were: Estrada, P100 million, special allocation release order (Saro) No. F-12-00221; Marcos, P100 million, F-12-00222; Revilla, P100 million, F-12-0220; and Sotto, P70 million, F-12-00224. All the Saros were dated March 15, 2012.

Enrile, the records showed, received P55 million with Saro numbers dated May 14 and May 18, 2012, in consecutive sequence: G-12-00379, G-12-00380, G-12-00381 and G-12-00382.

* Conduits

Enrile used several towns in Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Quezon and Leyte provinces as beneficiaries of his DAP allocations and designated Napoles’ fake NGOs as conduits of the funds, according to the Luy files.

The DAP allocations of the five senators were coursed through a government-owned corporation, National Livelihood Development Center (NLDC), and selected local government units (LGUs), the records showed.

Based on the memorandum of agreements (MOAs) and accomplishment reports of the Luy files, the lawmakers identified and designated the NGOs to implement the DAP-funded projects in coordination with the NLDC and several LGUs.

The livelihood projects outlined in the MOAs were baking, various handicrafts, floral arrangement seminars, hairdressing, candle making and the like.

The Napoles NGOs that the five senators used as conduits were Agri and Economic Program for Farmers Foundation Inc., Agrikultura para sa Magbubukid Foundation, Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation Inc., Kaupdanan para sa Mangunguma Foundation Inc., Ginintuang Alay sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc., Countrywide Agri and Rural Economic Development Foundation, Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation Inc., and People’s Organization for Progress and Development Foundation.

Denials

The senators maintained that they did not designate the NGOs to carry out their pet projects with funds meant to uplift the impoverished countryside and insisted that their signatures were forged.

Marcos, for example, has denied any involvement with the release of P100 million of DAP funds. He said even the signatures of his chief of staff, Ramon Cardenas, that appeared in MOAs to four NGOs were forged.

Several employees of the state-owned NLDC have also been indicted for graft in the Sandiganbayan. Among them were its two top officials, Gondelina Amata and Alexis Sevidal.

Different figures

The records of Luy differed from the figures and dates released to the media last year by Budget Secretary Florencio Abad regarding the DAP. Asked for comment, Abad said: “I don’t know. That’s what appears in our records. I’m not familiar with the records of the whistle-blowers.”

Napoles earlier said in a sworn statement that Abad, while still a Batanes province representative, was her mentor in her PDAF scam. Abad has denied this.

The DAP was a savings impounding facility designed by the Aquino administration purportedly to accelerate spending on government projects and boost economic growth.

Little was publicly known of the facility until Estrada in September 2013 revealed in a privilege speech that senators received an additional pork of P50 million each as “incentive” following the conviction in May of Chief Justice Renato Corona for dishonesty in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.

Abad later confirmed the additional pork releases, but denied that these were “bribes.” He explained that the funds came from the DAP.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court unanimously declared the DAP unconstitutional, prompting calls in the Senate and House of Representatives to hold those responsible for the juggling of funds accountable.

Even so, two administration allies—Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Ralph Recto—defended the DAP, saying the funds were put to good use.

Different from PDAF

The DAP releases were separate from the graft-ridden Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or pork barrel, allocations received by the senators for 2012.

Luy, Napoles’ former finance officer, earlier testified in the Senate that lawmakers who transacted with Napoles using her bogus NGOs allegedly received at least 50-percent kickbacks from the PDAF-funded projects.

Estrada, Revilla and Napoles have been indicted for plunder in the Sandiganbayan for alleged misuse of their PDAF entitlements from 2007 to 2009. Except for Enrile, the three are under detention.

Church dares Aquino: Let go of corrupt allies By Tina G. Santos |Philippine Daily Inquirer4:06 am | Saturday, July 5th, 2014


Archbishop Socrates Villegas. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Catholic bishops challenged the Aquino administration on Friday to “let go” of corrupt officials in its ranks.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said the investigation into the misuse of state funds should not be selective and should not spare administration allies.

“A government that professes to tread the straight path must remain true to that profession and must be willing to let go of the corrupt in its own ranks,” the Lingayen Dagupan archbishop said in a statement.

Reiterating Church calls for accountability, Villegas was referring to President Benigno Aquino III’s tuwid na daan (straight path) slogan.

Villegas made the call after the Supreme Court on Tuesday declared unconstitutional the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), striking down the presidential budgetary prerogative.

The CBCP head also called on the Commission on Audit (COA) and the Office of the Ombudsman to tell the nation where the DAP funds went.

“While, indeed, in many cases, it would be impractical, unhelpful even, to undo every project funded by what the high court has ruled to be unconstitutional means, we must nevertheless know how these monies were used, for where there was an illegal and immoral application of funds, there must be restitution,” Villegas declared.

According to him, “there is no reason to direct our ire only at the three senators, or at those presently accused.”

*Different treatment

Critics have slammed the administration for treating Mr. Aquino’s allies implicated in the PDAF and DAP scandals differently from those linked with the opposition.

Filipinos “must humbly recognize that the propensity to make use of what is not ours to better the lives of our families or to gain access to luxuries that would otherwise be beyond us will be found in all of us,” Villegas said.

“We are all guilty by attitude and by our disposition,” he added as he renewed calls for national conversion not only of individuals but of institutions as well.

“We must pray together for the grace of conversion, because the prosecution and punishment of a few will not rid the nation of the propensity to corruption that is found in us all,” Villegas said.

Aquino told to stop shielding allies from pork barrel scam probe By Leila B. Salaverria |Philippine Daily Inquirer8:06 pm | Thursday, June 12th, 2014


Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The collective rage against the pork barrel scam continues to simmer, and the group behind mass protests against the system would see to it that the President’s allies are not spared efforts to clean up the mess from the explosive revelations.

Manila Auxilliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, speaking at an anti-pork barrel rally on Independence Day, said the controversy should not be used as a political issue just meant to pin down members of the opposition.

“It’s not just those in the opposition who were involved in the pork barrel issue, but also those who are allies. All those involved should be prosecuted, and not just a few should be brought down because of the issue,” Pabillo told a crowd of about a thousand who had massed up at the Bonifacio Shrine in Manila.

President Aquino has spoken up in defense of his allies who have been implicated in the controversy, saying there seems to be a dearth of evidence against them.

Pabillo noted that most of those implicated in the alleged misuse of public funds have professed their innocence.

He challenged them to go on leave if their hands are really clean, just to allow the investigation to proceed without any chance of them exerting influence over it.

“They don’t have to resign, they could just go on leave for six months so that a proper investigation could be done,” he said.

He joined the condemnation of the pork barrel system, noting that despite so much funds being circulated, so many Filipinos have remained poor.

He also noted that President Aquino’s election slogan “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap [if there is no corruption, there would be no poor people]” has not been heard of lately.

There are many poor people in the country, so this could either mean his slogan was wrong, that there could be poverty even if there’s no corruption, or it could mean there is corruption, which is why there are so many poor people, according to Pabillo.

“If what he is saying is correct, then this is a reminder to him that there is still corruption,” he added.

Pabillo also said Congress should have no use for pork barrel. If Congress could not function without it, that would mean it was a hopeless institution, he added.

* “Congress was not created because of the pork barrel,” he said.

The rally organizers ScrapPork Network, in its unity statement on the independence day protests, lamented the coddling of political allies as well as the slow grind of justice.

The group said the government must prosecute all those involved in the pork barrel scam and jail the guilty. And by “all,” it means even the President’s friends.

“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. Let the wheels of justice turn and give much-needed closure to this travesty,” it said.

It also said much has been lost because of the slow pace of the probe.

“The painfully slow progress in the investigation and prosecution of the pork scandals involving Janet Lim-Napoles’ network, among others, robs the nation blind in the realms of justice and transparency, and steals energy that could otherwise be focused on development tasks,” it said.

“From the camps of those already named in plunder cases, all the way to President Aquino, what we see are efforts to tar enemies but coddle allies,” it added.

It also condemned efforts to divert people’s attention away from the issue and to delay its progress.

“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.

Also speaking out against selective justice was the Kilusang KontraPork, one of the participants in Thursday’s rally.

The group said Malacañang was wrong to think that the people could not see through the palace’s hypocrisy of applying a double standard in going after those who plundered the nation’s coffers.

“The admonition that ‘you cannot fool the people all of the time’ applies here as well,” it said in a statement.

It further said that while going after Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada was an important step, it was nothing more than a good start. The issue is more than just jailing the guilty, and should be about reforms, according to the group.

“It is about dismantling the very system that breeds Enriles, Estradas, and Revillas. It is about the system that gets them elected. It is about the system that has kept people like them out of the reach of justice for so long,” it said.

Two anti-pork barrel rallies were held in Manila on Thursday. One was at the Bonifacio Shrine beside the Manila City Hall, and the other was at the Liwasang Bonifacio in front of the Manila Post Office. The two gatherings exchanged speakers and guests.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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