HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK...

'OUR PLACE IN BATANGAS': POST IN BINAY'S DAUGHTER'S INSTAGRAM 

OCT 31 --A daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay was dragged into the controversy over a property in Batangas allegedly owned by her father after Instagram photos and comments she had posted indicated her family’s ownership of the 350-hectare estate. Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano showed these photos and posts by Joanna Marie Bianca Binay in a slide presentation during Thursday’s hearing by the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee that has been investigating Binay’s alleged ownership of the Sunchamp Agri-Tourism Park.  Some photos supposedly showed that the daughter went to the park in June 2012, on December 25, 2012, and in November 2013.

In one of her posts, Binay’s daughter referred to the property as “our place in Batangas.” “Tingnan nyo po, sabi nya in our place in Batangas,” Cayetano pointed out. The senator then asked Martin Subido, lawyer of alleged Binay dummy, businessman Antonio Tiu, if they had no plans to file a case against Binay’s daughter for claiming that the property belonged to her family. Tiu has denied the “dummy” claims. “Your honor, again, it’s not contrary to the rights of Sunchamp,” Subido said, referring to Tiu’s Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corp., operating the property. “What was ‘our place in Batangas’ mean? Cayetano again asked. “It could mean a lot of things, your honor,” said Subido to which the senator asked, “In what world?” “In any sense of a man’s world your honor,” Subido added. * READ MORE...

ALSO: VP Binay slams Senate 'troika' for including daughter in probe 

NOV 1 ---Senate Blue Ribbon subcommitee senators, Aquilino Pimentel, Alan Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes, composing the Senate troika, crossed the line when they dragged the youngest daughter in their investigation on the Vice President on the alleged overpriced Makati Building 2 that has morphed into probes on alleged ill-gotten wealth, money laundering and alleged dummies of the Vice President. Not content with focusing their fire just on the Vice President, the Senate troika crossed the line when they focused on the youngest daughter of Binay, taken from her Instagram account, where pictures were shown of the family in the Sunchamp farm, but which failed to prove that the Binays own the farm, as pictures are not evidence of ownership.

However, if the three senators believe pictures to be proof, then they should have probed and pinned down Senate President Franklin Drilon for not only having his picture taken with the alleged brains of the pork barrel scam, Janet Lim-Napoles, as well as his alleged overpriced Iloilo Convention center, but also had pictures of himself with the ICC as background. But not satisfied with dragging the VP’s daughter, the three senators even blatanly use the Cabinet members of President Aquino, and the entire government machinery to investigate the alleged anomalies of Antonio Tiu, whom they have accused of being the Vice President’s dummy, but again, had no proof with which to substantiate their allegations.

The sebators had, as resource persons in Thursday’s hearings, the Agrarian Reform department Secretary, the Securities and Exchange chairman and the Bureau of Internal Revenue chief Kim Henares, all of whom had already come up with their own investigations on the 144 hectares farmland managed by Tiu and his corporate dealings, while Henares is probably already checking on Tiu for evasion of taxes all done motu priopio. To date, however, the Senate, the Cabinet secretaries have not even done anything by way of invetsigating the Philippine National Police chief or Drilon. Vice President Binay yesterday decried the recent move of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee dragging his youngest daughter into their effort to malign his name. “This is really saddening. I am already their target for political demolition, but they ( senators) even target my youngest daughter. She is also being ridiculed and betrayed. I leave it up to God,” Binay said in Camarines Sur. “That too much. Too much,” he added. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Audio recording of Binay interview‎ on Batangas property bared 

OCT 30 ---PHOTO: Reporter Raissa Robles' Binay audio interview played in hearing. CATHY MIRANDA/INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines — A journalist, who interviewed Vice President Jejomar Binay in 2010, faced the Senate hearing on Thursday to present an audio recording of Binay saying that he owned the controversial property in Batangas province. After giving her opening statement, Raissa Robles acceded to the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee’s request if it could play her interview with Binay on June 29, 2010. In the said recorded interview, the Vice President categorically admitted owning a property in Batangas province. Below is a portion of Robles’ interview where Binay talked about the property in Batangas:

Binay: Kasi inulit na naman yung charges na yan. Condos, bahay. --Robles; Hindi, pero, is it – I mean, ok. Personally, I mean, kung anuhin nyo yung family, how many do you own? Houses –Binay: yung bahay namin at saka yung bahay namin sa Batangas… ---Robles: Wala nang condo? Binay: Condo, dati yung anak ko nakatira sa condo. Ngayon nakatira sa bahay… ----Robles: Ngayon sa bahay na lang. -----Binay: O may bahay na siya. May isang bahay na siya. Siya na lang ang wala dito sa bahay namin. ------Robles: Ah, Ok. -------Binay: Lahat ng anak ko, at saka yung apo ko, second apo ko kay Abigail, yun lang ang wala dito. --------Robles: Sir, yung Batangas is how many hectares? ---------Binay: Meron akong isang babuyan doon. ----------Robles: Mga 10 hectares? Eleven? -----------Binay: Ya. -----------Robles: Mga around 10 hectares. Namana nyo yoon? ----------Binay: Binili ko.

But Binay’s spokesman, Cavite Goveror Jonvic Remulla, said the Vice President’s statements during the interview had been clarified by his lawyers. “The VP was referring to the purchase made by Agrifortuna when he and Dra. Binay were the majority stockholders,” Remulla said in text message, referring to the Vice President’s wife and former Makati Mayor Elenita Binay. “The VP divested from Agrifortuna in 1994. He then formed JCB Farms as a single proprietorship which leased the property from Mr. Gregorio,” he said. Gregorio is Laureano Gregorio, who was allegedly the former owner of the Batangas property. “I think we need to be reminded that before jumping to hasty conclusions, even journalists need a clear grasp of all the facts,” Remulla added. Robles also told the committee that while interviewing the Vice President in his house in Makati City, she also noticed wrapped glass bowls labeled “Batangas” and “Alfonso.”  Photos of the labelled bowls were also showed in a slide presentation. Aside from the Batangas property, Binay also allegedly owned a property in Tagaytay City but he also denied it. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT

ALSO: Binay allies ‘gatecrash’ Senate probe  

OCT 30 --PHOTO: UNA interim secretary general JV Bautista and Navotas Representative Tobias Tiangco. MANILA, Philippines — Tension arose at Thursday’s resumption of the Senate investigation into the controversial Makati City Hall 2 parking building after two spokesmen of Vice President Jejomar Binay came uninvited and tried to speak at the hearing. Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano stopped lawyer JV Bautista when he took the microphone and tried to make a statement before the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee.

“Mr. Bautista, you’re not a resource person. May I ask the Sergeant at arms to remove…,” said Cayetano, who was interrupted by Navotas Representative Tobias Tiangco, who was also at the hearing room and asked to be recognized by the subcommittee. But the senator also stopped Tiangco. “Congressman is not also a resource person. They can write a committee but they can’t gatecrash,” Cayetano said of Tiangco. “He’s a congressman, he knows the rules of the Senate and the House if you wish to write the committee…but you cant just raise your hands and come when you are not a resource person…” said the senator. At this point, committee chairman, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III decided to suspend the proceeding.THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: More doubts on Tiu claim; IF HE REALLY OWNS ESTATE, HE FACES TAX RAPS  

OCT 31 ---PHOTO: Antonio Tiu. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO. Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes IV and the blue ribbon subcommittee chair, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, continued to doubt Antonio Tiu’s claim of ownership, especially after he submitted Thursday a one-page memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Laureano Gregorio to back his testimony on his P400-million purchase of the property. The agreement was not notarized. Cayetano grilled Tiu on the documents from Gregorio to prove he was the legitimate owner of the property that he claimed he transformed into an agri-tourism park.

If businessman Tiu continues to insist he owns the sprawling agricultural estate in Rosario town, Batangas province, he faces a slew of possible violations of the agrarian reform law, tax evasion for nonpayment of the capital gains tax on the sale of the property and the lack of value-added tax registration for his so-called agri-tourism park. His troubles may extend to his other companies. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has found adverse findings on the financial disclosures by Sunchamp’s related companies, including Greenergy Holdings, AgriNurture Inc. (ANI), Agrifortuna and Earthright Holdings. Tiu’s culpabilities surfaced at the continuation on Thursday of the Senate inquiry into the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II and other alleged corrupt practices in the city when Vice President Jejomar Binay was its mayor. Tiu said he bought 145 hectares from Gregorio which, according to hi he transformed into Sunchamp Agri-Tourism Park.

But it was illegal for Gregorio to have consolidated the farm without informing the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes said at the hearing. “This can’t be done. This will violate Section 6 of RA (Republic Act No.) 6657 (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, or CARP) that sets retention limits,” De los Reyes said, pointing out that the law prohibits a landowner from retaining land exceeding 5 hectares. De los Reyes also said that consolidating the land titles, and then selling the land without clearing it with the Land Registration Authority (LRA) was also illegal. Tiu maintained there was nothing illegal about this. De los Reyes said a landowner could lease land not exceeding 5 hectares and not covered by CARP for agricultural purposes. *READ MORE...

ALSO: Cayetano cites Instagram posts as proof of Binays’ farm ownership

OCT 31 --PHOTO: ‘OUR PLACE IN BATANGAS’ Joanna Marie Bianca, youngest daughter of Vice President Binay, may have provided “evidence” that her family owns the sprawling agricultural estate in Rosario, Batangas province. INSTAGRAM PHOTOS  Vice President Jejomar Binay’s youngest daughter Joanna Marie Bianca may have unwittingly provided proof that their family owned the high-end P1.2-billion farm in Batangas province. In her Instagram (IG) account jmblicious, Joanna posted messages and pictures of the farm’s amenities, claiming the property as “our place.” One of her posts, which came with a picture of three boys frolicking in a pool amid a grove of trees, read: “… our place in Batangas.”

In two other posts, Joanna uploaded a picture of her riding a Segway, and a photo of a unique-looking bicycle, owned apparently by brother Makati Mayor Jejomar “Junjun” Binay Jr., both in front of the farm’s clubhouse. In yet another, she posted a picture of her father, the Vice President, wearing a bull cap and a jacket, holding a microphone, with the message: “its karaoke time!” The pictures were apparently taken in December 2012. Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday presented the Binay daughter’s Instagram posts to dispute claims by the Binay family that it leased only 9 hectares of the 350-hectare farm in Rosario town. “Did you file a case against jmblicious?” Cayetano asked lawyer Martin Subido at the resumption of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee inquiry into Makati City’s allegedly overpriced P2.28-billion parking building.

Subido, lawyer for the Vice President and businessman Antonio Tiu, responded: “Your honor, it’s not contrary to the rights of Sunchamp.” Cayetano pressed on and asked what “our place in Batangas” meant. Subido said: “This could mean anything.” Cayetano asked: “In what world?” The lawyer replied: “In any sensible man’s world.” Cayetano then asked: “Doesn’t that mean they own it?” Subido responded: “Your honor, I don’t see the question, ‘Where are you?” The senator then clicked on the slide showing the young Binay’s response to a friend asking about the backdrop of her pictures: “our place in batangas,” and said: “That answers your question.” Subido maintained that the Binays were not claiming a right “adverse” to Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corp. Not proof of ownership Pictures do not prove ownership, according to the Binay camp. “Nag-videoke ka lang, may-ari ka na (Does enjoying a videoke mean that you own the property)?” Binay’s spokesman Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla said immediately after the photos were shown at the hearing. * READ MORE...

(ALSO) Mercado: Binay has 8-hectare land in Dingalan, Aurora

OCT 31 ---Aside from a 350-hectare hacienda in Batangas, Vice President Jejomar Binay also allegedly owns an eight-hectare seaside property in Dingalan, Aurora. Former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado claimed in an interview over radio dzMM that he and Binay acquired the property, which was under the name of four owners, in 1998. "Andu'n pa rin 'yung lupa. Katunayan nga nai-turn over ko na kay VP Binay 'yung titulo ng lupa at nagpunta na nga rin si Attorney (Martin) Subido sa bayan ng Dingalan para asikasuhin 'yung paglilipat ng lupa e," Mercado said. The former Makati vice mayor explained that it was Binay's idea to buy the property since a port will be constructed in Dingalan.

According to Mercado, the vice president's daughter, Makati Rep. Abigail Binay, collected from him the land titles that were in his possession. "Gusto ko ma-test ko kung parehas ang pakikisama sa akin... Pinadala ko lahat ng titulo. Hanggang ngayon nasa kanila ang apat na titulo na iyon," he said. "Balita ko nga e, kaya nagpunta si Attorney Subido du'n, e tina-try na nilang ilipat sa kanila. Ang problema lang nila e hindi nakapangalan sa kanilang 'yung mga lupa kundi nakapangalan du'n sa mga taong taga-du'n sa Dingalan," the former Makati official said. Mercado was among those who testified at the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee hearing against Binay on the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall II parking building and the 350-hectare "Hacienda Binay" in Rosario, Batangas. The vice president's camp has no comment yet on Mercado's new allegation.THIS IS THE FULL REPORT

ALSO Manila Times Opinion: Cayetano also got his 'just deserts'  

NOV 1 --On just deserts ---When I first heard the term “just deserts,” I thought it was what you get at the end of a hearty meal, spelled with a double s.  After some research, I am now properly instructed that it is spelled with a single s and is always in plural form. The singular desert will take us to the world of Lawrence of Arabia and metaphorical realms like “a cultural desert.” In the Internet, I found this enlightening entry in the Phrase Finder website: ”Just deserts means ‘That which is deserved; A reward for what has been done—good or bad.’ ”  “In the sense of ‘things deserved’, it has been used in English since at least the 13th century. A citation in which it is linked with ‘just’ comes from 1599, in Warning Faire Women: “Upon a pillory – that all the world may see, A just desert for such impiety.”

The point of Halloween in the western world is to use “humor and ridicule to confront the power of death” – hence the ghoulish pranks and antics. The point of All Souls Day and All Saints Day in the Catholic calendar is deadly serious; these are the days when we recall and venerate our dead and all the saints together. In the spirit of these feasts and in the interest of fair and balanced journalism, I feel obligated to report, following my column last Thursday (“Trillanes impales himself,” October30), that Sen. Antonio Trillanes is not alone in falling on his words or his sword. His partner in character assassination and senatorial excess, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, also got his just deserts – and in similarly jaw-dropping fashion.

To be completely truthful, this is not my original discovery and insight. I got it from fellow columnist Alex Magno, who noted it first in the Philippine Star. Alex wrote: “Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, the only senator perceived to be in active play for the 2016 presidential contest, used to have a 5% share of voter preference. In the last survey, the number of voters who said they will choose him for the presidency dropped to barely 1percent. His base of voters basically evaporated. From abortion to babymaking ---“The drop in Cayetano’s numbers was so dramatic, the senator was quoted in one report as saying he would focus his energies in the near term on producing a baby. His presidential run appears to have been aborted.

We wish him a healthy baby, however. “The only thing that might explain Cayetano’s drastic loss of support is his participation in the three-man inquisition panel going after Vice-President Jejomar Binay. The hearings conducted by a runaway “subcommittee” may provide weekly grist for the scandal mill, but the partisan conduct of the hearings appears to have alarmed the public. If the second highest official of the land can be given the kangaroo-court treatment, what is there to protect ordinary citizens?” Evaporated? Aborted? ---Did VP Binay gobble up all of Cayetano’s supporters? What happened to the TV spots that Alan ran on network TV at such great cost? And to all the free TV time secured during the Senate inquisition on Binay? Did they have no beneficial effects?* CONTINUE READING, PLUS READERS' COMMENTS....


READ FULL REPORT HERE:

‘Our place in Batangas’: Post in Binay daughter’s Instagram


Joanna Marie Bianca Binay

MANILA, NOVEMBER 3, 2014 (INQUIRER) Maila Ager @inquirerdotnet October 30th, 2014 - A daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay was dragged into the controversy over a property in Batangas allegedly owned by her father after Instagram photos and comments she had posted indicated her family’s ownership of the 350-hectare estate.

Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano showed these photos and posts by Joanna Marie Bianca Binay in a slide presentation during Thursday’s hearing by the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee that has been investigating Binay’s alleged ownership of the Sunchamp Agri-Tourism Park.

Some photos supposedly showed that the daughter went to the park in June 2012, on December 25, 2012, and in November 2013.

In one of her posts, Binay’s daughter referred to the property as “our place in Batangas.”

“Tingnan nyo po, sabi nya in our place in Batangas,” Cayetano pointed out.

The senator then asked Martin Subido, lawyer of alleged Binay dummy, businessman Antonio Tiu, if they had no plans to file a case against Binay’s daughter for claiming that the property belonged to her family.

Tiu has denied the “dummy” claims.

“Your honor, again, it’s not contrary to the rights of Sunchamp,” Subido said, referring to Tiu’s Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corp., operating the property.

“What was ‘our place in Batangas’ mean? Cayetano again asked.

“It could mean a lot of things, your honor,” said Subido to which the senator asked, “In what world?”

“In any sense of a man’s world your honor,” Subido added.

* Another photo posted on December 25, 2012, showed the Vice President himself holding a microphone.

But in a statement, Binay’s spokesman, Cavite Governor Jovic Remulla, said the photos could not be used as proof of ownership.

“Nag-videoke lang, may-ari ka na?” Remulla asked.

“The Vice President and his family have been open about using the facilities and visiting Rosario.

For one, Dr. (Elenita) Binay has a flower farm there. But these photos, like previous photos shown by Sen. Cayetano, are not proof of ownership,” the spokesman added.

FROM THE TRIBUNE

VP Binay slams Senate troika for including daughter in probe
Written by Charlie V. Manalo Saturday, 01 November 2014 00:00



Noy allies, execs used to harass, intimidate witnesses not toeing panel lies

Senate Blue Ribbon subcommitee senators, Aquilino Pimentel, Alan Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes, composing the Senate troika, crossed the line when they dragged the youngest daughter in their investigation on the Vice President on the alleged overpriced Makati Building 2 that has morphed into probes on alleged ill-gotten wealth, money laundering and alleged dummies of the Vice President.

Not content with focusing their fire just on the Vice President, the Senate troika crossed the line when they focused on the youngest daughter of Binay, taken from her Instagram account, where pictures were shown of the family in the Sunchamp farm, but which failed to prove that the Binays own the farm, as pictures are not evidence of ownership.

However, if the three senators believe pictures to be proof, then they should have probed and pinned down Senate President Franklin Drilon for not only having his picture taken with the alleged brains of the pork barrel scam, Janet Lim-Napoles, as well as his alleged overpriced Iloilo Convention center, but also had pictures of himself with the ICC as background.

But not satisfied with dragging the VP’s daughter, the three senators even blatanly use the Cabinet members of President Aquino, and the entire government machinery to investigate the alleged anomalies of Antonio Tiu, whom they have accused of being the Vice President’s dummy, but again, had no proof with which to substantiate their allegations.

The sebators had, as resource persons in Thursday’s hearings, the Agrarian Reform department Secretary, the Securities and Exchange chairman and the Bureau of Internal Revenue chief Kim Henares, all of whom had already come up with their own investigations on the 144 hectares farmland managed by Tiu and his corporate dealings, while Henares is probably already checking on Tiu for evasion of taxes all done motu priopio.

To date, however, the Senate, the Cabinet secretaries have not even done anything by way of invetsigating the Philippine National Police chief or Drilon.

Vice President Binay yesterday decried the recent move of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee dragging his youngest daughter into their effort to malign his name.

“This is really saddening. I am already their target for political demolition, but they ( senators) even target my youngest daughter. She is also being ridiculed and betrayed. I leave it up to God,” Binay said in Camarines Sur.

“That too much. Too much,” he added.

* Cayetano on Thursday presented photos posted on Instagram by Binay’s youngest daughter showing her inside the Batangas estate owned by Sunchamp.

Binay said that contrary to Cayetano’s claims, having a photo taken inside the property does not prove ownership of the estate.

“So what is wrong in having pictures taken there? That place, there is a leasehold. The owner allows guests there. So are the pictures of the place already evidence as they say we are the owners? That can’t be evidence of ownership,” he said.

Binay also slammed the blatant disregard for protocol of the Senate subcommittee when they prevented United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) Interim Secretary General JV Bautusta and UNA Interim President Tobias Tiangco from attending the hearing, after their having informed the senators that they were there to produce proof that former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado lied about his hospital stay, taking him at his word that he will have all his testimony stricken off the Senate records.

The conversation was caught on tape, but quickly, Cayetano demanded that the sound be shut off, not wanting the public to hear their unsavory conduct and speech.

“They (senators) showed no respect for protocol. Congressman Toby Tiangco was told to leave and was thrown out of the Senate, on orders of Cayetano.

“That’s the brand of Cayetano, who thinks he is a superior being. He does not respect protocol. Even with the lawyers and the right of the resource persons and witnesses to have counsel, the lawyers were told to leave the room. I really don’t know what laws and rules these three senators have learned,” he added.

Binay also appealed to members of the subcommittee to raise the standards of politics and not resort to mudslinging.

“I hope they get enlightenment—these senators who destroy reputations. I hope they can raise the level of politicking and stop engaging in all lies, destruction of reputations. Let us present what we have for programs, our advocacies. Let’s all hope for clean politics, not dirty politics,” Binay said.

UNA interim secretary general JV Bautista also slammed the members of the blue ribbon subcommittee, saying they have crossed the ethical line in the conduct of investigation by allowing its witnesses to shame and embarass even innocent people.

Bautista said that in the three seantors’ desperation to drag the name of the Vice President, the senators willfully allowed the former Makati vice mayor to hitch the modest picture of the Vice President’s youngest daughter from a social media account.

He added that Mercado and the three senator-inquisitors have turned the Senate into a theatrical production of sorts by spreading lies and fabricated stories to pin down businessman Tony Tiu as an alleged dummy of Binay by showing pictures of the VP’s daughter.

“The showing Thursday of the pictures from the Instagram account of the youngest daughter of Vice President Binay is the most shameless act done by the senators. And after they dragged the VP’s youngest daughter, were they able to prove anything?” Bautista pointed out.

He added that gone were the days when the Senate used to be the bastion of democratic debate and dialog, noting that the Senate inquiry has been one-sided in appraising the testimonies of witnesses and receiving evidence to arrive at their predetermined conclusion.

“Last Thursday was the lowest point in the Senate inquisition,” Bautista said, referring to the attempt made by Mercado and the three members of the blue ribbon subcommittee to drag the youngest daughter of the Vice President into the presentation.

Bautista said that the pictures lifted from the social media site were intended to link the Binays to the Rosario, Batangas property.

“They dragged the name of VP’s youngest daughter but the photos are not evidence. In the first place the Binays have never denied using those facilities because Mrs. Binay has a flower farm and they are leasing the area. If you’re renting an apartment, you don’t own it but it is ‘your place’ and that’s all it is. The pictures again do not prove ownership but they do prove the perverted mindset of the inquisitors,” he noted.

Bautista added that “there seems to be nothing that the Senate inquisitionists will not stoop to doing in their persecution of the VP and his allies. They dragged in the innocent online musings of his youngest daughter as well as totally irrelevant details like Mr. Tiu’s wearing of ‘fatigues’ at the Tiu farm. They hid behind technicalities in order to muzzle the VP’s spokesmen from their voluntary appearance.”

“When the Senate says that it will seek the truth, it must seek the truth. And it must receive all and every kind of evidence to arrive at the truth. The trouble with the sub-committee is that they are selective. They do not want to hear the side of Vice President Binay. This is why they shamelessly do what they do. and they will go to great lengths to throw us out of the sub-committee, just so we will not be allowed to bring out the truth,” he stressed.

Bautista noted that the Administration allies are now using the government’s machinery in harassing and intimidating even innocent civilians whom they believe are associated with the Vice President.

“And now they have unleashed the BIR, DAR, the SEC—and God knows what other government agencies in order to harass Mr. Tiu, a self made businessman and TOYM awardee. This last tactic is also obviously intended to frighten away people who might want to speak up for the VP and the truth,” he said.

“The damage this kind of intimidation does to our political culture and the nation’s morale will long outlive this Senate inquiry, to the eternal shame of its instigators,” Bautista added.

Audio recording of Binay interview‎ on Batangas property bared Maila Ager @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net 11:37 AM | Thursday, October 30th, 2014


Raissa Robles. CATHY MIRANDA/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — A journalist, who interviewed Vice President Jejomar Binay in 2010, faced the Senate hearing on Thursday to present an audio recording of Binay saying that he owned the controversial property in Batangas province.

After giving her opening statement, Raissa Robles acceded to the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee’s request if it could play her interview with Binay on June 29, 2010.

In the said recorded interview, the Vice President categorically admitted owning a property in Batangas province.

Below is a portion of Robles’ interview where Binay talked about the property in Batangas:

Binay: Kasi inulit na naman yung charges na yan. Condos, bahay.
Robles; Hindi, pero, is it – I mean, ok. Personally, I mean, kung anuhin nyo yung family, how many do you own? Houses –Binay: yung bahay namin at saka yung bahay namin sa Batangas…
Robles: Wala nang condo?
Binay: Condo, dati yung anak ko nakatira sa condo. Ngayon nakatira sa bahay…
Robles: Ngayon sa bahay na lang.
Binay: O may bahay na siya. May isang bahay na siya. Siya na lang ang wala dito sa bahay namin.
Robles: Ah, Ok.
Binay: Lahat ng anak ko, at saka yung apo ko, second apo ko kay Abigail, yun lang ang wala dito.
Robles: Sir, yung Batangas is how many hectares?
Binay: Meron akong isang babuyan doon.
Robles: Mga 10 hectares? Eleven?
Binay: Ya.
Robles: Mga around 10 hectares. Namana nyo yoon?
Binay: Binili ko.

But Binay’s spokesman, Cavite Goveror Jonvic Remulla, said the Vice President’s statements during the interview had been clarified by his lawyers.

“The VP was referring to the purchase made by Agrifortuna when he and Dra. Binay were the majority stockholders,” Remulla said in text message, referring to the Vice President’s wife and former Makati Mayor Elenita Binay.

“The VP divested from Agrifortuna in 1994. He then formed JCB Farms as a single proprietorship which leased the property from Mr. Gregorio,” he said. Gregorio is Laureano Gregorio, who was allegedly the former owner of the Batangas property.

“I think we need to be reminded that before jumping to hasty conclusions, even journalists need a clear grasp of all the facts,” Remulla added.

Robles also told the committee that while interviewing the Vice President in his house in Makati City, she also noticed wrapped glass bowls labeled “Batangas” and “Alfonso.”

Photos of the labelled bowls were also showed in a slide presentation.

Aside from the Batangas property, Binay also allegedly owned a property in Tagaytay City but he also denied it.

Binay allies ‘gatecrash’ Senate probe
Maila Ager @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net 10:18 AM | Thursday, October 30th, 2014


UNA interim secretary general JV Bautista and Navotas Representative Tobias Tiangco. SENATE POOL FILE PHOTO and INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Tension arose at Thursday’s resumption of the Senate investigation into the controversial Makati City Hall 2 parking building after two spokesmen of Vice President Jejomar Binay came uninvited and tried to speak at the hearing.

Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano stopped lawyer JV Bautista when he took the microphone and tried to make a statement before the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee.
“Mr. Bautista, you’re not a resource person. May I ask the Sergeant at arms to remove…,” said Cayetano, who was interrupted by Navotas Representative Tobias Tiangco, who was also at the hearing room and asked to be recognized by the subcommittee.

But the senator also stopped Tiangco.

“Congressman is not also a resource person. They can write a committee but they can’t gatecrash,” Cayetano said of Tiangco.

“He’s a congressman, he knows the rules of the Senate and the House if you wish to write the committee…but you cant just raise your hands and come when you are not a resource person…” said the senator.

At this point, committee chairman, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III decided to suspend the proceeding.

More doubts on Tiu claim; IF HE REALLY OWNS ESTATE, HE FACES TAX RAPS Leila B. Salaverria, TJ Burgonio | 12:37 AM | Friday, October 31st, 2014


Antonio Tiu. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes IV and the blue ribbon subcommittee chair, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, continued to doubt Antonio Tiu’s claim of ownership, especially after he submitted Thursday a one-page memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Laureano Gregorio to back his testimony on his P400-million purchase of the property.

The agreement was not notarized.

Cayetano grilled Tiu on the documents from Gregorio to prove he was the legitimate owner of the property that he claimed he transformed into an agri-tourism park.

If businessman Tiu continues to insist he owns the sprawling agricultural estate in Rosario town, Batangas province, he faces a slew of possible violations of the agrarian reform law, tax evasion for nonpayment of the capital gains tax on the sale of the property and the lack of value-added tax registration for his so-called agri-tourism park.

His troubles may extend to his other companies. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has found adverse findings on the financial disclosures by Sunchamp’s related companies, including Greenergy Holdings, AgriNurture Inc. (ANI), Agrifortuna and Earthright Holdings.

Tiu’s culpabilities surfaced at the continuation on Thursday of the Senate inquiry into the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II and other alleged corrupt practices in the city when Vice President Jejomar Binay was its mayor.

Tiu said he bought 145 hectares from Gregorio which, according to hi he transformed into Sunchamp Agri-Tourism Park.

But it was illegal for Gregorio to have consolidated the farm without informing the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes said at the hearing.

“This can’t be done. This will violate Section 6 of RA (Republic Act No.) 6657 (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, or CARP) that sets retention limits,” De los Reyes said, pointing out that the law prohibits a landowner from retaining land exceeding 5 hectares.

De los Reyes also said that consolidating the land titles, and then selling the land without clearing it with the Land Registration Authority (LRA) was also illegal.

Tiu maintained there was nothing illegal about this.

De los Reyes said a landowner could lease land not exceeding 5 hectares and not covered by CARP for agricultural purposes.

* If the land is covered by CARP, a landowner should get a clearance from the DAR before leasing it, he said.

De los Reyes said the DAR had yet to determine what part of the property was covered by land reform.

After being awarded the land, a landowner could not convert the use of his land in five years and not sell it in 10 years, otherwise this would be illegal, the agrarian reform secretary said.

“If he wants to sell it, he must get a clearance from the DAR. That’s what he can do,” he said.

If the landowner sold the land without informing the DAR, this would be illegal, the award of title could be canceled, and the land would be returned to the government, he said.

‘Work in progress’

Tiu admitted that Sunchamp had not obtained a clearance for conversion of the land from the DAR. “We’re working on that. It’s a work in progress,” he said.

“There’s a two-year curing period for the seller for the conversion of the land title before the full payment can be executed,” he added.

Cayetano also raised the possibility of tax deficiencies in connection with the sale of the controversial Batangas property to Tiu, who said he owned it amid allegations that Binay was the true owner of the estate.

Gregorio has the deed of sale, but the tax declarations are not under his name.

Tiu said he had these checked as part of due diligence before buying the property.

Cayetano zeroed in on the date of the deed of sale held by Gregorio to prove he was the legitimate owner of the land that Tiu had bought from him.

Capital gains tax

Cayetano alleged that the land was sold 20 years ago but had not been transferred in Gregorio’s name, which is tax evasion on his part. Tiu bought it and it was still not under his name, the senator added.

Tiu said he had not looked at the date on the deed of sale, and his lawyer Martin Subido said the same.

But Cayetano said the date was a crucial detail because it would determine when and how much in capital gains taxes should have been paid for the sale of the land.

Capital gains tax refers to the tax imposed on gains presumed to have been realized by the seller from the sale, exchange, or other disposition of capital assets.

Tiu said it was the seller’s obligation to pay the tax.

But Cayetano said that if these taxes had not been paid, even if Tiu had bought the property, the government could still go after the land and auction it off. This means that if the buyer does not look at the date of the deed of sale, and the price of the property is already equal to the tax, including penalties and surcharges, then the government will get the property, he said.

“If there’s a problem with the land, your P400 million will go to waste because this will be depleted by paying the taxes alone, and you won’t even get the land,” he said.

Tiu said the title of the property would not be transferred to him if the taxes had not been paid, adding that this could not escape the attention of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

But the senator said Tiu was allowing this because the deed of sale did not have a date.

Pimentel also asked whether it was in the interest of the buyer to ensure that the proper taxes had been paid arising out of the transaction.

Under the tax code and a revenue regulation, the obligation to pay the tax has shifted to the buyer because the BIR has a requirement that the buyer should withhold the tax and remit it to the BIR, according to BIR chief Kim Henares. It is also better to pay this at once, she said.

“It is to the interest of the buyer that he pay the taxes at the time of the sale because you have a surcharge of 25 percent, penalty interest of 20 percent, and it keeps on running. By the time we finish, you might not have any property anymore because we can attach the property as payment,” she said during the hearing.

Cayetano also said that if a property was sold twice, it is prohibited to make it appear that the original owner sold it directly to the third buyer.

Capital gains tax should be paid from the sale of the property by original owner to the second owner, and also from the sale of the property by the second owner to the third owner, he said.

He said if the deed of sale was blank, this could be used to evade taxes. He cited a TV interview where a Batangas resident said she sold her land to Binay, and the latter said the property would be transferred to him.

But Cayetano said the property was not transferred to Binay’s name but was transferred to a third person.

“So there’s tax evasion because they left out one transaction,” Cayetano said.

Attempt to evade taxes

Henares said in such a case, there was an attempt to evade taxes, particularly the capital gains tax and documentary stamp tax.

For a P400-million property, the capital gains tax is P24 million. If there is fraud, another P12-million charge would be collected. The tax could balloon to over P120 million if no taxes have been paid for 20 years, said Henares.

Tiu said there was no intention to avoid paying taxes.

Cayetano also said Gregorio apparently committed another anomaly because he registered in the name of Sunchamp the buildings on the Batangas property whose tax declarations were not under his name.

Gregorio did not have any written agreement with the holder of the tax declaration that the buildings belonged to him, the senator said. This was not allowed under the Civil Code.

“The assessor allowed it. So this is an anomaly,” he said.

Tiu said this was “not his problem,” but Cayetano said he was the owner.

“Actually, your honor, I’m the one that is correcting a mistake. I don’t understand what’s the anomaly in my case,” Tiu said.

But Cayetano insisted he was liable. “A mistake over a mistake over a mistake, that makes you a tax evader,” he said.

Tiu said he was ready to face any case from the BIR if there was any tax deficiency, and Cayetano retorted that Tiu had no choice but to face it if he had evaded taxes, whether he was ready or not.

“You said there was due diligence, but in your due diligence, it did not say the sale had taken place a long time ago and it was not registered,” he said.

MOA not notarized

The senators also questioned the fact that the MOA between Tiu and Gregorio for the purchase of the Batangas farm was not notarized.

Pimentel said he was expecting a more complicated document. He said he wanted to submit it to Henares to analyze its tax treatment.

Cayetano said the MOA had to be notarized and registered to be binding on third parties.

He said that while the MOA was binding between the two parties, the other parties who hold the title could actually sell the property to other people. The new sale would be valid if the new buyers were unaware that it had been sold to Tiu, he added.

Tiu’s lawyer Subido disagreed, saying that the MOA remained a valid document even without being notarized and that there was no weakness in the document.

He said registration and having the document notarized were not the means of transferring ownership. This could be done through delivery and, in this case, Sunchamp has possession and control of the property.

But Cayetano said that under the law, the exemption to this was real estate. Ultimately, the lack of notarization did not protect Subido’s client, he added.

Trillanes said that amid all this, it was clear there was no actual transfer of ownership of the Batangas property from Binay to Tiu.

He and Cayetano also castigated Tiu for changing his story every time he got caught.

It was also found out that Tiu had no VAT registration for Sunchamp Agri-Tourism Park, which the businessman said had accepted visitors to the farm, including students on field trips, before the controversy triggered by the Senate probe broke out.

SEC Chair Teresita Herbosa testified that the agency was reviewing and investigating the financial reports of the publicly listed Greenergy and ANI to find if these were accurate.

“We have found some adverse findings, or some incomplete disclosures. We will be issuing notices of clarificatory conferences to company officers as well as the auditors,” she told the committee.

In case of incomplete disclosures, outright misrepresentation or omission, the SEC would seek explanations from the concerned company, and without sufficient explanation, would impose administrative sanctions.

“We can impose a suspension, or in the case of ordinary corporations, even revoke the corporations,” she said.

Tiu earlier claimed Sunchamp made a down payment of P11 million for the purchase of the Batangas property. He said this would be charged against the shareholders.

Cayetano cites Instagram posts as proof of Binays’ farm ownership 1:57 AM | Friday, October 31st, 2014


OUR PLACE IN BATANGAS’ Joanna Marie Bianca, youngest daughter of Vice President Binay, may have provided “evidence” that her family owns the sprawling agricultural estate in Rosario, Batangas province. INSTAGRAM PHOTOS

MANILA, Philippines–Vice President Jejomar Binay’s youngest daughter Joanna Marie Bianca may have unwittingly provided proof that their family owned the high-end P1.2-billion farm in Batangas province.

In her Instagram (IG) account jmblicious, Joanna posted messages and pictures of the farm’s amenities, claiming the property as “our place.”

One of her posts, which came with a picture of three boys frolicking in a pool amid a grove of trees, read: “… our place in Batangas.”

In two other posts, Joanna uploaded a picture of her riding a Segway, and a photo of a unique-looking bicycle, owned apparently by brother Makati Mayor Jejomar “Junjun” Binay Jr., both in front of the farm’s clubhouse.

In yet another, she posted a picture of her father, the Vice President, wearing a bull cap and a jacket, holding a microphone, with the message: “its karaoke time!”

The pictures were apparently taken in December 2012.

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday presented the Binay daughter’s Instagram posts to dispute claims by the Binay family that it leased only 9 hectares of the 350-hectare farm in Rosario town.

“Did you file a case against jmblicious?” Cayetano asked lawyer Martin Subido at the resumption of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee inquiry into Makati City’s allegedly overpriced P2.28-billion parking building.

Subido, lawyer for the Vice President and businessman Antonio Tiu, responded: “Your honor, it’s not contrary to the rights of Sunchamp.”

Cayetano pressed on and asked what “our place in Batangas” meant.

Subido said: “This could mean anything.” Cayetano asked: “In what world?” The lawyer replied: “In any sensible man’s world.”

Cayetano then asked: “Doesn’t that mean they own it?” Subido responded: “Your honor, I don’t see the question, ‘Where are you?”

The senator then clicked on the slide showing the young Binay’s response to a friend asking about the backdrop of her pictures: “our place in batangas,” and said: “That answers your question.”

Subido maintained that the Binays were not claiming a right “adverse” to Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corp.

Not proof of ownership

Pictures do not prove ownership, according to the Binay camp.

“Nag-videoke ka lang, may-ari ka na (Does enjoying a videoke mean that you own the property)?” Binay’s spokesman Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla said immediately after the photos were shown at the hearing.

* Remulla said the Vice President and his family had been “open about using facilities and visiting Rosario.”

This was because Binay’s wife, Dr. Elenita Binay, has a flower farm inside the property, according to the Cavite governor.

“But these photos, like previous photos shown by Senator Cayetano, are not proof of ownership,” Remulla said.

Former Makati Vice Mayor Nestor Mercado has accused Binay of owning the sprawling estate with luxurious amenities, such as a mansion, a maze garden, orchard and horse ranch.

Tiu, owner of Sunchamp, has come forward as the owner of 150-hectares of the estate.

Subido claimed that the farm was only 145 ha, not 350 ha, and 9 ha of this was leased by Binay starting 1994. Binay’s JCB Farms occupied three hectares.

Binay said he sold JCB Farms for P10 million to Agrifortuna, which is owned by Laureano Gregorio. The Binay couple had been incorporators of Agrifortuna for a paid-up capital of P50,000 but sold their shares to Gregorio in 1995, according to the Binay camp.

Sunchamp acquired Gregorio’s rights to the property, and this has been disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Tiu, also chair of agro-commercial enterprise AgriNurture Inc. and holding firm for renewable energy businesses Greenergy Holdings, earlier said Sunchamp was leasing land from several parties, including Agrifortuna Inc., but the contract with Agrifortuna was for less than 10 ha.

Most powerful pictures

Cayetano showed a lengthy PowerPoint presentation complete with TV reports showing different holders of titles to the farm close to the Binays, magazine write-ups referring to it as the Binay Farm, and pictures of the Binays inside the farm.

“The most powerful pictures come from the Binay family themselves,” he said.

The pictures included that of Binay, clad in fatigues and combat boots, apparently touring friends in the estate.

“Tomorrow is Halloween,” Cayetano said, drawing chuckles. “When the Vice President was there, it wasn’t Halloween. Perhaps, you don’t go to a resort or a home of a friend in a costume. If you’re going around in fatigues, that means you’re at home; you own the place.”

Tiu said he respected Cayetano’s opinion.

“I never wore fatigues except during the ROTC (Reserved Officers Training Course),” Tiu said. He said he’d wear Captain America or Iron Man costumes to a party, but not on an ordinary day. “It’s not my kind of thing, too.”

Cayetano then remarked: “He’s welcome to answer. If it wasn’t his place, why would he wear fatigues when we’re not in a war?”

Tiu confirmed that Binay’s wife, Dr. Elenita Binay, was free to roam the farm beyond the 9 hectares as long as she cleared this with Sunchamp.

He admitted seeing the Vice President visit the farm once. But when it came to the Binay children, he said he had yet to see Sunchamp’s records of visitors.

“So far I have not met them at the farm,” the businessman said of the Binay children.

Tiu said Dr. Elenita had access to the farm because the Binays leased 9 hectares of it.

“As a courtesy to the wife of the Vice President, I didn’t stop her from going around,” he said.

Tailor sews stories together

When Cayetano asked if they were doing these as “acts of ownership,” Tiu replied that there was no problem with the Binays touring the farm as long as they cleared this first with Sunchamp.

“They went there more often than I did,” he said.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV butted in, and said: “Again, we’ve caught him lying… I told you it’s hard to be a tailor and sew stories together.”

He said Tiu had claimed the Binays were limited to visiting the orchard. Tiu denied saying this.–With a report from Christine O. Avendaño

Mercado: Binay has 8-hectare land in Dingalan, Aurora
By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated October 31, 2014 - 3:32pm 56 91 googleplus0 0


File photo of former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado. DZMM

MANILA, Philippines - Aside from a 350-hectare hacienda in Batangas, Vice President Jejomar Binay also allegedly owns an eight-hectare seaside property in Dingalan, Aurora.

Former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado claimed in an interview over radio dzMM that he and Binay acquired the property, which was under the name of four owners, in 1998.

"Andu'n pa rin 'yung lupa. Katunayan nga nai-turn over ko na kay VP Binay 'yung titulo ng lupa at nagpunta na nga rin si Attorney (Martin) Subido sa bayan ng Dingalan para asikasuhin 'yung paglilipat ng lupa e," Mercado said.

The former Makati vice mayor explained that it was Binay's idea to buy the property since a port will be constructed in Dingalan.

According to Mercado, the vice president's daughter, Makati Rep. Abigail Binay, collected from him the land titles that were in his possession.

"Gusto ko ma-test ko kung parehas ang pakikisama sa akin... Pinadala ko lahat ng titulo. Hanggang ngayon nasa kanila ang apat na titulo na iyon," he said.

"Balita ko nga e, kaya nagpunta si Attorney Subido du'n, e tina-try na nilang ilipat sa kanila. Ang problema lang nila e hindi nakapangalan sa kanilang 'yung mga lupa kundi nakapangalan du'n sa mga taong taga-du'n sa Dingalan," the former Makati official said.

Mercado was among those who testified at the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee hearing against Binay on the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall II parking building and the 350-hectare "Hacienda Binay" in Rosario, Batangas.

The vice president's camp has no comment yet on Mercado's new allegation.

MANILA TIMES OPINION

Cayetano also got his just deserts November 1, 2014 12:01 am by YEN MAKABENTA


YEN MAKABENTA

The point of Halloween in the western world is to use “humor and ridicule to confront the power of death” – hence the ghoulish pranks and antics. The point of All Souls Day and All Saints Day in the Catholic calendar is deadly serious; these are the days when we recall and venerate our dead and all the saints together.

In the spirit of these feasts and in the interest of fair and balanced journalism, I feel obligated to report, following my column last Thursday (“Trillanes impales himself,” October30), that Sen. Antonio Trillanes is not alone in falling on his words or his sword.

His partner in character assassination and senatorial excess, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, also got his just deserts – and in similarly jaw-dropping fashion.

To be completely truthful, this is not my original discovery and insight. I got it from fellow columnist Alex Magno, who noted it first in the Philippine Star.

Alex wrote: “Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, the only senator perceived to be in active play for the 2016 presidential contest, used to have a 5% share of voter preference. In the last survey, the number of voters who said they will choose him for the presidency dropped to barely 1percent. His base of voters basically evaporated.

From abortion to babymaking

“The drop in Cayetano’s numbers was so dramatic, the senator was quoted in one report as saying he would focus his energies in the near term on producing a baby. His presidential run appears to have been aborted. We wish him a healthy baby, however.

“The only thing that might explain Cayetano’s drastic loss of support is his participation in the three-man inquisition panel going after Vice-President Jejomar Binay. The hearings conducted by a runaway “subcommittee” may provide weekly grist for the scandal mill, but the partisan conduct of the hearings appears to have alarmed the public. If the second highest official of the land can be given the kangaroo-court treatment, what is there to protect ordinary citizens?”

Evaporated? Aborted?

Did VP Binay gobble up all of Cayetano’s supporters? What happened to the TV spots that Alan ran on network TV at such great cost? And to all the free TV time secured during the Senate inquisition on Binay? Did they have no beneficial effects?

* This is the problem with going negative. Its soul is signed in bile and water; you cannot pocket anything and then, say the old folks back home, there is karma, “Your foolishness will come back to you or your body.”

This is not necessarily curtains for the Cayetano for president fantasy, or the get-Binay conspiracy. The financiers behind it have deep pockets. Cayetano, like his partner Trillanes, could redouble his efforts to chop down Binay.

And Mar Roxas looks just about ready to formally declare his candidacy for president. He will be in earnest search of a running mate.

Cayetano and Trillanes always knew their limitations. Vice-president was the most they were pining for.

On just deserts

When I first heard the term “just deserts,” I thought it was what you get at the end of a hearty meal, spelled with a double s.

After some research, I am now properly instructed that it is spelled with a single s and is always in plural form. The singular desert will take us to the world of Lawrence of Arabia and metaphorical realms like “a cultural desert.”

In the Internet, I found this enlightening entry in the Phrase Finder website:
”Just deserts means ‘That which is deserved; A reward for what has been done—good or bad.’ ”

“In the sense of ‘things deserved’, it has been used in English since at least the 13th century. A citation in which it is linked with ‘just’ comes from 1599, in Warning Faire Women:
“Upon a pillory – that all the world may see, A just desert for such impiety.” “With this phrase it isn’t the origin that is interesting though, but the spelling.

I am often contacted by people pointing out that ‘just deserts’ is misspelled. They go to great lengths to explain why it should be ‘just desserts’. They are wrong, but perhaps understandably so.

“Deserts is now almost always used in reference to desolate and arid regions of land. Its use to mean ‘that which is deserved’ is now largely limited to this single phrase.

“Desserts—the last or sweet course of a meal—is widely used and is pronounced the same way as the deserts in ‘just deserts’.

“When hearing the phrase with the pronunciation like ‘desserts’, people think it must be spelled that way too. The spelling might be more intuitive if we thought of the phrase as ‘what you justly deserve.’”

“Most of the correspondence pointing out the ‘error’ comes from Australia. That may be coincidence, although it could be that, living in a hot, English-speaking country, Australians have more exposure to hearing the word deserts with the stress on ‘des’ than the rest of us.”

Aquino as just deserts of Filipinos In social media, I have noticed of late that Filipinos, expatriates and foreign observers are severely critical of the Filipino citizenry and especially Filipino voters.

They aver that President Benigno BS Aquino 3rd is entirely what we deserve—because of our unknowing and credulous electorate and our stupid politics.

Locals call our voters “bobotante” (dumb voters) because we voted PNoy into office knowing his total lack of accomplishments and credentials, and without subjecting him to rigorous screening.

Foreigners think our politics is stupid because we do not vote on the basis of platforms and issues; we base our choices wholly on personalities, media images and name recall.

Everything is driven by campaign advertising. This is why they we elect a disproportionate number of entertainers and the scions of family dynasties.

Given what we are living through today—the overmatched ineptitude of the Aquino government in the face of acute national problems and public policy questions—we Filipinos have gotten exactly what we deserve.

So the challenge of 2016 could not be clearer. yenmakabenta@yahoo.com

12 Responses to Cayetano also got his just deserts
Samuel Santos says:
November 1, 2014 at 10:46 am
I did not vote for PNoy, but nonetheless got a president I don’t deserve.
Reply

Johnny Ramos says:
November 1, 2014 at 10:13 am
I wonder who is paying for the tv ads of Alan Cayetano. If it is the City of Taguig, then it wasting funds of the city that no one will benefit except him his political dynasty family. And if some businesses are paying for the ads then there are business conflict could be in involved.
Reply

Guillermo says:
November 1, 2014 at 10:08 am
Sir Yen,
Thanks for agreeing with what I have frequently opined in my past comments to your
articles. The primary reason for the existing dire Philippines situation is the uneducated
and ignorant Filipino electorate………….and.the 2016 election will not be any different !
Reply

dustin says:
November 1, 2014 at 8:51 am
Foreigners are right when they call the philippine electorate stupid, they are. The very simpliest of which to examine is manny pacquiao. My god what education has this guy got. Hes a pro boxer that had little to no education at all, clever people in politics would use him & he wouldnt have a clue. He would be like a fish out of water. His tax problems should show you that, he had 2 years to show his origional tax receipt from the irs to the bir, but till now he hasnt shown it. Its either because his team are incompetent, or he is corrupt. Either way it shows he shouldnt be in any form of power in politics. But the pinoy is easily swayed as people like you know & every simple accusation can sway peoples mind. You use those almost every day on here.
Reply

Fernando dagohoy says:
November 1, 2014 at 7:47 am
Hindi ba puedeng papanagutin si brilliantes sa ginawa sa comelec
Reply

Leodegardo Pruna says:
November 1, 2014 at 7:45 am
Agree completely. The Hocus PCOS machine, the Brillant(es) 60-30-10 lotto parallel machine, should be out first to have a credible election result. Forget about the money pocketed by the brilliant chair, let us go and fight for an honest and respectable election this coming 2016 without the hocus. The hocus might give us an overly psychologically invalid and crazy result. God bless the Philippines..
Reply

Roy Mananquil says:
November 1, 2014 at 5:43 am
Mr. Makabenta’s article lacks any substance. It is very obvious that he is a Binay stooge and bent on criticizing Trillanes and Cayetano for no reason other than two are exposing Binay’s corruption.
Reply

Gloria M. Kuizon says:
November 1, 2014 at 1:12 am
Yes, sir, we must not vote for Mr. Aquino’s, Mr. Abad’s and Mr. Roxas’ and the the Liberal Party’s candidates in 2016.
But what about the Comelec-Smartmatic/PCOS machines that can produce the victors in the 2016 election the same way they in 2010 and 2013?
We must first get rid of that evil.
Reply

Guadalupe says:
November 1, 2014 at 1:55 am
I agree. The PCOS machines are as deadly and disastrous as the present crop of presidential wannabes. It’s best that we follow Germany when the people found that the machines are the perpetrators of fraud. They threw away the machines and returned to manual. That was the act of a people who value their right of suffrage. It was crucial to them that the ones they voted for are the ones that will come out in the election results.

Donquiadis says:
November 1, 2014 at 2:28 am
i concur and strongly agree with your ‘hokus pcos/smartmatic’ no sense going to the polling place with that smartmatic. Scrap brilliantes comelec and smartmatic before we even seriously think of the most viable presidential candidate. Focus and bombard lousy and evil brilliantes comelec, the yellow abnoy puppet, get rid of the smartmatic first!

JoeVee says:
November 1, 2014 at 6:05 am
It must be done ASAP.

Paking says:
November 1, 2014 at 6:50 am
The problem is, the machines might be smarter than the bobotantes who keep on voting for the trapos and/or popular but unqualified personalities like Lito Lapid, Manny Pacquioa and many more. Please note that wrong people being elected in position have lead to the demise of the Philippines. As long as corrupt and unqualified politicians are winning, whether the selection is by machine or by bobotantes, the result is destructive. The standard to choose candidates shall be upgraded so that only “the best and the brightest” are allowed to run. Until this happens, the rotten political system will continue to degrade the Philippine society.


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