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IMEE MARCOS: PLEASE FORGIVE MY FATHER
[RELATED: Bongbong Marcos marks dad Ferdinand's birthday]


SEPTEMBER 13 -GOLDEN STATUE IlocosNorte Gov. Imee Marcos leads the wreath-laying ceremony at the golden statue of her father, the late strongman FerdinandMarcos, in Sarrat town, his birthplace. EV ESPIRITU / INQUIRER NOTHERN LUZON Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos pled forgiveness for the “sins” of her father, the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, at the end of a three-day celebration of his 99th birthday in Batac City on Sunday. “Whatever sins my father committed—he was, after all, human who made mistakes—I hope people absolve him. I hope that beyond all these issues, they would find mercy because in forgiving my father, their anger would be sated and they too would find peace,” Imee said in Filipino. She said the family had been hurt by the outrage triggered by the plan to bury Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City. The plan was stopped by the Supreme Court, which is hearing arguments on whether Marcos deserves to be buried at the heroes’ cemetery. Imee thanked the people who supported the Marcos family all these years. “If not for you, the family would have broken down. We draw our strength, our stability and our love from you all,” she said. READ MORE...RELATED, Bongbong Marcos marks dad Ferdinand's birthday...

ALSO: Ilocanos still sing martial law songs
[SAYS ABU TERRORISTS CONSIDER THEM ‘HIGH-VALUE TARGETS’]
[RELATED: Marcos mausoleum reopens in Batac]



SEPTEMBER 13 -LIGHTING UP Hundreds of Ilocanos, mostly loyalists of Ferdinand Marcos, light candles at the plaza of Batac City in Ilocos Norte province on Sunday, the late dictator’s 99th birth anniversary. They also released white balloons in a ceremony held as part of a campaign for unity once Marcos’ remains are buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani. The burial was stopped by the Supreme Court. EV ESPIRITU/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON
BATAC CITY—For three days every September, the people of Ilocos Norte celebrate the birthday of their favorite son, the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, to perpetuate his memory as the longest-serving Philippine President. But what have become a fixture in each celebration are songs that, ironically, remind Filipinos about the dark days of martial law that Marcos declared on Sept. 21, 1972. All activities during the celebration of the 99th birthday of the dictator from Friday to Sunday featured the “Bagong Lipunan” hymn—the anthem of Marcos’ vision for a “New Republic”—as well as “Pilipinas Kong Mahal,” a patriotic song that was also popular during his 21-year rule. READ MORE...RELATED,
Marcos mausoleum reopens in Batac...

ALSO: By Rod Kapunan - Noynoy’s bigots in the judiciary
(In fact, the justices exhibited their complete ignorance of R.A. No. 10368 or an act providing reparation and recognition for the victims of human rights violation during the Marcos regime which was enacted during the administration of the man who anchored his policy on his so-called Tuwid na Daan. Many are questioning that stupid law authored by demagogues because it was in defiance of the Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality and validity of martial law and the arrest orders subsequently issued.)


SEPTEMBER 17 -by Rod Kapunan
It must be recalled that then-President Marcos filed a case for libel against a disgruntled soldier who disguised himself as “progressive” but was in fact a notorious lackey of the US, together with former senator Raul Manglapus, for imputing that the medals he earned in World War II were spurious and for denigrating his participation in some of the bloody episodes against the Japanese in World War II. The case was dismissed by reason of his death. Nonetheless, even before the case was dismissed, the two left for the US to evade the charge. Instead of facing the court to prove there is no malice on their part, the two who claimed to be war veterans opted to flee, giving alibi they would prosecuted by the alleged Marcos-controlled judiciary. That means that even if Marcos survived to prosecute his criminal complaint against the two cowards, the case could not be prosecuted much that Philippine courts have no jurisdiction over fugitives fleeing to the US and seeking political asylum. Thus, if a case filed by the complainant himself can be dismissed on the ground that death supervened while the case was pending, it is most awkward and illogical for the court to maintain a case against an accused who died or much more to accept the filing of a case against a deceased person. If at all there are questions about the burial of the late president at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, these should only pertain to the issue of whether he is qualified to be buried there. Specifically, the law involved is Republic Act No. 289 or an act providing for the construction of a national pantheon for presidents of the Philippines, national heroes and patriots of the country. The Rules of Court have nothing to do with the law invoked by the petitioners to justify their opposition, but merely to see to it that court procedures are strictly observed. The court cannot proceed to hear and try a case other than on the qualifications of the deceased president who also distinguished himself as a bemedalled soldier. READ MORE...

ALSO: ‘Traffic crisis persists’; But Alvarez junks blanket authority for Tugade [RELATED: WANTS EMERGENCY POWERS: Tugade says traffic crisis ‘treats commuters like pigs’]


SEPTEMBER 12 -Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade
HOUSE Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has rejected the granting of “blanket emergency powers” being sought by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade after expressing disappointment over the agency’s failure to concretely address traffic problems during the first 100 days. “To be honest, I am not satisfied with the agency’s performance. The concrete reforms should have been put in place yesterday…. Blanket emergency powers are out of the question,” Alvarez said during a hearing of the House committee on appropriations chaired by Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexie Nograles. Alvarez chided transport officials for their lackluster performance as he questioned their ties and possible conflicts of interest. At the budget hearing, Alvarez grilled Tugade and other transport officials and asked why they had “nothing concrete” to report on reforms that President Rodrigo Duterte had ordered. “It is a must that in the first 100 days, in so far as the department is concerned, the public should see many changes. We see no concrete actions. We cannot just wait for what the agency plans to do,” Alvarez said. “I am worried and concerned because this has been repeatedly announced by the President that concrete change must be had and be felt by the public in the first 100 days.” READ MORE...RELATED,
WANTS EMERGENCY POWER: Tugade says traffic crisis ‘treats commuters like pigs’...

ALSO: Senate begins hearing ethics complaint vs. De Lima
[RELATED: Drilon questions Senate panel’s jurisdiction over complaint vs De Lima]


SEPTEMBER 14 -De Lim:
The Senate Committee on Ethics tackled the complaint against Senator Leila de Lima that accused her of having links to illegal drug trade. The complaint was filed by a certain lawyer Abelardo De Jesus. The senators, however, failed to resolve the issue on whether or not the committee has jurisdiction over the case. Senate Majority Leader and Ethics Committee Chairman Vicente Sotto III says, the lawmakers may vote on the matter of jurisdiction next week. “We should act on it as soon as possible,” he said. The matter on jurisdiction was raised by Senator Franklin Drilon. Senator Panfilo Lacson stressed the importance of deciding if the complaint complies with sufficiency in substance. Atty. Karen Jimeno served as general counsel for the committee. She said, the complaint’s form and substance must first be determined before the question on jurisdiction. De Lima had previously described the complaint as another harassment tactic lodged against her by her enemies. THE FULL REPORT, Drilon questions Senate panel’s jurisdiction over complaint vs De Lima...{Senate hearing now focused on EJKillings probe chaired by De Lima & Lacson)...

ALSO SUMMARY: Allegations of ‘Davao Death Squad’s member in Senate hearing
[RELATED: De Lima's witness says, Duterte ordered to kill broadcaster Jun Pala]

[RELATED(2): Andanar: Duterte incapable of giving 'kill' order]
[RELATED(3): Koko to De Lima: File new reso for Matobato’s ‘off topic’ testimony]


SEPTEMBER 15 -Witness Edgar Matobato during the Senate probe on the alleged extrajudicial killings at the Senate in Pasay City. INQUIRER PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES
A witness who claimed to be a member of the Davao Death Squad, the notorious vigilante group allegedly behind the killings in the President’s hometown, appeared before the Senate on Thursday and made explosive accusations against President Rodrigo Duterte on his alleged orders to kill more than 1,000 individuals when he was still mayor. READ: ‘DDS’ member bares alleged Duterte-ordered killings Here’s a summary of the allegations of 57-year-old Edgar Matobato, who said he was hired by Duterte as one of the “Lambado Boys” in 1988, which eventually evolved into the infamous DDS: -Matobato said he was a “ghost employee” at the Davao City Hall for 24 years as part of the Civil Security Unit, whose job was only to kill criminals. -Matobato said Duterte ordered to ambush Sen. Leila de Lima in 2009 when the Commission on Human Rights investigated the vigilante group in Davao City. -The witness claimed Duterte ordered the abduction and killing of four bodyguards of his political rival, former House Speaker Prospero Nograles. READ MORE...RELATED, De Lima's witness says, Duterte ordered to kill broadcaster Jun Pala...RELATED(2) Andanar: Duterte incapable of giving 'kill' order...RELATED(3) Koko to De Lima: File new reso for Matobato’s ‘off topic’ testimony ..


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Imee Marcos: Please forgive my pa


GOLDEN STATUE IlocosNorte Gov. Imee Marcos leads the wreath-laying ceremony at the golden statue of her father, the late strongman FerdinandMarcos, in Sarrat town, his birthplace. EV ESPIRITU / INQUIRER NOTHERN LUZON

LAOAG CITY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2016
(INQUIRER)
By: Leilanie Adriano @inquirerdotnet Inquirer Northern Luzon 01:31 AM September 13th, 2016 - Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos pled forgiveness for the “sins” of her father, the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, at the end of a three-day celebration of his 99th birthday in Batac City on Sunday.

“Whatever sins my father committed—he was, after all, human who made mistakes—I hope people absolve him. I hope that beyond all these issues, they would find mercy because in forgiving my father, their anger would be sated and they too would find peace,” Imee said in Filipino.

She said the family had been hurt by the outrage triggered by the plan to bury Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City. The plan was stopped by the Supreme Court, which is hearing arguments on whether Marcos deserves to be buried at the heroes’ cemetery.

Imee thanked the people who supported the Marcos family all these years. “If not for you, the family would have broken down. We draw our strength, our stability and our love from you all,” she said.

READ MORE...

She described her father as a “simple member of the community who loved the Ilocano dish dinengdeng (vegetable stew), a man who loved to dance the tango, and a father who was indulgent, patient and always joking around.”

“He belonged to the best times of gentleman-politicians. We are thankful for his teaching presidency,” said Marcos’ nephew, Ilocos Norte Vice Gov. Eugenio Angelo Marcos Barba.

“When I asked mom (Fortuna, Marcos’ youngest sister) what was her most unforgettable experience with Uncle Andy (Marcos), she recalled that when she needed to be in Manila after the war, her brother came rushing to her and accompanied her from Sarrat (town) to Manila. Going to Manila that time was very difficult,” Barba said.

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RELATED FROM INTERAKSYON.COM

Bongbong Marcos marks dad Ferdinand's birthday ABS-CBN News Posted at Sep 11 2016 11:36 AM | Updated as of Sep 11 2016 04:44 PM


Former Senator Bongbong Marcos with his father, late strongman Ferdinand Marcos. Photo from Bongbong Marcos' Facebook page

MANILA - Former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. paid tribute to his late father and namesake, former President Ferdinand Marcos, on the late leader's birthday on Sunday.

On Facebook, the younger Marcos posted a photo of himself as a boy with his father's arm clasped around his shoulders.

"To celebrate my father’s birthday (September 11) is to remember the dreams and aspirations he had for his beloved Philippines. Let us continue to work together to bring that vision of progress, dynamism and greatness to our country and our people!" he said in the caption.

"Never ever give up. Never lose hope #ForeverMARCOS," he added.

His post has garnered 36,000 "likes" and has been shared almost 3,000 times, as of this posting.

A planned hero's burial for the Marcos patriarch this September was earlier stopped by the Supreme Court. The high court last Wednesday extended until October 18, 2016 its halt order for the interment.

READ: 'Marcos Libingan burial is up to Duterte, not SC'

The younger Marcos, meanwhile, is also facing a legal battle over his defeat in the last vice presidential race. He has filed an election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo, claiming that the May polls were marred by "massive electoral fraud, anomalies and irregularities."


INQUIRER

Ilocanos still sing martial law songs
SAYS ABU TERRORISTS CONSIDER THEM ‘HIGH-VALUE TARGETS’
By: Melvin Gascon @inquirerdotnet Inquirer Northern Luzon 12:31 AM September 13th, 2016


LIGHTING UP Hundreds of Ilocanos, mostly loyalists of Ferdinand Marcos, light candles at the plaza of Batac City in Ilocos Norte province on Sunday, the late dictator’s 99th birth anniversary. They also released white balloons in a ceremony held as part of a campaign for unity once Marcos’ remains are buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani. The burial was stopped by the Supreme Court. EV ESPIRITU/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON

BATAC CITY—For three days every September, the people of Ilocos Norte celebrate the birthday of their favorite son, the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, to perpetuate his memory as the longest-serving Philippine President.

But what have become a fixture in each celebration are songs that, ironically, remind Filipinos about the dark days of martial law that Marcos declared on Sept. 21, 1972.

All activities during the celebration of the 99th birthday of the dictator from Friday to Sunday featured the “Bagong Lipunan” hymn—the anthem of Marcos’ vision for a “New Republic”—as well as “Pilipinas Kong Mahal,” a patriotic song that was also popular during his 21-year rule.

READ MORE...

Tourists from Batangas province said they were surprised that the Bagong Lipunan hymn was repeatedly played here, as well as in Sarrat and San Nicolas towns.

“It’s been a while since we last heard those songs. Hearing them again brought back memories of martial law, which gave me the chills,” said Cristina Sancho, 53, of Lipa City in Batangas province.

‘The horror’

Sancho said she used to march to the Bagong Lipunan hymn during the flag ceremony as a high school student. Hearing it again brought back the horror of passing through checkpoints manned by government soldiers, she said.

For most Ilocos Norte residents, however, the martial law songs help them remember their “Apo Lakay,” whose planned burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani has roused outrage.

Whenever the songs blared out from the sound system here on Sunday, residents sang along with gusto. Members of Batac City National High School’s drum and bugle corps tried to join in when the Bagong Lipunan hymn was played. But many said they did not know the lyrics or the history behind the song.

Farmer Gaspar Medrano, 83, said the song reminded him of the “glory days” of martial law. “I like singing it because it helps me remember how, as a member of a choir back in the days, we used to sing it for (Marcos) and he would sing with us,” he said.

Grateful for support

During the wreath-laying ceremonies at Sarrat plaza on Sunday, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, the late President’s elder daughter, said the family was at the brink of giving up because of the controversy ignited by Marcos’ burial plans.

“So much has been said and these are well-publicized and vociferous. But we are forever grateful for the support that has been given through the years and which continues to give us strength,” she told a crowd of about 500 people, most of whom wore red shirts and dresses.

Activities lined up for this year’s Marcos Fiesta have one goal: To portray Marcos as the hometown hero. No mention was made of the atrocities and abuses committed during martial law.

On Friday, a memorabilia of souvenir items featuring Marcos were put on display at a mall in San Nicolas. Prizes were pledged to the owner of the most unique item.

Look-alike tilt

On Saturday, little boys and girls were dressed up like Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, former first lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos. While in costume, the children sang the favorite Ilocano and Tagalog duets of the once most powerful couple.

A boy wore make-believe medals on his costume but did not win the “Makoy and Imelda look-alike” competition.

In Batac, a dinengdeng (vegetable stew) cooking contest was held on Sunday. The traditional Ilocano dish of fresh vegetables is said to be Marcos’ favorite.

Over social media, netizens were asked to post their sentiments about the Marcos burial, with the hashtag #iLibingna and #SalamatApo. “Let’s make Apo Lakay trend on social media!” urged an emcee over the public address system.

At each venue, desks were put up to gather signatures for an ongoing campaign urging the government to proceed with a Marcos burial at Libingan in Taguig City.

Before Sunday’s candle-lighting ceremonies in Batac, a video documentary was shown on a big screen at Imelda Cultural Park, showing the life story of Marcos, with emphasis on the early years of his presidency.

LISTEN TO ILOCANO MEDLEY SONGS
LA ALL STAR SINGERS

 
https://youtu.be/XE4QXJ9A74I
"Ilocano Top 40 Medley" -LA All Star Singers Vhen Bautista a.k.a. Chino Romero Vhen Bautista a.k.a. Chino Romero Published on Oct 1, 2015 "Ilocano Top 40 Medley" -LA All Star Singers. Non-Stop "Ilocano Top 40 Medley 1. Pamulinawen - Linda Lazo & Vhen Bautista 2. Naraniag A Bulan - Vhen Bautista 3. Manang Biday - Armand Curameng, Gina Bagasol & Vhen Bautista 4. Dikanton Malipatan - Linda Lazo & Vhen Bautista 5. Biag Ken Bileg - Armand Curameng & Vhen Bautista 6. Katuday - Vhen Bautista 7. Ti Ayat Ti Maysa Nga Ubing- Linda Lazo 8. Dungdungoen Kanto - Linda Lazo & Vhen Bautista 9. Bannatiran- Linda Lazo 10. Apay Apay- Linda Lazo & Vhen Bautista

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RELATED FROM INTERAKSYON.COM

Marcos mausoleum reopens in Batac Kim Lorenzo, ABS-CBN News Posted at Sep 10 2016 11:05 AM


Visitors enter the Marcos Mausoleum in Batac. Kim Lorenzo, ABS-CBN News

BATAC CITY- The mausoleum in Batac City which houses late President Ferdinand Marcos' remains reopened Friday, after being closed for a month due to preparations for the late strongman's burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, and maintenance operations.

The reopening of the mausoleum, housed in the Ferdinand E. Marcos Presidential Center in Batac City, Ilocos Norte, came three days before the 99th birth anniversary of the late President Ferdinand Marcos on Sunday.

Aian Raquel of the Ilocos Norte Provincial Tourism Office said the Marcos family decided to reopen the mausoleum because of requests from tourists, supporters, and locals.

"We have been receiving a lot of feedback and requests to appeal for the reopening of the mausoleum. Talagang on schedule, pinabuksan naman ng pamilya Marcos (Right on schedule, the Marcos family reopened it)," Raquel said.

No changes were made in the mausoleum after maintenance operations, she said.

"The setup is still the same."

Some tourists were surprised to find the mausoleum open.

"Nagbakasakali lang kami talaga na makita pa namin siya kahit na alam namin na matagal nang closed. Pero pagdating namin nagpapapasok sila kaya pumasok na kami agad," said Paula Maniacup, who traveled from Pampanga to visit Batac City.

The provincial government of Ilocos Norte organized a three-day "Marcos Fiesta" to celebrate the former president's birth anniversary, which started on Friday with a job fair, and an art and literary contest.

The burial of the former president at the Libingan ng mga Bayani was set on September 18, but was put on hold through a Supreme Court order.

Oral arguments are ongoing regarding petitions to bar Marcos' burial at the heroes' cemetery.

READ: 'Marcos Libingan burial is up to Duterte, not SC'


MANILA STANDARD COMMENTARY

Noynoy’s bigots in the judiciary posted September 17, 2016 at 12:01 am by Rod Kapunan


by Rod Kapunan

It must be recalled that then-President Marcos filed a case for libel against a disgruntled soldier who disguised himself as “progressive” but was in fact a notorious lackey of the US, together with former senator Raul Manglapus, for imputing that the medals he earned in World War II were spurious and for denigrating his participation in some of the bloody episodes against the Japanese in World War II.

The case was dismissed by reason of his death.

Nonetheless, even before the case was dismissed, the two left for the US to evade the charge. Instead of facing the court to prove there is no malice on their part, the two who claimed to be war veterans opted to flee, giving alibi they would prosecuted by the alleged Marcos-controlled judiciary.

That means that even if Marcos survived to prosecute his criminal complaint against the two cowards, the case could not be prosecuted much that Philippine courts have no jurisdiction over fugitives fleeing to the US and seeking political asylum.

Thus, if a case filed by the complainant himself can be dismissed on the ground that death supervened while the case was pending, it is most awkward and illogical for the court to maintain a case against an accused who died or much more to accept the filing of a case against a deceased person.

If at all there are questions about the burial of the late president at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, these should only pertain to the issue of whether he is qualified to be buried there.

Specifically, the law involved is Republic Act No. 289 or an act providing for the construction of a national pantheon for presidents of the Philippines, national heroes and patriots of the country. The Rules of Court have nothing to do with the law invoked by the petitioners to justify their opposition, but merely to see to it that court procedures are strictly observed.

The court cannot proceed to hear and try a case other than on the qualifications of the deceased president who also distinguished himself as a be-medalled soldier.

READ MORE...

In this case, it is not only the petitioners who are downright stupid. Some of the members of the Supreme Court also are.

The clowns in the Supreme Court should not have entertained and participated in questioning whether or not the deceased is qualified to be buried there. They can only ask clarificatory questions.

These loonies cannot even refute what Marcos has accomplished and achieved for his country because that could no longer be the subject of litigation.

Rather, they should demand for a repeal of the law that is being applied to the deceased president. Even then, that could not retroact to affect the honor he earned as former president and soldier.

REPEAL THE LAW

If those justices have their one cent’s worth of the Rules, they would have dismissed the petition outright much that it raised issues that could no longer be rebutted by a man who has long died.

Why put in question the medals he earned for heroism, his injuries while in action, the alleged hidden wealth he amassed, and the claims for compensation by the alleged human rights victims? The case had been closed after the death of Ferdinand Marcos, and neither can that stooge Gillego, who worked for a CIA-operated organization known as “Operation Brotherhood,” claim that Marcos failed to prove his medals. He who alleges should be the one to prove his allegations in court.

For sure, those bigots know that martial law was upheld by the same Supreme Court as constitutional, valid and legal in 1973. That means that those who fought against the government and were arrested pursuant to the declaration cannot now question that fact.

Moreover, if there were abuses in the enforcement of martial law, the Supreme Court is not the proper forum as it is not the trier of facts.

It is even stupid for Senator Leila de Lima to join as one of the petitioners much that it is the Republic that is being tried, not Marcos.

And De Lima claims to have been elected senator.

It was most stupid for those bigoted justices to ask Solicitor General Jose Calida on the issue of compensation. This means they are impugning the integrity of the Court, of which now they are justices.

They took turns in exhibiting their shameful ignorance by interrogating Solicitor General Calida to show their deep gratitude to the man who appointed them to their post.

Fortunately, Calida knows his law more. He did not present any witness to rebut the testimonies of the mercenary witnesses and lend credibility to the petition.

We are not saying they have no right to lodge a petition. They should have, however, filed it in the proper forum where facts are supposed to be tried, and when the defendant was still around to defend himself.

This means that the petitioners and their justices cannot proceed to litigate a dead man for his alleged misdeeds, and then collaterally deny him the honor given him by the Motherland, and exact compensation for a crime which he was not convicted by any court for human rights violation.

Common sense should have guided the petitioners and their bigoted consort in the Supreme Court to go after Fidel Ramos and Juan Ponce Enrile, the two being the most trusted enforcers of martial law for which they could rightly accuse as co-principals for the alleged crimes resulting from the imposition of martial law.

Rather, these clowns in robes want to hit two birds with one stone; that if they succeed in preventing the burial of the deceased President at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, that would automatically mean the State is now admitting the guilt of the deceased, and invariably give them a go-signal to rewrite our history in cahoots with the US imperialist and with the greedy oligarchy without them having to win the war.

That would be the most outrageous verdict in the annals of humanity, for we have our own Supreme Court sentencing a dead man who died 27 years ago.

In fact, the justices exhibited their complete ignorance of R.A. No. 10368 or an act providing reparation and recognition for the victims of human rights violation during the Marcos regime which was enacted during the administration of the man who anchored his policy on his so-called Tuwid na Daan.

Many are questioning that stupid law authored by demagogues because it was in defiance of the Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality and validity of martial law and the arrest orders subsequently issued.

They cannot claim that the petition is pursuant to the exercise of their rights as taxpayers, much that it is not an action by one whose income is subjected to charges imposed by the government for the benefit of that individual and others in order to prevent the unlawful diversion of funds. Besides, payment of compensation would partake of an illegal diversion of public funds.

That traitorous law implies that our soldiers who died and sacrificed in defending the Republic were nothing more but bunch of “war criminals” who served the “dictatorship,” and the traitors who fought against the government are rewarded and honored as heroes like what they did to put up their questionable Bantayog ng mga Bayani.


MANILA STANDARD

‘Traffic crisis persists’; But Alvarez junks blanket authority for Tugade posted September 12, 2016 at 12:01 am by Christine F. Herrera


Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade

HOUSE Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has rejected the granting of “blanket emergency powers” being sought by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade after expressing disappointment over the agency’s failure to concretely address traffic problems during the first 100 days.

“To be honest, I am not satisfied with the agency’s performance. The concrete reforms should have been put in place yesterday…. Blanket emergency powers are out of the question,” Alvarez said during a hearing of the House committee on appropriations chaired by Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexie Nograles.


House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez

Alvarez chided transport officials for their lackluster performance as he questioned their ties and possible conflicts of interest.

At the budget hearing, Alvarez grilled Tugade and other transport officials and asked why they had “nothing concrete” to report on reforms that President Rodrigo Duterte had ordered.

“It is a must that in the first 100 days, in so far as the department is concerned, the public should see many changes. We see no concrete actions. We cannot just wait for what the agency plans to do,” Alvarez said.

“I am worried and concerned because this has been repeatedly announced by the President that concrete change must be had and be felt by the public in the first 100 days.”

READ MORE...

Alvarez also expressed dismay after he learned that of the 80 airports nationwide, only the Davao International Airport had been visited by Tugade’s department to check on the problems in the past two months.

“I had to ask how many airports had been visited because there is such a thing as budget preparation so how would you know how much is to be allocated for each airport if you haven’t even checked each one? I asked how many had been visited so far and there was only the Davao airport that had been checked. For all we know, the visit was not meant to find out the problem of the airport,” Alvarez told the panel.

Alvarez, who was chief of the Transportation Department during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, said he could not believe that he would be among the thousands of Filipinos to be complaining about the delays in the securing of license plates and OR-CR from the Land Transportation Office.

Three months after he bought a brand new car, Alvarez said he has yet to receive his car plate.

Tugade sought to use the Speaker’s complaints to pitch blanket emergency powers that he wanted Congress to grant him, but Alvarez would have none of it.

“It cannot be that we’d allow blanket emergency powers. We have to identify which areas will need emergency powers. It cannot be a blanket coverage,” he said.

Alvarez also grilled Transportation Undersecretary for Railway Noel Kintanar, who previously served as assistant vice president of Ayala Corp.; Undersecretary for Air Operations Bobby Lim, who was formerly country manager of the International Air Transport Association; and Undersecretary for Land Transport Anneli Lontoc.

NO NEED FOR EMERGENCY POWER

Alvarez said Tugade and his officials did not need emergency powers to address the concerns that the President wanted resolved in the first 100 days such as the traffic, long queue and the release of permits and licenses within three days.

Alvarez warned Tugade that just like in the previous administrations, some officials had prioritized the interests of their former “principals.”

He cited as example former Energy secretary and Executive Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, who worked for the Ayalas and served under former President Benigno Aquino III and also under Aquino, former Public Works secretary Rogelio Singson, who worked for businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan.

“Let us not fool ourselves. In every administration, private corporations put their people in departments covering their business. Whose interests are you serving?” the Speaker said.

The Ayalas and Pangilinan have ongoing multibillion stakes in big-ticket infrastructure projects such as the Metro Rail Transit System and Line Railway Transit.

San Miguel Corp. also has stakes in MRT and Tugade, according to National Economic and Development Authority Director General Ernesto Pernia, wanted to allow the SMC-Ramon Ang owned Manila North Harbour Port Inc. to engage in international trade that port stakeholders were opposing since MNHPI has an existing exclusive contract with the Philippine Ports Authority to operate only in domestic trade.

“We want this administration to succeed, I and Secretary Tugade are partners in ensuring that we all work for the interests of the government. This is why we want to scrutinize your budget to see that it is clean and is not tainted with the interest of your former principals,” Alvarez added.

“Let’s not fool each other. Let’s look at your budget to see if it is clean of any interests of your former principals. Let’s be frank and blunt about this,” Alvarez said.

Tugade defended his handpicked team at the department, however.

“I need them to guide me. But if I ever see any conflict of interest, I will not wait for an investigation, I will fire them immediately because I am here to serve the nation and the President,” he said.

“All we ask is give us the chance to do our job,” Tugade added.

When Alvarez raised the issue of delays in the releasing of license plates, official receipts and certificates of registrations with Lontoc, Tugade said this was precisely one of the reasons the department is seeking emergency powers from Congress.

During the budget deliberations, Alvarez also took issue with the perceived underperformance of some of the Transportation undersecretaries.

In particular, he scored Lim for visiting only one airport—Davao airport—out of the country’s 80 airports in the more than two months he has been in office.

“Seventy days and Davao only? How will you address the problems of the airports if you have not visited them? You should know the status of every airport in this country. It’s better you visit the airports so you get a clear picture,” Alvarez said.

Tugade’s department will spend over P39 billion for its projects in 2017. These include P4.9 billion for road projects, P5.5 billion for aviation projects, P24 billion for railways projects and P3.9 billion for maritime projects.

Tugade’s department has a proposed budget of P55.4 billion for 2017, up 25 percent from 2016’s P44.2 billion

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Emergency power: Tugade says traffic crisis ‘treats commuters like pigs’ By: Marc Jayson Cayabyab @MJcayabyabINQ INQUIRER.net 03:15 PM September 15th, 2016

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on Thursday made a pitch to Congress on granting President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers to solve the traffic situation, which he called a “crisis that treats commuters like pigs.”

During the transportation committee hearing at the House of Representatives, Tugade presented a draft of a bill which was closely adopted by Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano in her version of the proposed legislation.

Tugade gave an impassioned speech about the traffic situation not being simply a “state of mind” but already a “state of chaos.”

READ: Tugade aide clarifies ‘state of mind’ traffic

| Metro Manila traffic just a ‘state of mind’

“I have always maintained that right now, in this country and in these times, we have a crisis that is real, a crisis that is very challenging. Sinasabi ko noon at paulit ulit – nabababoy na po ang kabuhayan ng mga Pilipino sa trapiko (the lives of the Filipinos are violated because of the traffic),” Tugade said.

He said commuters were treated like pigs as they endure hours of traffic along Edsa and other main thoroughfares in Manila, that cost the Philippines P2.4 billion a day according to a 2013 study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

READ: ‘Traffic costs P2.4B daily’

“Sobrang pambababoy na. Mas maraming panahon at oras ang ginugugol ng mga mamamayan sa kalsada na dapat ginugugol sa pamilya at sa hanapbuhay. Sobrang pagkababoy na po ang buhay ng Pilipino sa traffic at transportasyon,” Tugade said.

(This is too much. People spend more time on the streets than with their families and livelihood. Traffic and transportation have wought havoc on the lives of the Filipinos.)

He clarified his earlier statement that traffic was a state of mind, noting instead that the traffic situation had reached a “state of chaos.”

“Ang traffic ay, hindi (Traffic is not a) state of mind. It is a state of chaos,” Tugade said.

He assured the public fearful of giving unlimited powers to the President that the grant of emergency power would last only two years.

Tugade said Congress would also have oversight powers to ensure checks and balances, adding that the bill would even allow concerned citizens to question the emergency powers before the Supreme Court.

Tugade said the emergency powers would also be compliant with a policy of transparency under a freedom of information principle.

“Sa madaling salita, hindi (In other words, it is not) capricious and certainly not whimsical. It will also be guided by the spirit of the law and by the spirit of the Constitution,” Tugade said.

Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice asked Tugade if the projects presented when the President has emergency powers would still be subject to review by the National Economic Development Authority and the Regional Development Council, and would still need the grant of environmental impact assessment, local permits, building permits, among others.

Tugade said the grant of emergency powers would not forego the review and assessment of projects.

Asked by Erice if the emergency powers would bypass ordinances of different local government units, Tugade said the department has talked to several mayors who agreed to synchronize their ordinances.

The Department of Transportation presented to Congress its proposed draft of the bill that sought to grant Duterte special powers to solve traffic, which includes among others opening up the roads in the subdivision to ease traffic congestion, go to direct contracting to speed up infrastructure projects, and resolve injunction and right of way issues delaying the implementation of infrastructure projects.

Under the Constitution, only Congress can grant the President emergency powers.

“In times of war or other national emergency, the Congress may, by law, authorize the President, for a limited period and subject to such restrictions as it may prescribe, to exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a declared national policy,” according to Article VI, Section 23 of the 1987 Constitution. CDG/rga


MANILA STANDARD

Senate begins hearing ethics complaint vs. De Lima posted September 13, 2016 at 12:33 pm by Arlene Lim

The Senate Committee on Ethics tackled the complaint against Senator Leila de Lima that accused her of having links to illegal drug trade.

The complaint was filed by a certain lawyer Abelardo De Jesus.

The senators, however, failed to resolve the issue on whether or not the committee has jurisdiction over the case.

Senate Majority Leader and Ethics Committee Chairman Vicente Sotto III says, the lawmakers may vote on the matter of jurisdiction next week.

“We should act on it as soon as possible,” he said.

The matter on jurisdiction was raised by Senator Franklin Drilon.

Senator Panfilo Lacson stressed the importance of deciding if the complaint complies with sufficiency in substance.

Atty. Karen Jimeno served as general counsel for the committee.

She said, the complaint’s form and substance must first be determined before the question on jurisdiction.

De Lima had previously described the complaint as another harassment tactic lodged against her by her enemies.

WATCH VIDEO: Full Coverage Senate Ethics Committee complaint and Investigations against De lima

 
https://youtu.be/UqTz-Jg4gQw
Full Coverage Senate Ethics Committee complaint and Investigations against De lima President Duterte Era Published on Sep 12, 2016 Video Credits to Rappler Senate Ethics Committee complaint and Investigations against Leila De lima lead by Senate Ethics Chair Tito Sotto,regarding on De lima's drug proliferations and coddlers of druglords during her tenured as DOJ Secretary. Category People & Blogs License Standard YouTube License

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PHILSTAR

Drilon questions Senate panel’s jurisdiction over complaint vs De Lima By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated September 13, 2016 - 4:19pm 2 1363 googleplus1 0


Sen. Franklin Drilon called on the Senate panel to discuss the issue on jurisdiction before the determination of form and substance because he said the complaint on Sen Leila De Lima’s alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade. Senate PRIB/Released

MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Pro-Tempore Franklin Drilon on Tuesday questioned the Senate Committee on Ethics and Priveleges’ jurisdiction over the complaints filed against party-mate Sen. Leila De Lima.

Drilon called on the Senate panel to discuss the issue on jurisdiction before the determination of form and substance because he said De Lima’s alleged involvement in illegal drug trade supposedly occurred before she was elected a senator.

The complaint was filed by lawyer Abelardo De Jesus.

Drilon said proceeding with the investigation despite authority issues hounding the case would be “adversarial.”

“Sakop ba ito sa ating jurisdiction? And, as correctly pointed, ito po ay baka based on acts which were allegedly done prior to the respondent being a senator. I actually question, will the determination of form and substance include this issue? Which issue is primordial and should be decided first even before form and substance has decided? That's my submission to the committee,” Drilon said.

For Drilon, the jurisdictional issue should be resolved first since form is easier to determine as there are no prescribed form. He said a simple letter can be considered as a form of complaint as long as it is made under oath.

READ MORE...

Both Drilon and De Lima are members of the Liberal Party.

Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, however, disagreed with Drilon saying the sufficiency of form and substance shall be decided by the panel first before jurisdiction as it is the root of the complaint. The complaint against De Lima stemmed from the speech of President Rodrigo Duterte accusing the female senator of receiving poll funds from the inmates of New Bilibid Prison through her lover and driver.

Lawyer Karen Jimeno, general counsel to the committee for the complaint against De Lima, then advised the Senate panel to follow the rules very strictly.

She cited Section 17, Rule 2 of the approved rules of the committee, where the panel is required to determine the form and substance of the verified complaint within five days upon receipt. She said the rules on jurisdiction are in Section 15.

“The sworn complaint must state the respondent engaged in improper conduct which may reflect upon the Senate at any time after he or she has taken her oath,” Jimeno said.

Sen. Vicente Sotto II said the panel will resume its hearing on Thursday. Lacson said they will also decide on the merits of De Jesus' complaint.

“We will render our decision whether or not we will throw out this complaint on the basis of insufficiency in form and substance and/or jurisdiction,” Lacson said.

[SENATE HEARING FOR NOW IS FOCUSED ON EJKillings CHAIRED BY DE LIMA IN THE SENATE]

WATCH VIDEO: SEPTEMBER 13, 2016 AN INTENSE DRILON VS LACSON ON JURISDICTION AND SUBSTANCE
 
https://youtu.be/reFCYvlJFKU
NAGSISIMULA NA ANG UNANG MAPAIT NA KABANATA SA BUHAY NI SENADOR DE LIMA SA SENADO REAL CHANGE DUTERTE REAL CHANGE DUTERTE Published on Sep 13, 2016 NAGSISIMULA NA ANG UNANG MAPAIT NA KABANATA SA BUHAY NI SENADOR DE LIMA SA SENADO Category People & Blogs License Standard YouTube License


INQUIRER

SUMMARY: Allegations of ‘DDS’ member in Senate hearing SHARES: 2091 VIEW COMMENTS By: Yuji Vincent Gonzales @YGonzalesINQ INQUIRER.net 01:39 PM September 15th, 2016


Witness Edgar Matobato during the Senate probe on the alleged extrajudicial killings at the Senate in Pasay City. INQUIRER PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

A witness who claimed to be a member of the Davao Death Squad, the notorious vigilante group allegedly behind the killings in the President’s hometown, appeared before the Senate on Thursday and made explosive accusations against President Rodrigo Duterte on his alleged orders to kill more than 1,000 individuals when he was still mayor.

READ: ‘DDS’ member bares alleged Duterte-ordered killings

Here’s a summary of the allegations of 57-year-old Edgar Matobato, who said he was hired by Duterte as one of the “Lambado Boys” in 1988, which eventually evolved into the infamous DDS:

-Matobato said he was a “ghost employee” at the Davao City Hall for 24 years as part of the Civil Security Unit, whose job was only to kill criminals.

-Matobato said Duterte ordered to ambush Sen. Leila de Lima in 2009 when the Commission on Human Rights investigated the vigilante group in Davao City.

-The witness claimed Duterte ordered the abduction and killing of four bodyguards of his political rival, former House Speaker Prospero Nograles.

READ MORE...

-Matobato said Duterte ordered to kill Muslims suspected in the 1993 bombing of the Davao cathedral. Matobato said he himself threw a grenade in a mosque, abducted Muslim suspects, and killed and buried them in the Laud quarry.

-Matobato said he and five others kidnapped suspected terrorist Sali Makdum in Samal in 2002 by hanging him and chopping his body.

-Matobato said Duterte’s son and Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo ordered to kill a man who overtook the latter’s vehicle in a traffic altercation

-The witness, who said he had worked with Davao police for 34 years, claimed that part of the cops’ modus was to plant guns on the crime scene. “Ang pulis laging may reserba na baril para ‘pag may mapatay, lalagyan (The police always had a reserved gun so that when a person is killed, the gun can be planted),” he said.

-In 2013, Matobato said Duterte ordered the killing of a fixer at the Land Transportation Office, whose body, he said, was dumped in San Rafael village in 2013

-Matobato said they abducted three women from their house in 2013 and dumped their bodies on a road in San Rafael village.

-On the orders of five mayors including Duterte, Matobato said they killed a member of a religious group named Jun Barsabal, who he said was killed because “he was squatting on lands.” Barsabal’s body, he said, was buried at Ma-A quarry.

-Matobato said Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte ordered the killing of billionaire hotelier Richard King in 2014 over a certain “Ochoa,” a woman they were both pursuing. He said rebel returnees Joel Tapales and Loloy Gabas were given P500,000 for King’s assassination.

-Matobato said they killed more than a thousand individuals from 1988 to 2013.

-Matobato said Duterte ordered the killing of radio broadcaster Jun Pala, a vocal critic of the longtime mayor.

-The alleged DDS member said Duterte also ordered the killing of a dance instructor, supposed boyfriend of Duterte’s sister Jocelyn, who was abducted in Jacinto street. Matobato said he and six others handcuffed the instructor and killed him at the Ma-A quarry.

-Matobato said he worked with National Bureau of Investigation director Dante Gierran for 15 years and tagged him in an operation in 2007, the target of which, he said, was fed to a crocodile.

-Matobato said a certain NBI agent named Jamisola was killed by Duterte some time in 2007. He said an altercation figured between a certain Col. Pabo and Jamisola, whose vehicle was blocking the way. Matobato said Duterte arrived at the scene and killed the agent himself.

-The witness said rebel returnees were responsible for the killing of those involved in gang wars by shooting them at close range.

-Matobato said a property in Gaisano was the extension of the Ma-A quarry, where a certain “Commander Toothpick” buried the bodies of victims. He added that they also dumped bodies at the Island Garden City of Samal.

-Matobato said he left the government’s Witness Protection Program after Duterte won the presidency.

-The witness claimed that Paolo Duterte, whom he said they had been escorting since the vice mayor was a child, had long been using drugs. JE/rga

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/815550/summary-allegations-of-confessed-dds-member-in-senate-hearing#ixzz4KKDAQwCR Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

De Lima's witness says, Duterte ordered to kill broadcaster Jun Pala By Kristine Daguno-Bersamina (philstar.com) | Updated September 15, 2016 - 12:20pm 1 919 googleplus0 0


President Rodrigo Duterte cited Jun Pala as one of the members of the press who deserved to be targets of assassination in a press conference in June. Philstar.com/File photo

MANILA, Philippines — An alleged member of the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS) told the Senate on Thursday morning that former Davao City mayor and now President Rodrigo Duterte ordered to kill broadcaster Jun Pala.

Sen. Leila de Lima presented Edgar Matobato, a former Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) member, during the Senate inquiry on drug-related killings.

Matobato, who testified before the Senate, told lawmakers that his group planned to kill Pala in 2003 upon the order of then-Mayor Duterte through a certain Arthur Lascañas. He claimed that he was not part of the murder.

The broadcaster came to public attention when Duterte cited him as one of the members of the press who deserved to be targets of assassination in a press conference in June.

“The example here is Pala. I do not want to diminish his memory, but he was a rotten son of a bitch.” Duterte said. “He deserved it.”

Pala, who was later on elected as Davao City councilor, is known as a hard-hitting commentator of Aksyon Radyo dxGO in the city who spoke against communist vigilante group Alsa Masa and the DDS.

Pala and then-Mayor Duterte used to be friends despite the former’s anti-communism stance.

In 2001, however, a feud started brewing between the two when Duterte reportedly did not give in to some of Pala’s requests.

Pala was gunned down on Sept. 6, 2003 by two men onboard a motorcycle while walking home from work. He sustained nine gunshot wounds in the chest and died on the spot.

Duterte previously said that he always been pointed as the perpetrator of Pala’s murder but insisted that he had nothing to do with it.

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RELATED(2) FROM PHILSTAR

Andanar: Duterte incapable of giving 'kill' order By Kristian Javier (philstar.com) | Updated September 15, 2016 - 6:35pm 3 30 googleplus0 2


Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella in a press briefing. Philstar.com/File photo

MANILA, Philippines - Palace spokespersons on Thursday deflected allegations made at a Senate hearing by a man claiming to be a former member of the so-called Davao Death Squad that President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the deaths of about 1,000 people in the years that he was mayor.

During the Senate hearing, witness Edgar Matobato implicated Duterte in the deaths of about 1,000 people, and in other related crimes.

"Do I think he’s capable? No, I don’t think he’s capable of giving a directive like that," Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said.

The president, known for his colorful language, has talked about killing drug dealers, criminals and corrupt officials in many of his speeches.

Andanar added the issue of the Davao Death Squad had already been investigated by the Commission on Human Rights and that the commission did not find direct evidence implicating Duterte.

The Department of Justice also launched an investigation into killings attributed to the vigilante group, which had been linked to Duterte. The DOJ dropped the investigation before the link could be proven.

"I don’t think the witness is there anymore… There is really nothing there (to pursue)," Acting Secretary Emmanuel Caparas said in May.

READ: DOJ drops probe on Davao Death Squad

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, meanwhile, said that Duterte never gave security forces any orders to "shoot to kill" in the government's drive against drugs, the original subject of the Senate hearings conducted jointly by the Senate committees on Justice and Human Rights, and Public Order and Dangerous Drugs.

"Let’s put it this way: The police are instructed how to go about properly before they leave." Abella said.

Abella said that the aim of the Duterte administration is to have a "peaceful, crime-free, corruption-free nation."

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RELATED(3)  FROM GMA NEWS ONLINE

Koko to De Lima: File new resolution for Matobato’s ‘off topic’ testimony Published September 18, 2016 2:48pm By MARK D. MERUEÑAS, GMA News

Author Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III on Sunday advised Sen. Leila de Lima to file a new resolution to accommodate self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato’s testimony against President Rodrigo Duterte.

In an interview on dzBB, Pimentel said that Matobato's statements in last Thursday's senate inquiry on supposed extrajudicial killings (EJKs) were considered "off topic" in relation to Senate Resolution No. 9 that led to the ongoing hearing by the panel chaired by De Lima.

According to Pimentel, a new resolution is the best option for De Lima instead of insisting on presenting Matobato in the Senate committee on justice and human rights' probe on drug-related killings under the almost three-month-old Duterte administration.

Senate No. 9 specifies that only possible EJKs committed from May 2016 are covered by the inquiry, he said.

Matobato claimed that a group of policemen killed some 1,000 people in Davao City on Duterte's orders from 1988-2013, aside from the the execution of suspects in the bombing of the Davao Cathedral in 1993.

Duterte assumed office on July 1, 2016, after winning the May 9 presidential polls. Thus, killings linked to the so-called Davao Death Squad that was supposedly encouraged by Duterte, are not covered by Resolution 9.

Out of De Lima's committee?

But in case a separate resolution is filed to accommodate Matobato's testimony, Pimentel said there is still no assurance that it would again be referred to De Lima's committee on justice.

"Kasi kung unsolved killings... baka hindi na iyan sa committee on justice. Kung failure of the police to prevent killings, baka sa public order na iyan babagsak. At kung hahabulin at aalamin sino ang dapat file-an ng kaso, baka sa blue ribbon na iyan," Pimentel said.

The committees on public order and blue ribbon are chaired respectively by Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Sen. Richard Gordon.

On the other hand, Pimentel downplayed accusations that his refusal to provide protective custody to Matobato was connected to his party affiliation.

Pimentel and Duterte both belong to the ruling PDP-Laban party.


Senate ‘wasted’ time hearing Matobato’s ‘irrelevant’ testimony, says Pimentel Published September 16, 2016 1:38pm Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Friday questioned as to why the committee of Senator Leila de Lima “wasted” its time listening to the testimony of witness Edgar Matobato, which he said was irrelevant to the subject of the investigation on the drug-related killings. “Nag-aksaya tayo ng isang buong araw para sa witness na ‘yun na wala naman siyang contribution sa proposed Senate Resolution No. 9,” Pimentel said. “Ang hearing namin in aid of legislation, merong pinu-pursue na subject matter, hindi kahit ano pwedeng pag-usapan,” he said.

"Walang corroboration, walang tape, walang testigo, video tape. Parang hindi na kailangan proteksyunan si Pangulong Duterte doon. Ang pinapapangalagaan ko lang ay ang Senado," he said.

Pimentel maintained that the Senate cannot give protection to Matobato because the legislative body does not have a program to extend such privileges to Senate witnesses.

He said Matobato could instead seek protection from the Department of Justice through its witness protection Program.

Another option for Matobato is the Office of the Ombudsman and the Commission on Human Rights, which both offer protection to witnesses and whistleblowers, he added.

But Senate President Pro-Tempore Franklin Drilon on Saturday said that every Senate panel, such as the committee on justice and human rights, has the power to place witnesses under its own protective custody, and that such a move does not require the approval of the Senate leadership.

"Such power cannot be vetoed by the Senate President," Drilon said.

Matobato, who claimed to have been a member of the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS) from 1988 to 2003, said he killed 50 people under direct orders from Duterte, who was then Davao City mayor.

The 57-year-old self-confessed hitman said he was a Davao native who only finished Grade One. He claimed to have been part of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit since 1982, before he was recruited to join the DDS in 1988.

Duterte was first elected as mayor of Davao City in 1988 after serving as officer-in-charge from 1986 to 1988.

Trillanes-De Lima initiative

Pimentel said he has no problem with Senator Antonio Trillanes IV or Sen. De Lima personally helping Matobato in getting security, as long as the custody is not within Senate premises, over which he has authority.

The Senate President said his fellow lawmakers can even shell out from their own Senate funds for the purpose as long as they properly liquidate the expenses.

Pimentel said he was willing to speak with both De Lima and Trillanes this week on the matter.

He said he intends to ask De Lima why she presented Matobato in the first place, and if she intends to file a new resolution where the witness can introduce "a new topic."

Also, he said he wanted to speak with Trillanes to urge him not to resort to a "physical intrusion" against his fellow senators during Senate hearings, similar to his turning off Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano's microphone during last Thursday's Senate hearing.

Likewise, he reminded De Lima there is a button on the left side of her microphone that allows her, as committee chair, to switch off all microphones on the table.

Off topic?

For his part, Trillanes, in a separate radio dzBB interview, insisted that Matobato's testimony was not "off topic" and was indeed "directly related" to the subject of the Senate investigation.

Trillanes said he intends to bring up during the plenary session on Monday his concerns about Pimentel's refusal to give protection to Matobato.

"Ang Senate President, wala kang extraordinary power to overrule a committee. Otherwise, magiging boss namin siya eh hindi naman ganoon," said Trillanes.

"Siya ang boss ng Senado kasi siya nangangasiwa ng administrative aspect ng Senado pero sa mga senador, siya ang presiding officer sa plenaryo pero hindi kami subjected sa ano nya... na 'ganito ganiyan.' Hindi ganoon iyon," he added. — LBG, GMA News


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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