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RODY SLAMS AMLC FOR INACTION ON DRUG MONEY LAUNDERING
[RELATED: Aguirre - BSP, AMLC withholding bank records linked to Bilibid drug trade]
NOVEMBER 15 -President Duterte delivers his speech during the 80th anniversary of the National Bureau of Investigation at the NBI headquarters in Manila yesterday. AP Photo/Aaron Favila President Duterte lashed out yesterday at the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) for what he said was its failure to stop the laundering of drug money. He said a person was able to set up a corporation for the purpose of washing money from the illegal drug trade. “I’d like to address myself to the central bank guys and the AMLC,” he said. “I’d like to warn you, to avoid a confrontation between us, central bank people… I will call for you and you have to answer so many questions to me.” “You choose, either we cooperate in this government as a Republic to protect and preserve our people or make it hard for us (and) I will make it hard for you.” READ MORE...RELATED, Aguirre: BSP, AMLC withholding bank records linked to Bilibid drug trade...
ALSO Duterte: De Lima admission of Dayan affair not enough to pin her[RELATED: Duterte - I’m sure of my evidence vs De Lima]
NOVEMBER 16 -Leila De Lima's admission about his relationship with her former driver and bodyguard Ronnie Dayan was only one part of the bigger puzzle, according to President Rodrigo Duterte. In a dinner with reporters on Tuesday, Duterte said De Lima's admission only meant that he "made an accusation which was all along very true." Even before De Lima's revelation, Duterte had alleged that she had carried out an affair with Dayan, saying the driver had served as her liaison for drug lords inside the New Bilibid Prison. De Lima has continued to deny the drug links. READ MORE...RELATED, EARLY REPORT, Duterte - I’m sure of my evidence vs De Lima...
ALSO: Ombudsman rebuked (for allowing drug situation to worsen)
[RELATED: Duterte seeks support of congressional leaders for war on drugs]
NOVEMBER 17 -Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales Solons: Carpio, Clemente silent on narco-pols JUSTICE Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II and several lawmakers assailed Ombudsman Conchita Morales and her team of prosecutors for not investigating so-called “narco-politicians” and allowing the drug situation to worsen in the country. Aguirre specifically demanded that Morales explain why she refuses to investigate Senator Leila de Lima for her alleged involvement in drug trafficking despite the testimonial evidence that has recently emerged against her.Lawmakers, on the other hand, criticized Morales for her “deafening silence” on other narco-politicians, like the late Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa, while maintaining an inordinate interest in pursuing “lesser” charges against other officials. READ MORE... RELATED, Duterte seeks support of congressional leaders for war on drugs...
ALSO: Leni's camp to Bongbong over poll protest: Accept the facts [RELATED EARLIER REPORT: Robredo seeks dismissal of Marcos Jr.’s poll protest]
NOVEMBER 18 -In this March 2016 file photo, vice presidential candidates Chiz Escudero, Bongbong Marcos and Leni Robredo face off at a nationally televised debate organized by Go Negosyo. Joshua Emmanuel Tan for Philstar.com, file Defeated vice presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has previously failed to establish his case over electoral fraud against the Commission on Elections and should stop, the camp of Vice President Leni Robredo said on Thursday. Beng Sardillo, a lawyer for Robredo, noted that Marcos' complaint filed at the Manila Prosecutor's Office was earlier dismissed due to insufficient evidence. "There are times when we just need to accept the facts and the truth no matter how painful it might be," Sardillo said in a statement. READ MORE...RELATED, EARLIER REPORT Robredo seeks dismissal of Marcos Jr.’s poll protest...
ALSO: 2 gov’t properties, one in Pasay, one in Quezon City open gates to ease traffic flow
[RELATED: House to approve Duterte traffic powers before Christmas]
NOVEMBER 18 -Two government properties – one in Quezon City and the other in Pasay City – will open their gates next week to allow private vehicles to pass through diversion roads to help ease traffic flow around the areas, the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-ACT) said yesterday. Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) officer-in-charge Tim Orbos, who is an official of I-ACT, said the gates of Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City and the Office of Transportation Security (OTS) on Andrews Avenue and Tramo will be open to motorists to use diversion roads leading out to another area. He said five more military camps will be opened to the public within the next two weeks to help ease traffic in the metropolis this Christmas season. READ MORE...RELATED, House to approve Duterte traffic powers before Christmas...
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Rody slams AMLC for inaction on drug money laundering
President Duterte delivers his speech during the 80th anniversary of the National Bureau of Investigation at the NBI headquarters in Manila yesterday. AP Photo/Aaron Favila
MANILA, NOVEMBER 21, 2016 (INQUIRER) By Giovanni Nilles November 15, 2016 - President Duterte lashed out yesterday at the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) for what he said was its failure to stop the laundering of drug money.
He said a person was able to set up a corporation for the purpose of washing money from the illegal drug trade.
“I’d like to address myself to the central bank guys and the AMLC,” he said. “I’d like to warn you, to avoid a confrontation between us, central bank people… I will call for you and you have to answer so many questions to me.”
“You choose, either we cooperate in this government as a Republic to protect and preserve our people or make it hard for us (and) I will make it hard for you.”
Duterte was at the 80th founding anniversary of the National Bureau of Investigation yesterday.
He said the Department of Justice and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) are looking into the laundering activities of the person that he had mentioned.
“There is a guy here now, just presently... We’re digging into the records of the case and he has… not really a fake corporation but a set-up just to launder, to wash the money,” he said. “To date, we have the accounting of P5.1 billion. One family.”
Duterte said a senator accused him during the campaign period of having P200 million deposited in a bank.
“You know when I was a candidate, there was a guy, a senator who’s so stupid (to claim) that I had P211 million in bank deposit,” he said. “And I was just curious, if I had that money, why did you (AMLC) not initiate an investigation?”
Duterte said had AMLC investigated him, the electorate would have known the truth.
“You cannot tell the public because you are protecting somebody, those who are really into money laundering,” he said.
“My case was simple: tell the public how much is my worth in this world… And the secretary of justice now says that you are hard to deal with. You better go to the secretary of justice or I will go to you.
“You failed miserably. Why didn’t you investigate me? So the people would have known. You’re a part of the garbage which I resent to this day. And do not give me a reason to have a confrontation.
“There are billions stashed there in the banks. It is being washed or just being kept there in the meantime. Go to the secretary of justice, the AMLC guys, explain to us in public or I will do the explaining for you. Choose.”
He was able to clean Davao City of the illegal drugs trade and other criminal activities because he was strict in implementing the law, Duterte said.
NBI NO COOPERATION WITH BANGKO SENTRAL, AMLC
An NBI official told The STAR yesterday that the AMLC and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas did not cooperate in information-gathering about money-laundering.
“In our recent cases, they did not cooperate with us,” the official said. “We have to establish where the money went so the case will be strengthened.”
Duterte criticizes Aquino
Duterte said yesterday former president Benigno Aquino III did not attend to the drug problem during his term.
“Maybe he did not realize the gravity of the situation because he simply did not know or never attempted to know how much was the scale, the dimension of three million (Filipinos addicted to illegal drugs),” he said
Duterte said he was criticized for the deaths of more than 3,000 Filipinos who either put up a fight against raiding police teams or were killed by vigilantes.
“They’d call upon me and say, ‘Duterte, why don’t you just rehabilitate them?” he said.
“Place them in houses where you can treat them, maybe detoxify their disease and come out with a better record of human rights.’ That is correct – if you have the money.”
Duterte said the government does not have money left for the rehabilitation efforts.
“And so I am now operating on a budget that was prepared the other year by president Aquino,” he said. “Half of the budget is gone.
“So we have here three million drug addicts, all potential criminals…at three million, the average hit is P200 per day. In one month, that is P6,000 times 13 million that is P18 billion a month.”
Duterte said multiplying the amount by the number of months, the country now has a P216-billion industry per year.
“Now, the portals of the national government have been opened to the creeping influence of drugs,” he said. “You must remember that Leila, Lilia or whatever the name is, was the secretary of justice herself and she allowed the drug industry to take place.”
Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa warned yesterday police officers mulcting money from civilians and businessmen in the guise of anti-drug operations that he will break their necks.
“I am appealing to the public, please help us police our ranks,” he said.
Dela Rosa said several businessmen and ordinary citizens have sought his help on the illegal activities of these police officers.
These police officers threaten to include the names of their victims in the police drug lists unless they pay up, he added.
Others ask money from their victims by assuring them that their names would be removed from the police drug watch list, Dela Rosa said.
Anti-kidnapping crusader Teresita Ang-See said a number of Chinese businessmen have been victimized by the police racket.
Dela Rosa said most of the time, a police officer or a group of policemen call on their victim to demand huge amount of cash in exchange for not naming her or him as a big-time illegal drug dealer.
“If your are being threatened by our scalawag colleagues because there are still a lot of them, please help us,” he appealed.
Dela Rosa warned these rogue police officers that if he catches them doing these illegal activities, he will be unforgiving.
“I will break your neck, you fools. I am giving out this warning,” Dela Rosa said, adding the PNP is more than willing to help suspected drug lords and drug peddlers or pushers if they are continuously being victimized by rogue cops.
‘No manufactured evidence’
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has denied manufacturing evidence in the drug charges against Sen. Leila de Lima.
In an interview yesterday, Aguirre turned the tables on De Lima and challenged her to present evidence to prove such allegations.
“Her standard defense is that the DOJ is manufacturing evidence against her… yet she has not presented any iota of evidence to prove her accusation,” he said.
Aguirre said the DOJ is just performing its mandate in investigating De Lima, and that she should be the first to understand such duty being a former justice secretary.
“The DOJ is just performing its function of investigating criminal complaints against her and her co-accused,” he said. “We are considering her cases as ordinary complaints.” –With Ghio Ong, Jaime Laude, Edu Punay
RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER
Aguirre: BSP, AMLC withholding bank records linked to Bilibid drug trade By: Gil C. Cabacungan - Reporter / @gcabacunganINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:09 PM November 17, 2016 J
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO)
MANILA — Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II is furious that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) have withheld vital bank information on the National BilIbid Prison (NBP) drug operations sought by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) nearly two years ago.
Aguirre said on Thursday that up to now, the BSP and AMLC appeared to be “protecting” people or groups involved in the drug trade as insinuated by President Rodrigo Duterte himself when he lashed out at the two agencies in a speech during the National Bureau of Investigation anniversary last Monday.
“Yes, the BSP-AMLC gave bank documents shortly after he castigated them in his speech. But the bank documents it gave were only for the narco-generals that we asked for five months ago. The bank documents involving the NBP drug operations have not been submitted up to now,” said Aguirre in a phone interview.
Aguirre said that when he met recently with BSP Governor and AMLC chair Amando M. Tetangco Jr., he was surprised to learn that the NBI had requested for the bank documents of the NBP drug lords such Herbert Colanggo, Peter Co, and Jaybee Sebastian as early as January 2015 or a month after then Justice Secretary Leila De Lima led the raid of the maximum security prison.
NBI STILL WAITING FOR DOCUMENTS
“But up to now, the NBI is still waiting for these bank documents even after getting a tongue-lashing from the President. This is already criminal negligence,” said Aguirre.
Aguirre said the bank transactions sought by the NBI could have boosted the case build-up against the convicted drug lords shortly and ended the illegal drug trade before the end of the Aquino administration.
While the BSP and AMLC claimed that they could not act because of the Bank Secrecy Law, Aguirre argued that since these bank deposits involved suspicious transactions and were considered a “predicate crime,” the dirty money watchdogs should have taken the initiative to gather the documents and submit it to the NBI as early as January 2016
BSP, AMLC RELUCTANT TO HELP
Aguirre said the BSP and AMLC’s reluctance to help authorities going after drug lords and other money launderers has been in sharp contrast with its cooperativeness in providing the bank data of the previous administration’s political enemies such as the late Chief Justice Renato Corona and former Vice President Jejomar Binay.
In his speech, President Duterte called the BSP and AMLC “garbage” and accused them of “protecting somebody, those who are really into money laundering.”
“I will call for you and you have to answer so many questions to me. You choose, either we cooperate in this government as a Republic to protect and preserve our people or do not make it hard for us, otherwise I will make it hard for you. There are billions stashed there in the banks, were really being washed or just being kept there in the meantime. Go to the Secretary of Justice, the AMLC guys, explain to us in public or I will do the explaining for you. Choose,” said President Duterte.
Mr. Duterte also alluded to a big-time drug lord who laundered P5.1 billion in dirty money in just one day under the noses of the BSP and AMLC.
Aguirre said: “The amount is so huge it boggles the mind how this could have been laundered in just one day if the BSP and AMLC were doing their jobs.” SFM
GMA NEWS NETWORK
Duterte: De Lima admission of Dayan affair not enough to pin her; Dayan has to surface Published November 15, 2016 10:24pm
Leila De Lima's admission about his relationship with her former driver and bodyguard Ronnie Dayan was only one part of the bigger puzzle, according to President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a dinner with reporters on Tuesday, Duterte said De Lima's admission only meant that he "made an accusation which was all along very true."
Even before De Lima's revelation, Duterte had alleged that she had carried out an affair with Dayan, saying the driver had served as her liaison for drug lords inside the New Bilibid Prison.
De Lima has continued to deny the drug links.
But Duterte said that the admission of the relationship was not quite enough to pin De Lima, saying Dayan needs to surface to prove them.
"He cannot answer for himself, he's not around. Bakit nawala siya? I hope he'll still be alive. He's still a vital witness," Duterte said.
Dayan has remained missing despite repeated summons from the House of Representatives justice and human rights committee, which conducted a probe on the alleged proliferation of the drug trade in the NBP.
On Tuesday, a group pooled together a P1 million bounty for information leading to Dayan's capture. —JST, GMA News
RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER EARLIER REPORT (SEPTEMBER 2016)
Duterte: I’m sure of my evidence vs De Lima By: Yuji Vincent Gonzales - Reporter / @YGonzalesINQ INQUIRER.net / 05:56 PM September 26, 2016
President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Leila de Lima. CEBU DAILY NEWS AND INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said “plenty” of drug-related charges await his staunchest critic Sen. Leila de Lima as soon as the investigation on the proliferation of drugs at the national penitentiary concludes.
Duterte said he was “sure” with his evidence that would supposedly link De Lima to the illegal drug trade.
“I am sure with my evidence… If she’s in prison, pagdugtungin ko pa babae sa lalake na kulungan (If she’s in prison, I’ll put the men’s prison beside the women’s prison). She can have as many lovers as she wants,” Duterte said in a press briefing following the oath-taking of Malacañang Press Corps officials.
“Hindi ka na nahiya sa sarili mo (You have no shame). Any other woman would have slashed her throat. Baka akala mo artista ka (Maybe you think you’re a celebrity)… Ambition is good but her sexuality pulled her down,” he added.
Duterte earlier alleged that De Lima had an affair with her former driver and alleged bagman, who supposedly collected drug payoffs for her senatorial campaign. The former justice secretary’s alleged links to the narcotics trade at the New Bilibid Prisons were also the subject of a congressional inquiry, led by Duterte’s allies at the House of Representatives.
The President also assailed De Lima’s claim that convicted car thief and gang leader Jaybee Sebastian was her “asset” who provided information on illegal drug trade in the major prison facility.
“What was that asset? Was it a sexual asset or a source of information?” Duterte said.
De Lima, who has become the President’s staunchest critic, initiated the Senate probe on the spate of supposed extrajudicial killings in the country amid the administration’s bloody war on drugs. JE/rga
Ombudsman rebuked posted November 17, 2016 at 12:01 am by John Paolo Bencito and Maricel V. Cruz
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales
Solons: Carpio, Clemente silent on narco-pols
JUSTICE Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II and several lawmakers assailed Ombudsman Conchita Morales and her team of prosecutors for not investigating so-called “narco-politicians” and allowing the drug situation to worsen in the country.
Aguirre specifically demanded that Morales explain why she refuses to investigate Senator Leila de Lima for her alleged involvement in drug trafficking despite the testimonial evidence that has recently emerged against her.
Lawmakers, on the other hand, criticized Morales for her “deafening silence” on other narco-politicians, like the late Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa, while maintaining an inordinate interest in pursuing “lesser” charges against other officials.
The lawmakers said Espinosa had already executed a sworn statement implicating, aside from De Lima, congressmen, police officials and other officials as being protectors of his son Kerwin Espinosa, said to be the biggest drug lord in the Eastern Visayas region.
And yet, Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Paul Elmer Clemente did not even bother to ask for a copy of Espinosa’s affidavit until the mayor was slain inside a jailhouse in Baybay City, Leyte.
Clemente did not even investigate allegations that relief assistance for “Yolanda” victims were being stockpiled by local officials and not being distributed to victims, the lawmakers added.
“After the congressional hearings, many witnesses, including two [National Bureau of Investigation] officers and other officials, said that [De Lima] and Ronnie Dayan received money in two instances worth P5 million each inside her Parañaque house,” Aguirre told Palace reporters.
“But to the Ombudsman, these are still insufficient. I don’t know why she is saying that these are mere allegations,” Aguirre said.
Instead, Morales, who like De Lima was an appointee of former President Benigno Aquino III, said that her office will not exercise their motu propio power to investigate De Lima.
“It’s not going to happen,” Morales said. “All of these are only allegations. There is really no lead would prompt us to initiate our investigation.”
But Aguirre questioned Morales’ motives for ignoring the testimonial evidence against De Lima.
“These are not mere allegations,” Aguirre insisted. “These are accusations even if backed only by testimonial evidence bu it is testimonial evidence. These are evidence.”
“I don’t know why she say [these are only allegations]. I believe the Ombudsman herself should explain her stand,” he added.
Aguirre argued that the evidence against De Lima was sufficient even without the testimonies of her former driver and bodyguard Ronnie Dayan and alleged drug lord Kerwin Espinosa.
“Actually, even without Dayan’s testimony, even without Kerwin’s testimony, it is already sufficient. We have more than enough testimonial evidence but we want an air-tight case. We are still strengthening the case [and] every single additional evidence is welcome,” he said.
Aside from De Lima, lawmakers said there were already many complaints of local politicians, like Albuera Mayor Espinosa, being involved in the drug trade but these were ignored by Ombudsman prosecutors.
“[The Ombudsman lawyers] are too quiet on that. They should take notice of [drug cases] because that is the problem that our country is facing today as pointed out by President [Rodrigo] Duterte,” said House Deputy Minority Leader and Buhay Hayaang Yumabong (Buhay) party-list Rep. Lito Atienza.
Atienza recalled that Duterte had already said there are magistrates, local officials, retired and active police officers who are allegedly involved in drug trafficking but the Ombudsman has not lifted a finger to probe the charges.
“They should seriously look into the drug proliferation and the involvement of public officials in the drug problem. They should pursue this [so they can help the government in its campaign against illegal drugs],” Atienza pointed out.
Another opposition lawmaker Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin noted that the Ombudsman continues to file corruption cases, like the one filed against Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa over his trip to watch a boxing bout in the United States.
“But they should look into all cases, not only graft and corruption,” said Garbin, a lawyer. “Being a constitutional body and watchdog to look after our accountable public officials, they should take action motu proprio even without a benefit of a complaint from somebody.”
“The Ombudsman should conduct the probe immediately given the magnitude of the drug problem. Dapat lahat at hindi lamang graft and corruption,” Garbin said.
Atienza said the Ombudsman has not even acted on complaints that local officials, some of them high ranking officials of the Liberal Party, were involved in drug trafficking.
But Aguirre said the DoJ will continue to conduct its own fact-finding investigations.
“Despite the resistance from the Ombgudsman to investigate Senator De Lima, these kind of cases could be investigated or could be heard in preliminary investigation by the Ombudsman and by the Department of Justice at the same time.
“So we are continuing our preliminary investigation in connection with these charges,” he added.
RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER
Duterte seeks support of congressional leaders for war on drugs By: Christine O. Avendaño - Reporter / @10avendanoINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 03:20 AM November 16, 2016
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Presidential Photo
Brandishing a 15-centimeter-thick file on government and police personnel allegedly involved in the narcotics trade, President Duterte on Monday night expressed frustration in a meeting with 10 senators and leaders of the House of Representatives at the enormousness of the drug menace besetting the country that even the declaration of martial law would not solve.
Most of the discussions during the three-hour meeting in Malacañang centered on the drug war that Mr. Duterte launched upon his assumption of the presidency on June 30 to fulfill a campaign promise to eliminate what he had described as a “pandemic.”
Mr. Duterte’s threat on Friday that he might suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus amid his war on drugs and the rebellion in Mindanao had drawn widespread concern that it would be a step toward the imposition of martial law.
“The President said he was just thinking out loud on weapons or ammunition or methods that are available to him. And that’s about it,” Pimentel told reporters.
Sen. Vicente Sotto III said Mr. Duterte probably raised the suspension of the privilege of the writ, which would allow arrest and detention without warrant, “in the event that the government would not be successful in curtailing the illegal drug trade.”
“The President said even martial law [would] not also stop the problem,” Sotto said.
Pimentel described Monday night’s affair at the Palace as a preliminary meeting of the Legislative-Executive Advisory Council (Ledac).
A Palace official said that the Ledac meeting was set for Dec. 5 to firm up the legislative priorities of the Duterte administration.
But Pimentel said the legislative agenda was only briefly covered. The President, he said, immediately discussed the drug problem and legislative support for his initiatives to deal with it.
Pimentel said Mr. Duterte showed to the senators a 15-cm-thick report of “government personalities” involved in drugs.
Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara said the file included barangay captains, other local officials and policemen.
The President mentioned places where the drug problem had worsened, including the cities of Iloilo, Iligan and Marawi, according to Angara.
Sotto said Mr. Duterte sought legislative support that would deal with the illegal drug trade and drug abuse, including putting up more drug rehabilitation centers.
Angara said the President pointed out the high cost of rehabilitation, saying the monthly cost of individual treatment was P10,000 for at least seven months.
“The President was wondering [where] he [would] get the money,” he said.
The meeting discussed the proposal to restore the death penalty, Angara said.
He added that Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, who led a House of Representatives delegation to the Palace, “committed” to ensure the passage in the lower chamber of the bill that would restore the death penalty as well as lowering the age of criminal responsibility.
Angara said the President pointed out that drug syndicates tended to do business in the Philippines because of the absence of the death penalty.
Pimentel said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III discussed the legislative support to pass key economic measures that included the budget reform bill, government right-sizing bill, as well as its income tax reform package that would lower individual income tax but will include countermeasures “to make up for anticipated revenue loss.”
Also discussed was the emergency power being sought by the administration to deal with the enormous transportation and traffic problems.
Other measures that the Palace wanted to pursue were the abolition of the Road Board and amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Law and the Bank Secrecy Law.
Aside from Pimentel, Sotto and Angara, the other senators who attended the meeting were Senators Ralph Recto, Alan Peter Cayetano, Gregorio Honasan II, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Cynthia Villar, JV Ejercito, Richard Gordon and Sherwin Gatchalian.
The members of the House delegation were Alvarez, Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles and House Minority Leader Rep. Danilo Suarez. —WITH A REPORT FROM MARLON RAMOS
Leni's camp to Bongbong over poll protest: Accept the facts (philstar.com) | Updated November 17, 2016 - 12:50pm 10 48 googleplus0 0
In this March 2016 file photo, vice presidential candidates Chiz Escudero, Bongbong Marcos and Leni Robredo face off at a nationally televised debate organized by Go Negosyo. Joshua Emmanuel Tan for Philstar.com, file
MANILA, Philippines — Defeated vice presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has previously failed to establish his case over electoral fraud against the Commission on Elections and should stop, the camp of Vice President Leni Robredo said on Thursday.
Beng Sardillo, a lawyer for Robredo, noted that Marcos' complaint filed at the Manila Prosecutor's Office was earlier dismissed due to insufficient evidence.
"There are times when we just need to accept the facts and the truth no matter how painful it might be," Sardillo said in a statement.
Marcos, who was defeated by Leni Robredo in the vice presidential race, filed a similar case earlier this month before the Department of Justice over Smartmatic's unauthorized modification of the Transparency Servers which transmitted votes in the wake of the national polls in May.
"The burden is on the Marcos team to prove that probable cause exists for the crimes they're alleging, i.e. intentional alteration of computer data without right and that this alleged criminal act has affected the results of the elections," Sardillo said.
"The dismissal means that they failed to establish their case," she added.
The complaint is separate from Marcos' poll protest filed in August at the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. Marcos questioned the victory of Robredo, whose votes eventually outranked Marcos' who was leading on the first day of the transmission.
Robredo led by only around 200,000 votes in the final tally.
Sardillo said the resort to file the complaint, this time at the Department of Justice, is a right of any individual, but "fair play demands that we guard against false or baseless charges."
"If their evidence is lacking, it should be declared to be so and no amount of appeal can change that," she added.
In the past months, Marcos launched a "Protest Watch" section on his website documenting developments on the electoral protest case against Robredo.
Past election protests by presidential and vice presidential candidates filed before the PET were dismissed. — Camille Diola
RELATED EARLIER REPORT FROM CEBU DAILY NEWS (AUGUST 15, 2016)
Robredo seeks dismissal of Marcos Jr.’s poll protest By: Tetch Torres-Tupas - Reporter / @T2TupasINQ INQUIRER.net / 06:21 PM August 15, 2016
Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday asked the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) to dismiss the election protest filed by former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos.
In her 536-page answer, Robredo, through her lawyers Romulo Macalintal and Ma. Bernadette Sardillo, said the issues raised by Marcos are not proper grounds for an election protest.
Flawed Automated election system
Subject of Marcos protest is the reopening of ballot boxes in each of the 36,465 clustered precincts in Cebu, Province of Leyte, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Masbate, Zamboanga Del Sur, Zamboanga Del Norte, Bukidnon, Iloilo Province, Bohol, Quezon Province, Batangas, Western Samar, Misamis Oriental, Camarnes Sur, 2nd District of Northern Samar, Palawan, Sibugay, Misamis Occidental, Pangasinan, Isabela, Iloilo City, Bacolod City, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City and Zamboanga City.
Marcos is also asking the PET to annul the election results in Lanao Del Sur, Basilan and Maguindanao where the ballots have been pre-shaded and a recount of 22 provinces and five cities.
Marcos said part of his petition is about the “flawed” Automated Election System (ES).
For one, the petition noted that an automated system should have a demonstrated capability and should have been successfully used in a prior electoral exercise. However, the vote counting machines (VCM) which were part of the components of the automated system supplied by Smartmatic have no “demonstrated capability” nor records of success in prior electoral exercises either in the Philippines or in any other country.
“Since there were no records as to how ‘successful’ the VCMs worked in the past, the procurement of the same was highly suspicious,” the petition stated.
But Macalintal and Sardillo said that the “first part” is just practically a complaint by Marcos against the Comelec in the lease of the Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) from Smartmatic alleging, among others, that said machines have no record of prior use in other elections in other countries.
“The tribunal has no jurisdiction to rule on his first cause of action,” Sardillo told reporters.
She said an election protest is a contest between two candidates and not a case involving the problem between Comelec and Smartmatic.
VOTE BUYING, PRESHADING
The second part of Marcos’ petition consists of the more “traditional” modes of cheating like vote buying, pre-shading, intimidation and failure of elections.
Sardillo said it is a mere series of wild accusations, guesses, and surmises which renders it miserably wanting in sufficiency both in form and substance.
“In other words, the allegations of election fraud and irregularities are without specification and substantiation, of where and how these occurrences took place,” Robredo, through counsel, said adding that as held in Pena vs. HRET, this is a fatal omission, as it goes into the very substance of the protest.
“The Supreme Court held in that ruling that it cannot allow an election protest based on such flimsy averments to prosper, otherwise, the whole election process will deteriorate into an endless stream of crabs pulling at each other, racing to disembark from the water,” she added.
ANNULMENT OF ELECTION RESULTS
As to the part where Marcos called for the annulment of the results of the elections in the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao and Basilan, Robredo asked the PET to immediately discard this cause of action based on the recent decision of the high court in the case of Abayon vs HRET last May 3 where it was held that in order to annul the results of an election, it must be shown that “the illegality of the ballots must affect more than 50 percent of the votes cast on the specific precinct or precincts sought to be annulled, or in case of the entire municipality, more than 50 percent of its total precincts and the votes cast therein.”
She said Marcos failed to present any evidence nor even allegation to show her direct or indirect participation in any of the alleged incidents of election fraud and that there is nothing to show that at least 50 percent of the ballots cast were affected or 50 percent of the municipalities involved more than 50 percent of its precincts were totally affected.
“The provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao and Basilan consist of 86 municipalities and two cities and a total of 2,756 clustered precincts. To annul the results in these three provinces, following the doctrine in Abayon case, Marcos must show that at least 50 percent of 88 municipalities and cities or 44 municipalities/cities or 50 percent 2,756 clustered precincts or 1,378 clustered precincts had been affected by the said electoral frauds alleged by Marcos in his protest,” Robredo’s answer stated.
She stressed that the electoral protest against her only cited four municipalities in Lanao del Sur; one municipality in Maguindanao and four municipalities in Basilan or a total of only 9 areas or a measly 10 percent of the 88 municipalities and cities of these three provinces to have been allegedly affected by his allegations of frauds and irregularities in these areas.
“Surely, this does not comply with the 50 percent affected-ballot requirement laid down by the SC to justify the annulment of the results of the election. More so with the failure of Marcos to allege or cite any evidence to directly point to Vice President Robredo as the one responsible, directly or indirectly, in the commission of the alleged electoral frauds,” she added.
Likewise, Robredo’s answer dismissed Marcos’ claim that the changes in the transparency server also changed the results of the election and the existence of an alleged queue server.
“The changing of the source code for the Comelec’s transparency server was not a fraudulent act or irregularity that affected the results of the May 2016 elections for Vice-President. The Comelec already explained that the source code changes did not affect the data collected by the transparency server,” she added in her answer.
Lastly, Robredo said her proclamation by Congress – acting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) – was based on the data transmitted by the canvassing laptops of the various provincial boards of canvassers that elected their own representatives in Congress and that the NBOC did not use the data collected in the Comelec’s transparency server in the canvassing of the votes for President and Vice President, which came from the various VCMs all over the country.
“The review of the source code was made by the poll body with due notice and invitation to all political parties and in the presence of said political parties. And for emphasis, there is no queue/intermediary server used during the 09 May 2016 National and Local Elections. The problem with Marcos is that he did not attend any of the review of the source code conducted by the Comelec despite notice and invitation by the Comelec,” she added.
2 gov’t properties open gates to ease traffic flow 0 SHARES Share it! Published November 18, 2016, 12:07 AM by Anna Liza Villas-Alavaren
Two government properties – one in Quezon City and the other in Pasay City – will open their gates next week to allow private vehicles to pass through diversion roads to help ease traffic flow around the areas, the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-ACT) said yesterday.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) officer-in-charge Tim Orbos, who is an official of I-ACT, said the gates of Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City and the Office of Transportation Security (OTS) on Andrews Avenue and Tramo will be open to motorists to use diversion roads leading out to another area.
He said five more military camps will be opened to the public within the next two weeks to help ease traffic in the metropolis this Christmas season.
CAMP AGUINALDO ACCESS
At Camp Aguinaldo, Orbos said motorists have to secure access cards or stickers to enter the gated military headquarters. Motorists will be allowed to use a diversion road in the camp going to and from EDSA-Santolan and Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City.
On Monday, motorists can apply for stickers, which the camp requires for security reasons, said Orbos.
The diversion roads in Camp Aguinaldo will be open Monday to Friday, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., until January 15, next year.
Vehicles coming from EDSA can enter Gate 3 and exit at Gate 6 going to Boni Serrano, and Gate 5 going to White Plains, vice versa.
Orbos said traffic personnel will be deployed inside the camp to direct traffic “so as not to disturb the activities there.”
With the opening of the gates, I-ACT is expecting to reduce a volume of 200 vehicles per hour on Boni Serrano Avenue, White Plains Avenue, and other major thoroughfares.
To secure access stickers, I-ACT Deputy Chief Traffic Officer Manny Gonzales said applicants need to submit the vehicle Certificate of Registration (CR) and Official Receipt (OR), picture of registered owner of the vehicle and pay a fee for the sticker. Stickers will be made available at the camp and MMDA headquarters in Makati City.
In Pasay City, the OTS on Andrews Avenue and Tramo will create an access road by destroying a wall there, Orbos said.
“There will be a diversion road so that vehicles coming from EDSA turning to Domestic Road going to Roxas Boulevard will not cram and wait for the green light at the intersection. The access road will allow vehicles to enter and exit at Andrews Avenue toward Airport Road to reach Roxas Boulevard,” explained Neomie Recio, MMDA Traffic Engineering Center head.
MORE TRAFFIC SOLUTIONS
Meanwhile, MMDA will open to one-way traffic the Airport Road, from Domestic Road to Roxas Boulevard.
Also, the I-ACT will open an access road from Buendia to Jupiter Street in Makati City.
“We are still asking permission from the local government of Makati,” said Recio.
Orbos said they will install directional signs and will conduct a trial run to guide motorists of the traffic adjustments.
He said these developments are expected to alleviate traffic congestion during the holiday season as shoppers coming from the provinces are expected to arrive in Metro Manila.
RELATED FROM PHILSTAR
House to approve Duterte traffic powers before Christmas By Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 17, 2016 - 12:00am 1 16 googleplus0 0
The House of Representatives intends to approve the bill granting President Duterte emergency powers to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila, metro Cebu and Davao City next month. File photo
MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives intends to approve the bill granting President Duterte emergency powers to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila, metro Cebu and Davao City next month.
“Hopefully, we can approve the bill before our Christmas break,” Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said in a radio interview yesterday.
Alvarez, Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas and transportation committee chairman Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento were forced to introduce Bill 4334, or the proposed Traffic Crisis Act of 2016, after discarding a measure proposed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Alvarez blamed DOTr officials for the delay in the grant of the emergency powers requested by the President.
“The problem was not with us in the House. We asked DOTr officials what they have done or what are their plans. They told us nothing. We cannot give emergency powers if we do not know where or how these would be used,” he said.
“We want to help the President, we want to help Secretary Tugade. But they have to help us. We have to help each other. If they don’t want to, we cannot do anything about it,” he said.
He said part of the problem lies with some of Tugade’s undersecretaries “who have their own personal interests to protect.”
HOUSE SPEAKER ALVAREZ
Alvarez again expressed frustration over the non-availability or insufficiency of vehicle license plates and driver’s licenses.
“They don’t need emergency powers to address these issues,” he said.
Sarmiento said the DOTr has failed to take advantage of the “low-lying fruits” his committee recommended while the House is tackling the proposed special powers for Duterte.
These include clearing roads of illegally parked vehicles and other obstructions, opening certain subdivision roads, stricter enforcement of traffic rules, reorganization of agencies that have to do with traffic and land transportation, and a shorter procurement process under the Procurement Law, he said.
He said Tugade, his officials and agencies under him could do all these under present laws without need of emergency powers.
He said Tugade and his underlings are “confused” on what the traffic crisis is and consequently on what emergency powers they need to solve it.
“You have failed to define the scope of the crisis. It is a time-honored principle, even acknowledged by our courts, that the findings of administrative agencies are accorded great respect by reason of your special knowledge and expertise. Sorry to say this but sadly, on this particular instance, we hope for a better performance,” he said.
Sarmiento reminded DOTr officials that since they are “confused on the specific powers” they need, his committee has helped them “understand that you already have the power to effect change in the transportation sector.”
“When we studied your proposals, most of the powers that you want are either included in your mandates or already addressed by existing laws. Speedy procurement, reorganization, protection from temporary restraining orders, opening up of private subdivision roads and most of the powers you enumerated per sector can already be achieved just by enforcing your mandates and other existing laws,” he said.
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