MUSLIM COMMISSION NOW BANNED FROM GETTING 'PORK'

The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), an agency under the Office of the President (OP) that received more than P600 million in pork barrel funds in the first two years of its existence, is now banned as a “pork” recipient and implementer. President Aquino had it delisted in the 2013 national budget as a Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) implementing agency. Budget Secretary Florencio Abad has told The STAR that the President removed NCMF as a PDAF implementer because of reports of irregularities in the use of pork barrel funds lawmakers allocated to the agency. NCMF was created in 2010 to replace the old Office of Muslim Affairs. The commission received P96.5 million in pork barrel funds in 2011 and P514.7 million in 2012, for a total of P611.2 million, before Aquino removed it as a PDAF recipient-implementer in the 2013 budget. Actually, in his 2011 budget proposal, the President did not include the Muslim commission as an eligible pork barrel fund recipient. It was in the Congress’ version of the budget that NCMF was inserted in the list of PDAF recipient-implementing agencies. Aquino retained it in his 2012 budget proposal. It disappeared in the following year’s budget. READ MORE.....

ALSO: Abad denies he tutored Napoles on `pork’ scam

Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad denied Friday allegations that he tutored pork barrel mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles in designing the pork scam. “These fresh allegations that I tutored Janet Lim-Napoles in designing the PDAF scam are simply not true. I’ve been called several names since I began serving in this Aquino administration, but ‘Pork King’ is certainly the most ridiculous. It would in fact be funny if it weren’t such a blatant lie,” Abad said in a statement. Abad said he never dealt with Napoles, much less acted as a mentor in executing her alleged schemes. “There’s a lot of work to be done. We in the Department of Budget and Management and the Aquino administration would continue to fight for a government free of corruption, even if our transparency and accountability reforms run counter to the interests of some,” he said. On Thursday, reports surfaced that the unsanitized version of Napoles’ pork scam tagged Abad as the “tutor” of the pork barrel scam.THIS IS THE FULL REPORT

ALSO: Wack Wack suspends Mar

Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II was suspended for two months from Wack Wack Golf and Country Club following supposed outburst earlier this month. The golf club's management said in a statement Thursday that Roxas' sanction for "violation of club rules and regulations" is to uphold the Mandaluyong resort's policies and to "maintain good order at all times for the enjoyment ... by its members." Roxas allegedly berated and cussed employees for requiring his guest to pay the "green fee" of P5,100 last April 6. Reacting to the suspension order, Roxas said that he accepts the club's decision as he does not consider himself "above any law, rule, or regulation." "Accordingly I accede to it," he said. He also reiterated his apology for those whom he hurt, and called the incident a "misunderstanding." Roxas, however, again denied having cursed at the club's staff. "It was not my intention to hurt or insult anyone, and I did not curse at anyone either." Roxas said. Roxas also cited his 20-year membership in the club, shares which he inherited from his father. "Wala sa puso ko na sirain ang magandang relasyon ko sa mga caddy, empleyado at miyembro ng WackWack family," he said.THIS IS THE FULL REPORT

ALSO: Roxas on suspension: I’m not above the law

Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II honored the decision of the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club suspending his membership, saying he does not consider himself above any law. “Naipaabot na sa akin ang desisyon ng Wack Wack. I do not consider myself above any law, rule,or regulation; accordingly, I accede to it,” Roxas said in a statement on Friday.
The same day, Wack Wack issued a statement nullifying his golf course membership for two months. Roxas apologized and cleared himself of any ill intention to any of the employees. “I have already apologized for any infractions or hurt feelings as a result of this misunderstanding over the payment of green fees for non-players. It was not my intention to hurt or insult anyone, and I did not curse at anyone either,” he clarified. Earlier on Friday, the management of the Mandaluyong-based golf club said that Roxas was suspended “for (violating) club rules and regulations.”

ALSO: Mar and the world’s strongest typhoon

The timeline for Typhoon Yolanda is one that barely mentions Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas. We heard many voices in the aftermath of Haiyan, that of foreign journalists like Anderson Cooper, that of the President responding to a businessman’s story of the violence in Tacloban via the rhetorical question: You did not die, right? We heard Mar’s wife Korina, forgetting for a moment that she was a journalist when she so obviously was defensive for her husband in the wake of CNN reports from Tacloban. We heard Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman, the rightful focal person for relief distribution because she is also the NDRRMC Vice Chairperson for Disaster Response. Roxas’s absence from the timeline does not erase the fact that the DILG Secretary and Vice Chairperson for Disaster Preparedness of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) was actually in Tacloban a day before the storm hit. He arrived with NDRRMC Chairperson and Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. The DILG Secretary arrived in Tacloban a day before the world’s strongest typhoon was forecast to make landfall. That seems too late, doesn’t it?READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA NEWS REPORT:

Muslim commission now banned from getting ‘pork’
 


Budget Secretary Florencio Abad

MANILA, APRIL 28, 2014 (PHILSTAR) By Jess Diaz - The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), an agency under the Office of the President (OP) that received more than P600 million in pork barrel funds in the first two years of its existence, is now banned as a “pork” recipient and implementer.

President Aquino had it delisted in the 2013 national budget as a Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) implementing agency.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad has told The STAR that the President removed NCMF as a PDAF implementer because of reports of irregularities in the use of pork barrel funds lawmakers allocated to the agency.

NCMF was created in 2010 to replace the old Office of Muslim Affairs. The commission received P96.5 million in pork barrel funds in 2011 and P514.7 million in 2012, for a total of P611.2 million, before Aquino removed it as a PDAF recipient-implementer in the 2013 budget.

Actually, in his 2011 budget proposal, the President did not include the Muslim commission as an eligible pork barrel fund recipient. It was in the Congress’ version of the budget that NCMF was inserted in the list of PDAF recipient-implementing agencies.

Aquino retained it in his 2012 budget proposal. It disappeared in the following year’s budget.

The President has said he was not sure whether the Muslim commission under his office was a PDAF implementer.

“To be perfectly candid about it, there are so many functions embodied in their charter... and I was not clearly aware or immediately aware that they were a conduit or an implementing agency for various PDAF projects,” he told a recent news conference.

The commission’s first head was Bai Omera Dianalan-Lucman, who served from March 2010 up to April 13, 2012, when former elections commissioner Mehol Sadain was appointed to replace her.

The Muslim agency’s head has the rank of a Cabinet member.

The 2011 Commission on Audit annual report for the agency does not discuss how the P96.5 million in pork barrel funds received by the Muslim commission was used. Neither does it list the lawmakers who allocated such funds.

It only lists the 15 SAROs (Special Allotment Release Order) the agency received from the Department of Budget and Management and the amount of allocations.

NCMF received one SARO for P15 million, one for P12 million, one for P2 million, one for P5 million, one for P7 million, one for P1 million, one for P3.5 million, one for P10 million, one for P5 million, one for P6 million, one for P7 million, another for P5 million, one for P3 million and two for P7.5 million each.

The report shows that as of Dec. 31, 2011, NCMF had used P70.5 million of the P96.5 million in PDAF allocations.

The 2012 annual report is more extensive. Auditors found irregularities in the use of the P515 million the agency received from Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Gregorio Honasan and 38 members of the House of Representatives, mostly belonging to party-list groups.

The funds ended up in foundations and non-government organizations (NGOs), including some identified with suspected pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.

The NGOs supposedly used the money for various livelihood projects, training and seminars for Muslim Filipinos.

“The audit team was informed that the concerned lawmakers were the ones who identified the NGOs/POs (people’s organizations), and not NCMF, as evidenced by the letters of the lawmakers to the secretary of the NCMF,” the report said.

The report classifies P25 million of the releases as coming from Malacañang’s controversial disbursement acceleration program (DAP), while the rest came from the now unconstitutional PDAF.

“It is our view that the selection of NGOs/POs should be undertaken by NCMF because the funds were released to NCMF, and therefore, the same agency is duty-bound to account for the funds to the government and/or beneficiaries,” the audit team said.

“The practice of allowing lawmakers to select NGOs/POs to implement the PDAF and DAP was not in accordance with COA Circular No. 2007-001. The selection should not be done by lawmakers but by NCMF officials having full responsibility over the funds released to them,” it said.

The circular governs the release of government funds to NGOs. It provides guidelines on the use of such funds.

The COA report lists the 18 foundations, the lawmakers who gave them funds and the amounts released to these NGOs.

The NGOs and the amounts that ended up with them were Focus on Development Goals Foundation, P30 million; Livedures Foundation, P37 million; Kaagapay Magpakainlanman Foundation, P160 million; Maharlikang Lipi Foundation, P67.7 million; Rich Islas de Filipinas Foundation, Inc., P62 million; Kagandahan ng Kapaligiran Foundation, P25.170 million; Kabalikat sa Kalusugan Foundation, P17 million; Kaisa’t Kaagapay Mo Foundation, P3 million; Workphil Foundation, P1 million; Kaakbay-buhay Foundation, P3.5 million; Pangkabuhayan Foundation, P5 million; Coprahan at Gulayan, Inc., P14 million; BL Personal Touch Foundation, P11 million; UF Multipurpose Corp., P1.1 million; and Kabuhayan at Kalusugan Alay sa Masa Foundation, P10 million.

The report also shows that Kapuso’t Kapamilya Foundation, which Sadain claimed he had blacklisted, received P64 million through NCMF from seven House members, including a party-list representative who gave it P37 million.

He denied his agency was involved in the “pork” scam.

At least three of the 18 foundations are among NGOs that figured prominently in the COA special audit report on billions of PDAF disbursed between 2007 and 2009.

For instance, Kabuhayan at Kalusugan Alay sa Masa Foundation received P526.7 million, according to the special report, while Pangkabuhayan Foundation, which has been linked to Napoles, received P396.1 million. Some P107.5 million went to Kapuso’t Kapamilya Foundation.

FROM THE INQUIRER

Abad denies he tutored Napoles on `pork’ scam By Nestor Corrales INQUIRER.net 6:03 pm | Friday, April 25th, 2014


Budget Secretary Florencio Abad INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad denied Friday allegations that he tutored pork barrel mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles in designing the pork scam.

“These fresh allegations that I tutored Janet Lim-Napoles in designing the PDAF scam are simply not true. I’ve been called several names since I began serving in this Aquino administration, but ‘Pork King’ is certainly the most ridiculous. It would in fact be funny if it weren’t such a blatant lie,” Abad said in a statement.

Abad said he never dealt with Napoles, much less acted as a mentor in executing her alleged schemes.

“There’s a lot of work to be done. We in the Department of Budget and Management and the Aquino administration would continue to fight for a government free of corruption, even if our transparency and accountability reforms run counter to the interests of some,” he said.

On Thursday, reports surfaced that the unsanitized version of Napoles’ pork scam tagged Abad as the “tutor” of the pork barrel scam.

FROM PHILSTAR

Wack Wack suspends Mar By Camille Diola (philstar.com) | Updated April 25, 2014 - 6:24pm 0 0 googleplus0 0


Interior and Local Government Secretary Manual "Mar" Roxas II. STAR file

MANILA, Philippines — Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II was suspended for two months from Wack Wack Golf and Country Club following supposed outburst earlier this month.

The golf club's management said in a statement Thursday that Roxas' sanction for "violation of club rules and regulations" is to uphold the Mandaluyong resort's policies and to "maintain good order at all times for the enjoyment ... by its members."

Roxas allegedly berated and cussed employees for requiring his guest to pay the "green fee" of P5,100 last April 6.

Reacting to the suspension order, Roxas said that he accepts the club's decision as he does not consider himself "above any law, rule, or regulation."

"Accordingly I accede to it," he said.

He also reiterated his apology for those whom he hurt, and called the incident a "misunderstanding." Roxas, however, again denied having cursed at the club's staff.

"It was not my intention to hurt or insult anyone, and I did not curse at anyone either." Roxas said.

Roxas also cited his 20-year membership in the club, shares which he inherited from his father.

"Wala sa puso ko na sirain ang magandang relasyon ko sa mga caddy, empleyado at miyembro ng WackWack family," he said.

FROM THE INQUIRER

Roxas on suspension: I’m not above the law By Julliane Love De Jesus INQUIRER.net 5:43 pm | Fri


Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II honored the decision of the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club suspending his membership, saying he does not consider himself above any law.

“Naipaabot na sa akin ang desisyon ng Wack Wack. I do not consider myself above any law, rule,or regulation; accordingly, I accede to it,” Roxas said in a statement on Friday.

The same day, Wack Wack issued a statement nullifying his golf course membership for two months.
Roxas apologized and cleared himself of any ill intention to any of the employees.

“I have already apologized for any infractions or hurt feelings as a result of this misunderstanding over the payment of green fees for non-players. It was not my intention to hurt or insult anyone, and I did not curse at anyone either,” he clarified.

Earlier on Friday, the management of the Mandaluyong-based golf club said that Roxas was suspended “for (violating) club rules and regulations.”

This stemmed from an April 6 incident at Wack Wack where Roxas purportedly shouted at the employees and cussed at them after requiring him to pay a P5,100 green fee for his guest.

But Roxas denied the allegations in reports after the incident, saying he got upset and played down rumors that he swore at the Wack Wack employees.

“Uulitin ko po: Wala akong intensyon na manakit ng kahit sino, at lalong wala akong minurang tao,” he maintained.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary said he has been playing golf at Wack Wack since he was eight years old.

“I have been a member/player in Wack Wack for more than 20 years. I have had absolutely no record of misdemeanor or any inappropriate behavior in all these years at sa haba nitong panahon ni minsan wala akong nakaaway o nakagalitan,” he said.

“Wala sa puso ko na sirain ang magandang relasyon ko sa mga caddy, empleyado at miyembro ng Wack Wack family,” he added.

In the Wack Wack management’s statement, it stressed that people should “consider this case closed” and enjoined them to “move on.”

FROM THE MANILA TIMES

Mar and the world’s strongest typhoon by Katrina Stuart Santiago April 26, 2014 10:56 pm


BY KATRINA STUART SANTIAGO

The timeline for Typhoon Yolanda is one that barely mentions Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas. We heard many voices in the aftermath of Haiyan, that of foreign journalists like Anderson Cooper, that of the President responding to a businessman’s story of the violence in Tacloban via the rhetorical question: You did not die, right?

We heard Mar’s wife Korina, forgetting for a moment that she was a journalist when she so obviously was defensive for her husband in the wake of CNN reports from Tacloban. We heard Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman, the rightful focal person for relief distribution because she is also the NDRRMC Vice Chairperson for Disaster Response.

Roxas’s absence from the timeline does not erase the fact that the DILG Secretary and Vice Chairperson for Disaster Preparedness of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) was actually in Tacloban a day before the storm hit. He arrived with NDRRMC Chairperson and Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.

The DILG Secretary arrived in Tacloban a day before the world’s strongest typhoon was forecast to make landfall. That seems too late, doesn’t it?

The DILG-LGU connection

The DILG Secretary’s position as NDRRMC Vice Chairperson for Disaster Preparedness is important, as this role is directly connected to DILG’s jurisdiction over local government units (LGUs). Secretary Gazmin’s January 23, 2014 presentation to the Congressional Oversight Committee speaks of this dynamic.

“Two days before Yolanda made landfall, the NDRRMC held a meeting at the Office of Civil Defense in Camp Aguinaldo. <…> Through e-mails and text messages, we, through the DILG, directed all mayors and governors in the Bicol Region, Eastern and Western Visayas, and MIMAROPA to activate their Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils, and their 24-hour disaster monitoring systems.

DILG Regional and Provincial Directors were also directed to announce warnings and alerts over local radio stations in their areas of authority.

This was on top of the duties of the LDRRMCs–-led by LGU heads–to alert, communicate, and educate their constituencies, as mandated by RA 10121 and their local DRRMC plans.”

The DILG as such is responsible for making sure that LGUs act accordingly, given the information on impending disaster.

Information is expected to trickle down, from the DILG to the heads of the LGUs, to its members and officials, to the people. In that sense the LGUs would only really be repeating the urgency (or lack of it) with which they are receiving these warnings.

On November 6, Secretary Roxas warned LGUs about Typhoon Haiyan, and said it was better to be overprepared.

On November 7 he was in Tacloban. In the early hours of November 8 the typhoon made landfall. The devastation that followed was beyond imagination.

DILG and disaster preparedness

It was clear days after Typhoon Haiyan, when Manila started hearing from Tacloban and other Leyte towns, that something went terribly wrong with DILG’s performance of its disaster preparedness task.
Let us reiterate that Roxas’s position in the NDRRMC is Vice Chair for Disaster Preparedness.

For Typhoon Haiyan it was clear that while there might have been a Plan A that was by the book, there was no Plan B.

At the heart of Plan A was to have LGUs as first responders, as the ones who would not only prepare for disaster, but also work on disaster response the moment the storm is over. For whatever reason, when Roxas said that it would be better to have LGUs that are overprepared for Typhoon Haiyan, his own DILG did not overprepare. That is, they did not have a Plan B. Neither did they imagine the worst.

We hear Roxas speaking of it for the first time seven days after the typhoon when he is interviewed by CNN’s Andrew Stevens on November 14. That’s six days after the storm, and after hearing Anderson Cooper talk about relief operations that were non-existent, the dead unattended, and people going hungry.

Roxas was…defensive, and that’s putting it kindly. Stevens was asking him about preparedness and immediate assistance for people on the streets and beyond. But Roxas was set in his spin: if this was a gun all bullets are deployed. Government is doing all that it can.

When asked about people asking for water on the streets, and right there where they were standing near the airport for this interview, Roxas replies by saying that “All the water that is available are in bottles that are brought in. This is brought to the warehouse of the Social Welfare Department from which it now goes to all the communities from the interior. This, what you see here is multiplied a thousand times by all the other localities inside.”

As if the number of people in the interior, the ones who are within the barangays and municipalities, as if that number warranted that no water be distributed to every Juan and Juana on the streets of Tacloban.

DILG and Plan B

And this is really a question for Roxas’ DILG: when they prepared for Typhoon Haiyan, what did they expect—how did they imagine it would unfold? This was the strongest storm to make landfall, and the President himself spoke of its dangers. But the Interior Secretary himself, even as he was in Tacloban the day before the storm hit, even as he implored his LGUs to overprepare, he himself was so obviously caught unprepared.

Stevens asks him about immediate response, how surely Roxas knew the storm was coming, and how the President had said that Manila was ready to support everyone. Roxas responds by saying that they weren’t supposed to be first responder, and that they were supposed to come on Day 2 or 3. But the first responders, the officials of the LGUs and the local police could also only be victimized by this storm.

Which is to say of course that the good DILG secretary was not only unprepared, he also did not prepare at all—he was anti-prepared?—for the strongest storm to make landfall. He might have prepared for a storm, he might have thought that preparation meant making sure to tell his LGUs about the storm. But certainly the lack of a Plan B for when Plan A proved impossible, that totally and absolutely falls on his shoulders?

As far as Roxas is concerned it doesn’t. A Plan B in fact seems irrelevant to him as DILG Secretary and Vice Chair for Disaster Preparedness of the NDRRMC. Post-Haiyan, he said: “The lesson from Yolanda is that families of the first responders should be evacuated and secured so that first responders will not become victims.”

And one can only shake one’s head in frustration. This is to say that the only problem with the disaster response of NDRRMC was that the LGUs were paralyzed by death and loss?

What of the able-bodied Secretary of the DILG who should’ve overprepared for the world’s strongest typhoon?

What of Secretary Roxas who spoke of LGU disaster preparedness: “Mas mabuti na ang handa kaysa magsisi sa bandang huli. Mahalaga ang bawat oras para magligtas ng buhay <…> Walang saysay ang paghahanda kung hihintayin pa natin ang pagtama ng bagyo sa Pilipinas bago tayo kumilos.”

Sabi nga rin namin, Sir.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2013 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE