SUPREME COURT PUTS OFF DAP RULING AGAIN

JUNE 11 --Delays fuel suspicions decision to favor Noy—Solon...Reporters waited with bated breath yesterday for the ruling of the Supreme Court (SC) on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) fund where at least nine petitions challenging its constitutionality along with questions on the presidential lump sum pork amounting to some P1 trillion at President Aquino’s disposal. But they were disappointed at being greeted with the announcement from the SC spokesman, Theodore Te (photo), that the decision has been put off once again, It has been close to a year since the petitions were first lodged before the high court, yet to this day, the fate of Malacañang’s grip on its own pork barrel continues to hang on the balance still after yet another delay on the ruling on the petitions seeking to outlaw the DAP. Te said the case was included in the agenda of the justices in their session yesterday, but they were not able to come up with a decision. It was the second time the high tribunal deferred ruling on this controversial case. Last June 3, the DAP petitions were also included in the agenda but some justices asked for more time to decide. Reliable court insiders told the Tribune that as of yesterday, there were already eight firm votes for the DAP to be ruled as unconstitutional, while five justices voted for the DAP to be declared constitutional. READ MORE...

ALSO: Abad covering up for Noy’s links to pork, Malampaya scams

It’s the other way around, said a militant youth group. It is Budget chief Florencio “Butch” Abad who is covering up for President Aquino’s alleged involvement in the pork and Malampaya scams, just as he covered up for Aquino’s P1 billion bribe to legislators, from both the House and the Senate for the impeachment and conviction of the then sitting chief justice, Renato Corona. Another group, however, said both Abad and Aquino are into covering up for each other. Contrary to popular belief, a militant youth group said it is not Aquino who is covering for Abad in the alleged pork barrel scam but that of Abad covering up for the President, saying that the Budget secretary’s involvement in the multi-billion peso pork barrel and Malampaya scams takes the case one step closer — too close for comfort — to the Palace and Aquino himself. Abad had earlier covered up the special allotment release orders of Aquino and the Liberal Party president, Interior secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas as congressmen and senators, as well as Abad’s SAROs himself, being the chief of the budget department.READ MORE...

ALSO: Bishop to Abad: Resign

Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani had called for the resignation or the filing of a leave of absence from Abad while the investigation on the controversial P10 billion pork barrel scandal is being undertaken by different branch of the government. Bishop Bacani even said that it is for the welfare of Secretary Abad to resign or go on leave of absence for a while even just for one or two months while the investigation is being undertaken to determine if he has involvement or none in the pork barrel scam. “We’re not judging. That’s why we’re asking for an investigation and that the Secretary (Abad) should take a leave for even one or two months pending investigation. We’re not judging precisely, we’re trying to find out and the only way to make sure that he will be investigated and also it will be for his good. He’s been under attack, it will be for his good”. Explain Bishop Bacani in a radio interview. Bishop Bacani clarified that this is his call and the call of the people is a part of quest for truth.
The bishop stated that as duty of good citizen to search for the truth no matter who get hurt. He added that truth in the pork barrel scam cannot be found if there is no one seeking it. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Palace repels calls for Abad to resign

THE Palace rejected calls Wednesday for Budget Secretary Florencio Abad to resign or take a leave after he was tagged by the accused mastermind of the pork barrel scam Janet Napoles as being her mentor in setting up non-government organizations as a way to siphon off public funds. “We have already made our position clear: when it comes to cases against anybody, we will go where the evidence is. And so far, the claim of Napoles has been rebutted by Secretary Abad by the fact that there is no Special Allotment Release Order for the Batanes Electric Cooperative as mentioned by Mrs. Napoles,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said. Lacierda made the statement in response to a call by Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani for Abad to step down. Bacani said the allegations linking Abad to the pork barrel scam had enough substance since he was not only implicated by Napoles but was also included in the deleted computer files of whistleblower Benhur Luy. The Catholic leader said he saw no conspiracy against Abad because Napoles and Luy were not on good terms. Lacierda said Bacani was free to draw his own conclusions, but there must still be sufficient evidence against Abad. READ MORE...

(ALSO) Philstar Column: 2016 campaign on

JUNE 14 --President Aquino, in his Independence Day speech in Naga City, started the 2016 election campaign by urging the public to choose wisely the candidates who can fight for the interest of the people in the face of any challenge. “We do not need those whose words are merely dictated by scripts, nor do we need talented dancers or fantastic singers.” An obvious retort to Senators Ramon Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada, both actors turned politicians, who delivered their respective farewell privilege speeches wherein they criticized Aquino’s administration for singling them out with plunder charges in connection with the multimillion pork barrel scam. Although the President skipped revealing the Liberal Party’s bet for the 2016 presidential elections, it is widely expected that he would anoint Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas as his candidate. Note that in all his public appearances, Roxas is always with him. No other Liberal Party (LP) leader has surfaced to show an interest in the LP nomination. For the opposition, Vice President Jejomar Binay has a lock on the nomination, with several senators available to be his running mate. The Nacionalista Party (NP) has 3 persons who have expressed interest to run for president in 2016, namely Senator Bongbong Marcos, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, and former Senator Manny Villar. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA NEWS REPORT:

SC puts off DAP ruling again


SC spokesman, Theodore Te

MANILA, JUNE 16, 2014 (TRIBUNE) Written by Benjamin B. Pulta and Charlie V. Manalo - Delays fuel suspicions decision to favor Noy—Solon...

Reporters waited with bated breath yesterday for the ruling of the Supreme Court (SC) on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) fund where at least nine petitions challenging its constitutionality along with questions on the presidential lump sum pork amounting to some P1 trillion at President Aquino’s disposal.

But they were disappointed at being greeted with the announcement from the SC spokesman, Theodore Te, that the decision has been put off once again.

It has been close to a year since the petitions were first lodged before the high court, yet to this day, the fate of Malacañang’s grip on its own pork barrel continues to hang on the balance still after yet another delay on the ruling on the petitions seeking to outlaw the DAP.

Te said the case was included in the agenda of the justices in their session yesterday, but they were not able to come up with a decision. It was the second time the high tribunal deferred ruling on this controversial case.

Last June 3, the DAP petitions were also included in the agenda but some justices asked for more time to decide.
Reliable court insiders told the Tribune that as of yesterday, there were already eight firm votes for the DAP to be ruled as unconstitutional, while five justices voted for the DAP to be declared constitutional.

The sources told the Tribune that the delay is being caused not by the DAP’s decision on the DAP’s unconstitutionality, but that the delay is mostly due to some justices wanting to have Aquino go scot-free by applying the “operative doctrine” which means that the acts committed by Aquino are to be upheld by the court, on the presumption of regularity, but that such acts become illegal after the DAP is declared unconstitutional.

The sources also implied that it is the five justices who are voting for the DAP’s constitutionality who are pushing for Aquino and his aides to get off without any sanctions against Aquino and without being accountable for their unconstitutional acts.

Gabriela Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan yesterday said the unnecessary delay in the Supreme Court’s (SC) decision on the petitions questioning the constitutionality of the Aquino administration’s Disbursement Acceleration Program only favors its architects and raises more doubts that a cover-up is being orchestrated for the President and his allies.

“Justice delayed is justice denied. “The longer it takes to decide on this issue, the stronger the suspicion of the people that again, there is some “hocus-pocus” (Palace manipulation) that is happening,” said Ilagan.

The Gabriela solon who is among the petitioners against DAP said there should be no reason for any further delay as the petitions have long been submitted for decision and the Constitution is explicit and leaves little room for discussion on the matter.

Section 25, Article VI of the Constitution states that, “No provision or enactment shall be embraced in the General Appropriations Bill unless it relates specifically to some particular appropriation therein. Any such provision or enactment shall be limited in its operation to the appropriation to which it relates.”

The Charter adds further that “No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of appropriations; however the President, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the Heads of the Constitutional Commissions may, by law, be authorized to augment any item in the General Appropriations Law for their respective offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations.”

“The Supreme Court’s dilly-dallying on Aquino’s DAP will serve only to fuel the people’s anger and the growing demand to make all those involved in the pork barrel scam accountable,” Ilagan said.

“This clamor for accountability spares no one, including President Aquino who signed the biggest disbursements in Malacañang,” she stressed.

Funds from the DAP, moreover, have been used by Aquino and his budget chief, Florencio “Butch” Abad, to bribe the members of Congress, both the Senate and the House, to impeach and convict then sitting Chief Justice Renato Corona, passing the funds given to the members of Congress, in the amounts of P50 million to P100 million, or a total of close to P2 billion in additional pork barrel, an act that can hardly be seen as done with the presumption of regularity.

Nine petitions against the DAP were filed last year by Greco Belgica, Augusto Syjuco, lawyers Jose Malvar Villegas Jr. and Manuelito Luna; Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa); Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP); the militant Bayan Muna, Kabataan and Gabriela party-list groups; Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (Courage); and the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption.

Oral arguments heard the case last January where petitioners claimed the discretionary fund of the President violates the exclusive power of Congress to appropriate funds - just like in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), which was declared unconstitutional by the high court last year.

The office of the solicitor general asked the high court to dismiss the petitions for being moot since DAP was already abolished by the office of the President.

Congress, represented by retired SC Justice Vicente Mendoza in the case, also asked the high court to dismiss all nine petitions for lack of jurisdiction.

In the hearing, the former SC justice contended that the petitioners failed to exhaust all other legal remedies before bringing the matter to the court.

He said the petitioners should have challenged the implementation of DAP first before the Commission on Audit or trial courts.

Aquino and Abad presented the DAP as a a stimulus package designed to fast-track public spending and push economic growth. This covers high-impact budgetary programs and projects which will be augmented out of the savings generated during the year and additional revenue sources.

Funds used for programs and projects identified through DAP were sourced from savings generated by the government, the realignment of which is subject to the approval of the President; as well as the Unprogrammed Fund that can be tapped when government has windfall revenue collections, e.g., unexpected remittance of dividends from the GOCCs and Government Financial Institutions (GFIs), sale of government assets, the Budget Department stated in its information on the DAP, which was a little known program that even the senators and congressmen were not made aware of.

The presidential bribery of the senators for their conviction vote was exposed by Sen, Jinggoy Estrada in a privilege speech but which he called the bribe an “incentive” to senators.

It was then that Abad quickly tried to cover up the bribery by claiming that certain senators who voted for acquittal of the then chief justice also got their share of the additional pork barrel funds.

The whole Abad DAP lie came crashing down after former Sen, Joker Arroyo, who had voted for acquittal denied that he had gotten any pork barrel funds, and that the pork that Abad claimed was given to Arroyo, was a congressional insertion approved by the Congress for some Makati Cty projects.

It was then that the DAP became the cause celebre, and part of the presidential pork, part of which was used by Aquino to bribe the senators into convicting the Chief Justice.

The congressmen who voted for the impeachment of the Chief Justice also got millions from Aquino and Abad, as did the House prosecution panel.

The Palace claimed the DAP funds came from savings, even when the claimed savings were allocated in the middle of the year, instead of the end of the year, to realize whether departments had funds left over.

Abad covering up for Noy’s links to pork, Malampaya scams TRIBUNE Written by Charlie V. Manalo Saturday, 07 June 2014 00:00


Budget chief Florencio “Butch” Abad

It’s the other way around, said a militant youth group. It is Budget chief Florencio “Butch” Abad who is covering up for President Aquino’s alleged involvement in the pork and Malampaya scams, just as he covered up for Aquino’s P1 billion bribe to legislators, from both the House and the Senate for the impeachment and conviction of the then sitting chief justice, Renato Corona.

Another group, however, said both Abad and Aquino are into covering up for each other.

Contrary to popular belief, a militant youth group said it is not Aquino who is covering for Abad in the alleged pork barrel scam but that of Abad covering up for the President, saying that the Budget secretary’s involvement in the multi-billion peso pork barrel and Malampaya scams takes the case one step closer — too close for comfort — to the Palace and Aquino himself.

Abad had earlier covered up the special allotment release orders of Aquino and the Liberal Party president, Interior secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas as congressmen and senators, as well as Abad’s SAROs himself, being the chief of the budget department.

Abad never submitted their SAROs for the Commission on Audit report of the pork barrel.
The group, Youth Act Now launched a series of “Black Friday protests” yesterday in several cities throughout the country.

“The youth are not ignorant of the national government’s budget process. Congress legislates the budget, and the president — through DBM — approves the release of funds. Therefore, we firmly believe that Secretary Abad is the missing link that would connect the pork barrel scam to the pork king himself, President Aquino,” said Youth Act Now Spokesman Victor Villanueva during a mass action held yesterday at España, Manila.

“In fact, we were not surprised at all when Aquino defended Abad and several other Cabinet members involved in the scam. It is not in the interest of justice. It is because the President is afraid that the scam is getting too close to him for comfort,” Villanueva said.

Alleged pork barrel mastermind Janet Lim Napoles mentioned Abad and several government officials in both of her affidavits submitted to the Senate blue ribbon committee. Napoles even stated om her affidavit that Abad had “mentored” her in the practice of using bogus NGOs to secure government funds. The Benhur digital files also bared the code name PINOY as well as Bigboy.

“Even in the sworn affidavits submitted by Napoles, she explained that she cannot operate without the help of those who approve the release of government funds,” Villanueva said. “But we find the Napoles affidavit to be lacking an essential part — the details of her operations during the Aquino administration,” the youth leader said.

“Just as we join the call for the prosecution of everyone involved in the pork barrel scam, we also call on Napoles and everyone in the know to divulge more details, especially the modus operandi of pork scammers during the Aquino administration,” Villanueva stressed.

“We are very close to exposing the large-scale corruption that is operating, we believe, until the very present. We should not let ourselves be blinded and stuck with Napoles’ version of the truth. For there is more to this issue than what she has already divulged,” he added.

Villanueva also disclosed that his group will join the multisectoral anti-pork rally on June 12.

“On Independence Day, the youth will once again show our indignation against this corrupt government that continues to cover up its wrongdoings and pilfer billions of public funds. The youth will stop at nothing to ensure that everyone involved would be prosecuted,” Villanueva said.

Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon called on Napoles to disclose the identities of “all and sundry involved in the multi-billion pork and Malampaya scams,” saying that even in the affidavits executed by Napoles, the identities of several agents and key persons remain hazy.

“Take for example the case of the so-called ‘little DBM’ who supposedly fast-tracked the release of the P900-million Malampaya fund in time for the 2010 elections, whom Napoles only identified as ‘RR.’ Who is RR? And who are the other persons mentioned in the affidavit only through first names or nicknames?” Ridon asked.

In an affidavit dated May 12 submitted to the Senate blue ribbon Committee, Napoles mentioned an instance wherein Ruby Tuason negotiated the release of P900 million allegedly from the Malampaya fund for the 2010 elections.

“Ruby then referred to me the P900 million government funds which will be coursed through the DAR. She handed over to me the SARO dated Nov. 19, 2009. I was then reluctant to accept the offer considering the huge amount, but she told me her ‘boss’ named ‘RR’ is the little DBM,” Napoles stated in her May 12 affidavit.

“If we want to know the real scope and breadth of this grand scam, we need to know the identities of everyone involved. No stone must be left unturned,” Ridon said.

“Surely, there are influential people backing up all these agents allegedly working with legislators. Persons who Napoles does not dare expose. If we want to get to the bottom of this scam, we need to catch the big fish and prosecute them not just their agents and sidekicks,” the legislator added.

“Otherwise, the ongoing pork barrel investigation would prove to be an exercise in futility,” Ridon noted.

The legislator stressed that it would only be “prudent” for public officials allegedly involved in the pork barrel and Malampaya scams to resign or take a leave of absence at the very least while the investigation is ongoing.

“The officials involved, especially Secretary Florencio Abad, are the ones who approve and release government funds at present. It is simply not right that they’re still sitting smugly in their offices, acting as if nothing has transpired,” Ridon said.

The lawmaker also hit Aquino for being partial to Abad and other Cabinet officials involved in the pork fiasco. “Aquino has raised fire and hell against senators and congressmen involved in the scam, but now, here he is, defending Abad and other Cabinet members who are standing knee-deep in this scandal,” Ridon noted.

The youth solon said that his group, along with other youth organizations, is set to join the nationwide mobilization against the pork barrel system slated on June 12.

“On Independence Day, the Filipino people will again march in the streets to call for the prosecution of everyone involved in this grand Another group will also be staging rallies against the pork barrel scam, saying that with or without the arrest of all those named in the pork barrel scam, the rally set on June 12 against the scandal will push through.

Lawyer activist Argee Guevarra of the 6.12.14 movement was quoted as saying that the purpose of their movement is to send all those involved in the pork barrel scam to jail.

“When we say all, we don’t mean those only 3 senators. Three will not definitely satisfy our basic demand for justice; to prosecute all those involved in the pork barrel scandal and to scrap all pork – whether it’s legislative or presidential,” he said.

Meanwhile, reacting to Aquino’s biblical claim of “judge not lest you be judged aimed at a bishop who called for Abad’s resignation, retorted: “We are not judging precisely!’

FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

Bishop to Abad: Resign By Vito Barcelo, Maricel V. Cruz | Jun. 04, 2014 at 12:01am

Solons urge him to take a leave for ‘delicadeza’

Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani (photo) had called for the resignation or the filing of a leave of absence from Abad while the investigation on the controversial P10 billion pork barrel scandal is being undertaken by different branch of the government.

Bishop Bacani even said that it is for the welfare of Secretary Abad to resign or go on leave of absence for a while even just for one or two months while the investigation is being undertaken to determine if he has involvement or none in the pork barrel scam.

“We’re not judging. That’s why we’re asking for an investigation and that the Secretary (Abad) should take a leave for even one or two months pending investigation. We’re not judging precisely, we’re trying to find out and the only way to make sure that he will be investigated and also it will be for his good. He’s been under attack, it will be for his good”. Explain Bishop Bacani in a radio interview.

Bishop Bacani clarified that this is his call and the call of the people is a part of quest for truth.

The bishop stated that as duty of good citizen to search for the truth no matter who get hurt.

He added that truth in the pork barrel scam cannot be found if there is no one seeking it. With Pat C. Santos

Palace repels calls for Abad to resign By Joyce Pangco Panares, Christine F. Herrera | Jun. 05, 2014 at 12:01am

Anti-pork rally still to ask for his head

THE Palace rejected calls Wednesday for Budget Secretary Florencio Abad (photo) to resign or take a leave after he was tagged by the accused mastermind of the pork barrel scam Janet Napoles as being her mentor in setting up non-government organizations as a way to siphon off public funds.

“We have already made our position clear: when it comes to cases against anybody, we will go where the evidence is. And so far, the claim of Napoles has been rebutted by Secretary Abad by the fact that there is no Special Allotment Release Order for the Batanes Electric Cooperative as mentioned by Mrs. Napoles,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.

Lacierda made the statement in response to a call by Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani for Abad to step down.

Bacani said the allegations linking Abad to the pork barrel scam had enough substance since he was not only implicated by Napoles but was also included in the deleted computer files of whistleblower Benhur Luy.

The Catholic leader said he saw no conspiracy against Abad because Napoles and Luy were not on good terms.

Lacierda said Bacani was free to draw his own conclusions, but there must still be sufficient evidence against Abad.

“(Bishop Bacani) can choose to believe or not believe. The question is: where’s the evidence? And the evidence pointed out by Napoles was that there was a SARO from Batanes Electric Cooperative. There was no SARO. So he (Bacani) is entitled to his opinion, but he’s not entitled to his facts,” Lacierda added.

“Legal principles dictate that she who alleges must prove the same. The burden is on Ms. Napoles to prove her allegations,” the President’s spokesman said.

Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and 1-BAP party-list Rep. Silvetre Bello III have also urged Abad to take a leave of absence in light of the controversy hounding him.

“Out of delicadeza and to take away the heat from the President, he should consider going on leave. This will dispel any suspicion that he will use his position to cover any misdeed,” Bello said.

Lacierda, who picked Napoles up in August last year from a memorial park in Taguig when she surrendered, said the administration had no regrets in securing her, even though she has implicated at least three Cabinet officials and several allies in the misuse of public funds.

“We did what we had to do at that time,” Lacierda said.

When she surrendered, Napoles was received by President Benigno Aquino III, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, and Philippine National Police chief director general Alan Purisima at the Palace.

Aquino even went to Camp Crame ahead of Napoles to make sure her detention cell was ready after the meeting at the Palace.

A day after she surrendered, Lacierda took pains to explain to the public that Napoles was not given the VIP treatment, and that the government needed her to ferret out the truth.

“The President has said this: that the presence of Ms. Napoles adds to finding out the truth and that is what is important...We wanted to make sure that she was safe,” Lacierda said last year.

But Napoles has now dragged several administration lawmakers as well as Abad, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and TESDA chief Joel Villanueva into the scandal.

This prompted President Aquino to say that there was a concerted effort on the part of Napoles to “bring the whole house down.”

Aquino said he was also surprised that the public appeared to take the so-called Napoles list of administration and opposition lawmakers who benefited from the scam as gospel truth.

“Before, Mrs. Napoles was hated by the people. Now, when she speaks, it is as if everything that she says is true. How did that happen?” the President said.

“Isn’t it that it is in her interest to muddle the issue and delay the process in the hope that it will be forgotten as time goes by? Maybe somebody told her: while this drags on, your situation will improve and people will hate you less and less.”

Despite the Palace denials, thousands of anti-pork barrel advocates will mount an indignation rally on June 12 to demand that Abad and Alcala resign.

Spearheaded by #AbolishPork Movement and #ScrapPork Network, the protesters formed the “6.12.14 Protest Coalition” to demand accountability from Aquino, who they said has consistently defended Abad, Alcala and his allies from prosecution.

“Lahat ng sangkot, dapat managot! Jail All, Ouch Pinoy!” This was the rallying call of various groups who are now gearing up for renewed protests after the government failed to prosecute everyone involved in the pork barrel scam.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary general Renato Reyes, a co-convenor of #AbolishPork Movement, said Abad had to resign after he was named by Napoles as her mentor.

Reyes said Abad was also the “architect” of the illegal P173-billion Disbursement Acceleration Program, whose beneficiaries were the 188 congressmen and the senators who impeached President Aquino’s nemesis, then Chief Justice Renato Corona Corona.

Alcala was pressed to resign because the agencies under his department were among those involved in implementing Napoles’ ghost projects using pork barrel funds, Reyes said.

“Abad and Alcala are holding the evidence against their men and the lawmakers in their respective departments. We demand their resignation to prevent the cases from being whitewashed considering that the government is now bent on covering up for the President’s allies,” Reyes said.

Michelle Estor, spokesperson of #ScrapPork Network, said they were not out to call for President Aquino’s ouster “just yet” but wanted him to be accountable for his men’s involvement in the scam.

Estor, who carries a Twitter handle @ChiliMedley, said the #ScrapPork Network continues to demand that the President give up his own discretionary funds.

The Palace denies the President has his own pork barrel.

But Estor insisted that the presidential discretionary funds were being used to promote political patronage.

The #AbolishPork movement, in a press conference, called on Filipinos to gather in public places on June 12, Independence Day, to express their outrage and frustration over the Aquino government’s failure to investigate and prosecute the different public officials, including members of his Cabinet, implicated in the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam.

The #abolishpork group will converge at the Liwasang Bonifacio at 3 p.m. for a program, before going to Bonifacio Shrine and then Mendiola Bridge to bring the issue right to the doorsteps of Malacanang, Reyes said.

The #ScrapPork Network will gather at 2 p.m. at the Kartilya ng Katipunan Shrine, Estor said.

Other personalities and groups joining the 6.12.14 Protest Coalition rally are Sister Mary John Mananzan and musician Monet Silvestre; Dante Jimenez of the Victims Against Crime and Corruption; artist Mae Paner a.k.a. Juana Change; Lito David of the Kapatiran Party; Sister Mau Catabian of the Church People Against Pork Barrel; law student Victor Villanueva of the Youth ACT Now; writer Menchu Sarmiento of Babae Laban sa Katiwalian; Dick Penson of the group ATIN; businessman Johnny Chang; the Concerned Citizens Movement, along with the Kilusang Mayo Uno; UP Faculty versus Pork, TEACH versus Pork; Carol Araullo and Reyes of Bayan.

These groups were among those that participated in the Aug. 26, 2013 Million People March in Luneta.

“President Aquino had long known of the involvement of his allies in the pork barrel scam. The President himself admitted that he had seen two lists of pork beneficiaries, one list even given to him by the family of Napoles. The Department of Justice and the National Bureau of Investigation had long known of the involvement in the scam of Aquino’s allies,” said Mananzan said.

“Despite knowing of the involvement of his allies, Aquino chose to focus government efforts on perceived foes of the administration. Aquino has in fact led the cover-up of the scam by undermining the recent revelations that his allies, including his Cabinet officials, were allegedly involved in the scam,” the nun pointed out.

Mananzan said the #AbolishPork believes that to have genuine accountability, the people cannot simply leave the matter of prosecuting the pork scammers to the Chief Executive.

“It has become abundantly clear that the Aquino presidency is not interested in achieving true and complete accountability. Aquino has not abolished the pork barrel system in Congress and remains unrepentant regarding the corruption-ridden DAP. It is therefore incumbent upon the Filipino people to relentlessly demand and pursue justice,” Silvestre said.

“As taxpayers who have been robbed many times over, we hold Aquino accountable for his failure to seriously prosecute and bring to justice those involved in the pork barrel scam,” Silvestre added.

FROM PHILSTAR

2016 campaign on SEARCH FOR TRUTH By Ernesto M. Maceda (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 14, 2014 - 12:00am 0 49 googleplus0 0


By Ernesto M. Maceda

President Aquino, in his Independence Day speech in Naga City, started the 2016 election campaign by urging the public to choose wisely the candidates who can fight for the interest of the people in the face of any challenge.

“We do not need those whose words are merely dictated by scripts, nor do we need talented dancers or fantastic singers.” An obvious retort to Senators Ramon Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada, both actors turned politicians, who delivered their respective farewell privilege speeches wherein they criticized Aquino’s administration for singling them out with plunder charges in connection with the multimillion pork barrel scam.

Although the President skipped revealing the Liberal Party’s bet for the 2016 presidential elections, it is widely expected that he would anoint Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas as his candidate. Note that in all his public appearances, Roxas is always with him. No other Liberal Party (LP) leader has surfaced to show an interest in the LP nomination.

For the opposition, Vice President Jejomar Binay has a lock on the nomination, with several senators available to be his running mate.

The Nacionalista Party (NP) has 3 persons who have expressed interest to run for president in 2016, namely Senator Bongbong Marcos, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, and former Senator Manny Villar.

3rd batch coming

Commission on Audit (CA) Chairperson Grace Pulido-Tan has reported that of the P6-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam, P 2 billion was handled by Janet Lim-Napoles and P4 billion by other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are not identified with Napoles.

“As of today, I think we’ve issued about 110 notices of disallowances worth about P1.8 billion. We are in the process of finalizing them already, notices of disallowances covering about P5 billion,” Pulido-Tan also announced.

On the other hand, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the third batch of persons in connection with the alleged pork barrel scam will be charged next week.

At the Senate, Senator T.G. Guingona stated that the Blue Ribbon Committee hearings will be resumed after he has reviewed the more than 30,000 Benhur Luy files.

Also to be scheduled is the investigation of the releases of Malampaya funds.

The anti-pork rallyists have accused President Aquino of protecting his Cabinet members and allies. However, P-Noy denied the allegation, claiming that if his administration really wanted to politicize the issue, cases would have been filed at the height of the 2013 elections when the issue on the Napoles controlled NGOs first came out.

The president said he even instructed Secretary de Lima to study the cases well and make sure that they are based on evidence.

People will believe him if the Department of Justice (DOJ) would file plunder charges against Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Butch Abad and Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso Alcala.

Nascar champion killed

National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) champion Enzo Ferdinand Pastor was shot dead by riding-in-tandem assassins at a traffic light in Quezon City. He is the first Filipino/Asian to be awarded in the Nascar Hall of Fame, at the home of Nascar in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Zamboanga City Hotel owner Hadja Salwa Kaman Julwadi was shot dead inside her own establishment at Hotel Salwa by two suspected hired assassins. Meanwhile, the suspects were arrested in a follow-up operation. They were identified as Ernesto Angeles Bello Jr. and Wilbert Villarial.

Richard King, owner of the Crown Regency Hotel, was shot dead by a lone gunman in his building in Davao City. King owns a chain of hotels and resorts located in key cities in the Philippines.

Plunder cases raffled off

The criminal cases against Senators Ramon Revilla Jr., Jinggoy Estrada, and Juan Ponce Enrile were raffled off to the following: Revilla with 17 cases including graft – Sandiganbayan first division (composed of Associate Justices Efren Dela Cruz, Rodolfo Ponferrada and Rafael Lagos); Estrada with 12 cases including graft – Sandiganbayan fifth division (composed of Associate Justices Roland Jurado and Alexander Gesmundo); and Enrile with 16 cases including graft – Sandiganbayan third division (composed of Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, and Associate Justices Samuel Martires and Alex Quiros).

The anti-corruption agency said the senators’ following PDAF were never used for the intended projects – Revilla, P517-million PDAF; Enrile, P345-million PDAF; and Estrada, P278-million PDAF.

90,000 to be laid off

Some 90,000 teachers and 15,000 non-teaching personnel could be facing layoffs in 2016 when the K to 12 program is finally implemented.

The easy solution to their problem is to assign the teachers to handle senior high school classes at the same salary levels they are enjoying now. Some of them can be assigned to school divisions that are short of teachers.

It would not be fair to lay them off.

Tidbits: Belated birthday greetings to Dr. Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, who celebrated his 79th birthday on June 10.

The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Miami Heat in game four. They are now ahead 3-1, and can wrap up the series with a victory over Miami Heat on June 5 to be held in San Antonio.

Happy Father’s Day to President/Mayor Joseph Estrada, Vice President Jejomar Binay, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte; Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla, Gringo Honasan, Tito Sotto and Ralph Recto; and to all the Dads.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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