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CONTRACTS: P40-B GOVT PRINT JOBS INCLUDING 2016 BALLOTS QUESTIONED


SEPTMBER 7 -Questionable contracts? President Benigno Aquino III and Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma inaugurate the high-security printing plant of Asian Productivity Organization Production Unit Inc. (APO-Production Unit Inc.) in Malvar, Batangas last July. Malacañang Photo Bureau
LAWMAKERS from the independent minority bloc in the House questioned Sunday the government’s reasons for awarding contracts worth P40 billion for the printing of sensitive official documents—including 60-million ballots for the 2016 elections—to private contractors with links to the Palace. “This is very dangerous,” said Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza, a member of the independent bloc. “We demand that Malacañang explain the security measures… considering it is not the government but a private contractor that will print such sensitive papers. Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, the leader of the bloc, said it was incumbent upon the government to ensure clean, fair and honest elections. “We have to assure the public that the government will do its best to protect the integrity of the ballot,” he added. Romualdez also demanded that the Palace account first for the spoiled and the surplus ballots in the 2013 midterm polls.  READ MORE...

ALSO: COA bares questionable use of senator’s PDAF for 2013 trade fair


SEPTEMBER 7 -The COA report said the procurement process for various expenses and selection and/or endorsement of suppliers for expenses were undertaken by the lawmaker’s office as the source agency. Philstar File
The Commission on Audit (COA) has uncovered alleged irregularities in the use of pork barrel or Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of a female senator for a trade fair in 2013. In a 2014 report released yesterday, state auditors said the legislator – not identified by name except for the pronoun ‘her’ – gave P4 million to the Center for International Trade Expositions & Missions (CITEM). The money was meant to finance a so-called Indigenous Peoples HIBLA event in 2013 but P455,990 of the total amount was allegedly used contrary to COA Circular No. 94-013. State auditors said the expenses “were deemed irregular and unnecessary” because it was the office of the senator that undertook the procurement instead of the CITEM as implementing agency. The COA report said the procurement process for various expenses and selection and/or endorsement of suppliers for expenses were undertaken by the lawmaker’s office as the source agency. Records showed that the office of the senator required CITEM to pay the suppliers for the expenses while certain expenses were reimbursed by the senator herself. “The procurement process and payment of the expenses in the amount of P401,990 were also not in consonance with the provisions of RA 9184 (Procurement Law) on small value procurement/negotiation,” the COA report said, citing the absence of purchase requests, job orders, and quotations/canvass from at least three suppliers. READ MORE...

ALSO Editorial: Palace soap opera loses audience


SEPTEMBER 6 -It is now revealed that there was a design in the abolition of certain government agencies identified as having been used in the pork barrel scam cases after Levito Baligod, the complainant in the new Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) diversion cases, indicated that the Ombudsman will just likely throw out his case since the pieces of evidence were all likely lost. The companies that Baligod mentioned were Philippine Forest Corp., ZNAC Rubber Estate and National Agri-Business Corp. that were all used as PDAF conduits. The revelation, however, also poses the question on his filing of the cases now when he admits that evidently all the bases have dissipated along with the abolition of the government firms.A question on Baligod’s motivation is necessary since most of those implicated in the so-called scam using so-called non-Napoles non-government organizations are mostly members of the Liberal Party and the closest allies of Noynoy.The charges were also filed curiously almost simultaneously with the surprise statement of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales that the Office of the Ombudsman is conducting “motu propio” an investigation into the culpability of Noynoy and his rasputin Budget Secretary Butch Abad on the implementation of the notorious Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).The Supreme Court in a ruling July 1, 2014 identified three Palace acts in creating the DAP as unconstitutional. Last February, through Palace pressure, the SC amended its ruling that now allows the augmentation of funds within the budget and reduced those which need to prove good faith in an “appropriate tribunal” to the authors of the DAP and removed implementors and proponents from the requirement.Baligod passed the blame on the Commission on Audit from coming up with insufficient findings to warrant the filing of appropriate charges against them which means that he knows the case that he filed won’t likely prosper. READ MORE...

ALSO: SC orders gov’t to pay Piatco $510M


SEPTEMBER 10 -Government couldn’t leave well enough alone. It let the legal controversy over the payment of an expropriated airport terminal go on and on, due to government’s refusal to pay up, incurring more interest payments in the end.
After some 11 years of legal challenges, following the expropriation by the Philippine government of Manila’s biggest air terminal built by the Piatco consortium, the Philippine International Air Terminals Co., and German Fraport AG, the country’s Supreme Court yesterday ordered the government to pay $510.3 million in compensation to Piatco. The Manila airport Terminal 3 had been the subject of a legal dispute since the government seized it in 2004, citing breach of contract and failure to conform with safety standards. Government hasn’t paid Piatco since and instead engaged in a legal tussle with Piatco for years, with Piatco’s compensation package earning more and more interest while parties went through the Regional Trial Court, to the appellate court and fianally to the Supreme Court, where a final judgment has been made favoring Piatco. The SC, in its order said the government must pay more than $326 million plus interests to Piatco for its takeover of the controversial Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal III (Naia III) in Pasay City. In a 144-page decision, the high court through Associate Justice Arturo D. Brion said “ the present expropriation case is sui generis” or unique in its features and issues and is therefore not necessarily applicable to future expropriation cases.The decision resolved the consolidated issues raised in four separate cases numbered as GR 181892, GR 209917,GR 209696 and GR209731. Three of the four cases had been filed separately by the government, Piatco and contractors Takenaka and Asahikosan seeking to partially reverse the Court of Appeal’s Aug. 22, 2013 amended decision on the controversy. READ MORE,,,

ALSO: What Went Before: The Naia 3 saga


SEPTEMBER 10 -File:NAIA Terminal 3 Departure in 2009 MC.jpg
The Ramos administration awarded the contract to build the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (Naia 3) to the consortium of Philippine International Airport Terminal Co. (Piatco) and German firm Fraport in 1997. But President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo voided the contract in 2002 because of allegations of irregularities. For more than a decade, the Philippine government and Piatco fought a legal battle over the Naia 3 project, delaying the opening of the terminal. The project was mothballed for six years. On Dec. 21, 2004, the Office of the Solicitor General filed an expropriation case in the Pasay Regional Trial Court to enable the government to operate the terminal at the soonest time possible. The Pasay court issued a writ of possession to the government, but ordered it to pay Piatco P3 billion ($53.57 million) as down payment on compensation still to be determined. Piatco went for separate arbitration in the Singapore-based International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) tribunal. On Aug. 23, 2006, the ICC ordered the Philippine government to return the project to Piatco until a valid writ of possession was issued by a domestic court. It said the writ released by the Pasay court in 2004 could be considered valid only if there was proof that the P3-billion down payment had been paid. The next month, Piatco received P3 billion from the government, clearing the way for the Manila International Airport Authority to work on the terminal for its opening. Naia 3 partially opened in 2008, operating at about 50 percent of capacity. On May 23, 2011, the Pasay court ordered the government to pay Piatco $175.79 million (or about P7.6 billion) less the P3 billion down payment that the government had already paid to Piatco as compensation. Piatco’s damage claim in the ICC was rejected but the builder of Naia 3 asked the High Court of Singapore to reverse the ruling of the tribunal. Its petition was also denied by Singapore’s High Court on Nov. 15, 2011. READ MORE...

ALSO: Roxas finally leaves DILG


SEPTEMBER 11- IN AND OUT Mel Senen Sarmiento (left) receives the flag of the Department of the Interior and Local Government from outgoing secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd. photo by Miguel de Guzman 
One month and seven days after resigning his post as s ecretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Manuel Roxas 2nd finally handed over his Cabinet portfolio to Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento.Roxas, who will run for resident under the admin- backed Liberal Party in next year’s elections, on Friday said Sarmiento is competent to take on the post as he was a three-term mayor of Calbayog City and before that, its vice mayor.Sarmiento was the secretary-general of the LP.He resigned his party position after his appointment was announced by Pres.  Benigno Aquino 3rd in a media event this week.He had served as chief of the League of Cities when he was Calbayog City mayor.“His competence is well-established in his nearly 20 years of public service,” Roxas said in his valedictory at the DILG office in Quezon City.He thanked Sarmiento for making the sacrifice and accepting the position despite being only on his 2nd term in the House of Representatives.Facing reporters for the first time as DILG chief, Sarmiento said he will not allow the agency, which oversees local government units as well as public safety bureaus such as the Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Bureau of Jail Management & Penology, to be used for politicking.Malacañang, meanwhile, has junked Vice President Jejomar Binay’s proposal to remove the Philippine National Police (PNP) from the DILG’s jurisdiction.
Its deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said Binay’s suggestion was an “obvious” attack against Roxas. “It is quite obvious that this suggestion from the Vice President is made as a not-so-veiled attack on Secretary Roxas and not really to improve governance & performance of the institution,” Valte told reporters. Roxas lost to Binay in the 2010 vice presidential race.They are expected to face off again in the 2016 polls with Binay leading the opposition United Nationalist Alliance.READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

P40-B govt print jobs questioned


Questionable contracts? President Benigno Aquino III and Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma inaugurate the high-security printing plant of Asian Productivity Organization Production Unit Inc. (APO-Production Unit Inc.) in Malvar, Batangas last July. Malacañang Photo Bureau

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 14, 2015 (MANILA STANDARD) By Christine F. Herrera | Sep. 07, 2015 at 12:01am - LAWMAKERS from the independent minority bloc in the House questioned Sunday the government’s reasons for awarding contracts worth P40 billion for the printing of sensitive official documents—including 60-million ballots for the 2016 elections—to private contractors with links to the Palace.

“This is very dangerous,” said Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza, a member of the independent bloc. “We demand that Malacañang explain the security measures… considering it is not the government but a private contractor that will print such sensitive papers.

Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, the leader of the bloc, said it was incumbent upon the government to ensure clean, fair and honest elections.

“We have to assure the public that the government will do its best to protect the integrity of the ballot,” he added.

Romualdez also demanded that the Palace account first for the spoiled and the surplus ballots in the 2013 midterm polls.

READ MORE...

Other members of the bloc, including Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado Revilla and Abakada Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz, said the Palace was depriving its own state-run National Printing Office (NPO) of the P40-billion income.

There must really be a curse on all major initiatives in contracts during the ghost months as the Aquino administration is committing or has already committed to enter into three major contracts destined to further burden the Filipino people like the questionable multibillion secretly negotiated contract for the MRT3 and on the takeover of the Asian Production Unit and its subcontractors of the messy passport system and now its takeover together with Smartmatic of the printing of the ballots for the 2016 elections,” Dela Cruz said.

“This is a virtual repeat of the 2010 and 2013 elections, which critics have denounced as highly flawed and vulnerable to outside intervention,” he said.

The NPO union has sought the intervention by Congress after the government awarded a contract to Smartmatic to print 60-million ballots at P20 per ballot for 2016.

“That’s P1.2 billion off government coffers that would benefit the private contractor. It was the NPO that printed the ballots in 2013 at P5 per ballot, that suited the PCOS machines operated by Smartmatic,” said Rosa Muñoz, NPO Workers’ Association president.

Muñoz said even the P38-billion six-year e-Passport contract that the NPO was mandated to print was awarded to a private contractor, Asian Production Unit, which has been linked to Malacañang.

“The government has deprived us the exclusive rights to print the ballots and the passports. While these major contracts had been subjected to public bidding, the NPO was barred from joining the bidding. We were relegated [to being] an observer,” Muñoz said.

Some officials of the Presidential Communications Operations Office headed by Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., were assigned to oversee the operations of the APU, Muñoz said.

On July 25, 1987, the late President Corazon Aquino issued Executive Order 285 mandating the NPO to print all government documents—official gazettes, tax receipts, the General Appropriations Act, ballots and election paraphernalia.

But EO 285 was amended by EO 378 issued by former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, which removed the exclusive jurisdiction of the NPO over printing requirements of government agencies, she said.

Muñoz said the NPO union petitioned the Supreme Court questioning the amendment, prompting Arroyo to restore the law by issuing Memorandum Circular 180 signed on Aug. 13, 2009.

“But the Aquino government, particularly Coloma’s PCOO and Secretary Florencio Abad’s Department of Budget and Management, chose to conveniently use Arroyo’s flawed EO 378 but not her reversal to restore the Cory law,” Muñoz said, in a letter addressed to Revilla.

Muñoz said the 420-member union was restive as they felt Coloma and Abad were trying to abolish them without basis of law.

“The NPO budget is gradually being reduced from P156 million in 2010 when they assumed power, down to P78 million this year and P19 million for next year,” Muñoz told The Standard.

She said Coloma and Abad claimed the NPO had to learn to operate on its own generated income.

“But how can we possibly generate income when [they are giving away] all the major projects that we were supposed to have... to private contractors?” Muñoz said.

Muñoz said the NPO was reduced to printing comics and brochures for national government agencies.

“From our own income, we were able to purchase new printing machines to be able to upgrade and compete with private printing firms. We were able to print the ballots in 2013 elections that were fed in PCOS machines,” Muñoz said.

She said the Smartmatic was required by the Commission on Elections and Coloma to bring its printing machines to the NPO warehouse.

“Smarmatic will be bringing in their machines and the NPO’s own machines will be relegated to one corner to make room for them. And the Smartmatic machines will have full control of the printing of the ballots. All that we can do is watch them but we have no powers over them. [We cannot] even audit how many ballots are they printing,” Muñoz said.

Romualdez said the independent minority bloc would compel Coloma and Abad to explain the violation of Memorandum Circular 180 and the awarding of major printing projects to private entities.

“We have to guard against any attempt to undermine the results of the 2016 presidential elections,” Romualdez said.

Replying to the allegations, Coloma issued a statement to The Standard saying that Malacañang has “no official confirmation” from Comelec regarding the reported award of the ballot printing contract to automation provider Smartmatic.


COLOMA

“From unofficial reports, we gathered that the 2010 election scenario will be adopted. Printing of ballots will be bundled with the supply of optical mark readers or PCOS machines. In 2010, the PCOS machines were supplied by Smartmatic and then Smartmatic brought printing machines to the National Printing Office for the printing of ballots,” Coloma said.

Regarding the NPO’s performance, Coloma said that under the Aquino administration, NPO “has been transformed into a well-performing organization.” “This was attained through sound management as demonstrated in the printing of ballots for the 2013 elections in record time,” he said.

On APO Production Unit as a recognized government printer, Coloma said the company is a government corporation “as stipulated in Republic Act 10149 that created the Governance Commission for Government Owned and Controlled Corporations.” “The GCG has given APO the highest marks for good management pracices,” he said.

“From operating in the red for more than a decade, APO has been posting positive net income results since 2011 and has remitted dividends to the government,” Coloma added.


PHILSTAR

COA bares questionable use of senator’s PDAF for trade fair By Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 7, 2015 - 12:00am 1 113 googleplus0 0


The COA report said the procurement process for various expenses and selection and/or endorsement of suppliers for expenses were undertaken by the lawmaker’s office as the source agency. Philstar.com/File

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) has uncovered alleged irregularities in the use of pork barrel or Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of a female senator for a trade fair in 2013.

In a 2014 report released yesterday, state auditors said the legislator – not identified by name except for the pronoun ‘her’ – gave P4 million to the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM).

The money was meant to finance a so-called Indigenous Peoples HIBLA event in 2013 but P455,990 of the total amount was allegedly used contrary to COA Circular No. 94-013.

State auditors said the expenses “were deemed irregular and unnecessary” because it was the office of the senator that undertook the procurement instead of the CITEM as implementing agency.

The COA report said the procurement process for various expenses and selection and/or endorsement of suppliers for expenses were undertaken by the lawmaker’s office as the source agency.

Records showed that the office of the senator required CITEM to pay the suppliers for the expenses while certain expenses were reimbursed by the senator herself.

“The procurement process and payment of the expenses in the amount of P401,990 were also not in consonance with the provisions of RA 9184 (Procurement Law) on small value procurement/negotiation,” the COA report said, citing the absence of purchase requests, job orders, and quotations/canvass from at least three suppliers.

READ MORE...

State auditors said documents stating the purpose and agreement with media recipients for the grant of gift checks, proof of delivery of required service by media recipients and acknowledgement receipt by the recipients of the gift checks were also absent.

The audit team said a check payment for reimbursement of expenses for gift checks in the amount of P54,000 was found payable to the senator not to the supplier, “hence, may be considered as an irregular transaction.”

State auditors directed CITEM to submit a justification for the non-compliance with COA Circular No. 94-013 as well as the required supporting documents for expenses in the amount of P455,990.

The audit team also instructed the agency to discontinue the practice of allowing the source agency to process the procurement and selection of suppliers for expenses to be paid by it as implementing agency and stop reimbursing the source agency for expenses advanced by the same.

In response to COA’s findings, CITEM’s executive director told the audit team that he has informed the senator’s office that the amount of P455,990 was not allowed in audit and requested for submission of documents required by COA.

State auditors, however, noted that a review of documents submitted disclosed that the same still failed to show compliance with the requirements of Republic Act 9184 on small value procurement and/or negotiated procurement.


TRIBUNE

Palace soap opera loses audience
Written by Tribune Editorial Sunday, 06 September 2015 00:00

It is now revealed that there was a design in the abolition of certain government agencies identified as having been used in the pork barrel scam cases after Levito Baligod, the complainant in the new Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) diversion cases, indicated that the Ombudsman will just likely throw out his case since the pieces of evidence were all likely lost.

The companies that Baligod mentioned were Philippine Forest Corp., ZNAC Rubber Estate and National Agri-Business Corp. that were all used as PDAF conduits.

The revelation, however, also poses the question on his filing of the cases now when he admits that evidently all the bases have dissipated along with the abolition of the government firms.

A question on Baligod’s motivation is necessary since most of those implicated in the so-called scam using so-called non-Napoles non-government organizations are mostly members of the Liberal Party and the closest allies of Noynoy.

The charges were also filed curiously almost simultaneously with the surprise statement of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales that the Office of the Ombudsman is conducting “motu propio” an investigation into the culpability of Noynoy and his rasputin Budget Secretary Butch Abad on the implementation of the notorious Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).


Levito Baligod, lawyer of the whistle-blowers in the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam (in photo), told reporters that plunder or malversation cases will be filed against more lawmakers in connection with the misuse of public funds using nongovernment organizations controlled by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles and other similar racketeers. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The Supreme Court in a ruling July 1, 2014 identified three Palace acts in creating the DAP as unconstitutional.

Last February, through Palace pressure, the SC amended its ruling that now allows the augmentation of funds within the budget and reduced those which need to prove good faith in an “appropriate tribunal” to the authors of the DAP and removed implementors and proponents from the requirement.

Baligod passed the blame on the Commission on Audit from coming up with insufficient findings to warrant the filing of appropriate charges against them which means that he knows the case that he filed won’t likely prosper.

READ MORE...

In a news forum the other day, he said most probably, the evidence against the legislators he had sought to be charged with malversation has been buried together with the closure of the agencies.

The suspicion of many is that similar to the supposed “motu propio” probe of the Ombudsman is that the Baligod complaint is part of an overall scheme of the Liberal Party and the administration to clear all allies of any charges in the runup to the elections next year.

The PDAF and the DAP are considered to be a major issue against the LP and the administration candidates with the opposition alleging selective justice in the prosecution and detention of its key leaders while those allied with the administration receiving relatively slaps on the wrist if they are even prosecuted at all.

Likely the Baligod case and the Ombudsman’s supposed probe on the DAP may be employed as a tool to convince allies and others pursuing their political future next year to toe the Palace line with the public eye closely monitoring the budget and the possible misuse of it.

The scheme will also become useful amid the desperation of the Palace in prodding Congress to approve its key measures primarily the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) which is now in limbo amid the festering quorum problem at the House.

From rewards, the Palace, with the use of its many pawns, has turned into intimidation after the Supreme Court had declared both the PDAF and the DAP as unconstitutional.

Both the PDAF and the DAP funds have been used by the Palace as leverages with legislators in pushing whatever agenda it has with Congress.

As in the BBL deliberation which is plagued with chronic absenteeism at the House, however, threats from an administration in its twilight year will have little effect on legislators compared to hard cash made available through the voided pork barrel system.

The effectivity of the Palace melodrama on the pork barrel and the DAP has reached the saturation point along with Noynoy losing his political clout as a lameduck president.


TRIBUNE

SC orders gov’t to pay Piatco $510M Written by Benjamin B. Pulta Thursday, 10 September 2015 00:00



Government couldn’t leave well enough alone. It let the legal controversy over the payment of an expropriated airport terminal go on and on, due to government’s refusal to pay up, incurring more interest payments in the end.

After some 11 years of legal challenges, following the expropriation by the Philippine government of Manila’s biggest air terminal built by the Piatco consortium, the Philippine International Air Terminals Co., and German Fraport AG, the country’s Supreme Court yesterday ordered the government to pay $510.3 million in compensation to Piatco.

The Manila airport Terminal 3 had been the subject of a legal dispute since the government seized it in 2004, citing breach of contract and failure to conform with safety standards.

Government hasn’t paid Piatco since and instead engaged in a legal tussle with Piatco for years, with Piatco’s compensation package earning more and more interest while parties went through the Regional Trial Court, to the appellate court and fianally to the Supreme Court, where a final judgment has been made favoring Piatco.

The SC, in its order said the government must pay more than $326 million plus interests to Piatco for its takeover of the controversial Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal III (Naia III) in Pasay City.

In a 144-page decision, the high court through Associate Justice Arturo D. Brion said “ the present expropriation case is sui generis” or unique in its features and issues and is therefore not necessarily applicable to future expropriation cases.

The decision resolved the consolidated issues raised in four separate cases numbered as GR 181892, GR 209917,GR 209696 and GR209731.

Three of the four cases had been filed separately by the government, Piatco and contractors Takenaka and Asahikosan seeking to partially reverse the Court of Appeal’s Aug. 22, 2013 amended decision on the controversy.

READ MORE...

The fourth case was filed by the government seeking a a temporary restraining order to question the Jan. 7, 2008 order of the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City, Branch 117 in Civil Case which was originally assigned the case.

Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Francis Jardeleza and Mariano del Castillo took no part in the decision while another magistrate, Bienvenido L. Reyes is on official leave.

Associate Justice Marvic Leonen filed a separate concurring opinion . Justice Sereno had to inhibit, since she served as a government lawyer in arbitration cases abroad against Piatco.


THE SUPREME COURT has ordered the government to pay the primary contractor of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport International Passenger Terminal 3 (NAIA-IPT III) some $510.3 million in “just compensation,” settling an issue that has dragged for about a decade since the facility was expropriated. This file photo taken on July 22, 2008 shows a view of terminal 3 at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. AFP FROM BUSINESSWORLD ONLINE September 9, 3015

The decision said it “partially reverse(s)” the decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals.

The court ruled that the principal amount of just compensation is fixed at $326,932,221.26 as of December 21, 2004.

“Thereafter, the amount of $267,493,617.26, which is the differencebetween $326,932,221.26 and the proffered value of $59,438,604.00, shall earn a straight interest of 12 percent per annum from September 11, 2006 until June 30, 2013, and a straight interest of 6 percent per annum from July 1, 2013 until full payment.” the court said.

The government was likewise “ordered to make direct payment of the just compensation due to Piatco; and “to defray the expenses of the Board of Commissioners” amounting to P3,500,000.

The court also said “Piatco, as the owner of the Naia III, shall solely receive the just compensation.”

The tribunal explained that under the law and prevailing jurisprudence, it is “the owner of the expropriated property who is constitutionally entitled to just compensation.”

The court said “other claimants should be impleaded or may intervene in the eminent domain case if the ownership of the property is uncertain or there are conflicting claims on the property.”

The court also ruled that the government may deprive Piatco of the ordinary use of the Naia III upon the issuance and effectivity of the writ of possession on September 11, 2006.

“However, the Government shall only have ownership of the Naia lll after it fully pays Piatco the just compensation due.”

The issues of the propriety of the appointment of DG Jones and Partners as an independent appraiser in the valuation of the Naia III and who should shoulder DG Jones and Partners’ appraisal fee are already moot and academic.

The government had claimed that Piatco itself caused the delay of the expropriation proceedings before the lower court claiming that Piatco did not produce the vouchers, purchase orders, and as-built documents which were in its possession despite the Government’s filing of a Motion for Production and Inspection of Documents dated May 25, 2006, before the RTC and should not be entitled to interest.

The builders consortium had sought compensation and the row has been seen as a test of how the country handles foreign investments.

The total compensation represents the airport’s $327 million replacement cost when the government took over in 2004 plus $243 million in interest until December 2014, according to the court’s ruling.

The court also deducted $59.4 million that it said the government had initially paid Piatco.

“The government is hereby ordered to make direct payment on just compensation due to Piatco,” court spokesman Theodore Te told reporters, reading from the court ruling.

The $600-million terminal, designed to decongest air traffic in the capital city of 12 million people, was mothballed for years until it was partially opened in 2008.
With 140 check-in counters and 188 immigration counters, the airport was designed to handle some 13 million passengers a year.

But the legal wrangling and structural defects have caused it to operate below capacity.

As a result, part of international air traffic to Manila continues to pass through decades-old Terminal 1, once voted by a travel website as one of the world’s worst.

Air congestion, the cause of frequent flight delays, has prompted the government to scout for an alternative site for an international airport in nearby provinces.
With AFP


INQUIRER

What Went Before: The Naia 3 saga @inquirerdotnet
05:30 AM September 10th, 2015



File:NAIA Terminal 3 Departure 2009 MC.jpg

The Ramos administration awarded the contract to build the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (Naia 3) to the consortium of Philippine International Airport Terminal Co. (Piatco) and German firm Fraport in 1997.

But President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo voided the contract in 2002 because of allegations of irregularities.

For more than a decade, the Philippine government and Piatco fought a legal battle over the Naia 3 project, delaying the opening of the terminal. The project was mothballed for six years.

On Dec. 21, 2004, the Office of the Solicitor General filed an expropriation case in the Pasay Regional Trial Court to enable the government to operate the terminal at the soonest time possible. The Pasay court issued a writ of possession to the government, but ordered it to pay Piatco P3 billion ($53.57 million) as down payment on compensation still to be determined.

Piatco went for separate arbitration in the Singapore-based International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) tribunal.

On Aug. 23, 2006, the ICC ordered the Philippine government to return the project to Piatco until a valid writ of possession was issued by a domestic court. It said the writ released by the Pasay court in 2004 could be considered valid only if there was proof that the P3-billion down payment had been paid.

The next month, Piatco received P3 billion from the government, clearing the way for the Manila International Airport Authority to work on the terminal for its opening. Naia 3 partially opened in 2008, operating at about 50 percent of capacity.

On May 23, 2011, the Pasay court ordered the government to pay Piatco $175.79 million (or about P7.6 billion) less the P3 billion down payment that the government had already paid to Piatco as compensation.

Piatco’s damage claim in the ICC was rejected but the builder of Naia 3 asked the High Court of Singapore to reverse the ruling of the tribunal. Its petition was also denied by Singapore’s High Court on Nov. 15, 2011.

READ MORE...

In August 2013, a Court of Appeals ruling modified the order earlier issued by the Pasay court. The appellate court ordered the government to pay Piatco “just compensation” of $371,426,688.24 (about

P16.2 billion), an amount much higher than what the Pasay court had ordered.

The appellate court later amended its ruling, saying the annual interest on the $371,426,688.24 compensation should be 6 percent annually—not 12 percent, which the court initially set—until it was fully paid and once the decision became final.

While the government appealed the decision of the Court of Appeals, Naia 3 finally operated at full capacity starting August 2014.

In October last year, the Court of Appeals said the government may not exercise full ownership rights over Naia 3 until it had paid in full the P16 billion in just compensation, a ruling the appellate court affirmed early this year.

Apart from the case against Piatco, the government also faced an arbitration case filed by Fraport, Piatco’s foreign partner, in the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the arbitration arm of the World Bank based in Washington.

The arbitration was concluded in December last year and the ICSID ordered Fraport to pay the Philippine government $5 million in damages for violating the Anti-Dummy Law.—Inquirer Research Source: Inquirer Archives


MANILA TIMES

Roxas finally leaves DILG September 11, 2015 11:00 pm
by CATHERINE S. VALENTE, REPORTER


IN AND OUT Mel Senen Sarmiento (left) receives the flag of the Department of the Interior and Local Government from outgoing secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd. photo by Miguel de Guzman

One month and seven days after resigning his post as s ecretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Manuel Roxas 2nd finally handed over his Cabinet portfolio to Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento.

Roxas, who will run for resident under the administration-backed Liberal Party in next year’s elections, on Friday said Sarmiento is competent to take on the post as he was a three-term mayor of Calbayog City and before that, its vice mayor.
Sarmiento was the secretary-general of the LP.

He resigned his party position after his appointment was announced by President Benigno Aquino 3rd in a media event this week.

He had served as chief of the League of Cities when he was Calbayog City mayor.

“His competence is well-established in his nearly 20 years of public service,” Roxas said in his valedictory at the DILG office in Quezon City.

He thanked Sarmiento for making the sacrifice and accepting the position despite being only on his second term in the House of Representatives.

Facing reporters for the first time as DILG chief, Sarmiento said he will not allow the agency, which oversees local government units as well as public safety bureaus such as the Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, to be used for politicking.

Malacañang, meanwhile, has junked Vice President Jejomar Binay’s proposal to remove the Philippine National Police (PNP) from the DILG’s jurisdiction.

Its deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said Binay’s suggestion was an “obvious” attack against Roxas.

“It is quite obvious that this suggestion from the Vice President is made as a not-so-veiled attack on Secretary Roxas and not really to improve governance and performance of the institution,” Valte told reporters.

Roxas lost to Binay in the 2010 vice presidential race.

They are expected to face off again in the 2016 polls with Binay leading the opposition United Nationalist Alliance.

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The Vice President on Thursday proposed that the PNP should be placed under the direct control of the Office of the President, saying the DILG, headed by Roxas,can no longer perform well in fighting criminality because it is preoccupied with projects that are not within its core mandate and competency, thus neglecting to oversee the problem in keeping peace and order in the country.

But Valte said data from the anti-crime campaign of the PNP would disprove Binay’s assumptions.

“The data [on] the implementation of Oplan Lambat Sibat in NCR [National Capital Region or Metro Manila] and in other pilot areas contradict the assumptions of the Vice President. Equipment upgrades for the PNP and the BFP [Bureau of Fire Protection] happened while under the supervision of the DILG,” she added.

One Response to Roxas finally leaves DILG

Roldan Guerrero says:
September 11, 2015 at 11:19 pm
Manuel Roxas lll is a politically dead man walking in the streets. After serving incompetently in all Cabinet Offices he headed and finally receiving the “KISS of DEATH” from the PDAF/DAP KING he is finally losing his final political bout. There is only one remedy they can do, A RIGGED ELECTION to win. Roxas himself will face cases of unexplained misappropriations he had in the offices he held. The GHOSTS of YOLANDA will always hounds him, the mesh he created on LRT and the FUNDS intended for NHA he SIPHONED into his DILG cabinet post. This man still has the gall to pronounce TUWID NA DAAN which they helped together to make it TWAD na DAAN.


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