Tag Archives: corruption

Militants reject reconciliation offer from Arroyo

By Kremlin Montenegro

Manila, Philippines-

2010, not 2012 would be the end of the road to this brutal, puppet and criminal regime

Leaders of the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Thursday said they will reject any offer of reconciliation from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In a press statement, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap and Vice-Chairperson Salvador France said ridiculed any peace offering the outgoing President would offer to her political foes as she relinquish the presidency on or before June 30.

“No way. Forging a reconciliation pact with the criminal, corrupt and puppet regime of Mrs. Arroyo and her ruling national security gangland in Malacanang is a very, very remote possibility. Rejection becomes President Arroyo, period, period, period,” the Pamalakaya leaders said.

It was in response to Palace statement issued yesterday by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita that President Arroyo is ready to offer the peace laurel to all her political detractors before she steps down from office on June 30.

Ermita said it is better for the President to make friends rather have enemies in reference to the recent reconciliation between President Arroyo and the camp of former Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr., former strong ally of the President turned ardent critic.

The Arroyo cut ties with De Venecia after his son and namesake linked the First Couple to the scandal-ridden $329-million National Broadband Network with China’s ZTE Corp. in 2008.

De Venecia later ended up losing the House speakership following a coup by members of the majority bloc loyal to the Arroyo administration.

“Mr. Ermita believes the cases involving the Arroyo presidency is just a matter of forgive and forget policy. For his information, truth and justice are non-negotiable things and Mrs. Arroyo and her syndicate have no options but to face and pay their crimes to the people,” said Pamalakaya.

Pamalakaya said the incoming presidency is politically tasked, morally obliged and lawfully mandated to file criminal and other appropriate charges against President Arroyo and her officials behind the massive corruption in the government, the election fraud in 2004 and the political killings and enforced abduction of leftwing activists and journalists over the last 9 years.

Early this year, the fisherfolk group filed plunder case against President Arroyo in connection with the P 455 million overpriced ice making machine. Yesterday, Pamalakaya accused the Chief Executive of corrupting P 7.14 billion of taxpayers money, which according to the 2008 report of the Commission on Audit(COA)was either wasted, missing or diverted by the Department of Agriculture. #

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Boholanos urged to challenge Sec.Yap’s unopposed run in 3rd district

by Chocolate Hills dela Fuente and Bb. Joyce Cabral

Manila, Philippines-The militant fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Thursday urged the electoral public in the 3rd district of Bohol to challenge the unopposed congressional bid of Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, saying the congressional district deserves a better person rather than stick with a protégé of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“He is not the man for the job. Secretary Yap is part of the money making syndicate in Malacanang and voting him as congressman of the 3rd district is like paying homage to the never ending plunder campaign of the Macapagal-Arroyo administration,” Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.

The Pamalakaya leader issued the statement in reaction to news reports that Sec. Yap will run unopposed congressional candidate in the 3rd district of Bohol, Earlier, there was this speculation that Yap will face incumbent Rep. Adam Relson Jala or his father former congressman Eladio Jala in the congressional race, but the young Jala, who is eligible to run for re-election filed his certificate of candidacy for the gubernatorial race, leaving Yap unopposed.

The elder Jala, currently assistant secretary at the Department of Transportation and Communications, was rumored to have been offered a post at the Securities and Exchange Commission, but he has declined to issue any statement on the matter.

Both Yap and the Jalas were members of the ruling Lakas-Kampi. “It seems there is a gentleman’s agreement between Yap and the Jalas as brokered by Malacanang,” said Hicap.

Pamalakaya said Secretary Yap was recently implicated and charged in violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Republic Act 9184 or the Procurement Law before the Office of the Ombudsman for allowing an attached agency—the National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR) to procure 98 units of ice-making machines for fishery products which are overpriced by 100 percent compared to the standard price set by industry market.

The group recalled the department’s purchase of 98 units of ice-making machines, which the group said was overpriced by P 2.3 million. Pamalakaya said the agriculture department through the NABCOR awarded the government contract to a lone bidder—the Integrated Refrigeration System and Services (IRSS) on September 2, 2009, which will sell the ice-making unit at
P 4,650,000 per unit, or about P 2.3 million higher compared to prevailing industry price for the ice-making machine.

“Imagine a congressional candidate with this track record of corruption seeking to be called honorable representative of the third district of Bohol. Secretary Yap should immediate revoke the contract if he wants to gain respect and support of the electoral public. The deal which he had sealed for approval upon the order of higher ups is highly disadvantageous to the taxpaying public. Imagine we will pay more than P 233 million of hard-earned taxpayers’ money to the preferred client of Malacanang. This is too much and super corruption to the highest order,” said Pamalakaya.

The Pamalakaya said the government through DA will pay IRSS the sum of P 455,700,000 for 98 units of ice-making machines with liquid freeze capability which will be supplied to selected municipal fish ports nationwide. But the group said the government can obtain 98 units of ice-making machines for P 225 million to P 230 million, or half of the quoted and agreed price with IRSS.

“P 225 million is P 225 million. That sum of money can be used to finance any kind of sinister agenda or cruel intention by the present power holders in and out of Malacanang. The money might also be used to finance the electoral campaign of Mrs. Arroyo’s national and local bets like Secretary Yap. This is money making in aid of electoral campaign for 2010 polls,” added Hicap.

The group said Secretary Yap is lawfully and morally bound to explain why the agriculture department entered into a contract that is disadvantageous to the government and to the Filipino public.

“Do we really need these ice-making machines? Our fisherfolk members all over the country were not even consulted on these projects, but these ice-making machines had already their icing on the cake status as far DA and its’ favored contractor are concerned. Secretary Yap owes the public a honest-to-goodness explanation, nothing more, nothing less,” said Pamalakaya.

According to information gathered by Pamalakaya, NABCOR conducted a preliminary bidding last August 26, and IRSS which won the bidding, was only incorporated on August 25, a day before the preliminary bidding was conducted.

The group said under Republic Act 9184 (Procuring Law), Section 37.1, the bidder must submit a copy of its single largest completed contract over the past 3 years, and such condition is impossible for IRSS, which was only incorporated on August 25, this year, a day before the preliminary bidding. The contract was finally awarded last Sept.2.

The militant group threatened to file a plunder case against Secretary Yap and other officials of NABCOR if they fail to cancel the contract with IRSS in connection with the corruption tainted procurement of 98 units of ice-making machines pegged at P 4.6 million per unit.

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Lawsuits await other Arroyo officials in 2010, says fishers group

Lawsuits await other Arroyo officials in 2010, says fishers group

Aside from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, other officials of her government allegedly involved in several crimes against the people ranging from corruption and election fraud to extrajudicial killings should expect possible lawsuits after Arroyo steps down in 2010.

“The Filipino people will demand the new presidency the immediate filing of criminal and other appropriate charges not only against President Arroyo but as well as other government and military officials accused of various crimes including but not limited to corruption, election fraud and political killings,” the fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said in a press statement.

“It will only take only a month if the next president will have that strong political will and formidable sense of justice,” the group added.

Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said aside from President Arroyo and her close relatives, those who will likely face a deluge of lawsuits include top government officials and military generals implicated in the high crimes of corruption, election scandal and extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances of leftwing activists.

The fisherfolk leader said his group will join other groups in actively filing and re-filing criminal and other appropriate charges against President Arroyo and other government officials before and after the May 2010 elections.

Hicap said Pamalakaya has several cases against President Arroyo and other government officials pending before the Office of the Ombudsman like the plunder complaint on the P 728 million fertilizer scam and cases pertaining to violations of public interest in connection with the toxic spill in Rapu-Rapu, Albay, and the across the Visayan sea offshore mining which was allowed by Malacañang without the consent of the affected parties.

The Pamalakaya leader said among the high government and military officials who could be charged with strings of lawsuits include Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzalez, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn “Jocjoc” Bolante, former Armed Forces Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon Jr, Bantay party list Rep. Jovito Palparan and Ombudswoman Atty. Merceditas Gutierrez.

“This is just an initial list. More and more names will be added soon. The regime is full of corrupt and brutal people, so we expect a long list of government and military officials who should be put to trial for committing grave sins against the Filipino people,” added Hicap.

Pamalakaya made the bold prediction a day after Ermita announced that President Arroyo is aware of possible suits once she steps down in 2010, and that the Chief Executive is not afraid of the possibility that her opponents could haul her to court.

“That’s Ermita in psy war mode. But frankly speaking, like other corrupt and brutal officials of this regime, this militarist executive secretary is also afraid of his political status once his principal is out of Malacañang by 2010. They are all resigned that their days are numbered and that’s is where their fears are coming from,” the militant group said. #

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Anti-corruption group linked

Anti-corruption group linked
P 20-billion irrigation projects to 2010 polls

Manila, Philippines–Rabid critics of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Friday said the ambitious P 20-billion irrigation rehabilitation of projects earmarked by the Office of the President for 2009 and 2010 was part of the administration’s grand plan to make money to fund the electoral campaign of Palace favored bets in the 2010 national elections.

In a press statement, the left-wing fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said the allotment of P 20-billion of taxpayers’ money for rehabilitation of irrigation systems all over the country was the first in Philippine history, and the implementation will be timed near, during and immediately after the 2010 national elections.

“All of the sudden the government is now thinking of releasing P 20 billion for the repair of damaged irrigation facilities all over the country. Something fishy is going here,” Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.

The Pamalakaya leader added: “This is grand money making scheme in the offing. It seems the government is now preoccupied with the quick releases of billions of taxpayers’ money in preparation for 2010 general elections.

According to Hicap, the national government intends to spend between P 12 billion to P 20 billion to rehabilitate irrigation areas serving 290,000 hectares of farm land this year and next year under the GMA Rice Program.

GMA Rice Program Director Francisco Malabanan said the rehabilitation of existing irrigation facilities will cost the government between P 6 billion to P 10 billion. According to Malabanan, in 2006, irrigation facilities serving about 368,000 hectares were identified for rehabilitation. This year, there were 290,000 hectares left to rehabilitate.

Malabanan said the rehabilitation of existing irrigation systems will cost the government
P 60,000 per hectare and this will be the priority of the government, since setting up new irrigation systems will cost the government between P 600,000 to P 800,000 per hectare.

At present, a total of 1.3 million hectares of farm land are currently served by the irrigation facilities of the National Irrigation Authority.

“After the fertilizer fund scam, the hybrid rice scam, swine cam and the vegetable scam, the Office of the President and its money making lieutenants in and out of Malacañang are now orchestrating the irrigation rehabilitation scam for the 2010 polls,” Pamalakaya said.

“P 20 billion is P 20 billion, and Malacañang has the power to dispose it and channel the entire if not 40 to 60 percent of the fund for the election campaign of its presidentiable, vice-presidentiable, senatorial candidates down to the local levels,” the group added.

Last year, the government spent P 9.52 billion for the rehabilitation of irrigation systems covering 142,255 hectares of farm land and constructed new irrigation facilities covering an additional 20, 353 hectares of agricultural areas. #

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Ombudsman sacrificed 17 DPWH execs to get FG, Ebdane off the hook, says militant group

Ombudsman sacrificed 17 DPWH execs to get FG, Ebdane off the hook, says militant group

The 17 officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) who were named in the charge sheet of the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the alleged anomalies regarding World Bank-funded road projects were made as sacrificial lambs to get First Gentleman Atty. Jose Miguel Arroyo and public works secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. off the hook.

“This is ridiculous, outrageous and a grand design for one of the biggest cover ups of the 21st century. Where is the Ombudsman’s sense of truth and objectivity here? This anti-graft office is setting the stage for another major whitewash, nothing more, nothing less,” the militant fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said in a press statement.

Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said the charging of 17 DPWH officials minus the alleged principals—the president’s husband Atty. Arroyo and Secretary Ebdane, is nothing but a political masquerade.

“The Filipino public will not buy the idea that Atty. Arroyo and Secretary Ebdane were not part of the collusion in orchestrating corruption in the Arroyo bureaucracy. The people are not born yesterday not to understand this well-placed syndicate and mafia operating in and out of Malacañang and in and out of the public works portfolio,” he added.

The Pamalakaya leader said the Filipino public is expecting the Office of the Ombudsman to absolve the First Gentleman and Secretary Ebdane from this large-scale act of corruption in the Macapagal-Arroyo government.

“The taxpaying public is convinced the Office of the Ombudsman will not touch the untouchables and it will just go after the starlets and bit players in the DPWH. The Filipino taxpayers are correct, because the Ombudsman decided to drop the presidential husband and Secretary Ebdane from the charge sheet and from the horror roll,” added Hicap.

However, Pamalakaya appealed to the 17 DPWH officials named in the charge sheet of the Office of the Ombudsman to tell all and reveal the involvement of First Gentleman and the public works secretary on alleged anomalies in foreign and national government funded projects.
“Bare all and tell all. The truth will set them free. That should be their political motto once they face the probers of the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with this case and other anomalies involving the top honchos in Malacañang. This is their time to redeem themselves and become the people’s witnesses against this regime of greed,” the militant group added.

The Office of the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Office (FIO) on Wednesday recommended the conduct of a preliminary investigation to determine if graft charges could be filed against 17 officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways being linked to the allegedly anomalous World Bank-funded road projects.

Assistant Ombudsman Mark Jalandoni, head of the FIO, named those who should be investigated include former DPWH secretary Florante Soriquez, current undersecretary Manuel Bonoan, and assistant secretaries Bashir Rasuman, Salvador Pleytol and Juanito Abergas.

Jalandoni said the FIO pushed for a preliminary investigation on Soriquez because he approved the results of the bidding. He said Bonoan also has to undergo probe because he was the chairman of the DPWH-BAC for Visayas and Mindanao projects, as well as Rasuman because he was BAC chair for Mindanao.

The Office of the Ombudsman also recommended the investigation on Mocamad Raki-in Sr., vice-chairman for the Mindanao area; Rafael Yabut, vice chairman for operations for Area III; BAC members Emerson Benitez, project manager lll and head of the BAC-Technical Working Group; Baliame Mamainte, project director of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development-Project Management Office (IBRD); Lope Adriano, project director for the IBRD-PMOP; and Atty. Joel Jacob, officer-in-charge of Legal Service.

Others are Camilo Foronda, OIC for Legal Service; Director Antonio Molano, Jr. of the Bureau of Research and Standards; Leonora Cuenca, OIC of the Comptrollership and Financial Management Services; Director Walter Ocampo of the Bureau of Construction, all BAC members and Florencio Aricheta, representative from National Constructors Association of the Philippines and the Philippine Construction Association.

If there is probable cause, the officials could be charged for violating Section 3 (e) and (i) of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices); and Section 4A (a) and (b) of RA No. 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Government Officials and Employees).

They could also be charged with administrative cases of grave misconduct, dishonesty, conduct prejudicial to the interest of the service and neglect of duty. #

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Noli, Loren, Manny asked to break silence on P 20-B pork barrel for GMA allies in HOR

Noli, Loren, Manny asked to break silence on P 20-B pork barrel for GMA allies in HOR

Leftwing activists belonging to fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Wednesday challenged the three leading 2010 presidential contenders Vice President Noli de Castro and Senators Loren Legarda and Manuel Villar to break their silence on the alleged P 20-billion additional pork barrel worked out by allies of Malacañang in the House of Representatives.

“Let’s call a spade a spade. This is a multi-platinum robbery and plunder in broad daylight orchestrated by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her allies in the House of Representatives. De Castro, Legarda, Villar and other presidential wannabes are highly obliged to denounce and take concrete action against the Macapagal-Arroyo raid of public funds,” Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.

According to the survey conducted from Nov.28 to December 1 last year by the Social Weather Station (SWS), VP de Castro got the nod of 31 percent of respondents, followed closely by Senator Legarda with 28 percent and Senator Villar with 27 percent. A far fourth was Senator Panfilo Lacson with 14 percent, followed by ousted President Joseph Estrada with 11 percent and Senator Mar Roxas with 10 percent.

Sen. Lacson on Wednesday said allies of President Arroyo in the House of Representatives have built up a large pork barrel by diverting close to P 20-billion in proposed spending from debt service and agrarian reform to increase allocations for public works, local governments and Congress.

Sen. Roxas confirmed the dubious diversions, stressing further that the diversion of funds was meant to raise funds for Charter Change (Chacha) and the 2010 elections. According to Lacson and Roxas, of the P 1.415 trillion proposed budget for 2009, the House slashed P 14.776 billion from debt service, P 3.5 billion from miscellaneous personnel fund and P 1.3 billion from the Department of Agrarian Reform.

The cutbacks, totaling P 19.576 billion were allocated for the regional infrastructure projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) amounting to P 8.178 billion, P 3.36 billion in additional funds for local government units and additional P 1.46 billion in pork barrel for Congress, while P 6.578 billion has been inserted in the 2009 budget for other purposes.

The Pamalakaya leader said once the budget was approved carrying those diversions, the DPWH is expected to go full blast with regional infrastructure projects, and it would have the names of President Arroyo’s favored bets in 2010 as sponsors of those projects.

“This is part of the electoral game plan of Malacañang. The Filipino public wants to know how de Castro, Legarda and Villar will deal with this first-rate crime of corruption, discreet political grandstanding and early electioneering activities of the Palace and its electoral fraud machinery,” added Hicap.

Pamalakaya said on top of the P 19.576 billion additional pork barrel fund, the P 10-billion poverty reduction program recently announced by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) was also meant for an early muscle flexing activity of pro-Arroyo politicians. It said the DSWD will give political allies of President Arroyo the opportunity to take part in its dole out activities for early electoral projection in preparation for the 2010 general elections. #

The message is clear

The message is clear

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DSWD’s search for poorest of the poor, mind-boggling, says leftist group

DSWD’s search for poorest of the poor, mind-boggling, says leftist group

“Mind boggling to the highest order.”

This is how the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) described the latest move of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in which the agency will conduct a nationwide household assessment to identify the country’s poorest of the poor.

“President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and DSWD Secretary Esperanza Cabral are treating the problem of widespread poverty in the country in a very trivial, escapist and traditional charity work manner,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap in a press statement.

Secretary Cabral yesterday said the DSWD will embark on a nationwide assessment to determine the country’s poorest of the poor to guide the social and welfare department in its implementation of the P 1-billion National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTSPR).

According to Cabral, the purpose of the program is to identify who and where are the poorest families in the country. The P 1-billion NHTSPR project will come from the P 10.5 billion budget for 2009 which Congress approved this year.

“DSWD is announcing a nationwide search is on for the poorest families in the Philippines in a way beauty contests and game shows are conducted. Please give us a break,” added Hicap.

Earlier, Pamalakaya raised suspicion that the P 10-billion fund support for government pro-poor programs would end up as campaign kitty for the Arroyo administration bets in 2010. The militant group said Arroyo’s favored bets in 2010 national elections would be given the opportunity to play key roles in dispensing the funds that will give for their immediate exposure to millions of poor voters.

“In a way, this P 10-billion poverty reduction program of DSWD is part of the early muscle flexing for pro-Arroyo politicians expected to run in the 2010 general elections,” the group added. Last month, Malacañang announced that the government will allocate an additional P 5-billion for the government’s pro-poor subsidy to the P 5-billion poverty reduction fund for 2009.

Under the program, a household that has three children will receive a grant of P 1,400 per month, P 500 for health and P 300 each for 10 months for each child in school, daycare or high school or up to a maximum of three children.

Citing the 2008 last quarter survey of the Social Weather Station (SWS), Pamalakaya said 52 percent of the Filipino families rated themselves as poor, while four out of ten families said they were “food poor”, an indication that poverty across the country is getting worse each day.

The same SWS survey said about 9.4 million families or 52 percent of the Filipino families considered themselves poor, 24 percent said they were not poor and 24 percent put themselves on the borderline.

“The poverty rate across the archipelago is expected to rise to higher and unprecedented level as unemployment reaches between 11 million to 12 million this year,” said Pamalakaya.

Citing the 2009 fearless forecast issued by independent think tank Ibon Foundation, the Pamalakaya leader said the rank of unemployed and underemployed Filipinos is expected to swell between 11 million to 12 million this year due to the economic slowdown as a result of the worldwide financial turmoil.

Hicap said the government was only good in “doctoring labor statistics” to show to the Filipino public and the international community that President Arroyo was a good economist and she was outstanding in job creation department.

According to government data only 2.6 million Filipinos or 6.8 percent of the country’s total labor force are unemployed based on October 2008 employment figures. But Ibon study said between 2008 and 2009, scores of retrenchment and closures will take effect immediately affecting the goods and service export sectors.

According to Ibon study, the job situation in the country started to worsen in 2008, with 279,000 Filipino workers lost their jobs due to economic and financial crisis. The same study showed that the most important manufacturing sector lost 150,000 jobs last year, the transport, storage and communication sector lost 10,000 jobs and financial intermediation lost 4,000 jobs also last year.

Ibon study further revealed that around 500,000 to 600,000 jobs courtesy of the country’s export oriented electronics subsector will be affected by the ongoing economic depression in the United States. Also to be affected by the current financial crunch in the US are the apparel and clothing and furniture and woodcraft industries in the country which account 60 percent of the country’s exports to US. #

Katotohan (Truth)

Katotohan (Truth)

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