Sunday, October 31, 2004

Expired Antibiotics being used in Army hospital

This is what happens when corrupt generals pocket the money that is supposed to buy military equiptment and new medicines for our soldiers.

From Malaya:

An Army nurse yesterday alleged that the Army General Hospital is injecting battle casualties and post-surgery patients with expired antibiotics.

Malacañang said the defense department should do the investigation.

Myrna David, a former staffer at the Army hospital, told Radio Mindanao Network that she found out about the practice when she saw at the end of March a box of antibiotics with an expiry date of Jan. 30.

David said she refused to use the drug for fear of adverse reactions from her patients but she was told that the same supply was also being used in other wards.
She said she and 10 other nurses came forward as witnesses when they heard that anonymous letters protesting the practice had been sent to then Armed Forces chief Gen. Narciso Abaya.

She said when they brought the case before the Office of the Inspector General, their commanding officer, Col. William Yu, was relieved.

But she said and her fellow whistle-blowers were also penalized by being placed on floating status or reassigned. She said she is now assigned to the Office of the Army Chief Nurse.

She said Yu has filed a libel case against her and her 10 others before the Quezon City regional trial court.

She alleged that then Army chief Lt. Gen. Efren Abu, who is now AFP chief of staff, brushed off their complaints, saying the Army leadership had more important issues to tackle.
Typical reaction by GMA's military -- punish the whistleblowers aka Acsa Ramirez and Carlos Saunar, and sweep the scandal under the rug.

Don't shoot the messenger

Dapat magalit tayo sa mga corrupt na heneral, hindi sa media na messenger lamang.

Is the importance of a free and independent press not in the military curriculum?

House minority leader Francis Escudero (NPC, Sorsogon) yesterday took a dig at Gen. (ret.) Narciso Abaya who said Friday media was resorting to rumor-mongering, sensationalism, and trial by publicity.

Abaya made the remarks in his farewell speech as he handed the reins of the AFP to Lt. Gen. Efren Abu, the former Army chief.

"Coup attempts, like corruption scandal, have a way of catching fire, destroying reputations and destabilizing institutions, especially with the sensationalism that has come to characterize the press and media," he said.

Escudero said: "It is sad that despite being in the military for 38 years, he (Abaya) still does not understand and accept the imperatives of a democracy which among others, demands a strong, independent and free press."
Stop the coverup, Gen. Abaya!

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Paredes on Carlos Saunar

Good point by Ducky:

What can we say about our system of justice when Carlos Saunar, the head of the NBI Western Mindanao Regional Office has been sacked? Saunar is currently on the witness stand in the trial of President Joseph Estrada, testifying to the fact that he has found no links that would put the excise tax money stolen by Chavit Singson in the hands of Erap.

The P130 million was taken from the Ilocos Sur government's vaults. Chavit says that he gave the money to Atong Ang to deliver to Erap. It has always been an unlikely story. A Chavit will not trust that amount of money to an Atong.

For someone like Chavit to trust Atong with so much money is not possible, especially that Chavit says that they were in Atong's car on the way to Erap's Polk Street residence when Atong told him that he should disembark since someone might recognize him at the Estrada residence. According to Chavit's fairly tale, he realized this immediately and alighted from the vehicle.

Of course, this is a lie.

But that is not the point. Saunar's relief is apparently a signal to the rest of the government that testifying to the truth will be punished. I can see the point of the government. After all, we cannot encourage whistle-blowers. What will happen to us if someone wants to testify against the Pidals? Imagine if someone will testify against Big Mike. Imagine if someone will testify about Little Mike.

Can this government survive that?
No good deed goes unpunished indeed.

Afghan Terrorists learned their lessons from GMA's weak-kneed response to terrorism

Alam na nila kung sino yung dapat kidnapin (at anong nationality) para mapaluhod nila ang isang bansa.

ANOTHER Angelito has put the Philippines into another situation where we may have to again shed all pretensions to being a proud nation. Terrorists in Afghanistan have kidnapped diplomat Angelito Nayan with two other UN workers.

It is, of course, not Angelito's fault. The thing is, since we gave in to the demands of the terrorists who took a Filipino in Iraq, whoever took Angelito in Afghanistan will take it very hard if we were to not completely give in to their demands. We have written a role for ourselves as the doormat of the world. There is no other way than to accommodate these Afghan terrorists. Imagine how they would feel if we did not kiss their feet considering how easily we caved in to the Iraqis who were holding a truck driver. Angelito is a diplomat!

Nayan, a junior foreign service officer, has been seconded to the Joint Electoral Committee connected with the UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan. He must be a protégé of Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo since he was on Bert's Senate staff.
Mullah Ishaq Manzoor, commander of a breakaway Taliban faction known as the Jaish-e-Muslimeen (Army of Muslims), says that he has taken them and that he has taken them out of Kabul.

There have been no kidnappings in Afghanistan. This is the first one. Obviously, the Afghans have learned their terrorist lessons from the Iraqis. Expect that a threat of a beheading will soon follow. And then, what will Gloria Arroyo do? The last time, she groveled at the feet of the terrorists and we were fired from the Coalition of the Willing.

What if they tell us to leave the United Nations or else?

I wouldn't be surprised if "Iron Lady" Gloria surrenders again, Duckster.

Friday, October 29, 2004

GMA rating down to -67% in the Surveys

Nobody trusts this bogus president anymore:

President Arroyo's net satisfaction rating has plummeted to minus 67.9 percent, according to the IBON Foundation's October survey.

Of 1,355 respondents, 76.33 percent said they are not satisfied with her performance, 8.46 percent said they are satisfied while 15.21 percent were undecided.

Last April, Arroyo's net satisfaction rating was at 30 percent, which means that her rating plunged by 37.9 percentage points in six months.

The survey, conducted Sept. 19 to Oct. 4, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.
She'd have a difficult time governing this country kung hindi siya credible sa tao.

NBI man who testified for Estrada sacked

That's what you get for telling the truth, sir. Just like Acsa Ramirez. Ang mga truth-tellers at whistleblowers, napaparusahan. Ang mga tunay na kriminal, nakakalusot.

For committing the cardinal “crime” of testifying truthfully, which cleared detained President Joseph Estrada on charges of having diverted some P170 million in tobacco excise tax funds, National Bureau of Investigation regional chief Carlos Saunar, was yesterday relieved by NBI director Reynaldo Wycoco, reportedly on orders of Malacañang and the Ombudsman.

Saunar is now on floating status.

The sacked NBI regional chief testified before the Sandiganbayan as a witness called in by the defense lawyers of Estrada, who then said in open court that the investigation conducted by the NBI showed that it was Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson who had diverted the tobacco funds, not Estrada, as the paper trail showed that the money was withdrawn, deposited and withdrawn again by persons identified with Singson.

His testimony destroyed the case of the prosecution, as the case for the prosecution hinges on the testimony of Singson, its star witness.

The NBI yesterday ordered the relief of Saunar for his alleged violation of a bureau policy on confidentiality of investigation records and for testifying in favor of the detained leader.

Lead lawyer for the defense, former Sen. Rene Saguisag, slammed the NBI action, saying “it was not enough for the prosecution to harrass the witness. Now it has to even terrorize the defense witnesses.”
More from Malaya:

Carlos Saunar, a defense witness in the plunder trial of President Joseph Estrada, was relieved yesterday as head of the NBI Western Mindanao Regional Office allegedly for violating the agency's policy on "confidentiality and manifestation of partiality."

The relief was seen in NBI circles as "punishment" for his testimony which impugned the accusations of Ilocos Sur Governor Luis Singson that he withdrew P130 million of tobacco excise tax shares for delivery to Estrada.

This was one of the issues raised against Estrada, leading to his impeachment, and when the trial was aborted, his ouster at EDSA 2.

Defense lawyer Jose Flaminiano said the relief of Saunar is tantamount to obstruction of justice.

Flaminiano said Saunar is still on the witness stand undergoing cross-examination. After that, he faces re-direct examination.

With the NBI action, Saunar will be testifying under duress, Flaminiano said. This is tampering with the witness, he added.

He said the defense panel will file contempt charges against NBI Director Reynaldo Wycoco and special prosecutor Dennis Villa-Ignacio.

"Villa-Ignacio earlier said he would ask the NBI to sanction Saunar. Apparently he did and Wycoco went along with it," Flaminiano said.
Gago talaga itong si Wycoco. Ginago niya dati si Lacson. Now, he's making life miserable for this poor NBI witness.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Like French Kings Part 2

"Sinister forces" are trying to wreck the institution... NOT!

When a big-time corruption scandal blows up on the face of a high-ranking official of a government agency, the style usually adopted by the high official is to get his colleagues to close ranks and attribute all criticisms and exposés as a “sinister” plot to destroy the institution.

This was the stand adopted by Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., when being investigated by members of the House of Representatives on the anomalous disbursements of the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF), which led to the move to impeach Davide.

He spoke then of the “dark and sinister forces” out to destroy the institution that is the judiciary, even it was only he who was being investigated for the illegal disbursal of the JDF, where funds allocated for the rank-and-file in the judiciary went elsewhere, with hundreds of millions going missing. And yet Davide has the nerve to speak about the need of eliminating corruption in government, and even has the chutzpah to claim that the rule of law must be upheld — he who broke the law and the Constitution which he has sworn to uphold! And hey, he even now urges whistleblowers to come forward. But when it came to blowing the whistle on him, this was a “sinister force?”

The elite, as well as the high court justices, virtually backing up institutionalized corruption in the judiciary by backing up Davide, killed the process of impeachment by coming up with a hometown decision that protected Davide's, and their hide.

The question that should be asked today is whether, by helping to cover up the massive corruption practiced through the illegal disbursal of the JDF funds, the institution has been “saved.”

Evidently, it was Davide and his justices who were “saved,” not the institution of the Supreme Court, because to this day, the great majority of the Filipino people no longer repose their trust and faith in the high court or the entire judiciary, for that matter, in obtaining true justice as they have become political prostitutes.

Similarly, the corruption scandal which erupted from the discovery of a former military comptroller, Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, funneling military funds into his bank accounts is now being slammed as an affront to the military institution. It was, however, a discovery that led to more corruption practices in the military, linking past and present chiefs of staff and all their J staff.

Now, they, like Davide and his justices before them, scream that the institution is being destroyed and that the enemies of the state are being given by elected officials the ammunition to crush the institution.

That's pure crap. All they want, as Davide and his court wanted then, was to cover up their crime.

It is their hide they want to protect, and keep on protecting, by bringing up this claim of “saving” the institution.

Ironically, they said nothing about saving the institution of the presidency and the civilian Commander-in-Chief, or even of breach of the chain of command, of the military and police engaging in political partisanship and getting out of the barracks, of the Constitution and democracy itself when they pilloried then President Joseph Estrada on mere allegations of corruption and plunder; they said nothing about upholding the law, or even of granting Estrada his right to due process and even gloried at his being convicted by publicity on mere allegations which charges are now being proved to be fabricated.

Yet these are the same people who now cry foul over allegations of corruption in the disbursal of the JDF funds and other anomalies in the budget of the judiciary, handled by Davide, and charges of corruption leveled against the military generals and their accomplices, claiming that the institutions must be saved.

And there was Gloria Arroyo, telling the senators and congressmen to go easy on the generals, just as she did, for the high court justices — yet she vows to clean up the corruption mess in these institutions when she, at the same time, asks for the officials concerned to go easy on them?

It is precisely because Gloria and her allies have been too easy on the military and her generals that they have become much too arrogant and powerful.

Would a mere chief of staff, or a mere department secretary be so arrogant and rude before a congressional panel and tell them they can't touch him, or his mother, or even inquire into his yet to be explained assets, and showing his contempt of members of Congress if he did not think himself so powerful and beyond the pale of the law?

All this talk about the need for toned down political rhetoric to “save” the institution is pure manure.

It is not the institutions that they seek to save, but their corrupt ways and the ill-gotten wealth to be protected.

For how can these generals, as well as the high court justices, expect to save their institutions, since they themselves destroyed them.
Related article here.

Angelo Reyes' Arrogance

Naninigaw, evasive, hostile... I guess Angie's just trying to show who's boss, eh?

Ilocos Norte Rep. Imee Marcos was correct when she said it was Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Angelo Reyes who actually involved his mother when he claimed that his P4.1 million bank deposit belonged to his mother.

Rep. Marcos is right to complain that Reyes was very discourteous when he shouted at her in full view of the TV audience.

This attitude is not peculiar to Secretary Reyes alone. You have seen it in the different Edsa II personalities whose arrogant behavior projected their thinking that Edsa II “heroes” are a superior race and should not be questioned on their performance.
O baka may personal na away lang between Golez and Reyes?

The hearings on corruption charges against Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia have confirmed the bad blood between Parañaque City Rep. Roilo Golez, former national security adviser, and Secretary Angelo Reyes, former secretary of the Department of National Defense (DND).

Remember the Oakwood mutiny last year when the young officers called for the resignation of Secretary Angelo Reyes on account of incompetence in the Mindanao campaign and corruption? At the time, President Arroyo angrily stated, “they want to remove Reyes to weaken me” and refused to give in.

But shortly after, Mrs. Arroyo asked Reyes to resign as DND chief. Aides of Reyes say they discovered that National Security Council (NSC) head Roilo Golez sent memo after memo to the President that tends to confirm the validity of the Magdalo officers' grievances. (Golez wanted the DND post). Round one to Golez.

At the House hearings the other day, Golez tried to pin down Reyes on the amount of allowances he receives, Reyes answered four times in a loud, angry voice “I receive only authorized allowances.” Congressmen seated close to Golez saw he had a document containing a Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) certification that Reyes was receiving an extra allowance of P2 million a month.

But apparently, Reyes' angry tone forced Golez not to confront him with the Pagcor document at the time.

Golez then reported to the House after the hearings that Reyes confronted him with this challenge, “Pare, pinepersonal mo ako, ano bang gusto mong mangyari?”

To whom Golez just smiled and said, “Relax ka lang.”

Before he left the House, Angie was heard to say “I will get back at him (Golez) with a vengeance.”

Among Golez, Imee Marcos and Peter Allan Cayetano, they barely got anything out of Reyes who they correctly described as arrogant and evasive. Round two to Reyes.

One good thing about this — the hot exchanges between Reyes and Golez have caused Golez to state he will see through these hearings to the end, meaning he is not giving in to Malacañang pressure to terminate the hearings.
But still, Angie's attitude in all this is inexcusable.

Like French Kings

JB Baylon notes:

I HAVE once again heard the defense that "attacking" certain individuals is tantamount to "attacking" certain institutions. This was the defense of the Roman Catholic Church when scandals surrounding the actuations of some of its cardinals became public; this is now the defense of the Armed Forces of the Philippines when scandals surrounding the apparently criminal activities of some of its generals have come to light.

So now we are told that "attacks" on generals - actually not so much as attacks as the posing of tough and surely painful questions - are attacks on the AFP as an institution; hence to pursue the line of action against the erring generals is actually to threaten the stability and the integrity of the Republic.


Very convenient, indeed. Read it all.

Intimidation tactics by the Military

"Nagpaparinig" na rin sila sa mga Civilian officials natin:

WHAT'S this declaration by the Armed Forces of a nationwide red alert? An early Halloween trick or treat?

The justification, that it is meant to get the soldiers up on their toes for attacks by the New People's Army, doesn't wash. NPA spokesman Gregorio "Ka Roger" Rosal is indeed talking about stepped-up attacks on government forces and installations. But this is nothing new. Ka Roger has been saying the same thing every time a news organization gets in touch with him via cellphone. Giving the impression that the NPA is on the offensive and that the government is on the retreat, after all, summarizes Ka Roger's job description.

Does the military seriously want us to believe that every time Ka Roger says "Boo!" the soldiers hunker down in their camps, outposts and fox holes to repel pre-announced attacks?

The military establishment is being shaken to its foundation by the corruption scandal at the highest level. The red alert is a not so-subtle warning the ongoing investigations had better stick to their narrow course or else...

The goose of Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, the former comptroller who allegedly amassed around P200 million from kickbacks and commissions, is cooked. The evidence against is airtight. He is on his way to becoming a guest of the state - free board and lodging - for the rest of his life.

What concerns the public now is whether the investigation of corruption would stop at Garcia. As Garcia himself testified before a House hearing, every action he made had the approval of his superiors. He could not have stolen a fortune all by his lonesome.

The brass are circling the wagons. No question about it. At the moment they are firing over the heads of the hostiles.

Would they dare shift their aim and open with lethal fire? We don't know and, frankly, we believe the time has passed when the political leadership and the citizenry should not be intimidated by the threat of a coup d'etat.

There's no difference between a coup and succumbing to the threat of a coup. The first means death by musketry; the second is death by strangulation. It's the end of the Republic either way.

Let's see if our elected officials will allow themselves to be intimidated by the Military.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

NBI: Erap not guilty on the missing Tobacco Excise Tax case

From Malaya:

A former chief of the NBI anti-graft division yesterday declared there was "absolutely nothing" that would link President Joseph Estrada and his son, Sen. Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada, to the "missing" P130 million tobacco excise tax funds.

Carlos Saunar, the seventh witness for the defense, headed the team that was tapped by the Department of Justice in October 2000 to look into the disclosures of Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis "Chavit" Singson regarding Estrada's alleged involvement in "jueteng" and corruption.

On direct examination by defense lawyer Raymund Fortun, Saunar said he recommended the filing of several criminal complaints against Singson based on the grilling by his team of various persons and the examination of documents on the transactions of the provincial government of Ilocos Sur.

The complaints were later dropped when the Arroyo government granted immunity to Singson after he agreed to be the "star witness" against Estrada.
Hindi ba si Chavit ang dapat ikulong dito, hindi si Erap?

Civilians should not mess with the Military

Under GMA, napaka-influential ng military. Pwede nilang sigaw-sigawan ang mga civilian at gov't officials if these people dare ask questions that they consider hostile.

Instead of giving categorical answers, Reyes was seen as very evasive throughout the hearing and, in many instances, was hostile and war-like.

“He did not answer direct questions like, 'Was he receiving additional allowance?' I asked him if it came from authorized sources but he did not give categorical answers,” the congressman said.

“He merely said 'authorized sources' but who are these authorized sources?” Golez added.

“Reyes has a lot of explaining to do. Does that (answer) mean he did not know what is happening as AFP chief and DND (Department of National Defense) secretary?” Golez asked.

Until his appointment by President Arroyo as Interior chief, Reyes had been a military chief of staff and Defense secretary, among many other jobs offered to him by the incumbent administration.

The congressional investigation was spurred by allegations that Reyes is involved in amassing ill-gotten wealth as supposedly indicated by reports that his statement of assets and liabilities and net worth had shown ownership of only P200,000 in 2002, which soared to P18 million in 2004.

Marcos said she was surprised at how Reyes had reacted to her questions on the allegations against him.

“I did not expect that the highest official of the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) and a former AFP chief of staff would shout at me, despite my legitimate questions on the controversy into which he has been dragged,'' the Ilocos Norte lawmaker added.
Hoy Imee, hindi mo ba alam, Military people have superiority over civilians like us.

Naitakas na ni Garcia ang kayamanan niya

Ang bagal kasing kumilos ng mga authorities eh:

Sen. Sergio Osmeña III said yesterday Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia hauled several boxes containing P38 million in cash from a Makati bank on Oct. 7, a week before his bank accounts were frozen by the Court of Appeals on the prompting of the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

The accounts at the United Coconut Planters Bank branch in Salcedo Village were in the name of Garcia, his wife Clarita and Timothy Mark, Ian Carl, and Juan Paolo.

Osmeña said eight UPCB accounts in all, of which six were peso accounts and two were dollar accounts, were cleaned up by Garcia before the freeze order.

A summary prepared by the government said earlier that the freeze order was able to cover only seven of the 40 accounts of the Garcias in seven banks and other financial institutions. The deposits in 33 others had been withdrawn before the appellate court could act.
At bakit hindi kumikibo itong abogado ni GMA ng miyembro ng "The Firm" na si DefSec Nonong Cruz?

Pimentel said that Cruz, who took over the helm of the Department of National Defense more than two months ago, cannot do a Pilate on the unexplained wealth charges of Garcia and other ranking AFP officers because he is the civilian supervisor of the military establishment.

"Secretary Cruz has been keeping a sphinx-like silence over the scandal and I am wondering why. If he keeps acting that way, he will be marginalized not only in the eyes of the Armed Forces but also in the eyes of the people," he said.

Pimentel said the public has yet to hear from Cruz on what steps he has taken on the prosecution of the charges against Garcia for allegedly amassing ill-gotten wealth and on the rooting out of deep-seated corruption in the military.

"When you are the secretary of national defense, anything that happens in your department is your problem. And it is incumbent upon him to have spoken out and take a position either way - if he wants to defend Garcia, he should have come out and said he was in the right. Or if he thinks Gen. Garcia committed something wrong, he should have acted accordingly. Apparently, he decided to wash his hands of the controversy," he said.
I don't know Sen. Pimentel... could it be that he's part of the coverup? Just Asking.

I doubt Arroyo will last 6 years in office

Especially when we hear reports like this one:

EXECUTIVE Order 367 creating the Office of External Affairs is another indication that President Arroyo lives in a world so remote from majority of the Filipino people.

More than five million working-age Filipinos have no jobs and one out of seven Filipino households experience hunger. People are angry at the corruption in all levels of the government. Then she creates the Office of External Affairs to "liaison with constituency groups and build grassroots support for the government's agenda and legislation." It will have an initial budget of P100 million.

The OEA will have offices all over the country and will have supervision over the presidential advisers and assistants for regional concerns. Fernando Mahusay has been named presidential assistant for Region 9, clearly a political payback for having "rescued" his brother, Eugenio or Udong, from the custody of Sen. Panfilo Lacson, to stop him from creating more damage to Mike Arroyo in the Jose Pidal exposé.

The creation of OEA is a slap in the face of all other departments especially the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the National Anti-Poverty Commission.

The OEA will also have a "representative the United States with the rank of Attaché." Arroyo said "I may even need two (attachés) because we have three-and-a-half million Filipinos there. We will need one in the East Coast, one in the West Coast.

Has Arroyo forgotten that the Department of Foreign Affairs has an embassy (in Washington D.C.) and five consulates (Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco) in the United States?

If we follow her line of reasoning that OEA representatives are needed in places where there is a big number of Filipinos, she would have to send OEA representatives all over the world. Just like the DFA with 85 embassies and consulates all over the world.

Our corps of foreign service officers manning Philippine embassies and consulates have the responsibility "to protect the interest of Filipinos nationals abroad" by providing them the necessary services and assistance. What would be the functions of OEA representatives that are not being exercised by DFA personnel? And wasn't Vice President Noli de Castro appointed presidential adviser for Overseas Filipino Workers? And how about Roy Cimatu as her special envoy to the Middle East?

Perplexed by GMA's moves like this creation of OEA amidst a fiscal crisis and by the quality of her appointments like Mahusay, Jun Santiago (presidential adviser on revenue enhancement), and Ramon Revilla (chairman of Public Estates Authority), a friend said, "Mapapabilis ang bagsak ni Arroyo nito (This will hasten Arroyo's fall)."

Arroyo's credibility has reached rock-bottom. There is widespread apathy among the masses. Reports like this, creation of another dumping ground for political stooges no longer surprise the people.

It's never GMA's fault

Read it All:

"Kasalanan" ni Erap

Talaga yatang wala tayong maaasahang pagbabago tungo sa kaunlaran kay Pangulong Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Ang lakas ng loob. Sa pagkabaon natin sa paghihirap, iba pa ang sinisisi. Kung hindi raw siya nakamana ng problema ng bayan kay Pangulong Estrada, hindi tayo ganito ngayon.


Noong patalsikin si Pangulong Estrada, magkano ba ang utang ng bansa? Tingnan ninyo sa rekord. Mahigit lang P700 billion.

At noong Sabado, Enero 21, 2001 ng umalis si Erap sa Malacañang, may iniwan siyang P78 billion na cash.

Umpisa ng mang-agaw ng poder hanggang ngayon, magkano na ang utang ng naghihirap na bansang Pilipino? Doble na. Halos P1.5 billion.

Kasalanan ba ni Erap iyan?

Nakuha ng mga sundalo ni Erap ang 10,000 ektaryang kampo ng Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Malaking ani sana ang makukuha rito kung hindi tinumba si Erap.

Ano naman ang ginawa ni GMA matapos mang-agaw ng poder?

Aba, akalain ba naman ninyong ibalik sa MILF ang Kampo Abubakar.

Iyan tuloy. Malaki ang problema sa Mindanao ngayon.

Noong unang buwan ng panunungkulan ni Erap, ang dolyar ay P43 lamang. Magkano na ngayon? Sobra na sa P56. May dagdag na mahigit sa P20 bawat dolyar ngayon.

Kasalanan ba ni Erap iyan?

Bago napatalsik si Erap, halos walang kidnapping for ransom. Nabawasan ang kurakutan ng pulis. Ang mga carnap na kotse na ang iba ay ginagamit ng pulis, ay ibinigay lahat ni Gen. Panfilo Lacson, PNP chief noon, sa mga insurance companies.

Ano ba ngayon ang nangyayari? Dumaan ang panahon na laganap ang kidnapping. Ang isang heneral ng pulis ay gumagamit ng Jaguar na nasamsam daw sa isang drug lord. Anong pakialam ni Erap sa mga iyan. Nakakulong nga iyong tao.

Talaga naman! Pati si Ferdinand Marcos sinisi ni GMA. Di ba bumuti ang kalagayan ng bayan sa panahon nina Pangulong Cory Aquino at Fidel Ramos?

Ibig bang sabihin ni Pangulong Arroyo, ang 12 taon ng "kaunlaran" sa gobyernong Aquino ay giniba ni Erap sa dalawa at kalahating taon lamang?

At hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa nakukumpuni ni GMA ang sinira ni Erap. Halos apat na taon ng nakaupo si GMA, kasama na ang tatlo at kalahating taon sa agaw na poder, hindi pa rin tayo nagbabago. Nabubulok pa nga.

Kung hindi haharapin ni Pangulong Arroyo ang maraming problema ng bayan at kung hindi siya magkakaroon ng tibay ng dibdib na magbigay ng solusyon, lalo pa tayong maghihirap.

Wala sino man ang naniniwala na lubog sa kahirapan ang bayan dahil kay Erap. Hindi makakalusot sa paningin ng tao ang hindi tamang pamamaraan ni GMA sa pagsisi kay Erap.

Hanggang ngayon, matapos manalo noong Mayo 10, puro pulitika pa rin ang iniisip ni GMA.

Halos P400 million ang magagastos sa paglipat ng Department of Agrarian Reform sa Iloilo. Mahigit sa 1,400 ang mga empleyado sa Central Office ang mapipilitan ding pumunta sa Iloilo.

Doble parusa. Kung nagbuburnal ng bahay iyong empleyado, magdodoble ang gastos niya dahil sa renta sa Iloilo.

Kung may bahay na bayad na, pipilitin naman ni GMA na magrenta sa Iloilo.

Ganyan din ang aabutin ng mga empleyado sa Central Office ng Department of Tourism. Ililipat ang tourism sa Cebu. Bakit kailangang gawin ito? Dahil nagbabayad si GMA sa utang sa pagkapanalo sa Iloilo at Cebu.

Tingnan ninyo, walang departamento na ililipat sa Mindanao. Bakit nga naman. Si FPJ ang nanalo na malaki sa Mindanao.

Magtipid daw. Gobyerno naman niya ang nagwawaldas.

Ngayon, malaking kurakutan naman ang nabulgar sa AFP. Panahon ba ni Erap nangyari iyan? Tapos si Erap ang sinisisi.

Laganap lalo ngayon ang droga. Wala namang may sentensyang bitay na nabitay nga. Takot si GMA sa Simbahan.

Ang leksyon sa lahat ng ito ay tibay ng paninindigan. Kung wala iyan sa isang Pangulong tulad ni GMA, wala tayong pupuntahan kung mas grabeng pagkabulok.

Wala kahit na katiting na problema ang nalulutas sa paninisi sa iba na wala namang kinalaman sa nangyayari ngayon.

Ano bang kasalanan ang nagawa natin at pinarurusahan tayo ng ganito? Magdasal tayong lahat

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

"Tense, Worried, Anxious"

That's the atmosphere inside Malacanang these days.

Inside Malacañang. The atmosphere in Malacañang these days is described as “tense,” “worried,” “anxious” by Malacañang reporters.

The President has visitorial powers that allow her to look into bank deposits in spite of the bank secrecy law. She has been advised to submit the names of her top aides to the banks and ask for a report on their deposits.

According to a radio reporter, President Arroyo spent three hours at the Mother Ignacia Healing Center in Novaliches last Saturday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., accompanied by presidential adviser Conrado Limcaoco.

The First Gentleman is very quiet these days. He must be worried the US Customs service has a computer record of his dollar deposits. They are very efficient about that. When I was ambassador to Washington, I was told they (US Custom officials) keep a file on all incoming dollars brought in by foreigners. This is due to their concern with drug money and lately, terrorist money. That is why Mrs. Garcia went overboard explaining her source of dollars — to dispel any suspicion she's bringing in drugs or terrorist funds.

Not surprising, really. Normal reaction from guilty people.

Why high crimes goes unpunished

Good article by Jake Macasaet. Go read it now.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Hindi magiging masaya ang Christmas natin this year.

Tataasan na ng mga buwaya ang buwis natin.

3 tax measures ipapasa bago mag-Christmas

Ito ang tiniyak ni House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. kasabay ng pagsisimula ngayon ng pagsalang sa plenaryo ng panukalang indexation of sin taxes o ang pagbubuwis sa mga sin products tulad ng alak at sigarilyo.

Bukod sa sin taxes, kabilang sa inaasahang ipapasa ng Kamara ay ang panukalang rationalization of fiscal incentives at lateral attrition na siyang magpapabuti at magrereporma sa tax administration.

Ayon kay De Venecia, inaasahang maipapasa ang tatlong panukala nang hindi lalampas sa Nobyembre 17 upang agad itong maipadala sa Senado at mabigyan ng sapat na panahon ang pagtalakay rito upang sa Christmas break ng Kongreso ay pasado na ang mga ito.

Naniniwala si De Venecia na hindi na dapat patagalin ang pagpapatibay sa mga nasabing panukalang pagbubuwis dahil ito’y napakahalaga para sa kinakaharap na fiscal crisis ng bansa.

Sa panig ni majority Leader Prospero Nograles Jr., sinabi nitong inaasahan ng liderato ng Kamara ang pagpasa ng mga panukalang batas ngayong buwang ito upang agad na maisampa sa Senado nang mabigyan ng sapat na panahon ang mataas na kapulungan na pag-usapan ito bago sumapit ang Christmas recess.

Ayon naman kay Rep. Jesli Lapus, chairman ng House ways and means committee, ang krisis ng bansa ay lalong lumulubha kaya ang ways and means panel ay puspusang kumikilos at nakapagsagawa na rin umano ng 17 pagdinig simula noong buwan ng Setyembre dala ang hangaring mapabilis ang pag-apruba sa mga panukala.
So desidido na kayong taasan ang buwis namin. Pero ano na ang nangyari sa promise mo JDV na ia-abolish nyo raw ang "pork barrel" for 2005???

Malakas talaga ang Militar kay GMA

Read this article from Ellen Tordesillas.

"Napaparinig" na rin ang AFP sa US

Kung si Francis Ricciardone ay nagpaparinig sa Malacanang at AFP to get their act together in stamping out corruption, the corrupt AFP generals can play the same game too when they "uncovered" a plot to bomb the US embassy.

Senate minority leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. yesterday said the Armed Forces, to prevent speculations that it is telling tall tale, must present solid evidence that the two men and a woman arrested last Oct. 6 were planning an attack on the US embassy.

"They (the military) should explain how they uncovered the alleged plot to bomb the US embassy in the face of public skepticism over their claim that the suspects allegedly confessed to the alleged bombing mission during interrogation," Pimentel said.

There were speculations that the arrests in a supposed bombing plot was to divert public attention from the congressional probe into corruption in the military.
It's like the military crooks are saying -- butt out, stop leaking to the press about our unexplained wealth in the US, or else bigla na lang may sasabog sa embassy nyo.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Go read them

Interesting Links.

US DISMAYADO NA KAY GMA and Pro-Erap at FVR magsasanib vs Gloria

Efforts to kill the Garcia probe underway

Yan na, sinisimulan na!

Malacañang has reportedly released P50 million in "discretionary" funds to "silence" legislators and media who have been pursuing investigations into corruption in the Armed Forces, former Sen. Francisco Tatad said yesterday.

Tatad, who said he got the information from Palace insiders, failed to give details but said the P50 million is different from the millions in pesos reportedly being raised by AFP contractors and suppliers to stop investigations of the House defense committee on Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia.

It is widely believed that Garcia, who is suspected of amassing wealth while military comptroller, could not have engaged in irregularities without the knowledge of his superiors.

Tatad said his informants told him "obviously Mrs. Arroyo is afraid" of the backlash on her presidency of continued media coverage of the Garcia case.

"The corruption scandal is just the tip of the iceberg. This could end up with the exposé of the corruption of active military and civilian groups affiliated and connected with Mrs. Arroyo," he said.

Proof of Malacañang's "paranoia" over fresh destabilization moves, Tatad said, was the Thursday night dinner-meeting hosted by the President for battalion commanders.

Tatad said the Palace insiders told him Malacañang's hatchet men have launched "diversionary, hush-hush operations" to kill or downplay the Garcia story in media and stop the House from pursuing its probe.

Rep. Imee Marcos (KBL, Ilocos Norte) last week said she had information that a group of retired and active military officers and a number of big arms contractors were putting up P50 million to halt the House inquiry.

She said one member of the group used to head a major service and is among the biggest moneymakers.

The group has also reportedly tapped media operators to try to "tone down" stories on the ongoing investigations.


Senate minority leader Aquilino Pimentel said he was wondering why members of the House defense and banks committees have not asked AFP officers to push Garcia's alleged ill-gotten wealth case and provide details of so-called "conversion" schemes resorted to by the military.

"Is this part of the cover-up (of scandal)?" Pimentel asked.

Pimentel said he is favor of the House pursuing its probe but urged members of the House panels to "ask the right questions."

He said the House probe seems to be "going nowhere" because of the failure of congressmen probers to get vital information from resource persons.


Pimentel chided Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz for his silence on the Garcia issue.

"He cannot just stand and say that he lacks moral authority to discuss the topic because he is just new to his post. Either he comes out in defense of Garcia and protects his men ... or he could push for a thorough, no-nonsense investigation ... But he cannot ... keep silent because he will definitely be marginalized," he said.

Pimentel said if Cruz continues to adopt a hands-off position on the issue, he would send the wrong message that he is an "ineffective, ineffectual" defense secretary.
Wag na tayong umasa pa na this investigtion will expose Garcia's other corrupt colleagues in the AFP. Malacanang and their allies are trying to limit the damage to Gen. Garcia only.


Just read:

Bishops plead: No more coups

By Marie A. Surbano
Sunday, 10 24, 2004

Where before, they were active participants in coups d'etat mounted against two constitutional governments, saying this was the moral thing to do in the face of rampant corruption in government, the Catholic Church leaders yesterday made a 180 degree turn in their 1986 and 2001 stand, saying revolts are not the solution to the country's problems.

President Arroyo's prime ally in the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla, who is its president, yesterday made this pronouncement in the face of persistent destabilization and coup talks against the Arroyo government.
Tama ang article. Dati kasi, mga active participants ang mga paring ito para patumbahin ang isang legitimately elected president ng ating bansa.

Alam nilang labag sa batas ang ginagawa nila, pero tinuloy pa rin nila ang coup nung Jan. 21 2001.

Now, they're singing a different tune. These guys have no credibility left.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Udong Mahusay's brother recently appointed as Presidential Adviser

Wow ha, Eugenio Mahusay's brother got appointed by GMA recently, probably as payment for keeping Udong's mouth shut on the Jose Pidal case.

Look at Madam Arroyo's appointments, and weep! Reynaldo Berroya as incoming chief of customs police. Ferdinand Mahusay, Udong's older brother, as presidential adviser (Wow, ha!) for Region 9. And I thought we are into streamlining, down-sizing, trimming the fat, and all that crap. Wait till Udong becomes an assistant secretary assigned to Malacañang's appointment office. And who will be his boss? Your naughty guess is as good as mine.
Puro mga walang kwenta talaga ang mga appointments ni Reyna Gloria! BERROYA? PWEH!

One opinion maker is beginning to notice things...

He must be getting some of his ideas from this PEx thread.

Anyways, here's the article:

Think on this: How did the strange adventures of Carlos, Clarita and Ian Garcia hit the front pages? Who leaked the information about them? The information was first sent by the Americans to the military in January, Nothing happened. The military says that they could not for the life of them unearth any evidence against the general. This month, the Americans sent the same information to the Ombudsman. This time, the information was appropriately leaked to the press.

We also have the strange case of a Transportation undersecretary which has caused DOTC Secretary Leandro Mendoza to inquire with the Americans to try to ferret out what information the US gave our Ombudsman on the Usec's hidden wealth in banks in the United States.

Mendoza is inquiring with the US Embassy what information Washington gave the Ombudsman on Undersecretary Cecilio Penilla, who was Mendoza's comptroller when Mendoza was PNP chief. Penilla was also Mendoza's classmate in the Philippine Military Academy. He is obviously Mendoza's close friend, trusted aide and possible crony.

Mendoza is making the wrong play. It is obvious that the Americans do not trust him and will tell him nothing. If they trusted him, wouldn't they have told him about Penilla and allow him to clean his own backyard as well as filling the role of the hero who caught the dirty bastard? The fact that Mendoza was kept out of the picture tells me that Mendoza could be on the American hit list.

Is it possible that all this is not just happenstance but that the Americans have a set play in motion? It could be that the play still in the beginning stages which is why the pattern is still not apparent. But, wait a few more days. Things might begin to jell.

Ambassador Francis Ricciardone called the Congress investigation into the shenanigans of Major General Carlos Flores Garcia and his family a "historic moment of opportunity for Filipinos to get things right and come out stronger."

The American Ambassador says that he hopes the Filipino people will not be content with mere investigations conducted by Congress. He has complete faith in the Pinoy and Pinoy democracy but "the people must make a choice whether to let up or pursue the issue to the end."

The tingle I am getting up from the Ricciardone statement is the same one that I used to get whenever Cardinal Sin used to make his pronouncements on governance and politics.

The Ambassador continues: "Are you going to let this die after a week of headlines and hearing? Are you all going to press on this until you get to the bottom of it and you carry out and go as far as it goes, to expose the networks and bring the people to justice who have been stealing from the soldiers and the Filipino people? I think you can. I have faith."

Francis Ricciardone may have his faith. What I have are my dark suspicions.

One might ask why our former partners in the coalition of the Willing would shaft us. There. That could well be the answer.
I don't think the US is trying to "shaft" the Philippines or Filipinos as a whole.

Only GMA and her corrupt Generals and Police Backers.

Shifting the blame

Here's the Arroyo admin again blaming somebody else for their own kapalpakan and corruption.
From the DT:

Malacañang called on the public to help President Arroyo and her administration get rid of the scourge of corruption, following the surveys of two global bodies, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Transparency International (TI) pointing to the Philippines under Gloria as a very corrupt country.

Predictably, the Palace mouthpiece, Ignacio Bunye, blamed not Gloria, but two former Presidents, Ferdinand Marcos and Joseph Estrada, but hey, Estrada has been out of power for the past three--and-a-half-years, and the same surveys will even show that during Estrada's time, the Philippines was not ranked as the fourth most corrupt country in Asia and the 11th most corrupt in the world.

It is on record that during Estrada's time, business competitiveness, as ranked by the WEF, wasn't bad at all, compared to Gloria's time, where the rankings really plunged. And on TI, the ranking then, in 2000, was number 36, compared to Gloria's 98 in the latest most corrupt list, out of 102 countries.

But Malacañang is still trying desperately to make it appear that Gloria is truly serious in getting rid of corruption, to the point of again asking the public to expose the corrupt, for them to be charged and placed in jail.

That is of course, a big joke, considering her track record.

The Tribune for instance has for some time, exposed many instances of corruption that involved not only her ranking Palace officials, but even those of her relatives and cronies. Yet in every instance; every exposé, Malacañang ignored these and even when substantiated — which means there was more than sufficient prima facie evidence to at least get a case going in court, the Palace simply refused to admit there was evidence and large scale graft committed by Gloria's sacred cows.

More to the point, Gloria and her Palace aides, Bunye included, even applaud with glee as Gloria's three Ks — kith, kin and kronies — file record-breaking libel suits, as well as other complaints against those who expose the crime of corruption.

Take the Fraport case that spoke of extortion, where it was alleged, in the German investors' lawyers' conversation, that the Firm was demanding tens of millions of dollars to fix up the Piatco deal, about which the taped conversation Gloria certainly knew, as a copy was handed to her.

So what did Gloria do? She and her aides lambasted the Tribune for such stories, claiming these were figments of the Tribune's imagination and even happily announced the Tribune was the subject of a series of libel cases, and by the Firm.

The Palace was even happier when the publisher and editor in chief of the Tribune was arrested at 6 a.m. by the WPD and detained in the WPD cell.

Or take the case of her Justice secretary, who stood accused of extorting some $2 million from a then Manila congressman, with bank records to prove it, yet what did Gloria do? Again, she claimed there was no evidence and worse, actively worked to get the congressman deported to the US to face charges there.

But the story does not end there, because the Swiss government sent the Department of Foreign Affairs documents showing evidence of money laundering by her Justice secretary where some $2 million was deposited in a Swiss account, which came from the Hong Kong Coutts Bank, plus a power of attorney from the same former Justice secretary. Not only did Gloria not sit on the Swiss authorities request for assistance with the Hong Kong government, but she even had her Senate ensure that there would be no treaty with Hong Kong approved.

Even in the case of spouse, accused of being Jose Pidal, and baring the evidence of his, and Pidal's bank accounts and investments abroad in a Senate forum, she, straight-faced, claims there is no evidence at all, and even went to the extent of ordering a state-sponsored abduction of an eye witness and later gets him to perjure himself to clear her, and her spouse.

Yet she has the gall to claim she is serious in weeding out corruption when all her actions speak of her protection of the corrupt in her government and even that of her cronies and even hypocritically pleads for the public to help her in her fight against graft and corruption when she is known to go after those who expose the corruption in her government.

With the corruption in the military today being unraveled and with Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia being probed by a congressional panel, she comes around and says this must be rooted out as the panel focuses on Garcia's statement of assets and liabilities (SAL) not reflecting his many deposits and properties.

What moral ascendancy does she possess, given the fact that her own SAL, even as vice president, did not reflect the many properties and investments she and the Pidals have?

That's really a clear case of the pot calling the kettle black.
Superb Editorial by the Tribune. Hits the nail right on the head.

Friday, October 22, 2004

GMA tells Golez: Wrap up the investigation on Garcia

If you expect GMA to go after all the crooks in the military, you are sadly deluding yourself.

From the Daily Tribune:

Even as she publicly vows to crack down on the corruption issue hounding the military, pledging to expose the paper trail leading to a military general's amassing of hidden wealth, she took a different tack privately.

President Arroyo wants the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) corruption lid back on the jar of military corruption securely as she gave her former national security adviser and present chairman of the House defense committee, Roilo Golez, marching orders for him and his co-chairman to put a stop to the investigation into the alleged corrupt activities of former AFP comptroller, Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia and of his accomplices in the hierarchy, a highly reliable source in Congress with Malacañang connections yesterday disclosed to the Tribune.

The order comes amid the statement of the US envoy for the Filipino people to see to it that this probe leaves no stone unturned, with a member of Congress describing the American Ambassador's statement as “scary,” as he said this is an echo of what the US government gave the late strongman, before he fell.

The President Wednesday reportedly ordered Golez, chairman of the House committee on national defense to wind up the hearings on Garcia and the AFP in the corruption probe fast as “too many in the military hierarchy and her loyal generals may be implicated further.”

A source with Malacañang connections told the Tribune the President gave Golez at least a week to wrap up the probe on Garcia and the alleged irregularities being committed in the AFP.

The Arroyo order to Golez was given last Wednesday amid the statements issued also on the same day by US Ambassador Francis Ricciardone during a television interview, expressing his hope that the Arroyo government would not stop at just the investigation, adding that he hopes “The Philippines would reach a 'tipping point' where the culture of acceptance of corruption as inevitable, is changing, with the government from top down to bottom up saying this is not acceptable, with everyone ensuring that this will be pursued to end.

But the source noted that Mrs. Arroyo is hardly going have this since she had even assured the military brass, the officials of AFPSLAI and other banks and loans institutions and cooperatives not to “worry anymore” because the investigation will be wrapped up soon.

It was disclosed that Mrs. Arroyo and these military brass, as well as the AFPSLAI and other SLAI officers, including police generals, had met, as fears were reportedly expressed by the generals that the probe must come to a stop as AFPSLAI and similar associations will soon be suffering a bank run on the officers' investments. The military generals along with police generals also reportedly told Mrs. Arroyo that if the congressional probe isn't stopped soon, all their “investments” will be laid bare to the public, and this will create an “unstable” situation in the miltary which, the generals were said to have pointed out to Mrs. Arroyo, will impact negatively on her.

“If we go down, you will also go down with us,” the source quoted the brass as saying to Mrs. Arroyo.

There have been reports that the AFP and other former top officials who still have links with the military have also been running to Malacañang, crying for help due to the scandals that are rocking the institution.

“There was a meeting between the AFPSLAI and other former top officials in the police and the military with all these SLAIS about the ongoing hearing. They got an assurance from President Arroyo that this probe will be over and done with very soon, telling them that “there's no cause for worry,” the source said.

Some minority House members confirmed to the Tribune that Mrs. Arroyo did ask the committees on national Defense chairman Golez and Manila Rep. Jaime Lopez, chairman of the committee on banks, to conclude the probe, or else the military will be dragged into a more embarrassing situation.

A minority member said there was an agreement reached among the leaders of the defense and banks committees Monday night that the hearing was to resume on Oct. 29, but panel members were surprised upon learning that Golez made immediate changes on Wednesday, moving the hearing to yesterday, without giving them formal notice, as only the staff secretariat sent them text messages.

As a result, the invited resource persons scheduled to appear for the Oct. 29 hearing , such as Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo and Interior and Local Government Secretary Angelo Reyes, failed to attend yesterday's hearing due to changes in schedule.

“No formal notice was given to my office. If I did not text one of the staff members of the committee, I would not have known there was a hearing scheduled for today, a Metro Manila congressman said.
And more on-the-spot analysis by their editorial on the Garcia case:

While there is that statement from the military that the provost marshall is now undertaking a pre-trial of the Garcia offense under the Articles of War, which is said to be a prelude to a court martial of the general, it must also be asked how a jury of generals, or even lower-ranked officers, can, with a straight face find Garcia guilty, when they themselves have committed the same offense and were even party to it?

A jury of generals who were all in on the corruption? Come, come. That would be the pot calling the kettle back.

What has come out of the Garcia issue thus far is the same kind of endless political grandstanding and piggybacking from Congress to Malacañang about the issue.

While all this is going on, Garcia and his cohorts have all the leeway to stash safely away the illegally amassed wealth of Garcia which some reports place at more than P4 billion due to the absence of any court injunctions.

What seems to have been acted on are bank accounts of Garcia in the United States using anti-money laundering laws. And even then, with this law in the country, it took the Anti- Money Laundering Council too long to act on his local bank accounts. To top it off, a Central Bank official, in an interview, even claimed that the AFP Savings and Loans Association Inc., from which some P19 million was withdrawn by Garcia, didn't break the law, despite the law stating that any amount deposited over P500,000 should be reported to the Central Bank.

Despite the presence of almost similar laws in the country in the fight against dirty or illegally-acquired money, none has moved thus far to freeze all assets of Garcia.

What more does the Arroyo government need in the form of proof to act on Garcia and all other generals similarly situated?

This lack of determination from the Arroyo government has been so often assailed by foreign groups that have economic or political interests in the country.
Say it with me again please -- I SMELL A C-O-V-E-R-U-P!!!

Jake Macasaet is pessimitic too about this "investigation".

Nagtatago na rin si PNP Comptroller Cecilio Penilla

Like Gen. Garcia, probably inaayos na rin niya ang "istorya" nya for "damage control" purposes. From Malaya:

Penilla, former PNP comptroller, still could not be reached for comment on the allegations of DOTC employees that he was found by American authorities to be maintaining bank accounts in the US and that he is holding a "green card."

The employes, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal, yesterday expressed fears of a cover-up.

A "Mila" from Penilla's office said the official was in a meeting with Mendoza yesterday and that he was "on leave."

Mendoza's secretary, Mina, said Penilla was not in the office. She said he might report next week.
You can run, but you can't hide Mr. Penilla.

UPDATE: Yup, Penilla is still in hiding.

Transparency Int'l: RP 11th most corrupt country in the world

GMA promised to reduce corruption after she seized power in 2001. Pero mas lumala lang ang corruption ng bansa natin under Gloria Arroyo.

Claiming, for the umpteenth time, that the Arroyo administration has made significant gains in curbing corruption in the government, Malacañang yesterday dismissed as exaggerated the report of the London-based Transparency International (TI) ranking the Philippines 11th among the most corrupt countries in the world.

The corruption perceptions index for 2004 conducted by the TI showed corruption in 60 countries, including the Philippines, is rampant, which public sector is plagued by bribery.

No surprise there. And here are some of the reactions from our senators:

Pimentel, however, expressed belief that the survey is a challenge to the government to clean its ranks.

He urged Mrs. Arroyo to “stop her kid glove treatment of administration officials facing graft charges to erase the public impression that she does not have the political will to wage a no-nonsense campaign against bureaucratic corruption.”

For his part, administration Sen. Ramon Magsaysay said the TI report is a “national shame” and should compel Filipinos to bring back their values such as trustworthiness and truthfulness.

“It seems that we keep on sliding. That means that there is no perceived strong issue to get back to reforming the whole society, the whole system,” Magsaysay pointed out.

Sen. Sergio Osmeña III, a member of the minority bloc, said it would only be a matter of time before the country finds itself occupying the top slot.

“Maybe in two years' time, we're already No. 1. There is a list where we are number one,” Osmeña, in a separate interview, said.

“This has been going on for a long time and there has been no serious effort to improve our status. In the eyes of the world, I think it is downright embarrassing, even disgusting, to be known as the 11th most corrupt country in the world.

“We are 95 percent Christians, I think it is a reflection of the values that we have as a people that we keep on allowing corrupt officials to get away with it. I don't see any seriousness or political will on the part of the administration,” he said.

According to the global graft watchdog, corruption is crippling the battle against poverty and robbing oil-rich countries of their development potential.

Haiti and Bangladesh were perceived as the world's most corrupt nations in the survey of 146 countries by the TI, closely followed by Nigeria, Myanmar and Chad.
The Philippines has been holding on to its rank for the last two years along with five other countries - Eritrea, Papua New Guinea, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia - sharing the 11th position.

I don't see any improvements in the future under this administration.

The Grandmother of all "Conversions"

The Arroyo admin is planning to re-enact the 2003 budget again for 2005, and they claim they are for "fiscal responsibility"?

From Malaya:

Sen. Ralph Recto and Senate minority leader Aquilino Pimentel yesterday warned against a re-enacted budget.

Government spending for 2004 is already on a re-enactment of the P861 million budget for 2003. Government is proposing a P907.6 billion budget for 2005.

Recto said a re-enacted budget might become the "grandmama of all conversions."
As only the personal services, debt service and internal revenue allotment (IRA) components of the current budget can be re-enacted in their old form but adjusted to 2005 needs, spending the rest of the budget will be left to the discretion of the executive branch, Recto said.
Gov't money was misused the last time this admin re-enacted the 2003 budget (mostly for GMA's re-election campaign expenses). Dapat magsama-sama sila GMA at Gen. Carlos Garcia sa bilangguan for diverting our money for their own selfish interests.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

15 Simple Steps to restore the AFP's credibility

From Ernie Maceda:

1st — Terminate the pre-trial investigation within one week and file six cases against Maj. Gen. Garcia with about 1,000 counts (that's only 250 checks and transactions in four years as J4 and J6).

2nd — Open an investigation into the contracts entered into by former Chiefs of Staff Angelo Reyes, Diomedio Villanueva, Roy Cimatu, Benjamin Defensor, Dionisio Santiago and retiring Narciso Abaya. This act will show courage.

3rd — Release the names of the 10 top suppliers for every branch of service, the list and amount of contracts they received, ask them to explain how they got their contracts under pain of blacklisting. Find out who their political backers are.

4th — Get the list of generals and colonels with deposits in the AFP Savings and Loans Association Inc. and the different AFP savings associations and cooperatives, ask them to explain and if unsatisfactory ask for their retirement or voluntary resignation. They don't need their measly retirement money anymore. They already got it in advance.

5th — Prohibit the practice of conversion and authorize a realistic cash advance “for exigencies” for field units only with the following suggested scale: P500,000 for a division; P200,000 for a brigade; P100,00 for a battalion and P20,000 for a company. Ask that liquidation be made every three months.

6th — Check and prevent ghost deliveries by organizing chief of staff inspection teams to check and count the inventories of items delivered such as boots, uniforms, ammunition, other CCIE. Make field commanders and their quartermasters report promptly on what and when items are delivered.

7th — Issue stricter guidelines for the use and reporting of intelligence funds. The chief of staff must announce he will personally check disbursement of intelligence funds.

8th — He must tell Mrs. Abu to hold a meeting with military spouses and say that henceforth, wives are strictly prohibited from interceding for suppliers, following up approval of vouchers and release of checks. And no expensive jewelry, please.

9th — Prohibit travels abroad at the expense of airplane manufacturers, tank and vehicle producers and other major equipment sellers at the expense of the suppliers.

10th — Instruct officers of general rank to inform him of plans to buy or build a house, send kids to foreign schools and other major expense items not ordinarily afforded.

11th — Be more transparent by announcing three months in advance planned major purchases of equipment and supplies and materials.

12th — Announce what major contracts are about to be awarded and specify what has been approved by or what will be submitted to the Commander-in-Chief for approval.

13th — Downgrade the comptrollership position and follow the recommendations of the Feliciano Commission.

14th — Monitor closely the splitting or “chop-chop” of contracts and payments. Impose a limit of not more than 30 percent of contracts and checks approved at the authority level or 30 percent below in any quarter. There is a practice that when a unit is given the authority to award contracts or make payments of let's say P1 million, as much as 80-90 percent of awards or payments to the same supplier is at that level.

15th — Gen. Abu must now release the names of his wife, his children, his relatives and in-laws to the 4th civil degree, call them to a family reunion and advise them not to be seen in military offices or be seen with suppliers or contractors.

Simple, di ba? Can Gen. Abu do it? Will the AFP strike gold or turn into ashes under him?

Now, anybody bypassed by Gen. Abu can report to the Commission on Appointments any irregularities they know of having transpired in the Philippine Army.
He also blames Edsa Dos for politicizing the military:

Dr. Carolina Hernandez, a highly respected University of the Philippines professor and member of the Feliciano Commission, has made an intelligent suggestion in the light of the confirmation of widespread corruption in the AFP. Dr. Hernandez recommends that the office of the secretary of National Defense be totally civilianized. She suggests the three incumbent undersecretaries who are retired generals be replaced by “civilians.” We agree. The other side of the coin too, that retired military men be not appointed to other civilian positions. There is no urgent reason for a retired AFP general to be placed in charge of the police and local government officials.

We reiterate, the ill effect of Edsa II was to unleash military forces again from the barracks, to obscure the constitutional rule of civilian supremacy over the military and to create a cabal of untouchables who feel they can do anything they want to without fear of presidential wrath.

Will Kompil II and civil society, will Dick Romulo, Bill Luz, the Ayalas and the Makati Business Club, will the broadcast media now apologize to the nation for imposing this situation on an impoverished citizens? Where's their anger against corruption which they demonstrated in Edsa II?

Yes, it took 15 years to get rid of the ill effects of martial law, 15 years to put the Army back into the barracks after Edsa I. It looks like another bleak 15 years. And more if the corrupt generals take power in a spirit of self-preservation. It's time to pray.

Oh, another corrupt RP official exposed by US authorities

After General Garcia, meron na namang isa pang nahuli, thanks to info coming from US officials.

US blows lid on ex-PNP comptroller
PMA classmate was tapped by DOTC's Mendoza as usec

Employees at the Department of Transportation and Com-munication said yesterday that Undersecretary Cecilio Penilla, former PNP comptroller, is facing investigation by the Ombudsman on the strength of information on his alleged undeclared wealth provided by the United States.

Undersecretary Roberto Castañares said Secretary Leandro Mendoza is aware of the reports but does not want to comment on them in the meantime.

Penilla could not be reached for comment over his cellphone.

Assistant Ombudsman Ernesto Nocos said he would check Orlando Casimiro, deputy ombudsman for the military, and would issue a statement today.

According to the DOTC employees, Penilla was found by US authorities to be maintaining bank accounts in the United States and that he is holding a "green card."

The employees asked that they not be identified for fear of reprisal.

The allegations are similar to the complaint filed by the Ombudsman against Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia also on the strength of information provided by US authorities.

Garcia allegedly maintains substantial bank deposits and owns several properties in the United States.
What's amazing about this was that 2 years ago, the GMA admin asked the US to dig some dirt on Ping Lacson's "Billions" and "hidden wealth" in America, pero kahit na anong pangungulit ang ginawa ng Arroyo admin, talagang walang mailabas ang US authorities kay Ping -- even when US-RP relations at that time were the best that it had been in a long time.

Malinis talaga si Lacson.

But now, the US officials are willingly providing critical info on corrupt military and police officials -- even if such info are not being actively sought by Arroyo officials.

Drip, drip, drip...

Will we hear more on other corrupt officials in the coming days ahead?

How long will it take before the US admin starts giving damaging info on Gloria and Mike Arroyo's "hidden wealth" in the US?

Hee hee... pati si US ambassador Francis Ricciardone, nagpaparinig na rin.

US Ambassador Francis Ricciardone has expressed hope that the Philippines would reach a "tipping point" where corruption is no longer accepted as a norm.

"I hope the Philippines is reaching a 'tipping point' where a culture of acceptance of corruption as inevitable, is changing. And we see a government from the top down and from the bottom up saying this is not acceptable. We will investigate. We will prosecute. Not only will we investigate. The investigations will at some point conclude, and they will result in a prosecution. And the prosecution will result in sentences and the sentences will be carried out," the US envoy said in an interview over ANC Tuesday afternoon.

Ricciardone said the investigation against Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia is a "historic moment of opportunity" for the Philippines "to get things right and come out "all the stronger."

The ambassador said he was hopeful government would not be content with just conducting investigations.

"If indeed, as we believe is happening now, the government and all the institutions of democracy respond in the right way and vigorously press for the facts. And if those facts indicate that a prosecution is in order, then vigorously and swiftly prosecute so that this isn't swept under the rug or disappears, as so many of these cases might have done in the past," he said.

Ricciardone said while he has faith in Filipinos and the institutions of Philippine democracy, the people must make a choice whether to let up or pursue the issue to the end.

"Are you going to let this die after a week of headlines and hearing? Or are the justice department, the Ombudsman, the AFP, all the institutions of the executive branch, the Congress, the media - are you all going to press on this until you get to the bottom of it and you carry out and go as far as it goes, to expose the networks and bring the people to justice who allegedly have been stealing from the soldiers and the Filipino people? And I think you can. I have faith," Ricciardone said.
We'll see if your faith on GMA's ability to fight corruption is warranted.

Failing the test of Fiscal Responsibility

Another "reenacted budget", GMA?

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Administration officials spying on anti-GMA opposition

Kinakabahan na yata si GMA ah!

Palace spy ops spread to anti-Gloria leaders

Seemingly gripped by paranoia over the government's sense of impending doom and equating this doomsday scenario with official Washington's “displeasure” with her and her administration, following a report of the Heritage Foundation, a highly influential Republican-leaning think tank piece that was damning to her, President Arroyo and her security officers have reportedly heightened surveillance of key opposition leaders and presidential critics, notably those believed by Malacañang to have close personal contacts with US officials and Filipino community leaders in the US, intelligence sources told the Tribune yesterday.

Very high on this list, the sources said, is former Sen. Francisco “Kit” Tatad, who recently returned from a trip to the United States, where he was said to have discussed the deepening Philippine crisis with influential American officials and Filipino community leaders.

A source with close contacts in the office of the Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said, “the intelligence effort is now focused on Tatad, who was recently monitored in Washington, D.C. and New York, meeting with important American officials and personalities.”

The source pointed out that while Malacañang continues to keep a tight watch on former Sen. Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan and Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who have been described by a Palace insider as the “major players” in an alleged planned coup d'etat against the Arroyo government to be mounted sometime next month, Tatad, among other opposition leaders, is also under tight surveillance as he is said to be seen by the President and her aides as having “a line to US State Department” officials, following his trip to the US recently.

Tatad and a group of visiting Filipinos were believed to have met with US State Department officials, among others.

Their presence was also noted at an important function of the Philippine-American Foundation in Washington, D.C., where they met with the Philippine-born US Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and the Philippine-born Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Cheryl Diaz Meyer, who criticized the crisis of confidence in the Philippines.

Interesting. The tribune is the second newspaper to report on the Opposition's trip to the US to meet State Dept. officials.

“It is this movement started by Tatad that has made the President really nervous,” the insider told the Tribune, since the movement is focused on documenting US properties not only of Cabinet members of Mrs. Arroyo, but more important, the properties of the President and her spouse, First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo.

The movement, which is said to have caught fire in the US Filipino communities, had its members digging up documents related to this

Reports have begun circulating here and in the Filipino communities in the US that the American government is preparing to file charges against high-ranking Filipino officials who have amassed properties and money in the US, under the Rico (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) law.

There are allegedly some pinpointed properties said to belong to the Arroyo spouses, albeit listed allegedly under a Filipino realtor's name.

Although these reports are still unconfirmed, Malacañang sources have said there is no assurance such cases are in fact being prepared, and that President Arroyo cannot afford to end up with any slapped against her.

Malacañang, according to the sources, suspects that Tatad's group might have had a hand in this.

“It cannot be mere coincidence that US pressure on President Arroyo has tremendously increased, following this group's visit to the US,” the sources said.

Was the leak on Gen. Garcia's unexplained wealth by US officials a sign of things to come?

More Related News here and here.

Gen. Carlos Garcia did a great imitation of Jose Pidal

From the Malaya:

Garcia invokes right to keep silent 30 times

He came, he saw and he stonewalled.

Suspended Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia finally appeared yesterday before a House inquiry into his alleged illegal wealth, but he repeatedly invoked his right against self-incrimination.

Garcia, assisted by lawyer Constantino de Jesus, invoked his constitutional right at least 30 times on questions ranging from authenticity of documents signed by his family regarding their wealth to his son's address in the United States.

Garcia, who was released Sunday morning from the UST hospital where he had been confined for difficulty of breathing, first invoked the right against self-incrimination when Rep. Roilo Golez (Kampi, Parañaque), chairman of the defense committee, asked him about the Ombudsman's allegation US Customs officials held his 26-year-old son Ian Carl at the San Francisco airport last Dec. 19 for not declaring $100,000 (around P5.6 million) in his possession.

"With due respect your honor, I'm sorry but I cannot answer that. I invoke my right against self-incrimination. The issue is in the Ombudsman, Court of Appeals and the military court, where they are now undergoing investigation," Garcia said.

Golez told Garcia that under a legislative inquiry, he could not invoke such right. "Whoever advised you doesn't know the procedures," Golez said.

Golez then asked Garcia to affirm photocopies of the affidavit of his wife Clarita, who was forced to explain to US authorities the money their son carried.

In the affidavit, she said: "Gen. Garcia receives travel money and expenses in excess of a thousand dollars ... I often travel with my husband on business and my travel and shopping is in excess of $10,000-$20,000 provided to me."

"My husband also receives cash for travel and expenses in Europe and Asia that are awarded contracts for military hardware. He also receives gifts and gratitude money from several Philippine companies that are awarded military contracts to build roads, bridges and military housing," she added.

Garcia again invoked the right to keep silent.

When Golez asked him if he recognized his wife's signature, Garcia said: "This appears to be the signature of my wife Clarita Garcia."

He gave the same answer when asked to verify the affidavits of his son Ian Carl and a letter to the Fines, Penalties and Forfeiture Office in the US in January 2004, where he said the money came from savings, honoraria and dividends in the past years to be used as initial downpayment for a condominium that his son Timothy would get in New York, his tuition and their family's would-be expenses in their planned Christmas vacation.

Earlier reports said that on Dec. 17 last year, Mrs. Garcia she declared $100,000 upon arrival in the United States as well as in prior trips in January and in 1993 and 1995 ($200,000). The US Customs said Mrs. Garcia brought $48,000 into the US in May 2002; $100,000 in December 2003 and $204,230 in January 2004 while Gen. Garcia brought in $15,000 in November 1993 and $10,400 in August 1995.


When Golez asked if he knew about his family's ownership of a house in Ohio, and condominium units at 222 East 34th Avenue in New York and at Park 502 Ave. also in New York, Garcia again invoked the right to remain silent.

"You mean, you don't even know where your son lives?" Golez was prompted to ask.

When Golez asked Gen. Narciso Abaya, AFP chief, about the $100,000 that Garcia's son was carrying last December, Abaya said Garcia told him it was to be used as downpayment for his son's lease of a condominium unit and that the money was borrowed from friends.

Golez asked Abaya why Garcia, amid questions on his wealth, was merely transferred as deputy chief of staff for comptrollership (J6) to deputy chief for plans and program (J5).

Abaya said J5 was the only place where he could transfer Garcia since J4 deals with logistics and procurement while J9 handles the modernization program of the AFP.

Reacting to the scandal, our favorite columnist Manong Ernie Maceda, blasted Gen. Garcia and Abaya's performance at the hearings:
The hearing of the committee on national defense of the House of Representatives headed by Parañaque City Rep. Roilo Golez was a pathetic demonstration of how members of Congress attend hearings totally unprepared.

Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Narciso Abaya got away with answers which were not responsive and clearly evasive, at times even untrue.

For example, Gen. Abaya insisted no illegal conversion is happening in the AFP under his term. No less than Lt. Gen. Edilberto Adan and the Feliciano Commission have already admitted such racket is going on by the millions.

Gen. Garcia essentially told a lie when he insisted he has no discretion to release funds and his duties of programming and releasing of funds were purely ministerial. He denied any participation in the procurement process.

Any supplier and contractor dealing with the AFP will tell you they have to woo and be good to the office of J6 or comptroller before their checks are prepared and released.

Maj. Gen. Garcia inadvertently passed the buck and the blame and therefore, strongly implied that if ever there was any corruption in the expenditure of AFP funds, it is the AFP chiefs of staff (four of them) who are to blame.

Half of the congressmen present, led by Rep. Tony Roman of Bataan were clearly lawyering for Gen. Garcia and trying to parry good questions asked by opposition congressmen. Representatives Francis Escudero and Allan Peter Cayetano asked intelligent questions.

Nobody, not even chairman Roy Golez tried to dispute Garcia's repetitive invocation of the right against self-incrimination, even on basic questions or preliminary questions. It is good that Senate President Franklin Drilon reminded Garcia and the congressmen that Congress has the power under the Jean Arnault decision to compel Garcia to answer any question under pain of being cited for contempt.

It looks like Minority Floor Leader Francis Escudero is right in raising the issue of Rep. Golez's impartiality. Having been a former military officer and Cabinet member of President Arroyo, how can he be impartial?

It looks like the public will have to wait for the Senate and the Ombudsman to conduct their investigations before the real picture emerges.

Unfortunately for Generals Abaya and Garcia, their conduct in yesterday's hearing did nothing to change the widespread public perception that corruption at the highest levels of the military establishment is happening and being tolerated in the AFP as claimed by the Magdalo officers.

When one invokes the right against self-incrimination in any hearing, judicial or legislative, the public reaction is that the witness or accused is indeed guilty of wrongdoing, reinforced by discovery of more properties owned by the Garcias in Iloilo and Baguio.

For one thing, Gen. Abaya was right in describing Garcia's act abnormal. But he was clearly “abnormal” when he claimed as chairman of the AFP Savings and Loans Association Inc., he did not know how much his generals had deposited.
This too is revealing:

The total budget for the Department of National Defense-AFP for miscellaneous operating and other expenses is P10.1 billion. This is the amount that could be converted into cash. Even assuming only half is converted, that is still P5 billion. Assuming that 30 percent goes to the supplier or contractor and 70 percent is given in cash to the senior military officer concerned, that amounts to a whooping P3.5 billion in cash in the pockets and the absolute discretion of the officer concerned. That's how big this kitty is. More than enough to give everybody a share.
Ahhh, I remember when GMA increased the military budget by a significant amount after Edsa Dos, at the expense of Education and Health programs -- which got less money. Nagtaka nga ang isang senator eh, "war budget" raw ang binigay ni GMA sa militar even though wala namang gera sa Pilipinas at that time.

Now we know where some of that money went. Pambayad ni GMA yan sa mga heneral for their loyalty and their participation on Edsa Dos.

What is "Conversion"?

Finally, a general explains what it means:

Congressmen yesterday managed to squeeze from military officials what they have long wanted to hear, that the AFP is indeed resorting to the illegal "conversion" scheme.

And it took a fellow PMAer, Rep. Amado Espino (Kampi, Pangasinan) of Class '72, to get the admission from Brig. Gen. Antonio Romero, AFP comptroller (J6).

"Does substitution exist or not?" Espino asked Romero in the latter part of the hearing of the House committees on defense and banks and financial intermediaries.

Romero replied: "Substitution exists your honor ... I do believe it's not legal."

"Everybody knows this except you, people," Espino retorted, referring to military officers at the hearing.

Brig. Gen. (ret.) Guillermo Picache, chairman of the Asian Institute of Strategic Studies, was invited as resource person to explain the conversion scheme.

Picache said substitution happens when a military command uses funds intended for a certain project for another project.

For instance, he said, a commander uses gasoline allocation for procuring bullets to be used in a shootfest or tournament. "Because of lack of funds, the officers resort to this," he told the hearing.

Another form of conversion is when officers get receipts from dealers as proof of procurement when in fact nothing had been bought. This called "ghost projects" where a dealer in cahoots with officers receives a 30 to 50 percent share.

"Conversion is like itlog-itlog, naging manok-manok hanggang sa maging baka-baka na. In my time in the Southwest Command, though, we did not convert ... if there was, I was not aware," Picache said.

Romero said DBM funds are released through major military services or units and that the J6, indeed, wields more authority over the funds compared to smaller units.

Espino then asked Romero: "And you don't care about what's happening down there?"

Romero replied: "We are, your honor ... as long as the funds are properly used."

Former AFP chiefs Dionisio Santiago, Benjamin Defensor and Diomedio Villanueva affirmed Romero's statement.
Of course, "conversion" is the kind of corrupt activity that would allow a guy like Gen. Carlos Garcia to "make" P185 million and own an apartment at one of Trump's buildings.

Here's Maceda again on "conversion":

Beside the usual kickbacks on AFP purchases, all AFP commanders are practicing “conversion” which means receiving cash for the operating expenses and intelligence purposes by just submitting advance requisition vouchers, fake delivery receipts and simple certification of having used the funds for official purposes. This is a direct robbing of the treasury.
OTOH, I find it totally disgusting that the Chief of Staff is still stonewalling the case. Why can't you be more like the general I cited above , General Abaya?

From Ducky Paredes:

Listening to the congressional hearing on the suspicions of widespread corruption in the military stemming from the unexplained wealth of a major general, among the most suspicious is turning out to be the chief of staff. He was given two letters, one written in January by the major general to an office under the US Customs explaining where the $100,000 confiscated from the son of the major general was to be used; the other to the chief of staff, explaining the same thing but citing a different purpose.

The chief of staff was asked to comment on the apparent disparity of the two letters and the chief of staff, after reading both letters, said that he needed more time to study the matter. Clearly, he is not being transparent! Why? What is he hiding? It was clear to the radio listener that the chief of staff does not want anything bad to happen to the major general. If there is widespread corruption in the military, the evasiveness of the generals testifying before Congress these days is perhaps one's greatest proof of this.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Another Arroyo first: BSP net worth down by P6.6B

From the Daily Tribune:

The Arroyo administration scored another first as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported yesterday an unprecedented reduction in its resources, which it attributed to payments of debts that matured during the second quarter.

BSP resources, which include the foreign reserves, that practically comprise the government's net worth, dramatically fell by P6.6 billion during the period to only P1.3 trillion, roughly the same amount of money the national government generated as non-tax revenues in February this year.

Its profitability was also sharply affected as BSP's net profit fell to only P201 million this year from P1.723 billion a year ago.

The sharp reduction in assets coincided with the time the BSP's liabilities also grew by P3.2 billion to P1.1 trillion.

Lacson-hater Berroya makes another comeback?

Why does this administration keep recycling shady characters like Col. Reynaldo Berroya? Hindi ba isang kidnapper siya? Si Jack Chou ang biktima niya?

2 Customs execs quit; Berroya a replacement?

Deputy customs commissioner Ray Allas and Ramon Salazar, director of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service, yesterday reportedly filed their irrevocable resignation.

The resignations are supposed to take effect on Friday.

The Bureau of Customs' Public Information and Assistance Division neither confirmed nor denied the report.

Customs sources said Allas quit due to health reasons. It was not known why Salazar resigned.

There were rumors that the resignation of Allas was prompted by the imminent appointment of retired police general Reynaldo Berroya to his post.

Also among the possible contenders for Allas' position are other retired military officers Jose Calimlim, a former anti-smuggling task force chief, and Cebu Customs District collector Billy Bibit.
Aside from Berroya, isang pang corrupt Lacson hater na si Billy Bibit ang kinokonsidera sa pwesto na yan. Wala talagang pagbabago sa Gloria admin na ito. Palipat lipat lang ang mga bulok na opisyal from one post to another.