Sunday, April 22, 2007

Whistleblower Carlos Saunar CORRUPT?!?

Yan raw ang sabi ng PAGC sa ads nila on corruption.

Carlos Saunar? This Carlos Saunar, who exposed Singson as a perjurer on the P130 million tobacco excise tax claim?

And for telling the truth re singson, he was relieved by Reynaldo Wycoco and was put on floating status back in october 2004.

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 MalacaƱang 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 Luis “Chavit” Singson who had diverted the tobacco funds, not Estrada, as the paper trail showed that the money was withdrawn, deposited and withdrawn again by persons identified with Singson.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 here.
Eto yung reaction ni Ducky Paredes at that time:

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.

Jump to Dec. 11, 2006. From Manila Times Rey David:

CARLOS SAUNAR. Defense witness No. 23 and former regional chief of the NBI as well as a lawyer-accountant, Saunar testified before the antigraft court in October 2004 that it was he who conducted the investigation on behalf of his agency on the alleged involvement of President Estrada and his lawmaker-son Sen. Jinggoy Estrada on the diversion of P170 million in tobacco excise taxes from Ilocos Sur.

Saunar’s answers to defense lawyer Raymund Fortun’s direct examination were forthright. “Nothing. Based on the [bank] records, none whatsoever. There are none.” Saunar was referring to the total absence of any single document that would even remotely link the Estradas to the massive anomaly, which effectively cleared them of any wrongdoing and added another nail in the coffin in which rests the pack of lies hurled by Governor Singson against the country’s most popularly elected president.

Chief Special Prosecutor Dennis Villa-Ignacio attempted to play down Saunar’s explosive testimony, calling the NBI official a “biased” witness who provided the defense with original documents without informing his boss, NBI Director Reynaldo Wycoco.

“I represent the NBI, no one else,” Saunar announced. “There is no need for us to secure any clearance from the director. In fact, they even encourage us to bring these documents in court proceedings.”

It was this same fearlessness that earned him Wycoco’s ire. The NBI chief immediately ordered the Saunar’s relief from his post—a fact that did not escape the defense panel’s attention.

Estrada’s lead counsel, former senator Rene Saguisag, described Wycoco’s decision as “calculated to obstruct the administration of justice.” And many observers agree with his assessment.

But now the pro-aRroyo philstar reports that carlos saunar is accused of corruption by the PAGC:

In a press statement, PAGC Commissioner Jaime Jacob said Saunar and Fereira were dismissed for having acted in gross negligence of their duties as public officers, resulting in undue injury against the government.

Saunar’s offenses constitute the violation of Executive Order 292 (Section 22 B, Rule XIV of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V), the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act 3019) and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (RA 6713). Fereira’s dismissal, on the other hand, was in violation of RA 3019 and RA 6713.

The dismissal orders to Saunar and Fereira were upheld and signed by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita by authority of President Arroyo last Jan. 18 and 19, respectively.

Saunar had failed to report for work for more than one year — from March 24, 2005 to May 2006 — without any approved leave of absence at the office of the Deputy Director for Regional Operations Services (DDROS) after he was relieved of his duties as regional director for Western Mindanao Regional Office (WEMRO). However, records showed that he continued to receive salary without rendering any government service during the period.

PAGC did not give merit to Saunar’s arguments that no specific or definite work was assigned to him at the time that he was relieved from WEMRO, and that there is no work for regional directors at the ODDROS; he did not report for work to avoid public ridicule being seen on the premises of the NBI doing nothing; and he just stayed at nearby establishments accessible to ODDROS.

This is corruption? Kaya nga ginawa siyang floating status ni Wykes eh. Or was this a setup by the arroyo admin to frame Saunar on trumped up charges? How could there be no approved leave of absence when it was Dennis villa ignacio who asked Reynaldo Wycoco (who went along with the idea) to dismiss Saunar for blowing the whistle on them?

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.


baycas said...

whistleblowers have no place in the aRroyo government. in fact, they should be expunged from earth…

as a safeguard, to CPR or EO 464 the whistleblowers (noynoy’s fears…mine too, actually!)…they have come up with a new EO to keep state secrets safe (from mlq3’s reference):

the 608…which btw is in itself a secret because it’s still not uploaded here since i checked on it last april 21.

john marzan said...

thanks for the links, baycas.