Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Update sa fertilizer scam case vs Carmencita O. Reyes

Ano na ba ang update tungkol sa fertilizer scam case na isinampa laban kay Carmencita O. Reyes, Gobernador ng Marinduque, sa Sandiganbayan Criminal Case Nos. SB-11-CRM-0100 at SB-11-CRM-0113 entitled "People of the Philippines vs. Carmencita O. Reyes, et al"?

Mahigit na sa tatlong (3) taon na pala ang nakaraan mula March 18, 2011, subalit hindi pa rin naghain ang mga Special Prosecutor ng motion to suspend laban sa akusado. 



Noong September 3, 2012, ang iba pang akusado na sina Araullo, Bragas, Guieb, Braganza, Ramos, Dino at Montilla ay nag-file ng Motion for Determination of Probable Cause. Noon namang November 31, 2012, ibinasura ng Sandiganbayan ang kanilang motion, gayundin ang kanilang kasunod na motion for reconsideration. Nagkaroon ng arraignment para sa mga akusadong sina Guieb, Dino, Iranzo, Ramos at Montilla noong August 1, 2013.

Nagkaroon naman ng arraignment noong January 14, 2014, para sa akusadong si Carmencita O. Reyes, kasalukuyang Governor ng Marinduque.

Sa ganitong sitwasyon kung tutuusin, maliwanag na si Gov. Carmencita O. Reyes dapat ay nasuspinde na sa kanyang pampublikong puwesto dahil siya ay humarap na sa pagdinig ng kaso at hindi rin naman siya nag-file ng Motion to Quash.

Samakatuwid ay wala ng dahilan para ang special prosecutors ay hindi mag-file ng motion to suspend.  Muli, kung tutuusin, ang suspension sa ganitong uti ng kaso, base sa Section 13 ng Rep.Act 3019 ay "mandatory".

Matatandaang sa isang kahalintulad na kaso, ang fertilizer scam case naman na isinampa noong nakaraang taon lamang laban kay Cong. Abdullah Dimaporo ng Lanao del Norte ay nangahulugan ng kanyang "hospital arrest" noong Agosto 2013

Katulad ng 'malversation of public funds' sa kaso ni Reyes, si Dimaporo ay nasampahan din ng kaso bilang paglabag sa anti-graft law. Sa kaso ni Dimaporo ang 'right to bail' ay hindi pinayagan sa malversation case laban sa kanya.

Ang fertilizer transactions na ito ay bahagi ng P 728-million fertilizer scam na kinasangkutan bilang 'arkitekto' ni Jocelyn "Jocjoc" Bolante, dating agriculture undersecretary noong 2004.



Also read:

Double standard of justice, selective justice or mockery of justice?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pagkilos laban sa pangungutang ng lalawigan ng Marinduque

Pagkilos laban sa pangungutang ng Marinduque
Ihinalintulad ang inuutang sa bangko na P 500-Million ng kapitolyo ng Marinduque sa nadeklara nang labag sa Konstitusyong PDAF fund allocation. Matatandaang nanawagan na rin kamakailan ang Commission on Audit (COA), sa lokal na pamahalaan ng Marinduque na ang pagtitipid sa development funds ay hindi kapakipakinabang para sa mga nasasakupan nito. 

Kasunod ito ng pagbatikos ng COA sa lalawigan dahil bukod pa sa mga maanomalyang mga transaksyon na inisa-isa ng Commission sa COA Report 2013, higit sa P 100-Million na pondo ng Kapitolyo pala ang hindi nito ginagalaw, "gayung maraming proyekto sa ilalim ng Annual Investment Plan ang dapat na ipatupad". Ayon pa rin sa COA nagresulta ito sa kabiguan ng Marinduque na magpatupad ng "“desirable socio-economic development and environmental management outcomes” na anila'y dapat sanay nakapagbigay ng mga trabaho at kabuhayan para sa mga taga-Marinduque.


Pedrito (Toto) Nepomuceno.
Isa rin sa mga naghain ng petition sa
Korte Suprema hinggil sa PDAF

Ilan lamang ito sa mga bagay na ipinaalam ni dating Bokal at Boac Mayor Pedrito Nepomuceno sa Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Marinduque sa pamamagitan ni Vice-Governor Romulo Bacorro, Jr.

Matatandaang sa 2013 annual audit report para sa lalawigan, binatikos din ng COA ang mga opisyales ng pamahalaan dahil sa pag-aatubili nito na kolektahin ang hindi binabayarang amelyar ng isang minahan sa loob ng mahabang panahon, sa kabila ng katotohanang may desisyon na hinggil dito ang Korte Suprema.

Sa isang bahagi pa lamang ng minahan, anang COA, partikular sa siltation and decant system nito at sa lupa kung saan nakatayo ang nasabing mga instruktura ay mahigit sa P 19-million ang utang ng Marcopper. Hindi kasama rito ang amelyar ng minahan sa lahat ng lupang pag-aari nito sa iba't-ibang bayan ng Marinduque na umabot na sa isang bilyong piso (P 1-Billion).

Binigyang diin ni Nepomuceno na hindi kailangan ng lalawigang mangutang dahil may sapat itong pananalapi. Bukod pa aniya sa hindi kinokolektang buwis para pondohan ang mga proyekto, ay maraming mapapagkunang pondo ang lalawigan mula sa nasyunal na pamahalaan, kasama na ang IRA.

Mauulit ang naunang protesta

Pinaalalahanan ni Nepomuceno ang Sangguniang Panlalawigan tungkol sa naunang pagprotesta na isinagawa ng Marinduque First Saturday Movers (Marinduque Movers), at ilang bayan ng Marinduque sa pangungutang ng Marinduque noong 2012. Aniya, binalak utangin sana noong taong 2012 ang pagpapasaayos ng runway sa paliparan ng Marinduque, pagpapagawa ng sports center, legislative building at iba pang mga estruktura. Ayon kay Nepomuceno, ang mga ito ay naisagawa at patuloy na isinasagawa mula sa pondo na nanggaling sa nasyunal na pamahalaan na siyang marapat, "at hindi dahil sa pangungutang". 



"One Heart. One Mind. One Marinduque"


Si Nepomuceno ay isang kasapi ng Marinduque Movers. Matatandaang isa rin siya sa mga opisyal na naghain ng petition sa Korte Suprema para ideklarang unconstitutional ang PDAF.

Sinabi rin ng dating Bokal na kung ang lalawigan ay nakakagastos aniya ng higit sa P 7-million para sa mga pakain na may kinalaman sa Morion at sports na naiulat din ng COA, bakit hindi nito kayang gumastos para sa pagpapasaayos ng mga provincial roads?

Nangyayari aniya ang ganitong pangungutang tuwing nalalapit ang halalan, kayat lagi ding kahinahinala ang tunay na motibo ng pamahalaang panlalawigan. Binigyang diin ni Nepomuceno, na kapag iginiit ng kinauukulan ang nasabing pangungutang ay maaaring isagawa muli ng Movers ang pormal na pagtutol dito at dalhin ang usapin sa Tanggapan ng Ombudsman.

"I appeal to your sense of patriotism, do not pursue the loan as it will contribute to the further distortion of our finances. Our loyalty must be for our country and our people and not on the powers that be," ang nakasaad sa sulat ni Nepomuceno.

"Brother Vice Governor Jun Bacorro, may I respectfully request you to be a true leader as we were taught in APO. Do what is good for our constituents and not be blindly swayed to the promise of a traditional play in Philippine politics. We all know there is always something on it and all of us must oppose it", patuloy pa niya.


Marinduque Movers (file photo)

Sa isang hiwalay namang pagkilos, napag-alamang nagsagawa na rin ng isang pormal na resolusyon para sa mga kinauukulan ang nasabing organisasyon ng Marinduque Movers hinggil sa kontrobersiyal na pangungutang na nabanggit.

Monday, October 20, 2014

X1 Class Solar Flare and the Catanduanes and Davao earthquakes.

Graph and image showing saturation point "in Australia, Asia and Sumatran Trench".
X1 CLASS SOLAR FLARE: Behemoth sunspot AR2192 has unleashed an X1-class solar flare. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the blast in this extreme UV image of the sun on Oct. 19th (0500 UT):


A pulse of ultraviolet and X-radiation from the flare caused a brief but strong HF radio blackout on the dayside of Earth, mainly over Asia and Australia.

BP Earthwatch presented the graph on top of this page which according to him indicates that the saturation point is Australia, Asia and Sumatran Trench. It has also been suggested that under this situation the Pacific Ring of Fire should be under elevated quake watch.

Following is a world map of M-4.0 earthquakes or higher during the last 24 hours from emsc-csem. It interestingly shows a magnitude 5.1 earthquake near 14.22 N; 124.64 E near Catanduanes, PH occurring at 14-10-19 18:14:30 UTC and another magnitude 4.5 at 5.00 N; 127.53 E near Davao, PH occurring at 10:29:30.3 UTC.


But, does solar activity really cause earthquakes?

study was recently published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The research was conducted by Jeffrey Love with the USGS and Jeremy Thomas from Northwest Research Associates. The earthquake data were from the USGS, the sunspot data were from NOAA, the solar wind data were from NASA, and the geomagnetic data were from the British Geological Survey and Geoscience Australia.


“This research was conducted to advance our understanding of natural science and to test how the Sun affects Earth, ultimately helping protect the safety of our communities,” said USGS research geophysicist Jeffrey Love. “Even though we did not find a significant correlation between space measurements and earthquakes, we recognize that the Sun affects Earth in other ways. The USGS is dedicated to studying these natural phenomena, some of which are hazardous for a modern and technologically dependent society.”

“Of course it is always conceivable that some new and unexpected discovery will be made in the future, but it is also essential that we objectively evaluate the data and information that we have available now,” continued Love. “Just because one might think that a pattern exists does not mean that one actually exists. We need clear evidence to be convinced.”

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Artist Raymond Kawataki Go makes a comeback with Of Gods and Patriots


Cevio Art Haus celebrates its 1st year anniversary this month. The gallery is thrilled to invite you to its biggest art exhibition to date, a back to back solo show of two of the most promising contemporary Filipino visual artists, one of them Raymond C. Kawataki Go of Boac, Marinduque.


In his second solo show and comeback exhibition, Of Gods and Patriots, artist Raymond Katawaki Go delves into the question of power and its immanent contradictions by projecting ancient and contemporary images, of the religious and the secular in an attempt to call and respond to myth and reality. These arresting images turn into a social introspection to review the historical past and institutional ideas that are so intrinsic to intervention and inquiry but with a pulse on the present based on the artist’s understanding and impressions of these realities.

After years of hiatus, Kawataki Go makes a comeback with this major show at Cevio that re-registers his remarkable artistic skills and passion for art and instigation of critical thought.

Go is joined by artist Jessie Mondares with Messengers. Mondares' mixed media paintings are rendered with palpable exploit on pen and ink and acrylic. His collocation of elements that are often layers of discernible--- figures and anatomical fragments of humans and animals with expanded limbs and exaggerated forms meshed with patterns, lines and o ther assigned elements and certain motifs morphing in shapes and reappearing liberally in his paintings.


Both exhibitions will run from today, Oct 18 to Nov 1. Reception on Oct 18 starts at 6 p.m. The gallery is open from Monday to Saturday with gallery hours from 12 n.n. to 8 p.m. Press release and photos from Cervio Art Haus and Raymond Kawataki Go.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Double standard of justice, selective justice or mockery of justice?


Sandiganbayan.
The provisions of the law of the Philippines on Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices are quite explicit. For incumbent public officials against whom criminal charges have been filed for violation of the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act it is mandatory that they be suspended.

Under normal circumstances the power of suspension lies in the court in which criminal charge is filed. According to the said Act any public officer may be suspended if the charge involves 'dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct or gross neglect in the performance of duty', among other considerations. The reason is that continued stay in office may prejudice the case filed against him or her. 

The provision is supposed to be unequivocal and mandatory if it should be followed.

'If it should be followed'? But do we really care about these things still? Like, whether or not our anti-corruption laws are really being followed? 

We don't have an all-seeing eye, of course, and rely only on what media feeds us, media that has access to information not immediately available to us, media that plays a part in shaping our thinking in a positive way, or in many cases, in a negative way like dumbing us down without our even knowing it. 

And we pay special attention to intrigues and scandals or scams.

Like the internationally renowned Philippine Fertilizer Scam of 2004, Pnoy's biggest issue during his election thus he decidedly made anti-corruption his administration's centerpiece. The pork barrel scandal occurred in 2013, during his time, but he insists that's nothing compared to the fertilizer scam: 

President Benigno Aquino III

"... he (PNoy) said the PDAF controversy is nothing compared to the P728-million fertilizer fund scam during the time of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
"Compare mo sa fertilizer scam, gaano kalaki ang diperensiya? And yung fertilizer scam is the tip of the iceberg, marami pang iba," he said."



“I expect that this year (2011), we will have filed our first major case against the corrupt and their accomplices. And these will be real cases, with strong evidence and clear testimonies, which will lead to the punishment of the guilty,” said Aquino, whose presidential campaign in 2010 was anchored on his fight against corruption."

Palakpakan naman. We cheer! Only to realize, when things have subsided that those statements are directed pala, as it is manifesting before our very own eyes now,  to those who are not his allies in government. Sample:

Rep. Abdullah Dimaporo


"The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division has ordered the arrest of Lanao del Norte Rep. Abdullah Dimaporo and five other persons for malversation of P5 million in public funds, in one of the hundreds of dubious transactions made in the P728-million fertilizer fund scam..."


This story came out shortly after charges were filed against Dimaporo before Sandiganbayan, that tries cases involving public officials for their misdeeds. The article goes on to state that: "Dimaporo is the fifth lawmaker to be implicated... after Representatives Oscar Gozos of Batangas province, Federico Sandoval of Navotas City, Nanette Castelo-Daza of Quezon City, and Carmencita Reyes of Marinduque province."

Again, the fifth to be implicated, after Carmencita Reyes of Marinduque and former representatives Gozos, Sandoval and Castelo-Daza.

Further to the story:  
"(O)n the recommendation of the Ombudsman, Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Roland B.Jurado has denied bail to Dimaporo in the malversation charge."
Dimaporo is a member of the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC). 

"Last week, Dimaporo was charged by the Ombudsman with malversation of public funds and graft for the purchase and delivery of 10,000 bags of Saka organic fertilizers worth P5 million..." . 


Poor guy. Immediately, Dimaporo's colleagues in Congress tried to come to the rescue by issuing a Resolution that he be allowed to post bail for the unbailable charge of malversation of public funds. But he is not a member of the ruling party, so sorry. Then what happened?

"As this developed, House Speaker and Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said that the House of Representatives could not prevent the Sandiganbayan from arresting Dimaporo because the Lanao congressman’s case is a non-bailable offense.
I don’t think we can do anything,” Belmonte said. He added that Dimaporo’s case is similar to the plunder case of former president and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, which is also a non-bailable offense."


Ganun naman pala. Then we read about the same fertilizer scam case involving the incumbent Marinduque governor:

Gov. Carmencita O. Reyes
Item: "Almost 3 years after being charged, Marinduque provincial governor Carmencita Reyes and agriculture officials will finally stand trial for graft and illegal use of public funds related to the P728 million fertilizer fund scam.
"Ombudsman prosecutors filed their pre-trial brief on Tuesday, January 8, before the graft court’s Second Division. Reyes’ arraignment has been set for January 14 at 1:30 pm."

So, same scam case, exactly the same amount involved (Php 5M), exactly the same process undergone. If the media report is correct, then in fact, the Reyes case was the first to be filed, and, going by the presidential assurance - "these will be real cases, with strong evidence and clear testimonies, which will lead to the punishment of the guilty."

Same graft and malversation cases were filed against Reyes in 2011. But Carmencita O. Reyes was never meted with suspension from the time the Office of the Ombudsman' Field Investigation Office filed the complaint, after years of investigation, in July 2008.

The Office of the Ombudsman moved for institution of criminal and formal inquiries against Reyes along with others involved in the conspiracy, their names already mentioned above. Overall Deputy Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro signed the approval for the filing of charges on April 14, 2011, or three years later. That long. And now 2014, she will stand trial for graft and technical malversation.

If a Philstar report is correct, Reyes was allowed to post bail not only for the graft case (RA 3019 Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) but also for the malversation charges (Act No. 3815 Revised Penal Code of the Philippines) for a total of Php 60,000 for the two cases.
  
Reyes is a member of the ruling Liberal Party (LP). Poor, incumbent representative Dimaporo of the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), under hospital arrest after a warrant was issued.

Spot the difference? Then shall we just sit back and idly watch another reality show go by? Think about it.

"Equality before the law in a true democracy is a matter of right. It cannot be a matter of charity or of favor or of grace or of discretion."  


- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Wiley Rutledge

Thursday, October 16, 2014

More stringent requirements for LGUs applying for loan includes annual audit reports from COA

Sa ilang lalawigan din pala, tulad ng Bulacan ay matinding usapin din ang pangungutang sa bangko ng pamahalaang panlalawigan dahil kapag nautang na anila, ay lumalabo naman kung saan napupunta ang salapi ng bayan, basahin dito. Naglabas na rin ng report ang COA hinggil sa mga hindi malinaw na bagay sa nasabing balita.

Sa Marinduque naman ay may kasong isinampa ang Provincial Government laban sa isang bangko dahil sa pangungutang ng nakaraang administrasyon para sa heavy equipment (P 75-Million). Ang siste, 'yun mismong bangkong idinemanda ang inuutangan ngayon at ayon sa ulat ay minamadali ng sadya, "ASAP".

Matatandaan na mismong sa ulat naman ng Joint Committee ng Sangguniang Panlalawigan ay gusto ring mangutang ng lalawigan ng ganoon ding halaga (P75-Million), para rin sa heavy equipment. Kasama ito sa ibig utangin na may kabuuhang P 500-Million.

Kung may mga reglamente man ang mga institusyon na may kinalaman sa pangungutang ay puwede naman daw itong 'aregluhin' na lamang.

Subalit matatandaan na ang Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima ay naglabas ng Local Finance Circular noong 2012, na naglalayong maging mas mahigpit sa mga LGUs na nangungutang sa mga bangko o ano mang financial institutions.

Ani Purisima, "Kailangang tiyakin natin na hindi aabusuhin ng mga LGUs ang kanilang karapatang mangutang na ikasasama lamang ng kalagayan ng kanilang mga nasasakupan". (We need to make sure that LGUs do not abuse their right to borrow to the detriment of their constituents).

Mababasa sa ibaba ang mas mahigpit na mga rekisitos ng pamahalaan na dapat sundin para sa mga LGUs na hindi abusado at marunong sumunod sa mga alituntunin. 

Tungkol sa COA annual audit report, ipagmalaki kaya ng Pamahalaang Panlalawigan ng Marinduque ang COA Report 2013, na may napakahabang lista at detalyadong mga anomalya sa Marinduque sa nabanggit na taon? 


THE BUREAU of Local Government Finance (BLGF) has made more stringent the requirements for local government units (LGUs) applying for authority to borrow money from banks and other financial institutions.
Local Finance Circular 1-2012 laid out new documentary requirements which LGUs need to submit to BLGF before they can be granted Certificates of Borrowing and Debt Service Capacities should they need to borrow money.
The circular, signed April 2012 by Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima, whose department oversees BLGF, superseded Local Finance Circular 1-2000 issued on January 19, 2000.
“We need to make sure that LGUs do not abuse their right to borrow to the detriment of their constituents,” Purisima said on Wednesday.
Original requirements under the earlier circular are the following: statement of actual income and expenditures and certification of internal revenue allotment (IRA) received for the past three years; certification of taxable assessed value for the past three years and dates of the last general revision of real property assessments; certification of existing loans, if any and annual audit report from the Commission on Audit for the past three years.
Under the new circular, the following documents were added to the original requirements:
Purisima said fiscal discipline should also be exercised by LGUs and not only by the national government.
“We have made significant reforms, one of them the directive to revised assessed real property values, in order to allow LGUs to raise more revenues. The idea is that you spend only as much as you earn,” the Finance chief said.
“But should you need to borrow, as the national government does, we want to make sure that these units have healthy balance sheets enough not only to cover their loans, but more importantly to continue their service to the people in the long run,” he explained.

Also Read:

Scams, messy Elections, COA Report 2013 on 

Marinduque anomalies,  comes now a P 500-M shocker