Integrity Philippines --------Pinoy Solutions to Corruption

NEWS - Jan. 23 - 31, 2011

Pinoy Solutions to Corruption
Media reports & editorials about " PINOY SOLUTIONS"
PINOY SOLUTIONS TO CORRUPTION *** Speech by Ex-Governor Grace Padaca at Silliman University
PINOY SOLUTIONS TO CORRUPTION *** Speech by Senator TG GUINGONA at Silliman University
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EX-CHIEF OF STAFF CONFIRMS PAYOLA >>> Says even wives, kids enjoy perks too >>> A chief of staff of the Armed Forces under then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has confirmed the existence of a multimillion-peso payola pot at the Camp Aguinaldo general headquarters, as earlier revealed by ex-military budget officer George Rabusa. But the retired general said the pot, along with other fund sources in and out of the AFP, provided the military brass sufficient sums for their retirement so that, contrary to what Rabusa had claimed, an outgoing chief of staff did not need a hefty sendoff gift (pabaon). "I realized we had so much money in the military...The leeway given to us [in using funds] was more than enough to make us comfortable in retirement."

MILITANTS URGE PROBERS TO INCLUDE EX-PRESIDENT: The call to include former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the investigation of massive corruption in the military intensified on Saturday, with a militant group saying she was the "likely architect" of the multimillion payoffs for generals..."The payoffs were likely done to buy the loyalty of the generals and ensure their cooperation even after retirement. Considering that the Arroyo regime had many crimes to cover up, the loyalty of the generals was important"

WHO GOT THE P164m? Lt. Col. George Rabusa... claimed Reyes gave him $20,000 out of about $1 million given as pabaon or sendoff when Reyes retired as Armed Forces chief. Rabusa, the former military budget officer who spilled the beans on a "tradition" in the Armed Forces of gifting its chiefs with huge sums of money, also said he withdrew P164 million from a private bank supposedly for former chief of staff Diomedio Villanueva. Rabusa told The STAR yesterday he withdrew the amount in tranches from a Security Bank branch upon instructions from then military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia. Rabusa said Garcia instructed him to withdraw the money in batches P10 million at each time to avoid detection by the Anti-Money Laundering Council. "He (Garcia) told me it was General Villanueva," Rabusa said. He said that when he approached Villanueva last year to remind him of the amount and seek financial help, the general appeared dumbfounded. Rabusa said he believed Garcia kept the money.

From The Peninsular (Qatar): ARMED FORCES OF PHILIPPINES BACKS PROBE >>> The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) vowed yesterday to cooperate with agencies that would investigate alleged anomalies involving military chiefs of staff, saying revelations of fund misuse within its ranks would pave the way for a stronger anti-corruption policy. AFP spokesman Brigadier General Jose Mabanta Jr admitted that they are facing "challenging times" due to the revelation of retired Lieutenant Colonel George Rabusa that AFP chiefs traditionally receive hefty sums upon assuming office and retirement.

NEW Management Association of the Philippines  PRESIDENT JUN PALAFOX INAUGURAL ADDRESS:
MAPping a culture of integrity

..."As members of MAP, we must steadfastly adhere to the highest ethical standards, good governance principles and management excellence, while courageously confronting the growing complexity of managing businesses in an ever challenging environment.

Our core values in the MAP remind us that integrity not only entails honor, transparency and accountability, but also completeness with all the valued components of the main theme taken into consideration to work efficiently as a whole.

This year, we hope to address the challenges of corruption, criminality and climate change.

Corruption, as I learned from the seminary, comes from two Latin words “cor,” which means heart, and “rupture,” which means break. So we seem to live in a country or society with a broken heart.

The competitiveness of our country continues to decline, preventing us from addressing poverty, housing, public health, transportation, traffic, climate change and the environment, among others.

MAP supports the Coalition against Corruption. We also fully support the Integrity Initiative of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), the Makati Business Club (MBC), the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) and the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham). Three-hundred plus companies have already signed up for a pledge of the Integrity Initiative which aims to promote integrity and accountability in business. MAP members are strongly urged to commit to ethical business practices and good governance. We should be exemplars, not the exempted.

MAP members must lead by example in the fight against corruption by managing their business ethically and with integrity, paying the right taxes, taking care of their stakeholders and the environment, not tolerating bribery, and not just talking about corruption but also reporting and exposing it..."

SPEEDING UP JUSTICE: For a speedy resolution of cases, the Office of the Ombudsman Visayas will act on all cases involving Department of Education (DepEd) personnel who have salary grade 15 (P11,000 to P15,000) and below. Tanodbayan Merceditas Gutierrez issued Office Order 278 granting authority to the deputy ombudsman of the area sectoral office concerned to approve orders, resolutions, information and decisions of cases...Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Pelagio Apostol said the order would help resolve the long-delayed cases involving public teachers in the Visayas.

LTO ORDERS PROBE OF "MEN IN HOT CARS": Land Transportation Office (LTO) Chief Assistant Secretary Virginia Torres has ordered a thorough investigation of all its regional offices in charge of registration of motor vehicles to weed out employees involved in registration of "hot cars." Torres made the order after a suspect-turned-witness in the murder of Venzon Evangelista and Elmer Luzano admitted that the Dominguez carjacking syndicate has an accomplice inside the LTO who supplies them with vehicle plates, certificates of registration and official receipts.

P-NOY: CONDITIONAL CASH TRASFER BUDGET WILL NOT BE LOST TO CORRUPTION: There's no way the budget for the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) would end up in the hands of corrupt officials, President Aquino said yesterday. In his speech during the 60th anniversary of the DSWD, Aquino defended the sharp increase in the budget for the CCT program or the "Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program," saying the government has set in place mechanisms for its effective implementation. "We will make sure that there will be no leaks in the CCT budget, there will be no wasted funds, only the people will benefit from every centavo of the program," Aquino said

CUSTOMS OFFICIAL DENIES GRAFT CASES: An official of the Bureau of Customs denied there are pending graft cases against him that would hinder his appointment as the BOC's deputy commissioner for intelligence. Port Operations Service (POS) chief Prudencio Reyes said at a press conference the other day that he "was not able to take my oath, which is very unfair for me." He dared his critics to show proof that there is a pending graft case against him. "They are making the administrative case into a graft case," he said

OMB CHARGES UNIVERSITY DIRECTOR FOR GRAFT: The Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) filed criminal charges against a university director for alleged unauthorized collection of school fees, even as it also ordered the filing of criminal charges against four other government officials. Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas N. Gutierrez said Eledio T. Acibar, director of the Eulogio "Amang" Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (EARIST) Cavite campus, was charged with graft and corruption for ordering the collection of P30 uniform fee from freshmen students for the school-year 2008-2009. The complaint was filed by five faculty members of EARIST.

LIGHT PENALTY FOR EXTORTION IRKS NUN: The nun who complained of extortion and rude treatment at the hands of two drunken Customs officials in Bicol last December said she is not happy with the light penalty imposed by Bicol Customs collector Titus Sangil. Sr. Felicitas B. de Lima, executive director of the Foundation of Our Lady of Fatima Center for Human Development based in Iriga City, aunt of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, and sister of Philippine Economic Zone Authority director general Lilia de Lima, said she went to Customs to pick up a shipment of tax-exempt used clothes to be distributed to the poor with a foreign missionary and a DSWD employe last Dec. 21. She said Customs examiner and Informal Unit Assessment Division head Oscar Pablo and Port Operations division chief Ernesto Miranda, both inebriated, treated her and the foreign missionary rudely while administrative aide Asther Marinay tried to cover up for the two...She said Pablo demanded 10 boxes from the shipment and even told her to personally unload the boxes from the container van. When she replied that it was the job of Customs personnel, she said Pablo ordered the van closed.

WITNESSES SNUB GRAFT CASE HEARING: THE Sandiganbayan on Wednesday reset the hearing on the graft case against former Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos after witnesses did not show up. Director Ireneo Paldeng of the Office of the Special Prosecutor said that star witness Joey de Venecia was on his honeymoon in Vietnam prompting Sandiganbayan Justice Gregory Ong to order the cancellation of the hearing.

FOUR ANGELES CITY POLICE SACKED OVER EXTORTION CAUGHT ON VIDEO: A police station chief here and three of his men have been relieved of their posts after closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage showed their alleged extortion of some P400,000 from a nephew of first district Rep. Carmelo Lazatin.

CAPITOL ASSURES PUBLIC OF TRANSPARENCY IN PROJECTS: GOVERNOR Alfredo Marañon Jr. told the public on Wednesday to expect transparency on the infrastructure projects undertaken by the Provincial Government under his administration. Marañon explained that Dynamic Builders won the bidding for the projects and that the quality of their work is above-standard and the company has the financial resources. Some losing contractors in the bidding employ the strategy of consistently complaining against the bidding results so that the winning bidder will be compelled to silence them by giving them hush money, Marañon said.


MAGUINDANAO SEMINAR: the Philippine Public Transparency Reporting Project (PPTRP) brings lessons to Maguindanao where the new governor, Esmael Mangudadatu embraced the necessity of transparency and accountability towards achieving real peace. Mangudadatu, in yesterday's press conference at the Waterfront Insular Hotel, shared some strategies being done by his administration to put an end to corruption. Realizing that some municipal mayors had only been submitting receipts of projects which were not actually implemented, Mangudadatu shifted some mechanics to ensure projects to come out as planned.

QUEZON CITY CRACKS DOWN ON FIXERS: In a bid to drive away fixers victimizing city hall clients, the Quezon City government increased the number of uniformed and undercover security personnel near the vicinity of income-generating offices in the compound...the citys Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS) chief...has recommended the assignment of uniformed policemen in strategic locations including in the counter payment areas to complement the city hall security force.

AFP SUPPORTS REOPENING "HELLO GARCI" PROBE:The military expressed support yesterday for the plan of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. to reopen the investigation on the "Hello, Garci" poll fraud scandal that raised doubts on the legitimacy of the election of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2004. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr. said the probe would give active military personnel and rebel soldiers the opportunity to disclose what they know about the controversy.

LANDGRABBING ALLEGED: Angara Ecozone Project a Massive Case of Landgrabbing, Say Aurora Folk: The residents and their supporters, among them Catholic bishops, say the Apeco project being pushed by the family of Sen. Edgardo Angara is a massive case of landgrabbing that should be put to right. They said they would file criminal complaints against the project.

COA REPORT LINKED TO ORTEGA MURDER: "Dr. Gerry was in constant contact with me concerning COA (Commission on Audit) reports which detail how Palawans local government officials have misused sums given to Palawan as part of the provisional sharing agreements. Dr. Gerry was the one who furnished me with a copy of the COA reports that involved ghost projects, inferior projects and crass misappropriation of public funds."

BUSINESSMEN FORM SHADOW CABINET VS CORRUPTION: Members of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) will form an informal advisory body on corruption, peace and security, and climate change. MAP president Felino Palafox Jr. said they decided to form a so-called "shadow cabinet" to counsel the government on policy-making. "If I have to rate the corruption level here in the Philippines, its eight out of a possible ten," said Palafox...

COTRACTORS HIT BIAS: The National Constructors Association of the Philippines (NACAP) has expressed concern over the seeming bias being shown by key government agencies and officials against unsolicited proposals in the development of infrastructure projects.

NEW PLEA FOR TRUTH BODY: The government Tuesday appealed to the Supreme Court to hold another round of oral arguments on the truth commission, this time with amici curiae or friends of the court who could help thresh out the constitutionality of President Benigno Aquino's Executive Order No. 1.

PALACE: NO PROTECTION FOR CARJACKERS: Malacañang vowed no sacred cows in the government's investigation to identify government officials who have been protecting carjack syndicates and aiding them in their crime.

EXCESSIVE PERKS FOR EXECS TO END: A Malacañang committee is expected to wrap up this week a draft executive order that lays down guidelines on excessive perks enjoyed by some officials and employees of state firms, Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said

COURT UPHOLDS COMELEC SUSPENSIONS: The Court of Appeals has upheld the suspension by the Office of the Ombudsman of five Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials involved in the purchase of overpriced ballot secrecy folders worth P690 million.

BUSINESSMEN "MAPPING A CULTURE OF INTEGRITY": The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) said its members, no longer able to tolerate rising criminality and unchecked corruption, will put up a "shadow Cabinet" to make sure government take stronger steps to address the problems. "We are a broken-hearted society," said MAP president Felino Palafox Jr. during a presentation of MAP's advocacy "MAPping a Culture of Integrity." Palafox said MAP members have committed to blow the whistle on corrupt practices and asked the public to join them in their campaign.

CORRUPTION, OTHER FACTORS CAUSE COUNTRY PEACE INDEX TO PLUNGE: The Philippines placed 130th on a list of 149 countries in the 2010 GPI, according to a study published by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP)...Falling 10 rungs from its 2009 ranking, the Philippines was among 5 countries that registered the largest drop in the 2010 GPI...Perceptions of criminality in Filipino society rose to a score of 4, defined as high levels of distrust in other citizens, the study said. Violent crime is high in many districts and armed guards are routinely deployed to defend private property. It also mentioned kidnap-for-ransom as high risk, especially among members of the Filipino-Chinese community. Quoting data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the study mentioned the higher homicide rate and the proportion of people in the country who are sent to jail. Other indicators that Philippines performed poorly are corruption perceptions, public spending on education, higher education enrolment, political culture, government function, and military capability and sophistication.

HOUSE SPEAKER: 4 KEY CONCERNS >>> Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said lawmakers need to address four key national concerns including social inequity and corruption to help spur growth and promote competitiveness..."One, social inequality manifested by unequal access to opportunities and inadequate social safety nets; two, competitiveness issues stemming from inadequate public infrastructure, low human capital and lack of productive employment; three, government inefficiency due to corruption, weak tax collection and fiscal instability; and four, uncertainties and unwarranted risks regarding the national economy caused by redundant economic policies that breed monopolistic competition and other forms of unfair practices," Belmonte told the Wallace Business Forum Roundtable...

PUBLIC SERVANTS INVOLVED IN CARJACKING: At least 3-4 government officials and police officers have already been identified by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) as being involved in carjacking, DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo said...

CARJACKER PROTECTORS, COHORTS SOUGHT: Authorities are zeroing in on protectors or cohorts in the government of alleged carjack ring leader Raymond Dominguez, including individuals involved in the registration of stolen vehicles. Dominguez, whose group is suspected to be responsible for the murder of car dealer Venson Evangelista and possibly another trader, Emerson Lozano, surrendered to the Bulacan police on Saturday night, saying he feared for his life. He was placed under arrest yesterday by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG). Dominguez was brought to the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office last night and underwent inquest proceedings on charges of carjacking and kidnapping with homicide filed by the police. Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo said they were zeroing in on the suspected protectors. "We need a thorough investigation to know the connections of Dominguez and his cohorts with those from government agencies..."

IMPEACHMENT A GO IN FEBRUARY IF NO COURT RULING: The House committee on Justice will resume impeachment hearings against Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas N. Gutierrez next month should the Supreme Court (SC) fail to meet a self-imposed deadline to issue a decision on its stay order.

GRAFT CASE SHELVED: THE anti-graft office has shelved the criminal and administrative complaints businessman Efrain Pelaez, Jr. lodged against former Lapu-Lapu City mayor Arturo Radaza and four others over the closure of the trader's mall in 2007. Graft investigator Co-razon Arnado-Carillo said their office cannot rule on the legality on the actuations of the respondents, in deference to a civil case pending before the Regional Trial Court Branch 27 in Lapu-Lapu City. Pelaez filed the grave misconduct and abuse of authority complaint and violation of the anti-graft law against Radaza, who is now representative of Lapu-Lapu City's lone district; City Administrator Teodulo Ybanez, the late City Attorney Vincent Joseph Lim, former city police chief Louie Oppus, and Conrado Manatad, chief of the citys police station 5. Pelaez said Radaza and the respondents began harassing his companies after he filed graft charges against the former mayor and 19 others for the alleged overpriced purchase of 470 computers amounting to P23.476 million.

MEDELLIN COP ACCUSED OF SELLING PROTECTION: Medellin Mayor Ricardo Ramirez has accused a member of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-7 of protecting the illegal gambling and illegal fishing activities in his town. Ramirez said he is filing a formal complaint today before the Office of the Ombudsman Visayas against Police Officer 3 Arnold Bocayong. Ramirez said Bocayong is collecting P20,000 to P30,000 monthly protection money from the illegal gambling and illegal fishing operators in Medellin. He is asking the Ombudsman to sub-poena a moneygram agent in Medellin where the protection money is allegedly sent on a monthly basis. On top of it Bocayong is allegedly making money out of the bogus CIDG identi-fication cards he issued to his assets. According to Ramirez, Bocayong is collecting P150 from each asset as processing fee for the IDs and another P100 renewal fee every year.

SENATOR: REGULATE GOVERNMENT CORPORATIONS >>> Senator Franklin Drilon said that 73 percent of the respondents on a Social Weather Stations' (SWS) survey believed that there should be regulation on bonuses and allowances given to executives of state-owned firms...Drilon, author of a bill to form a council to oversee government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), said the results show overwhelming support for reforms in state firms

MAYOR VS COP: Mayor Ricardo Ramirez will file a complaint against a policeman of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 7 before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas today. Ramirez will accuse PO3 Arnold Bocayong of violating Republic Act 3019, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and Republic Act 6713, or the Code Of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees...Ramirez told reporters yesterday that Bocayong is collecting "protection money from persons involved in illegal activities and from persons who committed crimes." Bocayong, according to Ramirez, receives about P20,000 to P30,000 a month from persons involved in illegal activities. Bocayong is part of the investigating team that lodged a homicide complaint against Mayor Ramirez before the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor's Office, over Edilberto Abao's death

50+ CENTRAL VISCAYAS LGU'S SIMPLIFY BUSINESS LICENSE PROCESS: More than 50 local government units (LGUs) in Central Visayas have started implementing the so-called "Business Permit and Licensing System" (BPLS) which is aimed to shorten business registration transactions and the issuance of licenses.

DOJ OK'S CHARGES IN AIRPORT TERMINAL CASE: The Department of Justice announced that it has recommended the filing of criminal charges against several corporate officers of Fraport AG Worldwide Services, Inc. and Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc. (Piatco)...Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan said Fraport used fronts or dummies to circumvent the anti-dummy law.

EXTORSION: BAGUIO CITY NGO ALLEGEDLY ABUSED OMB-GRANTED AUTHORITY >>> Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Mark Jalandoni denied the Office of the Ombudsman authorized Linis Gobyerno, a non-government organization in the in the city, to conduct lifestyle checks on public officials and investigate corrupt practices in government. "Linis Gobyerno is not authorized to conduct field investigations contrary to the group's claims," Jalandoni said, stressing it is only the Ombudsmans office that is mandated to conduct such investigations. This developed as Jalandoni's office received several complaints about Linis Gobyerno allegedly engaged in extorting money from public officials. As a result, the Office of the Ombudsman will soon look into the activities of the group to be able to verify these claims. Jalandoni also revealed the satellite office of the Ombudsman opening next month will include a Corruption Preventive Unit (CPU), which will strengthen the agency's drive against ill-practices of government officials.

EXTORSION: 4 ANGELES CITY COPS SACKED >>> A police commander in Angeles City and three of his men were relieved after Pampanga Rep. Carmelo Lazatin reported that several personnel from a station there extorted P400,000 from his nephew over a supposed fabricated illegal drug offense.

ACCUSED EX-NEA OFFICIAL SAYS CASE NOT PROVEN: A former official of the National Electrification Administration has asked the Sandiganbayan to dismiss the graft and malversation charges filed against him over alleged fraudulent handling of P85 million in state funds in March 2000. Manuel Luis Sanchez, former deputy Administrator for finance told the anti-graft court's 4th division said that the prosecution failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

PROBERS GRILL LTO CHIEF: Justice department probers on Friday grilled Assistant Secretary Virginia Torres of the Land Transportation Office over allegation that she conspired with a group that tried but failed to take over the Stradcom building, an incident that disrupted the LTO's nationwide operations for several hours. But Torres denied that she helped the group of Bonifacio Sumbilla and Aderito Yujuico in their failed attempt to take control of the Stradcom building last Dec. 9 from the management headed by Cezar Quiambao, president and chief executive officer.

COA: MOALBOAL TOWN ACCOUNTANT NOT QUALIFIED: Moalboal town designated as acting municipal accountant an employee who is not qualified for this position, the 2009 Commission on Audit (COA) report said. Apart from that, the town's inventory report of its properties, plants and equipment amounting to P73.4 million contained incomplete information.

CUSTOMS APPOINTEE HELD GUILTY OF GRAFT IN 2009: This was the message sent to Malacañang by complainants, who over the weekend showed The Manila Times a copy of the Supreme Court decision that found newly appointed Deputy Commissioner Prudencio Reyes Jr. of the Bureau of Customs guilty of grave abuse of authority. Reyes was appointed by President Benigno Aquino 3rd supposedly on recommendations of people in whom he had trust and confidence and on the belief that Reyes that could help the Aquino administration push the governments "Tuwid na Daan" (Straight Path) advocacy. He was found guilty by the High Court of graft charges that had been filed by his subordinates in the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) in 2000.

PALACE CHECKING OUT REPORTS ABOUT NEW APPOINTEE: ...deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Palace is looking into the problem involving newly appointed Customs deputy commissioner for intelligence Prudencio Reyes Jr., whose oath-taking has been put on hold because of a case against him. "We need to do something about it because there are already recommendations. We will reveal those (details) at the proper time. At this point, I can say that steps are already being taken," she said. Valte said the Palace was verifying reports about Reyes and that these concerns have reached the President.

NGO SEEKS TRANSPARENT BUDGET: A Mindanao-based non-government organization eyed the Provincial Government of Misamis Oriental as "pilot local government unit" on budget transparency project. The Budget Tracking for Transparent Accountable Governance (Bittag) on Friday signed a memorandum of agreement with the Provincial Government, the Department of Interior and Local Government and civil society organization (CSO) to be part during budget deliberations of the local government units here.

COA LISTS SAN FRANCISCO FAULTS: Failure to submit an inventory report, understatement of the town's income, and failure to set aside five percent of the towns budget for Gender and Development (GAD) programs were among the findings of the Commission on Audit (COA) report on San Francisco town's fiscal transactions in 2009. Since 2004, the town has not conducted a physical inventory of its properties, plants and equipment amounting to P85.6 million, violating the New Government Accounting System (NGAS), state auditors said.

VP BINAY SUPPORTS PROBE OF OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT ADMINISTRATION: "The national interest clearly lies with the protection of the rights and welfare of our overseas workers. If there are procedural or administrative gaps and even acts of collusion or connivance to the detriment of our OFWs, then let the truth come out,"

PALACE: NO PLANS TO ABOLISH NFA...YET >>> Malacañang has no concrete plans yet to abolish the National Food Authority despite its P176.7- billion debt. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said a formal investigation and audit are underway to determine how to reform the NFA. "At this point, discussions are preliminary and there is no solid path yet that is laid out on this matter," she said. The discussions on NFA were not just focused on the anomalies but on its viability as a whole, Valte said. Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said they were weighing the possibility of shutting down the NFA and transfer three of its key functions after the agency disclosed that it was saddled with an estimated P177-billion debt due to excessive rice importation.

MINDNAO OMBUDSMAN OFFICE TO LAUNCH "OPERATION RED PLATE": Office of the Ombudsman in Mindanao, together with the private sector, will launch next month "Operation Red Plate" to address the growing issue of government vehicles used for unofficial trips and functions. Rodolfo Elman, assistant Ombudsman for Mindanao, told Sun.Star Davao Friday that the program intends to raise the awareness of the public in Davao Region to the issue so they could help the government monitor the use of its vehicles.

EX-SENATOR SUES ORO MAYOR: FORMER Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. has filed charges of anti-graft and corruption against Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Vicente Emano before the Office of the Ombudsman. The case is in connection with the controversial then-"Piso-piso" now "50-50" lot program of Emano, which Pimentel said is "packed with irregularities."

VP'S WIFE SEEKS SPEEDY TRIAL: ...the wife of Vice President Jejomar Binay has asked the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan's Fifth Division "to set for hearing [a case against her] twice a week until the prosecution concludes the presentation of its witnesses." Elenita Binay reminded the court that the charge sheet was filed in 2006 against her for allegedly bypassing during her term as mayor a bidding procedure to favor Office Gallery International Inc. for a P72-million contract to supply new furnishings of Makati City Hall..."On 27 January 2011, the instant case is set for pre-trial. Thereafter, trial for the instant case will finally commence after more than four years," Mrs. Binay said in her motion.

THE OMBUDSMAN cleared former Consolacion mayor Avelino Gungob, Sr. of any wrongdoing over the proposed construction of a road project across a private property in 2006.

Maguindanao guv adopts new scheme in spending its Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) to ensure transparency on where and how public money is spent.

3 DENR execs, 7 forest rangers sacked in Quezon for corruption and failure to combat illegal loggers

Civil society vows participation in regional budget preparation

Caritas Manila backs rice import probe

Revenue collection officer ordered sacked for failure to liquidate advances

Rizal, Nueva Ecija administrative officer faces administrative charges for allowing personal use of government vehicle in his custody.

University of Northeastern Philippines (UNEP)Spearheads Good Governance Confab

Lamitan mayor back to work after 90-day suspension order for pending graft case

HOW TO SUPPORT CORRUPTION >>> Never speak of it
Don't listen to anything about it Ignore it


LTO BIDS & REWARDS: Land Transportation Office Chief Virginia Torres now has more than she can handle. First it was her controversial appointment given her lack of seniority and experience. Then came the highly embarrassing and controversial Stradcom problem where the LTO boss found herself on national TV accused of taking sides in a corporate dispute and colluding with one faction. Just when things were settling down, accusations started flying that LTO personnel were likely to be involved or working with the Dominguez carnapping syndicate. -- Cito Beltran in the Philippine Star

GENEROUS GIFTS: There's a sendoff or pabaon gift and a welcome gift or pasalubong. Then there's a monthly goodwill gift amounting to a few million pesos. No wonder officers are willing to serve even for only a few months as chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines aside from the prestige of having reached the pinnacle of a military career. If a former military budget officer is telling the truth, AFP chiefs rake in millions in public funds money that is meant for one of Asia's most poorly equipped armed forces...there are three overriding concerns. First is the determination of the whole truth about corruption in the military. Second is the punishment of those involved. And third is the implementation of measures to prevent a repeat of the alleged activities. This is a good chance to undertake a thorough housecleaning in the AFP. -- Editorial in The Philippine Star

KOREAN STEW AT PAGCOR: When President Aquino assumed the Presidency, there were high expectations that he would clean up the notoriously corrupt offices in government, among them the Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Internal Revenue and Pagcor...To date theres no improvement at Pagcor. One indication of this is the fact that to date, no charges have been filed against former Pagcor chairman Ephraim Genuino, no licenses granted by Genuino have been cancelled, and unqualified people like car salesman from Cebu, Chris Tio, has been appointed vice president for marketing.

EXUBERANT OPTIMISM: The anti-corruption campaign has been slow to take off, and the administration's energy and attention are being waylaid and diverted by old issues, such as, the Gen. Carlos Garcia plunder, the Visconde murders, and upsurge in criminality, instead of plunging into fundamental "cultural" sea change and administrative overhaul of the Customs, BIR, GOCCs, PNP, DBM, DPWH, and other notorious agencies and instrumentalities. The fact is that the rich are getting richer with the global recovery, and are not unduly affected by inflation and currency fluctuations. -- HECTOR R.R. VILLANUEVA IN MANILA bULLETIN

BINAY THE PEOPLE'S WATCHDOG? matter how the spin masters try to make black appear white and vice versa, it must be pointed out, in the interest of accuracy, that it is not Binay who has been doing favors to the President. It is the President who has (needlessly) endangered the achievement of his goals by accommodating Binay. -- Solita Collas-Monsod in Philippine Daily Inquirer




CORONEL EXPLODES BOMBSHELL IN SENATE: A retired lieutenant colonel on Thursday made a surprise appearance at the Senate and disclosed how he and his ex-bosses allegedly amassed wealth, with a large portion of the loot taken from soldiers' salaries. Seated on a wheelchair following a stroke, George Rabusa dropped a bombshell: that Angelo Reyes, a former Armed Forces chief of staff, received a send-off gift ("pabaon") of "not less than" P50 million when he retired in 2001.

"PABAON": A CLOSER LOOK >>> The military said it welcomes a probe into the so-called pabaon (send-off) system wherein outgoing Armed Forces chiefs of staff are given millions of pesos in cash when they retire. In an interview, Armed Forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta said the pabaon system was discontinued after the military leadership abolished the office of the AFP deputy chief of staff for comptrollership (J6) in 2004. "A lot of things has happened to the comptroller. From a very big office, it was divided into smaller offices. One of the intentions of this is to show there is check and balance, not one office will decide on the financial issues," said Mabanta. "If this will result to investigation, additional or further investigation, the Armed Forces will give in and provide whatever is requested from us by competent authorities," he added. The abolition of the Office of the Military Comptroller (J6) came after former military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia was discovered to have amassed over P300 million during his time as head of the office.

SURPRISE TURN: SECRET "SLUSH FUND" BARED >>> THE Senate investigation into the controversial plea-bargaining agreement between former Armed Forces comptroller Major Gen. Carlos F. Garcia took a surprise turn yesterday after a former budget officer at J6 (AFP comptrollership) surfaced and bared a secret "slush fund" used to grease the palms of senior military officers, members of the media and some Congress officials. The issue of the plea-bargaining agreement was shunted to the sidelines after Senate Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada introduced retired Col. George Rabusa of the Philippine Army. Rabusa was AFP budget officer under Garcia and Garcia's predecessor at J6, Lt. General Jacinto Ligot. Rabusa said there exists in the AFP the so-called "Provision for Command Directive Activities" (PCDA), disbursed solely at the discretion of the AFP chief of staff, who, at the time, was former energy secretary Angelo Reyes.

TWO OFFICERS WERE INVESTIGATED FOR UNEXPLAINED WEALTH: Lt. Col. George Rabusa and Lt. Gen. Jacinto Ligot, both linked to then military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, were investigated for unexplained wealth while serving in the military. Rabusa served as budget chief of the Office of the Armed Forces Deputy Chief of Staff for Comptrollershipor J6from November 1999 until 2002, under Garcia. In 2002, a graft complaint was filed against Rabusa in the AFP Ombudsman in connection with his unexplained wealth amounting to P62 million. His gross monthly income then was only P26,639.88. Rabusa tried to explain the dramatic increase in his net worth by saying that he had received a P4.1-million inheritance and "financial aid" from his parents-in-law

POSSIBLE NEW WITNESS: Retired lieutenant colonel George Rabusa may be one of the government's witness in its plunder case against former military comptroller Carlos Garcia after his testimony on the corruption within the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), a senator said...Senator Teofisto Guingona III, chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee, said Rabusa's admission about how he and his ex-bosses allegedly amassed wealth, which were partly sourced from salaries of soldiers, has bolstered the plunder case against Garcia.

CONGRESS TO STUDY NEW PARAMETERS FOR PLEA BARGAINS: Speaker Feliciano Belmonte said on Thursday that Congress would set the parameters for government prosecutors in entering into a plea bargain to avoid putting the state at a disadvantage as what happened in the agreement between ex-military comptroller Carlos Garcia and the special prosecutors handling the plunder case. "The idea that we can overturn their action is not (correct). Only they can overturn their action. The congressmen cannot do that," Belmonte said...

SENATORS PLEA BARGAIN OR BARGAIN SALE?: Senators Thursday demanded to know from state prosecutors why they did not pursue the plunder case against ex-military comptroller Carlos Garcia despite his own wife's admissions that they had received extravagant gifts and money from military contractors and suppliers. At the start of the inquiry by the Senate blue ribbon committee into the controversial plea bargain with Garcia, Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano pressed the prosecutors to explain why they did not attempt to reach out to Clarita Garcia. Waving copies of statements given by Clarita to US authorities, committee chair Sen. Teofisto Guingona III said he wondered if the Filipino people were not the victims of the deal.

OMBUDSMAN: SUREME COPURT HAS FINAL SAY >>> Only the Supreme Court can look into the question of whether or not the Office of the Ombudsman abused its power when it entered into a plea bargain with former military comptroller Carlos Garcia, Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez said.

GOVERNMENT EYES NEW PROBE: Special Prosecutor Wendell Barreras-Sulit yesterday said she would start a new investigation on the plunder case against former military comptroller Carlos Garcia. Sulit made the assurance before the Senate Blue Ribbon committee investigating the plea bargaining agreement between Garcia and the special prosecutors. Sulit noted the detailed claims of Lt. Col. George Rabusa, a former military budget officer who testified yesterday on how government funds are converted into personal funds of top military officials. "In the light of this new investigation, we will do at the Ombudsman what we have to do we will start a new investigation and I think my companions agree with me on this," Sulit said.

LAWMAKER WANTS PROSECUTORS REPLACED: A party-list lawmaker urged the Office of the Solicitor General to push for the replacement of government prosecutors handling the P303 million plunder case against retired military comptroller Major Gen. Carlos F. Garcia and his family. Citizens' Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) party-list Rep. Sherwin Tugna said the statements of Ombudsman prosecutors led by Special Prosecutor Wendel Barreras-Sulit that government evidence is insufficient to convict the Garcias have eroded their credibility to continue representing the State in the case. "It would be better if we have the panel of prosecutors changed considering that as early as this stage, their predisposition about the case has been very obvious," the lawmaker said.

EX-COA CHIEF ON AUDIT TEAM: Former government auditor Heidi Mendoza has expressed dismay over the Commission on Audit's (COA) lack of support in her investigation into anomalous transactions in the military. ABS-CBN News sought out former COA Chairman Guillermo Carague for his reaction to the issues raised by Mendoza. Carague said he assigned 11 auditors to investigate the case of former military comptroller Carlos Garcia. Mendoza led the audit team.

"EX-DEFENSE CHIEF GOT P5m AS RETIREMENT GIFT": A former budget officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) testified at a Senate hearing Thursday that former defense secretary Angelo Reyes received around P50 million as a retirement gift when he left as military chief of staff. Lieutenant Colonel George Rabusa said the retirement gift had to be converted to dollars because "it was bulky." Rabusa further said the retirement gift was a "really bigger amount", but past retiring chiefs of staff got retirement money as well. He added the AFP chief of staff gets around P5 million a month under the discretionary funds.

FORMER MILITARY CHIEF DENIES RECEIVING "SEND OFF" MONEY: Former Armed Forces Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes immediately denied the allegation that he had received some P50 million when he retired in 2001. "I don't recall what [Lieutenant Colonel George Rabusa] was saying that he went to me," Reyes told the Senate blue ribbon committee Thursday at the inquiry into the plea bargaining agreement between the government and General Carlos Garcia, a former military comptroller, who has been accused of plunder. Rabusa was the former budget officer of Reyes when he was military chief while Garcia was comptroller when Reyes was head of defense.


OMBUDSMAN STANDS BY PLEA BARGAIN DEAL: Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez on Thursday stood by the controversial plea bargain agreement entered into by her prosecutors and former Armed Forces comptroller Carlos Garcia. "The plea bargain agreement was what the prosecutors in my office had recommended, and the plea bargain agreement was in the best interest of the government," Gutierrez told the Senate blue ribbon committee in a letter on Thursday. She likewise noted that the Office of the Ombudsman is "an independent constitutional body designed to be protected, in the discharge of its mandate to investigate and prosecute official wrongdoing, from outside pressure, be it judicial, executive or legislative." "Our Supreme Court has time and again ruled that unless the Ombudsman had gravely abused its discretion, a matter for said court to determine, its (Ombudsman) decision on how a case is prosecuted should be respected," she said.

GARCIA BREAKS SILENCE BEFORE HOUSE COMMITTEE: Garcia told the committee the idea of a plea bargain agreement was first floated to him in 2008 by someone he did not name. At that time, thinking he had a strong defense, he didn't pursue it. However, after his children and wife were jailed, and more cases were filed against him in 2009, he re-started the plea bargain agreement negotiations with the Arroyo government. Garcia said the withdrawal of information against his family was part of the plea bargain agreement in exchange for pleading guilty to direct bribery.

FORMER PROSECUTOR SAYS TOLD TO "DISENGAGE": A former special prosecutor revealed at a House justice committee hearing that Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez asked him to "disengage" from the corruption case against former military comptroller Carlos Garcia. During the initial part of the committee hearing on Tuesday, former Special Prosecutor Dennis Villa-Ignacio said the Ombudsman ordered all prosecutors working on the case to report to her directly. He also said the Ombudsman removes honest and competent prosecutors...Gutierrez and her deputies outrightly snubbed the justice committee's investigation of the Garcia plea bargain agreement...Gutierrez and her deputy and special prosecutors sent a letter with 3 reasons why she declined participation. The reasons are: O - the Garcia case remains pending in the Sandiganbayans 2nd Division; O- the Ombudsman is an independent and constitutional office; O- the hearing, based on media reports, is not a probe in aid of legislation.

OSP TO OSG: BACK OFF! The Office of the Special Prosecutor Tuesday opposed the attempt of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to intervene in the plunder case against ex-military comptroller Carlos Garcia, and defended the plea bargain it had forged with the retired major general. The OSG had asked the Sandiganbayan to allow it to intervene in the case and to nullify the plea bargain. But in a comment and opposition submitted to the anti-graft court, state prosecutors denied that there was strong evidence to nail Garcia for plunder.

MILITARY ALLOWS OFFICERS TO TESTIFY: Military officers who have knowledge of the alleged corrupt practices of former military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia are free to testify in courts, the Armed Forces leadership said over the weekend. AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta made the pronouncement after a Malacañang official urged officers to testify on the plunder case of Garcia, who reportedly amassed over P300 million while in active service. "If anyone will come forward, we will gladly say our piece. Transparency is very important...We welcome the statement (of Malacanang) and with that in mind, officers who are wiling to shed light can make themselves available in relation to that statement of Malacanang that any member of the Armed Forces can shed light," said Mabanta. Former Constabulary chief Ramon Montano earlier said junior officers are willing to testify against the activities of Garcia and his former superiors if a no-nonsense investigation is conducted.

HOUSE COMMITTEE SETS HEARNG: The House Committee on Justice is conducting a hearing Tuesday to determine whether or not there is irregularity on the plea bargaining agreement entered into between former Major Gen. Carlos Garcia and the government represented by the Office of the Special Prosecutor over his plunder case..."If indeed, there is irregularity, Congress, using its oversight function, may take action and we may recommend possible penalties and sanctions"

PROSECUTORS: CASE BASED ON WIFE'S ADMISSIONS >>> Prosecutors under the Ombudsman have filed the plunder case against former military comptroller Carlos Garcia on the "mere basis" of statements made by his wife Clarita Depakakibo-Garcia. This was affirmed by assistant special prosecutor Joseph Capistrano during the oral argument conducted on Friday by the Sandiganbayan on the Solicitor General's supplemental motion to intervene in the Garcia plea bargain agreement with the anti-graft agency. Capistrano was replying to Second Division Associate Justice Teresita Diaz-Baldos who asked the Ombudsman for its basis for filing the criminal information against Garcia In her statements, both handwritten and typewritten given to US authorities last April 6, 2004, Clarita admitted that she and her husband received huge sums of money as commissions from contractors and suppliers. Based on Clarita's statements, the Office of the Ombudsman then headed by Simeon Marcelo, filed a plunder case against Garcia, his wife and three sons, for allegedly conspiring to amass P303 million in ill-gotten wealth. Clarita's statements did not have probative value because they were not sworn to and testified in court, Capistrano said.

PCGG: BARGAIN DEAL DEFECTIVE >>> The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) echoed criticism that the plea bargaining agreement between accused plunderer retired Maj. Gen. Carlos F. Garcia and Ombudsman prosecutors suffers from procedural defects. PCGG Chairman Juan Andres Bautista, dean of the Far Eastern University-College of Law, said the plea deal failed to meet two important pre-requisites set under Rule 116, Section 2 of the Rules of Court, governing plea bargain agreements: "Consent of the offended party" and the lesser offense pleaded guilty to by the accused must be "necessarily included in the offense charged." He noted that while Garcia was originally charged with plunder a capital crime punished under Republic Act (RA) 7080 he subsequently pleaded guilty to direct bribery which is penalized under Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code and facilitating money laundering covered under RA 9160. "Query as to whether the crime of direct bribery and money laundering are 'necessarily included' in the offense of plunder? Note that both crimes are punished by different laws," Bautista pointed out in a newspaper column. The PCGG chief also noted the requirement of obtaining the consent of the offended party before the trial court allows the downgrading of the original offense charged.

ANOTHER SENATOR HITS PLEA DEAL: Opposition Sen. Joker Arroyo urged the Aquino administration to make clear its policy against corruption, saying that up until now he does not understand why former Major Gen. Carlos Garcia and his alleged cohorts were allowed to go "scot-free." Arroyo said the government seems to be giving the impression that it is only interested in getting money that is why it settled for a plea bargaining agreement. He said the administration should go after the whole amount that Garcia and his group allegedly amassed instead of settlling for P130 million the Ombudsman is asking the former military officer to account for. Garcia, who is accused of stealing over P300 million from the governments coffer during the course of his career, should be sent to jail for plunder, the senator said.


PROSECUTORS: AFP WITNESSES "CLEARED" GARCIA: A man found guilty of murdering his parents pleads for clemency on grounds that he is now an orphan. - The reasoning of the Ombudsman prosecutors brings to mind that classic tale of chutzpah. They maintain that the Armed Forces of the Philippines was not the offended party in Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia's P303-million plunder. So, they were under no obligation to get the AFP's consent when they plea-bargained with Garcia on lesser offenses. Supposedly the military had not shown interest in the plunder case. Proof of this is the testimony of five AFP accountants and bookkeepers that the prosecutors produced in 2008 at the Sandiganbayan. The five, they say, contradicted the findings of their star witness, state auditor Heidi Mendoza, that P50 million of the P200-million UN fund disappeared. -- Jarius Bondoc in the Philippine Star

"HANGING JUDGE" WITH MERCY: Retired Justice Manuel Pamaran says it's not the fault of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez that the case build up of plunder against former Army comptroller Gen. Carlos Garcia was "very weak and incomplete." Pamaran, the original "Hanging Judge" who has sent numerous criminals to the gallows, pointed out that it was the team of Gutierrez's predecessor who spearheaded the filing of the incomplete and deficient information against Garcia without the allegations having been validated thereof. The retired justice also noted that the case was referred to the Office of the Ombudsman in Sept. 2004, but Gutierrez only assumed office on Dec. 5, 2005. Pamaran also criticized the information originally filed by the 2004 team as "so worded in generalities," adding that the Resolutions which paved the way for the filing of the plunder charges against Garcia "did not provide any discussion on the specific acts of the accused that would qualify as unjustly enriching himself at the expense and to the damage of the Filipino people."

GARRULOUS INCOMPETENCE: ...Now that the Sandiganbayan and the Ombudsman allowed Garcia to enter a plea bargaining for a lesser offense of direct bribery, which an amount of P135.4 million of the invalidated questionable assets comprising of real estate properties, vehicles, bank accounts both in peso and dollar denominations were returned, in exchange for the exclusion of the wife and children in the charge sheet, hecklers led by Marcelo are now alleging irregularity to hide the real score about their incompetence. But it is the filing, not the outcome of the case, that is important, and the filing was done during the time of Marcelo. The wife's affidavits, bank accounts, checks, and real properties, as one lawyer would put it, " is not itself an indication the government has a strong evidence, viz. case against Garcia. At most they only stand as unexplained wealth that likewise the State must prove beyond reasonable doubt. Somebody has to testify that those pieces of evidence either facilitated or are the proceeds in the commission of the crime of plunder. It is not even an argument for Solicitor General Jose Cadiz and much more for Malacañang to say they came to know of it only after it was reported on the papers. If ignorance of the law is not an excuse, it is doubly inexcusable if it is a case of negligence and incompetence." -- Rod P. Kapulan in Manila Standard

MIRIAM STEPS IN: ...We are pleased to note that Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has stepped into the fray and is now saying that Garcia indeed could not have acted alone, that he had the stamp of approval from his superiors in the military establishment. Senator Santiago has even gone further to name a certain former Armed Forces of the Philippines chief as being in cahoots with Garcia, an allegation an ex-AFP chief has denied. In asking the government to cast a wider net to catch Garcia's co-conspirators in what must be considered the country's mother of all plunder cases...a Senate probe should also summon the state prosecutors to explain their decision to strike a plea bargain with the accused.

LETTER: PROSECUTORS...are dead sure that the case against Garcia is so weak. In describing it as such...saying "ït was like being in a 'sinking boat' because they (prosecutors) could not find an actual anomaly in the records or a witness to present before the court." If...true then why did the Sandiganbayan initially deny Garcia's motion to bail? And if it is really true that the case is so weak, then why did Garcia's lawyer allow his client to enter a plea bargain agreement when he could acquit his client so easily, considering that even the prosecutors were themselves already lawyering for his client? -- ROLANDO LIGO REYES, Makati City

Garcia case auditor speaks out

By Ces Oreņa Drilon, ABS-CBN News, 01/21/2011

(The Commission on Audit auditor who testified in the plunder case against former military comptroller Major General Carlos Garcia has broken her silence regarding her testimony in the Sandiganbayan... for an exclusive interview. )  

...Asked if she believed the prosecution had the evidence to convict Garcia, Mendoza said: “Well, I have to qualify this. I’m not a lawyer, I’m a public accountant by profession, but I have a solid 20 years of service from the Commission on Audit. In my experience, I have always been successful in all the cases that I filed in the Sandiganbayan, one of which has already been affirmed in the Supreme Court. I also did a lot of trainings in financial and fraud investigation in the Office of the Ombudsman, including the Office of the Special Prosecutor. So, I think when I say I have gathered the evidence, I am confident that, yes, we have the evidence. But with the appreciation of the evidence, of course, I have to leave it to the respective courts.”...

Mendoza said it's difficult for her to hear prosecutors now say they do not have enough evidence to convict Garcia. She insisted that the evidence is already with the government.

"We used lots and lots of time, private time, thinking of ways and means of how to get a certain file and how to gather the evidence, and so it is painful for me if people will be saying that we don’t have the evidence. If I may qualify: from the point of view of an auditor I believe we have the evidence," she said...

Mendoza also decried how the public, and even the media, lost interest in the Garcia case.

"This is something that I would try to tell the public. During those times, not one of the media was there, not one of the so-called concerned citizens can be found, not one anti-corruption civil society was there to monitor the case. It was the defendant, the prosecution, the lawyers of the government, my husband and me. So, no media, no civil society."

In the latter part of the trial, she said she got support from the clergy...Mendoza said she testified against Garcia "because I am a state auditor, and it is my duty to tell to the public what we have reviewed what we have discovered. It is my responsibility for every Filipino and it is my responsibility to my country."...

Mendoza said she is breaking her silence to disabuse the perception of the public that government is riddled with corrupt workers...

"I risked my life, my entire family and my career simply because, I would like to tell my fellow Filipino and to all others here and abroad, hindi lahat ng tao sa gobyerno magnanakaw, hindi lahat ng Pilipino ay natatakot manindigan laban sa korupsyon," she added.

Palace supports ‘whistleblower’ in Garcia plunder case

AMITA O. LEGASPI, GMANews.TV - 01/25/2011 |



Malacaņang on Tuesday expressed support to Heidi Mendoza, the former state auditor who said she had been asked by a government office to “go easy" on Carlos Garcia, a former military official accused of committing plunder while in active service.

“We can assure her this will not be a lonely fight," said Ricky Carandang, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning head, at a press briefing. “We are going to see what she has to say, what kind of evidence [she will present]." 

He said the support is not limited only to Mendoza, but to all witnesses who have evidence against Garcia.

“If there is enough evidence — and we do believe there is — we’ll help people who are willing to talk and come out and tell the truth," Carandang said.

headed a special audit team that was detailed with the Office of the Ombudsman from 2004 to 2006 to look into the transactions entered into by Garcia. Their investigation led to the filing of plunder charges against the former general, his wife and children before the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court.

Mendoza recently revealed that she had received a request from a government office to go easy on Garcia’s plunder case. 

With Mendoza’s disclosure, Carandang expressed hope that the Sandiganbayan will grant the motion to intervene filed by Solicitor General Anselmo Cadiz regarding the plea bargain agreement between Garcia and the Ombudsman.

The prosecution said it accepted Garcia’s plea bargain offer because it had insufficient evidence to convict him of plunder. The agreement allowed Garcia to plead guilty to a lesser charge of direct bribery and money laundering. He was able to post bail late last year.

“A lot of information has been coming out now and there’s going to be hearings in the Senate as well, so let’s see what other actions can be taken in the meantime. With all of these coming to light now and I think it supports the position of the Palace to intervene," Carandang said.

“We believe that there is evidence, and what we are seeing coming to light in the last several days supports our stand that there is really evidence against Gen. Garcia," he added.

PALACE VOWS SUPPORT FOR AUDITOR MENDOZA: A Malacañang spokesman on Tuesday said the Aquino administration is ready to support former Commission on Audit (COA) employee Heidi Mendoza in her truth-telling mission on the plunder case of former military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia. Communications and Strategic Planning Secretary Ricky Carandang said Mendoza's testimony only shows there is clear evidence against Garcia and basis for the Sandiganbayan to grant the Solicitor General's motion to intervene in the case to stop the plea bargain agreement. He told Mendoza: "It will not be a lonely fight."

PROSECUTORS DENY FORCING AUDITOR TO LIE: The prosecution panel trying former military comptroller Carlos Garcia's plunder case Wednesday said former auditor Heidi Mendoza was aware of the team's difficulty in getting the evidence to make the case stick. The team from the Office of the Prosecutor made the statement in the course of denying a news report that it had invited Mendoza to a Jan. 14 press conference so she could counter the claim of former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo and former Special Prosecutor Dennis Villa-Ignacio that the case against Garcia was strong.

Auditor in plunder case to launch truth drive (1)


BY YVONNE T. CHUA and ELLEN TORDESILLAS  -  VERA Files - First of two parts

A FORMER state auditor who testified against ex-military comptroller Carlos Garcia disclosed over the weekend a “request” from a government office for her to tell the public the evidence in the plunder case against the retired major general is weak. But the request, made about a week after the Sandiganbayan on December 16 allowed Garcia to post bail on the basis of his plea bargain agreement with special prosecutors, has only “strengthened Heidi Mendoza’s resolve to reveal what she says is “the truth behind the Garcia case.”

“It is plunder; it is more than P50 million. I am standing by my story,” said Mendoza who left her job at a multilateral bank on Friday to embark on a truthtelling” mission.



Auditor in plunder case to launch truth campaign (2)



Carlos Garcia also offered to turn over to the government real estate property, vehicles, shares of stocks and money in the bank valued at P135.433 million.

Last December 16, Garcia posted P60,000 bail for the two cases he pleaded guilty of and was released from his detention cell in Camp Crame in Quezon City (Metro Manila).

Since the special audit began, Heidi Mendoza, who headed a special six-member team the Commission on Audit (COA) detailed with the Office of the 
Ombudsman from 2004 to 2006 to investigate Garcia’s transactions, and her team were up against the odds.

Mendoza left her job at a multilateral bank on Friday to embark on a “truthtelling” mission. 

Early on, Mendoza received messages to “go slow” on Garcia. “Dahan-dahan lang [Go slow],” she recalled being told by a government executive.

On another occasion, people within the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) told her that her investigation was futile because five of her bosses at the COA were purportedly receiving favors from the military.

And yet another message asked her to give up trying to pin down Garcia supposedly because there would be no documents that would do so.

But not one to give up, Mendoza and her fellow auditors forged ahead, going over about 90 accounts that involved Garcia. 

Finally, one day, after spending a day and a half in a dusty “bodega” [storage room] of the AFP, she and her team of auditors finally came upon the P200-million transaction.



Prosecutors 'dumped own witness' vs Garcia
GOTCHA By Jarius Bondoc (The Philippine Star) Updated January 24, 2011 

No wonder Ombudsman special prosecutors are saying their proof of Gen. Carlos Garcia’s plundering is weak. They themselves weakened it. After their star witness testified in 2007 to Garcia’s embezzlement of P200 million, they produced five others in 2008 to debunk her. They then began bargaining with Garcia to plead guilty to lesser offenses and gain bail. All this, according to sources in the Ombudsman and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).


MISSIONS OF TRUTH VS TENTACLES OF CORRUPTION: ...When the Supreme Court said that the Truth Commission was unconstitutional, I thought President Noy would bring the case to the people and establish Truth Forums everywhere. But fate is a more masterful and brave player in life. A lowly auditor who is convinced of the guilt of plunder suspect General Carlos Garcia and the support that he receives from other personalities of power, Heidi Mendoza is saying she is on a truth mission. She is showing extraordinary courage for an ordinary Filipino. She is affirming that heroism is not the exclusive virtue of personages in high places, but that it can be the result of fighting those in power and with great wealth... Change is not easy. Confronting corruption and its tentacles in every nook and corner of governance, with great help from a private sector who tolerated, even abetted it, requires a courage that belongs to heroes. Even poverty will be used as an excuse to compromise, as though to help the poor makes it necessary to dirty ones soul. President Noy had heroes for parents. Maybe, he realizes today why destiny played it that way. -- Jose Ma. Montelibano in Philippine Daily Inquirer

GOD BLESS HEIDI MENDOZA: God bless Mendoza, as well as these two women journalists who wrote about her. We need more people like them, people who stand for truth and justice no matter the odds and the dangers they face, which are many.

HEIDI MENDOZA, AN UNLIKELY HERIOINE: Indeed, corruption is the blight of our country. It erodes the moral fabric of the society and aggravates the poverty of our people. How ironic and tragic it is that, when we finally have a President committed to the straight and narrow path of good governance, we end up seemingly hopeless against something like the Garcia case. I cannot believe that President Benigno Aquino III cannot do something about this, including finding ways to supporting our unlikely hero to make sure that she is not left alone to the mercies of those who are angered by her testimony. I cannot also believe that we, ordinary citizens, are all that powerless as well before evil and injustice. After all, Heidi Mendoza has shown the difference courage and commitment make and it is a lot.

AUDITOR DETAILED CASE: An agency had egged former state auditor Heidi Mendoza to lie in public that the plunder rap against Garcia was weak. That was days after the Sandiganbayan on Dec. 16, 2010, granted the ex-military comptroller bail on two lesser offenses. Instead of fibbing, Mendoza resigned from her job in a multilateral bank Friday to go on a "truth-telling mission." ABS-CBN News and VERA Files got her story...Mendoza and her auditors were up against the odds from the start, VERA Files reported. Her ten-man team was packed with auditors out to cover up military corruption, reducing it to only four she could trust. High officials of the Commission on Audit kept discouraging her with claims that she would never find Garcia's signature on any irregular disbursement. They barred her from seeking UN help to ferret out more documents, although the Philippines was at the time a member of the UN audit body. A Malacañang official also told her to "go slow" in her pursuit of evidence against Garcia. She resigned in disgust in March 2006, after completing her report, but testified about 15 times in 2007 and 2008 "out of civic duty." She resigned her job last Friday because it prevented her from talking in public, which she felt she had to do because of the indecent proposal by an agency for her to lie. Heidi Mendoza heroically built a case against Garcia, only to be cut down by the very prosecutors tasked to assist her and protect her. -- Jarius Bondoc in The Philippine Star




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Ehem hopes to bring people, in the end, to a commitment to live the way of Ehemplo --- critical of corruption, intent on integrity!
Management Association of the Philippines 
MAP is a management organization committed to promoting management excellence. The members of the MAP represent a cross-section of CEOs, COOs and other top executives from the top local and multinational companies operating in the country, including some top officials of government and the academe.

iPro supports the process of reducing corruption by seeking synergies between Government of the Republic of the Philippines agencies and civil society at all levels.

This website primarily serves to gather for research and educational purposes in one single place news and information specifically pertinent to integrity and corruption in the Philippines. The news items, views, editorials and opinions summarized or reported on this website are taken from the general media and reputable blogs, websites, etc., and are exclusively the responsibility of the original sources and/or authors. In accordance with Title 17 U. S. C. Section 107, any copyrighted work on this website is distributed under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed an interest in receiving the included information for nonprofit research and educational purposes only. Ref:
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