[NEWS] Vice-President Leni Robredo’s Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth

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Click this image to download the June 2016 and December 2016 Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth of Vice-President Leni Robredo.

Robredo wealth shrinks by P2.175 M in her first six months
Vince F. Nonato
@VinceNonatoINQ

Vice-President Maria Leonor Robredo is worth P8,878,111.43 by the end of 2016, reporting that her wealth shrank by P2.175 million during the first six months of her term.

This was 19.7 percent lower than the P11,053,138 net worth Ms. Robredo reported during the time she entered office on June 30.

These figures were taken from the two Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth filed for 2016. The June 2016 figures were contained in her undated entry SALN marked received on August 1 last year, while the December 2016 figures were declared in her annual SALN filed this April 27.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer obtained the three-page SALNs from the Office of the Ombudsman on Tuesday, subject to a P30 processing fee.

Both SALNs disclosed Ms. Robredo’s business interest in Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) as “shares of stock” for “different years.” She did not specify just how much her stake at the corporation was.

Unlike President Rodrigo Duterte, Robredo did not give up her business interest.

Continue reading “[NEWS] Vice-President Leni Robredo’s Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth”

[NEWS] 3/27/17: Duterte’s bid for power to appoint village chiefs starts moving at House; Ombudsman rejects mayor’s defense that most officials have mistresses

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Photo contributed by the office of Rep. Robert Ace Barbers.
Bill seeks powers for Duterte to appoint village chiefs
Vince F. Nonato
@VinceNonatoINQ
 

An administration ally has gotten the ball rolling on the proposal to delay the barangay and youth council elections and empower President Rodrigo Duterte to fill up the ensuing vacancies.

Surigao del Norte 2nd Dist. Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, the House’s dangerous drugs committee chair, has filed House Bill No. 5359, in order to “support the President’s call to eliminate drugs and corruption” among the leaders of the country’s smallest political unit.
The said bill seeks to deem terminated the incumbent barangay officials who are currently serving in a holdover capacity after the village elections set for October 2016 was delayed by a year through Republic Act No. 10923.
In their place, the proposed measure simply provides that “officers-in-charge shall be appointed by the President.” The bill did not specify any qualifications for the possible appointees.

Continue reading “[NEWS] 3/27/17: Duterte’s bid for power to appoint village chiefs starts moving at House; Ombudsman rejects mayor’s defense that most officials have mistresses”

[NEWS] 03/14/17: Drug war widow sues ‘Duterte’

War on drugs: ‘Duterte’ and men sued for killing father and son

Vince F. Nonato
@VinceNonatoINQ
A mother and her daughter (veiled in black and peach cloth) sues eight policemen and their informant at the Office of the Ombudsman for murdering her husband and her son.
Will this be a case of People vs. Duterte?
A woman who lost her husband and son to the government’s bloody anti-narcotics campaign has sued eight Caloocan City policemen and their informant at the Office of the Ombudsman.
The policemen, led by Northern Police District Special Operations Unit (NPD-DSOU) chief Supt. Ali Jose Duterte, were accused of murdering Luis Bonifacio and 19-year-old son Gabriel Lois at their house on Sept. 15, under the guise of a purported buy-bust operation.
The supposedly unarmed Bonifacios were allegedly killed during the operation after fighting back against authorities—”nanlaban,” as the police would explain the ensuing bloodshed.

[NEWS] 03/14/17: Militants appeal Ombudsman decision ‘shielding’ Aquino in DAP case

BayanMuna.JPG
Militants appeal DAP decision that ‘shielded’ Aquino
Vince F. Nonato
@VinceNonatoINQ
Progressive activists have filed an appeal on the Ombudsman’s decision that “attempted to shield” former President Benigno Aquino III from liability over the outlawed Disbursement Acceleration Program.
Such was the “attempt to shield” Aquino that the March 3 resolution barely explained why Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales let him off the hook and only indicted his Budget Secretary Florencio Abad for usurpation of legislative powers.
Besides this observation, activists led by Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate also pointed out that the Ombudsman ignored Aquino’s own issuances, made logical errors, and misapplied Supreme Court rulings in order to clear him of the offenses of technical malversation and graft.
In a strongly-worded 17-page motion for reconsideration filed by the National Union of People’s Lawyers on Monday, the activists said Abad could not have been the only official liable for usurpation of Congress’ powers.
While the Ombudsman resolution found Abad’s National Budget Circular 541 to have illegally redefined “savings” under the General Appropriations Act in July 2012, the appeal noted that Aquino’s prior issuances were swept under the rug.
The complainants pointed out that Aquino himself approved DAP in October 2011, as well as Abad’s request for authority to withdraw and pool the unutilized funds for the first half of 2012.
They noted that Abad’s NBC 541 merely confirmed Aquino’s prior actions and he could not have issued it without the president’s approval.
“Glaring is the lack of mention with respect to Aquino,” the motion read. “The Decision, in its attempt to shield Aquino mentioned only NBC 541 apparently as the only document/act which ‘unduly modified, expanded the meaning of savings under the GAA.'”
‘Idiots until proven otherwise’
The activists also took exception to the Ombudsman’s finding that Aquino and Abad were in good faith and could not be held liable for graft.
They maintained that the officials knowingly caused undue injury to the government by curtailing the agencies’ spending power through the premature declaration of unused funds as “savings.”
“With due respect, Complainants cannot subscribe to the Decision’s apparent perspective pertaining the duties and responsibilities of our public officials, that is, they are stupid or idiots until proven otherwise,” the motion read.
“The Preisdent and his alter egos are thus presumed, like ordinary people, to know the law, and as such ignorance, feigned or otherwise, is not an excuse,” it added.
The complainants also noted the Ombudsman’s logical “flaw” in dismissing the technical malversation charge.
The Ombudsman held that Aquino and Abad were just the “policy-makers” and they did not directly misapply the funds for other purposes.
But, the complainants still deemed them liable as the “clear masterminds/authors” who directed the diversion of funds.
The complainants also disagreed with the Ombudsman’s pronouncement that the premature declaration of “savings” does not itself consummate the violation of the law.
The appeal also chided the Ombudsman for sidestepping the issue of whether the DAP funds were used for purposes other than those they were appropriated for.
For the complainants, the Supreme Court’s July 2014 and February 2015 are already sufficient bases for such a finding.
In a press statement, Zarate insisted that “the main person who carried out the crime should not have been spared from punishment.”
“Otherwise, there’s no use to this case. It will only further the state of impunity  in the budget system our government,” he said.
The Supreme Court in 2014 declared that certain budgetary practices under DAP as unconstitutional. These include the cross-border transfer of funds and the declaration of savings before the end of the fiscal year in order to realign them for items not contained in the budget law passed by Congress. #