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Enrile: ‘Only one executed’, ‘none arrested’ under Marcos’ martial law

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, September 21st, 2018

 

Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile in his “JPE: A Witness to History” interview with Bongbong Marcos | Screengrab via Facebook page of Bongbong Marcos

 

On the eve of the 46th anniversary of martial law declaration, former Senator Bongbong Marcos uploaded on his Facebook account his one-on-one interview with former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

The interview was about the martial law declaration of his father, former President Ferdinand Marcos.

Enrile recalled the times under martial law, denying reports that thousands were killed and arrested back then.

Enrile claims only one was executed under the martial law and that was Chinese drug lord Lim Seng.

“Name me one person that was arrested because of political or religious belief during that period. None. Name me one person that was arrested simply because he criticized President Marcos. None. Very few were arrested and they were arrested. Jovy Salonga for instance, he was involved in the light a fire movement and many others. Very few were arrested and they were released. They were inconvenienced for a while but they were released,” Enrile said.

He also said that Marcos was pushed to declare martial law because of an alleged conspiracy between the Liberal Party and the Communist Party of the Philippines.

The attempted ambush attack against Enrile in 1972 was one of the bases why martial law was declared by Marcos nationwide on September 22, 1972. He appointed Enrile as martial law administrator.

But former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr. criticized Enrile’s recollection of events, saying Manong Johnny must have forgotten about him.

Pimentel said he was imprisoned four times during martial law because of his political beliefs.

“Maybe, Enrile has forgotten me. That’s part of aging,” said Pimentel.

Pimentel also pointed out that everyone has the right to express their opinion, but reiterates that the public should not be influenced by the opinions of those who have a hidden agenda.

The former lawmaker also believes that the end does not justify the means and the edifices, as well as the infrastructures built during the Marcos government, cannot compensate for every life lost.

“The end never justifies the means. Otherwise, parati na lang mangyayari that people will be deprived of their rights and freedom, liberty, under the pretext that this is for your good, for the good of the rest of the people. We should resist that kind of an attempt, said Pimentel. — Rosalie Coz

 

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Sandiganbayan sides with Enrile on pork barrel case

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

The Sandiganbayan has ordered the Office of the Ombudsman to produce the evidence against former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile on the P172.8 million plunder case against him.

This is in response to the petition filed by the camp of former lawmaker before the Sandiganbayan Third Division to order the Ombudsman “to produce and permit the copying or photographing of any and all documents” as specified in the bill of particulars.

They argued that they need time “to study and consider the materials before trial is held.”

In its 6-page resolution issued on April 24, the graft court granted Enrile’s motion.

The Sandiganbayan said, “Enrile has absolute control on how to go about his defense. If in his mind, he needed to inspect or copy pieces of evidence [not privileged] which are material for him to make an intelligent defense, then he is allowed by the court to ask for the inspection or production of these documents.”

The court cited Section 10, Rule 116 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure which allows the former Senate president to avail this remedy, considering the prosecution made use of government resources to prepare its case.

Therefore, on the argument that the request is equivalent to premature presentation of evidence, the court said “Ombudsman prosecutors were wrong to call Enrile’s motion premature.

The Sandiganbayan, however, said the scope of the evidence that Enrile may access is only limited to documents related to the itemized charges against him.

Enrile is accused of pocketing some P172.8 million of his pork barrel or Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) by channeling the money to the fake nongovernment organizations of convicted plunderer Janet Lim Napoles.

He was initially detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City but was later released by the court on humanitarian grounds considering that he is already 95 years old.

Associate Justice Ronald Moreno wrote the resolution, with the concurrence of Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang and Associate Justice Bernelito Fernandez.  –Maris Federez

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Sen. Pimentel moves to scrap decades-old travel tax

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, April 12th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III seeks to abolish the 42-year-old presidential decree that imposes travel tax to Filipinos traveling abroad.

In his Senate Bill No. 1841, Pimentel cited that the provisions of the Marcos-era legislation no longer apply at present.

Pimentel argued that travel tax should have been scrapped way back in November 2002 when the Philippines, along with other member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), signed the ASEAN Tourism Agreement.

The said agreement has already removed travel levies and taxes on nationals of member-states traveling within the region.

“It has been almost 14 years since the Philippines signed the ASEAN Tourism Agreement but as of date, travel taxes are still imposed upon individuals traveling to other ASEAN member-States,” he said.

Pimentel’s remedial legislation seeks to totally remove the imposition of travel tax on Filipinos who wish to travel to any other country around the globe.

Travel tax , which ranges from P300 to P2,700, was originally imposed to prevent unnecessary foreign travels and to conserve foreign exchange during the period of Martial law.

This provision no longer applies today, the Senator said.

Pimentel also cited that then President Ferdinand Marcos imposed travel tax in 1977 “in order to provide adequate funds for tourism-related programs and projects to enhance the country’s competitiveness as a major tourist destination.”

However, the Senator argued that Section 73 of RA 9593 or the Tourism Act of 2009 already provides for alternative funding sources for tourism-related programs and projects funded by the travel tax in the event that the collection of such is halted.

Pimentel added that traveling Filipinos should not be made to carry additional burden in providing funds for projects supposedly shouldered by the government such as tourism facilities and infrastructure.

Likewise, he noted that agencies like the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) shouldn’t be getting a percentage from the travel tax collection as their functions are not related to travelling.

These agencies should be receiving funds directly from the General Appropriations Act (GAA).

Pimentel said that if the bill is enacted into law, travel tax collected on or after its effectivity and those collected prior to the effectivity, shall be refunded. – Marje Pelayo

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Martial law victims might receive more from the Marcoses’ wealth in Hawaii

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, March 1st, 2019

Martial law victim applying for compensation claims at the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board. (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines – Rights abuse victims during the Marcos regime were able to breathe a huge sigh of relief when President Rodrigo Duterte approved to extend the distribution of claims until the end of the year.

According to the group, Samahan ng mga Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensuon at Aresto (SELDA), around P234 million from the P10 billion total amount of reparation pay are yet to be claimed by around 170 recognized claimants.

“Ang mga grantee noon (ay) may mga kulang pa talagang mga documents daw so hinabol ng iba iyong mga kulang ng documents,” explained SELDA’s National Coordinator Danny dela Fuente.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is now planning the process and finalizing the timeline for the distribution of the remaining claims.

Apart from this, the rights group said the 7,500 Martial law victims who were among those who filed a class action lawsuit in Hawaii may still be able to receive an additional amount from so called ‘ill-gotten wealth’ of the Marcoses deposited in the island state.

SELDA noted that each recognized claimant might receive P75,000 each from the US$13.75 million dollar earned from the auctioned paintings of the Marcoses.

This would be possible if the court will rule in favor of their petition expected to be announced in March.

It can be noted that the complainants were given an initial amount when the Hawaii court ruled in their favor against the Marcoses in the Hawaii case.

“Ang tawag ngayon doon (ay) Marcos estate, iyong inihabla namin sa Hawaii. Nagkaroon nga ng favorable decision ang court of US federal district of Hawaii na kami ay ma-award ng $1.9B. Walang panggagalingan iyon kundi ang kanilang ill-gotten wealth,” dela Fuente concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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