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Janet Napoles to serve a lifetime in jail over PDAF scam

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, 7 December 2018 01:04 PM

FILE PHOTO: Janet Lim Napoles

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan has sentenced ‘pork barrel’ scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles and Richard Cambe a lifetime in jail as the anti-graft court on Friday (December 7) acquitted Cambe’s former boss, former senator Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr.

Napoles and Cambe were sentenced to ‘reclusion perpetua’ or 40 years imprisonment.

Based on the decision of the Sandiganbayan Special Fifth Division, the prosecution failed to prove that Revilla was guilty of amassing P224.5M from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to support Napoles’ fake foundations.

The court also ruled that it was Cambe who was guilty of misusing the funds.

The Sandiganbayan also ordered Napoles, Cambe and Revilla to return P124 million in line with the case.

With the conviction, Napoles will remain inside the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong while Cambe, who was previously detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center, will be transferred to the New Bilibid Prison.

On June 2014, the Office of the Ombudsman filed plunder cases before the Sandiganbayan against Revilla and his colleagues, former senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada. Napoles and Cambe were among the co-accused.

Enrile, then 92-years-old, was allowed bail due to old age, while the court said evidence failed to establish that Estrada was the main plunderer in the case.

The case is dubbed as the biggest corruption case decided by the Sandiganbayan to date. – Marje Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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Lawmakers insist P160-M allocation per solon in 2019 budget, not pork barrel

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, 14 February 2019 10:16 AM

Session Hall of the House of Representatives Complex in Constitution Hills, Quezon City

PASAY CITY, Philippines – The 3.75 trillion 2019 proposed national budget is now in the hands of President Rodrigo Duterte for his final approval before it gets implemented this year.

Despite the controversies, some lawmakers insist there are no pork barrel insertions in it.

According to Coop-NATCCO party-list Representative Anthony Bravo, there is indeed a P160 million allocation per solon in the budget.

Pero dahil gusto nating i-redistribute, equitably but equally ang resources ng gobyerno para umabot po, pantay-pantay sa ating mga kababayan ay nag-peg ng P160 million. I don’t think that is a pork,” Bravo argued.

The lawmaker added that the items under the 2019 budget are already transparent, and may be scrutinized by the public.

On the other hand, Senator Panfilo Lacson had earlier argued that the said pork insertions in the budget may cause corruption of the part of the proponents of the projects.

“All you have to do is to talk to contractors to find out ilang porsyento ang ibinibigay nila doon sa mga proponent ng mga projects,” Lacson said.

Lacson said, however, that his only hope is that the President and his economic managers will thoroughly scrutinize the proposed budget for alleged pork insertions which could then be vetoed by the president himself. – Nel Maribojoc

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Sandiganbayan allows Former Sec. Jinggoy Estrada to leave for Hong Kong

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, 18 December 2018 05:13 PM

FILE PHOTO: Former senator Jinggoy Estrada

MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan on Tuesday (December 18) allowed former Senator Jinggoy Estrada to leave for Hongkong from December 26 to December 31.

Based on a resolution issued by the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division, Estrada was allowed a five-day vacation with his family given his right to travel.

The former lawmaker is undergoing trial being accused of plunder over the alleged irregularities in the use of his

Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) involving the fake foundations of convicted PDAF queen Janet Lim-Napoles – UNTV News and Rescue

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Diokno on 2019 budget woes: ‘No insertions but part of the process’

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, 12 December 2018 10:57 AM


House Majority Floor Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. (left) accuses an Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno (right) of inserting unapproved billions of pesos into the proposed 2019 national budget.


QUEZON CITY, Philippines –House Majority Floor Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. and Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno on Tuesday (December 11) engaged in a heated argument over alleged insertions in the proposed 2019 national budget.

During the question hour, Andaya alleged that Diokno orchestrated the insertion of some billions of pesos into the national budget without the knowledge of President Rodrigo Duterte.

In particular, Andaya noted the huge amount inserted in the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) worth P51-B for infrastructure projects, also without the knowledge of Secretary Mark Villar.

“He asked for 480, you gave him a ceiling of 480, and lo and behold, there was an insertion of 50 billion which no one now claims. So what is this 51 billion insertion of yours all about?” Andaya asked Diokno.

Andaya claimed to have spoken with the President and Villar on the matter but both officials purportedly said they had no idea about it.

But Budget Secretary Diokno maintained there were no irregularities in the proposed national budget and the issues Andaya was raising were actually part of the process in budget preparations.

Diokno said the DBM only added an amount to the initially approved budget of DPWH which was P480.2B since the agency requested a much higher amount of P652-B.

“We want the infrastructure budget to be higher and we have fiscal space. We decided to augment or to add to the 480, 75 billion, not 51 billion…You cannot call that insertion because it’s part of the budget preparation process. There’s no insertion,” Diokno said.

Meanwhile, Buhay Party list Representative Lito Atienza asked Diokno to answer the allegations of Senator Panfilo Lacson on the alleged pork barrel of some congressmen particularly in the districts of House Speaker Gloria Arroyo and Andaya.

“Hindi po gumagawa ng ilegal itong kongreso na ito, tama po ba yun?” asked Atienza.

“Tama po iyon,” Diokno said.

“I accept his admission (that) this Congress has not committed any pork barrel violation. Therefore, Sen. Panfilo Lacson is way off  the mark and the allegations in media are not true,” Atienza concluded.

In the end, Diokno insisted that President Duterte is aware of the additional infrastructure budget.

He also denied any conflict of interests in the performance of his duty as Budget Secretary.

House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez accused Diokno of influencing the approval of about P2.8 billion worth of infra projects in Casiguran and Sorsogon for the reason that Diokno’s daughter is an in-law of Sorsogon Vice Governor Ester Hamor and Casiguran Mayor Edwin Hamor.

“Let me tell you, your honor. I’ve served three presidents. I am known for my integrity. I have no relatives, no friends, as far as public affairs are concerned. That’s my reputation. That’s why they call me ‘Dr. No.’ So I don’t know what your questions are all about,” Diokno told Suarez. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Grace Casin)

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