JPE at Napoles, naghain ng ‘not guilty plea’ sa kasong graft kaugnay ng PDAF Scam

admin   •   September 5, 2014   •   2415

(Left-Right) Janeth Lim Napoles and Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile (UNTV News)

QUEZON, Philippines — Pare-parehong nahaharap sa 15 counts of graft sina Sen. Enrile, ang resigned staff nito na si Atty. Reyes at maging si Napoles.

Bago umpisahan ang arraignment nitong Biyernes, pinaupo muna ni Justice Samuel Martires ang tatlong akusado dahil sa kanilang mga medical condition.

Isa-isang binasa ng 3rd Division Clerk of Court ang impormasyon ng bawat count ng graft charges at kapwa nagpasok ng not guilty plea sina Enrile at Napoles samantalang tumanggi naman si Reyes na magpasok ng kaniyang plea sa bawat count.

Ayon sa isa sa mga abugado ni Sen. Enrile, hindi kwestyonable ang impormasyong isinumite ng Ombudsman kaugnay ng graft charges bagaman matatandaang tumanggi naman si Sen. Enrile na maghain ng kaniyang plea sa kasong plunder.

Ani Atty. Eleazar Reyes, “Sen. Enrile questioned the information, that’s why he did not enter a plea. Whereas here, he didn’t question the information, so he entered a plea of not guilt…”

Samantala, si Reyes naman ay naninindigan pa rin na walang hurisdiksyon ang korte sa mga kasong isinampa ng Ombudsman laban sa kaniya.

Atty. Anacleto Diaz, “We have been deprived of due process of the Ombudsman, hanggang ngayon, yung sworn statement na pinagbasehan na probable cause, hanggang ngayon wala kaming kopya, despite submitted requests.”

Awtomatiko namang not guilty plea ang ipinasok ng korte para sa kaniya.

Dahil sa kasama ring binasahan ng sakdal ang ilang empleyado at opisyal na mga sangkot sa PDAF scam gaya sa Department of Budget and Management, ganun din ang tatlong implementing agencies na dawit sa PDAF scam, inabot ng halos dalawa’t kalahating oras ang arraignment.

Inatasan naman ng korte ang prosecution at defense panels na magsagawa ng kanilang pag-uusap tungkol sa mga ipipresentang mga ebidensya o preliminary conference bago mag-umpisa ang mga pagdinig sa loob ng dalawangpung araw na gagawin tuwing araw ng Huwebes.

Mag-uumpisa ang preliminary conference sa October 20, 2014.

Inirekomenda rin ng korte na pagmumultahin ng hanggang 5 libong piso ang sinumang partido na magpo-postpone ng nasabing conference.  (ROSALIE COZ, UNTV News)

PH policy limiting advance payments to 15% may hamper COVID-19 vaccine procurement – DBM chief

Robie de Guzman   •   February 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Wendel Avisado on Friday raised the need to increase the 15-percent limitation on advance payments on the contract amount for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines amid government preparations for the roll-out of its inoculation plans.

Avisado said raising the down payment limit will “ensure the timely and efficient implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination plan.”

Memorandum Order No. 172, s. 2005 only allows advance payment not exceeding 15% of the contract amount for procurement of goods required to address contingencies arising from natural or man-made calamities in areas where a “State of Calamity” has been declared by appropriate authorities.

Avisado said the government is presently experiencing difficulties in negotiating with various pharmaceutical companies due to the limitations imposed under existing laws.

“…Currently, pwede ka lang magbayad o mag advance payment hanggang 15%… Ang gusto ng mga pharmaceutical industries, bayaran mo na… I-aadvance mo na ang payment bago ma-ideliver… In other words, talagang tatalunin tayo ng mga mayayamang bansa,” Avisado said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Avisado called for greater patience and understanding from the public regarding the vaccine procurement process.

He stressed that the government cannot divulge specific details on its negotiations with pharmaceutical companies—such as prices and the manners of delivery—as both parties are bound by a confidentiality agreement.

However, he assured that all of the transactions made by the government remain legitimate and honest.

The government is also committed to ensure the safe and timely procurement, transportation, and administration of COVID-19 vaccines despite all of the limitations and challenges, he added.

“Bigyan natin ng pagkakataon naman ang ating pamahalaan na makalap muna at makakuha ng vaccine. Kasi hindi pa man nangyayari yan, ay katakot-takot na batikos ang naririnig natin, meron po mga pamamaraan dyan, kung saan makikita’t makikita natin kung meron talagang kalokohan,” Avisado said.

The DBM chief also reassured the public that the budget for the said vaccines has already been allocated and is now ready for release.

He likewise welcomed and acknowledged the efforts of various local government units across the country for complementing and cooperating with the national government in its efforts to secure the much-needed vaccines.

“Meron tayong pondo dyan…. P82.5B ang inilaan ng ating pamahalaan. Wag po tayong mag worry. Nakikipagtulungan ang mga local government units natin at sila din ay handa na bumili sa abot ng kanilang makakaya. We appreciate that very much po,” Avisado said.

Velasco urges PACC to send corruption report to Ombudsman

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco urged the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) to submit to the Office of the Ombudsman their report on the alleged involvement of several lawmakers in anomalies at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

“Pursuant to due process, we believe that the matter should be brought before the Ombudsman, given the limited jurisdiction of the PACC over officials in the Executive Branch, and not those in the legislature,” he said.

In a statement on Tuesday (December 29), Velasco said the President made it clear that there is a presumption of innocence and such announcement was not an indictment. He also remind the public “not take it as gospel truth that it’s true.”

Based on reports, Velasco said the House members included in the PACC list claimed that none of the representatives from PACC have invited them for questioning.

“It appears that the PACC has not made any investigation as to the veracity of the accusations against them since they belong to another branch of government, which is not within the authority of the Commission,” Velasco said. AAC

Publication of Duterte’s SALN depends on the Office of the Ombudsman, Palace says

Marje Pelayo   •   October 20, 2020

 MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang insists that the publication of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth or SALN depends on the Office of the Ombudsman.

This was the Palace’s response when asked whether the public will ever get to see the wealth records of the Chief Executive.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque advises the public to follow the regulations imposed by the Ombudsman on public access to SALN of government officials.

“May bago pong guidelines na sinusunod ang Office of the Ombudsman. Siguro po dahil po constitutional body ang Ombudsman, dapat pong sundin ang kanilang mga guidelines [The Office of the Ombudsman is following a set of guidelines. Since the Ombudsman is a constitutional body, their guidelines must be followed),” Roque stressed. 

Unlike in past administrations, the Ombudsman is no longer allowing the public to see copies of the SALNs.

It can only be provided to a requester if he or she is the declarant or the person who filed the SALN or the duly representative of the declarant, a court order is present or the request is made by the Ombudsman’s field investigation units. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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