Rep. Neptali Gonzales II, nahaharap sa kasong plunder at graft and corruption

admin   •   November 28, 2014   •   3324

FILE PHOTO: Mandaluyong City Lone District Representative Neptali Gonzales II (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines – Inakusahan ng grupong Sentinels of the Rule of Law ng paglabag sa Section 3 ng RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) si Mandaluyong Representative at House Majority Floor Leader Neptali Gonzales II dahil sa umano’y maanomalyang paggamit ng PDAF.

Reklamong plunder at graft and corruption na aabot sa mahigit 300-milyong piso ang isinampa ng grupo sa Office of the Ombudsman.

Ayon kay Jeffrey Indap, tagapagsalita ng grupo, naging basehan nila ang umano’y COA special audit report na inilabas noong August 2013 na nagsasabing maraming inconsistency sa mga naging proyekto ng kongresista mula 2005 hanggang 2009.

Base sa COA report, hindi na matagpuan ang mga contractor ng livelihood at financial assistance project ng kongresista.

Hindi rin sinunod ang tamang procedure sa implementasyon sa pagbili ng mga equipment para sa kanilang distrito.

Dagdag pa nito, mayroon ding ghost project ang kongresista sa mga NGO.

“Hindi na po matagpuan ang mga contructor, hindi na po alam kung san na napunta ang mga transaction at field transaction,” ani Indap.

“Marami po sa nature ng mga transaction ay hindi nagcomply sa mga procedures,” dagdag nito.

Pinabulaanan naman ni Gonzales ang paratang ng grupo.

Paliwanag nito, isinusumite na sa Commission on Audit ang mga dokumentong nakapaloob sa nasabing COA report.

“Ang ginawa namin umpisa is to get the copies na meron kasi kinuha ng SAO eh lahat ng documents sa Mandaluyong and it took us some time it’s almost 100,000 pages so, yung mga tumutulong sa akin abogado at accountant nasa process na kami ng katapusan ng aming proseso na pagsagot in accordance with what if the procedure of the COA,” anang mambabatas.

Hindi naman inaalis ni Gonzales ang posibilidad na pulitika ang nasa likod sa pagsasampa ng reklamo laban sa kanya dahil hindi lamang naman siya ang sinisiyasat ng COA.

Nakahanda namang harapin at sagutin ni Gonzales ang reklamo oras na makakuha na sila ng kopya nito sa Office of the Ombudsman. (Grace Casin / Ruth Navales, UNTV News)

Deployment of resident ombudsmen to graft-prone agencies to start this month — DOJ

Robie de Guzman   •   September 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The deployment of prosecutors and state auditors who will serve as resident ombudsmen to government agencies prone to corruption is expected to begin this month, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said Thursday.

This is after the DOJ, together with the Commission on Audit (COA) and the Office of the Ombudsman, signed a memorandum of agreement that would deputize DOJ prosecutors and COA auditors as resident ombudsmen.

Their tasks include the following:

  • Bring to host government agencies the Ombudsman’s frontline services by acting on complaints and reports against officials and employees of the said agencies
  • Serve as watchdogs and implementors or corruption prevention program
  • Monitor compliance with existing anti-graft laws and regulations

“The MOA synergizes the investigatory powers of the Office of the Ombudsman, DOJ, and COA in the implementation of anti-corruption measures, this aiding the OMB and the COA in carrying out their respective mandates while also serving as a mechanism for the DOJ to attain the objectives of the Task Force Against Corruption,” the DOJ said in a statement.

“The OMB, COA, and DOH shall jointly enter into agreements with partner agencies regarding the terms of deployment of the resident Ombudsmen, which is expected to start rolling this month,” it added.

This development comes after COA included in its report alleged “deficiencies” in the Department of Health’s use of COVID-19 funds.

The issue has prompted Congressional hearings on the utilization of DOH’s funds for COVID-19 response.

Coalition calls for strong enforcement of 2016 arbitral ruling anew

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Several groups have called anew for the strong enforcement of the 2016 arbitral ruling.

The group Citizens Alliance for Life and the Law of the Sea (CALL of the Sea) called on the Duterte Administration to strongly implement the arbitral ruling regarding the West Philippine Sea. The 2016 arbitral ruling affirmed the Philippines’ territorial claims in the South China Sea against China’s claims.

“What we must now need, moving forward is for us Filipinos and national leaders to speak as one with a clear unmistakable, consistent and emphatic voice on the enforcement of the arbitral award,” according to Atty. Joey Lina, convener of CALL of the Sea.

According to 1Sambayan led by its convener, retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, only Filipinos have the right to the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

“The constitution expressly declares the stay, the use of reserves and enjoyment of the nations marine wealth in its exclusive economic zone solely to Filipino citizens, clearly the president has no power to allow Chinese fishermen to fish in our exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea,

Former Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Dr. Albert Del Rosario also said that President Rodrigo Duterte betrayed the constitution due to his previous statements regarding the West Philippine Sea.

“Last May 10, 2021, the President claimed his pledge to will ride a jet ski to the Spratlys, plant the Philippine flag there was a pure campaign joke. calling those who believed him as being stupid. This episode contributes to a widening belief among our countrymen that President Duterte betrayed the constitution he swore to uphold, and consequently betrayed his countrymen who rely on him to protect the West Philippine sea,” he said.

Meanwhile, Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the government is not giving up any natural resources in the country’s EEZ.

“We should also propagate an objective understanding of issues surrounding the West Philippine Sea to avoid being clouded by pure emotions which are being exploited by those who seek to divide rather than to unite us in our common goal. On the economic implications of the issue, we need to consistently acknowledge that the natural resources within our EEZ are for our exclusive exploitation,” he said. AAC (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

Ombudsman will not appeal Revilla’s acquittal in 16 PDAF graft charges

Marje Pelayo   •   July 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman has rested its case against Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. in the controversial ‘Pork Barrel’ scam.

This after the Sandiganbayan (SB) acquitted Revilla “for insufficiency of evidence on the remaining 16 graft cases” in relation to the alleged irregularities in the Senator’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

“The SB First Division voted 3-2 to grant Senator Revilla’s Demurrer to Evidence, AND WE RESPECT ITS DECISION,” the Ombudsman said in a statement.

Furthermore, the statement stressed that Ombudsman Samuel Martires will no longer challenge the “dismissal of cases/quashal of information and judgments of acquittal, either through a motion to dismiss, a demurrer to evidence or by a decision, rendered by the trial courts or the Sandiganbayan except when the People was clearly deprived of due process or there was mistrial,” citing Revilla’s constitutional right against double jeopardy.

“A demurrer to evidence is a motion to dismiss on the ground of insufficiency of evidence. The grant of the court of the demurrer is tantamount to an acquittal because the defendant is cleared of the criminal case and is no longer required to present his evidence,” the Ombudsman statement explained.

Revilla was accused in 2014 of diverting his PDAF for the years 2006 to 2009 to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) linked to ex-Cagayan de Oro congressman and Pork Barrel scam mastermind Janet Napoles.

The senator was alleged to have received P224.5 million kickback in the process.

Napoles was convicted of plunder in relation to the scam in 2018.

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