Senators, Aquino admin officials to face new raps over PDAF scam – Sec. Aguirre

UNTV News   •   May 30, 2017   •   4243

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_052917_Vitaliano

MANILA — A lawyer for Janet Napoles is gearing up to file new charges against senators and officials of the past administration in relation to the PDAF scam.

According to Justice Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre, Napoles’ affidavit is almost final and just awaiting some documents.

He said Atty. Stephen David mentioned to him that those who will be charged include Senators Franklin Drilon, Antonio Trillanes and Leila de Lima and former budget secretary Butch Abad.

“I believe they were already enumerated there during the previous administration but they were excluded from the [charges],” Aguirre said.

De Lima will be included because of her alleged negligence in the investigation of the scam when she was still justice secretary.

“With respect to De Lima, it was for conspiracy and negligence why PDAF was consummated or committed,” added Aguirre.

He also hinted that former budget secretary Butch Abad possibly taught Napoles how to plunder the PDAF of lawmakers.

“Atty. David told me, ‘How could Janet be the most guilty when she is only a high school graduate? How would she know the intricacies of a government release of funds?’ ” said Aguirre.

Trillanes and Drilon strongly deny the allegation.

Trillanes said his name was never on the list of Napoles even during the investigation conducted in 2013.

Drilon said this is a big lie and he is ready to refute the allegations in the Napoles’ affidavit.

He also insists this is just propaganda to silence the members of the opposition.

Meanwhile, Abad and De Lima are yet to comment on the issue. — Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News and Rescue

 

Enrile digs up role of Trillanes in talks with China on WPS row

Robie de Guzman   •   May 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on Monday night questioned the appointment of former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV by then-President Noynoy Aquino to be the country’s negotiator to China during the 2012 West Philippine Sea standoff.

During President Rodrigo Duterte’s weekly public address, Enrile recalled that when he was Senate President, Aquino summoned him to Malacañang with Trillanes and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario to discuss the situation in the Scarborough Shoal.

“Bini-briefing kami ni Del Rosario tungkol doon sa nangyari sa Scarborough Shoal at mukhang nagkaroon ng alitan ang pangkat natin at pangkat ng Tsina doon,” he said.

The 97-year old former lawmaker said it was during that time that he was informed about Trillanes’ talks with China regarding the standoff under the orders of Aquino.

He said he questioned Trillanes’ authority to conduct such negotiations, as well as his connections in Beijing.

“Ngayon sinabi ni Trillanes na nagpunta siya sa Tsina at kinausap niya ang mga namumuno sa Tsina tungkol doon sa problema na yun. Ako naman, bilang presidente ng Senado noon, tinanong ko sa kanya, ‘anong karapatan mo na magpunta sa Tsina? Yun ba ay kusang loob mo lamang na magpunta roon?’” he said.

“Sabi niya, ‘Hindi, nagpunta ako doon, may authority ako.’ Sabi ko ‘Sinong nag-utos sa iyo na pumunta roon?’ pagkatapos sumagot si President Aquino, ang sabi niya ‘Ako ang nag-utos sa kanya,’” Enrile said, quoting their  exchange.

Enrile said he remembers telling Aquino to be wary of such move as they are not fully aware of Trillanes’ negotiations with China.

“Sinabi ko kay President Aquino na ‘Dahan-dahan, Mr. President, medyo masalimuot yata yan sapagkat hindi natin alam kung ano ang mga pinag-usapan nila at ni Trillanes doon sa mga kinakausap niya sa Tsina kaya mag-iingat tayo,’” he said.

Enrile also claimed that Sonia Brady, the Philippines’ envoy to China at the time, had complained of Trillanes’ actions of “bypassing” immigration protocols.

“Pagkatapos nun, si Secretary Del Rosario, binigyan ako ng sulat ni Ambassador Brady natin sa Tsina na nagrereklamo na itong si Trillanes ay bina-bypass siya,” he said.

“Yun pala, si Trillanes ay pasok at labas sa Tsina na tila hindi na dumadaan sa immigration dahil inuutusan yata siya ni Presidente Aquino, kaya sinabihan ko sila na dapat huwag nating gawin yun sapagkat bansa ang nauukol dito, magkaroon ng mediation,” he added.

In response to Enrile’s claims, Trillanes told the former senator to check his facts.

“Why did I bypass Amb. Brady? Check your facts Mr. Enrile. Amb. Brady first went to Beijing in early August or late July when I was wrapping up the backchannel talks. SHE WAS NEVER PRESENT AT ANY BACKCHANNEL MEETING FROM MAY TO JULY,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Upon her arrival, at the first instance, I briefed her on the whole talks at the Ph Embassy WITH NO CHINESE PRESENT. That was the only time I met her. After that briefing, I concluded the backchannel talks,” he added.

To recall, the Philippines and China were involved in a three-month standoff near the Scarborough Shoal in June 2012. Tensions began in April when the Philippine Navy attempted to arrest the crewmembers of eight Chinese fishing vessels illegally hauling corals and clams near the shoal but was blocked by Chinese maritime surveillance ships.

Trillanes, then a senator, was sent to conduct backdoor negotiations with China to diffuse the tension in the West Philippine Sea.

The United States brokered the deal to resolve the standoff by asking both parties to withdraw their ships. The Philippines complied with agreement but China did not retreat from the area.

Robredo, Otso Diretso bets deny meeting, knowing ‘Bikoy’

Robie de Guzman   •   May 23, 2019

Peter Joemel Advincula, claims to be ‘Bikoy’ in the “Ang Totoong Narco List” video series that linked President Rodrigo Duterte’s family to illegal drug trade.

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo and members of the opposition group on Thursday denied allegations they were conniving to topple the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Peter Joemel Advincula, who claimed to be ‘Bikoy’ in the “Ang Totoong Narco List” video series uploaded online, alleged that Robredo and other opposition members made him lie about the Duterte family’s supposed links to the narcotics trade.

Advincula, who faced media in Camp Crame following his surrender to the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday night, said the video series was orchestrated by the opposition Liberal Party under the guidance of Senator Antonio Trillanes III.

READ: Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy surrenders to PNP

Prior to the May 13 midterm elections, Advincula surfaced in the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to ask legal assistance to file charges against some members of the Duterte family and close associates who were supposedly linked to a drug syndicate. He also said that he was not connected to any political party, including the opposition slate ‘Otso Diretso’.

READ: Man claiming to be Bikoy asks help from IBP

But after the elections, Advincula changed tune and claimed that the videos were fabricated by Trillanes to discredit the Duterte government and help put Robredo to power.

He further said that they came up with a scheme called “Project Sodoma” together with the Otso Diretso senatorial candidates, with the exception of former Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas.

He claimed to have personally known Trillanes and have met with the seven Otso Diretso candidates. Advincula also alleged he had seen Robredo in meetings about the supposed plan to oust Duterte.

“Sinabi niya ang pangalan ko na nagkita kami, ni anino nya ay hindi ko nakita so sigurado ako sinungaling sya.” Robredo said in a press briefing at the Vice President’s reception house in Quezon City.

“Never ko pa siyang na-meet sa aking buhay. Walang any political meeting o event na nangyari sa Ateneo eh. ‘Pag sinabi niyang nagkita kami talagang sinungaling sya.” she added.

Robredo also said that while it is true that she there is communication between her and Trillanes, they only talked about the elections and never about ouster plot. She also stressed that she will never be part of any destabilization.

“In all of our meetings, walang mention about destabilization, walang mention sa pagpapabagsak sa gobyerbo, walang mention tungkol kay Bikoy. I will never be part of äny destabilization,” she said.

Otso Diretso senate bets, Samira Gutoc and Gary Alejano also refuted Advincula’s allegations.

“I do not know Bikoy, I never met or talked to him,” said Gutoc in a statement.

“I do not know him and have never met him. Further, the Otso Diretso did not meet Bikoy ever,” said Alejano, who represents Magdalo Party-list in the House of Representatives and an ally of Trillanes.

Robredo said she is ready to face any investigation on the supposed destabilization plot but questioned the administration’s sudden giving of credence to Advincula’s statement.

“Kayo yung nagsasabi na sinungaling ang taong ito, hindi napagkakatiwalaan tapos ngayon dahil hindi na kayo ang tinuturo, ang oposisyon na, all of a sudden kailangan na sya pakinggan,” she said.

The Vice President said they are now looking into possibilities of filing charges against Advincula. (with details from Grace Casin)

Palace shows new diagram on Magdalo, Liberal party ‘conspiracy’ to oust Duterte

Robie de Guzman   •   May 8, 2019

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo presented the new matrix of alleged conspiracy between the Liberal Party, the Magdalo group and other organizations seeking to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Wednesday presented a new diagram showing the alleged conspiracy between the Liberal Party, the Magdalo group and other organizations to oust President Rodrigo Duterte ahead of the May 13 elections.

At a press conference, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President received intelligence information that shows the Liberal party, the “yellows,” Magdalo group and some media outfits are in cahoots to discredit the Duterte administration.

The conspiracy, Panelo said, is also aimed at boosting the candidacy of opposition senatorial slate ‘Otso Diretso’.

“The Office of the President, the President himself has received information, intelligence information that has been validated and appears to show that there is a deliberate attempt to discredit this administration, as well as to boost the candidacies of the opposition’s senatorial candidates,” he said.

“It appears that there are certain groups who are working together to achieve this goal. This group appears to be the Liberal Party – some personalities identified as advocates or very active in social media dishing out anti-Duterte statements and sentiments, and validated to be allied with the Liberal Party; also working together with groups indicated in the matrix presented to you the other week. That’s it,” he added.

Panelo tagged in the supposed conspiracy several known members of the Liberal Party and their supporters; some journalists critical of the Duterte government and Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison.

“Now, there has been an analysis made and it appears now that there [are] multi-noble relationships of these different vectors from Ellen Tordesillas particularly on her online activities,” he said.

“The activities revealed a very active collaboration between the groups of Edwin Lacierda, who is identified with the Liberal Party; Kokoy Dayao, Joma Sison, Antonio Trillanes, Rodel Jayme, Bong Banal, Hamad Fontejos and other Liberal Party groups and supporters,” he added.

The Palace official also said that a certain Bong Banal, and not Peter Joemel Advincula, was the narrator in the ‘Bikoy’ video series which linked President Duterte’s family members and associated to the narcotics trade.

Panelo said Banal is an artist and photojournalist who provided visual presentations and images for various “black propaganda” against the government.

“It appears now in that video that it was Bong Banal who was the narrator. And Bong Banal is supposed to be kind of expert in – basta tungkol sa mga IT, and a known advocate of the Liberal Party,” he said.

Advincula earlier claimed he was hooded figure called ‘Bikoy’ in the video series when he surfaced at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines on Monday.

The presidential spokesman did not say where the intelligence information came from but only assured reporters that it has been validated.

Panelo said it is now up to the Department of Justice, the Philippine National Police and other concerned government agencies to gather enough evidence and take legal action against the mentioned personalities.

“Tingnan natin, kung ‘yung ginagawa nila ay black propaganda. Ibig sabihin, libelous. The moment the PNP and other law enforcement agencies have sufficient evidence, strong enough, ipa-file na ang kaso laban sa kanilang lahat,” he said. (with reports from Rosalie Coz) 

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