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In ‘babang luksa,’ mourning goes on for slain Caloocan teenagers

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For the families of three slain minors who were among the seven people killed in Bagong Silang, North Caloocan last year in what police said was a drug gang feud, there is no moving on.

The slain teenagers’ parents on Thursday visited the tombs of their sons in Tala cemetery as part of the Filipino tradition of “babang luksa,” or putting an end to one’s mourning by lowering the veil of death a year after.

But mourning goes on for the families of Angelito Soriano, 15; Jonnel Segovia, 15; and Sonny Espinosa, 16, who were among those killed in Dec. 28 last year, when gunmen barged in a shanty house in Phase 8, Barangay Bagong Silang and shot 7 people, including a pregnant woman.

Police said the gunmen rained gunshots on a shanty house which allegedly served as a drug den. Residents said while the minors and a pregnant woman were killed, the targets who were known drug peddlers survived.

Police ruled out the incident as a turf war beween drug gangs, but families said their children were there just to hang out when they were mercillesly killed.

The teenagers’ graves lay side by side in a forest of tombstones built on top of each other they form buildings, down the slope of the foothills of Caloocan and Bulacan. Many tokhang victims are buried here, said a boy who cleans graves for a living, adding that Emily’s family visit Angelito weekly.

Kneeling down and bowing before the lighted candles of Angelito’s tomb, Emily howled: “Hilahin mo mga paa nila, isama mo din! (Grab their feet, too. Bring them with you)”

Emily said there is no moving on for the families, chiding Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa for his “heartless” advice for the kin to let go.

“Ngayon po, isang taon na po yung anak naming (namatay), ganun ganun na po ba sasabihin niyo? Mag-move on? Hindi namin kaya yun (Now, after a year of our sons’ deaths, that’s what they want to tell us? To move on? We can’t do that),” Emily said.

“Ikaw din Bato, palibhasa Bato pangalan mo. Bato din ang puso mo (And you Bato, you have a stone for a heart, just like your name),” she added.

For Marialyn Segovia, moving on will take a lifetime. “Habang buhay ang pagmo-move on na yan (Moving on will take my entire lifetime,” she said. “Kahit kailan, hindi kami magmo-move on (We can never, ever move on).”

Marialyn’s husband Jimmy said he missed his son Jonnel, who used to help at church when he was alive.

“Nasa isipan ko pa din hanggang ngayon (I still think about him),” said Jimmy, who spent his 50th birthday last January attending the burial of his child. Asked to move on, Jimmy said: “Makakalimutan na lang ba ng ganun? Ganun lang yun? (Can one just forget what happened? Is it that easy?)”

Before visiting the tomb, the family members held Mass at a covered court in the barangay. In front of a banner that screamed “Stop the killings,” members of the group Rise Up led the Mass, which concluded with a call to stand up against the killings and for justice.

Norma Dollaga of Rise Up likened the Bagong Silang massacre to the killing of babies during the time of King  Herod, in what was dubbed in the Bible as the “Slaughter of the Innocents.”

“Naaalala natin ang tiranong si Herodes, sa tiranong pumatay sa mga batang pinaslang din ang kanilang mga pangarap at mithiin (We are reminded of Herod, whose tyranny led the slaughter pf children whose dreams and aspirations died with them),” Dollaga said.

Isabelita Espinosa, Sonny’s mother, was the most seclusive among the parents present. She shunned media and their questions. She hugged a framed photograph of her 15-year-old son, a necklace over her chest bearing God’s hand that cradled a baby Jesus.

Dec. 28 was known as the Day of the Holy Innocents, which commemorated  the slaughter of children in Herod’s scheme to kill off the Baby Messiah.

Families likened Herod’s tyranny to the gunmen’s bloodlust in the massacre of minors in this shanty town a year ago, in Barangay Bagong Silang which translates to New Born.

In this year’s babang luksa, while families should have lowered their veils to put an end to their grief, they say that now more than ever is a time to go on mourning.

Near the altar where the teenagers’ pictures were propped up, Emily raised her clenched fist in defiance, while her other hand held a stem of white flowers.

 

An edited version was published at Philstar.com

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Written by Marc Jayson Cayabyab

January 19, 2018 at 5:03 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Prosecutors appeal dismissal of P6.4B shabu importation case

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Department of Justice prosecutors yesterday  appealed the decision of the Valenzuela city Regional Trial Court, which earlier dismissed the criminal case for illegal drugs importation of P6.4 billion shabu shipment due to lack of jurisdiction.

The prosecution told Presiding Judge Maria Nena Santos in open court that the 602 kilograms of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride may have been unloaded at the Manila port, but the metal cylinders were delivered and later discovered by law enforcement agents at a Valenzuela city warehouse owned by Hongfei Logistics Group.

Prosecutors said the alleged importation of illegal drugs was a “continuing crime” and was not terminated in the port of Manila.

“What is clear from the present case is that the Honorable Court has authority, power, and jurisdiction to hear the present case because an essential and material ingredient of the crime (that is the ingredient of knowledge and discovery) occurred in Valenzuela city,” the prosecution said in its appeal.

The defense was given five days to comment on the prosecution’s motion for reconsideration.

The prosecution said the case could be refiled before the Manila Regional Trial Court.

In her order, Valenzuela city Regional Trial Court Branch 171 Judge Maria Nena Santos said she has no jurisdiction over the case because the information charges alleged importation of illegal drugs, which was consummated when the alleged drug shipment arrived at the Manila International Container Port on May 15, 2017.

She said the alleged transportation and delivery of the shipment in Valenzuela ciy was covered under the different provision involving the sale, delivery, distribution or transportation of dangerous drugs under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.

“Verily, the conclusion made by the prosecution that the offense of importation of illegal drugs is a continuing crime to include the delivery and discovery of the shipped items in a warehouse in Valenzuela city, has no basis in law,” the order read.

The court thus granted the motions to quash information filed by Hongfei Logistics owner Richard Chen, Manny Li, Kenneth Dong, and private broker Mark Taguba, who blew the lid on the alleged “tara” system at the Bureau of Customs.

Resigned customs chief Nicanor Faeldon was earlier cleared by the Department of Justice from involvement in the case.

While all the alleged big players have yet to be charged, warehouse caretaker Fidel Anoche Dee remains in detention at the Valenzuela city jail for allegedly receiving the cylinders of alleged shabu.

He is set to face preliminary pretrial conference on Jan. 23 before the Valenzuela city Regional Trial Court Branch 284 for possession of dangerous drugs.

Branch 284 Presiding Judge Arthur Melicor earlier denied to consolidate the illegal drug importation case with Dee illegal drugs possession case, because the latter involved the warehouse caretaker’s alleged receipt of only one of six alleged crates of shabu.

 

An edited version was published in Philstar.com

Written by Marc Jayson Cayabyab

January 19, 2018 at 4:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Ex-drug dependents find new life serving church

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At a parish church in Camarin, Caloocan city,  former drug dependents who are recovering from their addiction found a place of salvation they can call home.

Three former drug dependents now find themselves serving the church as an errand boy, a sister butler, and a lay minister, in their second chance in life to mend their ways.

 “Halos magpatayan na kami,” Marie quipped of her experience being high with her husband Joey when the STAR visited them on Friday at the parish church, where she serves as sister butler. Their names and the church where they serve were withheld for their safety.

They joined the program when the parish priest called on them to keep themselves

busy at the church, and call it their home.

“The parish priest told us, ‘Make this your home,'” Joey, who got hooked into shabu as a construction worker for eight years, said in Filipino.

He beamed with pride pointing at the bulbs he set up that now lights the church altar.

 He said he goes to the church at 6 a.m. on the dot everyday, just so he could avoid doing drugs.

It all started when, three months since he joined the rehabilitation program on Nov. 2016, his friends knocked on his door and invited him for a shabu session.

He gave in, Joey lamented, and he realized since then that it’s about time he focused his life turning back on drugs.

He considered his chores, which include painting and decorating the church, as a healthy distraction.

“You get preoccupied. Your body is not the only thing being cleansed, but your spirit too,” Joey said in Filipino.

Joey said he does not consider himself a drug addict, but just someone who once tripped in life and now has a chance to get up.

“I once made a mistake, but there really is no one to rely on but myself,” Joey said.

As we went out after the interview, Joey looked up at the grotto of Mama Mary fronting the church.

He said he had bought the paint needed to give color to the giant image of the Virgin Mary.

“But how do I get to her crown?” Joey asked himself of the Virgin Mary’s crown in the shape of the sun, as if it were his only problem then.

His wife Mary said she looks forward to applying for a utilities job at a school in the area after she graduate from the rehabilitation program.

She took drugs in Nov. 2016 when her father passed away. “I have a stone heart when I get high,” Marie said of her addiction.

“I sometimes forget I’m a mother of two,” Marie added, recounting the times she sneaked off to enjoy gambling with her friends.

She even sold the things her siblings from abroad sent to her just so she could afford her fix.

“I clean the church, and even iron the clothes of the priest,” Marie said of her life now, her face brightening up.

“We’re happy at church. Here, we can avoid turning back to our vices. Our lives were pointless then,” she added.

Francis (not his real name), a tricycle driver, is one of four lay ministers who are part of the church’s rehabilitation program.

When this reporter arrived at the church Friday, Francis was serving a priest who married a couple that afternoon. Holding the white frock of a lay minister, he gave this reporter a toothy smile.

He first got a chance to be a lay minister when the parish priest invited him to serve the church after seeing his progress at the rehabilitation program, which he joined upon the prodding of his sister butler wife.

Asked about his realizations as he feeds the Holy Bread to church goers during communion, Francis said he feels good serving even the most unfamiliar persons.

“Even though I’m not related to them, I still get to serve them, to pray for them,” Francis said.

“You can say that I committed a grievous sin against the Lord. But now I get to serve Him,” he added, as if astounded at such an opportunity.

During the 3 p.m. Mass, the priest shared a homily about a son who faced the dilemma of choosing who to save from a sinking ship – his wife or his mother.

Francis smiled at the idea of the church saving him from his own predicament.

“It feels good serving the church,” Francis said. “It’s like my way of making up to God for my mistakes.”

As this reporter was on his way out, he chanced upon the 6 p.m. Mass, where Francis was seen in front of the altar, back in his white frock, serving the priest before he ends his day.

 

An edited version was published in the Philippine Star

Written by Marc Jayson Cayabyab

January 19, 2018 at 4:57 am

Posted in Uncategorized

13 Valenzuela city bank robbers sentenced to life in jail

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Thirteen men were sentenced to life imprisonment for a 2004 Banco De Oro robbery in Valenzuela city which left a police officer and a bystander dead in a firefight.

Presiding Judge Lilia Mercedes Encarnacion Gepty of the Valenzuela city Regional Trial Court Branch 75 found the men guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the special complex crime of robbery with homicide – Bunny Servilla, Joel Mendoza, Alex Adriano, Zaldy Mangalindan, Alejandro Gaudan, Reynaldo Bustamante, Benjie Adicer, Zaldy Selim, Ricky Cabatsa, Rolly Fernandez, Melvin Lacson, Chris Ablas, and Nilo Ocenar.

They were sentenced to reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole, and were ordered to pay P350,000 in damages to the families of PO2 Victor Zabala and bystander Baltazar De Gula, who were killed in the firefight.

The court also ordered the payment of P270,872.59 in actual damages, as well as P150,000 in civil, moral and exemplary damages, to Police Chief Inspector Rhoderick Juan, who was then a police inspector seriously injured in the gun battle.

The case stemmed from a shootout in December 14, 2004, when police fought out with 16 men who stole P331,023 cash from a Banco De Oro branch in Dalandanan, Valenzuela city.

Valenzuela police were able to neutralize three robbers, while police official Zabala and a tricycle driver De Gula were killed in the shootout.

Onboard their police vehicle, PO2 Zabala and PO1 Fernando Mariano encountered the robbers who fled in a white van at Paseo de Blas near the Malinta exit, where they opened fire at the police using their M16 rifles.

Juan, who led his men in firing at the armed men at Paseo de Blas, was injured when he was fired at by one of the men who launched a grenade at him.

Police was able to neutralize the robber who grabbed Juan’s firearm in his bid to kill the police official.

The suspects fled and hid in the nearby communities after running out of ammo, and were later arrested by the police during clearing operations.

In an interview on Thursday, Juan, now a police chief inspector in the Valenzuela city police Station Investigation and Detective Management Branch, said he was grateful justice had been served.

Juan said ABS-CBN reporter Doland Castro, who was covering at the time, was injured due to a wound in the leg from a grenade blast.

Juan during the incident sustained wounds near the spine and the shoulder.

An edited version was published in the Philippine Star.

Written by Marc Jayson Cayabyab

January 19, 2018 at 4:55 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Like father, like son: Jinggoy Estrada denied bail from plunder

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jinggoy

Senator Jinggoy Estrada. Photo from Inquirer.net

The lightning struck twice for poor Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada.

The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division has denied the bail petition of detained senator Jinggoy Estrada from his plunder charge over the pork barrel scam.

Also denied bail is the accused mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.

Estrada’s lawyer Atty. Alexis Abastillas-Suarez in a phone interview confirmed the denial of Estrada’s bail.

She said the law office of Estrada’s counsel Atty. Sabino Acut Jr. received a copy of the 215-page resolution Thursday evening.

However, Suarez refused to comment because Estrada’s counsels are still going through the resolution.

“I will confirm (that Estrada’s bail was denied). It consists of 200 pages. Hindi pa namin nababasa, so hindi pa kami makapag-comment,” Suarez said.

The Office of the Special Prosecutor confirmed scoring against Estrada.

“The Office of the Special Prosecutor confirms the bail petition of Senator Estrada has been denied by the Sandiganbayan,” said Atty. Rawnsle Lopez, acting director of the Ombudsman Public Information and Media Relations Bureau, in a text message.

In a copy of the resolution uploaded on the Sandiganbayan website, the court sounded literary in denying the bail by stressing that the phrase “lightning never strikes the same place twice” does not apply to Estrada.

“One cannot think ill of the saying ‘lightning never strikes the same place twice’ for it is now the standing paradox to Senator Estrada’s case,” the court ruled in the 215-page resolutionpromulgated Jan. 7. It was signed by the three Fifth Division Associate Justices Roland Jurado, Alexander Gesmundo, and Ma. Theresa Dolores Gomez Estoesta. There was no ponente indicated.

The court said above the allegations of politicking by the Office of the Special Prosecutor,the prosecution was able to prove strong evidence of Estrada’s guilt.

The denial of bail, however, does not mean Estrada is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of plunder, the court said.

“Emptied of all public insinuations and political overtones that has incessantly hovered over this case from the beginning, and while this ruling does not portend to be a judgement of conviction for both accused, this Court has found that the prosecution has established a strong evidence of guilt to deny the petitions of both accused,” the court said.

Apex of PDAF scam

The court went on to say Estrada in his second plunder case before the Sandiganbayan is the “apex of the PDAF scam.”

This is because Estrada endorsed to the implementing agencies the bogus foundations which in turn implemented ghost projects using his PDAF.

The court copy pasted in its resolution Estrada’s letters endorsing these bogus foundations, such as the Masaganang Ani Para sa Magsasaka Foundation and the Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation, which were both linked to Napoles.

“Once the context and purpose of a PDAF allocation is fathomed, it should behoove Senator Estrada to fully realize that that it was his own legislative fiat which actually determined how such funds were utilized. As the lawmaker who preselected not only the implementing agency but also went as far as indorsing an NGO for the implementation of his priority projects, no amount of buffering should shield Senator Estrada from an apparent liability under the present charge,” the court said.

“Together with the private accused Napoles… Senator Estrada is, as prosecution evidence would strongly show, at the apex of the ‘PDAF scam,’” the court said.

The court also took credence on the testimony of state witness Ruby Tuason and finance officer Benhur Luy against Estrada.

Luy has testified that Estrada received millions of kickbacks from Napoles as recorded in his ledger of transactions with lawmakers. Meanwhile, Tuason, the former social secretary of Jinggoy’s father, said she has delivered millions of kickbacks stored in duffel bags to Estrada at the family-owned Zirkoh bar or at his Senate office.

Tuason’s fickle memory

The court said even while Tuason struggled in remembering the amounts of the kickbacks she delivered, this does not discredit her as a witness.

“Human memory is fickle and prone to the stresses of emotions and the passage of time… She may not have taken an effort to particularly know how much money was inside the bag to be delivered… but this disparity is not too substantial to disparage her worth as a witness,” the court said.

“Instead, it is Ruby Tuason’s positive account that she personally delivered the kickbacks given by Napoles to Senator Estrada himself which commands serious consideration,” it added.

Luy’s ledger an investigator’s ‘oasis’

The court also considered as presumptive evidence Luy’s daily financial records because these are regular records. The court said because of its regularity in record-keeping, Luy’s ledger may not be considered hearsay.

The court even considered Luy’s financial ledger as detailed and complex, meticulously recorded on a regular basis, which makes it an “oasis” to the investigators of the PDAF scam.

“Like a map plotting out specific target points on which way to veer, the daily disbursement record entries are a virtual oasis to an investigator’s keen eye, unraveling details which proved significant in baring what were perceived to be anomalies in the PDAF transactions of lawmakers, including Senator Estrada in this case,” the court said.

Jinggoy is Juan Ng

The court also cited the explosive bank inquiry report by the Anti-Money Laundering Council, (AMLC), which bared alleged conduits Juan Ng and Francis Yenko used by Estrada to stow away his alleged millions of kickbacks from the scam.

READ: AMLC shows how Jinggoy Estrada got Napoles ‘kickbacks’ 

The court even noted the AMLC’s finding that Estrada’s signatures are similar to those of the unconventional signatures of Juan Ng, as shown in the checks issued to both Ng and Yenko.

The court copy pasted screenshots of these supposed checks to show that Estrada’s signature is similar to Juan Ng’s.

Ng.png

Ng2

Ng even had a bank account which directly received P9.75 million from Napoles’ own Metrobank account, the court said.

The court said because some checks issued from Ng’s bank accounts using his unconventional signature bore the striking similarity with that of Estrada, it could mean Estrada directly controlled Ng’s bank accounts.

“The observation of AMLC on the close similarity of the ‘unconventional’ signature of Juan Ng and that of Senator Estrada cannot be shrugged off easily… On the basis of the findings made, one need not actually resort to a handwriting expert to spot the general likeness in the surface appearance of the loops and strokes that are instantly evident in the contested signatures,” the court said.

The court even showed two checks separately signed by Ng and Estrada, and yet the penmanship bearing the addressee Yenko look similar. This bolsters claim that Estrada and Ng are one and the same.

Yengko

“While the Juan Ng accounts may not be considered for the purpose of arriving at the threshold amount in the bail petitions, it has been perceived that such accounts have provided a solid basis in bolstering the conduit scheme resorted to in this case,” the court said.

Jinggoy’s alleged use of conduits is reminiscent of the Jose Velarde account, which was supposedly owned by Jinggoy’s father to stow away jueteng kickbacks. Joseph Estrada was later convicted but pardoned for the crime of plunder over jueteng kickbacks during his shortlived term as president.

Not lucky as before

It took the court over a year to decide on the bail petition since it first conducted hearings on July 2014.

Estrada is accused of receiving P183 million in kickbacks from his Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) through alleged ghost projects using the bogus foundations of accused pork barrel scam mastermind Napoles.

He is detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center with colleague Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. Revilla’s bail plea was denied by the Sandiganbayan in Dec. 2014 just months after he surrendered June 2014.

The denial of bail dashed Estrada’s hopes because the detained senator earlier expressed confidence that he would be granted bail like before in the jueteng case of his father the deposed President Joseph Estrada.

READ: Jinggoy Estrada confident of bail from plunder like in 2003

JInggoy was jailed with his father in 2001 for plunder over illegal jueteng money, the charge which propelled the aborted impeachment trial of former President Estrada.

In 2001, the younger Estrada, then San Juan Mayor, was charged with conspiring with his father “in amassing and acquiring through ill-gotten wealth from illegal gambling through any or a combination or a series of overt or criminal acts or similar schemes or means.”

In March 2003, after two years in detention, Jinggoy was allowed bail, after the Sandiganbayan found that the ex-mayor probably collected “jueteng” protection money but only for his “own selfish needs” and not in “conspiracy” with his father.

In 2007, Joseph Estrada was convicted of plunder, but then President Gloria Arroyo pardoned him barely two months after. Jinggoy, meanwhile, was acquitted.

READ: What Went Before: Jinggoy Estrada was coaccused in pa’s plunder case 

Read edited version here

Written by Marc Jayson Cayabyab

January 7, 2016 at 4:04 pm

Binay, Honasan files candidacy for president, vice president amid corruption raps

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After filing their certificates of candidacy, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Gringo Honasan raise their hands together as presidential and vice presidential bets of the United Nationalist Alliance.

After filing their certificates of candidacy, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Gringo Honasan raise their hands together as presidential and vice presidential bets of the United Nationalist Alliance.

The tandem of Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan remain unfazed that they both face graft charges before the Ombudsman.

Moments before filing their certificates of candidacy (COC) at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday, Oct. 12, Honasan said he remained confident on the judicial processes and that he will answer to the charges at the proper time.

“The Ombudsman will determine that. Up to this point, I trust with the fairness in the judicial system until proven otherwise,” Honasan said in an interview after a Mass in San Agustin Church, Intramuros.

When asked further how he would face corruption allegations ahead of the elections, Honasan asked to wait for the proper time to face his detractors.

“Malalaman natin ‘yan sa darating na panahon. Ang huhusga sa proseso natin at sa darating na halalan ay ang taumbayan,” Honasan added.

(We will know that in the right time. The people will be the ones to judge us in the elections.)

Binay has maintained that the complaint against him for plunder and graft in connection with the alleged overpricing and rigging of procurement for infrastructure projects in Makati are politically motivated.

Alongside his running mate, Binay said Honasan may not be his first option, but he was selected by the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) party to be Binay’s running-mate. Honasan is UNA Vice President.

“UNA na, BinGo pa!” Binay said, chanting the tandem name which others also call BiHon.

Binay said he has served in local government for 25 years, most as Makati mayor for two decades, and it is time for him to run for the county’s highest position.

“Dalawampu’t limang taon ako naglingkod sa pamahalaan at ang isang tinuunan ko ay ang iangat sa kahirapan ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino,” Binay said.

(I have been in government for 25 years, and I have focused on improving the lives of poor Filipinos.)

Honasan admitted that he was not Binay’s first option, but he remained confident of representing UNA to help unify the party. Binay’s first option is Senator Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr., who turned down the offer to run as vice president in 2016.

“Ito ay tawag ng pagkakataon. This is a sense of duty. I am a good soldier… I will follow the party that I am helping organize,” Honasan said.

“I do not have the luxury of an ego. I do not have a star complex. As long as I went through a selection process,” he added.

Honasan vowed to address the flight of common workers such as soldiers, overseas Filipino workers, police officers, farmers, among others.

“Ang platform namin ay laban sa kahirapan at seguridad sa trabaho para sa lahat, para makamit natin sa lalong madaling panahon ang mga OFW, sundalo, pulis at magsasaka ay makauwi na sa isang bansa na mapayapa at maunlad,” Honasan said.

(Our platform is to fight poverty and provide security of tenure for all, so that the OFWs, soldiers, police and farmers can go home to a country that is peaceful and progressive.)

Binay and Honasan walked together from a Mass in San Agustin Church to file their certificates of candidacy. They were greeted with chants of “Una na, BinGo pa!” from supporters who lined the street in front of Comelec with banners of support for the tandem.

Binay and Honasan filed their certificates of candidacy at the Comelec around 8:30 a.m. The media frenzy turned to chaos because of cameramen and photographers scrambling to shoot a video or pictures of the tandem that the Comelec cancelled the scheduled press conference for the two.

Honasan is part of the third batch of pork barrel scam complaint filed before the Ombudsman in connection with the alleged pork barrel scam of Janet Lim-Napoles. He is accused of malversation, graft and bribery for allegedly receiving P1.75 million kickbacks according to the financial records of whistleblower Benhur Luy.

Meanwhile, Binay faces five plunder and graft complaints before the Ombudsman over the alleged anomalies involving the Makati Parking Building II, Makati Science High School building, University of Makati, a Fort Bonifacio property, and over an allegedly anomalous land deal between the Alphaland and the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, where Binay is long-running President.

Binay has claimed that members of the opposition are targeted to be charged with corruption raps by the administration even as the latter turn a blind eye on allies.

Binay’s family – wife Elenita, daughters Senator Nancy and Makati Rep. Abigail, and son Junjun – accompanied the vice president at the Comelec. Mayor Junjun Binay was dismissed from service by the Ombudsman for dishonesty and misconduct in connection with the alleged rigged procurement for the design and construction of the purportedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II, deemed the country’s most expensive parking building.

Honasan as a soldier played a key role in leading the people’s revolt in Edsa I which ousted from power dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Honasan was a leader of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement, which broke away from the martial rule that time.

Binay, meanwhile, is a lawyer-activist during the Marcos dictatorship. Hewas a member of the Movement of Attorneys for Brotherhood, Integrity and Nationalism (Mabini), which campaigned against ousted President Marcos’ rule. The group included former senators Rene Saguisag and Joker Arroyo, who died last week.

Edited version here

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Written by Marc Jayson Cayabyab

October 16, 2015 at 5:29 pm

OFW partylist rep to run for president in 2016

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OFW Family Rep. Roy Señeres Sr. declares his presidential bid in 2016.

 
A party-list representative on Thursday declared that he would run for president in the 2016 elections.

In a press conference, OFW Family Rep. Roy Señeres Sr. said various OFW groups have urged him to run for president, and he has decided to take on the challenge.

One of the groups who convinced Señeres to run was the OFW Friends of Roy Señeres Everywhere or OFW FORSE.

Señeres vowed to fight for the welfare of workers who are suffering from contractualization.

He said he has a complete Senate slate already which is not composed of traditional politicians or “trapos,” but of common Muslims, OFW leaders, and teachers, among others. He also said he has a vice presidential candidate who is a religious leader.

Señeres, a former ambassador and chairman of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), said he would run under the Partido ng Manggagawa at Magsasaka with the slogan “Pamilyang May Edukasyon, May Trabaho, May Tahanan at May Laman ang Tiyan.”

He said he may not be as popular as the other candidates, but he would push for a cause against job contractualization that would not be espoused by the other candidates who are beholden to their poll contributors.

“I have the right message. Elect me as president and the contractuals who are laid off every five months would be made permanent. Elect me as president and you will become permanent until you reach the age of 65,” Señeres said.

“Have you heard this message from other presidentiables? I doubt they can say this and I doubt they can take the cudgels for the waiters and waitresses in restaurants, because most of them are beholden to practitioners of contractualization,” he added.

Señeres vowed not to accept any campaign contributions from tycoons who abuse contractual workers.

“I have never fraternized with the employers and tycoons of this country. I have never been beholden to them… Hindi ako tatanggap ng campaign contributions (kay Henry Sy). Kasi paano ako tatanggap ng campaign contributions, that will be a conflict if I would be taking the cudgels for the exploited workers,” Señeres said.

He said he does not think he would be declared a nuisance candidate because he was an elected party-list congressman in the 16th Congress.

Before winning the party-list seat representing OFWs in 2013, Señeres served as chairman of the NLRC from 2000 to 2005. He was also United Arab Emirates Ambassador from 1994 to 1998, and Washington D.C. labor attache from 1990 to 1993. 

Written by Marc Jayson Cayabyab

October 8, 2015 at 2:26 pm