[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 18 February 2011 Friday

SLB slb at admu.edu.ph
Fri Feb 18 18:20:26 PHT 2011

Newsbriefs 18 February 2011 Friday

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Former military chief's aide admits getting million from budget officer (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines - (UPDATE 2) A general who previously served as executive assistant of former Armed Forces chief Roy Cimatu on Friday admitted receiving millions of pesos from whistle-blower George Rabusa, but insisted that it was done aboveboard.

Speaking at the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing, Brigadier General Benito de Leon said Rabusa gave him P10 million in cash "several times" in 2002 when he was still Cimatu's executive assistant.

In his previous testimony at the Senate, Rabusa referred to executive assistants of military senior officials as "bagmen," or persons who received monthly payola from the Armed Forces comptrollership office.

"I categorically deny that [former] General Roy Cimatu had received this so-called pabaon or pasalubong," De Leon said in his opening statement to the committee.

Solons want AFP funds for personnel services probed (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines - Alarmed with revelations from former military officers that the funds for personnel services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) could have been the possible source of corruption, lawmakers now want the fund investigated and reviewed.

House Resolution No. 977 by partylist Representatives Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna, Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers and Raymond Palatino of Kabataan said the committee on good government and public accountability in the House of Representatives should look into the "possible malversation" of P179.4 billion in the budget for personal services of the AFP from 2002 to 2010.

The amount, which was accumulated in nine years, was supposed to be spent on hiring of soldiers and other personnel, but was not used for such.

The three lawmakers said that inquiry could "uncover possible conversion [of the fund] and hold accountable officials involved in the anomaly, and to institute corrective measures to protect public funds."

No graft case vs Ligot despite P740-M in bank( abs-cbnNEWS.com )


MANILA - The Office of the Ombudsman has been sitting for 3 years now on records that could be used as basis for the filing of a multi-million graft case against former military comptroller Jacinto Ligot.

On the resumption on Friday of the Senate's inquiry into the alleged corruption in the military, Sen. Franklin Drilon presented financial records under the name of Ligot, his wife and 3 children and a brother-in-law.

Drilon said that based on the records, which he obtained from the Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 61, the retired lieutenant general and members of his family had at least P740 million deposited in various dollar and peso bank accounts from 2001 to 2005.

2 auditors overstayed in ISAFP for 17 years (ABS-CBN News)

MANILA, Philippines - Two of the longest staying state auditors in the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) stayed a total of 17 years before being reshuffled, violating a Commission on Audit (COA) memorandum that auditors must stay a maximum of 3 years in a unit.

Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Teofisto "TG" Guingona III made this discovery Friday during the resumption of the upper chamber's inquiry on military corruption.

According to ISAFP, the longest staying auditor in their unit was Divina Cabrera. She stayed with ISAFP for 13 years, from 1991 to 2005, before she was transferred to the Philippine Navy.

The second longest staying ISAFP auditor is Raul Flores Jr., who is allegedly the son of former COA commissioner Raul Flores.

Former military budget officer George Rabusa earlier accused Cabrera and the older Flores of receiving a cut from "converted" military funds of the ISAFP.

China allows Binay to plead for 3 Pinoys (www.philstar.com)

MANILA, Philippines -  China has acceded to a request by the Philippines to send Vice President Jejomar Binay to Beijing to plead for the lives of three Filipinos set for execution next week for drug smuggling.

 But Beijing has declined to arrange a phone communication between Chinese President Hu Jintao and President Aquino, citing the "final" and "irrevocable" decision of its court sentencing the three to death.

The Department of Foreign Affairs announced last night that the Chinese government notified the Philippine embassy in Beijing that Binay would be allowed to visit.

Binay is scheduled to leave for Beijing this morning. He will meet with the president of the Supreme People's Court and China's executive vice foreign minister tomorrow.

"In receiving Vice President Binay, the Chinese government took into serious consideration the sentiments of President Benigno Aquino III and the Filipino people," Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo said in a statement.

Senate starts Cha-cha hearing (www.philstar.com)

MANILA, Philippines -  The Senate began its public hearing on Charter change (Cha-cha) yesterday with four retired justices and two legal experts expressing their views on the controversial issue.

Retired chief justice Reynato Puno, retired justice Vicente Mendoza, and former University of the Philippines president Jose Abueva favored shifting from the presidential to a parliamentary system.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who chairs the Senate committee on constitutional amendments, revision of codes and laws, said the Senate would continue with the discussions although President Aquino is against Cha-cha.

Santiago hopes to wrap up the discussions at the committee level before the mid-year congressional break, and bring it up for debates on the floor as soon as possible.

UP Law Dean Merlin Magallona said amending the Constitution must be under the "aegis of the overriding principle of sustainable development."



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