today at rappler.com headline article was the supposed presidential run of senator peter alan cayetano whose preparations has started, beginning with forming a team, assigning a foreign strategist and and monitoring media.
this is early preparation considering that the next presidential election is still in 2016, a good 2 years from now.
preparing early for the election, even 2 years ahead of time we think is a good thing. the presidential election is the most major political campaign anyone can run in any country.
hilary clinton resigned her post as secretary of state last year which we think is a move in preparation for her own presidential run also in 2016. clinton quitting her high profile position in government was the right thing to do – she quit on a high note, she succeeded very well in that job and not being there now will mean she will not make mistakes and hurt her run when it gets close to the elections. she will also distance herself and keep her slate clean from any political issues that might crop up close to the election and those that might crop up during the balance of the obama administration that she might or might not support, specially those she might take up issue against during the election.
no such kind of preparation for cayetano but forming his team now to look into ir or to pave the way for a presidential is similar in intent to that of clinton’s.
we have no issues with doing early preparation, like forming a team, for cayetano’s presidential ambitions, we have issues with the move being announced or made known to the public.
the public includes his current and future political opponents, specially those who also have plans of running for president. these are his competitors, telegraphing his intentions to them now means his opponents can monitor him, make plans against him or worse make him a target of a political demolition job.
in marketing and advertising, you never, ever tell your competitors what your plans are specially for the future. marketing and advertising companies keep these plans and moves a total secret from competitors. things like codes, secret meetings and confidentiality clauses are made to make sure no information gets out to competition.
the worry is competition might execute preemptive moves. marketing and advertising moves that will preempt your moves and thus render your moves useless, prevent you from doing yours or weaken your efforts.
in marketing and advertising, preemptive moves against a competitor could be things like run a price-off promotion to get to lead the consumers with your products to prevent them from trying your new product; increase media weights of ads to drown out your launch efforts and even launch a competitive product similar to yours.
these preemptive moves have been done before in marketing and advertising and they can be done in similar ways in a presidential run.
the most obvious way to preempt cayetano’s presidential plans is to a demolition job on cayetano. his opponents may make every single mistake, even small ones a national issue. when this is done, cayetano will need to spend a lot of time answering them rather than building a case for his presidency.
we think this announcement is a tactical error on the part of cayetano.
there are many things that can be done now by cayetano that his team can do. there can be obvious ones and those kept secret and out of view from voters and his opponents. what he needs to do is develop a strategy and plan for this effort with very clear goals and assessment points.
announcing to the public his plans to run is not one of them.
read rappler.com article here : http://www.rappler.com/nation/51787-cayetano-eyes-2016-presidency
the pork barreal scam or the PDAF scam has taken a large portion of the country’s attention in the past months. since it was first published as headline news on the front pages of Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), it has stayed and not left the consciousness of the nation.
if at all, it the issue has even grown from just the PDAF to now the DAP which while very different from each other, the DAP has taken the same sinister image of the PDAF.
corruption has once again become the number 1 issue among the people and the PDAF is the one and only poster boy for it, the DAP following closely.
the pork barrel in all its forms, in all its systems in whatever set of letters it gets resurrected into should be abolished :
1. The PDAF is a duplication of what line agencies and LGUs (local government units) are mandated to do. Line agencies like the DSWD (social welfare), DOH (health) and DPWH (public works) and others perform the same function as what the PDAF funds are “claimed” to be used for. LGUs are the elected local officials like the governor, mayor and barangay officials who are primarily responsible for day to day life in the barangays.
The PDAF are spent on the same projects and programs that line agencies and LGUs already have or are supposed to do.
2. The legislative branch of the government, House of Representatives (congressmen) and the Senate (senators) have a specific role as mandated by the constitution – they write the laws of the land, not perform the function of the line agencies and LGUs. It is the reason why they are called “lawmakers” or legislators, not government agency or local government executives.
Some legislators defend the PDAF on the basis of them “representing” their specific constituents and therefore are in a better position to know what the needs of their localities.
That thinking is infirm in two points – the lawmakers are the representatives of their localities in lawmaking, not in daily life improvements and needs which the line agencies and the LGUs perform on a daily basis.
The LGUs who actually live and serve right in the localities of the barangays are better if not as fully equipped as the lawmakers are in knowing what is needed by the constituents.
3. The PDAF institutes and nurtures the padrino system or the politics of patronage between the president of the country and the lawmakers. The control and disbursement of the PDAF has several gatekeepers. The first gatekeeper is the president who through the DBM allocates the amounts among the lawmakers and approves the projects which the PDAF fund will pay for. This system makes the lawmakers beholden to the president for his PDAF. The lawmaker may feel the need to please the president if not not go against the president and bend his principles on questions of legislation so that the president will return the favor and release his PDAF. The lawmaker might vote in favor of legislation not on its merits but just so to buy favor from the president. In fact some legislators have admitted as much on it where it apparently was rampant during the arroyo administration.
The president may also use the release of the PDAF as a bargaining chip to force lawmakers to go his way. This in fact has been one of the rumors during the impeachment trial of the Supreme Court chief justice where lawmakers who were not supportive of the impeachment charged their PDAF was being put on hold or its release delayed by the president.
4. The same padrino system and politics of patronage is also being instituted and nurtured between the lawmakers and voters. Unfortunately, it has been a habit of Pinoy voters to ask money from their lawmakers for their emergency needs like money for sickness or death for example. The lawmaker who gives them the money expects that the voter to whom he gives his money to will vote for him in the next election. At the same time, to ensure getting the money, the voter who receives the money promises to vote for the lawmaker.
We often here voters admit that they vote for a certain candidate and also campaign for the candidate among his/her friends and relatives because the specific congressman has “helped” him with his financial emergencies.
When this happens, the voter votes for the candidate not for his skills or record but because he was given money by the candidate.
5. Lawmakers have used the PDAF like their own re-election campaign fund. The PDAF is taxpayers money but the lawmakers have used it like it is their personal fund that they can use in any which way they want to, including getting them reelected.
Epal politics, where elected officials put their names and faces on ambulances, waiting sheds and buildings evolved from the PDAF. Epal politics make it appear that these came from them, like they spent their own money on them while in truth these are from their PDAF which are taxpayers money.
6. As shown in the most recent pork barrel scam that is occupying the minds of the nation, the PDAF is the petri dish for corruption. It has been used by the lawmakers to amass wealth for themselves with the help of a citizen like Janet Napoles.
Based on news reports, the money stolen by the lawmakers and Napoles is at minimum P10B! and this is just the initial report. there should be more to be revealed.
People see the PDAF is cancer itself that has invaded the pinoy soul. While most of us are not involved in it nor are the beneficiaries of it, we see it now as affecting our lives in a very major and negative way. It is very painful to hear our government leaders talk or complain about not having enough funds to hire more competent people to do the work, for facilities and equipment in government hospitals, or not enough bridges and roads and many other things lacking and yet now we know at least P10B of taxpayers’ money may have been siphoned off to the pockets of lawmakers and individuals.
We see more than corruption here, we also see grave injustice, the type that tarnishes the soul of the nation. To cleanse it, the PDAF needs to be abolished. maybe starting from a clean zero state will help us rebuild our souls.
Via Aurora Pijuan
Dear Ms. Constancia “Nene” Lichauco
We believe you will be running for the Chairmanship of Barangay Bel-Air again. It is fair to expect that you will run on a platform of governance that is not only efficient but one of TRANSPARENTCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY. Indeed, it is only then that you invest the Chairmanship with the trust it deserves.
We, your constituents, are proud of our Barangay being among the wealthiest villages. Our annual budget approaches P200 million, derived from our share in Real Property Taxes (RPT), clearances, IRA, Community Tax Certificate (CTC) payments and other miscellaneous sources such as interest from investments and payment of IDs.
You will then understand why our Barangay affairs and interests concern us.
Of late, we had been bothered by the Manila Times three-article series written by Assignments Editor, Joel M. Sy Egco, posted at http://manilatimes.net/graft-bel-air-style/34329/ (August 28, 2013, 11:00 pm).
Those articles said that criminal and administrative cases have been filed against you and other respondents for having allegedly committed various acts involving millions of Barangay funds that violated:
1. RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) Sec. 3 (e) by giving undue advantage to Two Chefs “through evident bad faith, manifest partiality or, at the very least, through gross inexcusable negligence.
2. Revised Penal Code, Article 171, paragraph 4 (falsification by public officer/employee by making untruthful statements in a narration of facts) when you issued the Price Canvass reports, Abstract of Canvass and Award, Purchase request “which showed that a personal canvass was conducted for the purpose of securing a service contract when in fact there was none.”
3. Revised Penal Code, Article 171, paragraph 4 “when she signed the service contract stating that she is authorized to act in behalf of the barangay when in fact there is no showing from the records that she is indeed authorized.”
4. RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) Sec. 3 (h), which prohibits officials from “directly or indirectly having financial or pecuniary interest in any business, contract or transaction in connection with which he intervenes or takes part in his official capacity, or in which he is prohibited by the Constitution or by any law from having any interest.”
We cannot help but wonder at the veracity of these articles as they seem to have been based on the findings of the Commission on Audit (COA) branch in Makati City and of Associate Graft Investigative Officer 3 Janice O. Baltazar of the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Office (FIO), which have been extensively quoted.
Associate Graft Investigative Officer 3 Janice O. Baltazar was even quoted as saying the respondents, including you, “could be liable for serious dishonesty, grave misconduct, falsification of official document and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service under the rules of the Civil Service Commission.”
It was also disturbing to read from the articles that the favoured food provider that had been doing business with our Barangay officials for years, Two Chefs Corp., ‘was’ owned by your daughter-in-law, Patricia Warren. Perhaps it still is?
The articles have it that Two Chefs Corp. was SEC-registered “in October 1996, with a capital stock of only P10,000” and “the Lichaucos are listed as the original incorporators. Four of them —Francisco Jr., Ma. Theresa, German and Ma. Liza—have the same home address, 17 Aquarius St., Bel-Air” the same address as yours, we believe.
The articles also suggest — and the COA & Ombudsman seem to support it — that the services offered by your daughter-in-law’s Two Chefs Corporation “were more expensive, if not more blatantly illegal, since the money used to pay the contracts came from your own discretionary funds.” In particular, the articles say, the “bulk of the discretionary fund that was released to the barangay chieftain would represent payment to Two Chefs Corp. in the amount of P404,560” as shown in the “Summary of Expenses for the month of April & May 2003” which you yourself supposedly “noted”, apparently in reference to “several meetings of the Pasinaya committee, dancers, choir and rehearsals between April 4 and May 25.”
The articles also pointed the following:
“ …a Land Bank check for P547 million and bearing account number 000052-1309-05 was issued to “CONSTANCIA Q. LICHAUCO.”
The article also said that what is odd in this transaction is that under the “Summary of Expenses for the month of April & May 2003” that was approved by Lindo and “noted” by Lichauco herself, bulk of the discretionary fund that was released to the barangay chieftain would represent payment to Two Chefs Corp. in the amount of P404,560.
Moreover, the article claims, you allegedly paid Two Chefs ( Patricia Warren Lichauco) P280T for a “fake Assembly,” to wit:
On December 28, 2006, Lichauco again requested the approval of ROA No. 00-61-376 representing payment of P280,000 to Two Chefs for “foods served on official activities.”
Finally, did you really allow “flying” voters to cast their ballots in your precinct? The Manila Times articles claim that “another set of documents shows that 42 other people are listed as residents in Lichauco’s house on 17 Aquarius Street, Bel-Air.” All the names are listed in the article, including that of Roberto Orendain Gaa, a priest. If you were surpirsed to learn about this, as a governemnt ofificial, what did you do about it?
And how true is it that even our Barangay Hall at 40 Solar Street serves as the registered home address to 30 other voters? Since when was the barangay office a residence? The articles also have a list of their names.
We would appreciate hearing the truth from you. We wish you no ill will, but we wish these concerns to be addressed so that our votes would not be frustrated. And they will be frustrated if we re-elect you, only to see you removed by the Courts for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and The Revised Penal Code.
You Barangay Bel-Air Constituents
Bel-Air: P45M for ‘direct’, ‘negotiated’ contracts
August 30, 2013 9:27 pm
by Joel M. Sy Egco Assignments Edito
Citing Bel-Air again as an example, the Times’ own computation showed that a barangay could spend more money in contracts that skip the required bidding process.
A 15-page Annual Procurement Plan of Barangay Bel-Air which was prepared by Janny Pacleb, supply officer, and recommended for approval by Roswinda Bautista, treasurer, showed that from January to December 2013, village officials lined up 165 budget items.
The procurement plan, a copy of which was obtained by the Times, has a total cost of P85.8 million for the entire year.
Like other villages, Bel-Air applies four modes of procurement, namely: direct or negotiated contract, “shopping,” bidding and cash advance.
The 165 line items are broken down into the following: direct or negotiated contract, 52 items; shopping, 73; bidding, 33; and cash advance, 7.
The Times found that Bel-Air’s procurement through direct or negotiated contract totaled P45 million, or 53 percent of its P85.8 million budget.
Procurement through regular bidding only accounts for P31 million, or roughly 36 percent of the total appropriation.
“Shopping” items account for only 8 percent of the budget at P6 million. Items to be procured through cash advances made up only one percent of total.
Included in the projects for “bidding” is the P1.4 million for “Catering Services.”
Another interesting entry under the “food” item is the P744,000 budget for “meal allowance of Police” also referred to as “Barkadahan.”
It was not immediately known if Two Chefs had won the bidding for the catering services and meal provisions for policemen this year.
Other big ticket items in Bel-Air’s procurement plan include P1.4 million for Pasinaya; P10 million for garbage collection; P4.6 million for the installation of closed circuit television cameras; and P3 million for asphalting.
All these budget items were to undergo the bidding process.
In the past elections, the village chairman was suspected of having allowed “flying” voters to cast their ballots in Lichauco’s precinct.
Another set of documents shows that 43 people are listed as residents in Lichauco’s house on 17 Aquarius Street, Bel-Air.
Even the parish priest of Saint Andrew, Roberto Orendain Gaa, is listed as a resident at the same address.
Moreover, it was learned that the building which houses the barangay hall—40 Solar Street— serves as home to 30 voters.
Records indicate that 42 other people live at Lichauco’s home address.
Under “clusters 116, 117 and 118,” the following are listed as residents of 17 Aquarius: Virginia Junio, Edilberto Murillo, Jaquelyn Ortiz, Leonardo Paguinto, Antonio Sambayan, Dexter Serdena, Francis Anthony Warren, Albino Pallino, Mildred Warren, Ma. Analyn Sambayan, Roberto Gaa, Danilo Saragoza, July Jcee Ortiz, Whilmar Allas, Irishmae Flores, Lorenzo Malatag, Reyjilin Melgar, Rhea Melgar, Sonny Nazario,Jcee Ann Ortiz, Cheryl Pingoy, Anthony Sambayan, Celedonia Sambayan, Junamae Vidal, Ardine Adriano, Kristine Bobis, Efigenia Sangco, Danilo Canta, Neriza Doria, Reynaldo Junio, Violeta Castro, Rosalie Garcia, Mergyl Caing, Merlita Emejas, Maricar Barte, Percival Baldonado, Giovani Bautista Jr., Melba Dumlao, Elenita Francisco, Vicente Francisco III, Juliet Odas, and Elmer Callada.
On the other hand, 40 Solar Street, which is a part of the village hall, has 30 residents: Leonardo Bayonito, Felipe Aquino, Antonio Cabral, Elemer Canta, Peter Comaya, Fermly Condez, Armando Dungca, Eden Faderogao, Alejandro jalandoni, Renato Saltat, Ronaldo Santos, Elmer Callada, Elaine Flores, Wilfredo Juntoria, Emelita Rufin, Salvador Baquiran, Sir Henry Carumay II, Jimmy Celoso, Josephine Marquez, Mark Anthony regalado, Danilo Vivit, Felicito berry Jr., Carlo Cabido, Regie Cahilig, Fortunato Fortuno, Francisco Pedragosa, Loida Salas, Renalyn Salazar and Lea Villanueva.
Bel-Air, whose budget comes to about P200 million annually, is definitely among the wealthiest of villages. But the issues involving its officials are common among other problematic villages in the country.
Like any other barangay, its funds come from Real Property Tax (RPT) payments, while the sources of income include clearances, IRA, Community Tax Certificate (CTC) payments and other miscellaneous sources such as interest from investments and payment of IDs.
The share of Barangay Bel-Air from the property tax makes up 30 percent of the barangay’s RPT. Half of the amount goes to Barangay Bel-Air while the other half is distributed equally among the other villages in the city.
Barangay share in the city’s IRA constitute 20 percent and each share is allocated on the basis of the following formula: population – 60 percentand equal sharing – 40 percent.
Ten percent of the barangay’s general fund goes to the Sangguniang Kabataan.
But by being among the richest and most affluent, this gated village serves as proof of how prone to abuse the IRA system is, in the same manner that the pork barrel has gained notoriety.
But public funds are not naturally “evil.” People are, driven by what researchers say are shared “feelings of entitlement and inattention to the consequences of one’s actions on others” that may play into their moral decisions.
In the end, it may indeed be both statistically and morally correct to believe that, like what experts say, poor people may be less likely to cheat because they are more dependent on their community at large.
Barangay Bel-Air Makati Corruption – fake assemblies & payments to family members of barangay captain nene lichauco
Barangay Bel-Air chairman used ‘pork’ to pay favored caterer
August 29, 2013 10:21 pm
by JOEL M. SY EGCO
ASSIGNMENTS EDITORSecond of Three Parts
What graft investigator Janice O. Baltazar failed to discover was that Two Chefs, the food firm that cornered contracts from Barangay Bel-Air in Makati City, had been doing business with barangay officials for years. In fact, before the questionable catering deal worth P116,900 was discovered and became the basis for charges against barangay officials, the food contracts given to Two Chefs, which was owned by the daughter-in-law of village chief Constancia “Nene” Lichauco, were more expensive, if not more blatantly illegal, since the money used to pay the contracts came from Lichauco’s own discretionary funds.
Records from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) show that the company was registered in October 1996 with a capital stock of only P10,000. The Lichaucos are listed as the original incorporators. Four of them —Francisco Jr., Ma. Theresa, German and Ma. Liza—have the same home address, 17 Aquarius St., Bel-Air.
The village chief lives in the same address.
Patricia Warren, Lichauco’s daughter-in-law, gave her address as Antipolo Street, Guadalupe Nuevo also in Makati.
Order slips bearing the logo of Two Chefs were all signed by Patricia using the
surname Warren to conceal her links to her mother-in-law. The Manila Times was able to get copies of several order slips.
A certificate of creditable tax and another certificate of final tax for the period May 1 to 31, 2007 bore the name and signature of the barangay chairman as representative of payor and Two Chefs as payee.
On August 12, 2003, Lichauco requested P550,721.08 released as “payment for the discretionary (sic) of bgy. Captain for the month of April & May 2003” under Request for Obligation and Appropriations (ROA) No. 03-08-018 signed by Lichauco, Ignacio Macrohon, former chairman of the committee of canvass and Zoilo Lindo, former barangay treasurer.
The following day, a Disbursement Voucher (DV 2003-0819) was issued authorizing the “withdrawal from LBP account as payment for the discretionary of barangay Captain for the month of April and May 2003, as per attached supporting documents in the amount of—Referenced with RO No. 03-08-018.” The account was recorded as “payables, barangay obligations.”
Subsequently, a Land Bank check for P547 million and bearing account number 000052-1309-05 was issued to “CONSTANCIA Q. LICHAUCO.”
What is odd in this transaction is that under the “Summary of Expenses for the month of April & May 2003” that was approved by Lindo and “noted” by Lichauco herself, bulk of the discretionary fund that was released to the barangay chieftain would represent payment to Two Chefs Corp. in the amount of P404,560.
The document indicated that the payment covers food delivered for several meetings of the Pasinaya committee, dancers, choir and rehearsals between April 4 and May 25.
On December 28, 2006, Lichauco again requested the approval of ROA No. 00-61-376 representing payment of P280,000 to Two Chefs for “foods served on official activities.”
The Disbursement Voucher (DV No. 2006-1342) issued and dated on the same day, gave the following particulars: “Withdrawal from LBP account as payment for the food served during yearend barangay assembly, in the amount of—Referenced with ROA No. 00-61-376.”
As proof of payment, Two Chefs Corporation issued official receipt (OR) No. 886 dated January 5, 2007, or eight days from when the request for payment was made by Lichauco. The OR indicated that the payment was for “yearend bgy assembly.”
Another Two Chefs receipt, OR No. 909 dated June 5, 2007 also in possession of the Times, shows that the barangay paid P109,593.75 for “Bands for Fiesta.”
For purposes of comparison, a Disbursement Voucher dated “11/26/10” released during the time of former Barangay Captain Victor Gomez Jr. indicated that Bel-Air only paid P7,500 to La Classica Catering Services for “food served during barangay assembly on November 23, 2010.”
A Development Bank of the Philippines check (35457000) dated November 26, 2010 was issued to the caterer.
Illegal church donation
Interestingly, a Subsidiary Ledger under the account of “Donations” bearing Fund Code 878 also shows that Bel-Air debited P168,000 to Two Chefs.
The same ledger shows that the barangay donated P300,000 to St. Andrew the Apostle Parish as “financial assistance” on March 14, 2007.
Under the principle of the separation of the Church and the State, the government is not allowed to make such a huge donation.
Besides, under COA rules, a barangay “cannot appropriate public money or property for religious or private purposes.”
The following amounts were also donated to various entities:
- P1.3 million to Excelsion Trading for various items for donation to various non government organizations (Sept. 19, 2007);
- P400,000 to Bel-Air Village Association Bingo for a cause (October 17, 2007);
- P100,000 to Sonny Arevalo- financial assistance for poor families of St. Martin day Care Center (Nov. 21, 20070;
- P189,035 to Classera Enterprises- purchase of gifts for indigents (Dec. 28, 2007).
(To be continued)