Plain cover-up PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 04 October 2015 15:28

Sound Snipings

BY Jimmy Cabato

My thanks to editor Roy for the disclaimer yesterday, clearing my name on the title fiasco. Muchas gracias, amigo.

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Our internet access here resumed only today. So, my plan to pound on the keyboard for this article ahead of time fizzled out. It’s now 8:30 am, and am just starting to write, when I have to catch the MSEAC general assembly at ZAMCELCO. But here goes, not knowing how brief my piece will be today.

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There are certain inside Malacañang developments worthwhile watching.

Ponder on these. Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, in essence, publicly squealed on PNoy relative to the Budget the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), declaring it was the President who gave the final approval on DAP projects he endorsed.

This, of course, could lend credence to reports that Abad and the President did have a shouting match right in the halls of Malacañang. And with that public “squealing”, the president could be seen now as possibly moving to mend fences with Abad, when a Palace official said yesterday that Secretary “Butch” Abad and Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos need not go on leave despite facing cited investigation.

And this is the context of the Abad account, “We endorse to the President and the President has the final approval. I sign the endorsements and are approved by the President. Of course, all the projects are approved by the President,” Abad told Senate reporters when asked about the DAP.” (MB)

On the same breath, however, Abad also denied reports he had a shouting match with Aquino over the DAP. The MB continues, “You cannot shout at the President. I’m just the secretary of the Budget department. I’m the alter ego of the President,” Abad stressed.

“We give full respect to the President. He is always right,” Abad said.

The shouting match was reportedly triggered by media reports that President Aquino would have to eventually face future suits because the DAP projects were signed by him.

Hearing the declaration, naming President PNoy Aquino as signatory to all DAP releases, one question arises. Why did the Ombudsman pin only Abad and Relampagos, sparing Aquino?

Recall, the case arose after the Supreme Court declared DAP as unconstitutional.

Records show, Relampagos released P143.7 million to the Commission on Audit (COA). And Abad allegedly authorized the release of P250 million to Congress.

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The Manila Times Editorial of 2 October did a neat job on President Benigno S. Aquino III. “Among other things, it wrote, “It’s premature for the nation to be satisfied by the decision of the Ombudsman to conduct a preliminary investigation of certain officials of the Aquino administration for wrongdoing in the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

It is premature because Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales does not intend to investigate everyone who is responsible, especially the most responsible of all—President Aquino.

It leaves the nation dissatisfied because it does not cover all of the monstrous irregularity, which involved no less than P147 billion of public money.

The Ombudsman’s action should spare no one.”

On that I agree. Earlier on in this writeup, I had raised such question. Here it is, “Hearing the declaration, naming President PNoy Aquino as signatory to all DAP releases, one question arises. Why did the Ombudsman pin only Abad and Relampagos, sparing Aquino?

Strongly, the editorial went on, “Ironically and perversely, President Aquino has touted good governance as the signature achievement of his administration. We say that the depredations under the DAP prove that his mantras “Good governance is good economics” and “Daang matuwid” are nothing but lies.

When the president hosts the summit of APEC leaders next month, we should punctuate every Aquino boast of good governance under his watch with a loud BOO.”

When the Ombudsman’s field investigation Office (FIO) filed its report on its work on the DAP, it pinpointed Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and his deputy Mario Relampagos as the ones responsible for the irregular release of P393.7 million from the DAP between 2011 and 2012.

Both the FIO and Ombudsman Morales explicitly excluded from investigation President Aquino, whose signature and approval got the controversial and unconstitutional program going and instigated the havoc done to the national treasury. (TMT Editorial)

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Much much earlier, it was written here that President Aquino had abolished which had something to do with the investigation of DAP releases. Pressed for time due to the MSEAC meeting, I cannot at the moment review said piece and name said office.

The point is, in reportedly abolishing that all-important government agency dealing the with DAP releases is suspect. The tendency is for us to believe, this is leading to a cover-up.

And now, this development. “VOLUMES of confidential files stacked in boxes and steel cabinets were almost spirited away from the offices of the National Livelihood Development Council (NLDC), one of the government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCC) involved in the pork barrel scam that was recently ordered abolished by President Benigno Aquino 3rd.”

If it were not for alert employees who reported the matter to the Department of Justice, the theft could not have been thwarted. It is largely believed, the documents can be used as evidence against lawmakers and NLDC officials who have been charged in connection with the alleged misuse of public funds.

Shades of the “Watergate Scandal”, it seemingly is, hugh? The scandal was a case of break-in at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. that eventually led to the resignation of then US President Richard Nixon.

The alert employees pinpointed to NLDC president Condelina Amata and other NLDC top brass to have allegedly  ordered the “custody” of the documents.

A plain cover-up, if you will.

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So sad, we did experience a short power outage last night. It’s good that GM George gave us advance information on a NGCP move in Iligan. That for a flimsy reason of cost-cutting, it manually shut down Agus 7 power grid and lessened the power supply for Zamboanga City. And very likely, the other power source, Ledesma cited yesterday was not able to increase its load supply to us. Don’t look at ZAMCELCO again, guys. There is only one agency to blame. Simply for cost-cutting reasons, NGCP. Coast-cut, sending Zamboanga to darkness? Unforgiveable

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It’s way past meeting time of MSEAC. Till then, people.