Sandigan justice asked to inhibit in Mejorada graft case

Former Iloilo Provincial Administrator Manuel Mejorada yesterday asked Sandiganbayan Justice Zaldy Trespeces to inhibit himself from taking part in the resolution of the motion for reconsideration he and a co-accused had filed on the decision of the 7th Division convicting them for graft.

In a seven-page motion filed by his counsel, Atty. Adonis Edgar Angelo Macam, Mejorada said he had discovered belatedly that Trespeces was appointed to the Sandiganbayan in January 2016 upon the recommendation of Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon.

It was received by the Sandigan Records Division yesterday, December 2, 2020.

Mejorada said his suspicion was aroused last October 5, 2020 when Panay News, a local newspaper, published a report on the decision handed down by the 7th Division of the Sandiganbayan finding him and Ramie Salcedo guilty for violation of RA 3019, or the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The decision was promulgated on October 2, which fell on a Friday, in a teleconference. That it came out in Panay News the following working day struck him as unusual because the decision had not yet been published, he said.

Trespeces was the ponente in the case.

“This prompted accused Mejorada to suspect that the Decision in the above-captioned case was leaked to Panay News by someone who has access to the Decision even though it has yet to attain finality,” the MR stated.

Mejorada said when the news report appeared in Panay News, he checked the website of the Sandiganbayan and saw that the decision had not yet been uploaded.

Mejorada’s lawyer furnished the 7th Division of the Sandigan a news article that reported on the appointment of Trespeces, a former staff member of then Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, upon the recommendation of Drilon.

Atty. Macam underlined the animosity between his client and Drilon, with the latter filing a total of 15 libel cases against Mejorada.

Mejorada had filed a motion for reconsideration on the decision last October 19, 2020.

In the MR, Mejorada said the decision erred in finding him guilty along with Salcedo because the acts attributed to them were done as members of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).

“There is no manifest partiality on the part of Mejorada because he nor Salcedo alone made the decision to consider the bidder,” Mejorada said.

The case stemmed from the procurement of a laptop computer from Seven Seven Trading by the Provincial Health Office sometime in 2009.

Mejorada said there was no injury or damage to the government because the supplier refunded the amount by the provincial government when this became subject of a Notice of Disallowance from the Commission on Audit.

Mejorada had earlier said this was orchestrated by Drilon sometime in 2014 in the wake of his exposes on alleged anomalies in the Iloilo Convention Center.

But the 7th Division of the Sandiganbayan, with Trespeces as ponente, insisted that Mejorada and Salcedo are liable for favoring the supplier in their capacity as members of the BAC.

This is a violation of his rights under the equal protection clause of the 1987 Constitution, he said.

He pointed out that the BAC is collegial in nature, and no action could be made without the approval of its members.

Mejorada said the 7th Division had erred in concluding that there was a conspiracy involving Mejorada and Salcedo.

The other co-accused in the criminal case for conspiracy to commit graft were acquitted.

During trial, Mejorada testified that the case singled him out along with Salcedo, leaving out the other members. There were six members who were present in that BAC meeting. (30)

My reaction to Jed Patrick Mabilog

Trending ngayong umaga ang Iloilo sa Twitter dahil sa post ni dating City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog. Ito ang sagot ko sa kanya.

50 shades of yellow

May libro si Steven Pabalinas. Apat na kuwadro lang ng guhit. Napaka-iksing kuwento. Pero malalim. Puno ng kahulugan.

De Lima joins the chorus demanding for Duterte’s ouster (ganun lang kadali yun?)

Ayaw na talaga ng mga dilawan na makarating pa sa eleksyon ang pag-upo ni Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte kahit na isang taon at kalahati na lang ang natitira sa kanyang six-year term.

Sa balita na ipinalabas ng Philippine Daily Inquirer, nagpahayag si Senator Leila de Lima mula sa kanyang selda sa Camp Crame na umalis na lang daw sa daan si Mayor (“get out of the way”) at ibigay ang puwesto bilang Pangulo kay fake commander in chief Leni Robredo.

Sabi ni De Lima, na habang abalang-abala daw si Robredo sa pamimigay ng tulong sa mga nasalanta ng dalawang bagyo, wala daw ginawa si Pangulong Duterte kondi mambastos kay Leni.

There seems to be an orchestrated effort to pitch this Resign Duterte propaganda campaign. And the dilawan senators — Drilon, Pangilinan and Hontiveros — have banded together to form a defensive shield around Robredo. As if kaya nilang mapigilan ang galit ng taong bayan ngayon.

This noise — ingay lang naman talaga ito — demonstrates the heightened level of desperation of the dilawans, with financial backing from the oligarchs and moral support from the Reds, as the 2022 elections draws nearer.

It is clear that the Liberal Party and their allies are headed towards their doom, and they know it. Kaya sila natatakot. Pagnaubos na ang mga LP senators (De Lima and Hontiveros are re-electionists while Pangilinan’s term will end along with Drilon on June 30, 2022), wala na talaga silang tagapagtanggol sa Senado. Toothless na ang Liberal Party. Finished. Pulverized.

For them, it’s now or never. Kailangan nilang isulong itong kampanya na pilit na pa-alisin sa puwesto si Pangulong Duterte. Lahat na lang na isyu ibinabato nila laban sa Pangulo. Kaya pati si De Lima, sumali na rin sa chorus.

Of course, it is an exercise in futility. Walang naniniwala sa kanila. Naubos na talaga ang tiwala ng taong bayan sa kanila at ayaw na silang makita na makakabalik pa sa kapangyarihan.

These yellows have nobody else to blame but themselves. They squandered that golden opportunity when Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III was propelled to the Presidency upon the death of his mother, Cory. Those six years were the worst in our political history.

Robredo: the people know the truth (oh yeah, but in a different perspective)

The woman who tried to show the nation that she was the one calling the shots in the search and rescue efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and Philippine Coast Guard insisted that she wasn’t stealing the job from the real Commander-in-Chief, President Rodrigo Duterte.

And Leni Robredo said she didn’t need to respond to the pointed remarks thrown at her by the President, asserting that “the Filipino people know the truth.” She downplayed her activities as just being an attempt to give hope to the people and providing those stranded on their rooftops with on-time information about the disaster, forgetting that her target audience didn’t even have access to social media during those moments.

Leni Robredo flooded all media outlets with endless photographs and videos about her “hard work” in helping typhoon victims. Yes, nakakapagod din ang pagposing para sa camera!

It hasn’t registered in the mind of Robredo, whose sanity is now being questioned by quite a few people online, that majority of Filipinos are aghast at what she has been doing. She has earned more enmity than ever before based on the outpouring of anger towards her during the last few days.

Opo, Leni. Alam ng taong bayan ang katotohanan. Pero it’s the opposite of what is in your mind. Kung akala mo na namamalakpakan ang mga tao, you are dead wrong. Filipinos are in an uproar because of your detestable deeds during the disasters. While the government was working 24/7 on helping people trapped in their homes, you were busy trying to score pogi points on mainstream and social media. Put**g in*! In your desire to draw attention to yourself, you were also acting like a comedy actress.

De facto acting president? Anong hayop yan?

Muntik na ako mahulog sa upuan ko habang nagkakape sa Starbucks EDSA Shangrila nang mabasa ko itong sinulat ni Federico Pascual sa Philippine Star noong November 15, 2020.

Sabi ni Pascual, isang beteranong journalist na hinangaan ko noon, magpasalamat daw ang mga Filipino at nandun si Leni Robredo upang magampanan ang trabaho ng Commander-in-Chief sa gitna ng kalamidad na dulot ng bagyong Rolly at Ulysses.

Dahil daw hindi nagpapakita si Pangulong Duterte, minabuti daw ni Robredo na siya ang pumapel bilang Commander-in-Chief at nakipag coordinate sa Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) sa pagsagawa ng rescue and relief operations.

De facto acting President ang tawag ni Pascual kay Leni Robredo.

It does look as if the yellows are pushing hard on the idea that Filipinos should embrace Robredo as their President after their battery-draining efforts to make President Duterte look inutile. Their propaganda began as a #NasaanAngPangulo hashtag campaign to make it go trending on Twitter. It was followed with an almost endless stream of videos and photographs of Robredo pretending to be hard at work.

Akala nila, sapat na yun upang magka-isa ang mamamayang Filipino na pa-alisan na si President Duterte sa kanyang puwesto at papalitan ni Robredo.

But, as always, their brand of black propaganda always explodes on their faces.

There is no such thing as “de facto acting President”. It is not in the Constitution. It is not in the law. It’s either Robredo is (fake) vice president, or, as they are praying hard would happen, she succeeds to the Presidency if and when Duterte is permanently disabled by reasons of health, or worse, dies. And for as long as she is VP, all she can really do is watch things unfold.

By way of reminder, Robredo must understand she is not in the chain of command. The chain does not make a detour to bring her into the loop. The Armed Forces get their orders from the Secretary of National Defense in his role as the alter ego of their commander in chief. Robredo can tiktok all day as if she was giving out orders to the AFP, and nobody will even mind her. She looks like a woman who has lost her mind.

This campaign of deception and lies have only solidified the people’s support for President Duterte. I am sure that if a survey is conducted now, his 91% might go higher. These anti-Duterte forces are shooting their own feet. Baliktad ang lumalabas na epekto ng mga ginagawa nila.

Epal queen

Matagal na po na nakasimangot tayong mga Filipino sa mga politiko na mahilig mag-EPAL — yung pa-picture sa mga proyekto at angkinin na siya ang nagdala nito sa lugar. Alam naman po natin na ang mga proyekto ng gobyerno sa mula yan sa pera ng taong bayan. Walang inambag diyan si mayor, congressman o senator.

Pero iba talaga ang ugali nitong si LENI ROBREDO.

Wala na nga siya itinutulong sa mga nasalanta ng dalawang sunod-sunod na bagyo, ay walang panginga rin siyang ikot ng ikot sa mga lugar na apektado ng baha at magpa-picture na konwari ay abala sa pagbigay ng tulong.

Ay naku, ngayon pa lang ako naka tagpo ng taong ganito kauhaw sa publicity. May kasama pang direktor na siya ang nagbibigay ng instructions para maganda ang kuha ng video o litrato. Kasuklam-suklam ang babaeng ito!

Balita tungkol sa pagdating ni Leni sa Cagayan inulan ng “dislike”

Hindi mahirap maunawaan kung ano ang galit ng taong bayan kay Leni Robredo. All it needs is for one to look at the social media sites of mainstream media like GMA News na nagpalabas na balita tungkol sa pagdating sa Cagayan ni pretending-to-be-commander-in-chief. 78 lang ang “likes” habang 317 ang “dislikes”. That translates to 80% of viewers expressing anger or dissatisfaction with the news report on YouTube. Naku, kailangan pa bang i-memorize yan? Leni, sinusuka ka ng taong bayan!

Lights, camera, action! Leni Robredo nagtatrabaho!

Ito ang karaniwan na ginagawa ni Leni Robredo. Hanap ng magandang background para sa mga larawan na magpapakita na konwari ay abalang-abala siya sa pagtutulong sa taong bayan! It’s always about pictures, pictures and pictures. Pagkatapos sinusundan ng PR machinery niya ng hashtag, hashtag at hashtag. Talagang baliw. Akala niya maniniwala ang taong bayan sa kanya!

Credit-grabber in chief

It is often during crisis that the best, or worst, in a person comes out.

In the case of Leni Robredo (sorry I am dropping even the FVP because even that would seem like an honorable title), it has brought out the worst in the woman.

It could be because the pressure is much too much for her. Faced with the grim prospect of being booted out of office in the electoral protest filed by former Senator Bongbong Marcos, Leni is filled with terror. She is fully aware of the truth: that she was catapulted to the vice presidency with the aid of Smartmagic with Andy Bautista as the wielder of the magic wand. And it’s now a matter of time before the fraud — long obvious to majority of the Filipino people — is exposed by the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

I can also speculate that the trauma of losing a husband by way of a murderous yellow Presidency in 2012 is gnawing at her conscience. I detect in her behavior the advanced symptoms of a deranged mind. It doesn’t take a psychiatrist to understand these signs manifesting through her eyes and face. She is more like a puppet than a human being the way she acts.

Ambition drove her to set aside her emotions as a widow who knows her husband was victim of foul play and play along with the game of the previous administration. Leni was a nobody in Philippine politics, or even Naga politics, until the day Jesse Robredo was murdered. But she was ambitious. She saw the murder as a doorway to the Presidency in the same model as Cory Aquino’s ascent to that high office.

Her biggest problem, however, was that her position didn’t provide her the resources to make a big difference in the lives of Filipinos. The vice presidency, copied from the American model, is a spare tire. A vice president can take luxury cruises his or her entire term and nobody would even notice. It’s only when the President gives the occupant powers and responsibilities that the position becomes relevant. That is discretionary on the part of the President, however.

With the clock towards doom ticking, Leni is agitated. She needs to set into motion the gameplan concocted by Drilon, Trillanes and the rest of the Liberal Party gang: to cause enough destabilization activities to force President Duterte to resign, or be driven out of Malacanang. All the tricks in the bag have been sprung, to no avail. The efforts hardly caused a dent on the armor of President Duterte.

Hence, Leni swung into action when two super typhoons hit the country in succession: Rolly and Ulysses. Her PR machinery worked overtime to project her as a hardworking President-wannabe. The propaganda angle was that President Duterte was “absent” when the disasters struck, that he was sleeping while millions of Filipinos shivered in evacuation centers, or their rooftops.

But the propaganda, as usual, didn’t cause a stir. The people’s trust and confidence in President Duterte remained rock-solid.

Leni is running out of ideas. And that’s when she tried crazy ones. With the dilawan propaganda machine flooding Twitter with the hashtag #NasaanAngPangulo, Leni started to act as if she were the commander in chief. She tweeted messages to the military top brass to deploy troops in the flood-stricken areas and put helicopters into the air to conduct rescue operations.

Being ridiculous has long characterized Leni, but this time she really went overboard. She was making herself sound as if the government was whirring upon her orders and directives. Without as much as truck of relief goods at hand, she grabbed credit for the prepositioned food supplies that were quickly dispatched to the affected areas. Leni was making the government machinery purr like a Rolls Royce engine, her propaganda tried to project.

If Leni thought she could give traction to her desperate efforts to unseat President Duterte, she is dead wrong. On the contrary her efforts only earned her more scorn, and ridicule, from ordinary Filipinos. Now, she is not even fake vice president. She is credit grabber-in-chief.