The Iloilo City slaughterhouse: a corruption scandal

The City Council discussed last Tuesday the deteriorated state of the Iloilo City Abattoir. I produced this video last year to document the substandard construction of the meat processing facility, a DAP funded project of Senator Franklin Drilon only four years ago. About a hundred million pesos were spent on this project. There should be an investigation into the anomalous implementation of the project.


MIWD poised to file criminal, administrative raps vs Iloilo City mayor

The Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) is set to file criminal and administrative charges against Iloilo City mayor Jose Espinosa III next week over the appointments — illegally, it asserted — he issued for five individuals as members of the Board of Directors in the last week of May 2018.

This was revealed last night (July 6, 2018) by Atty. Roy Villa, corporate legal counsel of the MIWD, in an interview over my radio program, “Maayong Gab-i, Iloilo” over 89.5 Home Radio and simulcast on Facebook Live.

“The complaints are ready, and we are just waiting for the board resolution authorizing the MIWD general manager to sign them,” Villa said. He expects the authority to be signed by Monday, July 9.

Villa said the MIWD will charge Espinosa with two counts of usurpation of official function and violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act 3019 which punishes a public official or employee for causing undue injury to the incumbent board members and giving unwarranted benefits to the five-person board he appointed.

At the same time, Espinosa will be charged administratively for grave misconduct for making these appointments in defiance of an existing court order granting such authority to appoint to Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr.

Villa said the Supreme Court decision handed down on December 16, 2016 which partially struck down Section 3 (b) of PD 198 as it applies to the Metro Cebu Water District and gave it to the City Mayor of Cebu did not create a vacancy in the MIWD board.

“In the first place, the dispositive portion of the decision clearly referred only to the appointing authority for the MCWD,” he said. If ever, Espinosa should have filed a petition in court to reverse the decision of the Iloilo Regional Trial Court Branch 24 in 2013 that gave such power to the provincial governor of Iloilo, he said.

And even if Espinosa wielded such power, he should have waited for a vacancy to occur, and allowed the MIWD corporate secretary to solicit nominations from the concerned sector, screen the nominees and submit a list for him to choose from, Villa said.

He pointed out that the power to appoint given to local chief executives does not carry with it the power to remove.

“Such power ends after an appointment is issued, and the local chief executive cannot remove any member of the board,” he said.

The incumbent board of directors of MIWD is composed of Teodoro Robles as chairman, Juanito Acanto as vice chairman, Josephine Beata Abad-Caram, Ramon Cua Locsin and Jessica Salas as directors.

Espinosa signed appointments to Ronald Raymund Sebastian (educational sector), Antonio Sangrador (professional associations), Felicito Tiu (business sector), Ray Celis (civic oriented clubs) and Rebecca Maravilla (women’s sector) in the last week of May 2018.

Villa said the MIWD was not even aware about the appointments until it was asked by the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) to file a comment on the matter on June 18, 2018.  The MIWD submitted its comment last June 29.

It may be recalled that sometime in December 2017, Espinosa issued a “cease and desist notice” against the incumbent board and demanded that they vacate their positions.

The MIWD board simply ignored the action of Espinosa as it had no enforceability in the first place.

But with the appointments made last May, the MIWD is compelled to take action and protect its interests, Villa said.

Villa is inclined to believe that these actions of Espinosa to forcibly oust the management board of MIWD is being orchestrated by the Villar family, which owns the Prime Water business. Espinosa belongs to the Nacionalista Party which is also led by former Senator and presidential candidate Manny Villar and his wife, incumbent Senator Cynthia Villar.

“It belongs to realm of speculation, but there is basis to believe that,” he said.



Frank Drilon with Kap Dabing

Senator Frank Drilon should have been aware about who Kap Dabing Espinosa was. She is the wife of Jing Jing Espinosa, alleged right hand man of the slain Melvin “Dragon” Odicta. Last year, police raided their house in Barangay Monica Blumentritt, Iloilo City and recovered shabu and firearms. Surprisingly only Jing Jing was charged although the house is conjugal, and she happens to be the Barangay Captain of the place. Why wasn’t she charged? Do these pictures have anything to do with it?

This story published on the Facebook page of Aksyon Radyo Iloilo show that Dabing Espinosa surrendered to the police on May 26, 2017. Her husband, Jing Jing, was incarcerated on October 4, 2016 after his conviction for the shooting of a neighbor was affirmed by the Supreme Court.

Drilon with Kap Dabing

Kap dabing with drilon


This time, it’s not just water, but chemicals

Mejorada's Point of View

The evidence of massive cheating in Camarines Sur is growing, and all indications point to an organized effort to stall the manual recount being undertaken by the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, and prevent the unseating of Leni Robredo as Vice President in the near-term.

This surfaced last week when revisors discovered more wet ballots from the towns of Canaman ang Garchitorena in Robredo’s home province. This time, however, the ballots were not soaked in water; these were found to be powdery and smelly, and nothing could be read anymore.

The Philippine Star published this report in its April 30, 2018 edition. Here’s the full report. “PET finds ballots soaked in chemicals, jumbled voters’ receipts.”

ballot box design

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‘Scam’ ang Bitcoin kag iban pa nga crypto-currency


Wala lang nabalahuba sa media pero madamo na nga mga Ilonggo nga biktima sang mga scam gamit ang Bitcoin kag iban pa nga crypto-currency. Madugay na ako nagapa-andam nga maghalong sa mga nagatanyag sang dalagko nga ganansya kon mag-invest sa Bitcoin. Sang Deciembre, gulpi lumagapak ang presyo sang Bitcoin kag madamo ang nasapwan nga hangin na lang ang ila gina-uyatan. Nakabawi ang presyo gamay, apang ang saka-panaog sang presyo sang Bitcoin nagapatimaan gid lamang sang ginatawag nga “volatility”, ukon indi masaligan kag mapaktan, nga giho sang presyo sini.

Sa America kag iban pa nga pungsod, madamo nga mga bilyonaryo ang padayon nga naga-pakamalaot sang Bitcoin kag ila ginatawag nga pangtonto. “Scam” ang tinaga nga pirmi ginagamit. Kag sining nagligad lang nga inadlaw, may isa ka kilala nga negosyante sa Amerika ang brutal nga nag-tawag sa Bitcoin nga alagyan gid lamang sang mga kriminal sa ila malain nga hilikuton.

Harris+1Basahon ninyo…

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Comelec, Marcos asked to comment on shading issue raised by Leni

The Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, on Tuesday directed the Commission on Elections and former Senator Bongbong Marcos to file their comments on the motion for reconsideration made by Vice President Leni Robredo on its ruling to nullify votes counted in her favor that fell below the 50% threshold for shading set in 2010.

This directive is part of the due process that the PET needs to observe before it makes a final ruling on the issue.

Leni has complained that her votes were being “systematically decreased” in the manual recount as the revisors found thousands of ballots that were only shaded 25% in the oval across her name. From the tone of her petition to the PET, it would sound as if her survival in the game depended on the tribunal’s agreeing to her position.

There is no way the PET will grant her petition. First, this shady rule about 25% being acceptable for a vote to be credited to her was never announced before the elections. So much television airtime and newspaper space, not to mention the on-the-ground instructional sessions, were used up to educate voters that for a vote to be counted, the oval should be FULLY shaded. But then, the Comelec still issued guidelines in 2010 that in a manual recount, ovals shaded 50% would still be counted. Nothing has come out from Comelec changing that before May 9, 2016.

How come it’s only Leni who is using this line of reasoning? Does it mean that Bongbong Marcos didn’t encounter such kind of shading for votes cast in his favor? If you ask me, this minute resolution adopted by the Comelec in September 2016 — a good four months after the elections — was not even a policy resolution. It merely adopted the memorandum sent by its oversight commissioner to the PET. It doesn’t carry the force of law.

Second, the PET should investigate these ballots with 25% shading. One-fourth of the oval is not shading. It’s a mere blot done hurriedly. This could be another evidence of the massive cheating that took place, an assembly-line act to hurriedly deliver more votes for Robredo as the cheating machinery rushed to catch up with Marcos and eventually overtake him for the fraudulent victory.

Syjuco springs free in fertilizer fund scam case, thanks to Ombudsman

Former TESDA chief and Iloilo 2nd District Cong. Augusto “Boboy” Syjuco must be jumping like a chimpanzee in glee after the Sandiganbayan 1st Division dismissed a graft case against him and several others arising from the fertilizer fund scam in 2004 in which P3.25 million was siphoned to his NGO.

boboy syjuco

Photo credit: Getty Images

This news came out yesterday just a day after I wrote a blog post entitled, “Where is Boboy Syjuco” in which I mentioned he is now undergoing treatment in Singapore, and is forced to seek a permit to travel each he goes there. It was Bombo John Talento who broke the news to me this morning, just as I arrived from an hour-long walk and interviewed me to get my reaction.

Here’s one of the stories that came out:

It’s really a big let-down for me. I had fought Syjuco’s corruption since 2004 when I was still Provincial Administrator, exposing his many anomalies as congressman and then as TESDA Director General. To my recollection I had filed a total of six criminal complaints against him. Four of these cases reached the Sandiganbayan while the other two are pending resolution.

Sadly, what Syjuco’s lawyers have raised — the inordinate delay in the resolution of the cases — is true. It took the Ombudsman 12 long years to indict Syjuco. I agree that this violates his right to speedy justice. What is regrettable is that there is abundant evidence that could have established the guilt of Syjuco. Now all of these were wasted, all because the Ombudsman did not carry out its work right. Even the Sandiganbayan 1st Division expressed its regrets having to dismiss the case.

It pains me even more because the Ombudsman dispatched the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) case in five (5) months in 2015. It swept aside glaring evidence on the anomalies for the project and declared the respondents led by Senator Franklin Drilon as innocent of wrongdoing. The Ombudsman said I had no evidence to back up my charges.