I have always known that the Philippines is a matriarchal state; the women rule. But even this new information is a shocking surprise, not in a good way!!!
I thought I was beyond surprise but obviously not.
It appears that we Filipinos, without our unified knowledge, have been breeding vituperous female vultures in the very midst of our Government. Janet Lim-Napoles is not the only woman working as a vampiric vessel to bleed the Philippine national treasury. There is also a certain ‘Ma’am Arlene’, the madam of the Judiciary. This woman(?) makes things happen, a mover,a decision broker. Like a bordello madam she procures not women, but precious votes on behalf of those who engage her services. She was a very prominent “figure” during the election early this year.
At the moment Ma’am Arlene remains anonymous as there is a possibility that this Ma’am Arlene is not working alone, or indeed not even a person, but possibly the covert name of a network of decision bodies. Arlene has the powerful senators in her/their deep pocket.
We hope that De Lima gets all the resources she needs to put an end to this situation that makes the justice system rotten to the core and a joke.
NBI ready to probe judiciary’s ‘Ma’am Arlene’–De Lima
By Christine O. Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
1:52 am | Monday, October 14th, 2013
Justice Secretary Leila De Lima.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Sunday said the National Bureau of Investigation was ready to help investigate reports of a certain “Ma’am Arlene,” said to be a “decision broker” in the judiciary—if asked to do so by the Supreme Court.
De Lima’s statement came as the Office of the Court Administrator under Midas Marquez launched an investigation into reports the recent election of officers of the Philippine Judges Association (PJA) was marred by vote buying instigated by a lobbyist known as “Ma’am Arlene.”
A lawyer, who is active in court but who declined to be named due to the sensitive nature of the matter, said that “Maam Arlene” was not working alone but was part of a “network of decision brokers” that included magistrates.
Reports have dubbed her the “Napoles of the judiciary,” referring to Janet Lim-Napoles who is the suspected mastermind of the P10-billion corruption scam involving legislative pork barrel funds.
“Ma’am Arlene” is rumored to be footing the bills for conferences and junkets abroad by members of the judiciary, among other favors.
In a text message to reporters, De Lima, who is on top of the ongoing investigation into the pork barrel scam, said she supported “in principle” any investigation into corruption in the judiciary.
She said that if the Supreme Court sought the help of the Department of Justice or the NBI in the investigation, “then we’ll gladly undertake yet another important assignment.”
“But at this point, I would not want to preempt any move or initiative that the leadership of the judiciary, a separate and coequal branch, would deem proper to undertake relative to those allegations of a ‘Napoles’ in the judiciary,’” De Lima said.
Last week, Marquez, who is leading the investigation of the reports, said he had asked three judges who vied for the leadership of the PJA to explain allegations of irregularities during the recently concluded elections.
Asked to comment were the three PJA presidential aspirants, Judge Ralph Lee of Quezon City (who won the presidency), Judge Rommel Baybay of Makati City and Judge Felix Reyes of Marikina City.
Marquez had also said his office was looking at three individuals named “Arlene” and would ask for their side of the story as well. He declined to name the individuals.
But the lawyer who spoke to the Inquirer said the network that “Ma’am Arlene” was part of was “responsible for why the justice system is not working.”
The lawyer described the network as a group of “decision brokers,” said to be in existence for two decades now, whose members “broker justice in exchange for a fee.”
Well about time too. Huli man daw at magaling maihahabol din.
What we need now, is a strong stomach and even stronger heart to combat these wily thieves. Let us not be derailed from our goal of seeing justice served.
I hope a few tears will not soften our hearts. Revilla is an actor, he can act. And Jinggoy dabbled in acting too once? These guys come from acting families. Don’t be taken with their heartbreaking contrition. So let us focus on our end game and not admire a FAMAS performance. Remember acting is not real life!!! LOL
Don’t put pity before justice when dealing with Enrile either. I know he is getting on a bit and I heard he is in hospital for high blood pressure. I say too much pork, that what is getting him in the end.
I hope this case will be action in the most thorough and hasty way.
Let us get our money back and throw these criminals in jail.
NBI files plunder against 3 senators, several others
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed plunder charges against Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Jinggoy Estrada, and Juan Ponce Enrile for allegedly conniving with businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles in pocketing billions of taxpayers money through dubious non-government organizations (NGOs) and foundations.
But it took the NBI a week to prepare the technical aspect of the complaint as the bureau agents tasked to investigate the P10 Pork Barrel Scam needed to photo copy dozens of documentary evidence, most of which are letters from the offices of the three senators telling implementing agencies which foundations should get their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), and bank records.
“Each complaint would outline the specifics of those series of overt acts, why we think those acts fall under plunder,” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said in a news conference.
Aside from Senators Revilla, Estrada, and Enrile, the NBI included former congressman Rizalina Seachon-Lanete of Masbate’s third district, who allowed her pork to be used 13 times, and former Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC) representative Edgar Valdez.
Several chiefs of staff and representatives of the lawmakers were also included in the plunder complaint filed by the NBI, namely Jessica “Gigi” Reyes , chief of staff of Enrile; Richard Cambe, COS of Revilla; Ruby Tuazon, aide of Enrile and Estrada; Pauline Labayen, staff of Estrada; Jose Sumalpong, COS of Lanete; Janet dela Cruz, district staff of Lanete, Erwin Dangwa, COS of Dangwa; and Carlos Lozada, staff of Dangwa.
The NBI also included former National Agribusiness Corporation president Allan Javellana; Technological Research Center (TRC) director general Dennis Cunanan; ex-TRC director general Antonio Ortiz; Department of Agriculture (DA) Assistant Secretary for Fisheries and former ZNAC Rubber Estates Corp. (ZREC) president Salvador Salacup; and National Livelihood Development Corporation president Gondolina Amata in the plunder complaint.
Presidents of Napoles’ foundations, namely Jocelyn Curato, Nemecio Pablo, John Raymond de Asis, Evelyn de Leon, Ronald John Lim, are also among those charged.
Meanwhile, violations of Malversation of Public Funds, and Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act were filed by the NBI against former Agusan del Sur congressman Rodolfo Plaza, former Benguet representative Samuel Dangwa (Benguet), and former Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Constantino Jaraula.
It was learned that the bureau used at least one million bond papers to document all the evidence which were turned over to the bureau by 16 witnesses, led by pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy.
“Ipinapakita dito sa mga dokumento na ito na may attempt i-circumvent yung batas kasi wala namang bidding. Itong mga dokumento na ito ay yung mga paper trail na sinasabi namin before magli-link sa mga sangkot sa scam na ito [The documents would show attempts to circumvent the law sans public bidding. These documents consist of paper trail that would link the accused in the scam],” Luy’s lawyer, Levito Baligod said in an ambush interview hours before the filing of plunder charges against the three Senators.
He said the presidents of the NGOs, who are all Napoles aides, wrote the banks “to debit the account of the foundation and credit the account of the lawmaker.”
Baligod also noted lawmakers could be found guilty of plunder for being negligent with taxpayers’ money. “To prove plunder, you only need to prove beyond reasonable doubt certain covert acts that may not be criminal in nature but are indicative of a scheme to siphon the money,” he said.
The long arm of the law is no match for loose lips, it appears, after law enforcement agencies failed to serve a warrant of arrest on controversial Janet Lim Napoles who is suspected of spiriting off billions of pesos in legislators’ discretionary funds.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima insists Napoles was given advance information on her impending arrest even as the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is tracking down 30 motor vehicles which could have been used by the embattled businesswoman.
The Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) earlier ordered the arrest of Napoles and her brother Reynald “Jojo” Lim for their alleged part in Benhur Luy’s illegal detention.
“Someone tipped (them) because her (Napoles) lawyers were there first, waiting at the RTC. That’s the report now. That’s the reason last night, as soon as the NBI team was able to get hold of the copies of the warrant of arrest, they immediately proceeded to the known addresses of the Napoleses…but they were all negative,” she told reporters on Thursday, Aug. 15.
“It’s not surprising because the fact that she was not seen after the warrant of arrest was issued, it means she got advance info. Anyway isn’t she well-connected? Didn’t she brag she controls the government?” De Lima said.
Twelve teams are conducting the manhunt along with regional and field offices .
“The NBI investigation with or without her participation continues. If she continues to be in hiding and continues to be a fugitive then she is deemed to have waived her right to air her side. This (pork barrel probe) is just on investigation level, this is not yet a preliminary investigation,” she said.
But even as the claimed whistleblower, Ben Hur Luy has been making statements on Napoles’ alleged scam, the Manila prosecutor’s office has set a probe on perjury raps vs. whistleblowers on P10-B pork barrel scam.
It set the preliminary investigation into the perjury case filed by the camp of Napoles, the alleged “brains” behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam, against some of the whistle blowers in the scam.
Those charged were Benhur Luy, his parents Arturo and Gertrudes, and his brother Arthur, as well as another whistle blower, Merlina Sunas, a former employee of the JLN Corp.
The hearing was set on Aug. 28 and Sept. 4, 2013.
Assistant City Prosecutor Philger Noel Inovejas was assigned to handle the case.
The MPO issued the subpoena on Thursday ordering the camp of Napoles and the respondents to appear during the hearing on the said dates.
Napoles used as basis in filing the complaint against the respondents their sworn statement or affidavit submitted before the Department of Justice stating that Benhur remained in her custody against his own will.
De Lima called out earlier to Napoles to surrender and for her to prove her innocence in the court, even as the Justice Secretary had already stated that the offense of the alleged illegal detention of Luy was non-bailable, which means Napoles will be detained, not granted bail and rot in jail for years, since it takes the courts too long to resolve a case.
Lorna Kapunan, counsel of Napoles, slammed, in a radio and TV interview the arrest order against her client, saying this was accompanied by “undue haste” in the filing of a case in court and the issuance of an arrest order against her for charges of serious illegal detention.
GMA news website said the Napoles camp will file today a petition for certiorari against the arrest warrant issued on Wednesday by the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 against Napoles and her brother Reynald Lim.
Kapunan was quoted as wondering why Judge Elmo Alameda issued the arrest warrant despite two pending motions that their camp had filed in connection with charges filed in court.
Kapunan said that prior to the release of the warrants, their camp had issued a motion for the determination of probable cause and an urgent motion to hold in abeyance the issuance of an arrest warrant.
The lawyer said instead of setting a date to hear the two motions, the judge issued the arrest warrants.
Kapunan pointed out that her concern is the speed with which this was handled becausse the complaint was just filed yet immediately a special raffle was held and the judge immediately issued the warrant of arrest, after which, De Lima immediately announced the arrrest warrant orders to media,” she said.
Kapunan also denied De Lima’s earlier statement that Napoles’ lawyers had expected the arrest warrant and had staked out the Makati court to immediately get a copy of the warrant.
Kapunan also pointed out that the reversal of the case at the DoJ level was questionable.
A DoJ prosecutor had earlier junked the charges for lack of probable cause. Separate motions for reconsideration filed by the NBI and Benhur Luy however were eventually granted.
“There was no additional evidence, no other hearings or no disturbance of findings and facts. There was haste in the filing. There is really undue haste to get a reversal and get her in jail,” the report quoted Kapunan.
In a related development, the militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) yesterday echoed calls for an independent probe on the P10 billion pork barrel scam insisting that “an independent probe should extend to Janet Lim-Napoles’ protector in government.”
“As the main victims of the pork barrel scam, the Filipino peasantry adds its voice in the growing clamor for an independent probe on the P10-billion pork barrel scam,” said KMP secretary general Antonio Flores noting that “Napoles and her cohorts in government targeted public funds intended for farmers and agriculture.”
Other groups and individuals that called for an independent probe are the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP), San Beda College Graduate School, the Former Senior Government Officials (FSGO), and Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.
Flores said that “given the magnitude of the pork barrel scam, we believe that Napoles enjoys the protection of top government officials.”
“An independent probe should dig deeper to pin down Napoles and unmask ‘The Real McCoy’, the mastermind and protector that fuels her audacity to raid government coffers,” he said.
“The Real McCoy” is a 1993 crime film starred by Kim Bassinger who plays Karen McCoy, a bank robber of her time before being incarcerated.
The KMP added that an independent body should be composed of individuals with known probity and integrity and not by Malacañang-appointees who will surely bend over to Palace whip.
“Farmer-victims whose names were used by Napoles and her co-plunderers will not hesitate to testify before a credible independent body. On the contrary, they will surely think twice if the probers cannot be trusted,” Flores said. “An independent probe body should fear nothing even when evidences lead to Malacañang.”
Recent reports said that P900 million Malampaya funds were “downloaded” in cahoots with Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) officials. The Department of Agriculture also admitted that P83.2 million was allotted to Kaupdanan para sa Mangunguma Foundation (KMFI), whose president is John Raymond de Asis, the driver-bodyguard of Napoles.
In addition, reports said, Napoles also got hold of letters requesting P5 million requested by each of the 44 mayors from the agriculture department, particularly out of the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (Acef).
Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. yesterday condemned what he claimed is another attempt attempt to malign him over his personal ties with businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged brains behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
Revilla raised a howl over reports establishing the links of one of his sons, Bryan, with Napoles’ son, James Christopher.
“I think that this malicious story is another attempt by some sectors to malign us. If they want to destroy me, then do it to me—not my son,” he said.
“I was introduced once or twice to Ms. Napoles, and have seen her occasionally in certain social gatherings. Aside from the customary hi’s and hello’s, we had no other interaction with each other,” he said.
“My son Bryan on the other hand, and one of her children were schoolmates in High School. I understand that they, with other friends, went into a business of importing and selling rubber shoes together. This is the PB & J Corp.
“It is unfortunate that a legal undertaking between associates is being tainted with malice. Their business endeavor is legal and legitimate,” he added.
Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, who is also among the seven upper chamber members whose pork barrel purportedly was misused by Napoles, said the businesswoman should yield before the authorities.
“There is no choice. The law is the law and we have to abide by the rule of law. Nobody is above the law,” he said.
If at all some of his PDAF ended up in alleged bogus companies of Napoles, Estrada said he had nothing to do with it.
“I might have signed endorsements but I do not know if those particular endorsements belong to her or bogus non-government organizations. I wouldn’t have known,” he said.
“It is not up to the senators to determine whether an NGO is bogus or not. It is within the functions and the powers of the DA to determine if an NGO is bogus or not.” Even if we endorse a certain NGO, we will have no idea whether it is bogus or not. It is done in good faith. “
“My office is not an implementing agency. The implementing agency here is the Department of Agriculture. We do not implement.We are just here to determine the projects. I do not know anyone from the DA. All I know is the Secretary of Agriculture.
Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, on the other hand, remains unfazed by these developments.
“If there’s evidence against her, why not?” he commented on the matter of arrest order against Napoles.
Some of Enrile’s PDAF were alleged to have been tapped by bogus NGOs, reports said.
The upper chamber leader said he’s not worried at all over reports that the DoJ is set to file charges against some lawmakers embroiled the pork barrel scam, saying this will allow the government to investigate further the issue.
“I don’t know what they have (against us). It’s better that we will be confronted with the evidence,” Enrile said, adding that he’s willing to face responsibility and assume whatever penalties, if it will be proven that he committed any wrongdoing.
By Benjamin B Pulta, Charlie V. Manalo, Angie M. Rosales