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i miss daddy

tagal na nitong mga news reports na ‘to, but i found it online nung nagtrip ako to search for my surname on the web.  if my dad were alive today, would he be proud of me kaya?  or baka pagalitan ako dahil hindi ako nag-c-concentrate sa pag-aaral ko.  tapos, mag-aaway na na naman kami.  hahaha.  haaay, it’s been 9 yrs na, yet i still miss daddy.  

sayang, my dad passed away just when his career in the ombudsman was starting to bloom (he just got appointed assistant ombudsman when he succumbed to heart failure).  i really admire my dad.  but one time, in a fit of teen-age anger, i told him, “i never want to be like you!”  i so regret those words.  šŸ˜¦  eleven years or so later after that hurtful statement was hurled, here i am, finding myself in the preparatory stages of a legal career, hoping that i’d have and be known for the same brand of integrity and brilliance that my father possessed.  

if i could only talk to my dad right now, i’d tell him that i’m sorry for the hurtful words i mouthed every time i talked back to him.  i didn’t understand why he was so strict with me before.  i couldn’t understand why he criticized me for being magaslaw, why he wanted be to grow up cultured and different from most people.  when i was in my teens, i equated not being different as accepted…and as a teen, i just wanted to be accepted by and  be popular with my peers.  

oh but gone are those days.  now i know that there are times when one has to deviate from the majority to stand up for what is right, and for what he believes in.  now i know that finesse and diplomacy matter especially when one attempts to take on leadership roles.  now i know that my dad was right after all.  i understand him more now, and i thank him for passing on to me his values and principles.  i just hope that when his friends, who almost always hold him in high esteem, see me, they’d say, “ah yes, she is her father’s daughter.”

to daddy, whereever you are, thank you.  i miss you.  and i love you.  

———————————-

Tuesday, January 6, 1998

Miriam to seek TRO vs PEA-Amari deal By Ariel Digma and Nes Barrameda, Reporters

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago is living up to her old reputation as a thorn in the side of President Ramos.

Determined to block President Ramos’ order to renegotiate the terms of the controversial Public Estates Authority (PEA)-Amari Coastal Bay Development Corp. contract, Santiago yesterday said she would question the legality of the land deal and ask the Supreme Court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO).

She said the billion-peso transaction is unconstitutional because the reclaimed land involved in the deal is part of the public domain and therefore “not within the commerce of man.”

The PEA-Amari land deal covers 157 hectares of reclaimed land along Roxas Boulevard.

Santiago said she would file the petition for a TRO as soon as the President officially approves the new terms and conditions of the PEA-Amari contract.

Void deal

For his part, Sen. Franklin Drilon, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee which recommended the scrapping of the PEA-Amari deal, said the government must rescind the contract instead of re-negotiating the terms.

“My position is you cannot renegotiate a void contract. It is in violation of the anti-graft law. You cannot renegotiate with grafters,” Drilon said in a phone interview.

He added: “The government would be renegotiating with the people who bribed their way into the deal, paying no less than P1.7 billion in commissions.”

The Senate Blue Ribbon committee and the committee on government corporations and public enterprises had recommended the rescision of the PEA-Amari contract for two reasons: 1) the inalienability of the public land and 2) the presence of fraud in the contract.

Fat fees

PEA sold the controversial property to Amari for P1.9 billion, or for only P1,200 per square meter when adjacent properties were already worth as much as P90,000 per square meter. The Commission on Audit estimated the property to be worth over P33 billion.

The Senate investigation established that enormous fees were paid to certain individuals, and some amounts were traced to the accounts of PEA officials.

Drilon said the fact that President Ramos ordered a renegotiation of the contract to secure more beneficial terms to the government was an admission that the contract was patently inimical to the government’s interest.

What the government should do is to determine whether it has the authority to sell the reclaimed land which is part of the public domain, the senator said.

The charters of the cities of Manila and Pasay and the municipality of ParaƱaque should be checked if they allow sale of reclaimed land, he added.

If the executive branch gets a go-signal from the Supreme Court, Drilon said the government should then bid out the contract.

Apart from the scrapping of the PEA-Amari contract, the Senate committees that investigated the case recommended to the Ombudsman the filing of graft charges against Amado Lagdameo, former PEA general manager and transportation secretary, who approved the deal, and several other government officials and businessmen.

Ani’s stand

Ombudsman Aniano Desierto yesterday said the Palace’s conclusion on the legality of the PEA-Amari deal could not save the President’s men from criminal prosecution.

“The legality or illegality of the contract does not necessarily affect the issue of culpability of the concerned public officials who entered into such contract,” Desierto said through his spokesman Napoleon Baldrias.

Desierto had ordered, more than eight months ago, a preliminary inquiry into corruption charges slapped on Lagdameo, former PEA chair Wainwright Rivera and seven others for the “grossly disadvantageous” deal they entered into with Amari.

But Desierto has yet to act on his own inquiry and on the Senate’s recommendation.

Campaign kitty?

Last Saturday, a presidential task force, headed by Presidential Legal Adviser Rene Cayetano, concluded that the transaction was legal and valid.

This prompted President Ramos to announce that he wanted more for the government. Cayetano said that a renegotiation, where the government would get 25 to 40 percent more from the deal, would soon be concluded.

Opposition leaders claimed the renegotiation of the contract was meant to beef up the administration party’s campaign chest for the 1998 elections. The Laban ng Makabayang Masang Pilipino (LAMMP) said the ruling party would want to raise P80 billion for the elections from the renegotiated PEA-Amari contract.

Some P400 million in commissions from the PEA-Amari land deal were supposed to have been used by the ruling party in the 1995 elections. The deal was approved days before the senatorial elections more than two years ago.

The four-month Senate probe on the land deal showed a paper trail on an alleged P400 million kickback that ended with a broker named George TriviƱo.

TriviƱo carries a foreign passport and moves in the circle of high-ranking government officials, including Senate President Ernesto Maceda and Speaker Jose de Venecia. He was out of the country at the time of the release of the Senate report.

‘Better deal’

The Senate investigation found no evidence that the P400 million released to TriviƱo ended up in the 1995 campaugn chest of Lakas as alleged by Maceda.

In MalacaƱang, President Ramos defended the renegotiation of the controversial land deal, saying the move is for the benefit and welfare of the people and not of the Lakas party.

“Our people must understand, and that includes the opposition, that as long as three months ago, we were already saying this, that the government must have a better deal for the benefit and welfare of our people,” the President told reporters in a chance interview.

For its part, PEA also denied that the renegotiation of the contract is “part of the ruling Lakas-NUCD’s efforts to raise P80 billion for the May elections.”

PEA chair Arsenio Yulo Jr. said in a faxed statement the renegotiation is meant to “remove the ambiguous terms of the land deal which might be interpreted as a sale rather than a joint venture agreement which it actually is.”

The President also reportedly wants to up the price of the reclaimed land from P1,250 square meters in the first contract to P12,500 per square meters.

from http://www.bergen.org/AAST/projects/Philippines/miriam.htm

———————————-

Ombudsman says Tanchanco and Clave case not harassment

     MANILA, Apr. 14 (PNA) – – The Office of the Ombudsman, through
Chief Legal Counsel Napoleon S. Baldrias, took exception to the claim of
former Administrator of the National Food Authority (NFA) Jesus T.
Tanchanco that the case filed by the Ombudsman against him and former
Ambassador Jacobo C. Clave before the Sandiganbayan was “plain malicious
harassment” and “politically motivated.” 

   The order of Ombudsman Aniano A. Desierto for the filing of the
criminal information in court was not an act of harassment, neither was
it malicious.

     The indictments were the result of preliminary investigation
conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman in accordance with its
Constitutional mandate to investigate any act or omission of any public
official perceived to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient.

     The case against Tanchanco and Clave, among others, were treated no
differently as the many other graft cases handled by the Office.

     It underwent the same process provided under the Ombudsman’s rules
of procedure, and the recommendation for prosecution was arrived at
after a conscientious study of the evidence on record by the
investigators and prosecutors of the Office before it was approved by
Ombudsman Desierto.

     Neither was the filing of the case politically-motivated. The case
was filed by the Commission on Audit (COA) after its Audit Task Force
Team uncovered various irregularities in the use of NFA funds.
Considering that COA’s charges were substantiated by evidence
establishing prima facie case, Ombudsman Desierto was duty-bound to file
the criminal cases in court against Tanchanco and Clave, et al.

     Referring in particular to reports that, as a result of his
indictment, former Ambassador Clave filed a libel case against the
Office of the Ombudsman and a major daily which carried the report of
the indictment, Chief Legal Counsel Baldrias said “the Office can not
prevent displeased party-litigants from taking matters personally
against its officials. But just the same, the fact remains that there is
a prima facie case against them and they have to confront the charges
against them in court. It is there that they could genuinely vindicate
themselves and clear their names.” 

     The claim of former Ambassador Clave appearing in news reports that
no preliminary investigation was conducted with respect to him is belied
by records showing that :

     (1) a subpoena requiring him to submit his counter-affidavit was
served on him; and

     (2) he, in fact, actively participated in the proceedings.

     If former Ambassador Clave persists in his libel case as reported
in the media, it may be construed as an indirect attempt to thwart the
prosecution of the cases in court and thereby prevent the Office of the
Ombudsman from discharging its Constitutionally-mandated functions.

from http://www.hamline.edu/apakabar/basisdata/1997/04/18/0014.html

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