Author Archives: Anne Doblados

Bayan: Probe public officials’ huge salaries, perks

Friday, 8 July 2016 | Written by

The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) urged President Rodrigo Duterte to probe the reported huge salaries and bonuses of top government officials, heads of Government Owned and Controlled Corporations and Government Financial Institutions.

Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes called the million peso worth of salaries and bonuses as scandalous saying that that this is contrary to the President’s promotion of simple living among public officials.

“These huge perks, bonuses and allowances from the previous administration stand in stark contrast to what is being promoted by the President. Some of the huge bonuses and perks can be described as obscene given situation of other social services. Some of the bonuses are scandalous considering that the government plans to raise taxes again,” said Reyes in a statement released to the media.

The Commission on Audit released its 2015 Report on Salaries and Allowances last Tuesday on its website.  The report showed top earners from the national government include executives of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Land Bank, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).

BSP Governor Amado Tetangco is 2015’s top earner with P13.9 million followed by GSIS President Robert Vergara who earned P13.4 million. Third is Teresita Herbosa of the SEC who got paid P8.9 million for 2015.

For former President Benigno Aquino’s Cabinet members, former Health Secretary Janette Garin was the highest paid member last year with up to P2.52 million worth of salaries and bonuses in 2015. According to a report Garin received P1.08 million as basic salary, P408,037.31 in allowances, P235,000 in bonuses or incentives, P348,000 in discretionary funds, and P24,000 additional compensation or honorarium. As chair of the board of directors of the Philipines Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth), she received P425,750

Next to Garin was Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz and former Science Secretary Mario Montejo, who both received P2.166 million in salary, allowances, and other benefits in 2015.

Reyes also noted SSS president Emilio de Quiros who was the 11th highest paid official with a total of P8.2 million. For the SSS he received P6.57 million plus compensation as Board Member of the Philhealth.

“Former President Aquino vetoed a P2,000 pension hike saying there were not enough funds, yet his appointed officials at the SSS and other GOCC’s were being given high salaries and other perks. The new administration can now correct this inustice,” Reyes said.

Reyes also urged Duterte to review Executive Order 201 (salaries of national and local employees in government offices, state universities and colleges, armed forces and the police departments) and Executive Order 203 (salaries of government-owned and/or controlled corporations/government financial institutions or GOCCs/GFIs).

“The perks and bonuses for some officials are just too much. These should be stopped,” Reyes said.

COA’s list covered 8,311 officers and members of GOCCs and of their subsidiaries and by Cabinet members, undersecretaries, assistant secretaries and other officials of equivalent rank of national government agencies.


NAPOLCOM to investigate ‘narco generals’

Wednesday, 6 July 2016 | Written by

The National Police Commission (Napolcom) will investigate five high-ranking police officials named by President Rodrigo Duterte during his speech on Tuesday, July 5. The five generals named by Duterte who are allegedly involved in illegal drug trade are retired Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr., Director Joel Pagdilao, Chief Superintendents Bernardo Diaz and Edgardo Tinio, and retired Chief Superintendent Vicente “Vic” Loot. In a report, Napolcom Vice Chairman Rogelio Casurao said they initiated the investigation upon Duterte’s orders. Three of the five generals — Pagdilao, Tinio and Diaz have met with Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Wednesday, to clear their names. Focus of the investigation In the report, Casurao said that they will only focus on the three generals since they are still active in the service. The case of Garbo will be handled by the Department of Interior and Local Government. Meanwhile, the Department of Justice and the National Bureau of Investigation will take charge of Loot’s case since he is now serving as the Mayor of Daanbantayan, Cebu. The DOJ said they are ready investigate the case of the generals. Casurao said they are targeting to finish the investigation within a month. “We are assuring now the public that the investigation to be conducted by the Napolcom is going to be a ‘straight-ahead’ investigation,” Casurao was quoted as saying in a report. On clearing their names In a separate report, Pagdilao and Tinio said they are “willing to face investigation to clear their name.” They denied allegations that they are involved in illegal drug trade as exposed by the

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President during the 69th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force. Pagdilao said he is clueless on why he got linked (to illegal drugs). He said he has been fighting illegal drugs during his 32 years of service. “My orders have always been to arrest and file cases against suspects, big or small,” Pagdilao said in Filipino”. Tinio on the other said he is willing to undergo a lie-detector test as part of the investigation. The police official said he is disheartened by the allegations and he announced that he avail of early retirement after he clears his name. “My burning desire for public service has gone after this stigma,” Tinio reportedly said. Bato meets with three general On Wednesday, July 6, Pagdilao, Tinio and Diaz met with the PNP Chief whom advised the beleaguered generals to ‘face the music.’ Dela Rosa’s spokesperson Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos told the media that there was no tense moment during the meeting. He said that the officers broke down in tears as they spoke with the PNP Chief. Meanwhile, Dela Rosa assured the generals “that they will be accorded an impartial investigation” even if they were his upperclassmen by four years at the Philippine Military Academy.  

Gov’t getting ready for “Butchoy”

Wednesday, 6 July 2016 | Written by

Government agencies have been preparing as typhoon Butchoy (international name Nepartak) finally enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Tuesday afternoon, July 5.

In a report, National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) executive director Ricardo Jalad said local government units (LGUs) in affected areas were alerted to take necessary preparations as “Butchoy” will enhance the southwest monsoon or Habagat in the next few days.

NDRRMC held its first Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment with its core members last Monday to prepare for the possible hazards that Butchoy would cause in the next days.

According to Philippine Atmospheric and Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Butchoy won’t make landfall in the Philippines. However, floods and landslides are still expected in the provinces of Bataan, Zambales and Pangasinan due to Habagat.

Jalad said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) already sent out directives which activates what its calls “Oplan Alisto.”

“Oplan Alisto” is disaster preparedness manual for city mayors and other local government disaster management agencies. It contains a to-do list before, during and after typhoons.

According to Allan Tabel, of the DILG Central Office Disaster Information Coordinating Center there are at least 10 regions that had been placed under the Alpha Alert as of Monday, July 4.

Under Alpha Alert, “the city mayors should have issued necessary directives, convened Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils and should have prepared administrative and logistical support,” the report said.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has already prepositioned relief goods and supplies in areas expected to be affected by “Butchoy.”

DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said there are already 31,434 family food packs in Cebu City ready to be delivered to LGUs in Central Visayas that may be affected by the typhoon. In Bohol, 670 family food packs have been prepositioned. There are also some

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11,400 food packs allotted for local government units in Trinidad, Tubigon and Carlos P. Garcia in Bohol; Canlaon City and Mabinay, Negros Oriental; and the municipalities of Poro and Pilar in Cebu, the report said.

Aside from readily packed relief goods, DSWD also prepared contingency plans. The DSWD-Field Office VII, which manages the Visayas Disaster Hub in Cebu also has a standby funds worth P3 million to be used for purchasing of emergency relief supplies.

There are also DSWD personnel, including Quick Response Teams (QRTs) and trained stress debriefers that are on standby for deployment.

The social welfare secretary ensured that “everything is in place in anticipation of Typhoon Butchoy.”

According to Pagasa, Metro Manila, Mimaropa, Calabarzon, Bicol region, Western Visayas and the provinces of Bataan, Zambales, La Union and Pangasinan will experience cloudy skies with moderate to occasionally heavy rains and thunderstorms which may trigger flashfloods and landslides from Thursday to Friday. It is expected to exit PAR by Friday afternoon.



[#Brexit] UK leaves European Union, PM Cameron resigns after exit vote

Friday, 24 June 2016 | Written by

United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron resigned after the leave votes in the British Exit or ‘Brexit’ won on Friday, June 24, in a historic referendum that decided whether UK will leave or remain with the European Union. The Leave votes received 52 percent while those who chose Remain were only at 48 percent.

The UK is the first major European country to leave the EU after its establishment post-World War II. In his speech, Cameron said he would “step down by October to ensure the country has a strong determined and committed leadership.”

Cameron reportedly did not want UK to give up its EU membership. Cameron, After winning the Parliament last elections, Cameron has negotiated reforms in the EU, that seeks to protect UK’s sovereignty and preventing migrants from moving to the United Kingdom.

A question and answer survey made by BBC News, revealed that one of the reasons why many wanted to leave the EU was to take back “full control of the borders and reduce the number of people coming to UK to live and/or work.” Citizens also complained of the many rules imposed by the EU on businesses and the billions of pounds worth of membership fee “for little in return.” Those who wanted to leave the EU also objected the idea of “United States of Europe.”

“The British people have voted to leave the European Union and their will must be respected,” Cameron said in his speech.

After the referendum, global markets and currencies roiled, including the British pound which plunged immediately, dropping by more than 10 percent in six hours, from $1.50 to below $1.35. It was called as one of its biggest one-day falls in history.

In the Philippines, business executive Manuel V. Pangilinan, chair of local telecom PLDT Inc. and infrastructure holding firm Metro Pacific Investments Corp. said the Brexit will not have a significant impact on local businesses.

Pangilinan said “external trade accounts for only a small portion of the economy, and the country is not too prone to external headwinds that such an event would bring,” a report said.

Meanwhile, Malacanang made an assurance that the country’s economy is strong enough to be affected by any shock created by the Brexit.

In a radio interview on Saturday, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. was asked if the Philippines can withstand the effects of UK severing its ties to the EU.

Coloma said Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz confirmed that most of Filipino workers in Britain are nurses who are subjected to British law rather than EU regulations.

Ang kanilang paglilingkod doon ay hindi nakasalalay sa pagiging miyembro ng United Kingdom sa European Union, dahil ang sumasaklaw sa kanilang pagtatrabaho doon ay mga batas ng United Kingdom, hindi ng European Union,” he told dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan.

‘Brexit’ should not cause anxiety in the Philippines, according to Coloma.

The Palace official said that the Department of Finance also made an assurance that the country’s economic fundamentals are strong as a result of the initiatives carried out by the Aquino government in the last six years.

Despite the stable and strong economy however, the government should not be complacent and overconfident, he said.

There are three things that the incoming administration should do, he said.

First, continue strengthening the economy and second is increasing investors’ confidence as well as the global financial markets.

And third, the Duterte administration should continue the reforms to remove the roadblocks that hamper the growth of the economy, he said.

Lahat ng ito ay nakabatay– o lahat ng ginawa ng Aquino administration hinggil sa mga bagay na ito na marapat na ipagpatuloy ay nakabatay sa mga prinsipyo ng mabuting pamamahala sa Daang Matuwid,” Coloma said in a statement.

Cannes best actress Jaclyn Jose hopeful of Duterte’s battle vs. drugs

Tuesday, 24 May 2016 | Written by

After winning Best Actress in the recently held Cannes Film Festival, veteran actress Jaclyn Jose expressed hope that incoming president Rodrigo Duterte would soon take action to stop the rampant drug problem in the country.

In a video interview, Jose said Duterte should “look for Ma’ Rosa” and put an end to the drug problem.

Filipinos celebrated as Jose bagged the Best Actress award in the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. The equally talented Jose won against renowned Hollywood stars Charlize Theron and Marion Cotillard who represented Unites States and France, respectively.

Jose said she did not expect to win the Best Actress award and she was just enjoying the awards night when the award presentors called her name. She got surprised and very emotional. “Who would not get emotional, this is the Cannes film festival, this is big, especially in my country,” Jose was quoted as saying in a report.

In the film by acclaimed director Brillante Ma. Mendoza, Jose portrays the lead role, Ma’Rosa, a mother of four children. She owns a small convenient store in a poor neighborhood in Manila. To make ends meet, Rosa and her husband, Nestor (Julio Diaz), engage in petty drug trade.

Mendoza said “Ma’ Rosa is one of the most difficult films” he directed “because of the sensitivity of the topic.”

“We are exposing another paradigm of the corrupt police system in the Philippines, which is so rampant. What we are showing becomes a common practice in every district of the Philippine capital,” Mendoza said.

Peter Bradshaw described the film as “a cold, hard look at what it means to be poor.”

Jose or Mary Jane Santa Ana Guck in real life, is the first Filipino to win a Cannes awards. Ma’ Rosa, on the other hand, is Mendoza’s second movie that competed in Cannes. The first was “Serbis” in 2008 where Jose was also among the cast.

Meanwhile, English director Ken Loach won the Palme d’Or or the highest prize awarded in the Festival for his film, “I, Daniel Blake.” This is Loach’s second Palme d’Or. In 2006, he also received the highest award for his movie “The Wind That Shakes the Barley.”

Canadian director, the 27-year old Xavier Dolan bagged Grand Prix (unofficial second prize) for his film “Juste la fin du monde” (It’s Only the End of the World). Best Director was a tie between French director Olivier Assayas for “Personal Shopper” a thriller starring Kristen Stewart and directed by Romanian director Cristian Mungiu for his film about Romania’s grassroots corruption “Graduation.”

Meanwhile, Andrea Arnold, a British writer and director won the Jury Prize for her film “American Honey.”

Shahad Hosseini won the Best Actor award in the film “The Salesman” where he played the role of an actor and a troubled husband. The film directed by Iranian writer and director Asghar Farhadi also won the best screenplay prize.


“We respect Duterte” – Archdiocese of Davao

Tuesday, 24 May 2016 | Written by

The Archdiocese of Davao has issued a statement after incoming president Rodrigo Duterte once again lashed out against the Catholic church this weekend.

In a statement, Msgr. Paul Cuison, spokesperson of the Archdiocese of Davao, said they “respect and listen with humility to the views and statement of incoming president Duterte about the Church, including those that may be difficult to accept and things that may be contrary to our teachings.”

Cuison pointed out that they “have always maintained a peaceful relationship” with Duterte even before the elections and that their “doors are always open to him.”

Cuison added that they are “one with the people in Davao in acknowledging all the good things that he has done especially to the poor and the marginalized.”

“We join him in prayer asking for divine wisdom and enlightenment as he begins his journey as the new leader of this land,” said Cuison.

In a press conference over the weekend, Duterte has called the Catholic Church as the “most hypocritical institution.” He also accused that some of its bishops are corrupt and were asking favors from politicians including him.

This was after Duterte learned of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) pastoral letter urging voters to “reject a candidate who takes positions that are not only politically precarious but worse, morally reprehensible,” a report read.

The report added that the CBCP “also dissuaded the public from voting for a candidate who has shown ‘scant regard’ for the rights of others and the teachings of the Church.”

Duterte has been open about his criticism against the Catholic Church and even cursed Pope Francis to which he has apologized for.

During the conference Duterte also accused some bishops of violating their vow of celibacy as some of them are allegedly married or keeping women. Some of the bishops, he said are also seeking favors from the politicians.

In a report, Duterte shared his own experience with Church officials. “Church officials (whom he did not identify forced him to take steps as a mayor so they could obtain a real estate property in a residential enclave in Davao.”

He also slammed the Catholic Church for its opposition against reproductive health. He also threatened to continue disclosing “the sins of the Catholic Church” until the day before his inauguration.

Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz approved of Duterte’s plan to disclose wrongdoings he knew about Catholic priests and bishops.

“If he knows anything, he should reveal these things. It’s OK. The Catholic Church will not fold, because of [his disclosures],” Cruz was quoted as saying in a report.

Duterte bares prospective Cabinet members

Tuesday, 17 May 2016 | Written by

A month before his official proclamation, presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte has identified prospective members of his Cabinet during a press briefing in Davao City, Monday.

Duterte said he will appoint his former San Beda College of Law schoolmate Arthur Tugade to head the Department of Transportation and Communications. Tugade was the president and chief executive officer of the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) until he quit in April this year to support the Duterte’s electoral campaign.

He also asked his longtime friend Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez III to be the Finance secretary. Dominguez who previously served as agriculture secretary during administration of Cory Aquino, is a member of Duterte’s Transition Committee.

Duterte also said that he will assign a Cabinet post to Allan Peter Cayetano after the one year ban on appointments of candidates who ran in the elections. He said Cayetano will likely be appointed as secretary of Department of Justice or Department of Foreign Affairs.

Former Securities and Exchange Commission chairperson Perfecto Yasay would take over the DFA post in an acting capacity for a year.

Former defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro was reportedly being eyed for the same post — as Department of National Defense chief.

Other members of Duterte’s Cabinet would be: Salvador Medialdea as Executive Secretary; Salvador Panelo as Presidential Spokesperson; Lyceum of the Philippines President Peter Laurel as Education Secretary; Former North Cotabato governor Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol as Agriculture Secretary; Jesus Dureza and lawyer Silvestre Bello III will lead the peace process; and Former Bureau of Immigration chief Andrea Domingo as Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Chairman.

Meanwhile, Southern Luzon Command chief, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Visaya is reportedly being eyed as the next Armed Forces of Philippines chief of staff.

Duterte also offered four Cabinet posts to the Communist Party of the Philippines — the Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

CPP founder Jose Maria Sison said Duterte’s offer to the group for a Cabinet post is was a “historic milestone in the effort to achieve a just and lasting peace.” He added that the “movement would help in selecting the best possible people for Duterte’s official family.”

Duterte has announced that he is open to talk

peace with the underground group. “I do not begrudge the NPAs in looking for firearms.” But “they must realize I am the government and I am the enemy but I offer my hand in peace and we can talk.”

“If we begin the talks and I’m satisfied that we are dealing in good faith, I will call a truce and maybe consider releasing all political prisoners as part of confidence-building,” Duterte was quoted as saying in the report. There are currently 350 political prisoners nationwide facing various criminal charges.

Duterte transition team formed

Thursday, 12 May 2016 | Written by

On Wednesday, May 11, the Transition Committee of presumptive president Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was formed to work on the transfer of power from the President Benigno Aquino’s administration.

According to a report, the team held their first meeting on Thursday, May 12 and Leoncio ‘Jun’ Evasco Jr., the national campaign manager of Duterte, was tasked to head the transition team.

Other members of the team include Peter Laviña, former councilor of Davao City and Duterte’s spokesperson during the campaign period; Christopher “Bong” Go, Duterte’s executive assistant; Carlos Dominguez, former agriculture secretary and the head of the campaign finance committee; and lawyers Salvador Medialdea and Loreto Ata.

The transition committee was divided into 6 clusters — social development, peace and security, economic agenda, judiciary, government-owned and controlled corporations, infrastructure development to hasten the process of selecting cabinet members. The team had already setup the policy, inauguration and selection subcommittees.

Meanwhile at Malacanang, Aquino had also ordered the formation of the transition committee which will be headed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr.

“I talked to Mr. Bong Go yesterday (Tuesday) to relay to Mayor Duterte that an Administrative Order is being drafted designating the Executive Secretary as head of the transition team,” Aquino said in a statement relayed by Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.

“I further offered that the Cabinet stands ready to brief his team on any and all of their concerns. Lastly, we are committed to effecting the smoothest transition possible,” Aquino added.

Laviña said transition committee will help the mayor identify future members of the Cabinet. The transition team will also create a team to review Duterte and Cayetano’s policy statements during the campaign.

“A team will also be identifying personal envoy to communicate with head of embassies

in the Philippines, churches, civil society organizations, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, business chambers, World Bank, Japan International Cooperating Agency (JICA), Asian Development Bank, among others.”

The inauguration team would coordinate with Malacañang protocols. Go said in another report that the presumptive President’s inauguration on June 30 would be simple and “no fanfare.”

Duterte’s core group vowed to work so that his administration will succeed. “Ayaw natin na failure ang bagong administration kaya ginagawa natin ito para suportahan yong bagong nakaupo kung ano programa niya,” said Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez who is poised to be the next House Speaker in the 17th Congress.


OBR 2016: Dancing, rising on Heart’s Day

Sunday, 14 February 2016 | Written by

???? Women from different communities as well as personalities joined the One Billion Rising for Revolution on Valentines Day, Feb. 14 at the Lapu-lapu Shrine in Luneta, Manila.

This year’s One Billion Rising, the fourth since 2013, was joined by the renowned playwright, women’s rights activist and author of Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler. She has visited different areas in the Philippines since she arrived 11 days ago. She also visited the Lumad evacuees seeking refuge at the United Church of Christ Compound in Haran, Davao City.

The OBR was founded by Ensler, it is a global campaign for the elimination of violence against women and girls. According to the OBR website, one in 3 women across the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime.



????“That’s one billion women and girls,” the website read.  “Every February through March 8th, thousands of Risings take place in hundreds of countries across the world and within local communities – to show the world what one billion looks like and shine a light on the rampant impunity and injustice that survivors of various forms of violence face. People around the world rise through dance to express rage against injustices, and the power of global solidarity and collective action. They dance to express joy and community and celebrate the fact that together, violence can be defeated. They rise to show a determination to create a new kind of consciousness – one where violence will be resisted until it is unthinkable.”

In the Philippines, risings also took place in different places prior and after the OBR in Luneta.
Monique Wilson, global director of the OBR said this year’s event highlights the issues of marginalized women around the world.

Women and their children as well as men who support the campaign danced to the beat of “Bangon sa Rebolusyon” the theme song of OBR here in the Philippines. Young and old men and women alike danced tirelessly as the theme song was played. Ensler also joined the crowd under the heat of the sun.
Ensler said she has been looking forward to join the OBR in the Philippines. “I couldn’t sleep all night. All the years I have wanted to be in Manila on the day of the OBR and I’m finally here,” Ensler said during the program. “This country is incredible,” she added.

She said she have seen the conditions of different women in the Philippines through the help of Gabriela.  She was enraged with the conditions of people in Tondo in Manila, in Tacloban and Cebu cities where there are many reported cases of sex trafficking and in Davao with the Lumad people. “What is happening to the Lumad deserve national outrage,” she said.

“I’m rising for all women across this country who have been battered, rape, harassed and can’t speak out because they are afraid.”

Meanwhile, Joms Salvador, secretary general of the Gabriela Alliance of Filipino Women said that this year’s call “Listen! Act! Rise!” is a fitting criticism of President Aquino’s unfeeling and uncaring governance.
“Women and their families endured Aquino’s Daang Matuwid for six years without an improvement in their lot.  In fact, their sufferings worsened.  Impunity on violence against women resulted to a sharp increase in the number of cases of VAW in Aquino’s time,” Salvador said.
She said government neglect, especially of victims of disasters worsened poverty in already poor areas.  Even basic services like education and health were rendered at the mercy of private companies for profit.  “These are but some reasons why women rise for revolution.”

At the end of the program, Wilson said the OBR does end until their calls were heard and addressed by the government. “Marami pa tayong panawagan at hindi tayo titigil hangga’t ang ating demands ay hindi dinidinig ng gobyernong ito,” she said.

“We have to escalate One Billion Rising every year, to break through the patriarchal wall of oppression and denial, to transform the mindset that has normalized this violence, to bring women survivors into their bodies, their strength, their determination, their energy and power and to dance up the will of the world to finally make violence against women unacceptable,” Ensler said.

Salvador said the OBR flash mobs are also happening in other regions led by Gabriela chapters such as in Hong Kong, San Francisco, and New York towards March 8, International Women’s Day.

Pemberton detention at Camp Aguinaldo agreed by US, GPH

Wednesday, 9 December 2015 | Written by

The Government of the United States and the Philippines has reportedly agreed on the detention of U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton at the AFP Custodial Center.

A report said the Presidential Commission on the Visiting Forces has submitted documents to the Olongapo Regional Trial Court where the agreed detention was indicated. Among the documents submitted to the Court is a Note Verbale between the two governments, which stated the AFP Custodial Center in Camp Aguinaldo as the agreed location for Pemberton’s detention.

In another document submitted to the Court, the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and the AFP dated Dec. 1, stated that the “AFP Custodial Center is an extension facility of the National Bilibid Prison.”

Pemberton will be temporarily detained at the Mutual Defense Board-Security Engagement Board facility also inside Camp Aguinaldo while the AFP Custodial Center is still being renovated. The BuCor will install security equipment, such as CCTV cameras and cellphone jammers, electric fans and exhaust fans, and necessary kitchen equipment. The BuCor will shoulder payment of utility bills and Pemberton’s daily food subsistence, hygiene, and medical needs, the report said.

Meanwhile, Laude family’s lawyer Atty. Harry Roque stated that the family of Jennifer Laude will oppose Pemberton’s temporary detention at the MDB-SEB facility. Roque asserted that Pemberton should be detained only at the NBP or the AFP Custodial Center as stated in the court order.

But according to an ex-Department of Justice undersecretary, this would be impossible.

In a report, lawyer Jose Justiniano said the Laude family no longer had “personality” to demand where Pemberton should be detained. Justiniano explained that whenever private individuals file a criminal case, their “interest and claim” are merely civil in nature and “once Pemberton pays the damages awarded to the Laude family, they have no more role.”

He added that since Roque is a private prosecutor, he cannot contest the place of Pemberton’s detention even before the Supreme Court. He said only the DOJ, through the office of the Solicitor General and not a private lawyer can do such.

But Justiniano also stressed that while Pemberton is temporarily detained at Camp Aguinaldo, “he should nevertheless be under the custody of the Bureau of Corrections and not of US guards.”

Meanwhile, qomen’s partylist group Gabriela filed on Monday, Dec. 7, House Resolution 2550 expressing the sense of the House of Representatives condemning the blatant disregard of Philippine sovereignty by VFA as shown in the consequences of the convictions involving American Military Service Personnel and calls for the immediate abrogation of the VFA.

The resolution cites how the Olongapo RTC court’s decision on the detention of Pfc Joseph Scott Pembertonwas defied following his conviction for the killing of Laude.


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