Sunday, July 21, 2013

Senator Franklin Drilon has been elected Senate President

Senator Franklin Drilon has been elected Senate President with a vote of 17-6.

President Aquino's Liberal Party has gained control of both houses of Congress as the President is due to deliver his State of the Nation address today.

He beat former Senate president Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile.

Enrile resigned in June following accusations of misuse of the Senate's funds and the failure of his son Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile to win a Senate seat in the May elections.

In his speech, Drilon vowed to change the image of the Senate and craft laws that will have an impact on the lives of Filipinos, particularly the poor, and bring the Senate closer to the masses.

Sen. Ralph Recto was elected Senate President Pro Tempore while Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano is the new Senate Majority Leader.

Quezon City Rep. Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte retained his position as House Speaker.

He bested San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.

Rep. Neptali Gonzales is majority leader while Zamora is minority leader.

Drilon and Belmonte are both Vice Chairs of the ruling Liberal Party of President Aquino.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

'Ghost Employees' file affidavits vs EdPam

Relatives of several barangay officials here submitted affidavits supporting the graft charges filed against Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan in relation to allegations of "ghost employees" at the City Government.

The four new complainants are Irene David, wife of Barangay Lourdes Northwest councilman William David; Joan Lozano, sister of Barangay Cutcut councilman Roy Ogurida; Marlene Coronel, wife of Barangay Salapungan councilman Renato Coronel, and Roberto Miranda, friend of Barangay Santo Domingo councilman Oliver Chaneco.

David, Lozano, Coronel, and Miranda were reportedly listed as
administrative assistants under the Philhealth Program of the Office of the Mayor and are supposedly receiving a salary of P500 daily.

But the four denied receiving the amount saying they have no knowledge about their inclusion in the City Government’s job order employees.

Barangay Margot council member Nenita Ferrer also signed a sworn statement to be included in the graft complaint.

Ferrer is reportedly listed in the job order appointments by the City Government as one of the Researchers in the Cultural Mapping Program for the period of July 1 to July 31, 2012 where she supposedly received P600 per day as salary.

Ferrer said she participated in the said program voluntarily and she only received an allowance of P400 for the entire duration of the program.

On October 19, 2012, Sanchez filed graft and corruption charges against Pamintuan, City Accountant Wilfredo Tiotuico, City Budget Officer Fe Corpuz, City Treasurer Juliet Quinsaat, and other department heads before the Office of the Ombudsman regarding the 2,506 job order appointments of the City Government under the Pamintuan administration.

The City Government is allegedly spending P240 million a year for the controversial 2,506 job order employees.

Pamintuan and company are being charged with Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service, Grave Misconduct, Violation of Section 3(e) and 3(g) of Republic Act 3019, otherwise known as Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and Violation of Article 217 (Malversation of public funds or property; Presumption of malversation) of the Revised Penal Code.

On December 5, 2012, Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Adoracion Agbada ordered Pamintuan and the company to submit their Counter-Affidavit within a period of 10 days after the receipt of the letter.

By Reynaldo Navales

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