Another Aquino SONA, another lie

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I can’t believe how President Aquino has had the gall to lie, to give false data in each and every State of the Nation Address (SONA) he’s given. Other presidents would fudge the data or exaggerate their role. This one patently lies.

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In his 2011 address, he tried to shock us that a contract for the dredging of Laguna Lake made during the Arroyo years would cost P19 billion, but would involve only “playing around with the mud” (“para lang maglaro sa putik”). The Belgian contractor, the 150-year old Baagerwerken Decloedt En Zoon, one of the most prestigious engineering firms in the world, filed a case in a World Bank arbitration court against our government for cancelling the contract, and demanded P8 billion in damages. The court will issue a ruling this year that would very likely prove Aquino to be a big liar.  After our Supreme Court, Aquino will then be cursing a foreign court.

A description on a website of an "Aquino accomplishment".

A description on a website of an “Aquino accomplishment”.

In 2012, he claimed that under his watch, jobs increased by 3.1 million. The real figure was 1.5 million. In the 2013 SONA, he said the government would import only 350,000 metric tons of rice. We imported 2 million metric tons, and his insistence that we are on the way toward self-sufficiency resulted in the National Food Authority’s late orders, such that retail rice prices zoomed up for Filipinos this year.

I didn’t want to write on this year’s SONA anymore, but an ordinary citizen, a Facebook ‘friend,’ messaged me alerting me on this year’s big lie.

Is Aquino that stupid that he can’t understand that in this wired world, facts could be checked with a few clicks of the keyboard, and that patriots could very well alert others over lies the government tells us?

Aquino in his speech last week presented in the plenary hall’s giant screen a video interview of two workers, proof, he implied, of his achievements.

“Pakinggan po natin ang kwento ng dalawang TESDA graduates,” he introduced the video clips, referring to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

The second graduate (Jonalyn Navarosa) was a female worker who said (in Pilipino) that she was a technical trainer in an automobile assembly firm and that she owes her job to the fact that she trained at an automotive servicing class at TESDA Region 8, and was even the “topnotcher” in its Batch 1.

The facts:

The “automobile servicing school” at TESDA Region 8 is the Auto Mechanic Training Center in Tacloban. Yes, it is administered by TESDA, but it was the Japanese firm Isuzu Motors that proposed, funded with a $3 million grant, and manages the Center. World Vision, a global Evangelical Christian humanitarian aid organization was Isuzu’s partner in setting up the Center.

And when was the Center set up? It started operations in November 2008, and its first batch of graduates finished schooling in 2009, of which Aquino’s “witness” said she was the topnotcher.

Aquino brags as his accomplishment a project that was not really by a government agency but by a Japanese corporation and an Evangelical Christian foundation, and set up way back in 2008.

No wonder Aquino is now in such a rut.

Aquino’s favorite TESDA

But there must be some special reason why Aquino always mentions as proof of his achievements the training activities at TESDA.

It is, in effect, the third “education department,” after the Department of Education (in charge of schooling from kindergarten to high school) and the Commission of Higher Education (college and post-college). It’s a big agency, with a budget of P2.6 billion (in 2012) bigger than the labor department’s P2.3 billion.

Although it has a board headed by the labor secretary, it is the director-general who has a Cabinet rank, Joel Villanueva, who runs it as if he were responsible to no one else but the President. Villanueva is a son of “Brother Ed,” head of the religious tax-free organization Jesus Is Lord. For some reason, after two years in his job, Villanueva thought he could be Senator and started his campaign with massive media ads, until he was dropped from Aquino’s list of candidates in March.

TESDA was one of the biggest recipients of funds from the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which totaled P2.1 billion from 2011 to 2013 for its new “Training for Work Scholarship Program.”

In its 2012 audit of TESDA, the Commission on Audit noted that this DAP money was 114 percent more than that appropriated for the project under the budget law. Some P500 million in funds received in 2011 from the DAP according to the COA were not utilized that year. Nevertheless, Aquino continued to give TESDA funds amounting to P1 billion from the DAP kitty in 2012 and 2013.

Could the P1.5 billion released from DAP money in 2011 and 2012 have been funds used for the May 2013 elections?

The COA 2012 audit pointed to the existence of ‘ghost trainees’:

• Sample training institutions’ records showed that some students were listed in training sessions held on the same dates and hours. “It was impossible for these scholars to be present at the same time in several trainings which were held on overlapping dates.”

• In a sample of 61 scholars the COA auditors checked, only 21 were found to have really attended the TESDA trainings.

• 218 scholars could not be reached through the contact numbers, shown in their records.

There is a modus operandi I was told about that made TESDA trainings profitable for unscrupulous operators, as long as the agency accredited them:

An operator would contact anybody who had the slightest skill in a particular field –mostly, I was told, for cooking and English literacy – to teach that skill. His neighbors or people in the barangay would be asked to attend the TESDA training. They’d be asked to sign forms attesting to their enrollment in the training. After a few days, the training would be ended, and the students would just go home happy with whatever they’ve learned.

The operator then would bring the records to his TESDA contact, who would attest that it was undertaken, and ask the agency to release the funding for the supposed cost of the training, which would be double or even triple what it really cost the operator.

I suspect that if COA really audits TESDA, the horror stories could be worse than what they found in the abuse of pork-barrel funds.

tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com

FB:  Rigoberto D. Tiglao

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40 Comments

  1. westphilippines on

    The state of the nation address is an annual activity of the executive department of the government. It is not meant to be questioned during its delivery. If a person is consistent in his statement, it is hard to accuse him of giving lies especially if there is no venue to disprove it and make him accountable. The problem with the “Truth” is only HIS Almighty will judge us whether we speak for the truth or we are weaving lies. Sadly, we have to live with our perceptions based on our biases. It is our moral upbringing that will dictate our level of morality in our dispositions. I can accept that all the appointed cabinets are intelligent but I am ready to challenge quite a number of them to be “lacking the necessary competence” to effectively administer their respective agencies. Intelligence can not be substituted to competence. Good Faith and good intentions can not make things right, even it is almost right. Discernment is what most of us lack, and most of them too! I am trying my best to be a good Filipino! Mabuhay po kayo!

  2. TECHNICAL EDUCATION & SKILLS DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY or TESDA
    supposedly the REGULATORY BODY (like CHED) of TECHVOC INTITUTIONS or TVI’s, but what they are doing is competing with TVI’s by offering training courses the same as what the TECHVOC SCHOOLS does.
    TESDA’s role is to improve the training regulations to compete with global standard, especialy that the Philippines is one of the signatories in the ASEAN Integration 2015, and must imposed strict regulations to TechVoc Schools with substandard facilities, faculties and programs.
    TESDA has the regulatory power, but no regulatory power to sanction the TechVoc Schools, because its training program is incomplete and half-baked.
    That is why the graduates are not globally competitive.
    TESDA produces mere laborers, intead of professional individuals with respect and dignity.

  3. CRISSA MAE SANTOS on

    SEE….TAMA ANG HINALA KO..REALLY THE SONA REPORT OF PNOY WAS WINDOW DRESSED THE FIGURES AND THE WORD ITSELF….TSK….TSK…THESE GREAT LIARS – – – PNOY, ABAD, PURISIMA, THE YELLOW GOVERNMENT…..DIOS MIO….GOD BLESS OUR COUNTRY AND IT;S PEOPLE!!!!

  4. y0u can’t trust a guy wh0 openly challenges the supreme court. thanks f0r fact-checking the idi0t

  5. I, myself learning so much from the reports through Manila Times. It is not that we live in the darkness but hidden things should be brought out for enlightenment and i am so happy that the Manila Times is doing so. We will be ignorant with what really is happening around us if no one does have the knowledge and valor to tell the truth out loud. Mr. Tiglao we are not at your back (kasi malimit ang nasa likod ang unang-unang kumakaripas ng takbo at nauuna pa kapag nasa kagipitan na) but we want to stay right beside you.

  6. The SONA did not claim that, “I accomplished this….” The SONA says, we (or, if you prefer, the nation) accomplished it.

    Is that lying?

    tiglao’s revelations about TESDA may be true. Gosh, it’s half the article! But how is it connected to the “lie.” Only this sentence: “But there must be some special reason..”

    I don’t see a Big Lie here. I only see a “Big Imply.”

    (My initial post about this was approved and then deleted by the Manila Times. Why?)

    • Said in good faith? Why mention an achievement that happened during GMA’s time, set up and funded by a private enterprise, and something that could and would have been accomplished without government participation, token to be sure? Sounds like scraping the barrel.

    • Oh common, are you suggesting penoy should have said that the tesda thing is accomplished by arroyo?

    • Manila Times always delete comments that contradict Mr. Tiglao idea. I am not surprise if they deleted your comments. Mr. Tiglao are just cherry picking the negatives not mentioning good accomplishments of all his commentary. As if that Philippines is far worse than Arroyo and Estrada time. As if that the previous admin are very angelic in their performance.

  7. Any reply from Coloma on this TESDA issue? Maybe he would again say, pls don’t take the President’s words too seriously.

  8. I am sad that there is no real opposition except Partylist. And some of them were yellow colored. Para bang me martial law na lahat ng politiko ay walang tumututol sa kagustuhan ng Malacanang. Maliban sa MANILA TIMES, MST at Tribune lahat ng big time newspapers and TV broadcast praises the EVIL boss of the bosses.

    • Alam mo kung bakit Arabof? Kasi puro kayo sa dilim… Puro kayo walang pagasa. Puro kayo maninira.

  9. I’m really glad that many are now commenting on Mr. Tiglao’s column. His is full of educational revelations. The pilipinos need to know. Hopefully, one day very soon, they will also be moved to do something.
    On TESDA. I’m aware of the modus. I was there once – representing the private sector. We were supposed to work ‘with’ TESDA, to co-operate, share expertise. But, the TESDA guys always wanted to put their hands in the cookie jar.
    The Philippines loaned some amount from KFW (Germany) to enhance TESDA (and other) training centers. Consultants (approved by GTZ – another German org’n.) had to check tools and equipment lists generated by ‘beneficiaries’ (mostly TESDA centers). I was one of them. The ‘game’ was on. That money was/is paid by taxpayers’ money. Can you imagine how many benefitted from that scheme?
    :)

    • I agree with you Carlitos. I, myself learning so much from the reports through Manila Times. It is not that we live in the darkness but hidden things should be brought out for enlightenment and i am so happy that the Manila Times is doing so. We will be ignorant with what really is happening around us if no one does have the knowledge and valor to tell the truth out loud. Mr. Tiglao we are not at your back (kasi malimit ang nasa likod ang unang-unang kumakaripas ng takbo at nauuna pa kapag nasa kagipitan na) but we want to stay right beside you.

  10. Dahil abnoy din yung gumagawa ng speech ni penoy at dahil narin siguro wala
    silang makita na kahit anong figure para sa achievement ng administrasyong
    penoy dahil betlog nga, at dahil narin sa Law of GOD na ang katotohanan
    ay Lalabas at labas kahit itago ng mga animal, kaya puro kapalpakan ang
    lumalabas at lumalabas din ang katotohanang zero ang laman ng utak ni
    penoy, pero makapag yabang lang kahit kasinungalingan sasambitin.
    Ang Labis na hindi katangap tangap ay paanong naaatim ng mag amang
    Villanueva na “Holy man Kuno” na lustayin at ibulsa ang Pera ng Bayan,
    at pumayag din na puro kasinungalingan ang sabihin sa tao para manloko
    sa mga lalang ng DIYOS para pagtakpan ang mga kawalang hiyaan nagawa?

    • I believe so, those intelligent around our President is putting him to shame. They are the real enemy of the president because they are making report and speech without analizing and studying first the negative effect that will bounce back to Pnoy before giving it to him. I repeat, the enemy is not the opposition and those who are reacting and commenting in regards to his (the President) word but those that surrounds him in the Palace.

  11. Another credit grabbing of BS Aquino. Saan kaya kumukuha ng kapal ng mukha itong mga taong ito(Joel & BS).

  12. P. Akialamiro on

    Seems that Pres. BS Aquino is an ardent believer of the ‘theory’ that repeated lies’ will soon be accepted as truth!

    We need your constant ‘expose’, Mr. Tiglao. Otherwise, we’ll always be victims of lies, lies….. and more lies. Thanks you for your in-depth analysis of events and workings inside the government. More power to you.

  13. COA SHOULD NOTICE TESDA so we know the truth. We cannot rely or believe PNoy on face value.

  14. Wake up. Tiglao’s revelation of how corrupt TESDA is. COA, please note this anomaly and begin the audit of TESDA.

  15. What is so idiotic of the president is that, the COA report on TESDA came out nearly 3 weeks ago, and he didn’t bother to edit that out? Worse is, he started his SONA with it. oh my gulay….

    either the guy is absolutely clueless on what’s going on, or he really thinks people don’t read the news anymore. was he just testing if anyone was listening?

  16. I remember when Marcos was president, he called Ninoy Aquino a “Congenital Liar”. If this allegation by Tiglao is true, then Marcos was right. Like that story of an Emperor who fooled his citizens that he was wearing a very nice new clothes, though truly he was naked. PNoy was actually stark naked during that SONA address.

  17. I congratulate Rigo Tiglao and Yen Makabenta for their brave and courageous expose of the rotten administration of Abnoy. There is no way this country which is going down the drain towards the quagmire of abject poverty will ever surface from the deepest pit of corruption. Oh, my God! Where there are no brainless “yellow mobs” of voters, there would have been no brainless and corrupt President. It’s analogous to a blind leading another blind.

    • who tiglao. he is full of hate of the administration..everybody lies including tiglao..

  18. lahat kayo gago…….tao ni Pnoy at Tao ni Gloria,,,,,,AWAY kayo kasi kungi sino magnanakaw

    lipat kana kay Pnoy ,maka nakaw ka ulit ,,,,,

  19. The Philippines can again be proud of another case of accomplishment worth to be in the Guinness World Record, the Philippines is the only country in the world who has a congenital liar as President. The name is Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III.

    • Sa amin sa Bulacan, ewan ko sa Tarlac, may kasabihan ” Itlog-itlogan- Manok-Manokan”. Ang ibig sabihin ” KUNG MAGSIMULA KA SA MALIIT ( WHITE LIES) NA SINUNAGLING ay MAGIGING GAHINGANTE KA SINUNGALING “. Meron din sa Bulacan kasabihan na ” Ang SINUNGALING AY KAPATID NG MAGNANAKAW”. KUHA MO BA AMB. BOBBY TIGLAO ?

  20. This Government do not only have a “Thief Executive” but a “Liar Executive”.
    Who is his Mentor – DBM “Sick”cretary? A bad!

    No wonder, Janet said – “Sick” cretary A bad mentored her.

  21. gabriela silang on

    so we have a jim carrey for a president? oh my! this sucks!could have known better. just wondering what the tagapagsinungaling ng pangulo have to say on this.paging coloma, lacierda and valte. pls tell me it ain’t so, mama. just like the pres. said that we taught people to fish so they will be self reliant. but why the mendicancy program conditional cash transfer? were they taught to fish or they turn sleaze? it’s turning bad, mama. two more years…as in two more arduous years!

  22. Miguel Doromal on

    LMAO. Great read, RT!

    That first video clip was meant to highlight the benefits of his outlawed DAP! But wait a minute – say that again please …. the skills center was funded through a Japanese Grant-In-Aid facility way back in 2008 (maybe earlier depends on how long it got NEDA approval)? OH MY GOODNESS! I am deeply embarrassed for the Japanese.

    Well, folks. The long and short end of this is BS AQUINO is nothing but LIES AND MORE LIES.

    • In short, the Tesda in Tacloban was in place and activated during the Gloria Arroyo administration. Another credit-grabbing activity of the Thief Executive, PNoy, King of DAP and PDAF.

    • honga biruin mo, tesda naka focus ang achievement? tapos ang premise ng dap eh for economic purposes? napakalayo ng gap. kahit pa nga totoo yung sa tesda for grabe, ipniagmamalaki mo yang pipitsuging achievement ng tesda against the cover up of billioned dap

  23. Thank you Mr. Bobby Tiglao for this fact-based article that would clearly shows how frequent President Aquino lie to the public.

  24. if the story about TESDA training video taken in 2008~2009 prove to be true, how can the TESDA Director, son of a born again christian sect leader, allow such lie to be aired? if allegation is really true, there goes his christian testimony and values. he can not serve both mammon & God!