• Ending Aquino’s misrule of law

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    THE long-running mess that is the Land Transportation Office vehicle license plate anomaly hit the headlines again with the Supreme Court order stopping the Bureau of Customs from donating to the LTO some 300,000 plates seized by the BoC due to unpaid duties and taxes.

    For those who missed this epitome of Aquino-era lawbreaking, the problem began in July 2013, when the LTO, in a contract signed by Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Aquinaldo Abaya, awarded the P3.8-billion license plate contract to Dutch-Filipino consortium PPI-JKG Philippines, Inc.

    What caught the eye of state auditors was the lack of appropriation in the 2013 national budget for the contracted license plate purchase. The Commission on Audit (COA) pointed out in its order disallowing the contract that “the appropriated fund for the motor vehicle plate making project in 2013 was only P187,293,000.”

    For the benefit of mathematically challenged transportation officials, the P3.8-billion value of the license plate award was more than 20 times what the LTO was allowed to spend on such purchases in 2013.

    Moreover, the contract stipulated purchases over several years without the required multiyear procurement authority from the Department of Budget and Management.

    The LTO has argued that Congress cured the lack of appropriations when it appropriated funds in the 2014 budget. But the COA retorted:

    “The management cannot claim the 2014 appropriation because the 2014 national budget had not been approved when the bidding was conducted or awarded, and the 2014 appropriation amounting to P4,483,753,000 was specifically for the motor vehicle registration and driver’s licensing regulatory services.”

    In its media campaign to justify its blatant violation of budgetary law, the LTO has repeatedly lamented that car owners suffer due to the COA order disallowing the contract, stopping the LTO from paying PPI-JKG, and compelling the company to return a P478-million down payment for the plates.

    That’s like a player who stepped out of bounds blaming the referee for a game loss caused by the infraction.

    It was the LTO and Secretary Abaya who have burdened motorists by awarding the anomalous contract, which has messed up the supply of license plates. As in the Metro Rail Transit mess, Abaya and his minions are to blame for the public’s woes.

    Breaking and blaming the rules
    For seasoned observers of the administration of President Benigno Aquino 3rd, the tactic of breaking then blaming the rules is a common one, as he himself exemplified.

    After the Supreme Court unanimously ruled nearly two years ago that Aquino’s P157-billion Disbursement Acceleration Program was illegal, he likened himself to a driver who parked where he shouldn’t to help someone in need.

    In short, rules can be broken if you have a good reason. And who can’t come up with a good reason, at least in his own mind?

    Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda certainly gave it a try when casino czar and close Aquino associate Cristino Naguiat, Jr. broke anti-graft regulations by letting a foreign company seeking a casino license give him and his family a lavish Macau junket. “Industry practice” was Lacierda’s defense of Naguiat’s wrongful freebie.

    The Liberal Party wants election rules relaxed. Having failed to submit the required Statement of Contributions and Expenditures on the unextendable June 8 deadline, the LP is asking the Commission on Elections to dispense with its December resolution disallowing late SOCE submissions.

    If the Comelec sticks to its rules, then the LP is deemed not to have submitted its SOCE, and all its winning candidates are not allowed to take office, including Vice President-elect Leni Robredo, and dozens of lawmakers and provincial, city and municipal officials, including current Senate President Franklin Drilon.

    So now, LP leaders and lawyers are arguing that the Comelec should not burden the electorate by disallowing their chosen officials from taking office, just as the LTO sought to blame the COA for the lack of vehicle license plates. No mention, of course, about the breaking of rules as the real culprit.

    Such leniency in enforcing laws and rules, however, is reserved for Aquino and his coterie of classmates, allies, and shooting buddies.

    When it appeared that there were items missing in the required Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth filed by then-Chief Justice Renato Corona, 20 senator-judges voted to remove him, even if such SALN errors could be corrected without penalty.

    Of course, the biggest violation of law in that whole episode is Aquino’s open lobbying of legislators to impeach and convict Corona, even releasing billions of pesos in pork barrel and DAP funds to compliant senators and congressmen.

    Restoring the rule of law
    So what should the administration of Duterte do to restore the rule of law run roughshod under Aquino?

    His chosen Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 3rd is on the right track in targeting the DAP for priority investigation.

    Despite an explicit Supreme Court order to probe and prosecute the illicit program’s authors, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, showing her pro-KKK bias, has dragged her feet in implementing the July 2014 instruction. This despite the statement by her former High Court colleagues that DAP funds were allocated to expenditures not covered by any budgetary allocations—a clear pointer to malversation.

    By finally holding Aquino to account for this gross violation of the Constitution, the Duterte government can set the tone for all public servants: follow the law or else.

    Other Aquinomalies ignored by the Ombudsman should also be fast-tracked for investigation, including:

    • The diversion of 2,000-plus cargo containers in 2011, with the connivance of customs officials, who kept releasing boxes despite dozens and even hundreds lost

    • The P1.2-billion contract for air force combat helicopters, exposed in Senate hearings, and the P25-billion purchase of South Korean trainer jets, suspended by state auditors

    • Pork barrel anomalies involving administration stalwarts, charged by Atty. Levito Baligod, former lawyer of Benhur Luy, who exposed the scam

    After six years of KKK, let the law rule again.

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    27 Comments

    1. Abdul Ampatuan on

      We all blamed the past Presidents and now, Pnoy. We think that we have a decent one coming, when we don’t know him personally. Remember, all Presidents did not win by spending nothing. Every candidate for Presidency spends a lot and you can find that in their SOCE. The question is, who gave those contributions and what’s the deal behind it? (Hello! We are talking millions here and we shouldn’t be hypocrites!) We don’t expect anyone will just give his money freely, right? So, there will always be give and take and corruption still exist. The system, perhaps, may change its color or ways, but, in the end it is still the same.

    2. The truth of the matter is we do not need to change our car plates. What is wrong with the previous plates ? Prior to this problem, LTO cannot even issue car stickers . It took 4 to 5 months to get your stickers when registering. To change all plates is one thousand times harder. So what happen ? My car rigisterred last September 2015 does have the new plates which I paid for when I register. This is fraud to the highest degree when you paid for a commodity and the item was not release. If not fraud, it is robbery.

    3. eltee mulawin on

      >>> President -elect Duterte shall as the voluntary resignation. early retirement and /or shall be terminate their terms are:
      Cheap Just-tiis of Supreme Court-MALASirano
      Ombudsman Cheap Con-shita C.Moral-less
      BIR Commissioner- Kim Henares
      AMLC Commissioners
      Bureau of Immigrations & Customs-All Commissioners
      NBI Director

      • why not make it easy and just say: “all government employees and officials who do not agree with Duterte shall retire, resign, or be terminated.”

    4. emmanuel mallari on

      in order for the new administration to apply the law evenly regardless of one’s standing in society, we have to remove/replace those put in place by the previous administration. otherwise, nothing will happen. but how can you replace morales? her tenure is not co-terminus with the president. so with the chief justice, who is somewhat related to duterte by affinity. can they impeach her due to her failure to pass the psychological test? it is going to be a tedious and difficult process to cleanse and remove those judges and justices appointed by aquino.

    5. You got it right. The “misrule of law” will end soon. Let all watch as they are held accountable for all the bending of rules and laws to do what they wanted.

    6. Mike Bunning on

      This the right news…..Hindi gaya ng mga bias na MEDIA dyan na kahit alam na mali ok lang sa kanila kasi meron envelope natangap….

    7. Hector David on

      No one is above the law… and no person in govermbnent should be politically harassed … bUT we are all accountable for our acts .. more so public servants…In any irregular/ illegal/suspicious transaction….. let those involved account for it

    8. Well said, MR. RICARDO SALUDO.. KAYA SALUDO KAMI SA YO. Malapit ng makulong yang baklang abnoy na PAnot na yan kasama si Marimar Laging Talo, Kalbong Abad, si Incompetent at Corrupt Abaya at si Hipopotamus Drilon.. Yan ang bumubuo sa Konseho nga nga Demonyo..

    9. Wag nyo kalimutan pala isama c Abaya sa kulungan. Hayop na to, ang daming pahirap na ginawa sa mga Pilipino. From LTO license and plate number, MRT breakdowns and maintenance contract, NAIA worst airport and tanim bala, pati telco signal at data speed. Grabe lahat toh pina ubaya kay abaya na walang kwenta at palpak. I wonder ano kya malalagay nya as accomplishment nya from government service

    10. I have never been so excited to welcome a new president which only means i can’t wait for Pnoy to step down and go to jail! MAKE HIM ACCOUNTABLE!

    11. I am interested to know what went wrong or how it happened
      that more than 2000 containers as big as a truck got lost in transportation.
      If BoC finds small pieces of contents in a box, it is surprising that
      containers in huge quantity passed the gates unnoticed.

    12. Rey Dela cerna on

      Puro hatred ang nakasulat dito bakit Hindi kayo makamove on meron bang balakid o malaking hinanakit SA inyong pagkatao?

    13. How can you conclude that the failure to file a SOCE (which is a minor offense) will take precedence over the will of the voters and prevent the winning candidates from holding office on June 30, 2016. This is plainly unconstitutional and unfair to prevent Drilon, Robredo and others who won as Liberal Party candidates. In the Philippines are temporary affiliations of convenience, hence the fault of a party should not penalize all of its members. It may be better if the Comelec has the authority to dissolve a party. The act that required SOCE did not give Comelec the authority to reverse the will of the people.

    14. PNoy got the Pareto diagram inverted. He focused on the 20% that will give him a good impression in the international community. He is happy over the theoretical economic gain but seemed nonchalant about what matters to the day-to-day existence of Filipinos outside of the blessed 1% of society. It is already irritating to hear him blurt “ang turo ng nanay ko” and the like, when what confronts him as he ends his term is his “misrule of law”.

    15. The Inquirer and almost all the tv networks are still in defense of the yellow evil regime. The in-house trolls of the inquirer and the rest of its officers and employees are still on a 24/7 attack against the new admin and BBM. Since 1986 these yellow-controlled media have been lording it over this poor country with the support from the only nation that was responsible for all worldwide conflicts in defense of their economy including ISIS.

    16. Rudi Miranda on

      Congratulations and Thank you for reminding the incoming governance of the job at hand with graft and corruption in government. Brave pen! Bravo and right on…

    17. Jose Samilin on

      Yes, after six years of KKK of the worst president, ever in history, let the law rule again. Now there is life again that we can hope for in this country.

    18. Leodegardo Pruna on

      Let the axe fall where it should and let the rule of law prevail. Omb. Morales should also be made accountable for her lack of morality – LESS MORAL in Math no moral at all. God save the Philippines.

    19. Should they not also identify the rest of the DAP enablers like Napoles, it looks like the Pakistani-scam linked couple may be among the supposed 12 trainees/proteges of a wicked financial designer of DAP/PDAF ?

    20. A person who always gives priority to himself will never succeed. A “leader” who only thinks of himself, can never lead. The Philippines had no leader for the past 6 years. The Philippines did not have a leader for those years, rather we had a person who does not know his job description and what is required and expected of him. Hence, priorities are turned upside down and the victims were all the poor people who were abandoned to prioritize the needs of the rich.

    21. P.Akialamiro on

      Not unless the laws of the country rule, the Philippine will always be at the mercy of the unscrupulous, corrupt and ‘oligarchic’ government leaders and officials. It is about time that a strong leader was elected and, hopefully, the country has a new dawn. Mr. Du30’s election is a blessing.

    22. “By finally holding Aquino to account for this gross violation of the Constitution, the Duterte government can set the tone for all public servants: follow the law or else.”

      The Duterte government should go after Noynoy and his minions. Ombudsman Conchita Morales-Carpio would’t go after them if Duterte gives a hint that he does not want to do so.

      • emmanuel mallari on

        much as we would like morales to be replaced by someone willing to clash head-on with the previous previous administration to correct the misrule in the application of law, the incoming administration could not do it as her appointment is not co-terminus with the president.

    23. Saludo tayo sa mga sinabi ninyo, Mr Saludo. Hipocrisy masking kleptocracy by these yellows dubbed as marangal, disente, at maka democracy kunoh…tell it to these jarheads marines…