• Excuses, excuses, excuses!


    It’s sickening the way “politics” is being used as the excuse to characterize charges and issues against any government official. Perhaps, partisan politics could be involved in these charges but dismissing them outright just because of this is a great disservice to truth and accountability.

    Vice President Jejomar Binay shrugged off charges of overpricing of the new Makati City Hall Building and refused to attend the Senate inquiry because, as he said, the charges were politically motivated. Binay said he would answer these claims “at the proper forum,” or the courts, but the court itself has given due course to the charges. Where to now?

    I note that a recent supporter of Binay’s presidential bid, former Speaker Noli Fuentebella, is also facing, like Binay, charges of plunder filed by a non-government organization called Zero Tolerance Organization. Fuentebella has been quoted as saying the NGO had raised old issues. He may be right but these “old issues” remain unresolved and it is incumbent upon the Ombudsman to move in a jiffy and not be rendered immobile by the political season.

    Lawyer Levito Balingod, former counsel of “pork barrel” whistle blower Benhur Luy, had claimed that more than 74 former and incumbent lawmakers had diverted their Priority Development Assistance Fund, the euphemism for “pork barrel,” to bogus NGOs. Balingod said these 74 were not in the third batch of cases filed by the Department of Justice-National Bureau of Investigation before the Ombudsman.

    Balingod’s claim led Rep. Luz Ilagan to urge the Ombudsman to pursue the cases against the 74 “or else these corrupt government officials will run for office again and plunder the national coffers again and again.”

    Fuentebella is now seeking to reclaim his old House seat representing the fourth district of Camarines Sur, which is now occupied by his son Wimpy. Charged with Fuentebella before the Ombudsman were his wife Evelyn, mayor of Sagnay, Camarines Sur, and Fidelis Apalisok, who’s claimed by Zero Tolerance as his dummy.

    Fellow Times columnist Marlen Ronquillo wrote about the plunder charges against the three in his column last Wednesday. For those who may have failed to read Marlen’s column, here are the main issues raised by Zero Tolerance against the Fuentebella couple and Apalisok before the Ombudsman:

    1. Fuentebella had amassed properties worth P186.6 million, none of which he had declared in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth and instead, were all placed under the name of Apalisok.

    2. Nine government projects worth P45,351,328 were built within the properties of the Fuentebellas in Tigaon and Sagnay.

    3. Zero Tolerance cited a Commission on Audit report that said, among other things, that P18.6 million from Fuentebella’s “pork” was “illegally released” to the Partido District Development Cooperative, Inc. Zero Tolerance said this NGO had long been delisted with the Cooperative Development Authority.

    I wonder if the Aquino administration has the political will to pursue cases on the allege misuse of “pork” other than those filed against opposition Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla, and a few congressmen. I note that Leila de Lima has already resigned as Justice Secretary and is now running for senator. Ironically, one of her team mates in the so-called “Tuwid na Daan” coalition is former Rep. Joel Villanueva, who’s in the third batch of cases on “pork misuse.”

    Also in the third batch are Sen. Gregorio Honasan 3rd, a candidate for president; and Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, who’s running for mayor of Cagayan de Oro City. Rodriguez is the principal author/sponsor of the bill on the proposed Law on the Bangsa Moro (LBM), aka Bangsamoro Basic Law.

    Death before resignation!
    Most of the administration’s appointees would rather die than resign. Among the few exceptions were former Public Works Secretary Ping de Jesus and former Customs Commissioner Raffy Biazon. Definitely, General Manager Jose Angel Honrado of the Manila International Airport Authority is not among the exceptions.

    “Why should I resign?” he asked pointedly after the international airport again gained international notoriety with the “tanim-bala” incidents.

    He said that he serves at the pleasure of President Aquino and the President hasn’t asked him to resign.

    In other more accountable governments where delicadeza reigns, an appointee hobbled by inefficiency, scandal or even disasters not of their making, immediately files his irrevocable resignation without being asked to by the appointing power.

    I guess presiding over the once worst airport in the world (now eighth worst, what an improvement!) and frequent flight snafus are not causes for embarrassment to Honrado, enough for him to resign.



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    1. Marilyn Frivaldo on

      The columnist may have written his article well if he honestly verified the information whether true or false. On the contrary, he did not do well on Sec. Joel Villanueva’s case. The charge was found to be untrue, false or fake by the NBI itself. And before the eyes of God, I certainly believe that that is really untrue. A God-fearing man and persistent advocate of truth, Joel Villanueva will surely be a target of unfounded intrigues and rumors. But that will not prevail over him because God is his Defender. So I may say, “touch not His anointed.”

    2. The NBI officias verified and confirmed that the documents was forged very clear..Joel Villanueva proven innocent, no one can stop what God has planned for him. He will continue to serve and do what he had started..

    3. alfredo basco bocaya on

      We need people who fear God to lead our country. If our leaders are God-fearing, our nation will be blessed as a whole.

    4. MasayangPagbabago on

      Puro maling paratang naman yan.. Saka napatunayan naman na FAKE lahat eh. Inuungkat na naman ang issueng tapus na at napatunayan na hindi sya ang may sala… Nasa kay Sec. Joel Villanueva na ang modelo ng isang senador at kailangan sya sa Senado. #SingleVote at kay Sec. Joel un sa TESDA pa lang kitang kita na kung saan napunta ang PDAF eh at marami ang nakinabang.

    5. Okay. Sec. Joel Villanueva’s signature was forged and it was confirmed by NBI. And one thing napatunayan ni Sec. Joel Villanueva ang kanyang sarili ng pamunuan niya ang TESDA
      “Studies show that 71.9% [of TESDA graduates] found employment right away, compared to the 28.5% recorded before.”
      (c) summit express
      Dito pa lamang makikita natin na isa siyang magaling at epektibong pinuno kaya’t pinipilit siyang ibaba. Tumingin tayo sa napatunayan na ng isang kandidato. Huwag piliting buhayin ang mga isyu na wala namang katotohanan. Pumili tayo ng mga kandidatong may “tunay” na tamang intensyon para sa atin.

    6. Sa kanyang pag aapply ng trabaho doon sa Senado ay tunay na mapapatunayan na siya ay may Malinis na motibo. Kitang kita naman di ba ? TESDA! NBI approval na Innocent siya! So there is no need to accuse him anymore. Basta kay Sir Joel para sa Masayang Pagbabago

    7. Dont judge a man w/ out any evidence joel villanueva is the right person to be elected as a senator

    8. Have you never heard that the name Sir Joel Villanueva was declared to be innocent in the so called cases of “pork misuse”. I believe that many right now knew that the NBI “mismo” proved that he is Completely Innocent and have nothing to do about the corruption to our nation. One thing I know is that he is just doing his job as a True Servant of our country. Period.

    9. Research research din po. Napatunayan na pong inosente si Sec.Joel at peke ang signatures na yon.

      Basta ako iboboto ko si Sec.Joel, boto mo na din! :) Honest sya, promise! :)

    10. Whatever happen to innocent until proven guilty. These media men are abusing their freedom. Sec. Joel’s signature’s were declared forgery by no less than the NBI. Sec. Lima is just a crab trying to pull other’s down so she can get on top.

    11. Benedicto Alcantara on

      Please exclude Joel Villanueva to the PDAF accusation because all of those are fake and proven by the NBI . Joel villanueva is Honest and sincere to his Vow in serving our country and people and he has proven it during his 9 years in congress and 5 years as TESDA Sec. We need people like him in our Government to establish righteous, good governance para sa pagunlad ng ating Bansa.

    12. MR.TESDAMAN JOEL VILLANUEVA, ang kailangan natin pra sa pagbabago sa bansang PILIPINAS, based on track records at ang mga paratang ay hanggang paratang lamng at walang katuturan. GO TESDAMAN we will support you!

    13. Jerusalem Jordan on

      Matino, matalino, at may takot sa Diyos, yan ang kailangan natin at si Joel Villanueva ang taong yan!!! Kaya tayo hindi uunlad kung sino yung karapat – dapat sya pa nyong pilit ibinabagsak … Hindi kayo magtatagumpay “God is Watching you”

    14. Walang anumang katunayan na may katotohanan ang lahat ng inaakusa kay Sir Joel Villanueva! I will still support him!

    15. Not true ang NBI mismo nagsabi na peke ang dokumentong pinirmahan niya. Bumaba din siya sa pwesto dahil gusto ng mga tao na tumakbo siya sa mas mataas na posisyon dahil siya ay mapagkakatiwalaan at hindi corrupt at yun ang kailangan ng taong bayan isang leader na tunay na maasahan hindi lang sa salita kundi may gawa hindi siya nagbitiw sa pwesto niya para lang makatakas sa akusasyon na yan dahil walang katunayan ang issue na yan ang mismong NBI na ang nagsabi.

    16. Maribel escape on

      Bakit naman magresign si Joel Villanueva dahil lang sa maling akusasyon? Parang sinabi lang Nya na tama Yong akusasyon.kung magresign siya. Ehh, fake nga ang documents against him ?

    17. About Joel Villanueva’s case, he was already proven innocent! His signature was forged and that is according to the NBI. Bakit kung kailan eleksyon pilit binubuhay ang kasong matagal ng tapos. Ngunit maingay at alam natin maraming nagawang magandang bagay pilit dudumihan ang pangalan? Wow! uyyyy! Wag ganon!

    18. This is almost a great article. If not for an “incomplete” mention of Joel Villanueva. NBI experts themselves confirmed that the “so-called documents” that link him to pork barrel scam are FAKE. Of all Senatorial candidates, Joel Villanueva has the best track record that proves he CAN DELIVER to his promise of job and education improvements once seated.

    19. About Joel Villanueva’s case, he was already proven innocent! He’s signature was forged and that is according to the NBI. Bakit kung kailan eleksyon pilit binubuhay ang kasong matagal ng tapos. Ngunit maingay at alam natin maraming nagawang magandang bagay pilit dudumihan ang pangalan? Wow! uyyyy! Wag ganon!

    20. Joel Villanueva did not have to squander his TESDA reforms. NBI itself conducted an investigation and proved him innocent by saying that his signatures and De Lima’s “evidences” were forged.