• Why didn’t Ombudsman Morales check Tuason’s bank records?

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    Why did Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales rush to give immunity to admitted pork-barrel thief Ruby Tuason when she turned over to government P40 million she claimed was all she got from the scam?

    Why did she take at face value Tuason’s claim, which was refuted just a week later by Janet Napoles, who claimed in a sworn affidavit that Tuason got P615 million?

    It would have even required just one call by Morales to a property broker to check Tuason’s claim that she raised the P40 million by selling her house in posh Dasmarinas Village—all that she had left, she said.

    And Morales even hardly knew Tuason enough to believe her claim that she only had P40 million.

    In the case of the impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona, who had been Morales’ colleague in the Supreme Court for nearly ten years, the Ombudsman even risked violating bank secrecy laws by manipulating the Anti-Money Laundering Council executive director to give her the chief magistrate’s bank records, which she even dramatically waved in the air in the televised impeachment trial.

    Morales even called in for help the Commission on Audit member Heidi

    Inconsistent standards: (Left) Ombudsman last year waving documents on Chief Justice Corona’s bank records. (Right) Believing accused and self-confessed pork-barrel scam criminal Tuason’s claim that she only made P40 million through the sale of her Dasmarinas Village mansion.

    Inconsistent standards: (Left) Ombudsman last year waving documents on Chief Justice Corona’s bank records. (Right) Believing accused and self-confessed pork-barrel scam criminal Tuason’s claim that she only made P40 million through the sale of her Dasmarinas Village mansion.

    Mendoza to analyze Corona’s records. Whether it was her or Mendoza’s analysis, it was false and exaggerated, as flows were confused for stock, so that a P100,000 deposit was counted several times over, so that the Ombudsman claimed Corona had $12 million in dollar accounts when he had only $1 million. (“Colossal Deception on Corona’s accounts,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 17, 2012).

    Why didn’t Morales have the same kind of diligence in checking whether Tuason was lying or not?

    Is this, as often in our justice system, a matter of class status, that the Ombudsman would trust a suspect from the upper class (no matter if her current wealth is ill-gotten) from a buena familia, and who studied at the exclusive St. Paul’s College and be suspicious of somebody from Basilan who finished only high school which Napoles is?

    Which raises the question: Did Tuason tap into her upper class St. Paul College alumni network in the judicial system to help her convince Morales?

    While I do hope the deal was above-board, it has to be investigated. But who investigates the investigators? Congress? But most members of Congress have committed crimes they are so afraid of the Ombudsman! We’re such in a deep quagmire as a Republic.

    “Hoodlums in robes”
    One of the least discussed facets of corruption in our country, yet which everyone who got tangled in a legal suit would swear is rampant, is in the judiciary.

    It didn’t help create public outrage over this corruption, however, that it was Joseph Estrada when he was Vice President and Presidential Anti-Crime Commission chief who went to town over what he termed as “hoodlums in robes.” Estrada was then seething with rage that fiscals and judges were throwing out many of the cases his Commission had filed in courts.

    Rumors have circulated for years that investigators, prosecutors and judges—in regular courts as well as in the Ombudsman and Sandiganbayan—have their price. They don’t do it regularly though—as probably customs men do which made them notorious—but in very calculated and careful ways, like pulling just one major lucrative “job” in two years.

    What I found out in my years of journalistic coverage was the scandalous but fascinating way badly-paid prosecutors, while pretending to be justice crusaders, would actually help the accused go scot-free—for huge amounts of money of course— by making fatal mistakes in the documentation or even by filing wrong complaints. The conspiring judge then invoked the mistakes to acquit the accused.

    Because of late filing of evidence, loss of original documents, non-appearance of a prosecutor, a crooked judge would have no problem pretending to be shocked by the incompetence of the prosecutor and acquitting the accused because his hands “are tied” by the rules.

    I am doing research for a future column on tax evasion cases filed at the Court of Tax Appeals, and I was shocked that several cases were dismissed because according to the court, the prosecutor failed to submit within deadline the “certified true copies of the duly signed approval for criminal prosecution of the accused and all other records in her possession.” Another case was similarly dismissed, as the prosecutor couldn’t produce the records of her preliminary investigation. How can a prosecutor do such things?

    Mocking the Constitution
    The Commission on Appointments has been rejecting every year President Aquino’s appointees: Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, Commission on Audit member Heidi Mendoza, and Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla. Yet he keeps reappointing them, a screw-you message to Congress. (It escapes me why these people don’t get the message that they’re not wanted.)

    Read what Aquino thought of such practice in his explanatory note for Senate Bill No. 1719 which he filed on October 10, 2007 when he was still a senator.

    “The intent of the framers of the Constitution in creating the Commission on Appointments was to provide an effective check and balance mechanism between the executive and legislative branch of government.

    “The act of the President (Arroyo at that time) in successively re-appointing by-passed nominees is a clear mockery of the above mentioned principle enshrined in our fundamental law. The President has abused her power to appoint because of her consistent re-appointment of her nominees who have been consecutively by-passed by the Commission on Appointments.

    “The CA’s constitutional mandate to serve as an effective check against the possible abuse of the President’s power to appoint is thus frustrated by the current practice, as the President merely re-appoints all her nominees regardless of the number of times the said nominees have been by-passed by the CA. The restraint against possible abuse of the President’s appointing power is clearly rendered ineffective if not totally non-existent.”

    That’s Benigno S. Cojuangco-Aquino talking, when he still wasn’t president.

    This is classic Aquino. He thinks he is always the exception to the rule of law. For him, there are two standards, one for him, and the second for the rest.

    No denial
    Nearly a week after I wrote that Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima had applied to be Vice President Jejomar Binay’s finance secretary—if the latter wins the presidency in 2016, that is—the Cabinet member hasn’t issued a denial.

    Only spokesperson Herminio Coloma did, saying rather stupidly that there were “no indications” that Purisima was unhappy with the President. I would have expected Coloma to instead say that he talked to Purisima, and that he called the story a total canard.

    Coloma’s kind of denial with Purisima’s just keeping mum bolsters the report I made. It also indicates how keen Purisma is in joining the next administration. His denial of my report would have angered the vice president’s advisers he approached, ending his ambition to have the same job in the next administration.

    tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
    www.rigobertotiglao.com and FB: Rigoberto D. Tiglao

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    11 Comments

    1. Your question why she didn’t check Tuason’s bank account? Your guess is as good as mine. Everybody has a price!!!!

    2. Tuason actually turned-over 400 million, but Moral-Less, Delimaw, Mean-doza, PeeNoy partook 360 million.
      —————
      All looks yellow to jaundice eyes of PeeNoy because he is not the President of the Philippines.

    3. I grew up poor but my parents were always fighting for justice for the poor. In their own simple way they worked hard for that. and during those days in my young mind, I already learned the biases practiced by people in power including judges. One major example of course was Corona’s case, he was unfortunate because he became a marked man when he was appointed by Arroyo. He was a man of justice but suffered injustice from colleagues because of politics. Nowadays when I read stories about injustice and unfairness and oppressing the poor, hurrah for the politicians who cloak themselves as good Christians and Samaritans but truly and truly are stagnating from within, with putrid smell that makes one nauseate and puke. Yes, puke with disgust, because our country trusts and respects the upper class, an existing remnant of feudalism that should have been eradicated by now.

    4. I dont know if im wrong in this but it seems you are always trying to defend corona. I dont care if a little illegality is used to catch these liars & cheats as without that they wouldnt get caught. Now i agree with you tuason should have been checked out. Even now she should be checked out & if found out she was lying her immunity would be lifed as in the rules it says all knowledge should be told to the investigators so if she hasnt told all her immunity can be revoked. I would never have giiven her immunity in the 1st place as im sure there is enough corrobative evidence to find these guilty. But i also believe there is more in the government who are guilty & are maybe being protected. No stone should be left unturned in this case as if we can get all convicted & jailed for life im sure it will show people what happens to them for cheating & they will think twice before doing it.

      • Pre, do you know why Renalo Corona is always the person mentioned by many as an example of the best victim of the Aquino administration? It is because he was, other than Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, subjected to lies, fabrication and manufacturing of evidence and ultimately the biggest bribe in a single transaction to so many and what is more objectionable and immoral is bribing the Senators to convict the man. And please, do not say that what I am saying is hearsay because no less than Sexy Jinngoy spilled the beans on this bribing transaction led by PNoy.

      • With the exposure of the billion pesos PDAF scam done by Janet Lim Napoles where some Senators and Congressmen along with the vindictive President and his cohorts are all in the Napoles Lists ,are the same lawmakers who acted like they are of clean slate to impeach CJ Renato Corona, The world is small after all, politics as dirty as it is ,somehow they got caught red-handed and lost everything , Money could be found but honor , once its lost , it cannot be replaced.

    5. Jose A. Oliveros on

      PeNoy must be secretly laughing that his bill did not become a law; otherwise, it could have been used against him. Purisima’s failure to deny what columnist Amb. Tiglao had mentioned in his column is implied admission of the truth thereof. A Latin maxim familiar to lawyers is: qui tacit consintere videtur. (Silence means admission or consent).

    6. Mr. Tiglao thank you for printing the whole of aquino’s explanatory note of his bill which objected the former President’s re-appointing her people rejected by the CA. That was not long ago, really time have changed or was it aquino who has changed when he became the president?. Has power overpowered his weak mind that he became intoxicated with it? I wonder how his malacanang rah rah boys will react to this blatant mockery of the constitution by aquino himseld. A hypocrite and double face president being uncovered, unmasked and undressed by his own folly.

    7. SALVACION CAHAYAG on

      This administration is by far the worst the country has ever had. Past presidents
      has not been as vindictive such as this Abnoy. Before I was proud to be a Filipino.
      Now? How can we as people be proud when everyday we see news of corruption
      in government. Bribing congress was never a practice of past administration.Using
      pork barrel money to buy members of congress into impeaching a sitting chief
      just was not and never resorted to by past presidents. Selective justice? It is very
      obvious. This Abnoy continues to protect his cohorts in the likes of Abad who
      was pointed to as the mastermind of the pork barrel. Why? maybe they’re all in
      the same boat. The crime of one is the crime of all. Also, the DAP has been sitting
      in the Supreme Court for long already. But up to now, its still sitting there. What are
      the justices doing with it. If they only decide sooner, things should have been better.
      Or, are the justices waiting for something too. Justice delayed is justice denied.
      Let these involved in the pork barrel mess should be punished regardless of who
      they are. Maraming Filipino ang naghihirap pero imbes na tulongan sila ay ninakaw
      ng mga nasa gobiyerno ang pera ng bayan. Maawa naman kayo. These involved
      like Enrile if proven should be punished up to the full force of the law. Even if he
      is already 90 years old, he should be made to answer for his crimes. Karma is
      catching up with him for what he did to Marcos. Abad too should not be spared
      for masterminding the pork barrel as reported. In the application of the law no
      one should be protected. Let the law takes it course fairly. In this way, Filipinos
      can be respected elsewhere around the world.

    8. Basing on Mr. Tiglao’s article today, let me surmise my thoughts about::
      1. There was already an arrangement between PNoy and his group and Tuazon that the return of the P40 million will be dramatized to trick the public into believing what Tuazon were saying. The rest of the loot will be shared by the PNoy group and Tuazon and after the 32 musketeers will be jailed, she will be scotched free.
      2.Carpio-Morales and Crying lady Mendoza were part of the stage-play to assure the impeachment of poor Renato Corona. They shamelessly lied, fabricated and manufactured evidence against the man and those thieves in the Senate took all those lies and fabrications as gospel truth.
      3.The corruption in the judiciary, like in the BOC and BIR is already a cancer. The only remedy for now is conduct a master surgery on the justices, judges and their employees to weed out those cancerous cells.
      4.PNoy is an anomaly in the country which would not have happened had the public, the electors used their brains when they voted him to office. The country and her people will have to endure all the misery we are subjected to until 2016 when we are rid of him. For now, misery runs on.

      • Julian Aguila on

        sabi mo, “poor Renato Corona”. I doubt if he was poor at all. That was exactly the issue against him. Sabi ni Tiglao sa article niya, Corona did not have 12 million dollars, one million dollars lang. That’s poor???