Friday, April 29, 2016

Duterte to shut down Congress if threatened with impeachment

MANILA - Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Friday warned that he will close down Congress if he would face impeachment attempts as president.
Vice presidential candidate Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who alleged that Duterte has bank transactions amounting to P2.407 billion, has vowed to impeach the mayor right away if he wins in the May 9 presidential elections.
Speaking to reporters at his campaign rally in Olongapo City, Pampanga, Duterte denied hiding any ill-gotten wealth, reiterating that two of his bank accounts only hold P50,000 and P17,000 each.
He added that he will leave Trillanes with no avenue to unseat him from Malacañang.
"P*****, impeach mo ako dahil sa P17,000? Kalokohan, ipasara ko na lang ang Congress," he said.
Asked what he'd do if Trillanes wins as his vice president, he said: "Paalisin ko na lang siya sa tabi."
"Doon na lang siya sa mga kabarkada niya sa PMA (Philippine Military Acedemy). Doon siya magaling sa mga kudeta," he added, referring to the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny led by Trillanes.
Trillanes on Wednesday alleged that Duterte was keeping P211 million in a joint account with his daughter, Sara, at the BPI branch on Julia Vargas Avenue in Pasig City.
Duterte's spokesperson, Peter Laviña, denied the existence of the BPI account.
Journalist Ellen Tordesillas, however, posted on her Facebook account a photo of a deposit slip which proves that a joint account of Duterte and his daughter at BPI exists.
After the proof surfaced on social media, Duterte admitted that the account at the BPI branch on Julia Vargas does exist, but he insisted that it does not contain P211 million.
In a recent development, Trillanes claimed Friday that Duterte's accounts in BPI Julia Vargas and two other banks received P2.407 billion in total deposits, from 2006 to 2015.
Duterte told his supporters not to believe Trillanes, whom he dubbed as a "mercenary".
The PDP-Laban bet also said that he if he truly amassed hidden wealth, then he would not have run for the presidency but could have used this money to enjoy a comfortable retirement.


Duterte also warned that he would take necessary actions against Trillanes if the latter executes an affidavit stating that he has records of that account, and the manner and purpose with which the documents were obtained.
The tough-talking mayor said Trillanes can be charged with perjury if he cannot prove that undeclared wealth was indeed funneled into Duterte's alleged accounts.
He added that the senator's expose is illegal and violates the Bank Secrecy Law.
Trillanes and several presidential candidates earlier urged Duterte tosign a waiver allowing full disclosure of his bank accounts.


Duterte also confirmed that he is in talks with Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison to discuss initial plans for inclusive governance if he is elected as president.
Duterte said Congress will determine the parameters of such an agreement, but everyone will be included in the discussions, especially the Armed Forces.
Duterte also clarified an earlier statement that he would establish a revolutionary government, saying he only meant instituting reforms in government agencies, particularly the bureaus of Customs and Internal Revenue.


Meanwhile, a slight scuffle also ensued between former Zambales Governor Vic Magsaysay and local security manning the stage of Duterte's Olangapo sortie.
Magsasay was reportedly denied access to the stage where Duterte was delivering his speech.
Piqued, Magsaysay allegedly hit the security men several times.

Pag-IBIG Fund Launches Pag-IBIG Service Desk in Canada

 Pag-IBIG Fund President and Chief Executive Officer Atty. Darlene Marie B. Berberabe met with the Filipino community (FilCom) leaders, members of the Filipino business community, and representatives from the local media in Vancouver and Toronto to present the programs and services of Pag-IBIG Fund, and to launch the Pag-IBIG Fund Members Services Desk in Canada.

 The said briefings were arranged by the respective Philippine Consulate Generals in the said cities where there is a concentration of Filipino workers and permanent residents. There are about 700 thousand Filipinos in Canada consisting of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), permanent residents and immigrants. Worldwide, Canada ranks 6th among countries with Filipinos in terms of Pag-IBIG housing loan availments. "With the sizeable number of Filipinos in Canada and their strong demand in Pag-IBIG housing loans, we deemed it opportune to open a Pag-IBIG service desk in Canada so we can provide better access for our members," Atty. Berberabe said.

 Atty. Berberabe also paid a courtesy call on Consul General Neil Frank Ferrer of the Philippine Consulate in Vancouver, and Consul Shirley Banquicio of the Philippine Consulate in Toronto, to present the program for overseas Filipinos. "We are honored to be here with you and excited as well to share with you the products and services that the Fund offers to Pag-IBIG members all over the world," said Atty. Berberabe.

 She said that the total number of Pag-IBIG members as of December 2015 already reached 15.9 million, 30% of which or around 4.4 million are OFWs. The Pag-IBIG President also explained that the reforms implemented by the Fund in the last five years made possible the doubling of benefits, including doubling of loanable amount from P3 Million to P6 Million, and reducing interest rate by half from 11.5% to now 5.5% per annum.

Pag-IBIG is currently one of the best performing Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations in the Philippines with P398 Billion total assets and a net income of P20.52 Billion in 2015. In the same year, Pag-IBIG declared P14.24 Billion in dividends, which will be proportionately credited to the accounts of Pag-IBIG members at a dividend rate of 4.8% – significantly higher than the interest rates of other savings products. "With Pag-IBIG's robust financial standing and transparent fiscal management, you can be assured that your savings with Pag-IBIG is secure and grows faster.

OFWs are mandatorily covered by Pag-IBIG while Filipino immigrants and permanent residents are welcome to become voluntary members," Atty. Berberabe added. She also said that Pag-IBIG offers online services to provide convenience to payment transactions with the Fund. Pag-IBIG's website is capable of processing online membership registration and can accept payments for membership dues using MasterCard and Visa credit cards.

Tracking of a member's savings is also possible via the site's online verification system for membership savings. Atty. Berberabe also met with Mr. Evan Siddall, President of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

 In the said meeting arranged by the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa, Mr. Siddall and Atty. Berberabe exchanged best practices in their respective institutions to address the concern of providing affordable housing to its members. The Members Services Desk will be set up in Toronto. Overseas Filipinos may now avail of the Pag-IBIG services and benefits by getting in touch with our Information Officer Ms. Elizabeth Borres at (647) 642-3694 or

Assist WELL Reaches out to OFWs

Assist WELL Reaches out to OFWs
OWWA Deputy Administrator Josefino I. Torres and NCR Director Emma Sinclair guide OWWA personnel as they assist OFWs during the DOLE-led Assist WELL job fair activity which takes place on 10 March 2016 at OSHC in Quezon City. The Assist WELL Center maintains a centralized data base to monitor and coordinate with participating DOLE-attached agencies and other offices on the applications filed by the OFWs concerning assistance they need.

PhilHealth Holds 1st Kapihan for 2016

PHILHEALTH STATEMENT: NHIP Implementation in the Province of Davao

Marcos to formally ask Comelec why his OAV votes going to Gringo

Vice presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday said his lawyers are preparing a complaint to be filed before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) over the issue of discrepancies in vote receipts during the Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV).
 “We are in the process of collating all complaints, all data in preparation for the filing of a complaint before the Comelec regarding the controversy. We will exert all efforts to get to the bottom of this,” Marcos said in a statement.
Marcos issued the statement amid the reported incidence of discrepancies between actual votes on the ballot and the printed voters’ receipts during the ongoing Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) particularly in Hong Kong, Dubai, Kuwait and Japan.
In an earlier statement, Marcos claimed that based on the reports reaching his office, the votes that were supposed to be credited to him were being credited in the receipts to fellow vice presidential candidate Sen. Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan.
In his latest statement, Marcos said a similar incident also occurred recently in California in the United States.
"When the voter in California complained to the election officers, he was scolded by the Board of Elections Inspectors (BEIs) who ordered him to just go home. The BEI even allegedly tore his vote," Marcos said.
"What is disturbing is that I am the only one losing votes!" he added.
Marcos had earlier called on the Comelec to issue an explanation over the alleged incidence of discrepancies during the OAV as well as definite guidelines on what the voters should do in case they encounter discrepancy problems. — APG, GMA News

Mother identifies Mary Jane Veloso's alleged recruiters in court

On the eve of the first anniversary of Mary Jane Veloso's near execution in Indonesia, her mother positively identified in court the two alleged recruiters blamed for sending her to Yogyakarta Airport with heroin in her luggage.
On Thursday, April 28, Celia Veloso took the stand for the prosecution during the trial for the human trafficking case filed against Maria Christina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao at the Baloc Regional Trial Court Branch 37 in Nueva Ecija.
She followed daughter Maritess, who testified as the prosecution's first witness on a hearing on March 29, according to the National Union of People's Lawyers.
The NUPL said both Celia and Maritess positively identified Sergio and Lacanilao, who the group said "kept a cocky poise while side commenting, snickering and shaking their head" during the trial.
"[Celia] vividly recalled, while sobbing copiously, the miserable fate that gripped her youngest daughter. Celia bellowed that what happened to Mary Jane and their whole family cannot be assuaged by anything in this world," NUPL secretary general Edre Olalia said.
Veloso was arrested at the Yogyakarta Airport in 2010 and sentenced to death after Indonesian authorities found 2.6 kilograms of heroin inside the lining of a suitcase Sergio allegedly handed her in Malaysia. She was given a last-minute reprieve on April 29 last year.
The trial for the human trafficking case against Sergio and Lacanilao will resume on June 14 at 1:30 p.m., the NUPL said.
Olalia claimed earlier that the prosecution lined up 12 witnesses in the qualified human trafficking, simple illegal recruitment and estafa cases filed against Sergio and Lacanilao.  Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News


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