Martial law survivors urge SC to uphold conviction vs Imelda

Martial law survivors urge SC to uphold conviction vs Imelda | Juan Manila

 

A graft conviction against former first lady Imelda Marcos seemingly turned quiet, as there had been no update, since she appealed her conviction at the Sandiganbayan, with the notice forwarded to the high court in 2018.

Martial law survivors seek any update on the case and urged the Supreme Court early this week to affirm the conviction.

Why is she still out of jail, they asked.


 

MANILA, Philippines — The Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) and the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang and Martial Law (CARMMA) are waiting for an update on Imelda Marcos’ case, either from the Sandiganbayan or the Supreme Court three years after she appealed her conviction.

“We suffered during the Marcos conjugal dictatorship, and we continue to suffer as we continue to see that Imelda is out of jail, out of accountability.

The dictator’s widow continues to live the life, not sickly and dirt-poor, as she receives all the geriatric care she wants and needs using all the wealth from the people’s pockets accumulated in their more than two decades of power and might,” SELDA vice-chairperson and CARMMA convener Danilo de la Fuente said in a statement.

Convicted of seven counts of graft by the Sandiganbayan in 2018 for illegally funneling at least $352 million to Swiss foundations in the 1970s while she was governor of Metropolitan Manila, Imelda Marcos was also sentenced to six years and one month of imprisonment to eleven years for each count of graft, equivalent to a minimum of 42 years in prison.

The Sandiganbayan allowed her to post bail at ₱300,000 citing old age and state of health.

“We urge the Supreme Court not be an accessory to the Marcos’ continuing grand deception and escape from accountability,” the groups told Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo. (RA/JuanManila)

BIR to submit report on Pharmally probe by yearend

BIR to submit report on Pharmally probe by yearend | Juan Manila

 

The Bureau of Internal Revenue committed to submit a consolidated report on Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation and government contractors involved in the alleged anomalous billion-peso budget deals in the procurement of pandemic-response medical supplies.

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has earlier urged the BIR to form a task force to perform a special audit on taxes padi by government suppliers during the pandemic.


 

MANILA, Philippines — The revenue agency has started its investigation on Pharmally and other government suppliers, according to a document cited by the head of the Senate Finance Committee Juan Edgardo Angara.

The probe “is being undertaken by concerned revenue district office per memos o the Commissioner issued in September and November,” Angara said.

Based on a conversation with BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay, Angara explained that the probe is conducted by regional districts because the companies under probe are located in different revenue district offices.

He went on to remark that considering the conditions, conducting a single probe is challenging. The revenue service bureau, on the other hand, stated that a consolidated report will be issued by the end of 2021.

President Rodrigo Duterte told senators earlier that they may imprison Pharmally executives for failing to pay their taxes.

On 28 October, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon stated that Pharmally claimed a tax credit worth ₱96 million in 2020 but failed to pay any tax, citing BIR documents.

He continued saying that a single investigation is difficult to conduct under the circumstances. However, the revenue service bureau said it will come up with a consolidated report by the end of 2021. (RA/JuanManila)

Who is going to pay for all the debts?

Who is going to pay for all the debts? | Juan Manila

 

Should we start worrying when people in government start asking about who is going to the country’s “soaring debt”?

Lest we forget, we are heading for a national and local elections. All actors at play are bleeding out large amounts of cash, influence, and good will for a six-year term target to manage the country’s affairs, both foreign or national.


 

MANILA, Philippines — Brought up during budget plenary debates in the Senate was the national debt inventory, which, as of end-September, is at 61.3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) or the country’s economic output, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Treasury.

According to Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, the figure has already surpassed the global standard in assessing a country’s ability to pay it debts, which is at 60 percent GDP.

At the same time, the government keeps on borrowing money, left and right, in the name of the pandemic, when it has little time left for the incumbent to address repayment, debt obligations, or debt servicing.

Meanwhile, analysts said debt levels are monitored by credit rating agencies, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic causing the economic downturn.

Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, head of the Senate Finance Committee, stated that governments have the option to spend more on loans in extreme circumstances. He spoke on behalf of the country’s economic managers during the session.

“In normal times, it’s 60 percent of debt percentage of your GDP; but in abnormal times, like now, the IMF (International Monetary Fund) has revised that figure to go up to 70 percent,” Angara explained.

“Most countries now have breached their predicted deficit levels,” he continued.

“I think the goal of Finance Secretary [Carlos] Dominguez and the other economic managers [is] to be somewhere in the middle. Our credit rating is not affected and consumers and the government can still avail of favorable credit terms,” Angara further expounded.

In comparison, during the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the debt-to-GDP ratio as of Q3 (the third quarter) of 2005 was the highest at 65.7 percent, according to the records from the Treasury Bureau.

The percentage of loans compared to the economy will remain within the 60 percent range even as the government incurs more debt as growth expands, Angara disclosed while citing the country’s economic managers.

With outstanding government loans ballooning to ₱11.9 trillion in September after authorities borrowed more to build up on COVID-19 funds, according to Angara, the figure is expected to ease to ₱11.7 trillion by year-end because of net payments.

“Loans (should) go to the productive side of our economy rather than the pockets of corrupt officials,” the minority leader stressed.

In an earlier statement, presidential aspirant Senator Panfilo Lacson said that every Filipino, even “those born today”, is already indebted with ₱220,000 in debt. (RA/JuanManila)

Duterte-Carpio leaves HNP for Lakas-CMD

Duterte-Carpio leaves HNP for Lakas-CMD | Juan Manila

 

Soon after Sara Duterte-Carpio withdrew her certificate of candidacy (COC) as Davao City mayor, she joined the political party Lakas-CMD (Christina Muslim Democrats), leaving her former Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP).


 

MANILA, Philippines — Duterte-Carpio took her oath at the Revilla Farm in Silang, Cavite, 6 p.m., Thursday.

Present during her oathtaking was House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, who is also the president of the party, with Senator Ramon Revilla Jr.

“The officials and members of Lakas-CMD are elated to welcome Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte as new member of our party,” Romualdez said.

“We had long been inviting Mayor Inday to join our party as we are all impressed with her sterling qualities as a leader and we saw up close her exemplary work ethic as chief executive of Davao City,” he added.

According to Romualdez, Duterte-Carpio “will be a very promising leader and a tremendous asset to the Lakas-CMD.”

This recent move further induced conversations of her going after a national post for the May 2022 elections.

However, Duterte-Carpio has not yet released an official statement on her decision. (HMP/JuanManila)