Campaign against tax evaders and smugglers paying off – Aquino

GOVERNMENT efforts to run after tax evaders and smugglers are “paying off” after President Benigno S. Aquino III said that revenue collection for the first six months of this year has increased dramatically.

In his speech keynoting the 1st Integrity Summit held at the Grand Ballroom of the Marriot Hotel in Pasay City Wednesday, President Aquino revealed that the government’s campaign against tax evaders and smugglers had helped in putting in much needed revenues into government coffers by as much as 13.47 percent.

“Since we assumed office, we have worked on improving our tax administration efforts and some of the things we have done is run after tax evaders, smugglers and corrupt government officials,” the President told the gathering of local and global corporate leaders, anti-corruption experts, and senior government officials.

He noted that since July 2010 a total of 61 tax evasion cases and 43 smuggling cases have been filed against these groups and individuals “with claims totaling around P26-billion and 54-billion, respectively.”

“As we continue to monitor these cases, I am happy to report that our campaign against tax evaders and smugglers is paying off,” the President said.

“From January to July this year, revenues collected have already increased by 13.47 percent year on year,” he added.

He said that these “taxes that could have gone to social services, infrastruchture, debt reduction or national defense” had the previous administration been more alert to the situation. (PCOO)

Aquino keen on National Broadband Network but not revival of NBN-ZTE deal

WHILE he noted a need for a national broadband network, President Benigno S. Aquino III made it clear that he is not in favor of reviving the controversial NBN-ZTE broadband project for the government.

During a chance interview in Malacanang, President Aquino said that there is a need for a broadband and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is currently “inventorying what we have” as the basis for the broadband network.

“Now, if there is need to engage the telcos, which was my position, they are already ready as far as a broadband is concerned,” he said after the oath-taking of appointed government officials, and generals and flag officers.

“So [as for] reviving something similar to the ZTE, no way. But utilizing what we already have to meet the needs, and that is currently being assessed, the plan is being drawn up by DOST,” the president stressed.

The controversial P330-million national broadband network (NBN) deal between the Philippines and China’s ZTE Corp. was cancelled in 2007 after news about anomalous government contracts came out. (PCOO)

PH now included in Rome Statute International Criminal Court

THE Philippines has become the 117th state to join the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the court that deals specifically with the most gruesome crimes facing humanity.

According to a press statement, Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on foreign relations, deposited the instrument with the UN Office of Legal Affairs Wednesday. With her was Ambassador Libran Cabactulan, Philippine permanent representative to the UN.

President Benigno S. Aquino III signed the Instrument of Ratification last May 6, and the Senate concurred on August 24.

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago sponsored Senate Resolution Number 546 which gave the Senate’s concurrence, with Legarda as co-sponsor.

The ICC is based in The Hague, Netherlands, and has jurisdiction over individuals from states that are parties to the treaty in cases involving genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. (End)

Aquino convenes second LEDAC meeting next week

PRESIDENT Benigno S. Aquino III will convene the members of the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) where they are expected to discuss the common legislative agenda, the new administration measures to be proposed and the Philippine Development Plan.

In a media briefing at the Palace on Thursday, Presidential Deputy Spokesperson Abigail Valte said that the second LEDAC meeting is schedule to be held on Tuesday (August 16) adding that the bills that were left behind during the first meeting will be re-submitted.

“The second LEDAC meeting will be on the 16th, that is a Tuesday and the agenda will (include) updates on the common legislative agenda, new bills to be proposed, and a discussion on the Philippine Development Plan,” Valte said.

During first LEDAC meeting held last February 28, the majority of the 23 priority bills gained a “broad consensus” among the members during the discussions.

Among the priority bills that were discussed were the proposed creation of Department of Housing and Urban Development, the amendments to the National Health Insurance Act, the postponement of elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the proposed reorganization of the National Food Authority (NFA), among others. (PCOO)

PNoy mipasalig nga mapasakaan gayud og kaso ang mga nalambigit sa pagpanikas sa milabay’ng piniliay

TAGBILARAN CITY, Aug. 2 (PIA)–GIPASALIG ni President Benigno S. Aquino III nga ang kagamhanan mopasaka gayud og kaso batok sa mga personalidad nga nalambigit sa giingong pagpanikas sa piniliay sa tuig 2004.  Sa usa ka ambush interview human sa Multi Stakeholders Forum ganinang buntag didto sa Dagohoy Grand Hall sa Bohol Tropics Resort, miingon ang Presidente nga gibuhat na sa gobyerno ang tanang mahimo niini aron mapagawas ang kamatuoran base sa mga lig-on nga ebidensiya sa maong isyo.

Gitataw sa Presidente nga gikinahanglan ang lig-on nga ebidensiya ug dili angay magsalig sa mga pahayag sa pipila ka personalidad nga nangangkon’g dunay kasayuran kalabot niini.  Dugang pa sa Presidente nga ang mga impormasyong nakuha gikan sa nagkalain-laing
testigo, subject for evaluation pa.

Sa pagkakaron, ilang gitotokan ang four tracks of investigation nga posibleng magdala sa mas lalom pa nga pagsabot sa maong isyo.

Duha ka buhatan sa gobyerno, ang Department of Justice ug ang Commission on Elections (Comelec) ang mag-uban sa pag-imbestigar sa mga alegasyong pagpanikas sa piniliay sa tuig 2004 ug 2007. (PIA-Bohol/ecb)