Ombudsman, nimando nga imbestigahan si GMA kalabot sa fertilizer fund scam

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, July 5 (PIA)–Gimando sa Office of the Ombudsman ang pag- imbestiga kang kanhi presidente ug karon Pampanga Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo sa isyu kalabot sa P728 milyong fertilizer fund scam.

Sa gipagawas nga kamanduan ni acting Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro nga gibasa sa tigpamaba sa Ombudsman nga si Atty. Mary Rawnsle Lopez, gi-aprubahan ni Casimiro an pagtukod og fact-finding team aron mag-imbestiga kang Arroyo base na usab sa reklamo nga gisang-at ni kanhi Solicitor General Attorney Frank Chavez ug sa grupong Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP).

Samtang gibasura usab ni Casimiro ang nauna nang rekomendasyon nga ma-dismiss ang maong kaso batok kang Arroyo tungod sa kakulang og lig-on nga ebidensya. Pasabot sa Ombudsman, tataw nga ang secretary mao ang alter ego sa presidente nga adunay direktang kontrol ug nagduma sa mga cabinet secretary.

Tuyo sa maong kamanduan sa Ombudsman nga mahibaw-an kun unsa man ang tulobagon ni Arroyo sa paggasto sa fertilizer fund ug diin kini padung.  Gawas kang Arroyo, kauban usab nga pa-imbestigahan sa Ombudsman si kanhi Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn ‘Joc-joc’ Bolante.

Posible usab nga ipatawag sa gitukod nga fact-finding team sa Ombudsman si Arroyo. (PIA Bohol/ecb)

Aquino signs Proclamation No. 50 granting amnesty to Trillanes et al

In a move to attain national unity, harmony and reconciliation, President Benigno S. Aquino III issued on Monday Presidential Proclamation No. 50 granting amnesty to soldiers and officers charged in connection with military uprisings in 2003, 2006 and 2007 including detained Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

The President said he submitted the proclamation to Congress for its concurrence after he signed the documents on Monday.

Trillanes, as a Navy officer then, led a band of soldiers that took over the posh Oakwood Apartments in Makati City in July 27, 2003 to demand the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and ranking military officials over corruption allegations. The short lived mutiny led to the arrest of Trillanes.

Three years later, in 2006, the Marines, led by Colonel Ariel Querubin, staged a standoff at Fort Bonifacio also to demand the resignation of Arroyo. Querubin was relieved of his post as commandant of the First Marine Brigade in Campo Ranao, Marawi City, and was put under detention until his release in July this year.

On Nov. 29, 2007 in Makati, Trillanes and Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim led soldiers in another protest strongly opposing the Arroyo administration. Lim was granted temporary liberty in May this year after posting bail.

The Senate asked President Aquino, through a resolution, to grant amnesty to Trillanes and other mutineers who were implicated in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny, the February 2006 coup attempt, and the 2007 Manila Peninsula Hotel siege.

Article VII, Section 19 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution grants the Office of the President the power to grant amnesty with the concurrence of a majority of all the members of Congress. (PCOO/PIA)

Palace stands pat on E.O. No. 2

MALACAÑANG on Thursday stood pat on its issuance of Executive Order No. 2 revoking “midnight appointments” made by the previous administration saying these violated the “intent and spirit of the constitutional ban on midnight appointments.”

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Eduardo De Mesa brushed aside former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s camp’s claim that E.O. No. 2 was unconstitutional because the appointments were made well before the ban took effect on March 10, 2010 or 45 days before the May 10 national elections.

In a press briefing in Malacañang on Thursday afternoon, De Mesa told reporters that the Supreme Court had, in several instances, already ruled on the issue when it nullified such appointments which took effect during the prohibition period as prescribed in the Constitution.

He explained that even though these so-called midnight appointments were made before March 10 or prior to the prohibition, the appointee was only able to assume office on the days when the ban had taken effect.

“The issue has been long settled by the SC itself when it prescribed that an appointment is a two-way process. It has to be accepted by the appointee and the appointee must take his oath (of office),” De Mesa said.

“So the SC has, in a very, very old case, already nullified appointments made during the prohibition period or which were not completed before the prohibition period,” he added.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the former President’s camp opted to “literally” interpret the provision banning midnight appointments.

“Our position is to take the spirit behind the provision which is that those appointments were made in violation of the spirit of the Constitution,” Lacierda added.

“As what Sec. De Mesa said, it is a two-way process. You have to have offer and acceptance,” Lacierda said, adding, “It is basic in administrative law, and it has already been settled several times in the Supreme Court. (PIA-Bohol)

PGMA signs EO’s removing tariff on 4 imported items

THE government has removed the tariff on imported steel, asphalt, crude oil and petroleum products.

President Arroyo issued Executive Order 890 on June 10, setting a uniform zero tariff on imported crude oil and refined petroleum products from member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and outside ASEAN.

“The elimination of three percent rates of duty on said products imported from non-ASEAN countries will address the tariff distortion,” the EO said.

The decision to remove the tariff on the said products was reached during the May 25 meeting of the National Economic Development Authority Board.

Mrs. Arroyo also signed the executive order that will effectively reduce the price of steel products by removing the tariff on imported hot rolled coils (HRC) and cold rolled coils (CRC).

Despite the efforts of Global Steel Philippines Inc. (GSPI) to defer it, the law was signed last June 22 as Executive Order 898. (PIA-Bohol)

RoRo beneficiaries help PGMA explain Ubay port premiums

SO many things to do, so little time.

Forty-eight hours away from walking out of the palace, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo still had her hands full.

In a brief visit to Bohol after leap-frogging from Manila to Ilo-ilo and then to Ubay, Bohol, the working president still needs to let people know that the government is not just coasting to a stop until the next administration picks up the speed.

With time running short and still instilling the government’s dream for Bohol, PGMA used two persons’ help.

Instead of speaking the benefits of the rehabilitated Ubay Roll-On Roll Off (RORO) Port in Bohol’s northeastern side, a construction worker and a businessman did it for her.

William Tadle, a heavy equipment operator of the construction company rehabilitating the P364M port said he had fed his family and found the work he needed to get through life decently.

Ubay port construction phase 1 was done when the country suffered from fiscal scrimp brought about by collapsing world economies in early 2009.

The project, contributed immensely to the government’s comprehensive livelihood and emergency employment program by allowing local employment, said Ubay town information Officer Virginia Dupa.

Tadle and many other workers constructed the port back up area, reinforced concrete pier, roll on roll off ramp, dredging and disposal, port mooring and fendering systems installation and port lighting facilities installation.

In fact, even after phase I, Tadle was still hired to lend heavy equipment support for the construction of additional back up area and thus make a 1.7 hectares more of port working area, according to Marra Builders, the winning bidder for the mega infrastructure project.

On the other hand, Ruben Hamili, a Cebu based agri food supplier said the port helped in getting their hog-lines and poultry feeds supply in time to their outlets in Bohol.

Then, the shipment of stocks from Cebu to their outlets in Bohol takes about four to five days, now its two days or even overnight, assuring their customers of the freshest products, he said in Cebuano in front of the President and some crowd of 3,000.

With the construction of a wider back-up cargo storage areas, businessmen like Ruben Hamili now have the option to transport goods right at their customers doorsteps or have them stocked at the port storage areas to cut on transport costs, says a project media briefer.

The Philippine Ports Authority funds Ubay Port, a component of the country’s Strong Republic Nautical Highways and makes travel by goods and people across the islands fast and affordable while allowing the growth of local tourism.

Ubay Port serves RoRo vessels plying the Ubay-Hilongos, Ubay-Maasin and Ubay-Bato routes, while it opens the possibility of Ubay-Dinagat, Ubay-Nasipit and Ubay-Baybay.

The President, who was not expected to speak in Ubay engagement, gamely took the microphone and asked the two guys to tell the people their stories.

Going out of the palace on Wednesday bearing a stain of criticism for corruption, records would show that the Arroyo Administration has built more that two pervious administrations combined, states Ganito Tayo Noon material printed in major national dailies late last year. (PIA-Bohol)