Tag Archives: #Office of the Ombudsman

After inheriting House post, Judy Syjuco faces jail term

“We inherit nothing truly, but what our actions make us worthy of.”

–George Chapman


By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Was it a case of “ako ang bahala, ikaw ang kawawa?” (I’ll be in charge, you face the consequences).
If she did not “inherit” the congressional post from her husband, former Iloilo second district Rep. Judy Syjuco would have been enjoying her life as a private citizen today.
Syjuco is a wealthy woman. She looks more of a socialite than a public servant.
She was supportive of her politician husband, but was never a politician herself in her entire life until she became a congresswoman in 2004.
In fact, she did not need to run for any public office to steal and enrich herself. She could donate her salary for three years and her net worth wouldn’t suffer a dent.
Her income as a politician would be peanuts vis-a-vis her family’s income from their business empire.


In fact, Rep. Judy Syjuco was among the richest solons during her time.
Her trouble started when husband, Augusto a.k.a. “Boboy”, did not want the position to be grabbed by their political rivals, thus he convinced Judy to succeed him.
It was Augusto’s obsession for political power that drove Judy to enter the dirty world of politics, which was probably far from her dream when she married Augusto, a successful industrialist before he became a Constitutional Convention delegate in 1971.
Now Judy is in trouble and there is a chance she would end up in jail if she can’t wiggle out from a graft case filed by the Office of the Ombudsman.


The Sandiganbayan has ruled that the evidence submitted by the Office of the Ombudsman is enough to proceed to trial for the alleged payment of P5.9 million to West Island Beverages Distributor (West Island) for the purchase of 1,582 units of Nokia 1100 cell phones using Syjuco’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel.
Payment was made despite the non-delivery of the cell phones to the intended beneficiaries–the municipal tele-centers in Western Visayas, according to the Office of the Ombudsman.
Since West Island is not an accredited supplier, it should have been disqualified from the bidding, added the Office of the Ombudsman.
“What cell phones? I never saw cell phones nor any single centavo,” Syjuco said in a statement after the Sandiganbayan Third Division denied her motion to dismiss the graft and malversation cases filed against her and 10 other individuals including former officials of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).


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Why Iloilo mayor with Ombud case is unfazed

“Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.”
–Mary Tyler Moore


By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY –– Some public officials facing a case filed by the Office of the Ombudsman in the Philippines, normally refuse to talk to the media for fear of the oft-repeated adage that “more talk more mistakes.”
And if they feel they have an iota of guilt, these public officials would be dissuaded by their lawyers from talking about the merits of the case in public.
They panic and avoid the press like they were hiding from creditors.
In many cases, they cry “political harassment” even before the suit has reached the public attention.
But not Mayor Rosario Mediatrix Fernandez of San Enrique, Iloilo.
Instead of saying “no comment” or “just talk to our lawyers” as we usually hear from any accused in a court case, Fernandez confidently declared that she “will defend myself in court. I will prove that no public funds were stolen.”


Fernandez and former municipal treasurer Imelda Celebrar are facing charges at the Sandiganbayan for the delayed contributions of San Enrique, Iloilo municipal employees to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF or Pag-IBIG) amounting to P5.96 million.
GSIS contributions that were not paid right away covered the months of January to October 2011, April 2012, and June to October 2012.
Fernandez and Celebrar also failed to remit on time a total of P620,000 to the HDMF, popularly known as Pag-Ibig. The contributions should have been remitted “within 30 days from the time they became due and demandable.”
When the news broke out last month, the lady chief executive gamely allowed the press to get her side and never gave them a hard time.


As long as she did not steal, Fernandez said she is ready to face the case. She declared: “Amo man lang ‘ni ang aton lapse pero ma-assure ko ang akon mga kasimanwa nga wala sang may nadula nga pundo.”
She explained further: “Seguro for some reason seguro negligence man kun kis-a masalig sila (treasurer and accounting office), ma-delay ang mga remittances, not being aware nga may legal impediment ini s’ya gali. Clean and transparent ang governance naton. Ang ini nga lapse is delay sa remittance, not nga gintakaw ang kwarta.”
Fernandez probably is not afraid to be penalized as long as no taxpayer’s money went to her pocket.
This makes her case unique among other cases filed in the Office of the Ombudsman.


In the Philippines today, what President Duterte wants President Duterte gets.
If the president wants congress to “urgently” pass the death penalty bill before his term expires, President Duterte’s wish will surely be granted –barring some unforeseen circumstances like the passionate and aggressive opposition of the church and human rights organizations.
The debate on the restoration of capital punishment in a pre-dominantly Catholic country like the Philippines is expected to explode and produce violent lava that will define the Duterte administration.
The events that will unfold in the next three months are worth watching.


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You want peace in Bacolod? Kick out Bing and Monico

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

— Mark Twain


By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — As long as Monico “Nyok” Puentevella and Evelio “Bing” Leonardia are active in Bacolod City politics, the City of Smile can never have a political peace of mind.
The two archenemies are Bacolod’s version of Cromwell vs Charles I, Stalin vs Trotsky, Pompey vs Caesar, and Pizarro vs Atahualpa.
They will stop at nothing until they have totally obliterated one another.
The bad blood between the two Ilonggo leaders has escalated in epic proportions.
Whoever sits as city mayor will always be at the receiving end of tidal waves of graft and corruption cases, including their proteges who happen to take over while they are either under suspension or have been sacked.
Whoever between the two is the representative in the city’s lone congressional district will surely wipe his face with graft and corruption charges–real or imagined.
Graft charges have been their most abused weaponry to rock the boat whoever between them is in the helm or the sitting mayor and congressman, respectively.


When Puentevella was the city mayor, then congressman Leonardia peppered Puentevella with graft cases in the Office of the Ombudsman, one of which was related to the anomalous purchase of P26-million worth of computer sets that resulted in Puentevella’s preventive suspension for 90 days in 2015.
Leonardia, who ousted Puentevella in their epic match in the May 2016 mayoral election, was himself recently ordered ousted by the Office of the Ombudsman for neligence in the procurement of P50-million worth of furniture and fixtures.
Leonardia’s camp pointed an accusing finger at, who else, Puentevella, to be behind the “harassment.” Puentevella, as usual, feigned innocence as Leonardia wont to do.
Their counter accusations have become akin to a pot calling the kettle black.
Their long-drawn-out quarrel, although political in nature, has demoralized their respective followers in particular, and the Bacolodnons in and outside the country in general.


As long as they continue to wield power and influence, even if they are temporarily out as elected mayor or congressman vice versa, their bitter rivalry will hamper the basic services and operations in the metropolis’ seat of political power, in one way or the other.
If Bacolodnons want to bring back stability, harmony, and even sanity in city hall, they should stop treating the selection process of their mayor and congressman as like that of a game of Trip to Jerusalem between two angry slow-mo dancers.
They should stop limiting the positions of city mayor and congressman only between two harpooned and recycled gladiators.
They should elect fresh faces, new leaders with a reinvigorated vision and mission; leaders that possess humility and emotional intelligence; and modern political philosophy sans any shade of petty intramural and infantile bickering.
Bacolod has to move on; move forward even without Puentevella and Leonardia.

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Posted by on January 16, 2017 in NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!, POLITICS


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