Dating kongresista, sinampahan ng reklamong malversation of public funds sa Ombudsman

admin   •   November 18, 2014   •   2853

Former Ating Koop Partylist Representative Isidro Lico (Photo Credits: House of Representatives)

MANILA, Philippines – Sinampahan ng reklamo ng kanyang mga dating kasamahan si dating Ating Koop Partylist Representative Isidro Lico sa Office of the Ombudsman ngayong Martes.

Malversation of public funds at paglabag sa Anti-Corruption Practices Act ang isinampang reklamo laban kay Lico.

Ayon sa grupo, nalaman nila ang umano’y katiwalian ng kongresista noong nakaraang taon nang lumabas ang pangalan nito sa isang pahayagan tungkol sa mga mambabatas na umano’y sangkot sa pork barrel scam.

Agad nilang inimbestigahan ang alegasyon at napagalamang may mahigit P15 million na PDAF si Lico na inilagay sa mga umano’y pekeng NGO ng isang Godofredo Roque.

“Tulad ng Muslim Foundation na hindi naman namin kinikilala at hindi sa sektor ng kooperatiba. So iyon ay tahasang paglabag sa panloob naming batas na aming adhikain,” saad ni Federico Pineda Jr., isa sa mga complainant.

Natuklasan din ng grupo na gumamit umano ang mambabatas ng mahigit P70 million na pondo mula sa kanilang kooperatiba upang ipambili ng sariling kotse at ilang ari-arian.

Naka-attach sa kanilang formal complaint na isinumete ngayong araw ang mga pay slip ni Lico na nagpapatunay na tumatanggap lamang ito ng mahigit P52-libo bawat buwan na sweldo, kulang upang bayaran ang monthly amortization sa kotse na aabot sa mahigit P96,000 kada buwan.

Base sa kanilang imbestigasyon, kumukupit umano sa pondo ng kanilang partylist si Lico upang ipangdagdag sa monthly amortization ng lupa at kotse.

“Hindi ba tahasang paglabag iyan sa karapatan ng ating kasapian na dapat ay ginagamit iyon sa livelihood,” saad pa ni Pineda.

Dagdag pa ng mga ito, kwestyunable din ng ilan sa ari-arian ni Lico dahil hindi umano nakadeklara sa Statement of Assets Liabilities and Networth o SALN ng kongresista.

Dahil sa mga natuklasang katiwalian, tinanggal nila bilang miyembro si Lico at sinampahan ng reklamo sa Ombudsman. (Joyce Balancio / Ruth Navales, UNTV News)

PH records 8,719 new COVID-19 infections

Robie de Guzman   •   April 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ tally of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases has climbed to 979,740 on Friday after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 8,718 additional infections.

In its 4 p.m. bulletin, the DOH said the latest tally pushed the country’s total active cases to 102,799.

The agency noted that one laboratory failed to submit data on time.

Total recoveries climbed to 860,412 after 13,812 more patients recuperated from the viral respiratory disease.

The death toll rose to 16,529 with 159 new fatalities.

US, PH military forces conclude 36th Balikatan Exercise

Robie de Guzman   •   April 23, 2021

 MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine military and the United States Armed Forces have concluded the 36th Balikatan Exercise on Friday with a ceremony held at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) general headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

“The successful conduct of this year’s Balikatan Exercise 36-2021 has definitely brought us a step closer towards our goal of capacitating our forces, and as such, will consequently contribute to the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific Region,” said AFP Chief of Staff General Cirilito Sobejana.

The AFP said soldiers participating in the joint exercise were able to achieve the activity’s objectives in strengthening both militaries’ capability and experience.

“Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, both Filipino and American forces were able to achieve the objectives of this year’s Balikatan Exercise – to train together on defense and security efforts, leveraging on the capability, experience, and strength of both militaries’ longstanding friendship,” said Major General Edgard Arevalo, Commander of the AFP Education Training and Doctrine Command and this year’s Exercise Director.

Due to the global health crisis, the AFP said the magnitude of Balikatan 2021 was scaled down both in numbers of events and participants. Approximately 225 U.S. military personnel and 415 AFP personnel participated.

Major Balikatan 2021 events were held in Colonel Ernesto Ravina Airbase in Tarlac, where combined Air Force and Special Operations forces conducted close air support training, increasing interoperability across the joint forces.

AFP Northern Luzon Command Battle Staff and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command representatives conducted a bilateral staff exercise in Clark, Pampanga, while Philippine and U.S. Special Operations forces conducted a Bilateral Staff Academic Seminar in Taguig City.

Academic discussions and subject matter expert exchanges were held virtually to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The Philippine Air Force and U.S. Pacific Air Forces conducted a virtual Global Health Engagement and other virtual training on various air operations and capabilities.

The Exercise also included Humanitarian and Civic Assistance activities, which began on March 26, prior to the opening of the exercises. Philippine and U.S. service members completed the construction of two classrooms and a daycare center in Plaridel, a classroom in Atimonan, and a health clinic in Mauban, all of Quezon Province.

The AFP assured that health and safety protocols were strictly followed during the conduct of the exercise.

“The 36th Balikatan Exercise brought together AFP and U.S. Armed Forces amidst the challenge of a never-before-experienced health emergency. Our participants greatly benefitted from trainings, exchange of knowledge, and cooperative activities aimed at better enhancing our capabilities,” Arevalo said.

“Balikatan showcases the strength and resolve of the Philippine-U.S. alliance. These exercises demonstrate and improve our ability to jointly respond to crises. But training is never over. We will continue to advance our military-to-military partnership in pursuit of our shared commitment to mutual defense in a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law, who was also present during the closing ceremony.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, on the other hand, recognized the continuous commitment to the longstanding alliance of the Philippines and the U.S. government.

“Allow me to convey my gratitude to the U.S. Government, represented here by Mr. John Law, for its unwavering support to this annual exercise. I am likewise grateful for your constant and continued assurance of the ironclad commitment to our Mutual Defense Treaty,” he said.

Balikatan, which means “shoulder-to-shoulder” in Filipino, embodies the alliance and friendship between the Philippines and the United States.

The exercise officially opened on April 12 and was conducted in Northern and Southern Luzon for two weeks.

No PH-China ‘verbal fishing deal’ in West Philippine Sea — Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   April 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Friday denied allegations that President Rodrigo Duterte made a “verbal fishing agreement” with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the West Philippine Sea.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque dismissed the claims as “conjecture” and “without basis.”

“There is no truth to the speculation of a purported “verbal fishing agreement” between President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and President Xi Jin Ping, nor Chinese vessels were encouraged to stay in the West Philippine Sea despite the diplomatic protests and strongly-worded statements of Philippine government officials,” he said.

Roque said that a fishing agreement under the Philippine domestic laws can only be done through a treaty.

“Per Article 2 (1) (a) of the Vienna Convention on the Law on Treaties, a treaty is an international agreement concluded between States in written form,” he said.

“Clearly, a treaty must be in writing. No such treaty or agreement exists between the Philippines and China,” he added.

The Palace official, however, clarified that non-commercial fishing activities may be allowed in local waters as part of traditional fishing rights.

“The President does not condone unlawful commercial fishing by any state on Philippine waters,” Roque said.

“However, the President also recognizes that subsistence (non-commercial) fishing may be allowed as a recognition of the traditional fishing rights pointed out by the Arbitral Tribunal itself in its Award on Jurisdiction (para. 407) in the case between the Philippines and China,” he added.

Roque called on critics to “stop making malicious speculations and false claims made to pointlessly inflame the situation.”

“We ask everyone to just focus our time and effort on productive activities that will enable us to help one another at this time of the pandemic,” he said.

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