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islander

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Aide recounts ‘pork’ scams since ’90s
« on: February 11, 2014, 03:15:34 PM »
Aide recounts ‘pork’ scams since ’90s (1)

jarius-bondoc - Aide recounts ‘pork’ scams since ’90s - Talk of the TownGOTCHA By Jarius Bondoc
The Philippine Star
February 10, 2014


Seven years ago I ran a three-part series on senators’ pork-barrel scams. A source, “Jason,” narrated his sordid tasks as aide and later consultant for several senators since the 1990s. It’s worth rerunning portions of the account, if only to stress that the problem has festered from then till today.

The senators are described, not identified. Who they were in 1992 to 2007 are listed in the link: http://www.senate.gov.ph/senators/senlist.asp. Full texts of the three Gotcha installments – 7, 9, and 11 May 2007– can be accessed in the archives below. More details on the pork barrel of the 1990s-2000s in my book, “Exposés: Investigative Reporting for Clean Government,” available at all National Bookstore and Powerbooks branches.

* * *


Linkback: https://tubagbohol.mikeligalig.com/index.php?topic=77551.0
Republic Act 8485 (Animal Welfare Act of 1998, Philippines), as amended and strengthened by House  Bill 6893 of 2013--- violation means a maximum of P250,000 fine with a corresponding three-year jail term and a minimum of P30,000 fine and six months imprisonment

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Re: Aide recounts ‘pork’ scams since ’90s
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2014, 03:16:44 PM »
Dear Mr. Bondoc,

Let me start my story with persons I met in my first of 12 years in the Senate, as regular staff and project consultant. Keep my identity safe. Fresh from college I worked for an academic from (a region in Luzon), now deceased, good and smart. But I resigned because his chief of staff didn’t treat us equally.

I moved to another senator as action deputy, and so got to read all docs, inter-office memos, plans, programs, budgets, etc. We would travel around the country, attending fiestas, working till the wee hours, getting all the names and addresses of the townsfolk at the plaza for our database. They were sent Christmas cards, Valentine cards. We were not given allowances on those trips. We ate and slept in supporters’ houses or mayors’ resorts, and sometimes in cheap hotels. We rode government planes — we even had a Nomad for three days — all for free, of course.

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Re: Aide recounts ‘pork’ scams since ’90s
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2014, 03:18:47 PM »
Our boss would scold and curse us if she doesn’t land in broadsheets; for her, tabloids don’t matter. We would turn up the speakerphone for all to bear her spiteful words: “mga walang silbi, palamunin, walang utak.” We would all laugh although deep inside it hurt. We were all from UST, UP or Ateneo, while she didn’t finish college.

She often threw house parties for mayors and governors, if she wasn’t elsewhere around the country partying. Our secretary would call Chinoy friends to donate pancit, kakanin, viands, pastries, wine (from Duty-Free), so almost all come free. Roasted calf came from Baby P. (of Pampanga). Boss once traveled to Australia, with Baby spending all fare and accommodations – yet she has the gall to say that Baby looks like a maid. Due to the frequency of her parties, her reluctant friends would complain to the secretary: “Wala na ba kayong mahihingan na iba?”

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Re: Aide recounts ‘pork’ scams since ’90s
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2014, 03:19:44 PM »
One time I was going through our monthly expenses when I read the entries “detergent powder” and “laundry bars”. I asked the chief of staff about it, and he told me to hush up because “it’s for Madam’s house.” I later found out that her maids and drivers were in our Senate payroll; meaning, they drew monthly salaries and quarterly bonuses from the government. But they admitted to me meager wages that didn’t jibe with payroll entries; again meaning, Boss was pocketing the difference. She had a marketing group for a personal project also at Senate expense.

She bought condos and townhouses as her “extension offices” — and had the Senate pay the monthly amortizations. Really good in business, huh. Once she flew to Lanao on the eve of election and poured money on the voters. She took commissions from all her big projects. One contractor named Manny once requested that I tell Boss that her new house was ready, so he needed the SARO (special allotment release order) from the Dept. of Budget and Management). I learned then that contractors and suppliers, upon receipt of SAROs, would remit 30-percent kickbacks, called “S.O.P.,” “rebate,” or “commission.”

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Re: Aide recounts ‘pork’ scams since ’90s
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2014, 03:20:55 PM »
I can’t recall all her misdeeds and affairs with married politicos. Her family couldn’t stand it. Enriching herself in office, she was able to redeem her mortgaged mansion — and buy even more houses in Baguio, Cavite, Quezon City, three condos in Pasig, and five in Pasay, plus luxury vehicles and jewelries.

I wonder why soldiers idolize two other senators. They pocket the millions that they promised to pitch to foundations from pork barrels. One of them and his executive assistant pocketed so much that they were able to buy houses, vehicles, and Hong Kong vacations for their wives and mistresses. When the wife found out about the girlfriend, she took over selecting all the project contractors.

That’s what I learned in the Senate: outwardly they’re different, but inside, man or woman, they’re all the same. I have eight more senators to tell you about, especially the ones to whom I personally delivered money.

Sincerely,

Jason

(More on Wednesday)

* * *

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Re: Aide recounts ‘pork’ scams since ’90s
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2014, 03:24:27 PM »
contractors and suppliers, upon receipt of SAROs, would remit 30-percent kickbacks, called “S.O.P.,” “rebate,” or “commission.”[/b]
so this monstrous species had been around that long.  no wonder the philippines remains poor in terms of infrastructures. >:(

just so we may know, and to never let this happen again.

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Re: Aide recounts ‘pork’ scams since ’90s
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2014, 03:36:07 PM »
It will happen again Miss Isles.... It is a Pilipino mentality, it will takes generations to change the talangka mentality..

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Re: Aide recounts ‘pork’ scams since ’90s
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2014, 03:41:46 PM »
if some bigwigs are jailed after this ongoing investigations, only 2 things may happen.  one, potential thieving officials may be too afraid to steal; two, another business model in the league of the napoles scam, but with a longer shelf life this time, will soon be invented. 

my hopes though lie with the fact that the filipino is already tired of this coming from our officials...

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Re: Aide recounts ‘pork’ scams since ’90s
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2014, 03:42:43 PM »
uli na lang sa ato ug lansar, vrglguaps.  at least makasiguro ta nga di ka mangawat. :)

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Re: Aide recounts ‘pork’ scams since ’90s
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2014, 03:43:20 PM »
she[/b] doesn’t land in broadsheets; for her, tabloids don’t matter. We would turn up the speakerphone for all to bear her spiteful words: “mga walang silbi, palamunin, walang utak.” We would all laugh although deep inside it hurt. We were all from UST, UP or Ateneo, while she didn’t finish college.
the gender of the senator is quite obvious from this anonymous letter.  from 1992 to 2001, at one time or other, the following ladies were senators:

Leticia Ramos Shahani
Anna Dominique M.L. Coseteng
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
Santanina T. Rasul
Miriam Defensor Santiago
Teresa Aquino-Oreta
Loren Legarda

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Re: Aide recounts ‘pork’ scams since ’90s
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2014, 04:03:15 PM »
Si Mayor Duterte na lang ato pa lansaraon para Presidente..

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Re: Aide recounts ‘pork’ scams since ’90s
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2014, 04:26:31 PM »
morag... angay siyag mindanao, o senado ba kaha aron naa tay productive legislator.  mora man tingalig mahadlok kog presidente nga dali rang maghisgot ug pamusil.  i wish for a national leader to inspire, not sow fear... :)

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Re: Aide recounts ‘pork’ scams since ’90s
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2014, 04:27:02 PM »

what college courses did these ladies graduate from?  out of curiosity (and perhaps to try to pin down who this anonymous letter-writer is referring to)...

Leticia Ramos Shahani - Bachelor of Arts in English Literature (Wellesley College in Massachusetts), Master's degree in Comparative Literature (Columbia University in New York), Doctor of Philosophy in Comparative Literature

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo - 2-year Foreign Service study (Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C.), Bachelor of Arts in Economics (Assumption College, Manila), Master's Degree in Economics (Ateneo de Manila University), Doctorate in Economics (University of the Philippines Diliman)

Santanina T. Rasul - Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (University of the Philippines, Diliman), Masters in National Security Administration (National Defense College of the Philippines), Doctorate in Public Administration (University of the Philippines' National College of Public Administration and Governance)

Miriam Defensor Santiago - Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (University of the Philippines, Iloilo), Bachelor of Laws (University of the Philippines, Diliman),  Master of Laws (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

Teresa Aquino-Oreta - Bachelor of Arts in Literature and History (Assumption College, Manila), Bachelor in International Studies (Ciudad Ducal, Avila, Spain), Masters in National Security Administration (National Defense College of the Philippines)

Loren Legarda -  Bachelor in Broadcast Communications (University of the Philippines, Diliman), special studies towards Professional Designation in Journalism (University of California, Los Angeles), Masters in National Security Administration (National Defense College of the Philippines)

it turns out that it's former senator Anna Dominique M.L. Coseteng who does not hold a college degree.

ceo01 - Aide recounts ‘pork’ scams since ’90s - Talk of the Town

She did not finish college “because I didn’t find it right that I had to go through all those things required just to get a diploma on my wall. What do I need all this math? I know I’m not good at it or algebra, why do I need to go through that?And why must school be excruciating? Why can’t school be fun? You only want to learn, why do you get punished for making mistakes and then they tell you in this world to try and try and do it over and over until you get it right.” (http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/index.php/en/features/marketing/1241-nikki-coseteng-from-legislator-to-educator)

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Re: Aide recounts ‘pork’ scams since ’90s
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2014, 10:12:30 AM »
Aide recounts ‘pork’ scams since ’90s (2)

jarius-bondoc - Aide recounts ‘pork’ scams since ’90s - Talk of the TownGOTCHA By Jarius Bondoc
The Philippine Star
February 12, 2014


Continued from Monday is this précis of a 2007 series on senators’ pork-barrel scams. Source “Jason” narrated his sordid tasks as consultant for several senators since the 1990s.

The senators are described, not identified. Who they were in 1992 to 2007 are listed in the link: http://www.senate.gov.ph/senators/senlist.asp. The full texts of the three Gotcha installments — 7, 9, and 11 May 2007 — can be accessed in the archives below. More details on the pork barrel of the 1990s-2000s in my book, “Exposés: Investigative Reporting for Clean Government,” available at all National Bookstore and Powerbooks branches.


*      *      *

Dear Mr. Bondoc,

To continue, I left my miserable life with that senator after x months. Years later a friend invited me to work for a senatorial candidate, now deceased. He won; I was absorbed into his staff.

My new boss was brilliant and kind, giving us financial assistance from his own pocket and sharing his food. Our chief of staff was the opposite. She collected receipts of even our personal expenses, have these certified as official business, and pocketed the reimbursements.

Our enterprising project officer took a cut from all the projects. She endorsed contractors to DPWH district engineers and regional directors. She got 50-percent kickbacks on mahogany seeds from the DA, children’s coloring books, barangay seminars, infrastructure projects, livelihood training (cattle raising).

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« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2014, 10:16:56 AM »
When the boss died, another friend gave me “consultancy” work. Trained by my first boss to deal with government officials, I became friends with Cabinet secretaries, U-Secs, and bureau directors.

I worked simultaneously for four senators, preparing and following up project proposals with the agencies. I’d buy fruits, noodles or cakes for my contacts to speed up the paperwork. I got to meet my employers’ favorite contractors/suppliers. Every time we got the SAROs they’d all be waiting at the senators’ offices or at (nearby hotel). They’d give boxes carefully gift-wrapped. I always wondered why, since it’s not the senators’ birthdays. I later learned it was kickbacks from projects. It was always a son or daughter who would receive the money.

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« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2014, 10:20:55 AM »
Lots of times I encountered two or three contractors for the same project. It turned out that the three children of (name of senator) were competing with each other in bagging the big-funded projects. Mrs. L from Cagayan Valley once confided that in 1998 she gave a cash advance of half a million pesos to that legislator’s daughter, now active in (name of an anti-Charter Change group). But she wasn’t given any project, only promises. Another friend, from (name of big construction firm), also gave an advance to this same lady. Again, no projects.

The siblings were always nag-uunahan, to the point that they’d have their father sign documents, and then they’d hurry over to the DBM with their lists. Once I was asked by one daughter to follow up some papers at the DBM. It turned out that the son had arrived there earlier and got the SARO.

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« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2014, 10:21:54 AM »
A big-time supplier, Nilda R., would deliver money to the house of Senator (name) at (subdivision), Quezon City. She dealt in textbooks, distributed by DECS, funded by the pork barrel of whichever senator. She often treated the celebrity-wife to Hong Kong trips.

I met Nilda while following up papers at the DBM, where suppliers usually hang out waiting for release of SAROs and NCAs. She gave away 50 percent of the allocated amount of the project. So if the fund is P10 million, she would give P5 million to that celebrity-turned-senator.

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Re: Aide recounts ‘pork’ scams since ’90s
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2014, 10:23:16 AM »
A supplier of medicines especially to the Armed Forces was able to break into the circle of two senators, both former (profession). She befriended me and was soon offering me rides to my daily visits to DBM or DPWH. Little did I realize she wanted to meet all my contacts. She got big projects for the V. Luna Hospital, and the senators’ medical missions. She also gave 50-percent “rebate” upon release of the SAROs.

During one such mission we noticed that the medicines looked discolored. One of our staff commented that they were fakes. No wonder she was able to give that big a cut to the bosses — and the wives. Oh yes, she also treated (names of two senators’ spouses) to Hong Kong.

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Re: Aide recounts ‘pork’ scams since ’90s
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2014, 10:24:07 AM »
A son of one of my employers introduced me to this big contractor from Isabela, who did most of the senators’ projects. One time I was instructed to hand over the newly released SARO to the contractor and his wife. They had big boxes, the size of beer cases, inside the Ford Expedition. Inside the boxes were tons of cash, in P1,000-bills. I’d never seen so much money in my life. We went straight to the home of one senator, a former (high rank), in (subdivision), Alabang. They turned over the boxes. Then they offered me a ride home. We stopped at the house of the son of another senator in (subdivision along EDSA), Quezon City. They delivered another box of money.

islander

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  • avatar_3258_1429902436 - Aide recounts ‘pork’ scams since ’90s - Talk of the Town
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Re: Aide recounts ‘pork’ scams since ’90s
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2014, 10:25:17 AM »
A good friend handling the projects of another celebrity from (Luzon province) confided to me. All the projects were being handled by the construction company of the senator’s celebrity-sister. She cornered everything, left nothing for small contractors, not even scraps. She and the senator also got kickbacks from foreign-assisted projects, since the senator headed the committee overseeing those.

Access the files at DBM, and you will see why these legislators gave more of their pork barrels for medicines, computers, textbooks, farm-to-market roads, dredging, irrigation, solar driers, seedlings, livelihood projects especially cattle raising, street markers, reflector studs, etc. That’s where kickbacks were easy.

 Till next time,

  Jason

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