Smear Busting No. 1 - Senator Roxas isn't supporting additional year in college

Mar Roxas has been a proponent for quality education since he was a Congressman from Capiz. Yes, he has been advocating a plan that would reform our broken education system which mandates the increase from 10 to 12 the number of years in the basic education in consonance with international standards in order to make our own world-class educational system. It would also include competency evaluation at grades three and six, a remedial year between grade school and high school, and an "output-oriented" high school curriculum that would equip graduates with the right skills, whether they choose to pursue college or already be employed.1

But some people just can't get enough of spreading baseless, deceptive and misleading rumors. That rumor says that "Roxas is the proponent of the additional year in college, especially on Nursing". It's just really NOT TRUE and this smear is BUSTED.

It's the Commission on Higher Education, headed by Chairman Dr. Emmanuel Angeles that is the main proponent of the additional year in college namely in architecture, engineering, accountancy and nursing, and not Roxas.2

Yes he wants to have additional years only in basic education and not on tertiary education.

Atty. Blas James Viterbo, Roxas' Chief-of-Staff explains:
Not true at all. We even asked CHED to explain this since it came from them. They replied that the same is still under consultations. Hence, there is nothing to worry about it.
On the other hand, Liberal Party of the Philippines Director General Chito Gascon also debunked this smear against Roxas:
Not true! In fact, the Senator is of record as saying that he opposes this move because he believes that under current circumstances it is superflous.
Received a smear against Mar Roxas? Share it to me and I'll bust it.

Tell your friends about this one! Help debunk this smear!

1 Mar Roxas on Education
2 CHED firm on five-year program for nursing

Saturday, February 28, 2009 | posted in , , , , | 0 comments [ More ]

ReporMAR 2010 Blog launched!

As I was just doing my daily routine (checking out blog and news articles where Mar Roxas is mentioned), I stumbled upon the ReporMAR 2010 Blog, a citizens movement to help propel Roxas to Malacanang in 2010.

I hope to cooperate with their group in gathering grassroots-level support. In this way, we can spread the word about Mar Roxas for President in 2010 and tell the "still" unconvinced voters to support him this 2010. ReporMAR 2010 wants to gather around 1 Million volunteers to help Roxas. If you can give your time and effort for this one, as I also do, please forward to me your name/ email / cellphone number/ address and kindly specify the sector you belong to if applicable (e.g. Youth, Labor, Women, Business, LGU, NGO/Health Workers/Organizations, Religious Groups, etc.)

Mahalaga ang Republika. Mahalaga ang Respeto. Mahalaga ang Resulta. Mahalaga ang Reporma.

Oras Na! Roxas Na!

Friday, February 27, 2009 | posted in , , , , , | 0 comments [ More ]

Senator Roxas not backing right of reply bill

Senator Mar Roxas is not backing the right of reply bill being pushed by fellow Senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.

Quoting a Philippine Daily Inquirer article:
Roxas said he did not sign Committee Report No. 43 prepared by the Senate committee on public information and mass media and on justice and human rights. But he did not vote for it, he added.
He also said that it could "weaken [media’s] role as the watchdog of society" and as "a pillar of democracy".

He did not sign the bill and said that the legislation should be reviewed thoroughly before being passed in Congress because it might encroach on the freedom of the press and could suppress the public’s right to information.

What do you think about the Right of Reply bill? Is it needed after all? Please do share your thoughts on this one.

Thursday, February 26, 2009 | posted in , , , , | 0 comments [ More ]

Senator Roxas: GMA must stop corruption, misuse of power now

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today said President Arroyo must now stop corruption in her administration and give up efforts to stay in power beyond 2010 or face the wrath of a people fed up with graft-tainted controversies and the blatant misuse of power of government officials.
"I warn the present administration about the clear signals of a systems' failure in almost several fronts of governance. The plunderers are not being put in jail. The hungry are not being served. The victims of social and criminal injustice are not being given their due. The nation is extremely dissatisfied with the national management and leadership because the people see power being exercised not to their interest but to the interest of a chosen few," he said as he recalled the circumstances that led to the first EDSA people power.
He said with President Arroyo seemingly ignoring corruption scandals swamping her administration and her allies pursuing constitutional amendments to lift term limits, the activist attitude within Filipinos are being silently stirred into action, a situation which he said could become uncontrollable because of the "incessant and seemingly insurmountable ailment of corruption and the misuse of power."
"The biggest cause of military adventurism is the plunder of the people's money by those in power combined by brazen attempts to perpetuate themselves beyond the limits of the Constitution," he said, noting that, "today, observers here and abroad have already labeled our nation as a failing democracy. The scandals are rife in the midst of an economic crisis crying out for the full and undistracted attention of government. Hunger mounts and crime is up. Peace is not at hand," he pointed out.

"President Arroyo has no more time to wait. She must cut corruption and renounce perpetuation in power with decisive acts and clear words. As in the months leading to February 1986, she must not court adventurism from those who hold the monopoly of force in our society," he stressed.
The Ilonggo senator said that with government systems beginning to show signs of failing, similar to the country's situation months and years before the 1986 uprising, "the next stage is the collapse of institutions. When institutions collapse, the entire Republic follows."
"Nevertheless, I have high hopes that our democracy is secure, mainly because the Filipino people have so much faith in it, because they have proven so many times in the past that they will never sacrifice democracy in the altar of expediency and self-serving gain," he said.

"On this day in 1986, the Filipino people won against dictatorship owing largely to the valiant stand of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The young officers at the helm of the EDSA revolution were daring and selfless. We extol them today not because we believe that martial adventurism is a cure to a ruined democracy, but because we believe that even at the darkest moments when all hope seems lost for freedom, there are valiant Filipinos who are willing to lay down life and honor to preserve it."

Mar Roxas 2010 Blogger attends Cebu Bloggers Society's General Historic Meeting

The Cebu Bloggers Society is now on a full swing after months of being to idle because of the lack of organizational structure and leadership. Now, we have a set of officers who will be guiding us towards the success of the group.

Last February 21, 4PM, in Enovlink Training Center, Jones Avenue, Cebu City, the group met and sat down to talk on the pressing issues that needs to be addressed by the group.

Agenda of the meeting centered mostly on the membership together with the election of group officers and the future plans of the group.

I am also honored that I was chosen to be one of the group's officers.

Here's a rundown of the group's officers:
All the Vice Presidents including the President will automatically be a member of the Board of Trustees. Complete the board will be: Other attendees of the meeting were AJ, Jesryl, Bryan, Aldwin, Renz, Tiborsho and Pinoy Apache.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 | posted in , , | 0 comments [ More ]

Senator Roxas attends PMA Maharlika Class '84 alumni homecoming

Senator Mar Roxas was with the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) "Maharlika" Class of 1984, who adopted him as their honorary member since 1995.
In an article from the Philippine Star, Roxas was in PMA in Fort Del Pilar, Baguio City for their alumni homecoming.
I stand united with our soldiers as an acknowledgment of their vital contribution to our nation,” Sen. Manuel Roxas II, an adopted member of Class 84, said in Filipino.
He also said that the country’s soldiers need more recognition considering the risk they take everyday.

Sunday, February 22, 2009 | posted in , , | 0 comments [ More ]

COMELEC voter's registration on Saturdays and holidays; moves deadline to October 31

The Commission on Elections has already approved Resolution No. 8585, promulgated February 12, 2009, which will extend voter's registration for the upcoming 2010 Philippine elections on Saturdays and holidays, except Holy Thursday and Good Friday on April 9 and 10, 2009 in order to accommodate the students and busy workers.

The COMELEC has recognized the need to encourage wider voter participation and to recognize the youth’s important role in nation building by doing so.

Another development is the poll body's decision to move the voter's registration deadline from December 15, 2009 to October 31, 2009. This doesn't mean that the COMELEC wants to shorten the voter's registration process. The count already includes the Saturdays and holidays which made them arrive to the decision of moving the deadline.

If you're a student or a busy worker who wants to register to vote for the 2010 Philippine elections during a holiday, here are some dates that you need to remember before the deadline:
  • February 23 - EDSA Revolution Day
  • April 6 - Araw ng Kagitingan
  • May 1 - Labor Day
  • June 12 - Independence Day
  • August 21 - Ninoy Aquino Day
  • August 31 - National Heroes’ Day
  • September 20 or 21 - Eid’l Fitr / Feast of Ramadan
And BTW (by the way), tomorrow is a holiday as President Arroyo declared February 23 as the date to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the EDSA Revolution instead of February 25. Be sure you register to vote on that date! And also, to all the unregistered voters in Cebu City, February 24 is a local holiday as it is the city's 72ndCharter Day. In the province of Zamboanga Sibugay, February 24 is also a special (non-working) day as it is their province's 4th Charter Day.

So, get out and register to vote!

Senator Roxas: Not a square meter to be subtracted from RP territory

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas said the Philippines should not allow even a square inch to be subtracted from the national territory, as he urged the government to use all international fora to defend the country's sovereignty.

He said this in line with the approval yesterday by the House of the Baselines bill and the subsequent insistence of China over their claim on the Spratlys Islands and other disputed islands.
"Gawin natin kung ano ang dapat nating gawin. Proteksyunan natin ang ating teritoryo. 'Wag nating isu-surrender ang ating claim nang basta-basta na lang, kesyo magalit ang Tsina, ang Vietnam, ang Malaysia o iba pang bansa (We should do what we need to do to protect our territory. We should not surrender our claim only out of fear that China, Vietnam, Malaysia or any other country will retaliate)," he said.

"Mahalaga ang republika. Ano ngayon kung magreklamo sila? Dapat magreklamo rin tayo laban sa panghihimasok nila sa ating soberanya. Hindi ako papayag na mabawasan tayo ng kahit isang metro kwadrado (Our republic is important. So what if they complain? We should also complain against their claim that is an affront to our sovereignty. I will not allow even a square meter to be taken from us)," he said.
Roxas said that the Philippines should defend its territory and exhaust all mechanisms under the United Nations, the International Court of Justice and other international fora to aggressively defend the Philippines' claim.

The Ilonggo senator said fears that trade and other relations with China and other countries may be soured due to this dispute should not blur the primary need to defend the national territory and sovereignty.
"Hindi naman puwedeng lahat na lang ay ibibigay natin sa kanila. Dahil lamang mas malaki ang Army o Navy nila, su-surrender na tayo? Ang mahalaga ay manindigan tayo para sa ating bansa (They are not entitled to everything. Are we going to surrender just because they have a stronger Army or Navy? What's important is we stand for our country and its territory)," he said.
China on Wednesday complained against the Philippines' laying claim over parts of the disputed Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal through the Baselines bill passed by the House of Representatives. Kalayaan Islands, which is part of the province of Palawan, is another disputed territory.

Roxas further explained that under the "Regime of Islands," which is part of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Philippines does not give up its claim over the contested territories, but only recognizes that other countries are also staking a claim over these territories.

Senator Roxas: Corruption of Arroyo gov't shaming Filipinos abroad

Filipinos living in the United States and other parts of the world have become unwilling victims of the Arroyo administration's corrupt reputation, Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today said.

Roxas made the statement after getting a letter from a Filipino expatriate now living in Winnipeg, Canada, who said Filipinos in his community there back the ongoing Senate inquiry into the findings of corrupt practices by the World Bank (WB) involving government infrastructure projects.
"Hindi lang tayong mga Pinoy na naninirahan dito sa ating bansa ang napapahiya sa kagarapalan ng gobyernong ito. Pati ang mga kababayan natin sa ibang bansa, lalo na sa Amerika, ay suklam na suklam na sa malawakang pangungurakot ng mga alipores ni GMA (Filipinos now living abroad are being insulted because of the brazen corruption in this government. Filipinos abroad, especially Fil-Ams, despise the dishonesty of GMA's allies)," he said.

"Kahihiyan sa buong mundo ang dinala ni GMA sa ating bansa mula ng manungkulan siya sa Malakanyang. Sunod-sunod na kontrobersiya at iskandalo ang kinasangkutan ng kanyang mga alipores, at kahit isa man sa kanila'y walang nasakdal (GMA has brought nothing but international shame to our country since she first occupied Malacanang. Numerous scandals have hit her government but none of her allies have been investigated or prosecuted.)," the Ilonggo senator said.
The country's honor and prestige, he reiterated, could only be restored if President Arroyo musters the political will to order the investigation and prosecution of her allies and relatives--including her husband, First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo--who have been dragged into all sorts of corruption scandals since she assumed the presidency in January 2001.

The latest controversy to hit the country is the World Bank's finding of collusive practices among contractors and government officials in the rigged bidding for road projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways, among other agencies.

The decision of the international lending body to bar the participation of three Filipino contractors and seven Chinese firms in any of its funded projects in the country has revived global attention on the corrupt and illegal activities of government officials and leaving the impression that such acts are condoned or even permitted by the President herself.

Canada-based Johnny de Leon has written Roxas, lauding him for defending the honor and integrity of the nation.
"Una ang paghanga ko sa pakikipaglaban mo na mailabas ang katotohanan na pilit itinatago at pinagtatakpan ng mga asong ulol sa Malacanang. Karangalan talaga ito ng lahat ng Pilipino, hindi lang ng ating mga kababayan na nasa Pilipinas kundi kami rin na mga Pinoy na naninirahan sa ibang bansa," he said in his electronic mail sent to Roxas.
"Napakasakit isipin na ang mga kapatid ko at pamilya nila diyan na nagkukumahog sa pagta-trabaho ng marangal para lang may mailaman sa tiyan ay madadamay na mawalan ng dangal dahil lamang sa pagnanakaw ng iilang tao. Basta sinabing Pilipino, kahit pa yong bagong panganak damay na 'yon," he added.
De leon said Filipinos worldwide have lost their integrity because of the rampant corruption in government. He narrated one instance when Filipinos in his community boycotted a supermarket after one of its Canadian workers confronted a young child for picking a candy in the sweets section and shouting at him "You all Filipinos are thieves!"

He said Filipinos left the grocery store after hearing the invective and the next day, they surrounded the vicinity with placards condemning the discrimination. The store owner, he added, apologized days later.
"Paano nagkaroon ng ganong mentality ang dayuhang tinderang ito kung hindi niya nabasa o napanood sa TV ang mga kurakutan diyan sa atin. Mas maganda pa noong panahon ni Marcos, kung totoo man, si Marcos lang ang nagnanakaw pero marami namang nakitang naipagawa, ngayon lahat halos ng may utang na loob si Gloria na ipinuwesto niya sa gobyerno, walang takot magnakaw, pinaka mandarambong 'yung asawa niya, naniniwala ako na ang kumikilos ng pailalim ay asawa ni Gloria," the Fil-Am said.

"Ano na ang ginagawa ng napakaraming Pilipino, hindi ito kahihiyan ng mag-anak lang ng Arroyo sa buong mundo, na ang kapal ng mukha ay makapal pa sa gulong ng eroplano, kahihiyan ito ng bawat isang Pilipino, nasa Pilipinas man o nasa ibang lupalop ng mundo na katulad ko," he stressed.
Roxas said it is not too late for President Arroyo to redeem herself, but she will have to muster political will to bring to justice all those who have shamed the country.
"Patuloy pa rin ang pagsasawalang-bahala sa dangal ng ating bansa. Mababago pa kaya ang pananaw kay GMA ng ating mga kabababayan, lalo na ang mga nagsasakripisyo sa ibang bansa? (The disregard of the country's honor continues. Can GMA still revive her reputation among Filipinos, especially those toiling hard in other countries?)," he stressed.

"Mahalaga ang dangal ng ating bansa. At bilang pangulo, responsibilidad niyang panatilihing malinis ang dangal na ito (Our country's honor is important. As president of this country, it is her responsibility to preserve our reputation)," he added.

Senator Roxas to GMA: Follow Supreme Court order, jail Daniel Smith

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should comply with the Supreme Court (SC) order on the transfer of a convicted US solder to Philippine custody to avert another prolonged political debate on the need to review or scrap the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippine and US governments.
"Walang kapalit ang dangal natin. Ipinagbuwis ito ng buhay ng mga ninuno natin. Nararapat lang na siguruhin ni GMA na hindi ito tinatapak-tapakan kahit pa man ng Amerika (There is no price for our country's honor. Our ancestors died defending it. It is but proper for GMA to ensure that no one steps or smears our country's honor, even if it involves the American government)," he said.
He noted that demands for a review or scrapping of the VFA came only after the government refused to comply with the SC order and allowed Lance Corporal Daniel Smith to continue being detained at the US Embassy compound in Manila.

The SC had ordered the transfer of Smith to Philippine custody while serving his jail term for the rape of a Filipina in Subic, Zambales. It, however, upheld the constitutionality of the VFA.

Smith was found guilty of rape on Dec. 4, 2006 and sentenced to 40 years in prison. The convicted soldier had been under US custody since his conviction two years ago.
"Naging issue lang naman ito (VFA validity) dahil ayaw ipatupad ni GMA ang hatol ng SC. Mawawala ang dahilan sa pag-review ng VFA kung gagawin ni GMA ang utos ng SC (This became an issue because GMA refused to comply with the SC decision. All these calls will become mute if GMA implements the order)," Roxas said.

He added: "Lagi na lang nating isinasakripisyo ang dangal, ang pangalan ng ating bansa para sa kapakanan ng gobyernong ito. Mas importante pa ba ang sasabihin ng Amerika kumpara sa karangalan nating mga Filipino (We have been sacrificing our country's honor for the sake of this government. Is America's sentiments more important compared to our reputation)?"

Senator Roxas bares another bid-rigging, collusion in National Irrigation Administration project

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas has sought an inquiry into another anomaly-tainted bidding process, this time involving the purchase of p1.4 billion worth of earth-moving equipment by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).
"Isa na namang halimbawa ito ng katiwalian, ng anomalya na laganap dito sa administrasyong ito. Lahat nitong mga bidding na ito ay may kasamang anomalya na kung saan overpriced at mas pinili ang mas mahal kesa dun sa mura (This is another proof of this government's corruption. All these bidding processes ay accompanied with anomalies where everything is overpriced)," he said.
Roxas has filed PS Resolution No. 880 seeking an inquiry by the Senate blue ribbon committee into the alleged bid rigging and collusive practices of two firms with the NIA-Bids and Awards Committee (NIA-BAC) in connection with the acquisition of 139 units of hydraulic excavator, crawler type 0.80M3 capacity; 69 units of hydraulic excavator, crawler type 0.50M3 capacity; and 15 units of truck tractor with trailer for the repair of irrigation and drainage canals nationwide.

The senator cited data received and gathered by his office showing how the NIA-BAC allegedly manipulated the bidding for the purchase of the P1.4 billion-worth of equipment "precisely to limit the number of participants in the bid project."

He noted how the NIA set up stringent rules and an impractical bidding period during the invitation to bid process, which it published only once in December 16, 2008 in an advertisement that came out in one of the country's broadsheet newspapers. The public bidding was scheduled to be held last January 16, 2009.

He said that because of the short and limited period for the purchase of the bid documents, plus the fact that the announcement came out too close to the Christmas break, only a number of contractors were able to submit their bid proposals.
"Talagang ginawa ang lahat, inayos, minanipula ang mga patakaran para ma-etsa-puwera 'yung mga lehitimong nasa negosyong ito, para mapaboran ang mga favored na mga kontratista (They did everything to manipulate the bidding and to disqualify more qualified firms to be able to award the contract to their favore4d contractors)," he lamented.
He said the NIA-BAC committed violations of the general principles of the Government Procurement Act and violated the principle of streamlined procurement process when it disqualified bidders on its own discretion.

The Ilonggo senator added the NIA-BAC violated the system of competitiveness "thereby raising a well-grounded belief of collusion" when it awarded the contract to the winning bidders, Transport Equipment Corporation (TEC) and Civic Merchandising Inc. (Civic) despite the fact that their respective bid prices were 20% higher than that offer4ed by the disqualified bidders.

Roxas said that because of the irregular award of the contract to TEC and Civic, "the possible loss to the government is P300 million, more or less" which he said made the entire process disadvantageous to the interest of the government and the general public.

He insisted the bidding must be recalled for being "utterly flawed" and a new and more transparent bidding process be held to "assure competitiveness, thereby insuring the4 best interest of the government and the public."
"Talagang mabaho itong transaksyon na ito at hahalungkatin natin ito. Tayo na naman ang magbabayad nito. Babayaran natin, una, 'yung ibinili nitong mga equipment na ito. Pangalawa, magbabayad muli tayo sa matataas na presyo ng bigas. Tayo palagi, ang pangkaraniwan na tao palagi ang kawawa sa mga anomalyang nakikita natin sa administrasyong ito (This transaction really stinks and we will look deeper into this. We will pay for this, first for the purchase of the equipment. And second, we will pay for the higher cost of rice. It is always the ordinary citizens who pay for the anomalous and corrupt practices of this government)," he said.

Senator Roxas seeks VAT exemption for senior citizens

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas filed a bill last week seeking to exempt senior citizens from the value added tax for medicines they buy in addition to the 20% discounts that they already get.
"Mahalaga ang ating mga senior citizens sa pagsisigurong matibay ang pundasyon ng ating mga pamilya. Isang malaking ginhawa kung sa kanilang pamilya ang ma-exempt sila sa VAT para magkaroon sila ng murang gamot (Our senior citizens are important in maintaining the stability of the foundations of Filipino families. It will be a big relief of them if they are exempted from paying VAT on medicines)," said Roxas, primary author of the new Cheaper Medicines Law.
Roxas' Senate Bill No. 3061 seeks to amend Republic Act No. 9257 or the Senior Citizens Act of 2003 by the exempting senior citizens from the 12% VAT on medicines.

He said he filed the bill in response to appeals from various senior citizens' groups he has met around the country to promote the Cheaper Medicines Law and encourage local government units to directly import cheaper but quality medicines using the law.
"It bears stressing that most of our senior citizens have no steady source of income after retirement, thus the 20% senior citizen's discount and exemption from the 12% EVAT would be of big help to them," he said.
He noted that while the 20% discount privilege accorded to senior citizens eased their financial burdens, the imposition of the 12% EVAT on the sale of goods and services diminished its effect.
"Kung gusto talaga nating maging mapagaan ang buhay ng ating mga senior citizens, sagarin na natin, tanggalin na natin ang EVAT sa gamot na binibili nila ngayon (If we really want to alleviate the plight of our senior citizens, then let's give them total relief, let's lift the EVAT on the medicines that they buy)," he added.
SB No. 3061 also allows drug stores that comply with the proposed VAT exemption to claim this as tax credit to be deducted from their tax liability for the same taxable year that the discount is granted.

The proposed bill also imposes a fine for persons who refuse to give senior citizens' VAT exemption to P500,000. Anyone who abuses the privileges and incentives also face a fine of not less than P100,000 to a maximum of P1 million and imprisonment of not less than one year.

Monday, February 16, 2009 | posted in , , , , | 0 comments [ More ]

Senator Mar Roxas launches MurangGamot.Com

Just this week, Senator Mar Roxas launched a new website called "MurangGamot.Com" as part of his continuing advocacy for quality and cheaper medicines.

The site is still new. It informs the people about what Republic Act No. 9502 or the "Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008" is and its benefits, provides a price list of 12 common medicines in the Philippines and most of all, the list of all Botika ng Bayan branches in the country.

You can also contact them to share your thoughts about Senator Roxas' new website for cheaper medicines or ask questions.

Don't hesitate to call or text Senator Roxas' cheaper medicines hotline at 0917-MAROXAS (6276927) for more information. Let's nag the government to have more Botika ng Bayan and implement the said law. Visit for more details.
"The government is slow in implementing the law. That's why we need to persist in pressuring the government to implement it now... The Arroyo government has been in power for eight years. In fact, the Estrada government has put in place a program for quality and affordable medicines. We should not prolong the people's pain any longer. The law must be implemented now" - Senator Mar Roxas

VP Noli de Castro admits ties with Legacy's Celso de los Angeles

During the hearing on the state of the pre-need companies by the Senate Committee on Trade and Commerce headed by Senator Mar Roxas, he expressed suspicions that some very high officials are protecting Legacy Plans owner Celso de los Angeles.
"He was previously banned from banking because he ran away from the bank that he formerly owned. How was he able to return? Regulators knew that his financial institutions were weak two to three years ago but did nothing until they closed down," Roxas said.
Then came the time when De los Angeles said in a Senate hearing that it was no less than Vice President Noli "Kabayan" de Castro who appointed him as chairman of the National Home Mortgage Finance Corp. 

So, De los Angeles became head of the National Home Mortgage Finance Corp. upon the endorsement of Noli De Castro. De los Angeles "contributed a lot" to the 2004 campaign of Noli De Castro. Now a group of Legacy plan holders and investors wants Noli De Castro to help them get their money from former illegal gambling operator (according to Chavit Singson), banker and Sto. Domingo, Albay Mayor De los Angeles. According to these people, De los Angeles used the extensive Legacy plan-holder network to campaign for Noli De Castro in several key provinces in 2004.

The Legacy investors were directed by De los Angeles to put up streamers and other campaign paraphernalia of Noli De Castro in a large swath of the south, from the Leyte provinces all the way up to Davao, where the banker’s double-your-money scheme was especially popular at the time. Because De los Angeles’ investors were still awash in cash from what the Senate is now calling an insupportable Ponzi scheme, they happily agreed to campaign for Noli De Castro—who later rewarded the banker by making him head of the National Home Mortgage Finance Corp. after the elections and his subsequent elevation to national housing czar.

And now, Noli De Castro admits that De los Angeles financed his 2004 vice presidential campaign, caused the printing of his campaign materials, and even bought a tabloid to help sell Vice President Noli De Castro to voters. What a shame!

Then there goes the yes-we-were-friends-but-no-one-is-above-the-law tactic. Noli De Castro said that government must see to it that the interests of the plan holders and depositors were protected.
"Personally, I sympathize with the plan holders and depositors of Legacy, and it is important that our government agencies do everything to expedite the resolution of their claims," he stressed.
It's too late Kabayan Noli De Castro. You have been busted. You even tried to brush off thoughts that De los Angeles had any clout with you. That's ridiculous! If this would not have been known, Noli De Castro might had kept his silence while many people are suffering from the failure of his friend Celso' Legacy Plans. How could you do this Kabayan Noli De Castro?

Senator Mar Roxas has been standing-up for the plan holders of failed pre-need companies, Noli De Castro is not. Senator Roxas is the author of the Pre-Need Code of 2008 that would secure the plan holders' future. Why would you trust someone who can't even completely admit they he is a good friend of De Los Angeles and even appointed him to a government position in return of his campaign contribution. Their relationship was more than a casual one.
"In fact, those rural-bank branches were used by Noli De Castro as his headquarters in his vice-presidential campaign. That’s how close these two men were," according to an aide of De los Angeles.
If you are a plan holder who is desperately running after your hard-earned savings that were squandered by certain pre-need companies, please do contact Senator Roxas' hotline at 0919-MAROXAS (6276927), and he would be providing lawyers to attend to their legal needs.

Senator Roxas to provide legal support to pre-need planholders

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today announced that he will give legal support to plan holders who are desperately running after their hard-earned savings that were squandered by certain pre-need companies.

He said pre-need plan holders who have pending claims or cases against pre-need companies could contact his hotline at 0919-MAROXAS (6276927), and he would be providing lawyers to attend to their legal needs.
"Mahalaga ang perang pinaghirapan ninyo para iimpok ninyo sa mga pre-need plan. Nakataya rito ang kinabukasan ng inyong mga anak. Handa akong bigyan kayo ng abugadong magtatanggol sa inyo (The hard-earned money you invested in pre-need plans is important. Your childrens' future is at stake here. I will provide you with lawyers who will protect you)," he said.

"Magbabayad ang dapat magbayad. Mananagot ang dapat managot. (Those who have pending promises to you should pay up. Those who squandered your hard-earned money should answer to you)," he stressed.
Roxas lamented the snail-paced action of the government in running after obviously syndicated operations to "steal away the future of plan holders' children."
"They are guilty of deliberate negligence."

"Marami ang natatakot sa kalagayan ng mga pre-need plans ngayon, pero hindi man lang kumikilos ang gobyerno para ayusin ang problema (Many are anxious about the present state of pre-need plans, but the government is not acting in a timely manner to fix the problem)," the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade and Commerce said.

"Mahalaga ang kinabukasang ng inyong mga anak. Pero hindi yata ito mahalaga sa Administrasyong Arroyo, na abala sa paghahabol kay Obama at sa mga prinsipe sa Saudi Arabia (You are important. Your children's future is important. But it seems this is not important to the Arroyo Administration, who finds it more worthwhile to chase Obama and Saudi Arabian princes)," the Ilonggo Senator stressed.

"Mahalaga kayo. Kasangga ninyo ako (You are important, I am with you)," he said.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 | posted in , , , , , | 0 comments [ More ]

Mar Roxas in UNTV's "Spotlight" with Daniel Razon

Senator Mar Roxas was interviewed by Daniel Razon, host of UNTV's "Spotlight" as part of their episode in getting to know the potential 2010 Presidential candidates.

Here's a transcript of that interview:

Daniel Razon (Daniel): Galing sa pamilya ng mga pulitiko si Manuel Roxas II (it's not the "third"), naging Kongresista, Cabinet secretary, ngayon ay Senador. At ngayong hapon, siya ang tututukan natin ng Spotlight.

Daniel: Good afternoon Mr. Senator Mar Roxas, welcome sa opisina ko, maganda to...

Mar Roxas (Mar): Kuya Daniel, malaking karangalan po ito na interview po ninyo.

Daniel: It's nice to see you again Senator Mar, kasi tagal-tagal din tayong di nagkita at ah... kumusta ka na ngayon?

Mar: OK naman... pero sinusundan ko yung career mo at...

Daniel: Salamat!

Mar: ...natutuwa naman ako sa napaka-gandang mga nangyayari sa'yo.

Daniel's Voiceover: Taong 1993 nang unang sumabak sa pulitika si Manuel "Mar" Roxas II (it's not the "third"). Kahit galing sa pamilya ng mga pulitiko si Mar, ay hindi siya nahilig sa pulitika. Mas gusto niya ang usapang negosyo dahil isa siyang ekonomista.

Daniel: 35 years old, that's a little bit late diba para doon sa mga pumapasok sa pulitika ano?

Mar: Hindi ko talaga hilig yung pulitika at nangyari lamang yun dahilan sa namatay nga yung kapatid ko at ah... nilapitan ako nga mga leaders... sabi nila ah... "Ikaw siguro ang napupusuhan namin at ah... para hindi na magka-gulo, alam namin ayaw mo yung pulitika, pero maari tumakbo ka lang ngayon sa special election at kung talagang ayaw mo...

Daniel: Saka mo na bitawan...

Mar: Saka mo na bitiwan... at ah... yung na nga nangyari at ah... sana naman ay natuwa sila sa aking pagpasok.

Daniel: Bilang bata dati noon, ano yung mga tanong..

Mar: Bata pa naman eh...

Daniel: ah eh... nung maliit... when you were still a small boy, syempre diba yung mga tinatanong ka "What do you want to be when you grow up" yung mga ganun... ah... ano ba talaga hilig mo noon... nung bata ka...

Mar: Matapos kung... matapos kung magustuhan yung pagka-cowboy and Indian... (laughs)

Daniel: (Laughs) Oo... may nag-babaril-baril, tagu-taguan...

Mar: Ang gusto ko nun una, maging abogado katulad nang ama ko, ah... pero mas nagustuhan ko yung pagiging negosyante. At yun ang sinimulan ko, ako yung parang sama-sama, taga-bitbit ng papeles o attache case ng lolo ko. At dun nga, nakita ko yung pag-nenegosyo na kung saan, kung tama yung investment, nakakatulong, nakakalikha ka ng kung ano man na kumpanya, madami ang nagkaka-trabaho ah... nagustuhan ko yun. Kaya yung aking pag-aaral, nung mamimili na ng kurso, ay patungo na sa Business and Economics.

Daniel's Voiceover: Naging kinatawan siya ng unang distrito ng Capiz noong 1993. Nai-talaga rin siya bilang Secretary ng Department of Trade and Industry sa panahon ni former President Joseph Estrada.

Daniel: Pero, ano bang di alam namin sa'yo?

Mar: Well, ah...

Daniel: Yung ka-sikret-sikreto mo ng konti...

Mar: Bukas-libro naman yung buhay ko, eh... Kuya Daniel, halos 15 years na tayo sa public service, ah... naging DTI tayo, syempre pag-nag-DTI ka, na-bulatlat na yung buhay mo sa Commission on Appointments ganun di ba at nasa public eye naman tayo, tumakbo tayong Senador kaya kung ano lang nakikita nila, yun na yun.

Daniel's Voiceover: Tinawag siyang Mr. Palengke nang kumandidato siya bilang Senador noong 2004. At bilang isang mambabatas, abala siya sa pag-ganap ng kanyang tungkulin, ang pangalaga-an ang karapatan at kapakanan ng mamamayan.

Daniel: Anong pag-asa pa ang pwede mo pang ibigay kaya sa mga kababayan natin na ganun ang nakikita mo, larawan ng kawalang pag-asa. Of course, kailangan ng wisdom na madinig din ng ibang mga tao sa mga taong kagaya na pwepwedeng, baka sakali na merong ma-ipakitang liwanag... papa-ano mo kaya uumpisahan yun?

Mar: Well, para sa ating mga kababayan, unang-una, wag tayong mawalan ng pag-asa dahilan sa makikita natin ang mga Pinoy, ginagalang, pinapa-halagahan sa buong mundo. Dito lamang na parang napaka-sama ng sistema, na hindi tayo nakaka-ahon. Kaya, ang sistema ang problema rito, ang sistema ng pulitika, ang sistema ng kurapsyon, ang sistema ng kawalang halaga-han sa mga mahihirap at mga kababayan natin. Yung nadidinig lamang dito, yung mga malalakas ang boses, yung mga malalaki, mga mayayaman. Dapat talaga, na magkaroon ng makatotohanan at saka makabuluhang programa para sa ating mga kababayan.

Daniel's Voiceover: Pero sa labas ng Senado, ano ba ang pinag-kakaabalahan ni Mar Roxas?

Daniel: Yung lighter side kasi, gusto kung malaman, anong hobbies mo? What do you think?

Mar: Nagbabasa, chess, computer, yung surfing ba, nagbabasa sa computer, sa sports o sa gym, konting golf, scuba diving, yung mga libangan. Siguro, yung pinakapang-distress is kain. (Laughs) Gym eh. Kaya panay ang gym natin eh.

Daniel's Voiceover: At sa dami ng kanyang ginagawa sa bawat araw, kailangan niya rin ng isang taong makakasama at makaka-unawa sa kanya.

Daniel: Wala ka pa bang balak na lumagay sa mas magulo o mas ano ba yun, mas makaka-tulong.

Mar: Alam mo Ka Daniel, masasabi na rin na nasa sa tahimik na rin ang, ako at si Ate Korina di ba?

Daniel: Ayan oo, at least sa'yo nang-galing eh ayaw ko naman sakin mang-galing.

Mar: Halos walang pormalidad, di ba, pero halos nasa time. Darating at darating na rin siguro, pero komportableng-komportable kami sa isa't-isa, ah... yung advice, yung pag-cariño...

Daniel: Paano ba mag-lambing ang isang Mar Roxas at ang isang Korina Sanchez na hindi, yung pwedeng namang sabihin...

Mar: Parang showbiz na to ah! (Laughs)

Daniel: Well, ang akala mo ang pulitika at ang show business ay di naglalayo. Si Manny Pacquiao papasok sa pulitika. Ano ba yung pinaka-ginagawa mo talaga pagka free yung oras mo kasi ang hirap mag-hanap nung bakanteng oras eh di ba, sa atin yun ang isa...

Mar: At saka, bakante na tugma dun sa bakante rin sa ka-partner. Kung nagka-tugma nga yung mga schedule namin, yung tahimik lang, walang ibang tao, mag-didinner kami quiet lang. O kung manood ng sine, kami lang. O kaya yung naka-upo lang sa isang sala o sa lugar na nag-babasa o nag... yung parang nagpapa-hinga at nag-rerelax sa piling ng isang secure na environment, kasi nagmama-halan naman kayo at ah... you know, nagkaka-roon ng tunay na katahimikan at ah... pag-relax ang nang-yayari.

Daniel: Di ba, alam ko kasi yung hirap din ano ng mag-hanap ng isang lugar na pwede mong puntahan na walang masyadong tatapik sa'yo "Mr. Senator" sa kabila naman, eh lalo kayo, pareho kayong sikat ni Korina "ah Ms. Korina", di ba parang ang hirap yata nun.

Mar: Mahirap din, pero OK rin lang, kasi sa pananaw namin ay ina-acknowledge naman lang na ang feeling nila na malapit sila, at malapit din naman talaga, so, OK naman lang. Pero kung, let see sa sine, pag nag-simula na yung sine di tahimik na rin lang ganun o kaya sa restaurant, matapos na pagnaka-upo na rin lang, ganun, ay di tahimik na lang. Pero yung mga outings namin, minsan nag-mamaneho lang kami, akyat sa Tagaytay, lunch... kakain ng sandwich o kung ano man...

Daniel: Sa loob na lang ng kotse...

Mar: Di naman, pero yung sa mga, dun sa may ridge di ba tapos lakad-lakad, tapos uwi na. Eh yung pag-mamaneho, at ako ang nag-mamaneho. Kasama kami ganun, so yun nag-bibigyan kami ng 2 hours na pwede nyong pag-usapan kahit ano eh... at kadalasan yung napag-uusapan nga namin yung mga bagay na malayo doon sa trabaho ko o sa trabaho niya, hindi yung mga isyu, yung mga nasa diyaryo ang napag-uusapan namin. Ang pag-uusapan namin yung kung ano-ano.

Daniel's Voiceover: At nang aking siyang tanungin kung ano ang kanyang balak para sa 2010...

Mar: Sa 2010, lahat tayo, lahat ng mga Pilipino nag-nanais ng pagbabago, nag-nanais ng reporma, nag-nanais ng tuwid at tapat na pamamahala. Ako naman, yun din ang aking gusto at handa naman akong mag-silbi sa kahit anong pamama-raan para lamang na mai-sulong nating itong pagbabago, itong reporma, itong tuwid at tapat na pamamahala... so... ako, bilang isang indibidwal na political figure, bilang Pangulo ng Liberal Party, tutulong kami, gagawin namin ang lahat para mai-sulong natin yung tapat, yung tuwid, yung maka-reporma, maka-bagong pamamahala dito sa atin.

Daniel: Ano ang nakikita mong Mar Roxas pag ikaw ay naging Presidente ng Pilipinas?

Mar: Baka kung palarin tayo, maasahan ng ating mga kababayan na yung values na nakita nila hanggang sa ngayon ay mag-papatuloy din na pinapahalagahan natin ang bawat isa, yung indibidwal tapat.

Daniel: For the record lang, ah... makakasama ka pa naman po namin dito, makaka-usap ng ganito...

Mar: Ay magkasamang-magkapatid naman tayo... Thank you very much!

Daniel: (Laughs) Mr. Senator, maraming salamat, maraming salamat!

Mar: God bless!

Daniel: It's all nice to see you again and ah... I'm so happy for you! Goodluck and God bless!

Mar: Sa'yo rin! Thank you!

Daniel: Yeah... Salamat!

Saturday, February 7, 2009 | posted in , , , , , | 2 comments [ More ]

Blogger Zyon Jerekiel Aquino supports Mar Roxas for President in 2010

Another blogger has expressed his support for Mar Roxas as our next President in 2010 and I'm sure, he made the right choice.

Zyon Jerekiel S. Aquino who blogs at "Supreme Love and Respect" wrote about a blog post entitled "My 2010 Philippine National Elections President" and he said that his "vote goes to Senator Mar Roxas."
Kung pagsasamahin ang talino ni (Ferdinand) Marcos in terms of legal issues, the credibility of Cory (Aquino), the vision of (Fidel) Ramos, the charisma of Erap (Estrada) and the economic management (if there is such thing as that) of GMA, then we need that person to be elected this 2010 May Elections to finally end the "political crisis" that is happening and finally, make our country "a very healthy place to live", blogger Aquino (in the photo) said in endorsing Roxas for President in 2010.
To read more about his blog post, please visit Let him know that he's not alone and he made a right choice in endorsing Mar Roxas as our next President in 2010.

Senator Roxas to PGMA: Order probe of FG Mike

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today stressed President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should now act to save the country's "corrupt" image in the international political arena, and she can begin by ordering an independent investigation into the numerous anomalies involving her husband, First Gentleman Mike Arroyo.
"Mahalagang linisin natin ang imahe ng ating bayan. Nakakahiya na tayo sa buong mundo. Ang tingin nila ay puro korap ang mga opisyal natin. Kailan pa ba kikilos si GMA? (It is important to clean our country's image. We are really in a very embarrassing situation now. The world thinks all Philippine government officials are corrupt. When will GMA act to stop this?)" he asked.
He said the president can prove her sincerity in removing corruption by subjecting her husband to an independent investigation and by allowing the long arms of the law to be served on him, when he is found guilty of pocketing millions of pesos in bribe monies and for masterminding multi-million peso fund diversion scams.

He also said President Arroyo should not ignore testimonies given to World Bank investigators that her husband and an unnamed former senator received millions of pesos in bribe monies in exchange for favorable endorsements to local and foreign contractors for them to be able to bag infrastructure contracts with the government, particularly the Department of Public Works and Highways.

The WB had conducted an investigation into irregularities that tainted projects that it financed in the country. As a result of the probe, seven firms - three from the Philippines and four from China - were banned from participating in any WB-funded projects here after they were found to have engaged in "collusive practices" in the bidding of a road project.
"Hindi pa ba sapat na ang WB na mismo ang nakakuha ng testimonya na milyong-milyong piso ang ibinayad ng mga kontratista kay Mike Arroyo para lamang manalo sa bidding ng mga projects sa DPWH? Kailangang kumilos na si GMA ngayon na (Isn't it enough that no less than the WB has been given testimonies that contractors had to pay millions of pesos to Mike Arroyo to get government contracts? She should act now)," he stressed.

"Gloria should make a clear statement that her husband is not beyond the law. She should not use her position to influence the findings of any investigating body. And if her husband is found guilty of any of the allegations against him, then she should not think twice about him going behind bars for his corrupt acts" he added.
Roxas warned the WB findings could affect relations between the Philippines and the United States, especially following the anti-corruption pledge that new US President Barack Obama made during his inauguration last month.

Also, the Ilonggo senator said it was not a surprise that the Philippines has been lumped with Nigeria, Pakistan and Bangladesh as among the nations with failing democracies due to rampant corruption in government.

He said controversies like the NBN-ZTE bribery, the P728 million fertilizer fund diversion, the "Euro Generals" money laundering and the most recent, the collusion between the owner of the Legacy Group of Companies and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to rip off hundreds of pre-need plan holders and bank depositors of their hard-earned savings have left an impression of widespread corruption in the nation.
"She should act to clean up the graft gangs in her government. She must spearhead this war against corruption by starting in her own backyard. Only then can she prove her sincerity," he said.

Senator Roxas' second ambush interview transcript during the break in the Pre-Need Financial state hearing

MAR: ...Alamin kung makakayanan ba nila na tugunan ang lahat nitong mga pinangako nila, ano pa ang dapat idagdag nila sa kapital ng kanilang mga kumpanya, ano pa ang mga dapat na pagbabago sa kanilang pagtatabi ng pera lalong-lalo na sa trust fund. Para makasiguro tayo na kung anuman ang mga binebenta nila ay matutugunan at masasakatuparan ang mga pangakong ito.

Nakita natin dito sa Legacy at sa iba pang nabangkaroteng pre-need plans, iba ang treatment diyan. Dapat ang SEC, dapat ay i-attach ang lahat ng mga assets, ikandado ang lahat ng mga assets na iyan para may chance tayo na ma-recover anuman ang pagkukulang dito sa trust fund na ito. Nang sa ganun mabayaran man lang iyong capital, yung binayad ng mga plan holders.

Dito naman sa mga buhay pa na kumpanya, dapat malaman kung maglalabas ba sila ng capital? Dedepensahan ba nila ang kanilang kumpanya? Nang sa ganun ay malaman kung itong mga plan holders ay magpapatuloy sa pagbayad. Ano ba ang sitwasyon ng trust fund nila? Kaya ba nilang punuan ang kakulangan diyan?

At dito sa SEC, dapat mag-resign yang si Aquino, mag-resign sino pa. Itong mga commissioner na nagtatakip.commissioner na kasama...Sa tingin ko kasi, itong mga bagay na ito ay isang fraudulent scheme, kasama talaga ito sa isang fraudulent scheme na maloko ang mga plan holders natin, itong mga bumili ng mga plan na ito. At ang ibang opisyal ng SEC ay either negligent o kakutsaba. O sa kanilang katamaran o sa kanilang incompetence napasama sa pagpayag na magpatuloy itong fraudulent scheme na ito, itong panlolokong ito.

Q: Anong pwedeng i-rekomendang kaso laban sa Legacy?

MAR: Ang pag-file ng kaso. Pwedeng estafa, at kaya nga pinapa-attach natin ang lahat ng assets. Halimbawa, itong lupa sa Ayala Alabang, binenta ito, dinispose ito isang lingo bago sinabi na hindi na naming kakayanin yung pagbayad nitong mga plano na ito. Bakit pinayagan ng SEC ito? Dapat habulin ng SEC ito para ma-attach yan dun sa halaga ng trust fund. Ang pinakamahalaga ditto ay ang mga magulang, lalong-lalo na yung mga nagsakripisyo, yung mga mahihirap para lamang makabayad ng tuition ng kanilang mga anak, masiguro lamang ang edukasyon ng kanilang mga anak. Yan ang binabantayan natin, pinapahalagan natin.

Q: Kung ginawa ng SEC ang kanilang trabaho, hindi tayo aabot dito?

MAR: Kung ginawa ng SEC ang trabaho nila, lalong-lalo na nangkaroon ng ganitong pangyayari nung 2004 at 2005 dun sa CAP at sa Pacific, hindi tayo darating dito. Naghigpit sila ng maaga at yung mga napag-bentahan noong 2005, 2006, 2007 at 2008 sana hindi na sila napagbentahan ng mga plano na ngayon nakikita natin hindi naman pala makakapag-deliver ng kanilang mga pangako.

Q: Additional powers for SEC?

MAR: Hindi na. In fact, sobrang lawak nga ng kapangyarihan ng SEC sa pre-need. There is one line, halos one provision in that Securities Regulation Code na ang pagsubabay, pag-monitor sa pre-need industry binibigay sa SEC. Kahit anong regulasyon pwede nilang ilagay diyan. Kahit anong paghihigpit, kahit anong prudential measures para masiguro ang trust fund, masiguro ang paggastos ng pera ng mga plan holders ay nasa kamay nila. Nakita natin either ayaw nilang gamitin itong kapangyarihang ito or nagbubulag-bulagan sila, nagbibingi-bingihan sila. Or nakikita natin na talagang willful participants sila, kasama sila dito sa willful negligence para maka-eskapo itong mga nagloko sa ating mga kababayan.

Q: What will you recommend versus SEC?

MAR: Kitang-kita mahihina ang mga opisyal ng SEC. At hindi naman personal ito, pero 2 years na itong global financial crisis umaalingawngaw ito eh. Sa Bloomberg, sa CNBC, sa international. Hindi naman ito surpesa ito. Pero bakit ang SEC natin nabigla? Bakit ngayon naghahabol? Kawawa naman ang ating mga plan holders. Kawawa ang mga magulang, kawawa yung mga pensiyonado, kawawa yung mga namatay. Dahil wala na ngang pera na pambayad dito sa mga binili nilang plano.

Q: Negligence lang?

MAR: Negligence, yes, but it's criminal eh. Isang bagay ang kahinaan, katamaran, incompetence. Pero hindi ito yung pangunang pangyayari na ganito eh. Nangyari na yung CAP, yung Pacific, ngayon yung Legacy naman. Kawawa naman dahil hindi sila umaksyon, dahil hindi nila nilinis at inayos, ang industriyang ito...ilang magulang, pamilya ang bumili ng mga planong ito na ngayon ay nasa alanganin?

Q: Clarification lang...P3.6 billion ang total obligations nila for the plan holders and investors and creditors (Legacy)?

MAR: Yes, P1.1 billion sa trust fund and P2.5 billion sa kanilang principal na tinanggap na nangako sila ng times two, doblado, tapos meron pa silang pinangakuan, tinanggap na bibigyan ng pera. So this is on top of the banks and apart from the other schemes. Dun lang ito sa mga pre-need holders and dun sa mga doblado. Wala pa tayo dun sa mga banks, dun sa mga depositors

Q: P1.1 billion?

MAR:Sa kanilang trust fund, ang suma total na dapat bayaran is about P1.1 billion. Ang pera sa kanilang assets is about P330 million.

Q: Chain of assets...?

MAR: Iba yun. Yun ang pag-aari dapat, halimbawa dito sa Mastercard Franchise, na ang value ay P300M pero right now ang value na lang is P85M. So, itong P330m na nasa trust fund maaaring lumaki yan pero maaarin din na ampaw din ang iba diyan.

Q: Can they pay the plan holders?

MAR: The P350M is owned by the planholders. Ang tanong is, they will get 30 cents on the peso, roughly lang ha. Kasi kungP1.1 billion, eh P350 million ang nasa trust fund, palagay mo nasa P400m, eh di you will get 40 cents per peso owed. That is under the BEST circumstance ha. Kung everything is okay. Pero palagay ko hindi...palagay ko may marupok na asset sa loob eh.

Q: Anong assets ang pwedeng habulin ng SEC?

MAR: Itong lupa pwede. Palagay ko hindi lang ito ang asset nito. Palagay ko meron pang iba diyan eh. Sabi ni Delos Angeles meron pa daw siyan P1 billion na free and clean na assets eh. Eh bakit hindi pa siya ipatawag ng SEC? Nasan ang P1 billion na ito? I-attach natin lahat yan para ma-conserve lahat ang mga ito para sa interest ng mga plan holders.

Q: Yung recommendation na i-freeze lahat yung mga assets, san manggagaling?

MAR: The SEC can freeze motu propio, they don't have to wait for us.

Q: Order or priorities for the payments, sino mauuuna: plan holders o investors?

MAR: Para sa akin plan holders. By the nature kasi, kasunduan ito. Yung investor, investment kasi iyan. Pwedeng manalo, pwedeng matalo. Pero mag-aagaw na lahat yan.

Q: Wala sa list si Delos Angeles pero dumating siya? Summoned siya? Pyramiding ito?

MAR: Yung kay Delos Angeles? Oo. Yung doblado, nagging times 3, times 5. Yan paghahabol na lang ng pera yan eh. Para may cash flow, anuman ang pumapasok yun ang binabayad para sa nakaraang mga obligations...

Senator Roxas: SEC guilty of willful negligence, incompetence

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas yesterday chided officials of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for their "willful negligence" and incompetence in protecting the interests of pre-need plan holders and investors during a hearing conducted by the Senate on the state of the pre-need industry.
"The weakest charge against the SEC is that it has been negligent. That's the kindest assessment. They have been negligent, lazy and passive. 'Yan ang pinakamagaan. Pero dahil hindi ito ang pinaka-unang pangyayari na ganito, masasabi that the SEC was not only negligent but they have been willfully aiding and abetting the defrauding of the people by turning a blind eye, by willfully ignoring all of these signals or signs that they should have been stricter," the chairman of the committee said.
He noted the statement of SEC Chairperson Fe Barin that while the Commission made sure that the interests of the pre-need plan holders were protected, it likewise tried to balance the concerns of the pre-need companies.

She likewise blamed supposed restrictions in the SEC Charter, which she said tied them down in stopping the financial problems of the industry.
"I am really saddened by your response. Talagang nalulungkot ako. Naghuhugas kayo ng kamay. Umiiwas kayo sa responsibilidad. Kayo ang chairperson ng SEC. Sumulat na kami ng batas, iyong Pre Need Code, naipasa na ito sa Senado pero hindi pa na-a-aksyunan sa Kamara. Pero hindi ito excuse para sa ginawa ninyo. The SEC has been given the widest latitude to regulate this. Kung nung 2005 nakita na ninyo ang problema, at na-analyze na ninyo ang problema, maaaring nagpatigil na kayo ng pagbebenta ng mga plans pero tuloy-tuloy ang ligaya kaya ngayon meron na namang ganito," Roxas reprimanded Barin.

"Hindi ito ang unang pangyayari na ganito, nagkaron na tayo ng CAP, ng PEP, ng maraming kumpanya na preneed na pare-pareho ang nangyayari. Masasabi na natin na captured na sila (SEC), may sabwatan na sila. Hindi na nila nakikita ang mga interests ng planholders," he added.
Roxas also chided Director Jose Aquino of the SEC's Non-Traditional Securities and Instruments Department for failing to protect the public's interest in the cased of Legacy Consolidated Inc., owned by businessman Celso delos Angeles, when it had reported its woes already three years ago.

Aquino told senators he "met with (Legacy shareholders) and gave them directives" but admitted that only "some" of these directives were complied with by Legacy Consolidated.

Delos Angeles said his company continued to sell pre-need plans until November 2008, and shortly thereafter, in December 2 last year, applied with the SEC for corporate dissolution, claiming that the company has become insolvent.
"Nagsabi na nga sila na nagkaka-problema na sila pero pinayagan niyo pa rin silang magbenta ng mga plans. You, SEC, you're supposed to be the bantay of the interest ng lahat ng magulang na namili nitong Legacy na ito. Tapos matutuklasan natin na nalaman niyo ito 3 years ago pero wala kayong ginawa kundi sumulat, mag-miting o kaya mag-direct. Pero toothless, fangless, walang ngipin kasi tuloy ang ligaya. Hanggang first week of December na sabi ni Mr. Delos Angeles, hindi na namin kaya ito. Kasi yung mga bangko na pag-aari din niya, bangkarote na din. Ito din ang pinag-invest-an ng mga trustee na ito," Roxas said.

"Malinaw na malinaw na hindi lamang malambot, hindi lamang katamaran, hindi lamang incompetence, pero mukhang willful negligence na talaga. Talagang nagtatakip mata sila, talagang tinitingnan ang side ng kumpaya laban sa side ng mga preneed plan holders," he stressed.

He added: "Parang lagi na lang silang nabubulaga, lagi na lang silang naiiwan sa kangkungan. Dahil hindi nila talaga alam ang trabaho nila. O kaya, dahil hindi ito ang kauna-unahang pangyayaring ito, talagang nagtatakip mata sila, nagpapa-inosente sila kasi ayaw nilang disiplinahin, ayaw nilang proteksyunan ang interest ng mga planholders dahil ang proteksyon na kailangan ng planholders ang siyang sasagabal o magpapahigpit sa mga operasyon ng mga kumpanyang ito."
Asked what charges could be filed against SEC officials, Roxas said they could be slapped with negligence, dereliction of duty and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The Senate committees on trade and commerce and banks will resume hearings on the pre-need industry's financial woes next week.

Senator Roxas' ambush interview transcript during the break in the Pre-Need Financial state hearing

Q: What is the liability of the SEC?

MAR: The weakest laban sa SEC is that it has been negligent eh. That's the kindest assessment. They have been negligent, they have been lazy, they have been passive. Yan ang pinakamagaan. Pero dahil hindi ito ang pinaka-unang pangyayari na ganito, masasabi that the SEC was not only negligent but they have been willfully aiding and abetting the defrauding of the people by turning a blind eye, by willfully ignoring all of these signals or signs that they should have been stricter.

Meron ng pagsasara ng CAP, ng Pacific, at may iba pang maliliit.

Q: Anong mga remedial legislation can come out of this?

MAR: It's not remedial legislation that we need. It's the enforcement. San ka nakakita nang hindi naming aaksyunan ang isyu na 'yan hanggang walang dadating dito sa amin na mag-complain.

Q: Can you expand dun sa sinasabi mong sabwatan between SEC and pre-need companies?

MAR: Ang pinaka-mild na masasabi natin sa SEC ay negligent sila or incompetent sila. Pero hindi naman ito ang unang pangyayari na ganito, nagkaron na tayo ng CAP, ng PEP, ng maraming kumpanya na preneed na pare-pareho ang nangyayari...masasabi na natin na captured na sila, may sabwatan na sila. Hindi na nila nakikita ang mga interests ng planholders. Dun nga sa unang statement ni (SEC Chairman) Fe Barin, ang kanya binabalanse pa niya ang interest ng pagpapalago ng industriya laban dun sa mga interest ng planholders. Eh ang ahensiya ng gobyerno nandiyan iyan para proyteksyunan ang interest ng mga planholders. Ito yung mga inosente, ito yung mga mahihirap na nagtabi ng pera para mailigtas ang mga edukasyon ng kanilang mga anak. Kung ang SEC hindi na nila maasahan bilang panangga dito sa mga umaabuso, dito sa mga nagdidispalka ng kanilang mga pera, sino pa? San pa sila tatakbo? Kaya nga may SEC.

Q: Yung harassment daw ng BSP?

MAR: Hindi ko alam sa BSP, pero ang sumusubaybay naman dito ang SEC. Pero malinaw na malinaw na hindi lamang malambot, hindi lamang katamaran, hindi lamang incompetence, pero mukhang willful negligence na talaga. Talagang nagtatakip mata sila, talagang tinitingnan ang side ng kumpaya laban sa side ng mga preneed plan holders.

Q: Bakit nagtatakip ng mata?

MAR: Eh sa laki ng perang pinag-uusapan dito, abot na ng bilyon, maaari ng mag-espekulasyon.

Q: Anong mga kasong pwedeng harapin ng SEC?

MAR: Meron silang negligence, dereliction of duty, meron ding under the graft and practices act na batas natin na maaari na silang kasuhan dito. Pag-aaralan natin.

Mabuti sana kung ito yung unang pagkakataon na nangyari ganito. Pero meron ng mga 700,000 na mga magulang dun sa CAP, nagkaroon na ng Pacific at ibang kumpanya na nagsara, halos 50 na na pre-need ang nagsara. Tapos ngayon nabulaga na naman ang SEC na meron Legacy at iba pa. Parang lagi na lang silang nabubulaga, lagi na lang silang naiiwan sa kangkungan. Dahil hindi nila talaga alam ang trabaho nila. O kaya, dahil hindi ito ang kauna-unahang pangyayaring ito, talagang nagtatakip mata sila, nagpapa-inosente sila kasi ayaw nilang disiplinahin, ayaw nilang proteksyunan ang interest ng mga planholders dahil ang proteksyon na kailangan ng planholders ang siyang sasagabal o magpapahigpit sa mga operasyon ng mga kumpanyang ito.

Q: May liability ang Legacy?

MAR: Talaga. Yung unang pananagutan talaga ay Legacy. Pero ang SEC, bilang siyang tagapagtanggol, bilang panangga sa mga pang-aabuso nitong mga katulad ng Legacy, may pananagutan din dahil hindi nila ginawa ang trabaho nila.

Q: Yung harassment daw ng taga-BSP?

MAR: Take up din natin. Tawagin natin Mr. Espenilla at iba pang nasa BSP.

Q: Tuloy pa ang hearing?

MAR: Oo, tuloy-tuloy ang hearing.

Senator Roxas: Cheap Meds law to bring down price

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today said the Department of Health (DOH) should make good its promise to implement the price regulation provisions of the Universally Accessible, Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act by releasing its list of drugs and recommended maximum retail prices (MRPs) at the start of this month.
"Mahalaga na pababain na ang presyo ng gamot gamit ang bagong Cheap Medicines Law, at nangako ang DOH na ilalabas na nila ang listahan ng mga presyo. Pero nasaan na ito? (It is important to bring down prices using the new Cheap Medicines Law, and the DOH promised that they will release their list of drugs with MRP at the start of this month. Well, where's the list?)" the main author of the Cheaper Medicines Law said.

"Mabagal at malabnaw ang pagkilos ng gobyerno kaya kinukulit natin ito (The government is slow in implementing the law. That's why we need to persist in pressuring the government to implement it now)," he stressed.
Roxas said the DoH must be made to account for its failure to fully implement the law, which he noted took 10 years to shepherd through Congress and hurdled a strong lobby by powerful multinational pharmaceutical companies.

He pointed to Chapter 3 on "Drugs and Medicines Price Regulation" of Republic Act No. 9502, which empowers the President, upon recommendation of the DOH Secretary, to impose maximum retail prices for all vital medicines. The DOH is authorized to establish the price regulation system within 120 days after the law becomes effective, or since November 4 last year when it issued the implementing rules and regulation.
"Lahat ng kasangkapan, lahat ng kapangyarihan para pababain ang presyo ng gamot ay ibinigay na namin sa ehekutibo. Ano pa ang hinihintay nila? (All tools and powers needed to lower the prices of medicines have been vested with the executive. What are they waiting for?)," the Ilonggo senator said.

"Hindi na puwedeng patagalin pa ang paghihirap ng mamamayan. Ngayon na, ipatupad na ang batas (The Arroyo government has been in power for eight years. In fact, the Estrada government has put in place a program for quality and affordable medicines. We should not prolong the people's pain any longer. The law must be implemented now)."
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade and Commerce said he will ask the Quality Affordable Medicines Oversight Committee to convene and exercise its oversight powers if the Arroyo Administration continues to drag its feet on the issue.

Overseas Filipino voters can now register to vote for the 2010 Philippine elections

To all our Overseas Filipino voters all around the world, you can now register to vote for the May 10, 2010 general elections. The registration period starts today, February 1 and will end this August 31, 2009.

All citizens of the Philippines abroad not otherwise disqualified by law, at least eighteen (18) years of age on the day of the election and who wish to vote for President, Vice-President, Senators and Party List Representative for purposes of the May 10, 2010 National Election must file applications for registration/certification as overseas absentee voters from February 01, 2009 to August 31, 2009. The voting period will be from April 10, 2010 until 3:00pm Philippine time of May 10, 2010.

The Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) registration is necessary for overseas Filipinos who are first-time overseas voters, have changed country or state of residence since the last Philippine elections, or did not vote in the last two national elections.

Parties who are not eligible are those who have lost or renounced their Filipino citizenship or have been declared excluded by Philippine courts for the offenses of rebellion, insurrection, or violation of the Philippine firearms law.

The overseas voter must register at the Philippine Embassy where he will vote in May 2010.

Registration must be done in person, because the voter’s biometric data (facial features, fingerprints and signature) must be digitally recorded. OAV registrants must present their Philippine passport or seaman’s book (in case of seafarers) at your nearest Philippine Embassy.

Other requirements include: a valid Philippine passport or in its absence, a Department of Foreign Affairs certification (as most employers of household service workers in the Middle East get their passports); an accomplished OAV registration/certification form (which can be downloaded from the Comelec website )

Seafarers, who get to register and vote in posts where their ship may happen to be during the election period, also need to present a photocopy of Seaman's Book or proof of being a seafarer.

For Filipinos who retained or re-acquired their Filipino citizenship under Republic Act 9225 granting dual citizenship, they also need to present the original or certified true copy of the Order of Approval of Application.

Other questions could be directed at the Comelec's Committee on Overseas Absentee Voting at (632) 522 2251, (632) 521 2952, or (632) 523 9924; and at their website,, as well as at the DFA Overseas Absentee Voting Secretariat at (632) 8330914 or (632) 832 8363; and at their website, The nearest Philippine embassy or consulate should also be able to provide more information.

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