Uniffors


Conrad, paki-explain nga

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the September 22nd, 2014

Inquirer’s Conrado de Quiros does his sneakiest best to defend Binay.

    “The “court of law,” or the Senate investigation, is where Binay finds himself with the stronger hand. That may be a strange thing to say given that that’s where he’s been getting it, with Alan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes and Koko Pimentel, in particular, leading the charge. But Binay has the stronger hand there, simply because his detractors have not presented incontrovertible evidence against him.”

Tapos meron ka pang kicker,

    Binay doesn’t have to prove himself innocent, his detractors have to prove him guilty. The cardinal principle in law, at least in a democratic society, is that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Which is what’s profoundly disturbing about the way the Senate has gone about the hearing on Binay. Mercado and company have thrown all sorts of accusations against him, none of which they have bothered to prove with documents, the corroborating testimony of independent witnesses, the reports of COA and various experts. Instead, they are challenging Binay to prove them wrong.

Binay made the same claim during his “presidential address” to the nation but in a more concise manner.

He said,

    “Wala sa mga pinangangalandakan nilang testimonya ang tatayo sa isang hukuman ng batas.”

Conrad, saan ka nakakita ng isang 11-story carpark cum office building na nagkakahalagang P2.2B? Ano ang nilagay dun sa building, Carrara marble ba ang office floors at parking areas? At yun mga gypsum board walls binalot ba sa gold leaf at mga mamahaling gemstones?

Anong nangyari sa iyo, bakit ka nagkaganyan? Matino ka namang tao dati. Tsk,tsk.

P.S. Naniwala ka kay Chavit nung sinabi niya naghahatid siya ng jueteng payola kay Erap pero hindi kapanipaniwala ang kwento ni Mercado na naghatid siya ng pera kay Binay?

Naniwala ka sa sinabi ni Jun Lozada tungkol sa bid-rigging ng ZTE-NBN pero hindi ka naniniwala kay Engr. Hechanova tungkol sa bid-rigging sa carpark?

Tsk, tsk, ulit.

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Mga azkal talaga

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the September 21st, 2014

Some UP professors who belong to CONTEND-UP, obviously the counterpart of the UP student group STAND-UP that pelted DBM Sec Abad with coins after he honored an invitation from the UP DILIMAN student council to speak at their forum issued a statement defending the azkal behavior of their fine student protesters.

They said, “students should passionately challenge the system” …I guess by chanting slogans and throwing coins.

And then they added,

    “We should never be afraid of debates. We do, however, refuse to engage in talk that will only lend credence to the façade of democracy and academic freedom we currently have.”

In other words,

    “We will debate if we like what we hear, if not we will throw a tantrum and pelt you with whatever we can lay our hands on.”

Mga azkal talaga. Woof, woof.

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Dapat sa mga bata inireregalo ang cakes

Posted in Philip Gilmore Cartoons by uniffors on the September 20th, 2014

nancy2

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Pangalawang Pangulo o Pangunang Panggulo?

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the September 20th, 2014

I often hear the vice president called Pangalawang Pangulo, the number two president. Why call him that?

There is only one president under our system of government. The vice president has no functions under the Constitution other than to wait for the president to die, become incapacitated, or impeached.

Granted, the president, if he wishes, can appoint the vice president to any appointive position in his administration but he is under no obligation to do so. And since under our system the president and the vice-president are not by law elected as a team, then there is all the more reason to question why the vice president should be called Pangalawang Pangulo. Binay is not PNoy’s Dick Cheney. In fact, many times he is the Pangunang Panggulo.

For example: Binay flew to Zamboanga during the MNLF raid and inserted himself in the management of the crisis claiming that he negotiated a cease-fire with the MNLF. Who appointed him negotiator?

Besides, the cease-fire claim was proven to be false. But that was after it created confusion among those who were in the crisis management team. Defense Secretary Gazmin had to publicly distance himself and the government from Binay’s claim.

Recently he flew to Cagayan in the aftermath of Typhoon Luis purportedly to “alleviate the suffering of typhoon survivors”. Well and good if the president asked him to do that. But the president did not. The president did not appoint him caretaker during his absence. He is not included in the National Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The relevant agencies of the government were in Cagayan doing their job and there was no need for Binay to go there to tell “the people of Cagayan and Isabela that their government is ready to assist them.”

The thing is Binay is a vice president that travels with an entourage fit for a king. Local officials have to take time off from attending to post-typhoon work just to accord him courtesies that he believes is his due him as vice president. In the Zamboanga crisis, Binay even asked for an on the scene briefing from the DND and the AFP even if he had no business whatsoever in that crisis.

He did the same thing during Yolanda. So okay he is in charge of housing but housing does not happen when first responders are still on the scene. Housing for typhoon victims happens way down the line.

A vice-president is a spare tire. He is the panglimang gulong. He stays in the trunk of the car until there is a flat tire. Period.

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My butt hurts

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the September 20th, 2014

Ernesto ‘I-didn’t-know-he-is -still-alive’ Maceda headlined his op-ed in Philstar as VP Binay answers accusations. Take it from a man who has been fending off accusations for over half a century.

He also mentioned a certain Malou Tiquia: “Independent political analysts led by Malou Tiquia rated Binay’s speech as effective, direct to the point and presidential.”

My butt hurts. No, not Maceda, at his age not even mainlining Viagra will help him. It was Malou Tiquia’s fat middle finger.

tiquia

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A total waste of taxpayers’ mony

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the September 14th, 2014

Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla, spokesman of Vice President Jejomar Binay,called former Makati Vice Mayor Mercado’s inclusion in the witness protection program a
“total waste of taxpayers’ money.”

    “The DOJ should not tolerate his gambling habit to the point that it will provide security for Mercado each time he visits casinos or cockpits to gamble. This will be a disservice to the WPP and a total waste of taxpayers’ money, all to advance the political demolition agenda of two senators,” he said.

This after Binay blew P2.4B on an 11-story carpark.

Well, he did save Makati P200M by using gypsum boards and rolling vinyl for the walls and floors of his world-class building.

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“Bahala ka na sa buhay mo” – Sens. Sotto and Ejercito to VP Binay

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the September 10th, 2014

The headline says, “Minority eyes boycott of Makati bldg probe.”

In the body of the report, Sen. JV Ejercito, quoting Senate minority leader Tito Sotto, said,

    “Sabi ni Tito Sen, sabi kasi ‘pag nandoon tayo binibigyan pa natin ng credibility ang hearing so depende, pag-usapan namin.”

JV added,

    “Sana huwag gamitin for political purposes. Kasi ‘yun na ang tingin ng iba. Let’s leave it to the constitutional bodies. Credible naman ang ating COA chair, credible naman ang ating Ombudsman. Bakit kinakailangan pang pumasok ang Senate blue ribbon committee sa isang kaso na dapat lokal? Iba ang pagtatanong pag naka-on ang camera, iba yung paglilitis sa korte na walang camera. Malaki ang diperensya.”

Hmmm. Talagang malaki ang diperensya. Yung isa, huwes at mga abogado lang ang makakakita ng paglilitis, hindi makikita ng publiko, pero yun open Senate hearing kitang-kita ng lahat. At saka, yun isa ang magdedisisyon ay mga huwes pero yun open Senate hearing ang publiko at mga botante ang magdedesisyon.

Kung kandidato ka at may kasalanan ka na gusto mong itago, saan mo gustong litisin ang kaso mo – sa korte kung saan walang TV camera o sa Senado kung saan meron gavel to gavel radio/TV coverage?

Anyway, at the Senate hearing last week, JV Ejercito tried his best to lend credibility to the powerpoint presentation of Hilmarc Construction and to cast doubts on the credibiity of one of Hilmarc’s interlocutors by making it appear that an “off-stage” conversation between Sen. Trillanes and Hilmarc representatives involved bullying by Trillanes.

But Trillanes took to the floor and directed clarificatory questions to the Hilmarc lawyer who ended up admitting that the alleged bullying was actually a friendly conversation.

And then Sen. Cayetano proceeded to take apart the powerpoint presentation of Hilmarc.

As a result, the Hilmarc lawyer reluctantly confessed that he could not claim the carpark was “world class” and “green”. He also had to beg off from answering unequivocally how much the price of steel and the cost of the building’s foundation actually contributed to the ridiculous construction cost of the carpark. And he could not explain why government procurement should necessarily be more costly than private procurement.

And so the presence of the minority in last week’s hearing had no effect whatsoever on the credibility of the investigation. That was ably demonstrated by JV Ejercito who failed miserably at lending credibility to Hilmarc’s testimony.

That’s why when the minority says they will boycott because they do not want to lend credibility to the investigation, they are in effect admitting that Binay’s position is indefensible.

So fuck that “lending credibility” excuse. Tito Sen and JV are running away, leaving Binay to defend himself. That leaves Nancy to defend her father.

Why can’t she cross-examine resource persons and show them to be liars if she is so goddam sure her father is innocent? And if, as she and her father claim, the probe is just politics of destruction then she has every right, in fact the duty, to expose it for what it is.

Recusal on the grounds of conflict of interest does not hold water in a case where one has to defend someone who is unjustly and unfairly accused. If she is the only person who can stand up against political persecution then it is her duty to do it regardless of her relation to the accused.

Besides, I’m sure her father can furnish her with evidence that will debunk the allegations of Sens. Cayetano and Trillanes.

Come to think of it, if such evidence exists, anybody, even a monkey, can deliver it to the Blue Ribbon committee because the evidence does not need a spokesman, it can speak for itself.

So let’s hear it from the documents that Binay will produce. Please.

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The Binay impeachment ruse

Posted in Philip Gilmore Cartoons by uniffors on the September 8th, 2014

impeach

Impeachment for Binay? That would be a ruse concocted by Binay.

Yes, the House can gather enough signatures to impeach him but there is no way there will be enough votes in the Senate to convict him.

Here’s what the Constitution says on the Senate’s role in impeachment:


    Art XI Sec3. (6) The Senate shall have the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. When sitting for that purpose, the Senators shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the Philippines is on trial, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside, but shall not vote. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate.

2/3 of 24 Senate seats is 16. Now do the math.

Three senators are suspended. If they cannot vote then their non-vote will be counted as a NO or an acquittal because the Constitution says 16 or more YES votes are needed for conviction.

But if the three detained senators can vote, guess how they will vote. Enrile and Jinggoy are partymates of Binay and Revilla, aside from being the president of GMA’s party, is Jinggoy’s best friend. So that leaves 21 senators who might vote to convict.

Now, of the remaining 21 senators, three of them – JV Ejercito, Nancy Binay, and Gringo Honasan – are sure to acquit or at least abstain. Not only are they all members of the opposition, they all also have strong personal reasons to acquit Binay. JV will follow his father’s wishes, Nancy is Binay’s daughter, and Gringo is Enrile’s “adopted” son. They can recuse themselves but recusal would be the same thing as abstaining which is the same as voting for acquittal because, as pointed out earlier, you need at least 16 YES votes to convict.

And don’t forget Sotto who is the minority leader. He is thick as thieves with the detained senators who have everything to gain from a Binay acquittal.

There is also no guarantee that the remaining senators will vote to convict. Besides Binay does not have to work on any more senators to get an acquittal. But his acquittal base of seven senators can still increase.

What if Miriam suddenly gets another attack of chronic fatigue syndrome or sudden high blood pressure and she has to stay home or go to the hospital on the day of voting? What if a senator gets sick or dies or is caught in a traffic jam or is stuck in an elevator? What if one or more of the remaining senators decides that voting for acquittal is better for his/her political fortune?

Any move to impeach Binay will work out in his favor. There will not be enough votes to convict him and he will be able to point to his acquittal as proof that all the charges against him were politically motivated and devoid of facts and his political rivals were simply ganging up on him. His underdog routine will gain traction and as we all know the voting public loves an underdog.

Let the Senate investigation run its course. Don’t get fooled by the line that impeachment carries the penalty of perpetual disqualification from office. That’s nothing but a shiny apple coming from a snake. There are not enough votes for conviction. Period.

Don’t let impeachment get in the way of exposing the overprice in the Makati carpark. Let the people impeach Binay through the ballot in 2016. Kill all Binay impeachment talk now!

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Philippine Daily Inquirer disguises press release as news

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the September 8th, 2014

Calling the Inquirer’s publisher. Please ask your editor and reporter to explain how this obvious press release was allowed to pass for a legitimate news report.

The story below, citing statements by city administrator Eleno Mendoza Jr., reported the powerpoint presentation of Hilmarc Construction lawyer Rogelio Peig in the Senate blue ribbon hearing last Thursday as if it were the last word on the matter. It did not bother to mention the reaction of Sen. Cayetano who questioned the credibility of the facts asserted by Atty. Peig. Isn’t reporting the pros and cons in a controversial issue one of the most basic rules in journalism ? What the fuck is with the Inquirer, has it joined the BBC (Binay Broadcasting Corporation)?


    Contractor’s testimony shows car park’s price comparable to other gov’t buildings
    By Kristine Felisse Mangunay |Philippine Daily Inquirer4:42 am | Sunday, September 7th, 2014

    In a statement, Eleno Mendoza Jr., city administrator, said that based on the data presented by Rogelio Peig, Hilmarc’s Construction Corp.’s assistant vice president for legal affairs, Makati City Hall Building 2 cost P69,549.92 per square meter.

    He said Peig compared this with the House of Representatives’ annex building, or the Mitra Building, built in 1998 that reportedly had a contract price of P462 million, or P38,000 per sq m on the average.
    According to Mendoza, Peig said that if the Mitra Building were constructed at the same time as the Makati City Hall Building 2, its cost would have averaged around P74,000 per sq m.

    “The figures presented by the representative from Hilmarc’s clearly show that the cost of Makati City Hall Building 2 is comparable if not lower than other public buildings that the construction company built,” Mendoza said.

    Mendoza also cited Peig’s testimony in the Senate that the Calamba City Hall cost P31,000 per sq m in 2002.

    The Calamba City Hall, Mendoza quoted Peig as saying, would have cost around P65,000 per sq m if the current index price of the National Statistics Office were used.

    Mendoza pointed out Peig’s observation that the Calamba City Hall was not built with the pile foundation that the Makati City Hall Building 2 has.

    If the Calamba City Hall were built on a pile foundation, Peig said, it would have cost P73,000 per sq m.

    According to Mendoza, Peig also said it was “wrong” to compare the costs of public buildings built under the procurement law and privately owned buildings.

    2 additional layers

    Peig explained that under the procurement law, the procuring entity should deal with only the general contractor and not directly with the manufacturer.

    Peig said the additional two layers resulting from that “requirement” of the procurement law meant that “there will be additional two layers of taxes and markups to shoulder on the part of the procuring entity.”

    “Especially in real estate development, the developers supply the materials and it is also they who go directly to specialty contractors,” Mendoza said, quoting Peig. (Read PDI Here)

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What the fuck is mainstream media doing?

Posted in Manuel Buencamino by uniffors on the September 4th, 2014

To mainstream media the highlight of today’s Senate hearing on the overpriced Makati parking lot is the sensational “damning” testimony of another former ally of Binay, a man by the name of Hechanova.

Well, he did say some shocking things about rigged bids; about pulling a TKO on a bidder by seeing to it he was stuck in an elevator so he would be late for the submission of his bid; and about Binay personally following up checks for his daughter’s cake business. But Binay can debunk those allegations with attacks on the character of the witness, as his spokesman is doing now and as he did with the testimony of his former crony and Vice-Mayor Mercado.

So far, media has not focused on the more substantial aspect of the hearing – the powerpoint presentation of the Hilmarc lawyer asserting that both Hilmarc and Binay were on the up and up.

The lawyer presented supposed apples to apples comparisons between the Makati building and other similarly situated buildings; he explained the supposed difference between private and public procurement practices to explain cost disparities; and he highlighted the supposed price of steel at the supposed time of purchase to account for the high construction cost.

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano warned the Hilmarc lawyer about perjury and then attacked the powerpoint presentation point by point. The lawyer and the engineers sitting behind him could not give a straight answer to Cayetano’s questions.

Everytime Cayetano asked a direct question, the lawyer had to plead either lack of knowledge or claim that he did not bring documents to support his claims. In the end, the lawyer could not protest when Cayetano said the powerpoint presentation was intended to mislead the public and that the lawyer was simply reading off a p.r. release meant to make Hillmarc and Binay look good.

If media is doing its duty to inform the public about issues that matter then Hilmarc’s powerpoint presentation and Sen. Cayetano’s cross examination is where its focus should be and not on the sensational testimony of a witness that Binay’s propaganda machine can easily destroy.

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