Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pagbabago calls for public support for unity statement to impeach Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez

(To enlarge the graphic, just click on it)

End the climate of impunity! Reform the Office of the Ombudsman!
Support the impeachment complaint versus Merceditas Gutierrez

Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez remains one of the biggest obstacles towards making corrupt officials of the Arroyo administration, including Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo herself, accountable for their crimes. Her inaction on such huge scandals like the Fertilizer Fund Scam, Euro Generals, and Mega Pacific Deal, to name just a few, has legitimized and institutionalized the climate of impunity that helped prop up the corrupt and brutal Arroyo administration.

As we continue to strive for truth, justice, accountability, and genuine change, it is indispensable that we make Gutierrez answer for the key role she played in the plunder and oppression perpetrated by the Arroyo administration against the Filipino people. The anomalous plea bargaining deal that she entered into with Gen. Carlos  Garcia has only reinforced public demand that the Office of the Ombudsman be reformed for the country to have an honest-to-goodness campaign against graft and corruption and put the biggest plunderers of the Arroyo administration into jail.

The reform must start with the removal of Gutierrez as Ombudsman through the Constitutional process of impeachment. While this is ongoing in the House of Representatives, the public can not afford to become a mere spectator and just passively watch the process unfold. We need to remain vigilant to ensure that the impeachment proceedings will not be derailed again by Gutierrez or by those who stand to benefit from her continued stay in office.

We call on the people to support the impeachment complaint filed by Pagbabago! and other groups against Ombudsman Gutierrez by affixing your name and signature and/or the organization that you represent to this unity statement. We also encourage you to circulate this unity statement to the largest number of people and groups possible in order to generate snowballing support for the impeachment complaint and forewarn those who plan to sabotage the proceedings. You may send the signatures and names to pagbabago.movement@gmail.com.

Let us work together to end the climate of impunity that has been gripping this country for so long. Support the impeachment process and remove Merceditas Gutierrez from the Office of Ombudsman now! 

Outline of Evidence

Reyes et al v. Ombudsman Gutierrez
List of Evidence
FOLDER 1: Fertilizer Scam
1.      Affidavit of Danilo Ramos dated 3/1/11
Attesting to the fact that his group filed a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman for plunder among other, against GMA et al, relating to the malversation of public funds int eh Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) program amounting to P728M.

He also attested the complainants’ efforts in reminding the Ombudsman to perform her functions.

2.      Affidavit of Atty. Jobert Pahilga dated 3/1/11
Attesting his efforts as a lawyer of the Ramos complaint.

3.      Sandiganbayan Certification dated 2/25/11
That no criminal or civil case had been filed against Jocelyn Bolante and Luis “Cito” Lorenzo

4.      Joint Complaint Affidavit filed by KMP, Pamalakaya, Amihan, AMGL, and Danggayan-CV against GMA et al for Plunder among others, dated 6/3/2004 (with Annexes)

5.      Senate Committee Report No. 254 (14th Congress, Second Regular Session) submitted by the Blue Ribbon Committee on 2/26/2009
“The Ombudsman failed to do its duty when no resolution was made on this case even after more than a thousand days. We denounce its inaction in the strongest possible terms. Xxx By its blatant inaction and callous behavior, it would seem as if it has been coopted by the corrupt. It seems that instead of apprehending the caravans of thieves, the Ombudsman has turned a blind eye and has allowed them to go on their merry way.

The gross inaction by the Ombudsman is one that must not be allowed or tolerated by the people and by the leaders of this country. Certainly, and at the very least, the Senate will not tolerate the Ombudsman’s criminal negligence. Xxx ”  (p.117)

“To be sure, there are already serious and mounting calls for her resignation, and we support them. This Committee and this Senate are done repeatedly reminding her to act and discharge her duty. The Senate will not hesitate to exercise its power of the purse as well as other legislative and constitutional powers to enact wholesale reforms in the Office of the Ombudsman and remove its occupants, if not effect its de facto abolition. The Ombudsman must be held accountable for allowing people to get away with crime.” (p. 118)
6.      Senate Committee Report No. 54 (13th Congress, Second Regular Session) submitted jointly by the Committee on Agriculture and Food and the Blue Ribbon Committee on 3/1/2006
·         The Rape of the Nation: Ten Reasons why the Fertilizer issue is a scam (p. 26)
·         Recommendations
“6.  Strong probable criminal culpability is established, hence, criminal and administrative charges must be filed against:
a.      Undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante
b.      Secretary Luis Lorenzo
c.       Undersecretary Ibarra Poliquit
d.      Undersecretary Belinda Gonzales
e.      Assistant Secretary Jose Felix Montes
f.        All Regional Directors of the Department of Agriculture who participated in the illegal transactions or dissipation of the Php 728-million fertilizer fund scam” (p. 33)

FOLDER 2: Fertilizer Scam (Chavez Folder)
1.      Affidavit of Francisco Chavez dated 2/24/11
Attesting to the efforts he made in trying to file plunder cases against GMA before the Office of the Ombudsman
I.                    Cases he filed before the Ombudsman regarding the Fertilizer fund scam, and other cases:
A.      Amended complaint-affidavit dated 5/26/04 before the Office of the Ombudsman for plunder et al against GMA, Lorezon, Boncodin, Relampagos, Oliveros, John Doe, Josie Doe, Jakie Doe, Jane Doe. This case is about the P728M fertilizer fund.
B.      Second complaint-affidavit dated 6/8/04 for plunder (like first complaint) but naming the Does as respondents: GMA, Lorenzo, Boncodin, Relampagos, Oliveros, Bolante, Poliquit, Paule, Florendo, Aquino, Fabian. This case involves the 1 Billion and 1 hundred million pesos of taxpayers’ money.
C.      Third plunder charge dated 6/25/04 against GMA, Limcaoco, Yap, Lorenzo, Genuino, Dayrit. This pertains to the OPLAN MERCURY involving P200M which was converted by respondents for their personal use to enhance the presidential candidacy of GMA.
D.     Fourth plunder charge dated 7/20/04 against GMA, Angelo, Duque, Romulo. This pertains to the plunder of the OWWA funds.
II.                  Other efforts
a.      Motion to Recuse dated 6/1/04 seeking inhibition of then Ombudsman Marcelo because he was handpicked by GMA. Followed up with a letter dated 7/7/04
b.      Letter dated 8/27/04 to Deputy Ombudsman of Luzon asking for an update on the plunder charges. Deputy Ombudsman of Luzon answered in a letter dated 9/2/04 informing that Marcelo inhibited himself.
c.       Letter dated 12/2/04 to Deputy Ombudsman of Luzon asking for update. The Office of Deputy Ombudsman replied in a letter dated 12/13/04 and enumerated their action plans on the plunder charges.
d.      Letter dated 11/29/05 to Deputy Ombudsman of Luzon asking for follow up on its enumerated action plans. The Office of Deputy Ombudsman of Luzon replied in a letter dated 12/12/05 informing him that it was returning the plunder complaints to OMB Central because of the resignation of Ombudsman Marcelo.
e.      Letter dated 2/3/06 to Senator Magsaysay informing him of the inaction of the Ombudsman regarding the plunder charges before it. Senator Magsaysay replied on 2/8/06 letter assuring Chavez that the Senate Agricultural Committee will exercise oversight functions to the fullest to ensure that the Ombudsman or any Constitutional entity for that matter would perform their mandated duties without fear or favor.
f.        Motion to require respondents to submit counter-affidavit dated 4/11/06 with the Office of the Ombudsman.
g.      Petition for Mandamus dated 10/8/07 before the Supreme Court seeking to compel the Ombudsman Gutierrez to discharge her functions by requiring the Respondents in the plunder complaints to submit their counter-affidavits. But after 3 years, the SC still has not ruled on the matter.
III.                Annexes attached to the Chavez affidavit:
A.     Amended Complaint-Affidavit dated May 26, 2004 for plunder against Pres. Arroyo et al in relation to P 728M GMA Fund Scam
B.      Manifestation dated 31 May 2004  identifying Bolante as John Doe mentioned in the complaint
C.      Complaint-Affidavit dated June 8, 2004  - Second Plunder charge against GMA et al in relation to the 1,102,391,000 GMA Fund scam in addition to the 728M 
D.     Complaint-Affidavit dated 25 June 2004 – Plunder charge against GMA et al in relation to “Oplan Mercury” involving NFA, DA, PAGCOR and DOH
E.      Complaint-Affidavit dated 20 July 2004 - Plunder charge against GMA et al for misuse of OWWA Funds
F.      and F-1.   Motion to Recuse and Follow-up letter to Ombudsman Marcelo to inhibit from investigating/hearing the case
G.     Letter to Ombudsman for Luzon dated 27 August 2004  asking for update on the plunder charges
H.     Letter from Ombudsman for Luzon dated 02 September 2004 informing Atty. Chavez that Marcelo inhibited himself from investigating/hearing the plunder cases 
I.        Letter dated 02 December 2004 asking for an update on the plunder charges
J.        to J-2, letter from Ombudsman with 2 pages attachment regarding the office’s action plans on the plunder charges
K.      Letter dated 29 November 2005 to follow up on the action plan
L.       12 December 2005 letter from the Ombudsman informing Atty. Chavez that the plunder complaints were returned to the Central Office as Marcelo resigned
M.   Letter dated 21 December 2005 with Atty. Chavez informing the Ombudsman that it made him wait for nothing
N.     Letter dated 03 February 2006 to Sen. Magsaysay
O.     Reply letter of Sen. Magsaysay dated 08 February 2006
P.      Senate Committee Report No. 54 dated 01 March 2006
P-1.  Transmittal letter of Senate Committee Report No. 54 to the Ombudsman
Q.     COA Report on the audit of the 728 M GMA Funds
R.      Motion to require Respondents to Submit Counter-Affidavit
S.      Filed Investigation Office report dated 20 June 2006 recommending the filing of criminal and administrative cases against Jocjoc et al
T.      Consolidated Report of FIO dated 20 July 2006 recommending the filing of criminal and administrative charges against the local officials of Butuan City and private individuals involved in the 728 GMA Fund scam

FOLDER 3: “Euro” Generals
1.      TSN from Committee on Foreign Relations joint with Blue Ribbon dated 11/15/08 [admission under oath of Dela Paz]
“Senator Biazon: Did you accomplish this form? (Referring to the declaration form, if you are bringing out to more than $10,000 out of the country)” (p. 2)
“Answer from Dela Paz: No, Your Honor
Biazon: You did not?
Dela Paz: Yes, your honor” (p. 3)

2.      Senate Committee Report No. 229 submitted by Committee on Foreign Relations dated 11/13/08
·         Finding that the whole Philippine delegation violated the travel ban (p. 3)
·         Dela Paz violated Bangko Sentral Regulations (p.7)
·         Recommendations
Criminal Prosecution
“Copies of this Report shall be given to the Ombudsman and to the Secretary of Justice, for preliminary investigation of the persons with apparent criminal liability, as indicated in the findings, on the basis of the official list of members of the Philippine Interpol delegation, attached to this report as Annex “A”.

It appears that some or all of them might be criminally liable under the following laws: Penal Code for malversation under Article 217; technical malversation of public funds under Article 220; RA No. 3019, aka Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Sec. 3 para (c); RA No. 9160, as amended, aka Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001; and the New Central Bank Act, Sec. 36” (p. 8)

3.      Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Circular No. 98 Series of 1995
Section 4. Import/Export of Philippine Currency. No person may import or export nor bring with him into or out of the country, or electronically transfer legal tender Philippine notes and coins, checks, money order and other bills of exchange drawn in pesos against banks operating in the Philippines in an amount exceeding P10,000 without authorization by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
4.      Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Circular No. 308 Series of 2001
Any person who brings into or out of the Philippines foreign currency in excess of US $10,000 or its equivalent is required to declare the same in writing and to furnish information on the source and purpose of the transport of such currency.

Any violation hereof shall be subject to the sanctions provided for in Sec. 36 of RA 7653, without prejudice to the application of remedies and sanctions provided for under customs laws and regulations.

5.      Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Circular No. 507 Series of 2006 (with attached copy of the Form)
Xxx require any person who brings into or out of the Philippines foreign currency, as well as other foreign exchange denominated bearer monetary instruments, to declare the same in writing and to furnish information on the source and purpose of the transport of such currency or monetary instrument. xxx

6.      Memorandum dated 10/27/08 by PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management
·         Findings (p. 10)
·         Recommendation (p.12)

7.      Certification by the Sandiganbayan dated 2/28/11
“As of this date and per available records on file, No criminal or civil case had been filed against Police Director Eliseo Dela Paz, Director for Comptrollership, Philippine National Police.”

8.      Certification dated 3/1/11 by the Bureau of Customs
“This is to certify that as per record in our office there was no Foreign Currency Declaration made by a certain passenger Eliseo Dela Paz for the month of October 2008”

9.      News reports
·         Ombudsman team starts probe of Dela Paz (Inquirer.net, dated 10/16/08)
·         Dela Paz pays P4.5M in full (Inquirer.net, dated 3/3/09)
·         Ombudsman says “euro generals” lied (Inquirer.net, dated 8/13/10)

FOLDER 4: Megapacific case
1.      Supreme Court Resolutions/Decisions in relation to the (GR No. 159139) dated 1/13/2006, 6/13/2006, /5/3/2006
2.      Ombudsman Resolution in the cases of Kilos Bayan vs.  Benjamin Abalos et al and Pimentel vs. Benjamin Abalos et al.
3.      Ombudsman Supplemental Resolution in the cases of Kilos Bayan vs. Benjamin Abalos et al  and Pimentel vs. Benjamin Abalos et al.

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