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ERC and PCSO crimes DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 07/08/2011

Friday, July 8, 2011

ERC and PCSO crimes

DIE HARD III
Herman Tiu Laurel
07/08/2011
Last June 5, after 18 long months, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) finally responded to a petition from Mang Genaro “Naro” Lualhati — one of those who won for us the P30-billion refund in 2003 of the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco)’s 1993 overcharging — urging the body to respond to some Commission on Audit (CoA) findings that Meralco once again overcharged us by P7 billion in 2004 and 2007. Based on this, Lualhati asked for a different audit of the intervening years, the result of which formed the basis of his other P39-billion refund petition for all the other overcharging.

The ERC’s dilly-dallying was a blatant delaying tactic to prevent consumer advocates from bringing the issue to the courts pending the approval of the Performance Based Regulation (PBR) scheme for Meralco from 2011 to 2014, which consumers contend is illegal.

With the PBR recently approved and very dishonestly announced as a “lowering” of rates when it actually more than doubled the erstwhile legitimate ones, the ERC finally releases its decision on Lualhati’s petition — but with arguments full of deception, chicanery and sophistry.

The June 5 ERC decision claims that “the CoA erred… (by) applying disallowances under Meralco’s Performance Based Regulation application to the firm’s return on rate base (RoRB) petition to determine the fairness of rates; calculating Meralco revenues using historical asset costs and a 12-percent RoRB; and calculating Meralco disallowances and revenues without regard to ‘incrementals’ such as higher pension costs and kWh sales increases.”

It further describes the “use of historical asset costs (under) the 12 percent RoRB… as ‘contrary to existing law and jurisprudence’ that allow the use of appraised values and a weighted average cost of capital (WACC), which in this case was set by the ERC at 15.5 percent.” That WACC and 15.5-percent PBR are the ERC’s concoction and are in no way a law or having the force of law. Has the ERC now supplanted the Congress of the Philippines in making its own laws for the energy sector?

Butch Junia, our forensic analyst on the power sector, traces the root of the CoA audit to the “Rate Unbundling” case (which caused the first spike in power rates) in 2003, leading to the call for the ERC to enlist CoA for a regulatory audit. He says: “That was the audit that noted P7 billion over charges (which the National Association of Electricity Consumers for Reforms or Nasecore placed at P15 billion; and which Mang Naro pegged at P31 billion); but that CoA audit, after 19 months, is overturned/ignored/debunked by ERC. All the points raised in the ERC order are contrary to the refund order of the SC (Supreme Court) in November 2002, reiterated in the denial of Meralco’s Motion for Reconsideration in April 2003.”

That refund order by the SC, Junia notes, is where: “1) the Net Average Investment method is applied; 2) the 12-percent RoRB is upheld, not WACC; 3) income tax is not chargeable to us (consumers); 4) Retroactivity of rates is expressly upheld; and 5) PBR is indirectly assailed, particularly rate unbundling.”

The PBR, Junia contends, “stands tenuously on a general prevision in the Epira (Electric Power Industry Reform Act) that allows the ERC to adopt an alternative rate setting methodology, but (with) guiding criteria; like a just rate for customers. This time (though) ERC has crossed the limit.”

The “Heads Up” movement by farmers groups will spread to other issues and advocacies since it is actually a protest against the entire corrupt system that rules over this land, such as in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) under all the administrations since Marcos, save for President Estrada’s (which the likes of Linggoy Alcuaz, who was part of the Arroyo PCSO Board, can attest was clean even as they tried to dig up dirt in the Estrada PCSO Board and found none).

I have had a long record of exposing PCSO anomalies since my October 2001 Tribune column. Readers may recall that I was one of the few who reported on the P80,000-media payola through radio spots to favored anchors and commentators. Several months back, I wrote a piece on some honest radio anchors who have since given up soliciting sponsorships from PCSO as the PR managers there demand as much as 70 percent of the billings. I also made an exposé on the reported Juico-Ayala deal to takeover the P4.5-billion Quezon Institute property along E. Rodriguez Ave., as well as the nepotism rampant in that present Board, not to mention the cornering of the agency’s PR fund by a “Doctor” who apparently now is being touted as a front for another Juico.

That is why I have persisted in broadcasting practically with no ads from any vested interest or group, sustained only through private efforts — to continue exposing the lies of mainstream media and educating the public with utmost credibility.

(Tune in to Radyo OpinYon, Monday to Friday, 5 to 6 p.m., and Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 6 to 7 p.m. on 1098AM; Talk News TV with HTL, Tuesday, 8 to 9 p.m., with replay at 11 p.m., on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 8, on “Heads Up for Coconut Farmers”; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com and http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com for our articles plus TV and radio archives)

(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110708com6.html

A Pajero by any other name EDITORIAL 07/08/2011

A Pajero by any other name

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
07/08/2011
Well they’re not Pajeros but the seven Catholic bishops who received the manna from Gloria should return the sports utility vehicles (SUVs) of whatever name to the government in the name of propriety since this virtue is what the Church has been trying to ingrain on the multitude.

Everything falls flat in terms of the sense of morality, whether it be on abortion, euthanasia, family values and more so on corruption, being preached in the pulpit as a result of the involvement of high-ranking bishops in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) controversy.

It could be a well-crafted demolition job coming from Church opponents, or maybe some ingenious soul in the Palace, as the bishops have alleged, but the anomaly squarely scored a direct hit on the foundations of the local Catholic Church as much, or maybe more, as the sex scandals accused on members of the clergy.

Margie Juico with her exposés had put one over feisty former PCSO chairman Manoling Morato, who is church supported and who has started the ball rolling about the PCSO irregularities by accusing Juico of nepotism and making money in the agency. This too, should be probed by the Senate, as anomaly is still anomaly by any other name and by new chiefs..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110708com1.html

Lost credibility FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 07/08/2011

Lost credibility

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
07/08/2011
Ping Lacson, now a free man and back at the Senate, is doing to Gloria Arroyo and Big Mike, what he believes they did to him, which was what he called persecution, as he is now all out to reopen cases against the duo and publicly humiliate them, the way he says they publicly humiliated him and made him out to be a murderer.

Just the other day, he stated that he has documents showing that the Arroyos sold their helicopters to the Philippine National Police (PNP), and passed this sale as brand new helicopters.

He, along with another staunch Noynoy ally, TG Guingona, who heads the Senate blue ribbon committee, announced that they will be reopening the Jose Pidal case.

The truth is the Senate blue ribbon committee can do as it pleases, legitimately or not. Such probes, and their outcome really depend on which side of the presidential bed the majority is. Since it is today Noynoy’s allies who are in the majority, they can even reopen any old case they want. That’s the way politics in this country is played, unfortunately for those already out of power and position, and fortunately for those who were out of power and position and are now in power and position — a situation that tends to encourage even more the ugly practice of the politics of political vindictiveness — at almost all levels..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110708com2.html

DR Congo villagers spurn raped wives focus 07/08/2011

DR Congo villagers spurn raped wives

focus

07/08/2011
NAKIELE — After being raped by government troops, women in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo face the further pain and humiliation of being repudiated by their husbands.

“My husband refuses to share the bed with me. I sleep on the floor,” one woman who asked not to be named told AFP in the eastern village of Nakiele, where soldiers raped more than 100 women in early June.

“My husband also rejects the meals I cook for him. He eats the ones my sisters make for him. I don’t understand why I should be abandoned,” said the woman, who is 19 years old with a six-month-old baby.

In Nakiele, a village of 12,300 inhabitants perched on a hill overlooking the Fizi plateau in Sud-Kivu province, 121 women told a hospital doctor that they were raped on the night of June 11 by renegade troops..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110708com3.html

Mayor Sara NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 07/08/2011

Mayor Sara

NO HOLDS BARRED
Armida Siguion-Reyna
07/08/2011
The ongoing Senate hearings on the anomalies allegedly committed by past Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office are far from over, so I take a break from hitting the “men of daklot,” bishops who daklot here and daklot there. I leave it up to you to decide exactly what is up for daklot, meanwhile I make public my admiration for Sara Duterte, Mayor of Davao City.

An activist summary currently going the rounds of various Internet blogs, Facebook and what-have-you, outlines what happened, with a brief commentary:

“1. On Thursday, Mayor Duterte had asked the court to delay the demolition because the residents were ready to fight back and she knew it would turn bloody. The lawyer of the residents had filed a petition for a TRO.

“2. On Friday, the Mayor asked the demolition team to stay the execution of the order for 2 hours but the sheriff refused..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110708com4.html

Profiling C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 07/08/2011

Profiling

C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S
Jonathan De la Cruz
07/08/2011
Are Immigration Commissioner Ric David and his bright boys aware that their latest brainstorm barring and/or offloading travelers from boarding their scheduled flights in the guise of “ensuring that they do not fall prey to human traffickers, drug syndicates and other criminal operators” is pure and simple profiling which is a “no-no” in any civilized and democratic society? Are they aware that this initiative which, sadly, they have surreptitiously injected into the pre-departure system is violative of a citizen’s right to travel which is guaranteed under the Constitution? If they are not aware as seems to be the case, then they better restudy the situation and prepare to face angry travelers in court and before Congress.

We can appreciate David’s intention to protect our travelers from falling prey to the criminal syndicates, here and abroad. But this operation is an overkill. It is unwarranted and definitely violative of the constitutional right to travel. I can understand if they subject foreigners to more rigorous questioning before they enter. All countries do that to make sure that no undesirable alien slips through..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110708com5.html

Ex PCSO chief implicates self, Gloria By Angie M. Rosales 07/08/2011

ENRILE: SENATE CANNOT CALL ON GMA TO TESTIFY

Ex PCSO chief implicates self, Gloria

By Angie M. Rosales 07/08/2011

A former close aide of former President and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo was seen to have opened herself up to possible numerous criminal charges that could range from malversation of funds to plunder, and she even unwittingly dragged the Rep. Gloria Arroyo into the picture, in allegedly sqaundering hundreds of millions of funds from the government’s charity arm in the last three years of her incumbeccy.

It was noted that the bulk of the funds, which was P138 million out of the P325 million so-called additional “intelligence funds” that accumulated from 2008 to 2010, was floated some five to six months before the 2010 presidential elections.

Former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) vice chairman and general manager Rosario Uriarte, in appearing before the Senate yesterday to explain the alleged fund misuse of the agency, practically confessed to the purported juggling of the supplemental intelligence funds..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110708hed1.html

In 2 years, Chavit’s Ilocos Sur got 20 ambulances — PCSO By Angie M. Rosales 07/08/2011

In 2 years, Chavit’s Ilocos Sur got 20 ambulances — PCSO

By Angie M. Rosales 07/08/2011

Ilocos Sur was shown the most “favored” among provinces in the country in terms of ambulances donated by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) during the term of former President Arroyo as it received from 2009 to 2010, 20 units aside from two more in 2005 and last year through the personal request of former Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson, while other provinces did not even receive any.

Singson was the whistle-blower on the alleged involvement of former President Joseph Estrada’s dealing with the illegal numbers game jueteng and whose reve-lations eventually was used by supporters of then Vice President Arroyo to oust Estrada and install her to the presidency in 2001.

Senators probing the illegal use of PCSO funds said this was the impression given them, based on the records of the PCSO during the Arroyo administration.

Sen. Franklin Drilon said it could be easily deduced from this fact that such could have but another case of political patronage...... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110708hed2.html

Euro-gen charged for violating BSP currency circular By Gerry Baldo 07/08/2011

Euro-gen charged for violating BSP currency circular

By Gerry Baldo 07/08/2011

The Office of the Ombudsman yesterday ordered the filing of criminal charges against former Philippine National Police director for comptrollership Eliseo de la Paz and his wife, Maria Fe de la Paz, for violating Central Bank of the Philippines currency regulations in connection to the so-called “Euro-generals Case.”

The couple was charged with violating Circular No. 507 of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) which penalizes any person who brings into or takes out of the Philippines foreign currency in excess of $10,000 and fails to declare the same in writing.

According to the Office of the Ombudsman failure to declare money in excess of $10,000 is penalized under the BSP Circular in relation to Section 36 of Republic Act 7653 (New Central Bank Act)..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110708nat2.html

Makati mayor orders inspection of all canteens in public schools

07/08/2011
Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay has ordered city health officials to immediately inspect all canteens in the city’s public schools to make sure they strictly comply with sanitation standards in the wake of last Wednesday’s incident at the Makati High School Annex 1 in Barangay Poblacion where six students immediately fell ill after eating food from the school canteen.

Binay cited the report of Dr. Estela Barrios, MHD officer-in-charge, who said the sanitary inspectors sent to investigate the school canteen have recommended the temporary suspension of its sanitary permit after finding insecticide products in a cabinet with kitchen utensils.

Barrios said her office yesterday sent to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for testing some samples of fried eggs, catsup and cooking oil taken from the school canteen by the sanitary inspectors..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110708met2.html

‘JV’ to GMA, Mikey: It’s my duty to tell people the truth By Gerry Baldo 07/08/2011

‘JV’ to GMA, Mikey: It’s my duty to tell people the truth

By Gerry Baldo 07/08/2011

San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito yesterday told former President Arroyo and her son Ang Galing Pinoy party-list Rep. Mikey Arroyo that public interest is more important than inter-parliamentary courtesy.

Ejercito was responding to a statement by Mikey Arroyo that Ejercito has a penchant for unparliamentary behavior even as he cited the statement of Ejercito that the Arroyos should be meted life terms for the criminal offenses they are linked to.

“While I respect and am civil with the members of the Arroyo family in the House of Representatives, issues that concern the public interest should always be considered of gravity and utmost priority rather than giving courtesy to fellow colleagues,” Ejercito said yesterday.

“If informing the people with the reality that transpired during the nine-year reign of the Arroyos is considered ‘displaying unparliamentary behavior against a colleague,’ then so be it,” Ejercito stressed..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20110708met1.html

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