MANILA — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) did not overspend on fuel and oil, its chief of staff said Thursday, adding it even had savings left over.
At a Senate hearing on alleged military corruption, AFP Chief of Staff Eduardo Oban Jr. said an investigation on the P400 million in petroleum, oil, and lubricants (POL) that the AFP allegedly used in the first quarter of 2011 indicates there was no anomaly.
According to earlier reports, the office of Commodore Teddy Pan, AFP deputy chief of staff for logistics, recorded a distribution and consumption of P400 million worth of petroleum oil and lubricants for military units from January to March 15, 2011. The amount is above the AFP’s authorized P150 million for one quarter.
Pan was relieved from his post in April to pave way for an impartial and honest investigation.
However, Oban said the AFP actually saved P20 million in POL from January to March of this year. (more)
MANILA — Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin assured the Senate Thursday that no corruption practices will happen under his watch.
“No corrupt practices shall happen under my watch. We will never allow indiscriminate spending. The DND (Department and National Defense) and the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) will be properly managed,” Gazmin said during the resumption of the Senate hearing on the alleged corruption in the AFP.
“We are now on our way towards professionalism and transparency,” he added.
In line with this, the Defense secretary enumerated DND’s recommendations for reform in the military. (more)
THE government gives the ombudsman the job of fighting corruption but not the tools to so, an anti-corruption expert from Hong Kong said Friday.
Speaking at a forum at Ateneo de Manila University, former Independent Commission on Anti-Corruption Tony Kwok Man-wai said the Office of the Ombudsman has too little power, too few investigators, and not enough money.
The anti-corruption consultant also said that the Office of the Ombudsman “has no ammunition” to fight corruption because it does not even have arrest powers.
He said the ombudsman must be given the power not only to arrest corrupt public servants, but also check their bank accounts, tap their telephones, and conduct surveillance operations without the suspect’s knowledge.
“Here, it is a haven for corrupt officials. They know their bank accounts cannot be checked. They know their homes cannot be searched. Nobody will listen to their phone calls, except if they are President,” Kwok said. (more)
FORMER Armed Forces comptroller Carlos Garcia submitted Thursday his counter-affidavit before the Department of Justice (DOJ) refuting that he and his wife Clarita willfully evaded the payment of taxes amounting to P235 million in 2004.
During the preliminary investigation conducted by State Prosecutor Zelica Longcob, the Garcias, through lawyer Constantino de Jesus, asked the panel to dismiss the charges filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on the ground that there is no probable cause against the respondents.
Longcob said the panel will study the defense’s argument that the BIR complaint involved “prejudicial questions” since these cover issues that are still being tackled by the Sandiganbayan, which is handling the P303-million plunder complaint against them.
The anti-graft court, however, freed Garcia on a P60,000 bail after he entered into a plea bargaining agreement with the Office of the Ombudsman. (more)
Show how you love Cebu in a music video.
A celebration is not complete without music and without the moments captured on video for sharing and safekeeping.
Join the Sun.Star Cebu Yearbook 2012 music video contest to capture your different ways of loving Cebu.
Don’t forget to use humor and emotion.
THE Chinese community in Davao City will welcome the Year of the Golden Rabbit with a twist, as they expect thousands of guests and spectators to fill the gymnasium of Davao Central High School (DCHS) on J.P Laurel Avenue Wednesday night.
Jasper Huang, coordinator of this year’s Chinese New Year celebration, said that compared to previous years, the public can expect a more festive and merrier celebration of the Chinese community in welcoming another year as they will be holding a foam party on the street.
Apart from that, the organizers also prepared activities inside the gym wherein the public is welcome to participate.
Local officials were also expected to grace the event, like Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and the city councilors. (more)
CEBU CITY — Hotels in the city are about 80 percent booked for the Chinese New Year, said Acting Mayor Joy Augustus Young.
This is good news for the City Government, which is organizing the 1st Annual Xin Nian: Cebu Chinese New Year Festival on February 5.
Chinese New Year is on February 3, but Young said the Cebu City Tourism Council (CCTC) does not want to compete with family celebrations.
Young ordered his staff on Monday to hang promotional streamers in key areas for the festival, which will be held at the Ayala Terraces. (more)
CEBU CITY — The Cebu City Tourism Commission (CCTC) and the Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) will hold a Chinese New Year festival on February 5 this year.
The event, dubbed as the “1st Annual Xin Nian: Cebu Chinese New Year Festival 2011,” will be held at the Ayala Center Terraces from 6 p.m. and onwards, said the organizers. Xian Nian is the Mandarin way of saying Kung Hei Fat Choi, or Happy Chinese New Year in English.
Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young, in a press conference at the Waterfront Cebu on Tuesday, said the event is open to the public. Twenty-five booths to be occupied by restaurants and stores will sell Chinese food.
Among those invited to sell are the old Chinese restaurants in downtown Cebu like Snow Sheen, La Fortuna, Manila Restaurant, and those selling siomai sa Tisa, among others.
“It’s going to be a food festival in Ayala,” said Young.
The festival will also highlight a fashion show featuring the private collection of Elizabeth Gan Go of the University of Cebu.
“The collection was shown during the Ms. Cebu Pageant and the Sinulog 2011 Grand Finale but was not highlighted,” said program director Jonjet Primor. (more)
THE Cebu City Council deferred the release of the P14.5-million financial assistance to the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) that covers the expenses for this year’s Sinulog celebration.
This, after Councilor Margarita “Margot” Osmeña pointed out the restrictions of the Commission on Audit (COA) on the giving of cash aid to non-government organizations (NGO).
Under COA Circular 2007-0001, any local government unit cannot give aid to any NGO whose incorporator, director, organizer or officer is related to any local official involved in the approval or release of government funds.
In the case of SFI, Mayor Michael Rama is its over-all chairman.
“If we will approve the release of the fund, how will we go about the restrictions of COA?” said Osmeña.
This prompted Councilor Jose Daluz III, who sponsored the resolution, to withdraw his previous motion that seeks the council’s approval for the release of the fund.
Daluz referred his resolution to the council’s committee on laws, headed by Councilor Edgardo Labella, for comments and recommendations. (more)
A RUSSIAN artist yesterday made a sculptural bust of a Cebuano businessman in less than two hours.
With a lump of clay and Luis “Kiting” Moro Jr. as his model, Gregory Pototsky, who has 50 monuments erected around the world, showed art enthusiasts and fine arts students how he works as an artist.
“In making a sculptural portrait, we should create the character and the psychology of the person,” he said through his wife and translator Olga.(more)