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Monday, 22nd September 2014
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P16-M FUND UNACCOUNTED

City Hall officials face raps for unliquidated cash advances

By: Florence F. Hibionada

TOP Iloilo City Hall officials are facing malversation charges for unliquidated cash advances (CA) for confidential and intelligence funds totaling more than P16 million since 2011.

The filing of possible malversation raps is part of the 22 “Significant Findings” of the Commission on Audit’s (COA) Annual Audit Report (AAR) on the Iloilo City government dated September 15, 2014.

The filing of charges is hinged on an agreement between COA and the city officials that accountable officers can be charged for malversation of public funds if they cannot settle their cash advances.

The unsettled CAs included P2.8 million released in 2011 and another P13.6 million released from 2012 to 2013.

COA called out 58 City Hall officials over the unliquidated CAs as the audit body’s central office has yet to issue a Credit Advice.

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COA demands return of P16.5M ‘illegal bonus’

By: Florence F. Hibionada

THE Commission on Audit (COA) called on all 1,689 Iloilo City Government officials and employees to return over P16.5 million in “illegal Christmas bonuses.”

Released in December 2013, state auditors discovered overpayments of P10,000 to each recipient following verification of City Hall’s “bonus documents.”

Five persons were held primarily liable led by City Administrator Norlito Bautista.

While he was one of the top 5 liable persons, COA described Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog’s “nature of participation” only as recipient.

Bautista will bear most of the blame for having approved the payment and “certified that charges are necessary and lawful and under his direct supervision.”

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DOT-6 pins hopes on emerging, domestic markets

By: Louine Hope Conserva

THE Department of Tourism (DOT-6) regional office is banking on the domestic and emerging markets to fill in the void left by the Chinese tourists in Boracay Island and the rest of Western Visayas.

Atty. Helen Catalbas, Department of Tourism (DOT-6) regional director, all is not lost for Boracay.

“There is no fear that the region, particularly Boracay, cannot recover,” Catalbas said.

Catalbas said the interventions they initiated will help Boracay recover the more than P500 million it lost to Chinese tourists who cancelled their reservations.

The Chinese cancelled their bookings until next year after China issued a travel advisory discouraging its nationals from travelling to the Philippines.

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the avenue

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ordered a thorough investigation on the senseless killing of radioman Niel "Lito" Jimena in E.B. Magalona, Negros Occidental last August 22, expect police probers, led by E.B. Magalona police chief, SP04 Leonardo Cobing, to make no stone unturned to solve the grisly crime soon.

 

We expect a breakthrough in the case at least before the year ends when witnesses start to come out in the open and pinpoint the perpetrators and the masterminds after the Iloilo Press Club (IPC) dangled a P500,000 reward for anyone who can provide information for the culprits' immediate arrest.

We still maintain that Jimena's murder could have something do to with his part time job as police Senior Inspector Musa Amiyong's "runner" or "hitman" during the police officer's controversial stint as intelligence chief of the Iloilo City Police Office where they became widely known in the underworld community as "Batman and Robin."

 

CARTOON

"Batman and Robin" were hero cartoon characters and partners in fighting the bad guys in society. They tackled their foes in a hand-to-hand combat side by side. One of them was useless if the other was missing.

The Amiyong-Jimena romance that romped off some five years ago, became the object of gossips and constant discussions among coffeeshop habitués in Iloilo City.

How they became infatuated with each other was something that intrigued some rank-and-file cops and fellow radio reporters. One time in a coffeeshop inside SM city, an enraged Jimena punched fellow mediaman Francis Terania "for spreading a gossip about Jimena and Amiyong." Terania, who did not fight back, denied his friend's allegation but theorized "there was something fishy" when a cop and an off-and-on broadcaster form a team purportedly to run after illegal drugs syndicates.

 

FAR-FETCHED

It was not far-fetched for the Amiyong- Jimena tango to hit off since Amiyong is one of the only few police officers closed to members of media in Iloilo City. In fact, he is a "fast drawer" when it comes to picking up the tab for his media friends' coffee and tea.

As Iloilo's "Batman and Robin," they were dreaded and merciless against the small fries but haven't bagged a single big fish despite their well-oiled operations, something that dismayed Amiyong's superiors and lent credence to suspicions they were doing some "monkey business."

We are not saying that Amiyong and Jimena were bad guys and had circumvented the laws or used their power and influence for their own whims and caprices. But one thing's for sure, they are not immaculate!

 

JUSTICE

If he is hell-bent to give justice to his murdered subaltern, Amiyong should disclose to investigators all their botched and successful operations against suspected traders of illegal drugs in the past.

How many arrests have they made during the period of their notoriety as "Batman and Robin?" Who were the personalities involved and how did Amiyong deal with them even if they were known to be untouchables? What is the status of the cases, if there are any, filed against the suspects?

Furthermore, what qualifications did Jimena possess that prompted Amiyong to recruit him to his team? What was Jimena's real job prescription? What step did Amiyong undertake when Jimena was ambushed and survived in 2009 also in Victorias City? What could be the motive of that slay attempt on Jimena's life?

 

OPEN

We are glad Amiyong has started to open his mouth. He should talk more and help ferret out the truth. Jimena has been eliminated. Amiyong is still standing—and talking!

Meanwhile, we appeal to some eager-beaver amateurs not to muddle the issue by prematurely pointing to an Iloilo City politician as the possible mastermind in the murder.

We believe Jimena was killed not because of his role as "anti-graft crusader" and for lambasting politicians in his blocktime programs.

These issues are peanuts vis-a-vis the major angles being doggedly pursued by cracked probers that somebody could have double-crossed or hoodwinked someone in a very complicated transaction that turned awry.

 

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Emergency powers and the power emergency

September 22, 2014 03:09 AM

By: Perfecto R. Yasay, Jr.

 

RECENTLY, the President pompously declared before the Filipino community and business leaders in Europe that “The Philippines has not merely weathered the economic storm.” He assured them that “We are now navigating calm waters.” Read more...

Lifestyles check

September 22, 2014 02:59 AM

By: Modesto P. Sao-noy

 

NOBODY has come out against the proposal to check the lifestyles of policemen, including their officials yet. Top brasses have for years been linked to various anomalies that show a betrayal of their oaths of office. Read more...

World Mayor (Part 2)

September 22, 2014 02:46 AM

By: Manuel “Boy” Mejorada

WHEN President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III delivered his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) two months ago, he made mention of Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog as a “young and upcoming” leader as part of the emerging Read more...

The cross as good news

September 22, 2014 02:37 AM

By: Fr. Roy Cimagala

 

WE have just celebrated the feasts of the Exaltation or Triumph of the Holy Cross (September 14) and of Our Lady of Sorrows (September 15). It’s a good occasion to remind ourselves and to spread the good news about Read more...

Iloilo City’s traffic problems

September 22, 2014 02:10 AM

By: Wenceslao E. Mateo Jr.

I AGREE with Ms. Lea Lara (of the Iloilo Business Club) that traffic, understood to be the movement of vehicles and people on the roads, could be a problem, but it need not really bother us beyond repair. Read more...

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