Priest asks for unwed teen mom’s forgiveness in handwritten letterBy Ivan Angelo de Lara | INQUIRER.net 1:00 pm | Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
Video taken from Jieve Frias’ Facebook page
MANILA, Philippines – After issuing a public apology for berating an unwed teenage mom during her child’s baptism, a Catholic priest in Cebu on Tuesday reached out to the 17-year-old mother through a handwritten letter.
“Allow me to express my deep regret for the painful action I’ve done to all of you and those who witnessed it. I had no intention of saying that in front of all of you. I deeply regret this and I beg you to forgive me for what I did last July 6, 2014 in the chapel of the Sacred Heart,” Father Romeo Obach of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Latin: Congregatio Sanctissimi Redemptoris – C.Ss.R) said in the letter which was written in Cebuano. The young mother received the note on Wednesday.
He wrote that he also wanted to meet the young mom again so that he could apologize to her personally.
The Commission on Human Rights visited the young mother on Wednesday. In a tweet by Cebu Daily News, she said she and her family would no longer pursue a case against the priest.
On Sunday, Obach scolded the teen mom during the baptism of her baby for “sleeping with a man who was not [her] husband.”
“Makauulaw.Magpabunyag ka og walay bana. Nakig dug ka og laki nga dili nimo bana. Wala ma mauwaw Naka dungog ba na nako, dai? Wala ka mauwaw? (How shameful. You come here to have your child baptized without a husband. You slept with a man who is not your husband. Do you hear me, girl? Aren’t you ashamed?)” Obach said. The video of the incident, which was posted by the baby’s grandmother on Facebook, quickly became viral.
On Tuesday, Obach issued a public apology for the “words [he] said and the rude attitude [he] showed” during the baby’s baptism.
“I deeply regret that I have done this. I only later realized how cruel my ways to educate and impart lessons for the said event. I am deeply sorry to the mother of the child, her relatives, the sponsors and the witness of the incident. I am sorry to the Internet viewers, to the media listeners and the viewers for this mistake. I personally admit. I am deeply sorry and I humbly ask your forgiveness. I execute this statement of apology on this 8th day of July 2014 at Cebu City,” he said. Translation provided by Eileen Mangubat, Cebu Daily News publisher and acting editor-in-chief
Zamboanga ‘conjugal tents’ seenPhilippine Daily Inquirer 12:07 am | Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
ZAMBOANGA CITY— The city government is thinking of building “conjugal spaces” for couples who lack privacy in their own tents in evacuation centers.
Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, in a press briefing on Monday, said the building of “conjugal spaces” was being considered to address a “natural” and “urgent need.”
Dr. Marcy Carpizo, director of Peace and Human Security at Western Mindanao State University, earlier suggested the construction of “a tent or a room where couples could express their sexual needs away from their children.”
“The special room or tent will spare the children from witnessing their parents’ sexual activity,” Carpizo said in an earlier interview with the Inquirer.
On Monday, Salazar urged Carpizo, who is also the national president of the Philippines Against Child Trafficking, to be part of the city’s protection cluster for the evacuees.
The idea was commendable for evacuee Isnira Jimlani, except that, she said, she would be ashamed to line up for the “conjugal space.” “What if there’s a long line?” the mother of 14 children asked.
Dr. Rodelin Agbulos, city health officer, said the idea of building a conjugal space was first brought up in October last year, weeks after Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) members attacked villages here, displacing hundreds of thousands of residents.
The fighting between government forces and MNLF members left thousands of residents homeless.
But Agbulos said most of the evacuees did not see the conjugal space acceptable. “They said it would not sound and look good to see persons getting in and out of that tent,” Agbulos said.
He said another earlier suggestion was “to give coupons to couples to be accommodated in motels.”
He said some religious leaders were against the plan.
Fatima Pir Allian, program coordinator of Nisa Ul Haqq Fi Bangsamoro (Women for Justice in the Bangsamoro), said conjugal spaces could be simply described as “sex tents.”
“The local government should address the situation on sex, rape and whatnot by providing a decent home for the families,” Allian said.
“[A home] that is not shared by more than one family. A home that has division of spaces for the unique needs of children and their parents,” Allian added.
Professor Alih Aiyub, secretary general of the National Ulama Council of the Philippines, said building a conjugal tent would “not be a wise decision.”
“You invite the young to imagine dirty, malicious thoughts as they watch couples come in and out of the tent. The government should instead build temporary shelters,” Aiyub told the Inquirer. Julie S. Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao
Rice price hikes: No end seenPhilippine Daily Inquirer 12:12 am | Saturday, June 21st, 2014
SAN JOSE CITY—Millers have been buying husked rice (palay) from traders at P26 per kilogram, which may push the prices of commercial rice in the market even higher in the coming months.
“P26 had been the buying price offered by the traders. We are forced to buy (the palay at that price) otherwise we will run short of supply for our clients,” said Edgardo Alfonso, president of the 26-member San Jose City Rice Millers Association.
The traders, whose number surged during the peak of the harvest season from March to April, competed with rice millers in buying newly harvested grains, Alfonso said, adding that they are now selling the rice back to the millers after keeping the stocks for weeks.
The fresh palay harvest was bought at a farm-gate price of P19 to P21 a kg. In past harvest seasons, the buying price for the grains was P14 to P15 a kg.
“We were caught by surprise by the high buying price of palay that prevailed during the last harvest season,” Alfonso told the Inquirer.
He said the rice millers here bought only 70 percent of palay during the harvest season for their milling needs. The milled rice will have a high selling price because of the steep buying price of palay, he said.
“The P2 per kilogram price hike of rice now was the result of that (increased palay cost),” he said.
At the current P26 per kilogram price, the wholesale selling price of rice may increase from P39 to P45 a kg for premium commercial rice.
“Based on that simple computation, we will have an idea how much the selling price of commercial rice would be during the lean months,” Alfonso said.
Rice millers here supply about 30,000 bags of milled rice daily to their clients in Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog provinces and Cebu.
In Laoag City, the Ilocos Norte garlic growers and processors announced they would expand their garlic plantations from 2,000 to 3,000 hectares.
Mergie Selga, president of the group of local garlic growers and processors, said she believed the high price of garlic in the market was due to low supply.
Selga said garlic growers sold their remaining stocks when prices went up to a high of P260 a kilogram in Ilocos region and P300 a kilogram in Metro Manila.
Following a meeting of the National Garlic Action Team, she said the group may welcome garlic importation in July to augment supply. Anselmo Roque, Inquirer Central Luzon; and Leilanie Adriano, Inquirer Northern Luzon
Pangasinan mayor killed on eve of anniversary, son’s weddingBy Gabriel Cardinoza and Yolanda Sotelo | Inquirer Northern Luzon 12:23 am | Sunday, June 8th, 2014
DAGUPAN CITY – Two armed men shot and killed Urbiztondo town Mayor Ernesto Balolong Jr., his police escort and an electrician on Saturday near an area in the town where the mayor was supposed to hold his 25th wedding anniversary party today, Sunday.
Balolong was at the back of the town’s convention center around 8:50 a.m. when armed men in a Toyota Innova drove up and opened fire, police said.
The mayor was inspecting the venue for his wedding anniversary and for the wedding of his son, Urbiztondo Councilor Voltaire Balolong, which were to take place simultaneously.
The gunmen alighted from the Innova and had calmly approached the mayor before they opened fire, according to a witness.
The witness said Balolong managed to scamper away but was felled by another shot. One of the gunmen approached Balolong and shot him at point-blank range, the witness said.
Police said Balolong and his escort, Police Officer 1 Eliseo Ulanday (not Umanday as earlier reported), were the apparent targets of the attack. Edmund Meneses, a supermarket electrician, was caught in the barrage of the bullets.
The attack also wounded Jose Vigilia, an employee of CSI Supermarket, and Rogelio Esguerra, a soy drink vendor.
Balolong was immediately taken to Elguira General Hospital in San Carlos City. But Dr. Samuel Elguira, owner of the hospital, said the mayor was already dead when he arrived in the hospital about an hour later, 9:55 a.m.
“He had 27 gunshot wounds in his chest, his back and his arms,” Elguira said.
Senior Superintendent Sterling Raymund Blanco, Pangasinan provincial director, said investigators found an abandoned dark gray Innova at Barangay Cayaoan Kiling in San Carlos City two hours after the shooting.
Balolong, a member of the Liberal Party, first served as town councilor in 1998. He ran for vice mayor in 2001 and 2004 and lost in both elections. In 2007, he was elected mayor.
In August 2012, the provincial board slapped Balolong with a 60-day preventive suspension over an administrative complaint filed by a former town treasurer.
In March this year, Balolong was again suspended for 60 days for another administrative case filed against him in the provincial board.
But Malacañang set aside both suspension orders.
A month before he was suspended in 2012, police raided Balolong’s house and poultry farm in Urbiztondo and found a cache of firearms. But because the 14 weapons found were all licensed, no charges were filed.
In November last year, National Bureau of Investigation agents raided Balolong’s house and farm. The agents were apparently looking for the weapon used in the killing of a Pangasinan politician and his wife in Manila in 2012.
Balolong was arrested and detained at the NBI office in Metro Manila. But after a week, he was released with no charges filed against him.
Pangasinan town mayor shot dead
Power co-op to refund overpaymentPhilippine Daily Inquirer 12:07 am | Tuesday, May 13th, 2014
URDANETA CITY—The Pangasinan Electric Cooperative (Panelco) III said it would return to its consumers the excess of the generation cost it had collected in December last year and in January this year.
In leaflets given to consumers, Panelco III said the excess amount would be converted into rebates that would be reflected in the June and July billings.
But it was not clear yet how much the power distribution utility would return to its consumers. Panelco III has some 200,000 consumers in 16 eastern Pangasinan towns and in Urdaneta City.
Jeline Sales, head of Panelco III’s institutional services department, said the adjustment was being computed by the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC), operator of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market.
On March 11, the Energy Regulatory Commission voided the electricity spot market prices implemented in December 2013 and January this year. It ordered PEMC to recompute the generation charges that distribution utilities had passed on to their consumers.
Sales said about 30 to 40 percent of the generation cost would be refunded for the December billing and about 25 to 30 percent for the January billing.
In December, Panelco III increased its power rate by P5.6 per kilowatt-hour, raising its residential rate from P9.8 per kWh to P15.4 per kWh. The following month, the rate was reduced by only more than P1 per kWh.
Board Member Ranjit Shahani, a Panelco III consumer, said he was happy with the refund but noted that Panelco III might have also miscalculated previous generation costs.
Shahani and his mother, former Sen. Leticia Ramos-Shahani, had asked a local court to issue a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to stop Panelco III from implementing the power rate increase while the petition was being heard.
“This is just a partial refund. They (Panelco III) will refund more in the future,” Shahani said by telephone.
Coal plant can’t ease power woesPhilippine Daily Inquirer 12:06 am | Saturday, May 10th, 2014
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—A coal plant that is expected to ease the shortage of power in Mindanao has resumed operations, but the amount of electricity it is generating is barely enough to fill the wide power gap that continues to bring daily brownouts to many parts of the island.
The plant, owned by Steag State Power Inc. (SPI), resumed the running of one of its turbines, which has a generating capacity of 105 megawatts on Wednesday.
But as of Thursday, demand for power across Mindanao was 1,277 MW and supply was only 873 MW, or a deficiency of 354 MW, more than half of what the coal plant owned by SPI is able to produce.
In this city alone, demand is 140 MW but Cagayan de Oro Electric Power and Light Co. is getting only 35 MW, causing up to 12 hours, or half a day, of brownouts daily.
Carsten Evers, SPI power plant manager, said Unit 2 of the SPI coal facility went online around 8:55 p.m. on Wednesday, a day ahead of target.
“We are happy to announce that SPI has added 105 MW to the grid and we hope that this will provide some relief in the precarious power supply condition of Mindanao,” Evers said in a statement.
Evers also said SPI was currently rushing work on the repair of Unit 1 to be able to put it back online on June 1 or earlier.
“We recognize the necessity and urgency of bringing the units back online and rest assured that we are doing our best to restore our full capacity the soonest possible time,” Evers said.
He said SPI employees were working round the clock to complete the repair of Unit 1 to restore the power plant’s full capacity.
SPI’s coal plant went offline on Feb. 27 after its turbines suffered damage. The cause of the damage was not made known.
Evers said preventive maintenance of the plant was ongoing concurrently with repair and restoration works.
SPI’s plant in Misamis Oriental province is the first coal-powered generating facility to operate in Mindanao.
It has two identical generators, each with a net capacity of 105 MW, or a combined net generating output of 210 MW.
Since its full commercial operation in November 2006, SPI has delivered more than 10 billion kilowatts per hour of electric power to the Mindanao grid, accounting for about a fifth of the island’s total power supply. Bobby Lagsa, Inquirer Mindanao
Mindanao power crisis: Crime spike tied to brownoutsPhilippine Daily Inquirer 12:04 am | Friday, May 9th, 2014
DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Police are seeing a link between the power shortage that is gripping this city and other parts of Mindanao and a spike in the number of crimes in areas plagued by outages that last up to more than seven hours a day.
In this city alone, Senior Supt. Vicente Danao Jr., city police chief, said the number of crimes that police have recorded has increased by 45 percent, or nearly half, in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period last year.
The city and other parts of Mindanao started to be plagued by brownouts in March as a result of a shortage in electricity that was made worse by the reduced output of two hydropower facilities—Angus and Pulangi—that supply 60 percent of Mindanao’s power.
Danao said by March, when the outages started being more frequent and longer, police started to record at least 58 crimes a day up from the 32 crimes reported daily in the same period last year.
He said in the first three months of the year alone, 4,000 crimes have been committed mostly against persons and property.
Danao said he believed the rotating brownouts are to blame for the spike in crimes.
For instance, he said, the outages are rendering CCTV cameras, which help in crime prevention and investigation, useless.
“Zero visibility,” said Danao. “You cannot see in the dark even if you have a generator,” he added.
He said police had to resort to extra effort, like increased visibility, to fill the gap that anticrime measures being crippled by the outages have left.
“I myself go on patrol,” said Danao.
Col. Casiano Monilla, head of the anticrime Task Force Davao, said soldiers, too, have been deployed to strategic areas in the city to help police fight crime amid the brownouts.
He said 17 members of the task force are to roam the city aboard motorcycles as a crime prevention measure.
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said the city government plans to hire at least 1,000 watchmen to help law enforcers keep peace and order.
Each watchman would be paid P6,000 per month and get training on peacekeeping, said Duterte. They may also be issued firearms, he said.
“We have to give them more police power,” said the mayor.
In Cotabato City, police and military authorities said they were also bracing for a surge in criminality, particularly kidnappings, because of the outages.
“This is a united effort to quell lawlessness and terrorism that may occur at night while we are experiencing brownouts,” said Col. Dickson Hermoso, spokesperson of the 6th Infantry Division.
Hermoso said Senior Supt. Rolen Balquin, Cotabato City police chief, agreed to conduct weekly meetings on the anticrime campaign to keep authorities updated.
Ramil Masukat, head of the Radio Emergency Communication Network (Recon), an anticrime watchdog, said his group would help authorities fight crime in Cotabato City.
Recon members are armed with VHF radios that they can use to report crimes, he said.
The outages are also disrupting the ongoing registration of new voters in Kidapawan City, which is being plagued by up to six hours of brownouts daily.
Diosdado Javier, Kidapawan election officer, said the outages are slowing the processing of voter applications.
Javier said his office has requested for a generator from the Commission on Elections main office in Manila but there has been no response yet. Reports from Allan Nawal, Williamor Magbanua, Charlie Señase and Eldie Aguirre, Inquirer Mindanao
Spread word vs corruption on your shirt, Tagle urges faithfulBy Tina G. Santos | Philippine Daily Inquirer 9:21 am | Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
MANILA, Philippines–Spread the word against corruption and cheating wherever you go, has urged the Catholic faithful, by wearing shirts enjoining others: “Huwag Kang magnakaw (Thou shalt not steal).”
“We should not let corruption and cheating become the norm. We should not allow corruption and cheating to become part of Filipino culture and mentality. Let us all say no to that and let’s say it aloud,” Tagle said in an interview over the Church-run Radyo Veritas program, “Huwag Kang Magnakaw.”
Tagle said the program was a “moral recovery movement aimed at reclaiming the stolen dignity of the Filipino people.”
“I urge everyone to join our campaign against corruption and cheating by wearing shirts carrying one of the commandments of God—Thou shalt not steal. Wherever you go, when you wear that shirt, people will read it and will be reminded of it. When you ride a jeepney, people will see it even when you’re asleep.
Reminder not to steal
“In the family, it will serve as a reminder to its members not to steal. It may be a child’s reminder to his or her parents, and vice versa, to do the right thing, never to steal,” said Tagle, also the Radyo Veritas board chair.
“This may just be a simple contribution, but I hope we take it seriously and spread it in the communities, in the parishes, schools, private and public offices in our society,” he added.
Several ranking government officials are currently embroiled in corruption scandals involving billions of pesos of the people’s money.
In a previous interview, Tagle said the massive corruption in government would need not only political fixes but also cultural solutions that must start at home.
“If corruption exists in the homes up to the highest levels of government, it must be cultural. So how can we provide a cultural response?” he said.
“Parents should be good models for their children at home… If, for instance, you see your parents owning three cell phones, maybe you can ask them why they have three when one is enough, and where they got the money to buy them and maintain all three,” he said.
“That is a question that will change the culture and will make the parents alert. It’s not only the elderly who shall look after the children but the children should also look after their parents,” he said.
Solon wants pork segregated in Muslim marketsBy DJ Yap | Philippine Daily Inquirer 9:16 am | Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
MANILA, Philippines–This lawmaker wants nothing at all to do with pork—of the literal kind.
Lanao del Norte Rep. Imelda Dimaporo has filed a bill requiring that pork and pork products be segregated from nonpork items in supermarkets, meat shops and public markets in places with big Muslim populations.
Under House Bill No. 4928, nonpork meat products sold in markets should be free of any contamination from pork, its derivatives and other substances forbidden under the Islamic faith.
In her explanatory note, Dimaporo, a Christian married to a Muslim, said it was unfortunate that most distributors and retailers of meat products were not sensitive to the religious and cultural practices of Filipino Muslims.
Unfit for Muslims
“Pork products are being handled, stored and sold together with nonpork products, contaminating and rendering the latter unfit for consumption by Muslims,” she said.
In Islam, certain things and acts are sinful and forbidden, a concept known as “haram,” one of the five Islamic commandments that define morality, Dimaporo said.
The category of haram, which includes the intake of pork or its derivatives, is of the highest status of prohibition among Muslims, she said.
In November 2006, a Muslim congresswoman, former Lanao del Sur Rep. Faysah Dumarpa, slapped a waitress during a dinner at the House of Representatives who had served her a dish that turned out to contain bits of pork.
“Everybody knows Muslims are forbidden from eating pork. It’s not just a matter of culture but of faith,” Dumarpa had said then.
Recent government statistics indicate there are now close to five million Filipino Muslims all over the country, with the majority concentrated in Mindanao, Dimaporo said.
There are also significant Muslim populations, including tourists and expatriates from Muslim countries, in major cities and urban areas, she said.
Under Dimaporo’s bill, segregation shall be observed in all phases involving the handling, storage and selling of nonpork products.
The bill would require owners of supermarkets, meat shops and public and private markets to ensure that the equipment, utensils and other devices used in the storage, handling and selling of nonpork products—such as but not limited to freezers, slicers, cutters, knives, scoops, containers, weighing scales and wrappers—shall be used exclusively for nonpork products.
Violations carry a fine of P5,000 for the first offense, P10,000 for the second and revocation of license to sell meat products for the third offense.
Social pension eyed for ‘younger’ poor seniorsPhilippine Daily Inquirer 9:02 am | Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
MANILA, Philippines–The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is eyeing the inclusion of “younger” indigent senior citizens in the coverage of their social pension program.
In the proposed budget for the social pension program for next year, the DSWD aims to lower the coverage age of indigent pensioners from the current 77 years old to 67 years old.
The agency gives out P500 monthly pensions to senior citizens aged 77 and above.
“For this year, we can only cover senior citizens aged 77 years old and above. For 2015, we are hoping to get an increase so we can include senior citizens aged 67 years old,” Soliman said.
The proposed budget for the social pension program for 2015 is P4,762,628,000.
This year’s approved allocation for the social pension program is P2.9 billion, which can cover 455,530 senior citizens.–Julie M. Aurelio
No outsider for LP in 2016 presidential electionsBy DJ Yap | Philippine Daily Inquirer 8:10 am | Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
MANILA, Philippines–The ruling Liberal Party (LP) is not looking to field an outsider in the 2016 presidential race—at least not yet.
LP secretary general and Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento said Tuesday the party was considering only its members thus so far in discussions on its prospective standard bearer in 2016.
As to a winning candidate on its roster, he told a press conference: “There is. We have a deep bench.”
“Of course, our presumptive candidate remains to be [Interior Secretary] Mar Roxas,” he said. Sarmiento would not name the others on the “deep bench” even when prodded by reporters.
In surveys, Roxas has been lagging behind other possible presidential contenders, including front-runner Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Grace Poe and ousted president now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.
“Right now, only members of the party are under consideration,” Sarmiento said.
He said President Aquino’s recent remarks expressing an interest in a second term should be construed only as the Chief Executive’s wish that the gains of his administration be continued by the next one.
“It doesn’t mean he needs to run again—but how he will be able to sustain the reform program even after his term has ended,” Sarmiento said.
“I have my own views, but it’s hard to talk about my views, as they’ll be misconstrued as the position of the LP,” he said.
But “we are looking at the Constitution and we respect the Constitution,” he admitted.
“What we want is to hear the sentiments of the people, to determine what we can do to ensure that the gains will continue. This doesn’t mean we will tinker with the Constitution. That’s why we’re now involving the bosses,” he said.
Sarmiento said one problem with the country was that every change in administration brought changes in the vision of the leadership.
“There has to be a strategic direction… when your term ends, in my case I was a mayor, the strategic direction should not stop,” he said. Sarmiento was elected mayor of Calbayog City in 2001.
Luy: Jinggoy Estrada endorsed Napoles’ fake NGOBy Gil C. Cabacungan | Philippine Daily Inquirer 8:02 am | Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
MANILA, Philippines–Whistle-blower Benhur Luy on Tuesday revealed that detained Sen. Jinggoy Estrada had signed a letter endorsing a fake nongovernment organization (NGO) owned by suspected pork barrel mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles to implement a project funded by his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
Luy took the witness stand Tuesday at the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division during the continuation of the court’s hearing on Estrada’s plea for bail.
In his testimony, Luy revealed that he approached Estrada during a party held two years ago at the 42nd floor of Discovery Suites in Ortigas to have the endorsement letter signed. Luy worked at Napoles’ JLN Corp. office at the 25th floor of the same building.
The party was allegedly organized by Napoles. Luy said that among the VIP guests were now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and actor Tirso Cruz III.
“Nandoon si Sen. Jinggoy, nagpapirma ako ng endorsement letter (Sen. Jinggoy was there, I had an endorsement letter signed),” said Luy.
But Estrada, who was at the hearing, immediately stood up to refute Luy’s claim but the court disallowed him and directed him to relay his reaction through his lawyers.
He got his chance to vent his feelings in a later interview with reporters.
“I cannot recall Benhur Luy ever asking me to sign a document at the party. First, I do not know him. Why should he ask me to sign if I do not know him? Only my staff and secretary ask me to sign but never him (Luy),” said Estrada.
Estrada has long admitted to attending Napoles’ parties but insisted that he never signed a document during these occasions “because that is not an appropriate time or the proper forum for me to sign a document.”
“I’ve been to several parties (of Napoles). I know her. I have admitted to the public ever since that I know Mrs. Napoles. Not like other politicians that up to now have refused to admit that they too attended these parties,” said Estrada.
Never been to their office
Estrada claimed he heard Luy claiming that he signed the endorsement letter in the office.
“That’s totally false. I have never been to their office up to this day. I go to their parties, yes, but never in their office. A party was never held in their office. If ever there was a party in their office, I never went there,” he said.
Making up stories
Estrada accused Luy of making up his stories as the plunder case dragged on as he noted that Luy never mentioned this meeting in any of his affidavits.
“He’s adding more to his tales, this is not part of his affidavit. I have never seen him, I have never spoken to him. The first time I saw him was when I watched him on TV,” said Estrada.
Estrada has been charged with plunder for pocketing P183 million in kickbacks from nonexistent projects funded by his PDAF from 2007 to 2009.
In a related development, the antigraft court junked Estrada’s petition to bar Justice Undersecretary Jose Justiniano from joining the Ombudsman prosecution panel in his case.