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Impeachment complaints filed vs Duterte and Robredo

Published in Headline

By ALFRED GABOT

 

(Photo from pcoo.gov.ph)

 

QUEZON CITY (via PhilAmPress) – A day after Congress went into recess for the Lenten Season, the Magdalo Party-list group identified with Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV has filed an impeachment complaint as part of a bid to unseat President Rodrigo Duterte.

 

Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary C. Lejano, a Marine captain turned rebel soldier like Trillanes who mounted a failed coup against then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, filed the complaint, the first since Duterte assumed office nine months ago, before the Office of the Secretary General of the House of Representatives of which he is an incumbent member.

 

Malacanang immediately shrugged off the complaint, saying there was no cause for panic, adding that amid the noise, the Duterte administration would continue its efforts toward nation building. 

 

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez who heads the House of Representatives who will handle the complaint and Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III whose chamber will try Duterte just in case the complaint will prosper in the House immediately shot down the Magdalo complaint, saying there was no basis for the complaint.

 

Meanwhile, lawyer Oliver Lozano filed an impeachment complaint against Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo for allegedly "destroying" the image of the Philippines with her video presentation before a United Nations body in Vienna. Lozano urged Speaker Alvarez and other House leaders to endorse the complaint against the Vice President.

 

Robredo's spokesperson, Georgina Hernandez, said the complaint against the Vice President would not prosper as it is baseless. She said it was well within her exercise of freedom of speech to speak, adding that her office had earlier asked for official reports on illegal drugs war from the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Philippine National Police but they did not receive any response.

 

Contrary to President Duterte’s claim, it’s not in Robredo’s plan to be president as she is focused on improving the lives of the poor and on bringing justice to the victims of extrajudicial killings, her spokesperson said.

 

“If there are things VP Leni is eager to do, these are to give justice to the victims of extrajudicial killings and finish the anti-poverty programs she has started,” Georgina Hernandez said.

 

Robredo is ready to face a possible impeachment complaint which Hernandez maintained  is “baseless.”

 

Lozano was joined by radio broadcaster Melchor Chavez, representing the Volunteers for Good Government, in filing the complaint late before the office of Speaker Alvarez.

 

The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) is also planning to file a petition to disbar Vice President Leni Robredo if she fails to apologize publicly over her statement on alleged extrajudicial killings and the “palit-ulo” (head switching) scheme amid the government’s war against illegal drugs.

 

Dante Jimenez, VACC chairman, stressed that Philippine lawyers like Robredo should “behave properly and be accountable for all their data and statements,” referring to the recent allegations made by the Vice President before the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, Austria.

 

Lozano and Chavez did not file their complaint before the office of House secretary general Cesar Pareja because this has to be endorsed by an incumbent congressman. They went directly to Alvarez’s office where they had it marked “received.” 

 

They described Robredo as the “termite of the government” in their letter to Alvarez, and that “her unfaithfulness has extended to the betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution.”

 

Malacañang earlier raised suspicion over what it called the timing of some actions of the opposition, like Robredo’s video message to the UN and the filing of an impeachment complaint against the President.

 

Duterte accused Alejano of doing nothing for the country except to make noise. “What have you done to the country? Nothing. Except to make noise and that really happened during your mutiny… You were forgiven by a president whom I cannot understand,” he said, referring to former president Benigno Aquino III.

 

“What’s that you’re bragging about? That you now have the chance to show your bravery? Do not s**t with me,” he said.

 

Meanwhile, Manila Mayor and former president Joseph Estrada said Duterte does not deserve to be impeached, saying Filipinos are lucky to have a leader “who has that conviction, willing to risk his life” in pursuing his goals.

 

Estrada recalled that like the impeachment case filed against him in 2000, the one filed against Duterte was baseless.

 

Officials said the impeachment complaint could be part of a destabilization plot against Duterte by political opponents and critics.

 

"Hindi naman cause of concern na natataranta ang mga tao...Nakikita lang, napapansin. Tutuloy po tayo sa nation-building. Marami po talagang ingay na nanggagaling mula sa gilid...[But as the President had said], I have built a city and I will build a nation," said Abella. 

 

Abella also urged Filipinos to "strengthen their backbone and start doing nation-building." 

 

"It would all help us to bear the brunt together and grow up," he added.

 

A day before the filing of the complaint, presidential spokesman Abella, referring to the "invasion" by China ships in Benham Rise issue and the planned China buildup in Panatag Shoal, said "There are no grounds for impeachment."  

 

"No treason, betrayal of public trust, bribery, graft and corruption, and high crime was committed," he added. 

   

In his complaint,  Alejano accused Duterte of alleged culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of public trust, bribery, and other high crimes. 

 

Alejandro immediately held a press conference and explained the complaint.

 

He said his accusations against Duterte were related to the alleged worsening cases of extrajudicial killings due to the administration's intensified war on drugs campaign and the President's alleged failure to declare some of his properties in his Statement of Assets Liabilities and Net Worth, including his supposed P2.2 billion-bank transactions which the President has denied. 

 

He said he may yet file an addendum to the complaint after Duterte admitted that he had allowed Chinese ships to go to the Benham Rise, a big territory of 13 million hectares near the Cagayan Valley which the United Nations awarded to the Philippines in 2012 being part of the country’s continental shelf.  

 

In the press conference and subsequent media interviews, Alejano admitted meager support on the complaint by House members but said his group was hoping that the complaint would serve as a vehicle for the people to voice out their opposition to Duterte's alleged abuses and crimes. 

 

"Layon namin na maging behikulo ito upang magkaroon ng boses...para sa pagtutol sa mga abuso at krimen ni Presidente Duterte," said Alejano. 

 

"Kami ay naniniwala na dapat siyang managot sa krimen na kanyang ginawa. Ayaw namin na tanggapin ng taumbayan na legal ang pagpatay sa bansang ito," he said.

 

He said Magdalo would not do anything outside the law to oppose Duterte's presidency. "Wala kaming plano na iniisip na labas sa batas." 

 

"Wala kaming extra-legal dito, walang other means to oust the President," added Lejano.

 

He urged Filipinos not to wait for the killings to reach 20,000 or 50,000 before they air their opposition against Duterte's leadership, saying the filing of the complaint would be the "opportunity for frustrated" Filipinos to reject his presidency. 

 

Alejano is one of the seven lawmakers at the House who compose the opposition bloc. He rose to prominence after joining the group of junior military officers, collectively known as Magdalo, who launched a short-lived mutiny against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2003. Magdalo’s leader is Senator Trillanes, a vocal critic of Duterte.


In a statement, Alejano has raised the question of the President possibly committing treason when the latter said he allowed the Chinese to enter Benham Rise.

 

"The fact that the president is making arrangements with a foreign nation who is known to grab islands in the South China Sea without the knowledge of the Secretary of nNational Defense and the Filipino people could be tantamount to sell out or treason itself. At what cost? For a few billion dollars in loans and grants?" he said.

 

Alejano said Duterte could be impeached for giving up the Philippines’ sovereign rights over Benham Rise to China.

 

He said Duterte might have committed a culpable violation of the 1987 Constitution by refusing to take China to task for its recent incursions in Benham Rise, an underwater landmass declared by the United Nations to be part of the country’s continental shelf in 2012.

 

Although the landmass is not part of Philippine territory as normally defined, the country exercises the exclusive right to exploit and explore its natural resources. Other states, however, may enjoy the right of “innocent passage” and freedom of navigation in those waters.

 

In response, Malacañang said that the “Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is in the process of verifying alleged announcements of proposals to build structures in the West Philippine Sea” even as it stressed anew that the Philippines is not giving up its claim of sovereignty over Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal).

 

Abella said the DFA is checking on the alleged announcements “since these statements do not reflect the official position of the PROC (People’s Republic of China)”

 

Last week, Xiao Jie, the mayor of Sansha City, said China planned to begin preparatory work this year to build environmental monitoring stations on a number of islands, including Scarborough Shoal.

 

Sansha City is the name China has given to an administrative base for the South China Sea islands and reefs it controls.

 

Abella also stressed that contrary to what media report have been alluding, President Rodrigo Duterte does not intend to give up the country’s sovereign rights over Panatag Shoal.

 

“Furthermore, PRRD has repeatedly asserted that PHL is not giving up its claims and our entitlements over the area. He has said time and again that he will defend and protect the interests of the Filipino people, and will take necessary action at a time most fitting and advantageous to us,” Abella said.

 

Abella made the clarification after media reported President Duterte as saying that the Philippines was incapable of stopping China from its reported plan to build structures in Panatag.

 

"We cannot stop China from doing this thing. Di nga na-para ng Amerikano [Even Americans could not stop it]," Duterte said during a press briefing prior to his departure to Myanmar.

 

The President has been repeatedly asked to aggressively assert Philippine sovereignty over Panatag Shoal ever since the UN Arbitral Tribunal ruling last July, 2016.

 

"So what do you want me to do? What do you want? Declare war against China? I can, but we'll all lose our military and policemen tomorrow," the President said.

 

He said that he does not want war with China since China is a friend -- same as with the US and Russia.

 

“China is also our friend, and now we are now improving on the economy because of the help of China. Bakit ka naman mag walanghiya para magdaan lang," Duterte said.

 

But Duterte also stressed in the same press briefing that although he will not raise the UN arbitral ruling for now, he will not hesitate to bring it back to the table when the time comes.

 

"Kung ang China .. Magkuha sila ng oil or uranium or whatever is inside the bowels of the sea, kakalabitin ko siya, ako ang may-ari niyan. You claim it by historical right, by judgement I won and it's mine," Duterte said. 

 

President Duterte lashed out at his critics, starting with Vice President Leni Robredo, whom he accused of itching to replace him.

 

“Ang mga kalaban ko, si Leni apurado masyadong maging president (My opponents, Leni, she’s too eager to be president),” he said in remarks before the Filipino community at the Horizon Lake View Hotel in Yangon.

 

Robredo, in a video message to the United Nations, condemned human rights abuses in the conduct of the Duterte administration’s campaign against drugs.

 

Her message enraged the administration, with Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez threatening to file an impeachment complaint against her.

 

Duterte also lashed out at Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and belittled the latter’s capability to derail his  presidency, noting the former navy officer’s failed coup attempts during the Arroyo administration.

 

He dismissed Trillanes as a mere “barking dog” and an idiot who succeeded only in stealing bed sheets and utensils from the Peninsula Hotel where he staged a coup in 2007.

 

“He mutinied but when the police arrived he quickly surrendered. Not a single shot was fired,” he said in Filipino.

 

He also took detained Sen. Leila de Lima to task for allegedly accepting protection money from drug lords serving time at the national penitentiary.

 

“She is claiming she is a political prisoner. Since when have I detained anyone from the opposition?” he said.

 

Abella, meanwhile, said that Duterte would continue to pursue an independent foreign policy with respect to national interest. 

 

"The President is fully committed to his constitutional duty to protect and defend the nation's interests, including those granted to us by UNCLOS and other similar treaties which [the Philippines] is party to," he said. 

 

He was referring to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which is considered the world's constitution on oceans.

 

"The President is also committed to pursuing an independent foreign policy and friendly and mutually beneficial ties with all countries with the national interest as the primary consideration," he added.

Preparing a Home for Sale

Published in Health and Wealth

Spring has come and many people are preparing for the spring real estate market. Activity in the first two months has been very good with strong buyer demand and very little home inventory for sale.

 

Attendance to open houses has been very good. and Multiple offers on homes for sale in the San Francisco/Peninsula are now common particularly in the Richmond and Sunset Districts. More properties are entering the market which would make a good spring selling period. (Source:Prepping a Home for Sale, John M. Lee, Richmond Review, March, 2017)

 

If you are now thinking and preparing your home for sale, have you ever asked yourself why some homes sell faster at higher prices than others? The answer lies in the pricing and emotional appeal.

 

As Broker Associate with Century 21 Realty Alliance and licensed Real Estate Broker (BRE #00635976) in California since 1981, I would like to share with our readers and the general public some information and tips on how to prepare home to obtain the highest possible price.

 

Purchasing a home, especially for first-time buyers, is a very emotional process and usually creates a very stressful period in the life of the home buyers. Buyers are making the largest financial commitment of their life and are unsure of whether or not they are getting the right deal.

 

When other people are making offers on the same property, the multiple offers reassure buyers that they are making the right decision because others feel the same way about the property as they do.

 

As a seller, how do you create emotions so that your property will sell faster and for the highest price in today's market. Preparing a property for sale is very important because buyers today are busier than ever, so they are looking for homes that are in move-in condition. Here are some tips for inexpensive preparations that will bring returns and positive result for sellers:

 

1.       UNCLUTTER THE HOUSE - It's very common for homeowners to accumulate so much stuff through the years. By removing large items of furniture and putting belonging away, it makes a home show larger than it is, and gives the impression that the home is spacious and well cared for.

 

2.       PAINT THE HOUSE – Painting the house inside and outside can be inexpensive and yet provides the impression that a home is well maintained.

3.       FRESHEN UP BACK YARD AND FRONT YARD - Freshening up the back yard and front yard and refinishing the hardwood floors will do wonders for showing off the house.

4.       PUT YOUR HOME FOR SALE AT THE RIGHT PRICE - Make sure to avoid over pricing your home for sale. Putting your home for sale at the right price or even at a slightly lower

price will generate more inquiries from prospective buyers and from agents of home buyers.

This will generate multiple offers which will result in faster sale of your home above the listing price.

 

WHY LIST YOUR HOME WITH ART & SALLY TEAM? If you are thinking planning to sell your home, consider the following reasons why select the ART & SALLY  TEAM: 1.EXPERIENCED BROKERS - Art G. Madlaing and Sally Satuito has more than 60 years of combined experience as licensed Real Estate Brokers in California. It's like hiring two brokers for the price of one; 2. FIVE OFFICE LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU – Art and Sally are Associate Brokers with Century 21 Realty Alliance at the Main Office in San Francisco and branch offices in Millbrae, San Mateo, Hercules and San Jose. 3. LOCAL, NATIONAL & GLOBAL EXPOSURE - Your home listed with us will be shared to hundreds and thousands of Realtors and real estate agents through several MLS for local exposures. Your home listed with us will also be shared and exposed nationally and globally through the Century 21 National and Global System 4. PRINT & MEDIA EXPOSURE – Homes listed with us will be featured in the weekly syndicated column on “HEALTH & WEALTH by Art Gabot Madlaing for additional exposure.

 

SELLING OR BUYING REAL ESTATE? Make sure to contact first Art G. Madlaing at (650)438-3531 or (415)584-7095 or email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; or Sally Satuito at (650)291-2916 or Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

CONDOLENCES: Last Thursday, March 23, I attended the services honoring the life of my cousin Jesus Sampayan Rosario (who died at the age of 56) at the Lima Family Mortuary, 48800 Warm Springs Blvd., Fremont, California. To comfort the Rosario Family, especially Auntie Basing (his Mom), I sang “God's Family”and read comforting words of our Lord and Savior Jesus in John 14:1-3.

 

Then, last Saturday, March 25, I attended the Celebration of Life in memory of Col. Antonio P. Mendoza, Jr. (who died last March 16 at the young age of 51) at Duggan Mortuary, in Daly City, California. He was Valedictorian at the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City, Class 1988. Col. Mendoza worked at the Philippine Consulate as a Police Senior Superintendent Liaison Officer. He is beloved husband of Audrey and loving father of Catherine, Lousie, Antonio III, Andrei, Aimee and Miguel.

 

Col. Mendoza always dropped by ONE STOP SHOP, 447 Sutter Street, Suite 800, by 4:30 pm and we walked together with RC Chan to the Powell Street BART Station in San Francisco. On Monday, March 14, we were walking and joking about his new haircut. We didn't realize that this was the last time we walked together to the Powell Street BART Station to go home to our respective residences.

 

I am extending my sincere condolences to the Rosario Family and the Mendoza Family. I pray for God's comfort and strength during this time of bereavement.

 

(ART GABOT MADLAING is a commissioned Notary Public and licensed Real Estate Broker (BRE #00635976) in California since 1981. He is accredited Notary Public by the Philippine Consul General in San Francisco. Art is founder of FITNESS FOR HUMANITY (aka FITNESS FOR CHRIST) and ACAPINOY. He is  Evangelist at the Golden Gate Church of Christ in San Francisco, California.)

Britney Spears concert set in Manila

Published in Entertainment

(Photo from Facebook | @britneyspears)

 

American  pop star Britney Spears is coming to Manila!

 

The pop music icon herself announced this though a post in her official Facebook page on March 28.

 

“Excited to be performing in Manila this summer,” her post stated.

 

The multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning Spears will be staging her concert, "Britney Spears: Live in Manila," at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on June 15.

 

Tickets to the show will go on sale beginning April 5 at 10 a.m. through SMTickets.com.

 

The show will be presented by local clothing brand Bench and concert organizer Wilbros Live. No other details about the concert were revealed.

 

This will be the first time Spears will be visiting the Philippines.

 

Spears is known worldwide for her chart-topping hits.

 

Spears first rose to fame as a teenager in the late '90s when she released her first single “Baby One More Time,” a Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 smash and international hit. She is also the voice behind “Oops I Did It Again,” “Toxic” and “Womanizer” among others.

 

In 2016, Britney released her 9th studio album, Glory, and performed at the MTV Video Music Awards for the first time since 2007. Since 2013, Britney has been performing her “Britney: Piece of Me” residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

 

Spears is one of the most successful and celebrated entertainers in pop history with nearly 150 million records worldwide. 

 

In the US alone, she has sold more than 70 million albums, singles and songs, according to Nielsen Music. 

 

Spears first rose to fame as a teenager when she released her first single “Baby One More Time,” a Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 smash and international hit. She is also the voice behind “Oops I Did It Again,” “Toxic” and “Womanizer” among others.

 

Currently, Spears has a Las Vegas residency pop concert at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, which has been voted “Best Show in Las Vegas” and “Best Bachelorette Show in Las Vegas.” 

Luis Manzano ready to marry Jessy?

Published in Entertainment

(Photo from Instagram | @luckymanzano)

 

Is actor and television host Luis Manzano ready to marry girlfriend Jessy Mendiola?

 

The poser was asked as showbiz circles have gone abuzz with talks about the couple following the uploading of their photos together in Instagram.

 

Luis himself fueled the talks further when he admitted that he is banking on the possibility of marrying Jessy.

 

The actor and TV host made the admission when asked by showbiz media, including TV 5’s Interaksyon.com.

 

Luis was asked if he was seriously considering tying the knot with his actress-girlfriend, who is FHM’s Sexiest Woman in the Philippines in 2016.

 

Interaksyon reported that without batting an eyelash, Luis promptly replied to the question: “I have my fingers crossed. It’s part of my prayers at night. Hopefully, [our] love story ends here.”

 

It was the first time Luis admitted that he was considering marriage.

 

“It’s a good thing. It’s a great thing,” he said.

 

Is their age a problem in their relationship? Luis now 36 and Jessy is only 24, which means an age gap of 12 years.

 

The popular actor and tv host, who is the son of actress and now Batangas congresswoman Vilma Santos and actor Eduardo “Edu” Manzano, a Filipino American, has a ready answer to the poser. For him, their over a decade age difference may, in fact, be a reason for the success of their relationship.

 

Prior to Jessy, Luis was linked to actress Angel Locsin. He had also previously dated actresses Nancy Castiglione, Anne Curtis and Jennylyn Mercado.

 

“Maybe it’s the age gap. I think she’s more mature than I am, that’s for sure. She’s 24 and I’m turning 36 but she’s more mature in so many ways. I guess that works for me,” he explained.

 

Meanwhile, Luis has been tapped as the World Wide Fund Philippines’ celebrity ambassador and fundraiser. He spoke about environmental conservation and introduced the Individual Donor Program at the WWF Booth.

 

A certified beach lover and long-time diver, Luis is also WWF-Philippines’ Marine Conservation Steward and champions the organization’s Marine Conservation Program.

 

Luis admitted that he feels free and peaceful when diving. This love for diving and the sea he has share with Jessy.

 

“Now I understand why you’re in love with diving,” Jessy once said to him.

 

Luis explained further his love for diving. “Parang everything slows down. Parang buhay lang yan. You go with the flow. There’s no point in going against the current. Everything’s so peaceful. You feel so small underwater. The moment you think you’re a big shot, the moment you’re underwater you realize there’s a bigger picture,” he said.

 

Luis revealed that whenever their schedules permit, he and Jessy  leave the metro and head for the beach and go for a dive, even if it would only be for a day trip.

He said that Jessy has secured a diving certification.

 

Luis and Jessy said that Anilao, Batangas and the Tubbataha are their favourite diving sites.

 

“People go to so many different places but the truth is everything they want to see, everything they want to take a picture of, it’s all in Anilao,” the actor said.

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