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Govt. structural flaws cause PNoy’s declining job approval


President Aquino’s declining satisfaction or job approval rating (rating for brevity) can’t simply be shrugged off while fighting graft and corruption (G&C) continues with the same legal tools that failed in the past. Relying on the same tools could push his rating on a free-fall unless dramatic anti-G&C actions and job creation occur proposed herein.

The criteria by which the administration would be judged a success or failure hinge on creating jobs and stopping or at least minimizing G&C. Many past and present senior government policy-makers have failed to recognize that job creation and G&C are two sides of the same coin. The resources lost to G&C could’ve been invested in economic activities that create jobs.

Jobs improve real income and purchasing power in turn increasing demand for goods and services, which encourage producers to expand production and hire more people until this cycle becomes self-sustaining.

There’s something wrong with the declining President’s rating while those of some Cabinet members and subordinate officials go up. I asked a PR expert about his take on this, who gave me this explanation.

He cited a most likely cause. For instance, filing tax evasion cases by the BIR and DOJ enables these agencies to gain better public appreciation and their heads to enjoy higher ratings. But since the cases take too long to file in court and be decided one way or the other way, the delay is perceived to be PNoy’s failure in fighting G&C and investment creating jobs slows down with the business sector’s perception the playing field isn’t level. This perception causes the decline of PNoy’s rating among many impatient, economically strapped unemployed added by unskilled, skilled and college educated jobseekers entering the labor force.

The media’s traditional anti-administration stance is usually on the side of big “fishes” accused of tax evasion and G&C. The news is slanted that PNoy is vindictive and uses the cases for personal vendetta spawning more negative perception among the people normally sympathetic with the underdog.

By shrugging off PNoy’s declining rating to fend off criticism such as Cong. Edcel Lagman’s claim that the President is failing to deliver his promise of more jobs and less corruption though a shrewd statement becomes a matter of fact the media embellish.

Our solution requires PNoy and concerned administration officials to rely on Pamusa which was organized in Aug. 2006 by a group of LA-based Filipino Americans enthused by the UNCAC. It can’t be accused of partiality towards the powers-that-be. People have only to look back that Pamusa was born when former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn “Jocjoc” Bolante fled to America to escape from an ongoing Senate investigation for misappropriating PhP728 million ($14.5M) fertilizer fund for small farmers. The Senate found that Bolante distributed cash to some favored members of Congress and local government officials supporting Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s 2004 reelection campaign supposedly to buy fertilizer and distribute it any way they wished.

Of course, much of the money found other uses than fertilizer, for instance, a witness in the Senate inquiry testified that Bolante got 25% of the fund presumably his and former FG Mike Arroyo’s take. This was reportedly invested in U.S. securities which was probably lost in the 2008-09 Wall Street investment banking meltdown.

Unknown to him, Bolante’s U.S. visa was cancelled after he left Manila via Seoul on the way to LAX where he’s denied entry and asked to go back. He refused to do so, was detained and applied for asylum that Pamusa opposed based on the Senate final report sent by Sen. Jun Magsaysay. When Bolante’s application was finally denied on appeal after over two years of hearings, we asked the FBI-LA office pursuant to the USDOJ’s letter of 11/14/07 authorizing Pamusa to work with and submit evidence to the FBI or other concerned federal agency to investigate if current and former Filipino government officials like Bolante and their private co-conspirators committed U.S. crimes such as wire fraud, money laundering, racketeering, foreign corrupt practices act with related crimes of perjury and conspiracy to commit those crimes..

However, before Bolante could be transferred from immigration to the FBI for questioning, the Philippine Government (PHG) requested the U.S. State and Justice Depts. to deport him so he could be prosecuted at home. No charges were filed against Bolante after his return in 2008 up to the end of GMA’s presidency until recently under President Aquino.

Pamusa was completely ignored by GMA because we obviously would’ve been a big thorn to her. PNoy could thus stop his declining rating down to GMA’s level if some dramatic anti-G&C actions are taken outside the Philippines which Pamusa promises to undertake with a top Washington DC law office specialized in prosecuting foreign government leaders and private co-conspirators for violating anticorruption U.S. laws. We’re assured Pamusa can initiate legal actions motu proprio against targets based on abovementioned USDOJ’s letter.

Pamusa is also in contact with the U.S. Treasury Dept.’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) which would assist us if Pamusa had this authority: Designation by Secretary Leila de Lima to make and receive requests of the U.S. Attorney General pursuant to the US-Philippines Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT); and/or a MOA between the Ombudsman and PCGG with Pamusa agreed by Merceditas Gutierrez but failed to sign (it’s with Asst. Ombudsman Evelyn Baliton); and/or a MOA for Pamusa to represent the BIR pursuant to RA 20010.

RA 20010 is based on the 2008 OECD agreement on tax matters that empowers the BIR and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service or any other foreign country’s taxation authority with which the Philippines has a tax treaty to exchange information and demand from Filipino nationals regardless if they’ve become another country’s citizens to pay Philippine taxes due and vice-versa.

I’ve asked Filipino American lawyers’ opinions and they’re unanimous there’s no legal impediment under U.S. or Philippine law to grant Pamusa the above authority. Our abovementioned Washington DC legal counsel assures me Pamusa can immediately take dramatic actions in the U.S., more so against Gen Carlos Garcia, his wife and children to surrender more than the PhP270.63 million of assets of which $6 million is in the U.S. stolen from the AFP Garcia admitted in his plea bargain. We’ll consider including the other generals and officers sued of plunder by George Rabusa and look into if they’d transferred monies to America in violation of anticorruption U.S. laws.

Garcia must name the Sandiganbayan justices, Ombudsman’s and other government officials involved in his plea bargain, what each has received in advance and the amount they’re expecting after the deal is consummated. Or else, Garcia et al. won’t be able to negotiate settlement in the U.S.

Our targets include Imelda Marcos, her children and brother, Kokoy Romualdez; GMA, her husband and children Mikey and Dato and their spouses; and big businessmen such as Henry Sy, Lucio Tan, John Gokongwei and others that might’ve inexplicably illicit assets and monies unlawfully earned in the Philippines that were transferred to the U.S. that make them liable to charges of wire fraud, money laundering, foreign corrupt practices (e.g. kickbacks Tan got from U.S. and European firms leasing planes to PAL); racketeering (Sy and Gokongwei investing unlawfully earned monies in U.S. enterprises and securities in violation of RICO); and related crimes of perjury and conspiracy to commit the various crimes.

I’m sure civil actions against said targets to recover their ill-gotten assets on PHG’s behalf would push up PNOY’s job approval rating through the roofs.

By Frank Wenceslao

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