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Hasten prosecution of Ongpin et al.


Now that the Ombudsman has given the go-signal to investigate Roberto Ongpin et al. about the scandalous PhP660 million DBP behest loan, volunteer counsels in Pamusa’s network are asking Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales why not broaden it to include Ongpin’s other culpabilities, for instance, so the Presidential Commission on Good Government would recover the kickbacks from suppliers of the 11 Major Industrial Projects that Ongpin allegedly kept all to himself after Marcos died and used in his various investments that enabled him to amass his $300 million personal net worth by 2010 reported by Forbes Magazine, which by any measure is beyond the realm of statistical probability and forensic audit can easily prove to be ill-gotten.

Prosecuting Ongpin and recovering his ill-gotten gains during the Marcos regime would be a just punishment. Firstly, Ongpin would be an example for other “big fishes” with similar ill-gotten gains covered up thus far in conspiracy with officials of post-Marcos administrations; and, secondly, stop big fishes from further reaping ill-gotten gains or deter those that may yet engage in graft and corruption (G&C).

Of course, the Filipino people don’t expect the Aquino administration to take into account all those with ill-gotten gains from G&C. They nonetheless can be examples of retributive justice. This would minimize if not stop the twin evils in high places where people are proud to exhibit unexplained wealth as status symbol. Pamusa’s primary purpose is to take legal actions in the U.S., increase the pressure on Filipino big fishes to negotiate settlement or opt for plea bargain and return ill-gotten wealth to the people, thus prevent money and political influence as the means to escape retribution.

Pamusa has offered to help President Aquino succeed if he agreed to our fighting in America G&C in the Philippines. A reader of my previous column noted his senior officials’ apparent inability to apply full-court press against G&C and suggested their reading the book “KENNEDY” by Theodore Sorensen. In the book President Kennedy asked his brother, Bobby, why Cabinet members especially of the State Department were slow in acting on the White House’s directives.

Bobby quipped that Cabinet members and other presidential appointees get lost in tribal rituals with some even getting “married with the natives” (career bureaucrats) until the newcomers are overwhelmed and forget what the new “big chief” wanted done in the first place. This is happening to the Aquino administration.

Cabinet members and other top officials are hesitant, even timid to act for fear either they’d be overruled like in the botched HK tourists rescue when their recommended criminal and administrative actions were set aside or step on sensitive toes of people close to the President. The result is these officials play it safe rather than be the victims of whisperers (bulong brigade) and backstabbers around the President and lose their jobs.

Modesty aside, Louie Villafuerte is a living witness that I opted to resign as head of the Philippine Export Council rather than obey President Marcos to stop telling Doroy Valencia the dangers to the economy of Ongpin’s 11 MIPs which I predicted would fail as they did eventually. To his credit, Marcos directed that a study grant in the U.S. be arranged for me to shield my disagreement with Ongpin as the reason of my resignation.

Atty. Roman Mosqueda has established a precedent of a successful U.S. legal action in recovering the unexplained income Gen. and Mrs. Jacinto Ligot paid for a California residential property. The precedent would enable Pamusa to file similar action against Ongpin and others for corrupting the U.S. and international financial systems in investing illicit gains. Depending on the DOJ’s and Ombudsman’s cooperation to share their evidence with Pamusa we’d engage Mosqueda as regular counsel within the ambit of a Filipino-American philanthropist’s commitment to pay for the cost of U.S. legal action against Filipinos accused of violating U.S. laws and/or civil case defendants to recover ill-gotten assets and bank deposits in the U.S.

Although Pamusa and Mosqueda’s law firm can take U.S. legal action motu proprio being a U.S. entity and a legal corporation, respectively, it’d be better if our U.S. action were taken alongside the Ombudsman’s case and its evidence with Secretary de Lima designating Pamusa and/or me as her liaison rep (effectively a messenger) to make and receive requests of the U.S. Attorney General pursuant to the PH-US Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) “in connection with the prevention, investigation, and prosecution of criminal offenses, and in proceedings related to criminal matters.”
Meanwhile, our informant corrected my earlier claim. He advised it’s only proper and fitting to take U.S. legal action alongside the Ombudsman’s case against former Ambassador and Mrs. Kokoy Romualdez to recover not only their over $5 million Swiss bank deposit held in escrow by the PNB but also the remainder of their over $100 million personal net worth according to Forbes Magazine allegedly partitioned among their sons, namely: Martin (Leyte Rep.), Benjamin (Benguet Corp. president and CEO), and Daniel (New York Arch.) each of whom have had the lifestyle of the rich and famous without plausible sources of lawful income in the Philippines or USA.

To people who knew Kokoy before Marcos became President that believe his family lawfully acquired Benguet’s controlling interest would also believe I have a good chance of becoming the next Pope. Since the family’s assets are incontrovertibly ill-gotten and proceeds of corruption, Pamusa can sue them criminally for violating U.S. laws after Sec. Leila de Lima designates Pamusa and/or me as her abovementioned “messenger” with the USAG.

Let me reiterate the PH Government is under no financial obligation in availing of Pamusa’s services. I’d request President Aquino though to hurry up the cooperation of Sec. de Lima and Ombudsman Carpio-Morales; or else, Pamusa might lose the commitment of the Filam philanthropist to provide funding for our legal cost and the President would lose the opportunity of making his fight against G&C the most effective and successful election campaign promise.

By Frank Wenceslao

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