CIA to launch destab vs. Aquino?

A Philippine President must follow the whims and caprice of the United States.

 

President Barrack Obama is eager to launch a military strike against Syria’s perpetrator of chemical attacks that killed hundreds of civilians, including children.

 

If President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s  government will not support the US, then he could be replaced soon, especially now that a big corruption issue is gaining momentum among the middle class.

 

Feisty Senator Mirriam Santiago, chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, warned that something bad might happen to President Aquino.

 

In fact, the US military wants to increase the presence of its forces in the Philippines tapping its former bases like Subic in Zambales province, Clark Air Base in Pampanga province and even the Sangley Point in Cavite province.

 

“If president Aquino makes a mistake and say no, somhtign bad will happen something bad will happen to him,” Santiago said.

               

Citing the case of former President Gloria Arroyo in 2004, Santiago said the US CIA instigated a destabilization plot after the President ordered the pull out of Philippine contingent in Iraq.

 

“They want to teach her (Arroyo) that no Philippine president can even afford to humiliate an American president,” Santiago said.

 

She said once the US has decided to strike Syria, Washington will ask Filipnos to work in the base there.

 

Filipinos are known as hard-workers, doing odd jobs in the military base. #

Lopez Sr. wanted Imee Marcos “hostaged” in US — WikiLeaks

Lopez Sr. wanted Imee Marcos “hostaged” in US — WikiLeaks
By Jaime Pilapil

A prominent businessman has pleaded the United States government to
held ‘hostage” the eldest child of then president Ferdinand Marcos to
force the latter to free the political detainees, according to a
series of recently declassified US diplomatic cables released by
Wikileaks.

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who was then working for
President Richard Nixon, sent a cable to Washington quoting Eugenio
“Don Eñing” Lopez Sr. to have suggested to the American government to
“hostage” Maria Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos who was then studying at
Princeton University in New Jersey.

“Reference by Lopez, Sr., to Imee Marcos’ presence at Princeton,
asking how her parents would like it if the U.S. suddenly held her
“hostage”,” Kissinger said in a cable dated March 3, 1975 with
ID1975STATE047465_b.

The German-born diplomat was so concerned that the suggestion of Lopez
“could again raise the security problems, which caused us difficulties
in the early period of her studies here.”

The young Marcos, Imee, went on to finish B.A. in Religion and
Politics at Princeton, one of eight universities in the Ivy League,
before returning home as chairman of Kabataang Barangay, which
practically plunged her into politics.

Just recently, the reelectionist governor of Ilocos Norte was tagged
by the Offshore leaks report as hiding part of the $5 billion, which
her father fled the country in the 1980’s in tax haven.

Kissinger cited a March 2, 1975 edition of Parade, a nationally
distributed Sunday supplement by Washington Post, carrying a full-page
article entitled “Extortion In High Places”, ventilating the Lopez
family charges against Marcos and the Romualdezes.

The article quoted Lopez Sr., who died in July 1975, that Marcos was
“holding Eugenio Lopez Jr, hostage in order to blackmail the Lopez
family into signing over their vast properties in silence.”

The former dictator had wanted Don Eñing to return to Manila to divest
him of his ownership of Meralco, then the largest corporate entity in
the country, and his other firms like the Manila Chronicle and
Chronicle Broadcasting Network, the precursor of television giant
ABS-CBN.

In a bid to force Don Eñing to leave Boston, the former strongman had
implicated on trumped up charges against the Lopezes, including the
assassination plot allegedly engineered by the old Lopez’ son, Geny
who was jailed together with Serge Osmeña 3rd, grandson of wartime
president and son of senator Sergio Osmena Jr., who lost to Marcos in
the 1969 presidential elections. Under Geny’s leadership, also know as
“Kapitan”, ABS-CBN network became what it is now today, an influential
and leading broadcast business in the country. He died in June 1999 at
age 70.  His son, Eugenio Lopez 3rd, also known as Gabby, succeeded
him.

Geny and Osmeña, who was then a budding businessman, were imprisoned
in Fort Bonifacio in 1974 where they staged a hunger strike and
eventually escaped in 1979.  The escape was made into a movie, Eskapo,
in 1995.   Osmeña eventually married Isabel “Bettina” Lopez.

Before their escape, there was a suggestion to give amnesty to Geny
and Serge, but it was overruled by legal adviser Ronaldo Zamora,
taunted as one of the bright legal minds of the Marcos rule.  Zamora
said the two were not eligible for amnesty since their alleged crime
was not political but ordinary crime.

The diplomatic cable said that Meralco then was worth at least
$20-million, but the Lopezes only received a “ridiculous” $1,500 down
payment.  It added that the Manila Chronicle, a daily newspaper, was
forcibly leased to Philippine Ambassador to Washington Benjamin
“Kokoy” Romualdez, who was then also Leyte governor.

Already under Martial Law, Marcos and his cronies were in the brink of
transferring businesses from unfriendly traders to his cronies,
including, among others, Gilberto Duavit, Cesar Zalamea, Alejandro
Melchor, Juan Ponce Enrile, Roberto Benedicto, Placido Mapa, Geronimo
Velasco, the Ayalas and individuals whose family names were only
mentioned like Dissini and Angara, who comprise the new oligarchy in
the Marcos regime.

The cable told Washington that Marcos “has conducted his continuous
fight with the oligarchs with a persistent skill and toughness, but in
an atmosphere of growing charges of corruption and duplicity.”

Few months after the declaration of martial law, the public was wary
of the role of his wife, Imelda, her family and entourage.

“Our summary appraisal is that the concentration of economic power in
and around the Palace has progresses more or less without interruption
since martial law.  While there is a strong and predictable tendency
of onlookers to see the process only as the enhancement of personal
wealth, and for many Filipinos to be fairly relaxed about the
process,” the cable said.

Aside from the Lopezes, other victims of Marcos was former Ambassador
to the US Ernesto Lagdameo who was pressured to give in the control of
Philippine Standard, an American-minority owned producer of sanitary
wares.  A Palace group formed Fortuna Ceramics to buy out Lagdameo.

Also targeted by Marcos were the Aquino family businesses. Benigno
Aquino Jr. (1932-1983) was elected senator in 1967 and since then had
aimed his attacks to Marcos. Among the Aquino assets and interests
were the Pantranco, Hacienda Luisita and First United Bank.

As to the Osmeñas, Marcos belittled the Cebu-based family as it barely
own small-scale firms and the family was purely politicians.

However, Marcos was advised to deal “generously” Serge Osmeña because
he needed his support in dealing with Malaysians over Sabah issue
since the Cebuano “has residual claim” to Sabah.  However, this issue
was not explained thoroughly.

In the case of the Lopez businesses, there was a need of skillful
maneuvers “because they are large and very leveraged.

The cable said the book value of Meralco and Benpres was around $1
billion in 1972, of which more than $800 million represented debt,
mostly to US entities.

Romualdez took over Meralco while Benedicto had taken over the
television and radio networks.

In January 1975, the government, through Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile,
took interest in Luzon Stevedoring, which was a good prospect because
it had been an excellent growth company.  Dislodged shareholders were
Don Marshall, an American, the Puyat family, and employees of the
firm.

The Marcos dictatorship had also placed its men in various mining
firms like Marcopper, Atlas, and Benguet.

In banking, the government had direct acquisition of shares in
Development Bank of the Philippines, Philippine National Bank,
Veterans Bank and even the Government Service Insurance System.

Brandishing that the main reason why he declared martial law was the
attempt to his life, Marcos ordered the reinvestigation of the charges
against Lopez Jr., Serge Osmeña, and 11 others, including Don Eñing
and American Amcit Lehman.

The case dragged on with no formal charges filed against the suspects.
 The American embassy was so concerned that then US Ambassador William
Sullivan sent several cables, saying several Americans were also
implicated to the assassination plot.

GM Wesley So

March 24, 2013
GM Wesley So of the Philippines is the youngest chess player who barged into the elite 2700 club. He is currently at No. 51 with ELO rating 2701.0.  He was born on October 9, 1993.  The second youngest is Fabiano Carruana of Italy at age 20.

Jail bosses deceive de Lima Told riots to happen over ‘kubol’ By Jimmy Pilapil, Correspondent IT was not true that the 12,000 inmates at New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City (Metro Manila) threatened to stage deadly riots inside the maximum security compound if Justice Secretary Leila de Lima would not halt demolition of “kubols” or huts inside NBP, the national penitentiary. Truth was corrupt NBP and Bureau of Corrections officials had succeeded in making de Lima believe that ordinary convicts were against the dismantling of the kubols set up by Chinese drug lords. As a result, the Justice chief on Thursday ordered NBP guards to stop tearing the kubols down and ordered NBP Superintendent Ramon Reyes to submit a report within a week on how to dismantle the huts without risking a backlash from the inmates. On Tuesday, de Lima inspected the national penitentiary and ordered prison guards to destroy the kubols upon seeing with her own eyes the cubicles of the Chinese drug lords enjoying amenities of a regular ritzy abode complete with appliances in the kitchen, dinning area, living room with electric fans and air-conditioning unit while poor convicts are cramped in a small hot area. She was accompanied by members of the House justice panel who were trying to figure out how homicide convict and former Gov. Jose Antonio Leviste of Batangas was able to get out of his prison cell without proper permit from NBP authorities on May 18. “The (Justice) secretary was tricked by the corrupt officials. These scalawags have no other choice but to do everything to stop the demolition of the kubols or else they will suffer the repercussions— either these Chinese drug lords will stop the ‘parating’ (grease money) or ‘ikakanta’ nila king sino-sino sa mga opisyal ang tumatanggap ng limpak-limpak na pera (they will divulge the identities of the officials receiving money from them in exchange for the privileges),” an informant from the office of the Bureau of Corrections director’s office told The Manila Times. The source said that the inmates were in fact happy while witnessing the prison guards dismantle the kubols inside the 13 buildings of the maximum security camp also on Tuesday. “The poor inmates were very happy because they would be treated equally (with the huts gone). In fact, they wanted these cubicles demolished to give them more room inside the building,” the informant added. The source clarified that what the ordinary inmates wanted not to be dismantled were the kubols made from nipa and bamboo set up outside the buildings. “These huts are very important for the ordinary inmates because they are where they stay to escape from the excruciating heat inside the buildings,” the informant said. Easier said than done Early morning of Thursday, de Lima admitted that dismantling the kubols of the drug lords inside NBP was easier said than done. She was quoted to have said that it was “an operational nightmare” to dismantle the huts because prison “gangs” manage and maintain them. “This is an operational nightmare. Aside from the large number of houses set up, we learned that the local gangs manage the kubol system in the compound,” de Lima told a radio interview. Reports said that the Justice chief met with the leaders of the gangs, who expressed objection to the demolition of the cubicles. “The corrupt NBP officials are manipulating all of these. They are afraid of the Chinese drug lords who might spill the beans on them. Corruption is displayed with impunity that even a Justice secretary can fall victim to their machinations,” said the source, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the subject. NBP officials also admitted during Tuesday’s congressional hearing conducted at NBP, that rich inmates, particularly the Chinese drug lords, use their own money to build the kubols. It was also an open secret that these drug lords could not just build their ‘huts unless they coughed out huge sums to get permission from their gang leaders, the overseer (the civilian employee of NBP) and officials of NBP and the corrections bureau. When asked to name the corrupt NBP and bureau officials who deceived de Lima, the informant refused to answer, except saying that these few officials are easy to identify. The Justice secretary also on Thursday said that she was pushing for a drug-free penal system in the country. During a press conference, de Lima vowed to do everything to stop the drug menace inside NBP. “I told them (NBP authorities) I want this institution to be drug-free. I will do everything within my power to stop this problem,” she said. De Lima added that she would hold officials accountable for allowing prisoners to use cellular phones, whichshe said could be used in their drug transactions. With report from Jomar Canlas

Jail bosses deceive de Lima

Told riots to happen over ‘kubol’
By Jimmy Pilapil, Correspondent
IT was not true that the 12,000 inmates at New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City (Metro Manila) threatened to stage deadly riots inside the maximum security compound if Justice Secretary Leila de Lima would not halt demolition of “kubols” or huts inside NBP, the national penitentiary.
Truth was corrupt NBP and Bureau of Corrections officials had succeeded in making de Lima believe that ordinary convicts were against the dismantling of the kubols set up by Chinese drug lords.
As a result, the Justice chief on Thursday ordered NBP guards to stop tearing the kubols down and ordered NBP Superintendent Ramon Reyes to submit a report within a week on how to dismantle the huts without risking a backlash from the inmates.
On Tuesday, de Lima inspected the national penitentiary and ordered prison guards to destroy the kubols upon seeing with her own eyes the cubicles of the Chinese drug lords enjoying amenities of a regular ritzy abode complete with appliances in the kitchen, dinning area, living room with electric fans and air-conditioning unit while poor convicts are cramped in a small hot area.
She was accompanied by members of the House justice panel who were trying to figure out how homicide convict and former Gov. Jose Antonio Leviste of Batangas was able to get out of his prison cell without proper permit from NBP authorities on May 18.
“The (Justice) secretary was tricked by the corrupt officials. These scalawags have no other choice but to do everything to stop the demolition of the kubols or else they will suffer the repercussions— either these Chinese drug lords will stop the ‘parating’ (grease money) or ‘ikakanta’ nila king sino-sino sa mga opisyal ang tumatanggap ng limpak-limpak na pera (they will divulge the identities of the officials receiving money from them in exchange for the privileges),” an informant from the office of the Bureau of Corrections director’s office told The Manila Times.
The source said that the inmates were in fact happy while witnessing the prison guards dismantle the kubols inside the 13 buildings of the maximum security camp also on Tuesday.
“The poor inmates were very happy because they would be treated equally (with the huts gone). In fact, they wanted these cubicles demolished to give them more room inside the building,” the informant added.
The source clarified that what the ordinary inmates wanted not to be dismantled were the kubols made from nipa and bamboo set up outside the buildings.
“These huts are very important for the ordinary inmates because they are where they stay to escape from the excruciating heat inside the buildings,” the informant said.
Easier said than done
Early morning of Thursday, de Lima admitted that dismantling the kubols of the drug lords inside NBP was easier said than done.
She was quoted to have said that it was “an operational nightmare” to dismantle the huts because prison “gangs” manage and maintain them.
“This is an operational nightmare. Aside from the large number of houses set up, we learned that the local gangs manage the kubol system in the compound,” de Lima told a radio interview.
Reports said that the Justice chief met with the leaders of the gangs, who expressed objection to the demolition of the cubicles.
“The corrupt NBP officials are manipulating all of these. They are afraid of the Chinese drug lords who might spill the beans on them.
Corruption is displayed with impunity that even a Justice secretary can fall victim to their machinations,” said the source, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the subject.
NBP officials also admitted during Tuesday’s congressional hearing conducted at NBP, that rich inmates, particularly the Chinese drug lords, use their own money to build the kubols.
It was also an open secret that these drug lords could not just build their ‘huts unless they coughed out huge sums to get permission from their gang leaders, the overseer (the civilian employee of NBP) and officials of NBP and the corrections bureau.
When asked to name the corrupt NBP and bureau officials who deceived de Lima, the informant refused to answer, except saying that these few officials are easy to identify.
The Justice secretary also on Thursday said that she was pushing for a drug-free penal system in the country.
During a press conference, de Lima vowed to do everything to stop the drug menace inside NBP.
“I told them (NBP authorities) I want this institution to be drug-free. I will do everything within my power to stop this problem,” she said.
De Lima added that she would hold officials accountable for allowing prisoners to use cellular phones, whichshe said could be used in their drug transactions.
With report from Jomar Canlas

Lawyer of Hacienda Luisita farmers, nominated for Ombudsman post

May 16, 2011

Lawyer of Hacienda Luisita farmers, nominated for Ombudsman post
By Jaime Pilapil

The lawyer of a group of farmers of Hacienda Luisita has been nominated on Monday for the post of Ombudsman before the Judicial Bar Council.

Marlon Juliano Manuel, 41, currently executive director of Ateneo de Manila University-based Alternative Law Groups (ALG), a coalition of twenty non-government organizations in the Philippines that adhere to the principles and values of alternative or social development-oriented law practice, was nominated to replaced resigned Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

Supporters of Manuel trooped to the JBC secretariat at the Supreme Court office on Padre Faura Street, Manila in the morning to beat the deadline of the submission of nominations.

In separate letters to the JBC, former Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) undersecretary Hector Soliman and noted constitutionalist Christian Monsod pushed for the appointment of d Manuel, saying the latter’s experience as human rights lawyer and his “passion for justice” make him deserving to be the next Ombudsman.

“The underperformance of the Office of the Ombudsman, in its critical task of being the people’s champion against anything illegal, improper, unjust or inefficient in government, is largely due to the fact that the appointing power invariably looks only at the legal credentials of the nominees,” said Monsod.

“Marlon has honed his skills over the years in the area of litigation, having appeared in all levels of judicial and quasi-judicial tribunals, including the Supreme Court. He combines practical skillss in the courtroom with his academic knowledge as a professor of constitutional law,” added Soliman.

Manuel, a 5th placer in 1994 Bar exam, is currently the national coordinator of ALG aside from teaching law at the college of laws of Ateneo de Manila University and the University of Sto. Tomas.

He finished law at Ateneo de Manila University School of Law Juris Doctor in 1994. He was second honors, an Evelio Javier Leadership awardee for having been elected president of the Ateneo Law Student Council (1993-1994).

He also also took his undergraduate at Ateneo de Manila University, College of Arts and Sciences 1990, major in Legal Management and a dean’s lister. He graduated salutorian in high school at St. Augustine College in Baliuag, Bulacan; an honorable mention in elementary at St. Mary’s Academy also in Baliuag, Bulacan.

“He is a bar topnotcher, professor of law, public interest litigator, justice educator, good governance & justice reform advocate, human rights defender, organizational and project management expert, regional and international worker, author. He is an embodiment of competence, probity an integrity. An independent Ombudsman starts with Marlon J. Manuel,” said Raymond Salas of the Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal (SALIGAN), where Manuel spent 10 years as executive director after a brief stint as associate of the SyCip Salazar Hernandez and Gatmaitan law offices.

Manuel, 41, is a fellow of the Social Weather Stations (SWS), a non-stock, non-profit, social research organization. He is also curretly the lead counsel of the Philippine Airlines Employees Association.

Since 1996, he has gained one and a half decades of experience in social justice and human rights lawyering.

Among the most notable cases that Manuel has handled were the public interest cases against Executive Order 464, Proclamation 1017; the attempt to change the 1987 Constitution, where he had the opportunity to speak before the Supreme Court during the respective oral arguments of the three cases; the case involving the farmers of Sumilao, Bukidnon, where he served as one of the farmers’ lead counsel.

He is also at present a partner at Dellosa Mendoza Bag-ao and Manuel (DMBM) law firm.

He is currently a member of the executive committee of Legal Network for Truthful Elections.

Manuel had been consistently involved in public interest cases, representing vulnerable and marginalized groups, such as workers, farmers, women, indigenous peoples and local communities.

In 2000, he acted as counsel for a number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and people’s organizations (POs) that challenged the constitutionality of a provision in the year 2000 General Appropriations Act which placed P10 Billion of the local governments’ Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) under “Unprogrammed Funds”. In an en banc decision that was rendered in 2005 (ACORD v. Zamora, G.R. No. 144256), the Supreme Court granted the petition and declared the Year 2000 GAA unconstitutional insofar as it set apart P10 Billion of the IRA as “Unprogrammed Funds”.

In 2007 and 2008, Manuel was involved as one of the lawyers of the farmers of Sumilao, Bukidnon, who challenged San Miguel Corporation’s (SMC) ownership of a 144 hectare land that had earlier been given to the farmers under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.

Manuel is a member of the editorial board of the Hague Journal on the Rule of Law, a new cross-disciplinary journal devoted to academic and practitioner analysis of rule of law promotion. ###

‘Sleep-out’ nowhere in BuCor manual

By Jaime Pilapil

NO one among the three Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officials knew for certain why murder convict Jose Antonio Leviste was granted a “sleep-out” privilege.
Sleep-out privilege means the “living-out” inmate can sleep in any house, whether owned by a resident inside the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP) compound or in a special hut the prisoner has built himself.
In the case of Leviste, a 71-year-old former governor, he constructed a hut near the Ina ng Awa Catholic Church or right inside the Environmental Center that his pro-environment foundation has built.
Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno was said to have donated to the foundation P200,000 as seed money.
During a hearing conducted by a panel from the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday, BuCor Assistant Director and Officer-in-Charge Teodora Diaz, NBP Superintendent Ramon Reyes and his predecessor, Armando Miranda, seemed confused about the sleep-out scheme.
State Counsel Wilberto Tolitol noticed that approval of application for the sleep-out privilege was a decision of the NBP superintendent and was not even in the BuCor manual.
BuCor Director Ernesto Diokno canceled the sleep-out privilege for 109 inmates on sleep-out status right after the May 18 incident where Leviste made his way to Makati City (Metro Manila), apparently right under the noses of BuCor officials.
The officials explained that the sleep-out system for inmates is different from the living-out system.
Reyes said that inmates detained at the minimum security camp are automatically granted living-out status either because they are about to complete the service of their sentences or because they are 70 years old or above.
He added that those living out can roam the NBP compound during daytime as part of BuCor’s program to help them reintegrate into society.
Diaz said that the sleep-out privilege is given to inmates who have “special skills” such as those of Leviste who, he added, is n expert in tree-planting.
The DOJ panel discovered that the former governor right after a Makati City court convicted him of murder was first detained at the NBP’s Reception and Diagnostic Center (RDC) for a year in 2009, or a year before he was transferred to the minimum security compound in July 2010.
BuCor Agricultural Production head Wilson Marquez then recommended to Miranda to grant Leviste a sleep out status that year.
The DoJ panel members were amazed at the reason why the former governor was granted sleep-out privilege when any person can plant a tree.
“He has a special skill in propagation of seedlings, is that a special skill?” State Prosecutor Rohaira Lao asked.
Diaz explained that Leviste has the right to sleep near his project.
“Maybe, but since this is the project of Mr. Leviste, I think he has the option to be there to supervise it,” she said.
Diaz then disclosed that it was Marquez who requested that Leviste be given sleep-out status, although this privilege is not provided in the BuCor operating manual
Miranda explained that the scheme has been a practice since 1986.
But State Counsel Charlene Mae Tapic asked why the sleep-out policy was not included in the revised manual in 2000.#

The changing of the guard that was not

By Jaime Pilapil

ON March 9 this year and acting on the 2007 recommendations of the Office of the Ombudsman, Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director Ernesto Diokno, now on-leave, issued a removal order against Assistant Director Teodora Diaz, only to designate her as officer in charge(OIC) of the bureau on May 21, two days after the caper of homicide convict and former Gov. Jose Antonio Leviste of Batangas.

Also ejected from his post was Diaz’s husband, Armando, who was assigned at the fingerprint office.

Diokno then designated Supt. Armando Miranda of the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP), in a concurrent capacity, as OIC assistant director for administration and rehabilitation.

At present Diaz is the OIC of BuCor pending the outcome of investigation by a five-man panel from the Department of Justice of the May 18 incident where Leviste was able to get out of the NBP in Muntinlupa City (Metro Manila) without official permission.

Meanwhile, Miranda has been unseated and was placed on floating status.

Diokno is on official leave pending results of the Justice department inquiry into Leviste’s May 18 caper.

Records showed that the decision of the Ombudsman was only received by Diokno on January 27, 2011.

It was signed by Deputy Ombudsman for the Military—Emilio Gonzales 3rd—the very person who had been ordered by Malacanang dismissed from service for sitting on the case of a police officer.
It took more than one month for Diokno to issue a removal order against the Diaz couple.

The ejection of the Diazes stemmed from a July 26, 2007 ruling of the Office of Ombudsman that found the couple guilty of grave misconduct, for which they were meted out the penalty of dismissal from the service pursuant to Section 52, Rule IV of the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service.

The case against the Diaz couple arose from an anonymous letter denouncing the unexplained wealth of the spouses while being
employed by BuCor.

Investigation showed that the couple earned only P160,672 in salaries from 1994 to 1998 but their net worth had ballooned to P967,580.

“There is a difference of P806,908, which from the documents gathered cannot be substantiated,” according to the nine-page decision.

The Diaz couple denied the charges and cited income derived from lendings and rentals, among others.

But the Ombudsman said that the couple failed to submit proofs that they had borrowed money from individuals and corporations.

“The unsubstantiated allegations of respondents on those respect are considered self-serving and deserve scant consideration. Bare allegations, unsubstantiated by evidence, is not equivalent to proof under the Rules of Court [Garcia v De Vera, 418 SCRA 27),” the decision said.

The Ombudsman also discovered that the couple failed to file their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth for 1995 and that they did not declare their rental income in their 1998 SALN.

The Manila Times tried to get the side of Mrs. Diaz but was told that she was not in her office.