Friday, April 8, 2011

Philippine Government Happy with getting Peanuts

The United States gave the Philippines something to be happy about - chump change (Mga barya na binibigay sa mga pulubi). And we are ecstatic. Remember President Cory Aquino's address to the US Congress? After that, the United States gave us $8M in aid. And we were happy. That is chump change. The United States was not happy about Cory's win in 1986. If they were, that aid would have been a lot bigger. But they had to look like they were happy to have democracy restored in the Philippines because the world was watching. In this case, $132,000. That will not even buy you a house here in Toronto. Sa United States, baka nga dahil maraming mga foreclosed properties doon dahil mas matindi ang tama ng recession sa kanila.



THE United States government yesterday turned over to the Philippines government proceeds from the forfeiture of the property of former Armed Forces  comptroller Jacinto Ligot amounting to US$132,000.

The check was turned over by US Ambassador Harry Thomas, US Department of Justice Attache’ Robert Courtney III, and Customs Enforcement attache’ James Ilusorio to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

The forfeited property, known as the “Buena Park Property” located at 7102 Stanton Avenue, Buena Park in California, was registered in the name of Erlinda Ligot, the wife of the retired general.

In September 2009, under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, the DoJ requested the assistance of US authorities for the return of the proceeds of the sale of a property registered in the name of Mrs. Ligot.

The request was part of governmentefforts  to recover the unexplained wealth of Ligot who along with several other key military officers, were accused of illegally amassing huge amounts of money.

In 2005, the Office of the Ombudsman asked the US Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the forfeiture of the “Buena Park Property.”

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. said the US government’s move is a welcome development and a big boost to the government’s anti-corruption drive.

“We consider this development, the first of its kind in the history of our Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, a reflection of the United States’ commitment  to help  President Aquino  act decisively against corruption  aid  our government punish those who have stolen from the coffers of our people,” Ochoa said.

Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri appealed to the United States government to also look into the other properties of the Ligots in the US which they   allegedly acquired through  illegal means.

“We’d like to thank the Ambassador for that type of response within their jurisdiction. Ang hamon natin sa US government, and I’d like to appeal to the Ambassador, isama na ang bahay, condo at ari-arian sa US (nina Ligot). Kunin ‘yan at i-foreclose (to) speed up forfeiture case,” Zubiri said.

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