Friday, October 31, 2008

Directions in going to Baguio

I was trying to seek directions in going to Baguio City through the internet.
I came accross this site:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Local swine scam exposed

The Commission on Audit has exposed what is deemed to be the local version of the “swine scam” involving top officials of the Dumaguete city agriculture office.
The Commission on Audit (COA) has uncovered several anomalies involving city agriculturist Engr. Alfredo delos Santos and staff in his office, in connection withy the city government’s Swine Fattening–Grow-Now-Pay-Later-Project (GNPLP).
The Swine Fattening Grow-Now-Pay-Later-Project (GNPLP) aims to give recipients the feeds required for swine fattening.
Under this program the recipients, after selling the fattened swine, will pay the value of the feeds they had received, plus one percent.
The COA has found out that there is an unaccounted balance or “shortage” or “deficiency” in the financial records of this project.
The COA has also found out that the beneficiaries of this swine fattening project were the wife of the city agriculturist, and three of his staff.
The COA also discovered that after public funds were released to purchase the swine feeds, not a single centavo has been repaid to the city government, since the repayments by the beneficiaries were diverted and treated as “revolving fund” in the name of the management committee.
“As of December 31, 2007, not a single centavo has been returned to the city,” the COA reported.

Conflict of interest

The city agriculturist, Engr. Alfredo Delos Santos, appears to be suffering from a conflict of interest.
The COA reported: “An examination of the list of recipients/beneficiaries showed three (3) employees of the City Agriculturist’s Office availed of the program.”
The COA reported added: “An immediate member of the OIC City Agriculturist availed of the program five (5) times, for total loaned amount of P62,837.00.”

“Real Intent” questioned

“This fact raises questions as to the real intent of the project considering that this office is the proponent and implementor” said the COA,
The COA said officers of the city agriculturists office should have inhibited themselves from becoming beneficiaries.
In fact, the signatory to the memoranda of this Swine fattening project was the OIC City agriculturist (Engr. Alfredo Delos Santos) himself, thus making the agreements with his family and staff high questionable, the COA said.

Delos Santos defends wife

In response to these COA findings, Engr. Alfredo Delos Santos defended his wife Cleta Delos Santos’ involvement as a major beneficiary of the Swine Fattening Grow-Now-Pay-Later-Project.
Delos Santos downplayed his wife’s involvement saying: “The inclusion of Mrs. Cleta Delos Santos and three other employees as recipient/beneficiaries is incident to their being members of the organization which tended to, and supervised the Grow-Now-Pay-Later-Scheme and the Swine Fattening.”
Engr. Delos Santos explained that in fact, Mrs. Cleta Delos Santos was past president of the RIC Motong, and the President of the Federation of Rural Improvement Club of Dumaguete City for 2006 and 2007.
It was actually the association of Federation of Farmers Association that was the recipients/beneficiaries, but being President of both organizations, it was inevitable that their names would be included as recipient, beneficiaries.

Nothing anomalous

City agriculturist Engr. Delos Santos maintained: “There is nothing anomalous for members, particularly officers of the Federation who are involved in the day-to-day operations of the organization because the administration, supervision and operations are counted on them.”
Delos Santos debunked as “misplaced” and “without basis” the allegations of anomaly regarding the beneficiaries of the swine fattening project involving his wife and three of his staff.

Fund shortage confirmed

Meanwhile, Engr. Delos Santos confirmed the shortage in the swine fattening program amounting to P21,000.00.
In the investigation it appeared that a portion of the feeds intended for the Grow-Now-Pay-Later-Project were “intentionally used” as feeds for the city Farmstead in 2004.
The farmstead caretaker unfortunately, cannot recall how many bags of feeds were used or consumed in feeding the animals in the city farmstead, Delos Santos explained.

Wife also beneficiary in another project

The COA also reported that Mrs. Cleta Delos Santos, the city agriculturist's wife, is also listed as loan beneficiary in another program under the city agriculture office. Records show the wife also loaned from the Plant-Now-Pay-Later-Program, presumably a project similar to the Grow-Now-Pay-Later-Project. Still, six other employees of the city agriculture office were listed as recipients of this project.
Mrs. Cleta Delos Santos must be a very active individual.
Her name crops up in the money-related loan projects in the government department that her husband heads.

Friday, October 24, 2008

City office illegally issuing temporary receipts

When you pay anything to the city government, always demand an official receipt.
Do not accept anything short of the official receipt.
If a city office to whom you paid money issues a temporary receipt in lieu of an official receipt, tell that collecting personnel that this is illegal.
The law, the revised administrative code provides that No payment of any nature shall be received by a collecting officer without immediately issuing an official receipt in acknowledgment thereof.
The government’s accounting and auditing manual explicitly prohibits the issuance of temporary receipts: “At no instance shall temporary receipts be issued to acknowledge receipt of public funds.
The Commission on Audit has discovered that the city agriculturist’s office, crop division, had been issuing temporary receipts (T.R.), instead of official receipts (O.R.) in the sale of crops.
This is illegal, says the COA.
The COA conducted an examination of the file copies of documents kept by Ms. Felicitas A. Barba, Agriculturist II, the center chief, crop division.
The COA found several ORIGINAL copies of already-issued official receipts.
The COA was surprised---or suspicious?--- why already-issued official receipts were still in Ms. Barba’s possession when these official receipts are supposed to be in the possession of crop buyers.
The COA then discovered that what were issued by the office were not official receipts, but only “temporary acknowledgment receipts.”
According to Ms. Barba, upon the sale of crops, the buyers are issued temporary acknowledgement receipts, especially during those times when she is not around.
Ms. Barba continued to explain, that in her absence, she designates a utility worker, named Eddie Apenas to accept sales of crops and instructs him to issue temporary receipts to the buyers, prior to issuance of official receipts which are in her custody.
The COA inquired, why official receipts (already issued) were still in her possession.
Ms. Barba explained these official receipts will be given to the buyers “later”, or when they come back to buy again.
The COA asked whether the office has file copies of the temporary receipts.
None, said Barba.
This is illegal, COA reminded.
This practice may raise suspicions as regards the amounts appearing in the temporary receipts, with that indicated/transferred in the official receipts, the alarmed COA noted.
There is no way to trace and compare the T.R. against the O.R. because there were no file copies of the issued temporary receipts.
The COA also raised the possibility that no official receipts may have been issued for some collections.
If this is the case, to whose pocket do these collections go?
Ms. Barba said she has been recently designated. She is not aware of the regulations.
After the COA discovery, Ms. Barba said the practice of issuing temporary receipts will be stopped.
Here is a possible scenario, as may be feared by the COA: For example, P500 was paid by a buyer. A temporary receipt of P500 is issued (by a utility worker) and given to the buyer. But what if only P100 is “later” written in the official receipt ?
Remember, the COA uncovered issued official receipts in Ms. Barba’s possession.
Is this scenario impossible, improbable, remote?
What’s your answer?

Winner at starbucks

I won a free frap at Starbucks today.
I am in Cebu for a hearing.
I dropped by at Starbucks at the northwing of SM Cebu.
I merely wanted to check the mails on my computer.
So I purchased a Globequest prepaid internet card.
When the cashier at Starbucks punched my transaction, the receipt yielded that I won a free tall drink.
This one is literally cool.
By the way, I ain't a coffee drinker.
But I can say Starbucks is my cup of tea.
I was instructed to go to a website called
I responded to a survey, generally on Starbucks services.
At the end of the survey, I was given a "customer code" in numbers.
I wrote the numebrs on the receipt and handed it back to the cashier.
Then I got my free tall drink, mocha frap.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Letter to city agriculturist

I sent a letter to the city agriculturist of Dumaguete City , asking for his side about the report of the Commission on Audit which discloses very disturbing anomalies in this city office. I realized that the anomalies that has plagued the Department of Agriculture (read: Joc Joc Bolante, swin scam, etc.) has trickled down to the local counterparts. Here is the letter:

October 17, 2008

Alfredo de los Santos
City Agriculturist
Dumaguete City


May we kindly request your side about the COA report for 2007 which points to certain questionable transactions by the city agriculture office. We intend to await your side on the matter before publication. But please give us your response on or before October 23, 2008.

The COA report for the year 2007 discusses its findings on the city agriculture office on its “Part II – Findings and Recommendations” Nos. 9, 10, 11, 12. A copy of the COA report is available at the COA office where we got our copy.

Specifically we seek your side on the report that your wife, Cleta de los Santos, and city agriculture office employees were recipients/beneficiaries of Plant now pay later scheme, Grow-now-pay later scheme swine fattening.

We also want to know why crops sold in the city agriculture office were so low than usual market prices, and why the city farmstead was a prominent buyer.

We look forward to getting your side.

I can be contacted at Cel phone number 0920-932-6537, or email at

Thank you.

Elmar Jay Martin I. Dejaresco
Associate Editor

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mama won P10,000 Premyo sa Resibo

My mother, Marlen I. Dejaresco, is one of the daily winners of the Bureau of Internal Revenue's "Premyo sa Resibo" (Prize in Receipts).
She won by just collecting official receipts and texting details (like the T.I.N. of the store, receipt number, amount of purchase, etc) of each official to a certain cellphone number, at 9777 or 9778.
Quite easy.
If you want to join, just go to or
This is a promotional endeavor of the Bureau if Internal Revenue to encourage taxpayers to demand receipts from commercial enterprises.
This would, in turn, push commercial establsihments to issue official receipts, which would enable the B.I.R. to collect more revenues for the government.
The promo is to let taxpayers, text to a certain cellphone number the details of their accumulated receipts, which would then be electronically raffled by the B.I.R.
Every day there will be a winner who will win P10,000.
The winner will also be entitled to join another raffle with bigger prizes like P100,000 and P1,000,000.00.
However, while it was my mother who won, it was me who appeared as the winner on paper because I had to be the one to personally claim the prize at Philweb offices at the 17F Enterprise Building, Ayala Ave cor Paseo de Roxas Makati.
Mama sent me the original of the winning receipt, an official receipt issued by Shoemart, when my father, Ely made some purchases there recently.
I presented two identification cards, and gave a photograph.
Then I was issued the P10,000.00 check in my name.
This is a cool way to be richer by P10,000.
Or, it could be P100,000 or P1,000,000.00.

P.S. Photo shows Rhodell Valdez of Philweb handing over the check to me at Philweb offices.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My college diploma

I found my college diploma today.
It is already yellowish, after just about sixteen years since grduation.
I graduated with a degree of bachelor in business administration, Silliman University in 1992.
I decided to just scan it and post in the blog, in case the original gets lost again, or self-destructs.
After college graduation, I took one year off, and continued working in Dumaguete City in my father's newspaper and radio station.
Then I proceeded to law school.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lawsuit vs. God junked

Remember that ridiculous lawsuit filed against God?
The judge handling the case has dismissed the complaint.
The judge's reason is hilarious:
The lawsuit could not be properly served because of the absence of any listed address of the defendant.
Would you believe that the complainant in this case is a lawmaker?
Despite the dismissal, the complainant has not ruled out an appeal.
He said that since the judge ruled that the defendant has no listed address, he took it to mean that God's is omni-present, therefore, had proper notice of the lawsuit.
This is too deep...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Detainees' day

While awaiting a hearing at the Quezon City court, I took a picture of detainees who were awaiting trial for that day. They are placed in an enclosed holding area before they are transported to their respective courtrooms. This shows how congested probably the local jails are, for these in the picture are only those detainees whose cases were calendared for hearing that day.

Monday, October 13, 2008

SC Probes Arson in Tagaytay Court

The Surpeme Court is conducting a full dress-investigation in what appears to be a case of arson involving the single-sala Regional Trial Court Branch 18 in Tagaytay City.
Initial reports disclose that some court papers, documents, and even physical exhibits were burned inside the sala of the Regional Trial Court Branch 18 in Tagaytay City around 6:30 a.m. Sunday October 12, 2008.
Lawyers supposed to be attending a court hearing Monday were greeted by a scene of tense court personnel, under the watchful eyes of elements of the Supreme Court security force in black uniforms.
Court personnel, appeared to be doing their normal duties, but refused to talk to lawyers who were clueless as to what had happened, and what was happening.
No personnel wanted to discuss what happened.
I sensed something was wrong when I went straight inside the staff room to inquire about a case I was handling.
A person in black uniform who I did not recognize asked me if I was a court personnel, and then handed me a yellow pad asking me to list my name, apparently for attendance.
I told him I am not a court personnel.
I went out and talked to the men-in-black, who introduced themselves as security forces from the Supreme Court.
"This court is under investigation," said one of them.
The files are to be audited, he added.
I asked why, and he explained what had happened the previous day.
It appears that a burned candle and traces of petroleum were noted inside the court room.
"Possible arson," the man said.
Outside the courtroom, I saw black particles, that resembled burned papers scattered on the ground.
The judge was not there.
The presiding judge of Branch 18 RTC Tagaytay is Edwin Larida.
There are assisting judges, like Judge Emma Young, from the Manila RTC, and another judge whose name escapes me.
Neither was the clerk of court present, Atty. Stanlee Calma.
There were police personnel on guard.
I heard that the court was supposed to be subject of an impending audit, but was "pre-empted" by the Sunday incident.
Although I could not confirm this officially.
"No sign yet of any forcible entry," according to one of the men present.
Soon, lawyers began arriving, not knowing what was going-on.
I tried to inquire from court personnel but they refused to speak a word about what was going on.
"Wala kaming alam attorney," said one personnel.
Tagaytay City is a single-sala court.
With the investigation on-going, cases will be stalled all the more.
On each hearing day, about thirty cases are calendared.
Obviously, this area needs additional courts.
I heard, the justice-on-wheels project will be on site to hear cases.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

City vehicles illegally plying the streets

At least forty vehicles owned by the Dumaguete city government are illegally operating in the streets, the 2007 Commission on Audit reported disclosed.
The COA has revealed that thirty four (34) city-owned vehicles are bearing private (green) plates, instead of the mandated red-colored plates.
In addition, seven other city owned vehicles are operating without license plates at all.
The thirty four city owned vehicles bearing private plates consist of 14 Honda motorcycles, 3 Suzuki multi-cabs, 10 dump trucks and 7 service vehicles of various brands.
The COA also reports that a Hummer assigned to the city economic enterprises department, an ambulance assigned to the health office, an Isuzu dump truck and four Honda motorcycles assigned to the city planning, PNP, sectoral desk and city treasurer’s office are all without license plates (whether private or gov’t owned).
The COA reports that one motorcycle was seen to have government plate with the numbers painted green, ostensibly to make it appear that the motor is not government-owned.

No "For Official Use"

In addition, the COA reports that out of 103 city vehicles inspected, 76 vehicles were not marked with “FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY.”
So, government vehicles bear private plates.
It is not marked “FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY”.
What is the result?
According to the COA, “ the use of private plates, without ‘FOR OFFICIAL USE’ markings allows the misuse or personal use of such vehicles by officials and employees assigned thereto.”

City blames LTO

But the OIC of the general services office is blaming the LTO for non-availability of government (red) plates.
The General Services Officer explains that private plates on government vehicles could not be replaced with government plates because the LTO “does not have a supply of government plates.”

Traffic Code prohibits substitution of plates

However, the Traffic Code (R.A. 4136), does not allow substitution of private plates if government plates are not available.
Section 17 (a) of the Traffic Code says that ”in case no number plates are available, the Commissioner or his deputies may issue, without charge, a written permit temporarily authorizing the operation of any motor vehicles with other means of identification.”
Government vehicles with private plates are violating Section 7 of R.A. 4136 or the Traffic Code, which mandates that government vehicles shall be registered as either government automobiles, government trucks, or government motorcycles.
As a matter of fact, assuming that there are no available government plates in the LTO, it is no justification to procure private license plates.
The LTO will just issue a temporary written permit, without any charge.
Besides, according to section 8 of the traffic code, registration under government motor vehicle shall be free of charge.
So why go to the extent of procuring private plates, and mis-representing a government vehicle as private?

The COA’s suspicions are correct:
This grand deception will allow the mis-use, abuse, and private use of such government vehicles outside office hours, like going to the market, going to the beach, going to parties, drinking sessions, going to the cockpit, pang-chicks, among others.

So hopefully the LTO will not have difficulty looking for these illegally operating city vehicles, the COA has listed them down, which we are re-printing, so the public (the real owners of the vehicles) may know.(To enlarge the table point the curser on the image and then left click)

Capturing the moment

A Cebu Pacific Airbus A320 hovers accross the golden backdrop of a darkening Manila sky as a diminishing sun, weary and pink, prepares to retire and call it a day, while at the same time usher the gathering dusk.

Public funds for nose-repair?

Taxpayer’s money, amounting to P778,000.00 have been illegally disbursed by the Dumaguete city government for private purposes.
Illegal private-purpose spending included a P20,000.00 nose-repair for a city government employee’s daughter; another P10,0000.00 was spent for executive check-up; another for plane fare to Manila for an individual for his interview in the U.S. embassy; still another to purchase a hearing aid.
These were just some of the illegal disbursements by the city government uncovered by the commission on audit in its report for 2007.

COA’s slams city

The Commission on Audit has slammed the city government’s blatant illegal use of taxpayer’s money for the benefit purely of private individuals.
This unlawful, criminal practice runs afoul to the basic rule that public funds should not be used for private purposes.
This is a specific limitation by the constitution on the use of public money only for public purpose.
The COA also cites Presidential Decree 1445 or the State Auditing Code.
This law mandates that: "Government funds or property shall be spent or used solely for public purposes"
But the commission on audit is aghast when peoples’ money have been “donated” to private individuals ranging from P10,000 to P20,000 each.
The disbursements have been labeled as “financial assistance” for hospitalization, medical, burial, transportation, expenses, and private affairs.
Spending peoples' money on such private purposes strongly reflects a corrupt and crooked culture of chronic political patronage perpetrated by the city government.
Read: Malversation

Interesting ‘private-purpose’ expenses

Bubble Gang. The COA has reported that the city government anomalously spent P40,000.00 for travel and transportation expenses of the cast and crew of a television program “Bubble Gang” while shooting in Dumaguete City.
The COA’s says this t.v. activity is purely private, not being an activity or program of the city government.
Nose repair. What was eye-catching was the release by the city government of a DBP check no. 23902891 amounting to P20,000.00 paid to one Gilbert Ablong, a city traffic employee, as “financial assistance” for “bone grafting/repair of daughter’s nose”
How does the city government justify this as “public purpose”?
I have heard of public funds used for "road-repair", but not for "nose-repair".
I don't think nose-repair would constitute "public works" so as to justify the use of public funds. What do you think?
U.S. embassy interview. Another financial assistance was to one Dexter P. Noblefranca, for his “plane fare to Manila for interview at the U.S. embassy.” It was charged by the city government as “extra-ordinary expenses”.
The COA said this is not public purpose.
Father’s fare. Another DBP check no. 23903192 amounting to P7,136 was disbursed as financial assistance to transport Rolando Capuyo, a father, to his son's awarding as finalist in the ten outstanding students of the Philippines, charged as “extra ordinary expenses”.
This is not public purpose, says the COA.
Hearing aid. Another DBP check no. 23902570 amounting to P11,000.00 was paid to one Matilda D. Torres as financial assistance to purchase a hearing aid. Not public purpose, says the COA.
Money to Lion’s Club. COA reports a lion's share of peoples' money went to a private entity, the Dumaguete Lion's Club. A DBP check no. 25717252 amounting to P100,000.00 was paid to the Dumaguete Lion’s Club, purportedly for the NegOr. Rehabilitation center.
The COA said the money should not have been given to Lion’s club being a private entity, but direct to the rehab center.

COA summary of private-purpose expenses

The COA has summarized the city government's anomalous disbursements for private purposes using public funds.
Hospitalization and medical expenses P508,596.00
Burial expenses amounted to P81,000.00
Transportation expenses of persons attending conventions, tournaments, etc., P189,142.00
The total amount of public funds spent by the city in 2007 for private purposes was P778,738.20.

Analyzing the disbursements

An analysis of the city's illegal disbursements gives rise to stark revelations.
First, based on the COA report and table, a majority of the recepients of medical, hospitalization, burial, assistance are themselves city government employees, officials, barangay officials, and their relatives (Love your own...political supporters?).
Being employees, they cannot be classified as indigents.
The DSWD has a program where the government gives direct financial assistance to indigents. But the limit is only P2,000 per beneficiary, and definitely only for indigents.


Second observation: 85% of the financial assitance or "donations" extended by the city were made just prior to, or on the month of a signficiant political event---the elections.
The COA table-schedule shows the date the "donations" were extended.
After the elections, the COA list/table of beneficiaries of medical, hospitalization assistance dramatically dropped.
If P580,000.00 were disbursed as "donations" in 2007 by the city for medical, hospitalization assistance, around P500,000 of the donations---or almost 90%---were made prior to, or on the month of the 2007 elections.

Below are three tables presented by the COA listing down how the peoples' money have been illegally spent for private purposes. (To enlarge the table, point the mouse-curser to the table and click the left button)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Savoring Savory

Tita Mamel and Tito Gerald Quelapio recently treated us to a dinner at Savory.
Savory is the restaurant that cooks the finest fried chicken.
It is a very old recipe, perhaps, matching the longetivity of the popular's chicken house Max's Restaurant.
If the older people can remember, Savory Chicken was already popular before. It had its restaurant at the heart of Binondo, Manila's Chinatown.
But it appears the third generation of this family-run business has adopted a strategy of opening branches in various locations in Metro Manila.
We had dinner at Savory outlet in SM Tiendesitas.
It was a sumptuous dinner.
Savordy chicken is so tasty you can eat the chicken by itself.
That is how tasty the chicken is.
It comes with its very unique matching gravy, which all the more makes the chicken a lot tastier.
The next time we ate, we invited our LA-based classmate Oning, who also held his thumbs-up for Savory Chicken.
We went to the branch at SM North EDSA.
There is also one Savory branch at Glorietta IV, over at Food Chioces area.
It offers a "Salo Meal" good for two persons with two slices of Savory chicken, plus side dishes for only P290.
There are various chicken restaurants sprouting all over these days.
But the old Filipino chicken recipes are hard to top.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Double jeopardy

You and I have a right not to be placed in double jeopardy.
Double jeopardy means "double danger".
It is a right not to be placed in danger of being punished again.
Double jeopardy is a concept common in criminal law.
But double jeopardy did not emanate in criminal law.
In criminal law, if an accused is acquitted, he cannot be tried again for that same offense.
Otherwise, he will be placed in "double jeopardy."
I read and learned from a decision of the Supreme Court that the concept of double jeopardy traces its origin from the Bible.
I learned that in the Old Testament book of Nahum 1:12 the Lord God said: "Although I have afflicted thee O Judah, I will afflict thee no more."
In other words, the Lord promised that after He has punished, he does not intended to place Judah in deouble jeopardy of being punished again.
So too, it was during the time of Noah, also in the old testament.
The Lord commanded Noah to build an Ark because the Lord will punish the Earth that was filled with sin.
After "cleansing" the Earth, the Lord promised not to flood the Earth again.
Let me quote the book of Genesis chapter 6 verse 21: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done."
To my mind, it was the Lord that introduced the concept of double jeopardy.
So it is a basic Christian belief that once punished, a person is not to be punished again for the same act.
I raise this because I have a client whose son was penalized by his school with a one-week suspension.
The student had a confrontation with his teacher, which resulted in the student throwing one of the classroom chairs onto a window.
While serving the suspension, the student-son received another order placing him under "preventive" suspension while an investigation is on-going, which investigation may result in punishing the student with expulsion.
The investigation is for the same act or offense committed by the student.
I told the school authorities that what it is doing is violating the student's right not to be in danger of being punished twice for the same act or offense.
I think the school blinked, because the father told me the school authorities want his son to go back to school after serving the first penalty of suspension.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Motorcycle uniform as per LTO

Finally, after days of searching, I came a across a motorcycle driver who has dutifully complied with the requirements of the controversial LTO regulation (AHS-2008-015).
This is the new "uniform" to be worn by all motorcycle drivers everytime they ply the highways.
When you go to church, go marketing, go to school, watch a movie, you have to wear a "uniform" outfit prescribed by the LTO regulation.
I took a picture of this compliant driver named "Bong"