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INFOMERCIALS gamit ng Taxes ng public, ano ang reactions mo?

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posted August 24, 2009 08:46PM
greenarcher
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INFOMERCIALS gamit ng Taxes ng public, ano ang reactions mo?

ito ay yung mga commercials nina Bayani Fernando ng MMDA na informing the public daw bla bla bla

at mga commercials nina Ok Duque...

or nina Gibo Teodoro...

informercials daw ang tawag dito... pero they are being accused by Miriam as
maagang pagkampanya...

kayo? ano ang reactions ninyo dito?


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MANILA, Philippines—Ten government officials spent a whopping P218 million in public funds since last year for “infomercials” that they starred in and which Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago insisted was nothing but premature campaigning for the 2010 elections.

In a privilege speech at the Senate, Santiago called these government officials “rhinoceros” for their “greed for and abuse of public funds.”

The rhinoceros, she said, is a “powerful, herbivarous, thick-skinned perissodactyl mammal with two horns” that had become a “template for Cabinet members and other executive officials who use public funds, or gifts from so-called friends to campaign for next year’s elections.”

“They are all thick-skinned and should be shot on sight,” Santiago said.

She identified the spenders as Augusto Syjuco, chair of the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA); Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay; Vice President Noli de Castro; Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. chair Efraim Genuino; and Health Secretary Francisco Duque.

Also on Santiago’s list were Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Bayani Fernando, Education Secretary Jesli Lapuz, Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane, Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman, and Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno.

Santiago also mentioned Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro Jr., who came out with infomercials (informative commercials) “paid for by friends” but which, she stressed, constituted indirect bribery.

Premature campaigning

The senator delivered her privilege speech two weeks after her economic affairs committee held a hearing on the use of public funds for the infomercials of Cabinet officials who are likely to run in the 2010 elections.

In that hearing, Santiago had called on Cabinet officials with infomercials to stop showing them by the end of the month or she would file charges against them for premature campaigning.

Monday, she reiterated her threat but this time told senators that she would give a copy of her privilege speech to the Office of the Ombudsman, Commission on Elections and Department of Justice.

Santiago said she would seek “criminal prosecution by October, if the executive officials refuse to be educated on the law and continue their mad pursuit of public office by illegal and depraved use of public funds.”

COA report

Quoting a report submitted to her by the Commission on Audit (COA), Santiago said that the Cabinet members spent P117.7 million in infomercials for 2008-2009 and P100.4 million for this year alone, or a grand total of P218 million.

For 2008-2009, this was how they spent for infomercials: Syjuco (P28.3 million), Binay (P23.4 million), De Castro (P18.1 million), Genuino (P14.1 million), Duque (P13.2 million), Fernando (P7.4 million), Lapuz (P5.7 million), Ebdane (P3.8 million), Pangandaman (P2.4 million) and Puno (P900,000).

For this year alone, the top three spenders were Binay (P23.4 million), Syjuco (P22.5 million) and De Castro (P18.1 million).

Unless the Senate warns the officials to stop using public funds, Santiago said they would likely “intensify” their infomercials and thus incur more expenses even as much as P100 million.

Citing COA “audit observations,” the senator mentioned that the agency, for instance, had warned Syjuco three times about his “unnecessary” advertising expenses but “he kept on spending public money.”

Syjuco dance

“The COA has noted that Mr. Syjuco’s ad with professional singer Sarah Geronimo cost the taxpayer P8.3 million,” the senator said.

Santiago elicited giggles from the audience when she commented how Syjuco was shown dancing in the infomercial. Before giving her speech, the senator showed the infomercial of Syjuco dancing with Geronimo as well as those of Puno and Teodoro.

She said Puno charged to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) this year his media greetings to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and “Mr. Puno’s own birthday.”

She then angrily scoffed at the DILG head for allegedly saying that she was running after him.

How could she run after him “when I married one of the handsomest man in the country,” referring to her husband, Narciso, she said.

Santiago also criticized Pangandaman and Ebdane for appearing in the ads of their departments with the President.

“By admitting that public funds were used for these ads, the executive officials are admitting they are guilty of the election offense of using public funds for electioneering,” Santiago said.

She pointed out that Section 261 of the Election Code “prohibits any person under the guise whatsoever, directly or indirectly, to use public funds for campaigning.”

Length of TV ads

Noting that one television network charges P475,000 for 30 seconds of prime time showing of informercials, Santiago mentioned the Cabinet officials and how long their infomercials ran.

Teodoro had the longest infomercial with 1 minute 12 seconds, followed by Ebdane with 1 minute 3 seconds.

Santiago said the infomercial of Finance Secretary Margarito Teves ran for 30 seconds. Teves said during the Senate committee hearing two weeks ago that the ad was paid for by Solar Entertainment.

Santiago said there was no legal basis for TV infomercials and other campaign materials that feature the head of the agency.

The law only provided for public officials to provide information on their policies and procedures, she said.

“Possibly” the only agency required to do so was the Department of Health, given its mandate to the people, she added.

“But even assuming that infomercials have a specific legal basis, there is no legal basis for the appearance of the head of agency in a state-funded infomercial, particularly when he is planning to run for elections,” Santiago said as she dared these officials to cite any specific law.

Question of timing

She said the “dead giveaway” that these officials were using the infomercials for their political ends was the timing of their exposure to the public.

“Why didn’t they start publicizing their pious duty to appear in paid media, especially TV, when they assumed office, many years ago?” she asked.

Santiago said that accepting ads paid for by friends, as in the case of Teodoro and Puno, “constitute an admission of the crime of receiving manifestly excessive gifts in violation of Republic Act No. 3019, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.”

A gift of P1 million alone was considered to be “manifestly excessive,” she said.

“We can only calculate that these ad expenses are arrogantly excessive as in walang-hiyaan na ito,” Santiago retorted.

Saying the country had been “invaded by a herd of rhinoceros that are not only thick-skinned but also dimwitted,” Santiago said these officials “were making public admissions of the prohibited act of accepting a gift which is manifestly excessive.”

Those found guilty of violating the Code of Conduct face a penalty of imprisonment of up to five years and disqualification to hold public office, she said.

Recommendations

Santiago recommended that:

• The Senate abolish appropriations for advertising when it deliberates on the proposed 2010 budget next month.

The Department of Budget and Management allows advertising expenses which, she said, was “hidden” under the general item of maintenance and other operating expenses.

If this has to be kept as a line item, the Senate should impose a condition that infomercials or ads should not feature the head of the agency or any political image or any effort to influence public support for a political candidate.

• Section 59 or the General Provisions on the Use of Savings in the national budget be amended and senators should impose the condition that savings and contingent funds should not be used to augment the budget for professional services and for ad agencies.

• The Comelec recommend to Congress effective measures to minimize election spending as she told the poll body that its refusal to stop premature campaigning “opened the way to a slippery slope.”

• The COA disallow all advertising expenses and to demand that executive officials should return to the government the money they used for their ads.

• ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp., GMA Network and other media outlets and nongovernmental organizations file a complaint in the Comelec for the election offenses she had mentioned against the Cabinet officials.

• Press Secretary Cerge Remonde stop the infomercials of the Cabinet officials.

After her speech, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. asked Santiago if Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap could be included in her speech as he mentioned seeing many tarpaulins featuring the official in Bohol recently.

Pimentel said Yap was said to be running for Congress next year as a representative for Bohol.










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posted August 26, 2009 02:32PM
pyrgard
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Tama maaga na sila nagcampaign gamit ang taxpayers money, kakahiya talaga sila.
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posted August 26, 2009 05:03PM
greenarcher
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pyrgard posted on August 26, 2009 01:32PM
Tama maaga na sila nagcampaign gamit ang taxpayers money, kakahiya talaga sila.

ano dapat ang parusa???
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posted August 26, 2009 05:09PM
reign127
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sapat parusahan sila kasi mga abusado e ang daming mahihirap tapos aaksayahin lang nila para sa sarili nilang kapakanan.. hindi tama yan.

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posted August 26, 2009 05:12PM
kuyajhun316
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masyadong kalmado ang taong bayan... ayaw makialam... sa huli'y sila rin ang kawawa...

i pray na lalo pang kalampagin ni ate miriam yang mga yan...
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posted August 26, 2009 05:13PM
greenarcher
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kuyajhun316 posted on August 26, 2009 04:12PM
masyadong kalmado ang taong bayan... ayaw makialam... sa huli'y sila rin ang kawawa...

i pray na lalo pang kalampagin ni ate miriam yang mga yan...

eh bakit naman daw kasi kailangan pilit na isiniksik sina Bayani at Puno sa kanilang infomercials...


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posted August 26, 2009 05:15PM
chuanora
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parang nakikipaglokohan sila sa ating lahat.
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posted August 27, 2009 02:39PM
greenarcher
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chuanora posted on August 26, 2009 04:15PM
parang nakikipaglokohan sila sa ating lahat.

well, that's life....
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posted August 28, 2009 08:19AM
andi6520
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sad to say, nakakasauka na ang mga infomercial ng mga pulitiko. may hidden tactic ang ginagawa ng mga pulitiko para sa pre-campaign sa kanilang pagtakbo. sana huwag nyong iboto ang mga iyon kasi "nakaw naman sila ng nakaw ng kaban ng bayan"
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posted August 28, 2009 09:25AM
greenarcher
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andi6520 posted on August 28, 2009 07:19AM
sad to say, nakakasauka na ang mga infomercial ng mga pulitiko. may hidden tactic ang ginagawa ng mga pulitiko para sa pre-campaign sa kanilang pagtakbo. sana huwag nyong iboto ang mga iyon kasi "nakaw naman sila ng nakaw ng kaban ng bayan"

reaction daw ng comelec:  they can't police them daw.
kasi they did not file yet for any candidacy...
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