Privilege speech of Senator Bam Aquino on Davao City bombing

Good afternoon, Mr. President, distinguished colleagues. Maraming salamat, Majority Floor Leader.


Mga kaibigan, mga kababayan, binabati ko po kayong lahat.

Today, I stand before you outraged by the cruel act of terror perpetrated in Davao City last Friday night.

Mr. President, matindi po nating kinokondena ang nangyaring pagbomba sa Davao City kung saan higit sa animnapu ang napinsala at labing-apat ang namatay.

 At nakikiramay po tayo sa mga biktima at sa kanilang mga pamilya. Nagkakaisa po ang ating buong bayan sa mga Dabaweño.

In the halls of the senate, Mr. President, our colleagues refer to me as the gentleman from Tarlac. But, the truth is, I may very well be called the gentleman from Davao as well.

 Unbeknownst to many, my mother’s family is from Davao.

And unlike my father’s side, which is a family of public servants, my mother’s side is a family of educators.

 My grandparents moved to Davao from Luzon after the Second World War to help start and develop the University of Mindanao.

 Ang lolo ko po, si Segundo Aguirre, ay naging principal ng University of Mindanao. At ang lola ko na si Victoria Aguirre ay naging chairperson ng Filipino Department po doon.

 Sa Davao po lumaki at nagtapos ang aking ina. Sa Davao po niya nakilala ang aking ama habang sila ay nagtatrabaho sa Davao branch ng SGV.

 Davao po ang setting ng kanilang love story at Davao rin po kung saan sila kinasal.

 Growing up, I spent summers in Davao with my grandparents.  And to this day, we have loved ones living in the ‘Crown Jewel of Mindanao’.

 So, Mr. President, you can imagine that when we heard of an explosion at the bustling night market, when we heard of injuries, when we heard of fatalities, our chests tightened and we were engulfed with worry.

 For many of us with loved ones in Davao City, our gut reaction was to think about them and ask about their safety.

 But when the dust settled and our loved ones were finally accounted for, worry turned to outrage and outrage turned to anger.

 It breaks my heart, Mr. President, that this orchestrated attack, a terrorist attack, was perpetrated by fellow Filipinos.

 It infuriates me that these extremists attacked innocent civilians at the popular night market, where couples go on dates, friends meet up to get a massage after a tough week, and where families eat out and spend quality time together.

 It enrages me that these agents of hate chose to attack innocent civilians at the night market on a Friday night, one of the busiest nights of the week, a night that could earn them the highest number of casualties.

 This was a well thought out, malevolent assault that hoped to kill and injure as many innocent Filipinos as possible.

 And the final tally Mr. President, over 70 were injured and 15 of our countrymen are dead.

 They were more than just numbers, Mr. President. They are Filipinos that have laughed, cried, loved, and lived.

 They are brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers.

 They are people who brought pride and joy to their families. And now, their passing brings immeasurable grief.

 One was a single mother, a former OFW working as one of the night market’s therapists while waiting for another opportunity to work abroad. Her name was Ruth Merecido.

 One was a senior education official of CHED in ARMM who strongly supported the Mindanao peace process. His name was Pipalawan Macacua.

 One was a teacher, a wife of a pastor, and a mother. Another one was her 14-year old son. Their names are Melanie Faith and Deniel Josh Larida.

 Those are only four, Mr. President, four out of 15. But these 15 are a loss to our nation.

 And more than that Mr. President, they are a loss to their families.

 There are no words to describe the horror and the anguish one endures when a loved one, when a family member is taken in senseless violence.

 And understandably, there are a variety of reactions to the blast, ranging from grief to anger, from fear to confusion.

 There are roars of outrage and prayers to a higher power. There are flowers. There are hashtags. There are profile pictures. There are candles.

 Mr. President, it has been 3 days since the attack and, if I may, I wish to propose some ways we might move forward together as a nation.

 The first is to build our strength.

 We need to support our policemen and the military. We need to support them as they conduct investigations, arrests, and find and convict these terrorists.

 In a previous budget hearing, Sen. Honasan whispered to me that we should stop asking the impossible from our armed forces and our police.

 We should stop asking them without the requisite resources that they need to be able to do the tasks that we ask of them.

 These tasks and missions that we demand of our policemen and soldiers must be coupled with the appropriate resources.

 So let us equip them with the necessary support so they may address crime and terrorism and deliver justice and safety for our fellowmen.

 Second, Mr. President, is vigilance. Now, more than ever we need to be hyper-aware of our surroundings, of potential threats to our physical safety.

 But Mr. President, aside from physical safety, we also must be vigilant, not just of unattended bags and suspicious behavior, but also of the misinformation that’s been going around the Internet and going around Philippine society.

 Sadly, Mr. President, there are groups that are misinforming Filipinos and spreading conspiracy theories that seek to use this crisis to intensify our division.

 With lives and our way of life at risk, we must be wary of the information we base our beliefs and actions on. We must be vigilant of misinformation and how it affects our judgment and our prejudices. 

 Let us make sure, Mr. President, that we ourselves share only the information that come from the authorities themselves.

 And third, Mr. President, we must unite.

 The objective of terrorism is to create an environment of terror – to make us suspicious of each other, to make it difficult to trust, and to divide our beloved country.

 Terrorists have hit the hearts and homes of too many nations around the world.

 In November of last year, gunmen and suicide bombers attacked a sports stadium and a packed concert hall in Paris.

 In March of this year, Brussels was attacked with bombs targeting the airport and a train station.

 In July, there were attacks in Germany.

 In these circumstances, there is usually initial calls for solidarity. But through time, Mr. President, sometimes doubt and fear get the better of the public and they become suspicions against those of different beliefs and cultural backgrounds that dig into the public consciousness.

 Will we let this happen to our country, Mr. President? Will we let these acts of terror break us apart?

 Today, the challenge is to remain united against the true enemy.

 Because Mr. President, once there is infighting among the citizenry, then terror wins.

 Now, more than ever, we need to work together to synergize all the organs of government, our civil society, and our citizenry to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.

 In the short term, let us set aside the politics and provide authorities all the resources that they need to combat these perpetrators.

 And for the long term, we here in the Senate must lay the foundation for a future free of terror because of inclusive growth, and peace and prosperity for all.

 We do this for those who were killed and injured in Davao, we do this for our soldiers fighting for our freedoms, we do this, Mr. President, for every Filipino.

 The Philippines has endured typhoons, earthquakes, floods, and countless natural calamities.

 And in those moments, Mr. President, the Filipino people never cowered and, instead, banded together to gather donations and distribute aid.

 Today, our enemy, unfortunately, is more sinister, more calculating, and more strategic.

 Now, more than ever, Mr. President, we need to unite in goodness to build a future that is bright, peaceful, and full of hope. 

 Maraming Salamat Mr. President, thank you very much.

Bam on Coco Levy Fund

Excerpts of Sen. Bam’s statement during the Committee on Agriculture hearing


Mr. Chairman, marami po sa atin, naghihintay na noong 16th Congress pa lang. Our chairperson was Sen. Villar. And we did go very far, nabitin lang po sa dulo.

 Many of us here really wanted this bill to pass. And if I’m not mistaken, aside from choices of words or phrasing, there are four main issues.

 First of all Mr. Chairman, is the composition of the Board of Trustees. Iyong iba po, mas kumikiling sa pribadong sektor, iyong iba mas kumikiling sa government. My version is more on the side of having more farmers on the board.

 Secondly Mr. Chairman, is where will we invest the money? I think was the stickiest point in the 16th Congress. Iyong iba po, mas konserbatibo – only in government securities. Iyong iba po, mas risky na ang kapalit po noon ay higher yield.

 Third is the provision of Sen. Villar, which is to mandate the budgets of ECA. I think her version is the only version with that provision.

 Maybe a fourth is about the privatization of the 30 billion. There are some provisions I think in Sen. Villar’s bill which details how that is to be privatized.

 Those are the only main points Mr. Chairman. Of course anyone can correct me if I’m wrong.

 Now I would like also to ask the body to weigh in on those four points because we’ve already agreed on 95 percent of the bill.

 Iyong apat po na iyon – iyong privatization of the 30 billion, iyong composition ng trust fund members, iyong kung saan puwedeng i-invest iyong pera and iyong some provisions that are on PCA – kung saan nila gagastusin ang budget.

 More or less, iyong apat na iyon ang kailangan nilang pag-usapan.

 But, I would really suggest Mr. Chairman na imadali natin ito. I personally feel this should have been passed already.

 Let’s not wait for the maturity of the bonds. Let’s not wait na may masayang pa po na opportunity cost with the interest. Let’s pass it as fast as we can.

 I’m hoping we can really fast-track this.


Sen. Bam is the author of Senate Bill No. 669 or the Coconut Farmers’ Trust Fund Act.

Transcript: Bam on free Internet in public schools, support for under-appreciated scientists, and encouraging tech startups

Transcript of Sen. Bam Aquino’s interview after Committee on Science and Technology hearing


Q: When will the committee discuss Internet issues?

 Sen. Bam: Dalawa ang agency under Science and Technology. You have DOST and you have the new DICT. We’re still looking for the availability of Secretary Salalima. So we will tackle that when he’s available already.

 Marami sa amin ang nag-file na Wi-Fi in public facilities, pati na rin sa eskwelahan. That’s something we want to explore sa Committee on Education. Ang ating public schools at SUCs, may sapat na internet connectivity. Kasi napansin rin namin na kulang talaga iyong connectivity natin sa ating public schools and SUCs.


Q: Ano ang nakikita niyong balakid na maipasa ito?

 Sen. Bam: Actually, wala akong nakikitang balakid. Unang-una pangako ng maraming mga politiko. Pangalawa, hinahanap talaga ng mga taumbayan. Ang concern ko is kung kaya nga ba ng ating telcos na bigyan ng connectivity ang ating SUCs.

 We can pass it into law pero kung talagang mahina, kung talagang mabagal, eh, sayang din lang iyan. So we want to get a commitment also na kung gagawin natin ito, sigurado talaga na iyong speed, iyong bilis at access talagang mararamdaman ng taumbayan.


Q: Iyong sa Magna Carta (for Scientists), kumusta?

 Sen. Bam: Alam mo, isa ito sa mga bagay-bagay na kailangan ng ating bansa para mag-progress. Iyong ating focus sa science at math, iyong ating tulong sa mga scientists, na magkaroon ng dagdag resources sa research. Ito iyong mga bagay-bagay na kailangan mangyari so we can really move forward.

 Sabi nga ng mga resource speakers natin kanina, kulang talaga iyong support sa mga Filipino scientists. May mga provision na nakakabawas sa puwede nila makuha na suweldo and we want to correct all of this.

 We want to make sure na ang ating Filipino scientists, hindi lang sila makabalik dito, magkaroon ng opportunities dito sa aming bansa, bagkus pati iyong mga nandito hindi na kailangan lumabas ng ating bansa. Itong Magna Carta for Scientists and Science workers, isa ito sa mga bibigyan natin ng pansin in this committee.


Q: You spent some time with the Startup Bill. How important is this for you? What’s the potential for this getting passed?

 Sen. Bam: There’s a huge potential also because this is one of my pet bills and we really want to focus on this. At nakita naman natin na full support ang DOST, ang DTI, all of the agencies are fully supportive of this bill. This will hopefully unlock our digital startup community. Maraming startup sa ating bansa, magagaling, very good ideas pero nasasayang dahil nahihirapan magsimula ng negosyo. At nahihirapan sa mga regulasyon. So we want to make it easier for digital startups to start in our country, to sustain themselves eventually get to larger markets.

 Isa ito sa mga gusto naming itulak ngayong 17th Congress and we find a lot of support from the private sector. Of course may Silicon Valley, ang pinakasikat na startup community sa mundo.

 Mayroon din sa Israel which created Viber and Waze. We’d like to think that we have the ingredients to have a very vibrant economically viable innovative startup community. Kailangan na lang ng kaunting tulong.

 And what we want to do, gusto nating tanggalin lahat ng mga balakid sa kanila. We want to make it easier for them and create that community here. And we really feel may potential sa Pilipinas. We can really do that here.

 The startup community’s been here for a number of years already but this is the first time na binibigyan ng pansin ang kanilang concerns at nagsa-suggest ang gobyerno ng solutions na puwede nilang makuha upang mas mapadali ang proseso ng kanilang pagiging startup sa ating bansa.


Q: Apart from the financial incentives, ano iyong iba pang ways to help our startups?

 Sen. Bam: Alam mo, marami eh. In fact, iyong financial – isang aspeto lang iyan. Iyong isang mahalaga diyan is Ease of doing business. Pagkakaroon ng paraan na ma-recognize sila, nabibigyan ng tamang benepisyo hindi lang sa pera pati rin sa personnel, pati rin sa office space or co-working spaces.

 So the bill is very comprehensive. It’s more than just financial support. It tries to make it easier for people to start up their businesses. It makes it easier for foreigners to also come here para magsimula dito.

 Kasi nakikita natin na maraming dayuhan na maraming karanasan sa ibang bansa na gustong magtayo ng mga negosyo dito sa startup scene.

 And everytime they come here, whether they are Fil-Ams, or even foreigners mismo na napamahal sa Pilipinas. When they come here bringing their experience, mas lumalago iyong ating ecosystem.

 Lumalago iyong karanasan ng mga startups dito at nagiging mas evolved sila at mas tumataas iyong level nila. We’re hoping we can also make it easier for them to set up here.

 Mahalaga na may support – iyong financial support, ease of doing business at pagkakaroon ng komunidad na sila-sila rin magtulungan na ma-create nila iyong komunidad so we can compete with the rest of the world.


Q: Nabanggit niyo po -this innovative startup is not just for Filipinos?

 Sen. Bam: Well, it creates space for foreigners to also set up here or they can join Filipino companies here.


Q: But don’t you think iyong competition, malamangan iyong mga Filipino startup?

Sen. Bam: Well, unang-una kasi iyong ganyang mentality – iyan iyong type of mentality na hindi nakaka-progress ang mga communities. If you look at silicon valley, if you look at other startup communities around the world, there’s competition but there’s also a lot of cooperation.

 There’s also a lot of cross-learning. That’s the way that these communities really thrive, eh. Nagkakaroon ng exchange of ideas, technology and personnel. Iyan iyong paraan para talagang ma-develop iyong community. You have to allow that exchange to happen.

 Yes, they’re competing with each other but through that competition, lumalabas iyong totoong galing at nagkakaroon ng cross-learning.

 So, mahalaga iyon. Kung mananatili tayong isolated at insular, hindi talaga tayo mag-po-progress but if we want to be competitive, kailangan handa tayong tumanggap ng tao mula sa iba’t-ibang bansa. Makikipagkumpitensya sa kanila pero also makuha rin ang kaalaman nila.

Transcript: Sen. Bam Aquino’s questions to PNP chief Bato Dela Rosa

2nd day of Senate Hearing on extra-judicial killings (EJKs)


Sen. Bam: Gusto ko lang pong linawin ulit, mayroon na po tayong mga nahuli na mga pushers at addicts  — iyon po ay nasa 11,784. Tama po no? Iyon po iyong presentation natin. And of the 756 po iyong napatay during the course of the operations. Iyong isa pa pong isang pinakita ninyo, iyong mga death under investigation. Ito po’y 1,160. Dito po ako gustong mag-focus. Ito po bang 1,160, hindi po ito lahat drug-related no?

Gen. Dela Rosa: Yes, your honor.

Sen. Bam: Tama ba na ito’y during the course of the war on drugs or kasama dito mga non drug-related?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Iyong time frame na kino-consider natin your honor, that is the time that we are waging war on drugs. Nakita na sila ay patay but hindi natin na-establish na talagang drug-related sila. Pero mayroon po tayong na-establish na ibang motibo na hindi related sa drugs kundi personal grudge.

Sen. Bam: Ok nakita ko iyon. So ito ba ang lahat ng death from July to August 22?

Gen. Dela Rosa: Yes, your honor.

Sen. Bam: So lahat iyan. Hindi na natin alam — 757 iyong undetermined doon po sa chart ninyo so ito posibleng ibang motibo, crime of passion, kung ano man.

Gen. Dela Rosa: Puwede rin drugs your honor.

Sen. Bam: Puwede rin drugs.

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Iyong undetermined, pa.

 Sen. Bam: Ok, pero iyong sigurado tayo, iyong 273 dahil ito iyong may placard, hog-tied at iba pa. Paano natin na-determine iyong balanse na drug-related ito kung hindi naman sila naka-placard at hindi naman sila nakagapos?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Iyong mayrong tayong investigation na ginagawa your honor, at na-establish na itong mga taong ito na napatay ay drug pushers.

 Sen. Bam: Gusto ko pong tanungin iyan. Dito po sa 273 deaths na tinatawag po nating drug related, na-investigate po ninyo – iyon po ay 273 drug psuhers?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Yes, your honor.

 Sen. Bam: At sa inyong investigation wala kayong nahanap na mistaken identity napagkamalan lang o ginamit iyong war on drugs para mapagtakpan ang ibang krimen?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: So far, wala pa your honor. Iyong napabalita sa media na iyong babae, iyong magandang babaeng nakasakay sa jeep na binaril, hindi po iyon drug-related, your honor.

 Sen. Bam: Eh, iyong tungkol po doon sa choir member, na mayroon pong duck tape sa bunganga na dine-deny po ng mga magulang. I think this is Tiamson case. Iyon po, nasama po ba siya sa 273? Kasama siya kasi may placard siya, noh?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Yes your honor, magkasama.

 Sen. Bam: Iyon po ba ay na-investigate po ninyo na isa nga talaga siyang drug pusher?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Ongoing, your honor.

 Sen. Bam: So, undetermined?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Undetermined, pero sinabi na natin na kapag na-classify natin siya na drug-related na-determine na natin na ang motive na drug-related but still, hinahanap pa natin iyong concrete so ongoing pa iyong investigation.

 Sen. Bam: Opo, so iyong tanong ko kanina – sigurado ba tayo na iyong 273 drug-pusher? Sigurado tayo na drug-related pero tatanungin ko po ulit. Sigurado ba tayo na iyong 273 na patay drug pusher nga o hindi?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: When we say drug-related your honor, either pusher siya o user na na-establish doon sa investigation.

 Sen. Bam: So wala ho kayong nakikita sa 273 especially po itong mga kaso na si Ms. Tiamson. Mayroon pa pong isa – iyong scholar dito po sa Metro Manila. Kasi ho iyong kanilang mga magulang at kanilang mga pamilya, dine-deny po na mga drug addict po sila o drug pusher. Sigurado na po ba tayo? Sa tingin po ng PNP lahat po talaga sila drug pusher at drug addict?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Ongoing pa, you honor ang investigation.

 Sen. Bam: Kaya nga General. So kung ongoing pa siya, hindi pa tayo sigurado na drug pusher sila?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Yes, your honor.

 Sen. Bam: So ulitin ko po. Itong 273, drug-related po siya pero hindi pa po tayo sigurado kung drug pusher nga po sila?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Yes your honor. Kasi nakalagay doon eh, may karatula. Iyon lang ang basis natin na ..

 Sen. Bam: Opo, pero General, iyon ba ay enough basis na matawag na pusher kung may karatula iyong tao? Kasi marami ngayong umiikot na baka naman ibang krimen ito, pinagtatakpan lang, ginagamit po iyong war on drugs [at] naglalagay ng placard.

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Mayroon pong investigation na ongoing.

 Sen. Bam: Ito pong 273 na napatay, ini-investigate po natin ang kanilang pagkamatay?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Yes, your honor.

 Sen. Bam: Sino po ang nag-i-investigate po sa kanila?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Iyong, depende sa station na nag-co-cover sa area kung saan nangyari, your honor kung may jurisdiction over the case.

 Sen. Bam: Mayroon na po tayong nahanap na suspek. I think yesterday, na-mention po ninyo na may kinasuhan na po kayo. Sinu-sino po iyong mga – you don’t have to name names – but sila po ba ay kasama sa sindikato? Sila po ba’y mga asset ng kapulisan? Sino po ang kinasuhan po ninyo sa mga killings na ito?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Karamihan your honor ay mga drug pusher din na naging hit man ng mga drug lord. Sila po ang nag-e-eliminate iyong mga kalaban, iyong mga kasamahan nila. Kung hindi nakaremit ng pera doon sa drug lord, ah pinapatay.

 Sen. Bam: Pinapatay po?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Yes, po.

 Sen. Bam: So mayroon na po tayong nahuli na ganyan po – hitman, kasama ng sindikato, ginagamit ng mga sindikato. Mayroon na po tayong nahuli?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: May isang napatay your honor. Wala pang nahuli pero lahat po sila ay identified.

 Sen. Bam: Iyong kaso po may mga pangalan?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Yes, your honor. Identified po sila. May kaso na.

 Sen. Bam: So, pag sinabi niyo pong may kaso, naka-file na po iyan sa fiscal?

 Sen. Bam: Ongoing case na po iyan, nasa justice system na po natin?

 Sen. Bam: So lahat po ng mga kasong ito, fino-follow up po ninyo? Ini-investigate po ninyo pareho iyong biktima kung totoo ngang drug pusher o drug addict at ini-investigate po ninyo kung sino ang may kagagawan po nito?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Yes, your honor.

 Sen. Bam: Kahapon nagkaroon ng, I don’t remember kung sinong senador po iyong nagtanong pero kahapon po sabi niyo, o kung ayaw ninyo, huwag na lang natin itong gawin, parang may nasabi kayong gawin. Sa tingin ba ninyo, itong pag-imbestiga sa mga napatay ng vigilante o napatay ng mga sindikato, ito po ba’y pabigat sa inyo o kasama sa inyong trabaho bilang PNP?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Kasama po sa trabaho namin iyan, your honor.

 Sen. Bam: Ano pong paningin niyo sa mga ganitong klaseng pagkapatay. Ito po ba’y nakakatulong sa war on drugs o nakakasama ito sa war on drugs natin?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Nakakasama po iyan, your honor dahil, as I have said, I don’t like, personal e. Kahit hindi ako chief PNP, kahit ako isang sibilyan, ayaw na ayaw ko po iyong extra-judicial killing. I hate to use extra-judicial killing, dahil mayroong contention ang isang senador natin na ayaw niya ang term na iyan but iyong vigilante killing, ayaw ko po iyan your honor.

Ilang beses ko nang hinamon ng barilan iyong mga vigilante na iyan. Kung gusto niyo pumatay ng tao, bakit papatayin niyo ang tao na walang kalaban-laban, ako ang harapin niyo.

 Ilang beses ko nang hinamon ang mga magagaling diyan na pumatay, ako ang harapin niyo, magbarilan tayo. Hinahamon ko iyan sila your honor, ayaw ko iyang ginagawa nila.

 Sen. Bam: With the full force of the PNP, iyong lahat ng makakaya ng PNP, iyong lahat ng inyong kaalaman, intelligence, assets, hinahabol niyo ba ang mga vigilanteng ito or hindi natin hinahabol?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Hinahabol po your honor kaya ongoing ang ating investigation. Kaya may na-identify tayo dahil sa investigation natin. Ang na-identify natin kasalukuyan nating hinahanap, nagtatago po iyon dahil miyembro ng sindikato.

 Sen. Bam: Kahapon napag-usapan natin iyong mga pulis na nasangkot sa droga. Alam ko po, mabigat po ito sa inyo. Gaano po na-infiltrate ang ating PNP ng mga masasamang elemento na connected sa droga? Malalim po ba ito? Iilan lang po ba ito o marami po ito?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Kung sa standard ko your honor, on my personal standard, marami na po. Gusto ko zero drug-tolerant your honor. Ayaw ko na kahit isang pulis ko na involved sa droga. Ito’y po’y sobra sa sampu, sobra sa 100, umaabot ng 300, mabigat ito sa akin.

 Sen. Bam: 300 na po ang nasa watchlist niyo, nakita ko po.

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Yes your honor.

 Sen. Bam: Sa kutob niyo, ilan po ba talaga iyan? 500? 400? 1,000? Ilan po ba talaga?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Honestly your honor, aakyat pa ang number na iyan. Sa naglabasan na information, marami. Ang aming watchlist sa intelligence, nabulaga po kami. Iyong nag-start ang aming war on drugs, nagpasukan ang information na eto pala tumatanggap ito, eto pala nagbebenta pala ito. Dahil nag-cooperate na ang buong bayan.

 Hindi lang government approach ang ating war on drugs. Naging whole of nation approach na dahil lahat ng communities, nagtutulungan lahat, nagbibigay ng information kaya dadami pa iyan your honor.

 Sen. Bam: Ano po ang dapat gawin sa mga pulis na kasangot sa droga?

 Gen.Dela Rosa: If I have my way, your honor, hindi ko na lang sabihin, pero hindi ko talaga ma-imagine na pulis, na nag-swear to serve and protect, tapos ikaw ngayon ang nakapatong sa droga. Hindi ko sabihin dahil masama your honor, pero alam niyo na ang ibig kong sabihin. Gigil na gigil po ako your honor.

 Sen. Bam: Iyong atin pong taumbayan, alam ho nila na may masasamang elemento. Hindi po lahat. Marami hong mabubuting pulis pero marami ring masasamang element. Kapag kinakatok na sila sa bahay, kapag hinihiling silang mag-meeting, hindi na nila alam kung ang kausap ko, masama o mabuti kaya marami pong natatakot. Ano po ang maipapayo niyo sa taumbayan kung sila po, nakita nila ang isang pulis, hindi nila alam kung ito’y kasangkot o ito’y malinis? Ano po ang puwede nilang gawin?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: This I can assure you and the public, na iyong mga pulis na markado na kasama sa sindikato sa droga ay dahan-dahan na pong nawawala sa kanilang assignment. Nilipat na po namin sila at hindi po namin ini-involve sa Oplan Tokhang at Oplan HVT kasi po, habang nakikita sila ng taumbayan, hindi maniniwala ang taumbayan na itong kampanya ng pulis laban sa droga ay seryoso dahil andiyan pa si PO1 at PO2 ganon kaya tinanggal namin.

 Kanya-kanyang diskarte na po bawat region. Mayroong naghaharana para hindi matakot ang tao. Mayroon pong libreng sakay, kanya-kanyang diskarte.

 Sen. Bam: Iyong kahapon po na salaysay ni Mary Rose, may mga napangalanan po siya. Nasaan na po ang mga iyon? Sila po ba’y na-transfer, kinasuhan o naroon pa po sa Antipolo?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Your honor, honestly, napahiya po ako kahapon dahil sa testimony ni Mary Rose. Right after ng Senate hearing, ako mismo pumunta sa Rizal PPO, hinanap ko ang pulis na involved.

 Sen. Bam: Mayroon bang pulis na ganon ang pangalan?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Mayroon your honor. Humarap na po sa akin. Pinatanggal ko na sila sa Rizal PPO at pina-assign ko sa Crame para doon i-confine namin at ready to face the IAS anytime for investigation.

 Tinanggalan na po namin ng armas. Huwag po matakot sila Mary Rose. Hindi na po kayo under threat kasi iyong mga pulis na iyan, tinanggal na namin doon.

 Umuwi na po kayo sa inyo. Puwede niyo na tanggalin ang cover sa mukha, please. Andito kami. We’re here to protect you. Huwag kayong mag-alala, iyong mga pulis na iyan, naka-confine nap o.

 Sen. Bam: Gina-guarantee niyo ba ang safety ng witnesses natin, general?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Pumunta kayo sa akin, patirahin ko kayo sa White House, safe kayo doon.

Bam confirms PNP crusade on drug personalities within their ranks

Transcript of Sen. Bam’s questions to Gen. Bato dela Rosa, Senate Hearing on extra-judicial killings (EJKs):


Sen. Bam: Currently ho, nag-iimbestiga rin kayo among your ranks. Marami ho sa amin rito, nagugulat sa kuwento niya, na iyong pulis mismo ang nagsu-supply sa kanyang mga magulang <ng droga>. Ito po ba’y nakakagulat sa inyo o pangkaraniwang kuwento na ngayon?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Hindi po, your honor. In fact, marami na tayong pulis na pinagtatanggal sa kanilang assignment. Tinapon natin sa Mindanao dahil nga, through intelligence report, nalaman natin na ganoon ang kanilang involvement sa drugs.

Pero ito ngayon na meron talaga tayong witness, i-prosecute talaga natin ang pulis na ito, itong mga involved na ito.

 Sen. Bam: So kapag involved po diyan sa illegal na gawain, especially sa illegal drugs, ano ang ginagawa ng PNP sa mga pulis? Itatapon lang ba o kakasuhan?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Kakasuhan, your honor. That’s why sinabi ko po na tinapon para right there and then, nadi-disrupt ang operasyon nila, pending the right evidence to prosecute them.

 Kagaya nito, kung hindi siya lumabas, wala kaming hawak na ebidensiya against these people. Kaya para ma-disrupt iyong drug operations nila sa kanilang AOR, tinatapon namin sa ibang lugar, para hopefully ma-disrupt.

 Pero, hindi humihinto ang IAS natin sa kahahanap ng ebidensiya para sila’y mapapanagot sa kanilang gawain.

 Sen. Bam: Sa inyo po, whether kasama niyo po ngayon sa PNP, wala sa PNP, retirado na o active pa, hindi na aktibo, basta may kinalaman, hahabulin po ninyo?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Hahabulin po namin.

 Sen. Bam: Ito pong testimony niya, will you consider this in the resolution of the case of her mother? Magiging kasama po ba sa inyong imbestigasyon ang sinasabi niya?

 Gen. Dela Rosa: Yes, your honor.




Sen. Bam’s interview after Senate hearing:

 Kailangan talagang linawin iyong police action – ano iyong extra-judicial killing, ano iyong collateral damage?

 Palagay ko, sa kuwento ng mga witnesses, mukhang kailangan pa itong himayin. Bukas, I think si Gen. Dela Rosa, magbibigay ng report niya. Magandang malaman natin ang katotohanan dito.


Q: Pero malinaw naman na mukhang hindi kukunsintihin under the leadership of Gen. Bato itong mga sinasabi na vigilante killings?

Sen. Bam: Natuwa naman ako noong sinabi niya na siya mismo iyong mag-iimbestiga sa mga pulis na pinangalanan ng witness. That’s a good sign and hopefully, tomorrow mas mailahad niya ang kanyang mga plano upang mas malinis ang kanyang hanay.

Bam on Marcos burial in Libingan ng mga Bayani, Duterte’s Drug List

SEN. BAM: Unang-una intindihin natin na ang pangalan noong libingan ay Libingan ng mga Bayani kaya siguro iyong mga hindi bayani, talagang hindi karapat-dapat na malibing diyan.

 Iyon iyong una kong sasabihin, puwede tayong pumunta sa mga ibang detalye but at the end of the day, simple lang naman. Bayani nga ba si Former President Marcos?

 Palagay ko, ang ating kasaysayan, ang ating mga korte, nagsasabi na hindi siya bayani. In fact, during that time, 70,000 ang nakulong dahil sa pulitika, 30,000 ang na-torture, almost 3,000 ang namatay. Malinaw na dark days iyong martial law sa panahon ng ating bayan. Kaya siguro, hindi talaga karapat-dapat.

 Now, kung pupunta tayo sa detalye, mayroong dalawang nakalagay doon na exceptions sa mga puwedeng ilibing diyan sa Libingan ng mga Bayani. Iyong una diyan, iyong mga personnel na dishonorably discharged. Masabi nga natin na hindi personnel si former president Marcos, pero ousted siya at talagang dishonorably discharged siya from being president noong 1986.

 Pangalawa, iyong convicted of moral turpitude. Hindi nga siya na-convict ng korte pero kung titingnan mo, marami tayong mga batas na nakalagay na mayroon siyang ninakaw na pera sa ating bayan. In fact even the Supreme Court, in one of their decisions, talks about the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses. Kaya hindi man eksakto iyong mga exceptions doon sa charter sa Libingan ng mga Bayani, may pagkakaintindi tayo na talagang hindi siya karapat-dapat doon.

 Marami sa amin dito ang mga tumututol. Kahit ang mga ka-alyado ni President Duterte, tumututol dito – si Senate President Pimentel, kahit si Sen. Cayetano, ang National Historical Commission of the Philippines, iba’t-ibang member ng kanyang gabinete – marami pong tumututol dito kaya we’re really hoping magbago pa po ang isip ni Pres. Duterte on this issue.


 QUESTION: Dahil tinututulan ninyo at marami sa inyong kasama diyan, ano ang susunod na magiging hakbang ninyo? Sinabi ni Sen. Leila De Lima na puwedeng magsampa ng class suit, para mapigilan ang pagpapalibing ni Former President Marcos sa Libingan ng mga Bayani. Kayo po ba ay sang-ayon dito?


SEN. BAM: Well, palagay ko may mga grupo talagang mag-fi-file ng mga class suit, may mga grupo rin na magsasagawa ng mass action. Of course on social media, medyo lumalaki na rin ang issue.

 I think it’s time that we talk about it, pag-usapan, dalhin sa iba’t-ibang mga lugar at mga puwedeng puntahan gaya ng korte.

 Pres. Duterte has in the past changed his mind on certain policies like K-12 noong nakausap siya nang maayos. So, I am hoping na magbago pa ang kanyang isip tungkol dito. Isang buwan pa naman ito. At iyong mga tao na tumututol sa paglibing ni Former President Marcos sa Libingan ng mga Bayani, panahon na para sabihin ang ating pagtutol dito.


QUESTION: Ano sa tingin ninyo ang magiging epekto kapag inilibing sa Libingan ng mga Bayani si Former President FM? Kasi alam naman natin, kampanya palang, may nagsasabi, kasama si Pres. Duterte, na parang para raw magkaisa ang bayan, mag move-on na from iyong nakaraan Kayo po? Ano sa tingin ninyo ang magiging epekto nito sa bansa?


SEN. BAM: Well, puwede naman mag move-on. Pero, kailangan iyong tama, tama. Iyong mali, mali. Kapag iyong mali, nagiging tama, palagay ko iyon, hindi ka talaga makaka-move-on doon because you will forever repeat the mistakes of the past.

 Kailangan maging malinaw talaga ang panahon na iyon sa ating kasaysayan- that time in our history needs to be very clear to the Filipino people. Even iyong pagturo ng Martial Law sa ating mga eskwelahan. Ngayon na ako ay Chairman on the Committee on Education, titingnan rin natin how martial law is being taught in our schools.

 Noong panahon ng kampanya, naging magulo. Nagkaroon ng misinformation campaign tungkol sa martial law. Nagkaroon ng iba’t-ibang panayam tungkol dito. Itong paglibing kay Former President Marcos sa Libingan ng mga Bayani will confuse things even more. Mas magiging confusing iyan para sa ating mga kababayan, especially sa ating mga kabataan.

 So ang gusto ho natin, maging malinaw naman tayo. Kung ikaw, naging isang former president, nagnakaw sa ating bansa, maraming napapatay during your term, maraming nakulong na dapat hindi nakulong, you don’t deserve to be in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Hindi ka karapat-dapat doon.

 Sana iyon po, maging malinaw sa ating bayan. Kasi kapag natuloy nga po ito, at nalibing siya diyan, iyon po ay isang araw na ang mali naging tama. So we’re really hoping po na hindi ito matuloy. And like many of us here, we’re hoping that President Duterte will change his mind. Mag-iiba pa po sana ang kanyang pag-iisip tungkol dito.


QUESTION: Nakausap niyo na po ba si dating Pangulo Aquino o ang kanyang kapatid tungkol sa isyung ito?

 SEN. BAM: Hindi pa. I haven’t spoken to him about it.


QUESTION: Sabi niyo po, you’re hoping Pres. Duterte changes his mind. If he doesn’t change his mind, mayroon pa bang magagawa para pigilan ang pagpapalibing?

 SEN. BAM: Actually, palagay ko – hindi pa ito confirmed – but Sen. De Lima talked about it yesterday at may mga ibang mga grupong nag-iisip na tungkol dito. This might be brought to the courts. Kung tutuusin, malinaw naman ang Charter ng Libingan ng mga Bayani. Kung ikaw, dishonorably discharged o kung ikaw ay nahatulan ng isang kaso na may imoralidad talagang hindi ka karapat-dapat diyan. Palagay ko may mga grupong magdadala nito sa korte din.


QUESTION: Ano ang reaksyon ninyo kaugnay sa panibagong drug list na inilabas ni Pangulong Duterte?

 SEN. BAM: Unang-una, sa totoo lang, one part of you, masaya. Finally, kung may mga mayors na involved dito, na-call-out sila. Never in our history has that happened before.

 Kaya lang, you also hope that this list, talagang na-vet ng maayos, talagang may intelligence behind it and na iyong kaso sa mga taong ito, ay talagang dapat i-file na.

Kung ito ay naging trial by publicity lang, hindi po iyan maganda, but if they can show na may ebidensya against them at talagang i-file iyan sa tamang proseso, ok rin yan.

 But of course iyong mayors, marami rin sa kanila nag-de-deny at gusto nilang linisin ang kanilang pangalan.

Ako, kung talagang involved sila, dapat file-an na kaagad sila ng kaso. Kung talagang malakas ang ebidensya, totoo nga, dapat file-an sila ng kaso at dumaan sila sa tamang proseso.

 Now, with regard to the judges, nakita natin na may mga patay na judge sa listahan o may mga judge na hindi pala concerned sa drugs ang kanilang hinahawakan. Sana mas maging maganda pa ang intelligence gathering ng Executive department para next time na maglabas ulit ng listahan, talagang sigurado na lahat iyan.


TRANSCRIPT: Bam: Marcos Agrees na Walang Dayaan sa Transparency Server

Transcript of Interpallation, Senate Session Hall, 23 May 2016


Aquino: Will the gentleman from Ilocos yield to a few questions?


Marcos: I will yield to questions but with the understanding that I will decline to answer anything on the merits of some of the complaints and accusations and the allegations that have been made as to the irregularities of the conduct of the campaign and the counting. Simply because I believe that this is not the proper forum for that.


Aquino: Would you be willing to answer questions on the speech you had just made?


Marcos: Yes, certainly.


Aquino: Thank you very much, Mr. President. Mr. President, I would like to echo also the call of the Senator from Ilocos Norte for eternal vigilance. 

 I think right now, that is the call for all of us. All of the candidates. All of the people in different campaign teams, to be vigilant because as we know, the counting isn’t over yet. 

 And as Senator Marcos’ camp is vigilant, I’m sure the other camps are also vigilant as well to make sure that no other – that nothing untoward happens during the canvassing process. 

 So let me ask a few questions regarding some of the points that Senator Marcos had raised. Mr. President, you talked about the changes in the transparency server and to be frank, that was very troublesome, I think, for all of us when we found out that the transparency server was changed right there and then. 

 In fact, I think Comelec castigated Smartmatic for having done that. But Mr. President, I’d like to clarify that this was done to the transparency server. 

 Are you alleging that this was also done to the two other servers with an independent mechanism compared to the transparency server, Mr. President?


Marcos: It is precisely why I have requested and have yet to receive any comment, answer or even acknowledgement of the request to look into the COMELEC server and to have my I.T. experts to look into the COMELEC server and to see if this is manipulation, interference changes had been done. 

 So, unfortunately those requests have fallen on deaf ears thus far.


Aquino: So in short, Mr. President, your call for a full audit is to find out if there were any irregularities in the two other servers?


Marcos: Well, amongst other things, yes.


Aquino: So in short Mr. President, currently, we only know that the transparency server was modified and of course, the story was because of the cosmetic change. 

 But you want to check if there were also changes in the two other servers.


Marcos: Well, I’d also like to check whatever happened as I think it has been explained in the various media. The fact that you have entered or rechanged the values of the hashcode have changed simply indicates that the file was entered into. How many times it was entered into? What was done while the file was open? And the operator was in the file and changing different parts of it? 

 We cannot tell. And that’s why this assurance that we are being given that it was merely a cosmetic change simply has no proof behind it. Merely the assurances. 

 But I think it is unanimous thus far, that so long as the file has been opened, and remains open which it did; it remained open until about 8 ‘o’clock on May 10 at which point the – I’m sorry this was later in the day on May 10th – until it was brought up by some of the watchers, and another Venezuelan operative of Smartmatic says “I’ll fix it” and basically locked the file open and thereby leaving it open to, for anyone to come so whatever changes were made over and above this so-called n change, then we cannot tell. 

 This is why we have asked to look at the audit logs. We have asked to look at the transmission logs. We have asked to look at the receiving logs. 

 We have asked to look at all of the records so we can see, we can be sure that the different values have remained consistent all throughout.


Aquino: On that note, Mr. President, I think parties have come on record, even Congresswoman Robredo to say that we are open to a full audit.


Marcos: Unfortunately those parties will not be the ones to decide whether or not we can go in and have a look at the servers. It is only the COMELEC who can give that authority.


Aquino: That’s true Mr. President, I just wanted to state that for the record. But going back to the question on the transparency server, I take it Mr. President that you don’t accept the COMELEC explanation of what had happened. 

 They had come out very strongly to say that this was merely a cosmetic change.


Marcos: I can stand here and say many things, Mr. President but I have to back it up with data, with proof, with evidence and they have not done that.


Aquino: Thank you, Mr. President. 

 You are saying it yourself that any accusation must be backed up with the proper data, with the proper numbers and currently Mr. President, right now, your assertions on the transparency server – is there any data? 

 Or you are merely calling for opening up of the server for scrutiny, Mr. President.


Marcos: No, quite the contrary Mr. President. We wouldn’t bother asking all of these authorizations to go in had we not spotted many discrepancies that need to be clarified. This is not a fishing expedition. It is something that is clearly in aide of clarifying the irregularities that were clearly seen and admitted to by both COMELEC and Smartmatic.


Aquino: Mr. President, are you referring to the n problem or are you referring to the so-called trend that you were mentioning earlier? What irregularity in particular are you exactly talking about?


Marcos: Again, there are many – too many I think for us to go through here. As I’ve said when I spoke that I will act at the proper time and the proper place. We’ll detail those irregularities, those discrepancies that we have found and furthermore to (inaudible) oneself, we’ll give reports, we’ll give analyses, we’ll give affidavits, statements from witnesses and many whistleblowers as well will come forward. And they’ve decided to come clean in their part on all of this.


Aquino: So Mr. President, you’re saying that you have evidence and data but you don’t wish to say it today? 


Marcos: Exactly, I do not think that an interpellation on the plenary floor is the place to do it. I think that when the canvassing starts, these will be detailed to the canvassing board when we…


Aquino: Well, Mr. President one thing that you mentioned earlier was the change in the trend. You talked I think about 8:00 PM when votes, when the trend started to go against you and for Congresswoman Robredo. 

 And I’d just like to mention Mr. President for the record that numerous academicians have actually said that there is nothing irregular about that. 


Marcos: Numerous academicians have said that there is. So it is not ….


Aquino: Two, Mr. President. You have two academicians saying that there were… 


Marcos: Ano ba ‘to, paramihan ng academicians? ‘O naghahanap tayo ng katotohanan? 


Aquino: Mr. President, if I may finish my question. And in that course Mr. President, a number of academicians have said that the likelihood for the simplest answer is true. That in the first few hours, the votes came from NCR, Region 1, Region 2. 

 And of course Mr. President, you won handily in many of these areas. And, at around the date – the time – that you had mentioned, these are when votes that came from other areas from the Philippines where Congresswoman Robredo won started to come in. Mr. President, a lot of – you know, if you look at where these votes came from, the explanation is not as fantastic as maybe a hashcode change or a hacking that had happened but there are records, Mr. President, and I join you in asking COMELEC to open up these records to show exactly where these votes had come from.


Marcos: At the proper time Mr. President, I will show that that trend did not depend on the early returns of votes that came from Regions 1,2,3 or wherever I am perceived to have been strong. The transmittal of votes – you have to separate the two – the official COC from the provincial canvasser and the transmitted votes from the precincts.

 As you know, the precinct votes were transmitted immediately upon closure of the precinct. And the COCs were only transmitted upon completion of the provincial canvass. So if we were to look at the actual precincts that had reported, that had transmitted results, then that contention that it is only from Regions 1, 2 and 3 that came in first is simply not true. Perhaps the first that came in were from those areas but in small percentages so that if you look at the percentages of votes that had actually come in from different places it was fairly even.


Aquino: Mr. President, on another note, we talked about the unfortunate change that Smartmatic…


Marcos: Unfortunate? Mr. President? I think I would characterise it rather as more than unfortunate. It is illegal. 


Aquino: Yes, Mr. President, I think COMELEC itself has already castigated – 


Marcos: Castigating Smartmatic does not remedy the situation. How was it allowed to happen? How was it allowed that the password of the COMELEC was used by a Smartmatic staff operative employee was allowed to use the COMELEC password to make that change without an end banker solution authorizing such a change? That is a question that up to this day we have yet to find an answer for. 


Aquino: And we join you Mr. President in trying to find the answers to these queries. Mr. President what I would like to ask is that if you are avering that these changes affected the elections, are you also saying that it only affected the vice-presidential race?


Marcos: I do not know what happened. Exactly. This is the whole point. We do not know what happened when Marlon Garcia opened the file and changed the so-called ñ.

What else did he change – did he change more? Did he change nothing? Did he change my name? Did he change the numbers? What did he do? What else did he do? 

And after he had done whatever it is he had to do, what else did anyone since the file was then opened, what else did anyone go in and change afterwards? And after the file was locked open, and that was by putting the first hashcode after the second hashcode, thereby, essentially locking it open.

Who else went into that file and made alterations? We don’t know. That is the whole point of my – of what we’re trying to talk about. What happened? What is it – if we can be shown that the changes were indeed cosmetic, you will never hear about this from me again. But we still have to determine whether or not anything else was changed. What changes were made, who made them and under whose authority? 


Aquino: And more importantly, Mr. President, who should be penalized for that? I think you will agree with me on that, if I’m not mistaken. 


Marcos: I’m sure that this is part of the question but I think more to the point is we need to find out exactly what happened. We have to be sure that the conduct of the elections were in fact fair and honest and transparent.

That is to this point, not that case, simply because we have not received any answers from the COMELEC on the questions that we have raised to them and we also have not received any authorisation to inspect the servers and the logs as we have asked the COMELEC.


Aquino: Mr. President, just a final question. Mr. President, kung kayo na po mismo nagsabi na hindi ho natin alam kung mayroon ngang nangyari, hindi ho ba premature na sabihin na may pandarayang nangyayari? Kayo na po mismo nagsabi hindi natin alam kung may nangyari.


Marcos: Wala pa akong sinasabi na may pandarayang nangyari sa pagpalit ng server. Ang sinasabi kong pandaraya ay iyong mga picture, iyong mga video na nakita natin na sa ibang lugar hindi pinayagang bumoto.

Mayroon akong mga video na siguro nakita naman ng lahat ng tao – mga bago mag-rally, na nagbibigay ng pera at ng vote-buying etcetera etcetera.

Lahat iyan ay pandaraya lahat iyan. Maliwanag dahil mayroon nga kaming ebidensya na mayroon ngang pandaraya. Ngayon, kung ang pandarayang yan ay doon lamang sa vote-buying, doon lamang sa intimidation, doon lamang sa hindi pinayagang bumoto ang ibang botante – kung hindi doon pati sa transparency server, doon pa rin sa server log, sa audit log ay ibang usapan yan. Dahil wholesale na iyan. 

Kaya iyan ang aming gustong makita. Kaya’t yan ang aming hinahanap at hinihingi – humihingi kami ng authorization galing sa COMELEC na tingnan para malaman.

Eh, siguro naman ako na mauuna na matutuwa kapag malaman ko na hindi nagkaproblema. Ako na ang unang-unang magsasabi – mas gumaan ang aking loob dahil alam ko na ang nangyari.

Eh, ang problema hindi tayo naipapaliwanag nang mabuti ng COMELEC at hindi tayo pinababayaan na tingnan ng mabuti para iliwanag nang mabuti kung ano ba talaga ang nangyari sa loob ng mga server, sa loob ng ating mga transmission, sa loob ng ating mga vote counting machine. 


Aquino: Mr. President, kung ikaw na po ang unang gagaan ang loob, ako na po yung pangalawang gagaan ang loob kapag naibukas na po ang lahat ng iyan.

And I would like to thank the gentleman for answering my questions. I know it’s a very trying time for him and his family.

Thank you for answering my questions, Mr. President.

But, for the record, I’d also like to reiterate what the good gentleman from Ilocos Norte had said which is “Pagdating sa transparency server wala pa talagang masasabing dayaan dahil hindi pa nga ito nalalaman.”

Thank you very much for that, Mr. President. 

Mr. President, thank you very much for your time.

Bam on $81M Scandal: Magkaiba ang Sinasabi nina Wong at ng Philrem

Transcript of Interview on Pasada Sais Trenta


Karen Davila: Ano ang future ng pagbabayad sa Bangladesh? Ito muna tayo, Sir, based on your calculation. Iyong puwedeng ibalik ni Kim Wong, puwedeng ibalik ng Pilipino, magkano lang talaga Senator Aquino ang accountability na puwedeng ibalik?


Sen. Bam: Actually Karen kung tutuusin may 61 million dollars na pumasok. Iyon ang una nating titignan kung ano ang pwedeng makuha doon sa 61 million. Ang iba pumunta kay Kim Wong, may iba pumunta sa Solaire at ia-analyze natin ang puwede pang ibalik and I think si Mr. Wong said na magbabalik siya ng pera.

Humingi nga ng 30 days para mabuo niya iyong 450 million pesos na nasa kanya pa.

Ang pera na nasa casino, ang tanong diyan, ano diyan ang na encash? Iyon, mahirap ng habulin iyon kasi cash na iyon.

Pero ang nilaro sa kanilang sistema at whether kumita, natalo or anoman, basta nandoon sa loob ng sistema nila, dapat ibalik iyan ng mga casino sa Bangladesh.


Karen Davila: Kumbaga ang sinasabi mo, Senator, kasi let’s not be naïve, ayoko naman magsabi na ganito ang Solaire o ang Midas, pero alam mo many casinos all over the world, when the house wins, sabi ko kay Vic dinidistribute na iyan eh. Kasi may agreement na rin iyang mga iyan.

Sen. Bam: Tinanong ko iyan kay Executive Director Abad. Puwede talagang habulin ang pera na yan. Ang sabi niya, pwedeng habulin ang perang iyan through a civil forfeiture case. So ibig sabihin, magpa-file siya ng civil forfeiture, ang tanong, kung ico-confess ba ng mga casino at mga institution ang kasong iyon.

Kasi kapag cinonfess nila ang civil forfeiture case ibig sabihin, they’re claiming its theirs. Diba? Sa amin na ang perang iyan. But kung hindi nila i-coconfess at sabihin nilang, “Sige parang ginagawa ni Kim Wong iyon.”

Hindi po. Ibabalik niya lang kasi he recognized na mali ang pinanggalingan ng perang yan o madumi ang pinanggalingan ng perang iyan para lang ibalik.

That’s why I was telling Executive Director Abad, mag-file na kayo para magkaalaman na.  Kasi lahat nagsasabi na mag-cocooperate po kami, mag-cocooperate kami pero pagbalik kaya ng pera. Hindi iyan totoong cooperation.

Kung madumi ang pinanggagalingan niyan, puwede talaga iyang magpalitan kasi if within our laws, ang kailangan lang ay court order.

Ang tanong, papaabutin ba ng mga casino na 35 years, 30 years ang kasong iyan? Papaabutin pa sa supreme court bago sila mag comply?  Or in good faith dahil alam naman nating galing ito sa ating bansa at nakaw ito, ibalik nalang nila kaagad.


Vic: Senator, bakit kailangang makarating sa punto na “hindi, pera namin ito. Knowing na it’s dirty money.” Bakit nila ike-claim na kanila iyon?

 Karen Davila: Kasi casino sila. Iyon iyon eh. Not anything specifically. Tanong ko lang, Senator, iyong junket operator na si Mr. Chao, technically he received the biggest amount, 900 million. And sabi ng abogado niya, tinatally pa raw ni Mr. Chao kung iyon talaga ang binigay sa kanya.

Pero do you remember, Senator, kung magkano ang napanalunan ni Mr. Chao, magkano ang naiwan sa Solaire?


Sen. Bam: Wala pa iyon. Pero nangako ang abogado that they will protect the accounting pero last hearing, kanina lang, tinanong ko na rin sila kung ipapabalik ang pera. Kasi kung mayroong na-encash, ibang usapan na iyon. Kasi wala na sa kanila iyon eh diba?

Now secondly, pagbukas natin at ito ang in-account naman po ni AMLC, kung talagang galing sa nakaw iyan, mayroon talagang legal remedy.

Iyong legal remedy diyan ay magbalikan. Hindi imposible iyon. In fact, that’s probably what’s going to happen. Ang tanong lang, pahahabain pa ba natin ang proseso kung from the beginning, in good faith pumayag na tayo. Ibalik nalang natin ang pera.

Nakakahiya. Magkaharap iyong mga resource speakers na siguro may kinalaman dito sa mga taga-Bangladesh. Hindi lang ambassador, nandoon pa ang representative ng AMLC nila, may mga representatives po sila.

Can you imagine Karen? Kung ito ang nangyari sa Pilipinas, can you imagine ang iskandalong nangyayari kung ninakawan tayo ng 81 million dollars?

Kaya ako, the fastest na maibalik natin ang perang iyan, the better for our country.


Vic: May tanong dito ah. Hindi ko na sasabihin sa iyo pero galing sa Congressman. Bakit hindi habulin ang mga naglaro? Iyong tao dapat ang hulihin. Si Mr. Chao at iyong mga ibang naglaro.


Sen. Bam: I agree. Dapat habulin din. Hindi pa na-poproduce kung sino ang mga taong iyan.


Vic: isa pang tanong. Sabi nga ni Sen. Enrile kanina nakikita ko ang body movements ng mga resource speakers, why is it that only Kim Wong ang agresibong magbalik ng pera? What’s happening to Philrem?

Bakit si Kim Wong, kahit iyong utang sa kanyang 450M, utang nga sa kanya iyon, inilabas pa rin niya. How is that?


Sen. Bam: Alam mo, Vic, until now sinasabi ng Philrem na wala ng pera na nasa kanila. Ang testimonya nila, wala ng pera sakanila. But again, I will show it out ano? Magkaibang-magkaiba ang kwento ni Kim Wong at ang kwento ng Philrem.

Ang difference nila, 13 million dollars and 200 million pesos. Iyon ang pagkakaiba sa kwento nila. Ang kung totoo nga na na encash nila yan, Karen nandito pa yan sa ating bansa. 13 million dollars and 200 million pesos. In speculation yan kung totoong na encash nila.

And ako kanina, I wanted to point out rin ang inconsistency sa mga kuwento kasi every hearing, paiba-iba ang kuwento.


Karen Davila: Actually, Sen. Aquino, I agree with you. Nakakainsulto na nga ito si Deguito at Philrem. Parang grabe ang tolerance ng mga Senador.

Una tama ka, paiba-iba ang kuwento. Pagkatapos niyan ang lakas ng loob gumawa ng ganito, pagkatapos lalabas na kunwari walang nagkakaalaman sa Senado.

Ito sir ang gusto kong tanungin, is it possible in a way, alam mo si Kim Wong maraming bumibilib sa kanya eh. Dahil at least siya ang pakiramdam ng iba, buti pa ito nagsasauli ng pera.

Is it also because, let’s be honest, kasi ang casino, any money you receive today, is not covered under AMLAC so technically hindi mo makasuhan si Kim Wong, is that correct?


Sen. Bam: I think if I’m not mistaken kasama na siya, under investigation na siya ah. Kahit itong pagbabalik niya ng pera, hindi ko alam kung mali, kung kakasuhan siya o hindi but kumbaga kapag nasa korte na ito, syempre titingnan ng korte kung sino ba ang nagbalik ng pera? Diba? Siyempre kasama yan sa determination.

Right now, ang line up question ko is ano ang maibabalik natin kaagad? Ang perang dumaan sa Midas, we’re trying to find out kung maibabalik talaga ang pera na iyan.

Ang perang nasa Solaire sabi nila, ang karamihan pumunta doon sa 2 junket operator, pero meron ding nilaro sakanila.


Vic: Are we running after the 61 million or just a part of it?


Sen. Bam: Dapat lahat. Kasi ito nga ang tanong ko kay AMLC eh. Sabi ni AMLaC basta galing sa money laundering yan, galing sa maduming bagay iyan, ang ending niyan sa korte, civil forfeiture.

Kung ano ang nagamit mo gamit ang perang iyan, magbabalikan. And ako naman, ang tingin ko, if you are a valid and legal institution, bakit mo kikimkimin ang pera na alam mong madumi? Dapat kusa mo nang ibalik yan.

Now, baka sabihin ng mga iba ay wala namang court order. So sabi ko, mag-file na kayo ng civil forfeiture, kasi kaso yan. Pero ang kabilang panig, huwag na nilang i-confess o huwag na nilang i-claim ang perang iyan.

Ibalik na nila kaagad. And there, makikita talaga natin kung sino ang gustong kimkimin ang maduming pera, at sino ang handang magbalik.


Karen Davila: Now on another note, ano ang liability or accountability ng isang remittance company katulad ng Philrem? Ipaintindi niyo sa amin, Sir, kaming mga ordinaryong Pilipino, kunwari kami ba ni Vic, pwede ba kaming magtayo na lang ng remittance company tapos may magbibigay sa amin ng 20 million dollars at maghahanap kami ni Vic.  Kami pagpapalit all over, ano po ba ang accountability ng ganoon?  


Sen. Bam: Well unang-una, Karen at Vic, talagang mag-uulat ang mga hearing ng mga reporma sa batas kasi marami talagang nagsasabi na ang casino ay hindi under AMLA, pagiging maluwag sa mga remittance company. Iyon talaga ang kailangang baguhin.


Karen Davila: Pero actually ang remittance company ay under AMLA no?


Sen. Bam: They are a covered institution.


Karen Davila: Pero ang isang kumpanya na tulad ng Philrem which is a remittance company, ano ang nakasaad sa batas sir? At a certain amount should they report it?


Sen. Bam: Ang alam ko walang ganoong rule.


Karen Davila: Ang Philrem, hindi pa inaamin sa Senado kung magkano ang kinita nila sa lahat ng ito. At the very least si Kim Wong alam natin kung magkano ang kinita niya, magkano ang nasa kanya. Itong Philrem, inuuto tayong lahat.


Sen. Bam: Ang testimonya nila ay mga 10 million ang kanilang kinita. Although ako, honestly hindi ako naniniwala na ganitong kalaking pera tapos 10 million lang ang kikitain mo.

Now, ako kasi, hangga’t hindi nagtutugma ang testimony ni Kim Wong pati ni Philrem, it clearly shows na mayroong isa diyan na nagsisinungaling.

13 million dollars and 200 million pesos ang pinagkaiba ng kanilang kuwento. Malaki talagang pera iyon.


Karen Davila: Alam mo actually, Senator, nakaka-disturb na ang actuation ng Philrem owners specifically iyong Irene Bautista, she’s very casual.


Sen. Bam: Ako the fact na every hearing may dumadagdag sa kwento, palagay ko nakita niyo kanina medyo nainis talaga ako. Nainis ako dahil every single time, nag-iiba ang kwento.

Dumadagdag. Ang una, 600 million pesos lang. Iyong pangalawa, naging 680 million.

Iyong pangatlo yata si Wei kansu lang o kasama pala si Kim Wong. Ngayon, may mga transaksyon na hindi pala kasama si Kim Wong, so medyo paiba-iba.

Now, lahat iyan lalabas sa report. Lalabas iyan sa determination namin ng mga nakikinig, lalabas at lalabas ang mga inconsistencies nila.


Karen Davila: At hindi lang iyon Sen. Bam. Magkano ang kinita ni Deguito rito? Let’s face it, si Kim Wong nagsasauli ng pera. Si Deguito nagbasa pa ng speech sa Senado kanina na ang drama niya ang ginamit po ako, nagpagamit ako para ma-advance ang career ko pero we are all forgetting iyong testimonya ni Agarato sa bangko na ang lakas ng loob nitong si Deguito na, “Oh magkano retirement mo? Limang milyon ba?”

Nakita niyo sir, ito ay isang babae na in her scope of power, was also bribing people sa range po niya.


Sen. Bam: Naniniwala ako na maraming involve dito. At least iyon naniniwala ako doon.


Karen Davila: Kanina one of the advances na ginawa ninyo is you made an effort na alamin sa LTO kung totoo ang mga lisensya na sinubmit which I have to say that was quite good entrepreneurial work and in your staff. 

Because ang nangyari ngayon, ang RCBC napa-oo ninyo na dahil nag submit ang LTO na lahat fake, napa-oo ang RCBC that they will open all the fictitious accounts. Tama ba sir?


Sen. Bam: Yes. Tama iyon Karen.


Karen Davila: Sen. Bam last question po. I’m curious, noong nagbigay ng stop payment order ang Bangladesh government, ang central bank ng Bangladesh ay humingi ng stop payment order.

Was it a US Federal Reserve or iyong Bangladesh ang humingi ng stop payment order?


Sen. Bam: Hindi ako sure Karen. On Thursday, masasabi ko po kung sino ang nag decide. I’m just not sure right now.

Bam: Pambansang Kahihiyan ang Pagnanakaw sa Bangladesh

Transcript of Phone Patch Interview at News to Go


Q: Ano po ang inyong assessment o pananaw sa naging pagdinig sa senado kahapon?

Sen. Bam: Maraming mga real [inaudible] kasi nakadalo na rin si Kim Wong.

Noong unang mga hearing palagi mine-mention si Kim Wong at parang sa kanya naka focus ang spotlight noong wala siya, pero noong pumunta na siya kahapon, parang lumabas kaagad na mayroon talagang specific amount of money na hindi pa talaga na-a-account.

May P59 million na nasa casino and I’m happy to say that the casino wanted to return it. Kim Wong also said pwede niya rin ibalik and definitely priority dapat natin na maibalik ang pera.

Kahapon na napansin ko, iyong testimony ni Phill Leng is that $18 Million and P600 Million ang kanilang binigay kay Kim Wong at kay Wang King Tzu.

Sabi naman ni Kim Wong ang nakuha lang nila ay $5 Million at P400 Million. Kumbaga may balanse na $13 Million at P200 Million.

Napakalaking halaga niyan. Dalawang panig nag a-agree kung saan napunta ang pera na iyan. sa totoo lang it’s either Kim Wong o Philrem at iyon ay isang malaking bagay na na-reveal kahapon.

Iyong isa pa siguro is yung pera na nasa casino kaya naman nila i-trace. Kung tutuusin may kakayahan na kunin ulit ang pera na iyon through other legal preceding kasi galing ang pera na iyon sa nakaw at sinangayunan naman tayo ng AMLC na may kakayahan at kapangyarihan sila na kunin ulit ang pera na iyon.

Sa totoo lang 3rd hearing na natin ito at ngayon lang natin pinaguusapan kung paano pwede ibalik ang pera sa Bangladesh.


Q: Ano naman ang consequences kung hindi nga maibalik ang perang ito?

Sen. Bam: Nakaw kasi ang perang ito. I don’t think there are legal consequences in our country pero para sa akin isang pambansang kahihiyan ito na nasangkot ang mga kababayan natin sa ganitong klaseng nakawan.

We know na Bangladesh ay parang Pilipinas din yan na isang bansa na nagsisikap umangat rin. Ang perang yan ay halos P4 Billion din kasi. Bilyon bilyon din sa pera ng Bangladesh iyan at kailangan nila ang perang yan.

Sabi ko nga kung ginawa ito sa Pilipinas, ganun din ang magiging galit natin sa bansang iyon. I think it’s imperative, it’s a priority na kung ano ang pwede natin ibalik sa kanila ay ibalik na kaagad at pagplanuhan na kung paano pwede ibalik ang perang yan kung ang pera ng Bangladesh ay andito pa sa Pilipinas kasi definitely napakalaking na en-cash at andito pa yan sa ating bansa.

Ang casino operator, ang Eastern Hawaii na pag-aari ni Kim Wong, parang nandito pa rin ang perang iyan.

Iyong sa Solaire nalipat na nila sa isang foreign operator na pinatawag namin sa susunod na hearing. Malalaman natin kung nandito pa ang perang iyan.

It is important na i-prioritize natin na kahit malaking porsyento o sana lahat as soon as possible ay maibalik sa Bangladesh.


Q: Correct me if I’m wrong pero ang pagkakaintindi ko, ang mga pera na hindi pa nagagastos ay kaya pa isauli, pero ang pera na naisugal na ay mahirap na i-recover?

SBA: Ang mahirap i-recover that something I think na kailangan natin tingnan pa kasi siyempre ang mga casino sasabihin nila “natalo na yan, tapos nay yan”. Pero we cannot forget na if it’s proven, tainted fund yan.

That’s why I’m asking Executive Abad yesterday kung may kapangyarihan ba sila na kunin ito. Hindi din ganoon kaklaro ang sagot. Sabi naman niya meron but kung ano ang legal remedy ang pwedeng gamitin. But even if it’s in the casino, pwede pa itong makuha. Titignan natin sa susunod na hearing.


Q: Since the story broke, Senator, ang spotlight napunta nga sa casino na may nagsasabi na it’s kind of a black hole for being laundered or stolen from places around the world. So kasi exempted daw ang mga casino sa AMLC, hindi sila kailangan mag report sa mga awtoridad tungkol sa mga perang malalaking halaga na pumapasok sa kanilang sistema.

 Sen. Bam: Sa totoo lang, isa sigurong kadudulutan nito is really amendment sa ating AMLA law. Iyong mga exempted, siguro iyong paghigpit sa mga loyal customer, ang pagiging clear rin sa kung ano ang pagtaas ng mga chain of command ng mga bangko saka kailangan maklaro rin iyon ng BSP.

Coming from this experience, mukhang marami din talagang kailangang reporma pang kailangang gawin pagdating ng 17th congress at una diyan ang paninigurado na hindi na gagamit ang ating legal institutions dito sa ating bansa para sa masasamang bagay.


Q: Ok. Nagkaroon din ng focus sa mga Remittance Center o mga kumpanya katulad ng Philrem. Hindi rin sakop ng anti-money laundering act o AMLA, isa rin ba iyan sa kino-consider ngayon na pumasok din iyan sa ilalim ng AMLA?

Sen. Bam: Isa rin iyan sa mga pinag-uusapan. Isa pa ang pagklaro sa bank secrecy law. I think natapos ang aming hearing kagabi sa isang debate kung pwede bang buksan ang suspicious account. Of course may magkakabilang panig iyan. Inaaral iyan ng mga Senate lawyers natin.

Pero para sa akin, kung klaro naman na hindi legal ang mga ginamit na identification sa pagbukas ng account and may problema na mismo ang account to begin with kasi sa mga IDs na ginamit ng 4 suspicious persons ay wala naman talagang ganun na government ID and they used the Driver’s License.

Kung mapatunayan naman kung fictitious ang ginamit na pagbukas ng account ay baka naman hindi na ito sakop ng Bank Secrecy Law.

Our Senate lawyers especially the Blue Ribbon Committee are studying kung puwede pa ito pagbuksan.

But then again sabi nga ng AMLC, naibigay na rin nila ang datos na ito sa Committee.



Bam on the $81M Hearing: Nakakahiya sa Bangladesh

Transcript of the Ambush Interview after the Senate Hearing


Q: There seems to be growing frustration on your end. You’re the only Senator before Sen. Koko Pimentel spoke that really focused your attention on how to get the money back. It’s all about trying to dissect what happened and who is involved but to you, it’s really about getting the Bangladeshi people’s money back.

Sen. Bam Aquino:

That’s right. In fact, in all of the hearings, the ambassador of Bangladesh is there. To be frank, nakakahiya that we talk about everything but we’re not talking enough about how to get them the 81-million US dollars back.


I don’t think the previous hearings were able to cover where exactly the money is currently. Earlier, we found out that there is discrepancy in the testimony of Kim Wong and Philrem on the cash that was given out.


At the same time, we found out that some of the money was actually still in the casinos through their junket operators. We’re hoping to get to the bottom of this and if we can actually get that money back for Bangladesh.


Q: What’s your reaction to what the AMLC said about getting information before they file a freeze order to the court of appeals? Isn’t that putting a lot of layers to the bureaucracy when at this minute we have Kim Wong saying I can just give you the money and bring it to the BSP for safe keeping.


Sen. Bam Aquino:

Exactly. Many of these questions have not been asked and I understand that the focus would be the Filipino actors who were part of this scam. But I think, first and foremost, we should focus on securing the money, making sure it’s intact, and giving it back to the people of Bangladesh.


Can you imagine if that happened to the Philippines, if 81-million dollars of our money was stolen elsewhere? The first thing we would want to ensure is that it gets back to our own treasury.


I think the minimum that we need to do is to go through AMLC, go through the motion, and ensure that whatever money is found is held and eventually returned to Bangladesh.


Q: Do you feel that we have the moral obligation not only to investigate the matter but really return the money to the Bangladeshi people?


Sen. Bam Aquino:

Yes, yes. Definitely. And hopefully everyone will cooperate. If Eastern Hawaii through Kim Wong is willing to cooperate, that’s great.


Hopefully, we get to the bottom of how much cash was given out because currently it’s a contradictory story of how much was encashed and how much was given to Kim Wong and Weikang Xu.


If there is Bangladesh money in our casinos then maybe our casinos can also cooperate and be willing to return the money without going through a lengthy court procedure. AMLC said it is within the powers of the current laws to get the money and eventually file civil forfeiture cases against those involved.


But I hope we don’t reach that. If the money is still there and if it can still be returned, we should return it at the soonest possible time.


Q: We’ve already proven that the bank accounts are fictitious so what is there for the bank secrecy law to protect?


Sen. Bam Aquino:

Exactly. That was the subject of the first part of the hearing and Sen. Osmena was very frustrated with the answers given to him regarding the bank secrecy law specially considering that these are fictitious accounts and, more or less, it has been established that the money came from a theft or a heist.


So the Senate lawyers are looking into this further. Of course, it’s the position of the bank right now that even if it’s fictitious, you can’t disclose any of these amounts but definitely the committee and our offices are looking into this further.


Q: 3rd day of the hearing, who are you most likely to believe at this point?


Well, we don’t want to pre-judge. We’re often accused of pre-judging everyone. But if you listen to the hearings, it’s becoming clear that this could not have been perpetrated by just one person.


I don’t want to talk about guilt or innocence at this point but definitely you need a lot more people and a lot of moving parts to get this to happen. Whether they’re guilty of theft, money laundering, or negligence, that’s something we will uncover in the next few hearings. And AMLC is doing a parallel process to go after the people who perpetrated this crime.

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