Items filtered by date: Sunday, 01 October 2017

Metro Pacific group eyes P20 billion for MRT3 takeover

NEW OPERATOR SOON? Once the Metro Pacific group hurdles the Swiss challenge, it expects to take over the operations, maintenance, and rehabilitation of the MRT3 by early 2018. File photo by JR Belardo/Rappler 

MANILA, Philippines – The group of Manuel Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) will invest up to P20 billion to rehabilitate, operate, and maintain the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3) should the government approve its takeover plan.

MPIC on Monday, October 2, confirmed that its MRT3 proposal could reach P20 billion, inclusive of the equity component. This would be P7.5 billion higher than its initial projection.

 

But MPIC noted that "discussions are still ongoing" in terms of the participation of Ayala Corporation in the MRT3 proposal. (READ: Singson leaves Light Rail Manila, moves to Meralco

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade told reporters last September 15 that his department will soon give the original proponent status to the Pangilinan-Ayala group.

Once the Department of Transportation (DOTr) formally grants the original proponent status, the MRT3 proposal will be up for the approval of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board. 

Following NEDA Board approval, the proposal must then undergo a Swiss challenge.

Based on the build-operate-transfer law, other private investors can submit competing offers under a Swiss challenge, while the original proponent will be given the right to match them. (READ: Pangilinan-Ayala group eyes MRT3 takeover by early 2018)

Among the terms of the unsolicited proposal is the resolution of the arbitration case filed in 2009 by MRT3 owner MRT Corporation against the government due to, among others, failure to pay equity rental payments on time.

The government, through the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and the Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank), owns a 77% economic interest in MRT Corporation by virtue of its acquisition of asset-backed bonds in 2009.

The government's interest secured the state-run banks 11 of the 14 board seats, but it did not give them equity ownership.

DBP had said it is open to selling its entire economic interest in the MRT3, a move that can pave the way for a new private owner and operator.

Once the MPIC group hurdles the Swiss challenge, it expects to take over the operations, maintenance, and rehabilitation of the MRT3 by early 2018.

The MRT3 is currently being maintained by Korean-Filipino firm Busan Universal Rail Incorporated (BURI), while the system's rail replacement is being handled by the government. – Rappler.com

 

 

 

 
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Heartbroken Nadal 'wants to cry' over Catalan vote

DOUBLE FAULT. Rafael Nadal says 'I think the image we have presented to the world is negative.' Photo by Michal Cizek/AFP

BEIJING, China - Spain's world number one Rafael Nadal said on Monday, October 2 he was stunned and felt like crying following a banned independence referendum in Catalonia and a police crackdown.

Sunday's plebiscite was organized under the threat of reprisals and criminal charges but thousands of Catalans stood in defiance of the central government in Madrid.

Nadal, a national hero in Spain who spoke out before the referendum to condemn it, was visibly moved as he addressed a press conference in Beijing, where he starts his assault on the China Open on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old, who grew up and lives on the Balearic island of Mallorca but is also a Catalan speaker, said he had watched events of the weekend unfold "with concern and sadness".

Dozens of people were injured and Nadal said: "I want to cry when I see a country where we have known how to co-exist and be a good example to the rest of the world get to a situation like this.

"I think the image we have presented to the world is negative."

The 16-time Grand Slam winner added: "It was a sad moment, my heart sank all day.

"Moreover, from here, at a distance, you experience it differently.

"I have spent many parts of my life in Catalonia, important moments, and to see society so radicalized surprises and disheartens me."

Catalonia's leader Carles Puigdemont says the region has won the right to break away from Spain after 90 percent of voters chose independence. – Rappler.com

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Catanduanes cop recants claim of PNP-sponsored killings

EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS. Catanduanes cop Vincent Tacorda recants his statement claiming PNP-sponsored killings. Screenshot from Trillanes' video 

MANILA, Philippines – A Catanduanes cop recanted his affidavit where he claimed that his superiors ordered the killings of drug suspects.

According to Senate public order committee chairman Panfilo Lacson, PO1 Vincent Tacorda withdrew his affidavit on June 29, more than a month after he signed it on May 10.

Lacson read a portion of Tacorda's letter dated July 3 during the second Senate hearing on the killings of minors.

"I have done some serious soul-searching and I have come to realize that I love my organization. I continue to hold it and its ranks in the highest respect despite some sad experiences I went through, which changed my heart. I had expounded it in an affidavit of recantation on 29 June 2017," Lacson read on Monday, October 2.

Tacorda resigned in April, saying he could no longer take the illegal activities in the police force. He claimed his superiors ordered him to kill a drug suspect because the Catanduanes police needed to step up their game in the campaign against illegal drugs.

In an affidavit dated May 10 which was presented by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV during the hearing, Tacorda said he, along with another cop, was instructed by their provincial director to deliver an "accomplishment of 5-10 deaths of drug personalities," or else they would be relieved from their posts.

Tacorda also claimed then that he served as the "shooter" in operations. He said he was given an P800-budget for food and lodging, a picture of the target, and a folder with "PUSHER AKO, HUWAG TULARAN...Bicol vigilante" written on it.

Upon locating the target, Tacorda said he tried to fire his gun but it "got jammed."

"Hence, I just threw the folder [at] him and rushed back to the waiting motorcycle and left the scene. I was then wearing a helmet and a jacket so that nobody [could] recognize me," Tacorda said.

He also earlier claimed he has voice and text recordings of his conversations with his superiors.

Lacson said they invited Tacorda to the Senate hearing but he refused to attend. The senator then instructed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to produce Tacorda in the next hearing.

PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said Tacorda also withdrew his resignation letter.

"Right after lumabas 'yung exposé, nag-submit siya ng resignation letter, but afterwards winithdraw niya dahil ayaw niya mag-resign," Dela Rosa said. (Right after the exposé was released, he submitted a resignation letter but afterwards, he withdrew it because he said he did not want to resign.)

Dela Rosa also said Tacorda is facing murder charges for the death of Catanduanes-based newspaper publisher Larry Sy Que. The filing of the complaint happened on May 2, a week before Tacorda's affidavit.

Despite Tacorda's recantation, Trillanes said the information from the cop remains valuable. He added that the cop might have been forced to change his tune.

He also presented a video of Tacorda taken in May detailing the orders of his superiors.

"'Yung information may value, 'yung truth may value 'yun. Tignan natin ang katotohanan. Madaling pilipitin ang testigo kasi nasa kanila ang kapangyarihan pero no'ng sinabi niya ito, hindi pa siya naiipit, sinabi niya ang katotohanan,"Trillanes said.

(The information has value, the truth has value. Let's look at the truth. It's easy for them to pressure a witness because they're powerful but when he disclosed the information, he was not yet pressured, and he said the truth.)

The next hearing is set for October 10. – Rappler.com

 

 
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More than 50 killed in Las Vegas concert shooting

RUNNING FOR COVER. People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. David Becker/Getty Images/AFP 

LOS ANGELES, USA (9th UPDATE) – A gunman killed at least 50 people and wounded more than 100 others Sunday, October 1, when he opened fire on thousands of fans at a country music concert on the Las Vegas Strip.

The gunman, identified as Stephen Paddock, who police said was a local man, was killed after being "engaged" by officers who responded to reports of multiple gunfire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, a hotel-casino next to the concert venue in the gambling hub.

 

Revelers screamed and fled in panic as a steady stream of automatic gunfire rang out at the venue shortly after 10:00 pm local time (0500 GMT Monday), footage captured on smart phones showed.

Two of those killed are believed to be off-duty police officers, said Las Vegas Metro Police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told an early morning press conference.

"This is an ongoing investigation, but we are comfortable that the primary aggressor in this event ... has expired or passed away, and is no longer a threat," he added.

Thousands of fans were attending the concert next to the Mandalay Bay which was part of a three-day country music festival known as Route 91.

'Like firecrackers'

Witnesses told how the gunman opened fire with an inital long burst, and then appeared to reload as he continued his spree.

"We heard (what) sounded like a glass breaking, so you looked around to see what's going on and then heard a pop, pop, pop," Monique Dekerf told CNN.

"You'd think for a moment okay we're fine, there's no more gunfire, then it starts again."

Her sister Rachel said it sounded like "the shots were coming from the right side ... it sounded like they were right beside us too ... it was right there."

Best-selling country singer Jason Aldean was on stage and near the end of his concert when the shooting began.

"We were watching the concert having a great time, then we heard what sounded like firecrackers," witness Joe Pitz told the local Las Vegas Sun news outlet.

"I guess it was an automatic weapon going off but it literally sounded like firecrackers.

"Then soon enough there was commotion on the Mandalay Bay side of the stage. They were motioning for medics to come and safety people to come and Jason Aldean ran off the stage.

"Everybody in the vicinity went down. I don't know if they were ducking or if they were but it was chaos."

'Beyond horrific'

It was the deadliest shooting in the United States since 49 people were killed at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida in June 2016.

It was also the latest in a series of recent deadly attacks at concert venues.

Twenty-two people were killed while leaving a concert in the northern English city of Manchester in May when a suicide bomber detonated a nail bomb in the foyer.

Ninety people were killed in November 2015 at the Bataclan venue in Paris during a concert by the US band the Eagles of Death Metal.

Lombardo would not release the gunman's name, but told reporters that he has been identified and is a local resident.

The sheriff however issued an appeal for information about his female traveling companion, identified as Marilou Danley.

"We have not located her at this time and we are interested in talking to her for follow-up," Lombardo said.

"We are pretty confident there is no longer a threat other than we are attempting to locate the person of interest.

"It's on ongoing investigation. Right now, we believe he is the sole aggressor at this point."

A shocked Aldean told his fans via Instagram that he and his band was safe.

"Tonight has been beyond horrific," the singer wrote.

"I still dont know what to say ... My Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight.

"It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night." – Rappler.com

 

 
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CBCP’s Villegas: Law enforcers who know about EJKs are seeking church sanctuary

Archbishop Socrates Villegas, CBCP president (CBCP photo)
MANILA – Law enforcers have sought protection and sanctuary from officials of the Catholic Church and hope to tell all about their participation in extrajudicial killings and summary executions, according to Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines President and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas.

On Monday, CBCP News published Villegas’ statement “To be Angels of Compassion,” where the archbishop revealed that the “law enforcers” are being troubled by their consciences. He said the Church was willing to grant them shelter and protection, and extend the same even to their families if needed.

If the law enforcers wished to testify, Villegas gave assurances that clergymen would not meddle with their testimony-taking, and they would only do so with the assistance of competent, independent counsel. “(T)he Catholic Church will see to it that they are in no way induced to speak, to disclose, nor to make allegations by any member of the clergy or the hierarchy,” he stressed.

And if they wished to stay with the Church rather than the government’s witness protection program, Villegas vowed that they would not be turned over to the government.

He then appealed to the priests in Lingayen Dagupan “to open their hearts and their rectories, the convents of religious communities and seminaries, as well as other secure buildings, and to be responsible for the security of the gallant men and women in uniform who may have something important to tell the nation or to testify on before the proper forum.”

However, he made it clear to the priests that they should refrain from discussing with the law enforcers their testimonies and depositions.

He asked that volunteer lawyers come forward, “preferably those who belong to alternative law groups” to assist the law enforcers “and also readily affirm that no member of the clergy instructed, directed, and coached the testimonies they give.”

“But when they so decide… to identify themselves and to testify, every means must be provided for a fair, accurate, and unconstrained or unrestrained testimony that may be used in evidence,” Villegas said.

He added that the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan was willing to be “the loving teacher and mother” of the law enforcers, providing them with pastoral counseling and values formation.

“Let us be guardian angels for one another,” he concluded.

Villegas has consistently been vocal against extrajudicial killings, telling parishes under the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan in August to sound their bells for 15 minutes every 8 p.m. until November 27 – this, in order, he said, to awaken “numb” consciences of churchgoers who approve of the violence related to the war on drugs.

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Tens of thousands in HK march vs China’s ‘authoritarian rule’

Pro-democracy activists carry a banner reading "no fear", during a protest on China's National Day in Hong Kong, China October 1, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
HONG KONG — Tens of thousands marched in China-ruled Hong Kong on Sunday in an “anti authoritarian rule” march that called for the resignation of the city’s top legal official over the recent jailing of young democracy activists.

The march, an annual fixture over the past few years on China’s October 1 National Day, comes at a time of nascent disillusionment with Hong Kong’s once vaunted judiciary.

“Without democracy, how can we have the rule of law,” the crowds yelled as they marched through sporadic downpours, from a muddy pitch to the city’s harbor-front government headquarters.

Organizers estimated about 40,000 people joined the march.

Many protesters, some clad in black, expressed dismay with Hong Kong’s Secretary of Justice, Rimsky Yuen, who Reuters reported had over-ruled several other senior public prosecutors to seek jail terms for three prominent democrats: Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow.

“We believe he (Yuen) has been the key orchestrator in destroying Hong Kong’s justice,” said Avery Ng, one of the organizers of the rally that drew a coalition of some 50 civil and political groups.

Around one hundred Hong Kong activists are now facing possible jail terms for various acts of mostly democratic advocacy including the “Umbrella Revolution” in late 2014 that saw tens of thousands of people block major roads for 79 days in a push for universal suffrage.

RULE OF LAW

While the October 1 march is a regular annual fixture, this was the first time the rule of law has been scrutinized like this, with the judiciary — a legacy of the British Common Law system — long considered one of the best in Asia and a cornerstone of Hong Kong’s economic success.

“It’s like mainland (Chinese) laws have intruded into Hong Kong,” said Alex Ha, a teacher of classical guitar, who was walking alone in the crowd.

The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index last week downgraded Hong Kong’s judicial independence ranking by five spots to number 13 in the world.

In response, however, Yuen stressed at the time that Hong Kong’s judiciary remained strong and independent.

“We cannot rely on subjective perceptions, we have to look at the facts,” he told reporters.

Hong Kong, a former British colony, returned to Chinese rule in 1997 with the promise that Beijing would grant the city a high degree of autonomy and an independent judiciary under a so-called “one country, two systems” arrangement.

But over two decades of Chinese rule, differences have deepened between Communist Party leaders in Beijing and a younger generation of democracy advocates, some of whom are now calling for the financial hub to eventually split from China.

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam spoke of a need for unity during a speech to assembled dignitaries at a National Day reception to mark the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China by the Communists.

“As long as we capitalize on our strengths, stay focused, seize the opportunities before us and stand united, I am sure that Hong Kong can reach even greater heights,” she said.

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Sereno on Duterte’s ‘let’s resign together’ dare: ‘Why must I quit? I did nothing wrong’

President Rodrigo Duterte and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in file combo image. He dared her and the Ombudsman to resign with him, but she's not biting. INTERAKSYON FILE
MANILA, Philippines – Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno will not step down from her post amid calls by President Rodrigo Duterte to resign, one of her spokespersons in the impeachment case said.

“The Chief Justice will not resign because she has done nothing unlawful, illegal and impeachable,” lawyer Josalee Deinla told reporters at the House of Representatives.

“Gusto niya lang mangyari ay makapagpatuloy siya sa paggampan ng kanyang tungkulin bilang punong mahistrado ng Korte Suprema [All she wants is to continue her work as chief magistrate of the Supreme Court],” she added.

Deinla, together with lawyers Justin Mendoza and Anzen Dy, filed a “verified rejoinder” to the reply of Atty. Lorenzo Gadon, the complainant in the impeachment case against Sereno.

Over the weekend, Duterte said he would not submit to the investigation by the Ombudsman, who is looking into his familly’s wealth. He said he would not let the Supreme Court decide either, and noted that Sereno was facing an impeachment complaint at the House.

He then challenged Sereno and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales to resign with him.

In the verified rejoinder, Sereno’s lawyers said Gadon conceded that some of his allegations may not be impeachable offenses.

They identified these charges as the Chief Justice’s alleged misdeclaration of her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth; her allegedly illegal acquisition of the Toyota Land Cruiser; her business class travels; her alleged shortlists for the six vacancies in the Sandiganbayan; and her mental and psychological evaluation results.

“The reply (of Gadon), with its countless inane personal attacks on the incumbent head of the Judiciary, has done nothing to help the complainant’s cause,” according to the rejoinder.

It also noted that some of Gadon’s allegations stated that they “will be verified later” at “evidentiary hearings.”

“The time, energy and resources of the State should not be devoted to a case where the complainant pleads so-called grounds for impeachment, but then readily admits the legality of the acts in question,” Sereno’s lawyers said.

“Public funds should not finance a proceeding where the complainant swears based on personal knowledge and authentic records, but then cites news reports and expresses the need to verify his facts later. The people’s money should never fund a fishing expedition,” they added.

The House justice committee earlier found the complaint sufficient in form and in substance. On Thursday, it is expected to hear the complaint anew and decide if it has sufficient grounds and probable cause to impeach Sereno.

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‘I HAVE DONE SOME SERIOUS SOUL SEARCHING’ | Cop who earlier claimed he was ordered to commit EJK flip-flops

Philstar file photo of PO1 Vincent Tacorda (inset)
MANILA, Philippines — Months after claiming that his superiors allegedly ordered him to carry out extrajudicial killings of individuals in Catanduanes believed to be linked to drugs, Police Officer 1 Vicent Tacorda made a turnaround.

On Monday, Sen., Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, read a July 3 letter from Tacorda, quoting the policeman as saying that, “I have done some serious soul searching and I have come to realize that I love my organization.”

“I continue to hold it and its ranks in the highest respect despite some sad experiences I went through, which changed my heart; [that] I had expounded in an affidavit of recantation on 29 June 2017,” added Tacorda in his letter read by Lacson.

Tacorda resigned last April after claiming that he was ordered to shoot suspects by his superiors so that Catanduanes police officers would have an accomplishment in the Duterte administration’s war on drugs campaign and won’t be terminated from their services.

“May ebidensya ako niyan. Inoorderan nila ako mag-conduct ng pamamaril nga, kasi nakikiusap sila kung p’wede daw kasi mare-relieve sila dahil lahat na may accomplishment na, Catanduanes na lang ang walang nasasampolan,” Tacorda said during a media interview last April.

“Kaya nakiusap sila sa akin kung ‘pwede ako mag-sample. Dahil siya ang COP (Chief of Police) ko noon…kaya sumunod ako,” he added.

Tacorda was referring to former Catanduanes Police chief Jesus Martirez, whom he also accused of allegedly instructing him not to declare the amount and worth of seized illegal drugs during operations if the money involved was too big.

In his May 10 affidavit, which was presented by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV during the Senate committee hearing on Monday, Tacorda related how his superiors allegedly assigned him as “shooter” and prepared his needs to kill an alleged suspect.

He said he was given an P800-budget for his food and lodging, a picture of his target, and a folder with a note stating, “Pusher ako, huwag tularan [I’m a pusher, don’t be like me] – Bicol vigilante,” which was handwritten using a red pentel pen.

Tacorda likewise claimed the operation against his target “was well-coordinated with the chief of police.”

“I checked-in at D’Mark Hotel and decided to execute the plan at night time. I was ordered to coordinate with the senior intel operative, who is watching the target. When I was given the exact location of the target in Barangay San Jose, Viga, Catanduanes, I went to the place on board a motorcycle driven by a former police officer,” Tacorda said in his May affidavit.

“When I located the target, I initially passed by his location and when I saw him, I decided to go back. We parked the motorcycle at the corner of the nearest street. I casually walked towards the target using the folder to cover my firearmand fired the bullet at his back. I tried to fire again but my firearm got jammed…Hence, I just threw the folder on him and rushed back to the waiting motorcycle and left the scene. I was then wearing a helmet and a jacket so that nobody can recognize me,” he added.

During the Senate hearing on Monday, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Ronald dela Rosa said Tacorda resigned after the news exposé about his complaint against his superiors but afterwards withdrew his resignation.

“Right after lumabas ‘yong exposé, nag-submit siya ng resignation letter, but afterwards winithdraw niya dahil ayaw niya mag-resign,” the PNP chief said.

Also Dela Rosa said said Tacorda was linked to the killing of a journalist based in Catanduanes and that Tacorda allegedly came out with his affidavit last May after he was implicated in the said slay.

Asked by Sen. Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros during the Senate inquiry if news reports published last May were true that Tacorda was told to avoid issuing statements critical of the PNP, Dela Rosa said, “Wala po, your honor [Nothing stopped him from doing so, your honor].”

But the PNP chief added that if Tacorda would be requested to refrain from giving such statements, he saw “no bad intention” if the appeal would be made “without threat.”

Lascon said his committee had requested Tacorda to appear in the Senate hearing but the police officer declined the invitation.

The senator ordered the PNP to produce Tacorda in the next hearing on October 10.

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Care Indeed Attends Professional Fiduciary Association of California (PFAC) Northern California Education Day

Photo shows Vanessa Valerio, COO and VP for Patient Care, and Apryl Ryder, Client Services Manager. The event, held last September 20 at the San Francisco Convention Center, provided information on how health care professionals can work more effectively with clients. For more details about Care Indeed's home care services and job opportunities, call(650) 328-1001 or log in to www.careindeed.com.

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Patricia Bautista seeks disbarment of UST law dean Nilo Divina

MANILA – Patricia Bautista, estranged wife of Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Andres Bautista, filed on Tuesday, September 26, a disbarment complaint against lawyer Nilo Divina before the Supreme Court (SC).
Divina is the managing partner of the Divina Law Firm, which Patricia accused of paying commissions to her husband. These commissions make up the P1-billion worth of Bautista's alleged unexplained wealth that Patricia has exposed.
Divina is also the dean of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Faculty of Civil Law, embroiled in the recent controversy of the death of freshman student Horacio Castillo III. The law student allegedly died during the hazing rites of Aegis Juris Fraternity, of which Divina is also an alumnus.
Included in Patricia's disbarment complaint are 20 other lawyers from the Divina Law Firm:
Alfonso Verzosa
Estrella Elamparo
Alden Francis Gonzales
John Michael Galauran
Jessie Matibag
Isaiah Asuncion III
Camille Khristine Aromas
Ismael Sarangaya Jr
Jay-r Ipac
Janna Mae Tecson
Lourdes Anifel Caspe
Paula Danica Landayan
Ian Jerny De Leon
Rchel Marie Felices
Ciselie Marie Gamo-Sisayan
Jemimah Grace Garcia
Anna Katrina Singcol
Rhegine Peralta
Benito Cataran
Dara Acusar
Bautista also asked the SC to consider dissolving the entire law firm.
Divina said he is "not worried at all about any threat of disbarment." Divina added that Patricia is "probably sour that their impeachment complaint against Chairman Bautista was dismissed."
"I have always acted in accordance with law and the ethical demands of the law profession. I am not worried at all about any threat of disbarment. I have not read the complaint. We will respond accordingly," Divina said in a text message to reporters.
Referral fees
Patricia went to the SC on Tuesday with her legal spokesperson Lorna Kapunan.
Kapunan said the disbarment complaint is based on Bautista's own admissions that he received referral fees from the Divina Law Firm.
"They involve clients whose names we’ll later mention, but already we would like to mention that one of their clients is Smartmatic," Kapunan said.
She added: "Sabi niya he received them earlier (he said he received them earlier), not when he was Comelec commissioner but we have documents to show that he received them close to the elections, and we also have cancelled checks paid by Divina Law not only to Bautista but to his sister Susan, to the mother and father."
The House justice committee junked the impeachment complaint against Bautista for being insufficient in form.
"We are doing what we said we would which is to use other venues in which these documents could come to light," Patricia said.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Office of the Ombudsman, and even the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) are conducting separate investigations into Patricia's allegations.
Divina is among Bautista's best friends and a godfather to their eldest son Xavier.
“It would, thus, appear that Andy secured the services of Divina Law, Nilo’s law firm, in order to profit from his position in the Comelec,” Patricia earlier said in her affidavit.
Bautista had already denied that the Divina Law Firm has clients related to Comelec.
The exposé is being linked to possible fraud in the 2016 elections because Patricia also claimed there were red flags in almost daily deposits not higher than P500,000 into Bautista's bank accounts in 2016. The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) is already investigating the bank deposits. – Rappler.com

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