Can Pamusa really be PHL history’s “game-changer”?

By Frank Wenceslao

MY COLLEAGUES who’ve helped me nurse the Philippine Anticorruption Movement USA, Inc. (Pamusa) these past 9 years appreciate very much the support and enthusiasm expressed by the leaders and members of the Filipino United Network and subsidiary FAITH (which seems exclusively for FilAm MDs) and the other FilAm organizations in their decision to get involved in the coming May 2016 elections by relying on Pamusa as their political and legal framework to be a “Game-Changer” of PHL history.

I believe Pamusa has fallen into this mold “providentially.” I was told the granting of Pamusa’s tax-exempt status under Sec. 527 of the Internal Revenue Code is thus far the fastest on record vis-à-vis the time it takes for approving other applicants such as Tea Parties. Let me clarify, moreover, that while preparing this piece a call came from the office of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen about a letter for Pamusa to consider which tax-exempt status will serve us better, under Sec. 527 or Sec. 501(c)(3) with the difference explained in the letter.

I’m more convinced now the speed of Pamusa’s tax-exempt status stemmed from my letter inviting President Barack Obama’s concern to the worst-case scenarios below befalling the Philippines unless preventive measures are adopted soon. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch got a copy and presumably recommended to the IRS to grant Pamusa’s tax-exempt status because she appreciates that private donations to fight corruption to nonprofits like Pamusa are additional resources helping the USDOJ-IRS-FBI team in fighting the evil worldwide.

It probably became obvious to U.S. policy-makers the U.S. resources aren’t adequate to fight the new “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” – namely: organized crime, international drug trafficking, terrorism, and corruption which are debilitating national economies and naturally the world’s. Hence, granting nonprofits tax-exempt status making private donors’ contributions deductible from income subject to federal income tax combined with USDOJ’s authority to combat corruption jointly with the U.S. Department of Justice-Internal Revenue Service-Federal Bureau of Investigation combined team will go a long way to minimize corruption until it’s eradicated like the illnesses that devastated mankind.

I’ve pointed out the clear and present danger of VP Jojo Binay’s losing the presidential election and claiming to have been cheated which he already told the media. Binay said he would call his supporters to join the street demonstrations to protest his loss. The participants mostly jobless and unwashed relying on Binay’s cash giveaways which could’ve been extracted from the campaign kitty he has amassed that the Anti-Money Laundering Council has dug up which could reach P16 billion ($360M).

Denied of Binay’s giveaways the demonstrators could be violent like what happened in Ferguson, MO and Baltimore, MD. Demagogues could divert groups of demonstrators to Manila’s upscale subdivisions and look for food while the unruly start looting the stores they pass along the way.

Those thinking that the riots in Manila and other Philippine cities will fizzle out like the Ferguson and Baltimore riots after 2 to 3 days of pacification by the police and national guards don’t know Metro Manila’s geography. Unlike Ferguson or Baltimore, Metro Manila’s upscale subdivisions are close to each other that rioters can reach them easily and engulf with violence Metro Manila, Cebu or Davao in less than a day with the demonstrators forcing to enter rich people’s houses and apartments. Hence, the PNP and AFP detachments trying to stop the demonstrators would either start shooting or let the demonstrators do what they want. After a few days of unrest and violence, the tipping points of these worst-case scenarios could be triggered, as follows:

(1) The Chinese government, disappointed in losing the first round in the UN legal battle regarding the ownership of South China Sea’s small islands, decided to equip the Communist New People’s Army (NPA) with better firepower to support Binay to take over the government. Later on, like Muhammad Morsi, the first democratically elected Egypt’s president was thrown out by the military he was sensed to impose Sharia law. The same thing would happen to Binay when he starts acting he’s his own man.

(2) The ISIS could send funds to the Abu Sayyaf to recruit volunteers and provide with better arms that easily would reach an army division-size from the many jobless in Mindanao. They’d attack the government forces and declare Mindanao a part of the Muslim caliphate.

(3) After the Chinese-armed and funded NPA get rid of Binay as “President-elect,” the Filipino right composed of the Catholic Church, businessmen, intelligentsia, etc. gather at EDSA to proclaim Mar Roxas as the “President-elect” and all hell breaks loose. The jobless and unwashed begin an orgy of violence. Groups of demonstrators disappointed with what’s done to Binay – again hungry and unwashed start roaming the streets and cut to pieces everyone they meet who look like Chinese blamed for their sufferings like the racial riots in Indonesia and Malaysia in mid-1960s.

Thus, Pamusa with combined empowerment of tax-exempt status and USDOJ’s authority to fight corruption with its bank account receiving continuous deposits from the donations of Filipino Americans and U.S. foundations mandated to preserve democratic governments overseas will rally the 4 million Filipino American for the U.S. to send in the Marines, or lose the Philippines to China or ISIS.

After the Marines restore our democratic government and install Mar Roxas as the President, his administration will be under terrific pressure to ask the DOJ Secretary to work with Pamusa, firstly, to prevent the rise of another Marcos or Binay for a long, long time. Secondly, to strictly enforce the international cooperation agreements against corruption (ICAACs) such as the UNCAC; OECD mandates to enable the BIR to exchange tax information with foreign counterparts; G8 and G20 agreements empowering the Anti-Money Laundering Council to ask foreign banks the names of Filipinos with deposit accounts with them and, on top of which, the U.S. National Strategy to Internationalize Efforts Against Kleptocracy which reinforces President George W. Bush’s Presidential Proclamation No. 7750 barring the entry into the United States and its territories of foreign nationals whether immigrants or nonimmigrants who have been involved in corruption with their illicit assets gained therefrom.

Of course, there’s the PHL-USA Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty whose Para. 3, Article I (Scope of Assistance) provides: “3. Assistance shall be provided without regard to whether the conduct which is the subject of the investigation, prosecution, or proceeding in the Requesting State (PHL) would constitute an offense under the laws of the Requested State (USA). Hence, Filipinos suspected of involvement in corrupt practices visiting the U.S. against whom Pamusa may submit evidence of involvement in corruption to the FBI can be detained and investigated in the U.S.

In other words, sufficiently funded with donations of Filipino Americans and generous U.S. donors, Pamusa will pursue “hammer and tong” current and former government officials, their close associates and immediate family members, or the private businessmen and individuals that colluded with them in enriching themselves from the proceeds of corruption.

For example, in case Philip Juico and his wife, Margie, are on a visit to the U.S. Pamusa may ask the FBI to prioritize looking into the evidence submitted to it against Margie of corruption while chairperson of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. The evidence such as photos of their palatial house and amenities in an upscale QC subdivision will obviously show these were acquired by the spouses’ statistically improbable legitimate income. The FBI can detain the spouses and investigate them for conspiracy to commit corruption with additional evidence coming from the BIR, DOJ and Ombudsman.

If the investigation showed Pamusa’s allegations were accurate and the couple may have indeed assets from illegal sources not reported in her SALNs the BIR or PCSO may have already sent as requested by the FBI, probable cause would be found for the Juicos to be tried of corruption and conspiracy to commit corruption and other aspects while Margie was PCSO chairperson.

There are many more current and former government officials in Margie Juico’s shoes. However, Pamusa’s advisers who compose on a rotating basis its Executive Committee are mostly Bible-reading Christians. They remind me Pamusa’s combined empowerment of tax-exempt status and USDOJ-authorized participation in fighting corruption in the Philippines if handled carelessly will corrupt me or if not me, then my successors to eventually cause Pamusa’s downfall and become useless to help poor Filipinos who have been our mission to liberate out of poverty and its debilitating effects.

After going over the long list of probable respondents wearing Margie’s shoes who are current and former government officials, their close associates and immediate family members, or private businessmen and individuals who colluded with them, thus actionable for corruption, bribery, money laundering, fraud, conspiracy, and other financial crimes, or allegedly enriched themselves from the proceeds of corrupt practices as public officials with conspiring private businessmen and individuals, we agreed that Pamusa should have a change of strategy.

Thus, Pamusa will cease and desist in pursuing abovementioned individuals who have been involved directly or indirectly as government officials currently or formerly with close associates and immediate family members, or private businessmen and individuals that colluded with them in violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (RA 3019) and similar laws within the context of the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and its international enforcement in accordance with United States’ laws.

Our change of strategy is naturally for a good reason, i.e., we want to give priority in reforming Philippine elections hopefully in this cycle by spending the donations we receive for informational campaigns to rally the millions of Filipino Americans of voting age to apply for dual citizenship with other overseas Filipinos registering to vote for President, VP, and senator in the May 2016 elections.

The concerned FilAm organizations with Pamusa will conduct political advocacy, educational, and informational campaigns to know if the candidates for positions they aspire for are qualified such as a minimum educational attainment and executive experience to know and understand the workings of a political economy like the Philippines (merely being law or college graduate isn’t enough) and with moral standing to fight corruption which will be Pamusa’s main concern after the elections.

The Filipino Americans and other Filipinos overseas will likewise be encouraged to mobilize their relatives and friends at home NOT TO VOTE for candidates merely relying on their popularity as movie and sports stars that when elected they can’t help grow the economy and create jobs so unemployed Filipinos can find jobs at home and not be driven to go abroad to find employment which expose our women to agonizing situations of leaving their families to earn a living only to be abused by foreign employers.

Filipino Americans and other Filipinos overseas have at least 20 million relatives and friends at home enough to overcome the votes of low-information or “bakya-crowd” votes, thus we can cleanse our electoral system of candidates and the government by not voting for the likes of Joseph Estrada, Lito Lapid, Bong Revilla, Richard Gomez, Jinggoy Estrada, Jojo Binay and family members, etc.

Pamusa’s strategy to cease and desist in pursuing current and former government officials with their co-conspirators is only good during this election cycle. We will continue only removing from the list of Pamusa’s probable targets after the elections those who are decided to help in funding our fighting corruption by donating annually an amount according to the degree they belong to given in my email on 11/09/15 sent as Pamusa’s newsletter.

Those unwilling to donate and help Pamusa be Philippine history’s “game-changer” but have assets beyond the realm of the statistical probability of growing their investment that may have come from “a process or series of actions through which income of illegal origin is concealed, disguised, or made to appear legitimate (main objective); and to evade detection, seizure, and taxation,” (USDOJ’s definition of illicit assets or proceeds from corruption) should be prepared to be targeted by Pamusa under its USDOJ-granted authority to submit to the FBI for investigation whether the assets were legitimately acquired or not.

To make this column an eye-opener, in addition to the evidence of Binay’s illicit assets lifted off the AMLC’s findings that Pamusa has submitted to the USDOJ which deferred to the Ombudsman to file the appropriate action against him, Pamusa has submitted cases to the USDOJ/FBI for investigation, as follows:

(1) The alleged ill-gotten wealth of President Joseph Estrada, his wife ex-Sen. Loi Ejercito Estrada, and son Jinggoy in the U.S. probably in the custody of Yolanda Ricaforte, William Gatchalian, Jaime Dechavez, etc.

(2) A case against John Gokongwei, Jr. and fellow officers of JG Summit Holdings, Inc. whose owned or controlled companies have allegedly grown their assets and net worth including Gokongwei’s corporate holdings and personal net worth out of the illegal income of Universal Robina Corporation’s (formerly Universal Corn Products) flour milling business whose original complete flour milling plant was allegedly smuggled with the DBP officials’ conspiracy of financing its foreign exchange component when the importation of any new flour mill was banned by the government because of surplus local flour supply threatening the viability of the six (6) existing mills; and

(3) The alleged ill-gotten wealth of El Shaddai’s head minister, Mariano “Brother Mike” Velarde, by corrupting the government’s procurement of the right-of-ways (ROWs) for proposed highways and bridges by buying in advance or acting as agent of owners whose lands have been planned and budgeted for the ROWs. By overpricing the cost to the government of the lands for the ROWs or obtaining irrevocable option to buy them including the adjoining lands that can be commercially developed, the growth of Velarde’s Amvel Land Development Corporation either by buying the lands at very low prices from the owners not knowing their use for ROWs and adding exorbitant overprice on the sale price to the government and holding irrevocable options for the commercial development of lands along proposed highways and their marketing after they’re developed enable Amvel to earn huge profits as both developer and realtor. It’s likewise alleged Velarde is using Pag-IBIG Fund, SSS, and GSIS to pay for the purchase, development, and marketing of just the lots, or complete housing units and lots. 11/10/15.