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Archive for May 4th, 2007

Aquino bugging ‘shameful,’ says Ramos

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By Joel Guinto
Last updated 06:24pm (Mla time) 05/04/2007

MANILA, Philippines — Former president Fidel Ramos said the discovery of a bugging device on the phone line of his predecessor, Corazon Aquino, was “shameful.”

At the same time, Ramos revealed that like Aquino, his phone line was tapped too after he stepped down from power in 1998.

“It is really saddening to have a former president, even just a former high official of the country, being bugged by somebody. I know because I have been a victim of that before,” Ramos told reporters in a chance interview in Camp Aguinaldo.

“I will not tell you when or where, but it’s shameful that people who should be respected like Cory Aquino are bugged,” he said.

Ramos said the bugging of his phone line was “wireless.”

“I did not pay attention to it because the result of what they claimed was the result of what I was supposed to have said was rubbish,” he said.

He said the bugging device found Thursday on Aquino’s phone line, which consisted of a tape recorder and a power supply hidden in a telephone box some 100 meters away from the Times Street, Quezon City residence, was “primitive.”

The former president speculated the device might have been an “old bug” planted as far back as before Aquino was thrust to power by a popular revolt in 1986.

Interviewed at a Quezon City hotel late Thursday evening, where movie producer Mother Lily Monteverde threw a party for her son, senatorial candidate Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino II, Ms. Aquino declined to name suspects in the bugging pending the results of a police investigation.

“I was thinking martial law must be back. When there was still martial law, we were sue that our phone line was tapped, so Ninoy always told us to be careful,” she said, referring to her martyred husband, former senator Benigno Aquino Jr.

While he also declined to name suspects, Noynoy Aquino said as much when asked who thought was behind the surveillance.

“Look at some basics, there has to be some level of technical expertise to access the [phone] cabinet, to attach the links to the phone line,” he said.

“On top of that, the person [who planted the device] must have some assurance [that] whoever told [him] to do it, he will be protected,” he added.

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Written by joelguinto

Fri+00:002007-05-04T10:48:45+00:00+00:0005b+00:00Fri, 04 May 2007 10:48:45 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am05

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Military chief orders troops to cheat for TU — Trillanes

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Show evidence, says Bacarro

By Joel Guinto
Last updated 05:26pm (Mla time) 05/04/2007

MANILA, Philippines — Detained former Navy Lieutenant Antonio Trillanes IV said Esperon released a radio message to ground troops to cheat for the 12 administration senatorial bets to boost their chances of sweeping the May mid-term elections, a former junior officer who is running for senator under the opposition coalition claimed.


Detained former Navy Lieutenant Antonio Trillanes IV said fellow soldiers informed him of Esperon’s order. He said battalion commanders who received the radio messages would soon surface to expose the supposed order from the military chief, who had been linked to alleged cheating operations in 2004.

Military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Bartolome Bacarro denied Trillanes’ allegation and dared the soldier-turned-politician to substantiate his claim with evidence.

Interviewed at his detention cell in Fort Bonifacio on Friday,
Trillanes said the planned cheating operations would be done “in some areas in Mindanao,” including the autonomous region, and would involve at least 300,000 votes.

“The 12-0 [sweep] will be done in areas under their control. It will be impossible [to do it] all over the country or traditional places where cheating occurs. That is the directive and they will do it,” said Trillanes, who is facing mutiny charges.


Asked if the order came directly from Esperon, Trillanes answered in the affirmative.

Trillanes said the battalion commanders’ leaking the alleged order was their way of telling the military leadership not to push through with its supposed plan to rig the May 14 vote in the administration’s favor.

“That is why they [battalion commanders] leaked it, to show that we don’t want to be part of this. That’s what they are saying. By leaking it out to the public, the message is, [the alleged plan to cheat] has been compromised and, better yet, it should not push through,” he said.

Trillanes warned that alleged cheating operations in May could be on a bigger scale than during the 2004 elections.

“It could be worse. They [administration] need to catch up. They may be very sloppy or daring this time. But they can’t guarantee the full cooperation of the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines],” he said.

Asked why the military would be that bold to send out a radio signal to cheat in the elections, Trillanes said: “They believe they are in control of the AFP… They are emboldened by the belief that they can bully their way around, feeling nobody can oppose them.”

Esperon and three other senior officials were dragged into the 2004 vote-rigging controversy after they were mentioned in purported wiretapped conversations of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano on alleged plans to

A military investigation cleared the military of involvement in alleged vote-rigging but its full report was never made public.

“If they want to have another Hello Garci scandal, many AFP units are protesting against this. They don’t want to be used for cheating in the elections. We all saw the tragedy that the Hello Garci scandal brought upon the nation,” Trillanes said.

Trillanes also dismissed as “lip service,” Esperon’s directive to soldiers to stay away from partisan politics.

He said a recent radio message allegedly from Army Chief Lieutenant General Romeo Tolentino for troops to tear down his campaign posters was proof that the military was involved in partisan politics.

In an interview at Fort Bonifacio, Army Chief of Staff Major General Melchor Dilodilo denied that there was such an order against Trillanes.

Except for retired Marine Brigadier General Francisco Gudani, the all four so-called “Hello Garci” generals, Esperon, retired Army Lieutenant General Roy Kyamko, and retired Army Major General Gabriel Habacon were accused of helping Arroyo cheat.

Gudani’s relief, allegedly due to his uncooperativeness in the cheating operations, was mentioned in the wiretaps.

Trillanes warned that soldiers who would refuse to cooperate in alleged vote-rigging in May could suffer Gudani’s fate.

Sought for comment on Trillanes’ revelation, Bacarro said: “We challenge them to come up with evidence, show their evidence [that] there is such a directive.”

“That is a serious allegation that they are throwing at the Chief of Staff… Let them come up with evidence. If they can substantiate it, that’s a very big question,” he told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo.

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Written by joelguinto

Fri+00:002007-05-04T10:42:05+00:00+00:0005b+00:00Fri, 04 May 2007 10:42:05 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am05

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Kris Aquino, James Yap: Couple on the mend

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By Joel Guinto
Last updated 00:25am (Mla time) 05/04/2007

MANILA, Philippines — Television host and movie actress Kris Aquino and her cager husband James Yap appeared as a couple on the mend in their first public appearance since the birth of their son two weeks ago.


The two held hands as they walked to the function room of a Quezon City hotel on Thursday evening, where Regal Films matriarch Mother Lily Monteverde threw an endorsement party for Kris’ elder brother, Tarlac Representative Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, who is running for senator.

Seated at the presidential table, Kris and James whispered to and smiled at each other. The Purefoods cager leaned to his wife’s side when they read a prayer especially written for Noynoy by their mother, former president Corazon Aquino.

The couple’s body language on Thursday was the exact opposite of Kris birthday celebration on her ABS-CBN talk show “The Buzz” last February, where she gave James the cold shoulder. At that time, news of James’ alleged tryst with beauty clinic attendant Hope Centeno had begun to circulate.


Hope claimed she had sexual relations with James in the facial cubicle of the clinic of beauty doctor to the stars Vicki Belo, but the basketball player denied this, claiming the attendant was obsessed with him.

“Three nights ko lang nasabi sa kanya na, alam mo, nalo-love na kita ulit [It was only three nights ago that I told him that I started to love him again],” a tearful Kris said in an ABS-CBN interview.

Interviewed during the Thursday evening affair, Kris told reporters as he looked at James: “I asked him to join me right now. We went here to show Mother Lilly how much we appreciate what she has done for Noynoy.”

“This is the last hurrah, and I haven’t been to any of [Noynoy’s] campaigns,” Kris added.

Kris left at the middle of the party saying she had to breastfeed James Jr. She has an elder son, Joshua, by movie actor Philip Salvador.

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Written by joelguinto

Fri+00:002007-05-04T10:30:19+00:00+00:0005b+00:00Fri, 04 May 2007 10:30:19 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am05

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