AMID SHOW OF POWER AND INFLUENCE, COMELEC MANIPULATED BY TINGA CAMP


If there are people using their positions and power just to influence the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in its decisions, they are no less than former Supreme Court Associate Justice Dante Tinga and his son, former mayor and now Taguig Rep. Freddie Tinga.
This was declared by Atty. Darwin Icay, spokesperson of Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano and chief of the Public Information Office in reaction to allegations hurled by the Tingas.
According to Atty. Icay, they received information that when the House of Representatives was deliberating the Comelec budget, the younger Tinga threatened to block the approval of the poll body’s outlay, adding that he will support the budget in exchange for a favorable decision of the Comelec regarding the electoral case filed by his father against Mayor Lani.
As such, Atty. Icay urged the House Ethics Committee to conduct an investigation on Rep. Tinga in the light of these charges that he was using his position to advance the interest of his father.
Earlier, Mayor Lani’s camp accused the former magistrate of putting pressure to Comelec officials to resolve the poll protest in his favor.
Mr. Dante Tinga is the client of Atty. Sixto Brillantes in this particular case, who is now Chair of Comelec.  Also, Comelec Commissioner Lucenito Tagle is one of the justice’s law partners.
As to the show of support by Mayor Lani’s supporters in front of the City Hall, Atty. Icay pointed out that it was purely voluntary on their part and they were not paid nor forced to gather.
“The city government of Taguig is business as usual. The heightened security imposed in the city is only part of the policy against threats to local security and to restrict unauthorized persons who may sow fear and who do not have official business in the city. It is the responsibility of Mayor Lani Cayetano to maintain peace and order in the city,” said Atty. Icay.
Atty. Icay also clarified that there was no directive from the city government to prevent Comelec officials from retrieving the ballot boxes and defy the order of the poll body.
“There was no barricade against Comelec officials and as such, there is no basis to charge the camp of Mayor Lani of contempt,” added Atty. Icay.
Meanwhile, Atty. Icay lambasted the Tinga camp for calling on even President Benigno C. Aquino III to meddle with the case.
“They should not involve the President in this issue. These actions by the Tingas would only cement the fact that they do not stick with their political affiliations just to protect their vested interests,” said Atty. Icay.
The Tingas had been closely associated with embattled former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo but now are boasting of their connection with President Aquino.
Atty. Icay denies the accusation of ex-Mayor Freddie Tinga that Mayor Lani was stalling his projects in the city.  Unlike Tinga’s administration, we support these projects and simply ask for coordination, securing of necessary permits and abiding by the legal process.
FILIPINO VERSION:
KUNG mayroong mang gumagamit ng kanilang posisyon at impluwensya para mapasunod sa kagustuhan nila  ang Commission on Elections (Comelec), ito’y walang iba kundi ang mag-amang retired Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Dante Tinga at ex-Mayor at ngayo’y kongresista Freddie Tinga.
Ito ang tahasang sinabi ni Atty. Darwin B. Icay, tagapagsalita ni Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano at siya ring chief ng Public Information Office (PIO) bilang reaksyon na rin sa mga patutsada ng mag-amang Tinga sa kampo ng alkalde.
Ayon kay Atty. Icay, noong tinatalakay ng Mababang Kapulungan ng Kongreso ang taunang budget ng Comelec, nanghimasok ang batang Tinga kung saan binabantaan nito ang mga opisyal ng poll body na bilang isang kongresista ay haharangin niya ang pag-apruba sa pondo nito.
Kapalit umano nang pananakot na ito ang dapat pagkatig ng Comelec sa electoral protest na inihain ng nakatatandang Tinga upang hindi maipit ang kanilang budget.
Dahil dito, binigyan-diin ni Atty. Icay na dapat imbestigahan at patawan ng kaukulang parusa ng House Ethics Committee ang batang Tinga dahil sa paggamit nito ng kanyang posisyon para diktahan ang Comelec pabor sa ama niyang natalo kay Mayor Lani bilang alkalde ng Taguig.
Una nang pinaratangan ng kampo ni Mayor Lani nang paggamit ng retired SC member ng kanyang impluwensya sa mga opisyal ng Comelec para paboran ang kanyang election protest.
Dagdag ni Atty. Icay, si Dante Tinga ay kliyente ni Atty. Sixto Brillantes, na siyang tumayong election lawyer sa protestang ito at ngayon ay chairman ng Comelec bukod pa ang pagiging magka-law partner ng rehistradong mahistrado at ni Comelec Commissioner Lucenito Tagle, miyembro ng Second Division, na unang nag-utos na pagkuha sa mga ballota sa Taguig.
Kaugnay sa ginawang pagtitipon-tipon ng mga tagasuporta ni Mayor Lani sa paligid ng city hall, nilinaw ni Atty. Icay na ito’y hindi pinagplanuhan sa halip ay isang boluntaryo o kusang-loob na kapasyahan ng mga nagmamahal sa Taguig lady mayor.
“Ang City Government ng Taguig ay “business as usual”.  Ang seguridad na ipinatupad sa city hall ay bahagi lamang nang pagtitiyak na mapigilan ang mga ‘unauthorized person’ o indibidwal na nais lamang manggulo at wala namang ‘official business’ sa pamahalaang lungsod.  Tungkulin po ng administrasyon ni Mayor Lani Cayetano na panatilihin ang kapayapaan at kaayusan sa lungsod ng Taguig,” pahayag pa ni Atty. Icay.
Nais ding ipabatid ng tagapagsalita ni Mayor Lani na walang kaukulang direktiba sa mga opisyal o kawani ng pamahalaang lungsod ng Taguig na harangin at pigilan sa anumang paraan ang mga taga-Comelec sa pagpapatupad ng kautusang kunin ang mga balota.
“Walang barikadang naganap upang harangin ang Comelec kaya’t walang basehan upang akusahan ang kampo ni Mayor Lani ng Contempt ng Comelec,” dagdag ni Atty. Icay.
Samantala, pinasaringan din ni Atty. Icay ang kampo ng mga Tinga sa pagiging hipokrito ng mga ito lalo na sa patuloy na pag-apela kay Pangulong Benigno Simeon Aquino III para panghimasukan ang Taguig electoral protest.
“Huwag na po nilang idamay pa ang ating pangulo sa isyung ito. Ang ginagawang ito ng mga Tinga ay lalo lamang nagdidiin sa kanila sa katotohanang wala silang paninidigan sa pulitika na mabilis silang magpalit ng kulay para lamang maprotektahan ang sarili nilang interes at pananatili sa poder ng kapangyarihan.
Ang mga Tinga ay malapit at mahigpit na kaalyado ni dating Pangulog Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo subalit kamakailan ay biglang ipinangangalandakang kapanalig sila ng administrasyong Aquino.
Hinggil sa akusasyon ng Taguig congressman na hinaharangan ni Mayor Lani ang mga proyektong mula sa ‘national fund,’ sinabi ni Atty. Icay na wala itong katotohanan bagkus ay pinaiiral ng kasalukuyang administrasyon ng Taguig City na magkaroon ng koordinasyon at kumuha ng kaukulang permits bukod pa sa pagdaan din sa tamang proseso ng mga ito para sa mabilis na implementasyon ng mga proyektong magiging kapakipakinabang sa mga Taguigueno.

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