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ATM Journalism, Federico Pascual, & Sun Star

Series 3 of The politics of Quarry Plunder & Jueteng

A little backgrounder on ATM Journalism from an article by Adeline M.T. of Jakarta Post titled Danger by the Pen in the Philippines:
There is another danger apart from bullets: money. During Marcos' time, journalists often joked about "envelopmental" journalism. Now it is "ATM journalism". Arnaiz and Orejas admitted that before the threats, they received offers. When they refused, they got strange phone calls, text messages and strangers in front of their houses. "We got offers and invitations first before being shot at. That's just the way it is here," laughed Arnaiz. Both have been journalists outside Metro Manila for more than twenty years.
If you have noticed Tonette Orejas has been around in the pursuit of balanced reporting and in the previous article The politics of Quarry Plunder & Jueteng Series 2 Orejas is being branded by pseudo-journalist as pro-Panlilio. A very shallow and deceptive childish name calling resorted to by people with hidden agenda to create a wedge to discredit the reports accuracy, to further quote the article of Adeline MT:
Until this nation does something about weapons and security, life for Jani Arnaiz and Tonette Orejas will always be on the edge. "When there is a story, people should know, you follow your heart and write. You just cannot keep quiet or let yourself be bought. Then you watch your step and be careful. But when it's your time, there's nothing else you can do," said Arnaiz.

Alimangong Bukid DinIn contrast why is Federico Pascual and Sun Star writing a story telling a lie that sadly lands in liepapers errr newspapers supposedly bringing us “balanced reporting? Pascual’s opinionated column tells of a one sided yarn that needs to be examined in lieu of the illogical and negative portrayal of Among Ed Panlilio’s good governance. Why all of a sudden we see “hard hitting” “fixcalizers” errr fiscalizers hitting the administrative staff of Gov. Panlilio with charges of “highhandedness” and “holier than thou” attitude in dealing with the present political realities of Pampanga needs a closer look.

One of the premises put forward by Federico Pascual which I quote:

Outside of this, there are mounting complaints from indigent patients unable to get medical help, from rural folk stumped by the scarcity of jobs, the scourge of jueteng, and neglected infrastructure.


Federico Pascual raised three important issues that he sees as the “inefficiency” of Ed Panlilio’s administration which I will address in detail that I have gathered from a very reliable source.

The Hospital Issue & the Bidding Process
  1. Did he check his facts before he cast a shadow of doubt portraying the administrative staff of Among Ed Panlilio as “inefficient”? A check with a very reliable source says otherwise and while it took some time to streamline the bidding process of the province 10 hospitals (one provincial and 9 district) pursuant to RA 9184 is now in place. This shows that there is nothing new about the present set-up as alleged by Pascual in previous POGB article series 1 as attested by the implementation and streamlining of the legal bidding process.

  2. There were also more backlogs in paperwork from the previous administration that also caused the delays. The million jueteng errr dollar question here is why will Federico Pascual supposedly a “veteran” journalist leave some facts so crucial to forming his “educated” opinion? Why did he not mention this critical information in his column?

  3. Here is the clincher to which Federico Pascual inadvertently or rather conveniently or perhaps inefficiently left out (is it poor reporting or something else?) was the role of his patrons the Sanggunian Panlalawigan (Provincial Board led by Giuao) that took a while for these geniuses to approve a supplemental additional budget of P300,000 for each hospital to answer the partially deficient budget. Moreover, there were so many opposition and disgruntled people because with the streamlining of procurement or purchases of medicines the practice of overpricing and the pre-determination of supplier or contractors were removed.
Are they upset and so are Federico Pascual and his Sunstar kuligs errr colleagues also not happy because those in the past “setup” of suppliers will have to play in a level bidding field? No more overpricing so what happens to the suppliers who gambled with the corrupt bureaucrats who are left holding the empty bag thus so much noise and complain going around with the help of “sympathetic” liepapers” errr newspaper kotonglist (extortionist) errr columnist.

The scourge of Jueteng and Indigents
  1. Granted that with the advent of Among Ed Panlilio’s administration people dependent on Jueteng loss their source of livelihood, so if given a chance will he lead the Cobramen and women (illegal Jueteng numbers game bet collector) in rallying at the Provincial capitol to show their “unity” and fight for their “illegal right” in pursuit of their criminal livelihood? Does he expect the new administration to adhere to patronage politics of accommodation just like GMA’s anti-jueteng campaign so “effective” in praise release but jueteng is still rampant in the Jueteng Capital of the Philippines?

  2. What is being done now is more of information dissemination, education and putting up of livelihood projects and training so that there will be alternative source of income for persons whose lives are dependent on their income from jueteng.

  3. In order to effectively address the "scourge of Jueteng" Among Ed Panlilio needs to have a choice for the provincial director to head the PNP which has not yet been approved by Malacañang. Again, this proves the reluctance or uncooperative attitude at the highest level that we can only surmise as another form of sabotage to derail good governance.
The “neglected” Infrastructure
  1. What exactly is Pascual saying in his irresponsible accusation of neglect when despite the insubordination and animosity shown by the outgoing staff team, Panlilio has to ensure transparent, honest, accountable level bidding process in accordance with the law.

  2. The 20% development fund was approved August and the program of works were finished sometime October involving 63 projects. All 63 projects have undergone the proper bidding process and are now being implemented and properly monitored.
Now 63 projects and 20% of the development fund approval does not look like neglect to me compared to 100% approval but with overpriced project such as the infamous “DM Macapagal Highway Robbery” and we are not even assured if it was up to code due to overpricing and corruption that went with it. What are the SP and the ATM journalist problem? Oh yeah……. this kind of clean environment is bad for corrupt politicians’ pockets…..

Now why will they do that if they are indeed sensitive to the needs of their constituents and their so-called mandate as mouthed by Federico Pascual? Why are they playing a Mafiosi role in sabotaging Among Ed Panlilio’s administration with the help of the likes of Pascual and Sun Star in putting the blame solely on Gov. Ed Panlilio’s administration and his staff? On top of that Federico Pascual has the gall to state this erroneous baseless accusation:

BAD BLOOD: His sympathizers are dismayed that some key executives he had brought in seem to have a talent for creating enemies by their highhanded and holier-than-thou attitude.


For one, this has soured relations with the provincial board, whose checks and balance function can, and does, stymie the governor.

Even before he was sworn into office, Panlilio antagonized the staff of the outgoing governor with a stern letter telling them they better freeze some contracts under process.


Panlilio may have had a point there, but that drew bad blood. There are now recurring complaints of his office's penchant for firing off letters calling down somebody or threatening punitive action.


BAD BLOOD he says, or is it BAD FOR CORRUPT politicians, bureaucrats with their equally corrupt suppliers, contractors and of course least but not the least ATM Journalist? According to a very reliable source the first executive order of Among Ed Panlilio was to streamline the Quarry tax collection that is efficient, transparent and monitored for accountability which was proven very effective as seen on the disparity of revenues from the past measly average of P10Million/year collected in a couple of days.

The question here is why will the administrative and legal staff of Among Ed Panlilio or the Governor himself be cozy with outgoing staff of Banana Heart Mark Lapid whose “poor” Quarry Tax collection are the talk not just of the town but the whole Philippines saying it was not just plain corruption but plunder? Unless you are one crooked corrupt opportunistic sleazy greedy individual then I can understand the “modus vivendi” but we are not just dealing here with petty thievery we are dealing with plunder in the hundreds of millions of pesos.

Is it BAD BLOOD or SABOTAGED?

I say the later is more accurate basing it on the feedback from my reliable source than Pascual’s highly questionable story telling a lie in the Pampanga event because it appears that the SP (Provincial Board) did not confirm the appointments of Among Ed Panlilio’s administrative and legal staff despite their obligation to approve said appointments under the Local Govt. Code. Since they sabotaged errr “failed” to act on their appointments within the prescribed 15 days from submission they were deemed confirmed by operation of law. So is Pascual referring to SP’s (Sangguniang Panlalawigan) check and balance in deliberately or perhaps inefficiently or was it vindictive bad blood in their failure to confirm the appointees of the incoming Governor?

Now why will Pascual wanted them sacked when their position is backed up by law and the legal opinion of the CSC and DILG, on what basis should they be fired if we listen to Pascual? Let me take a guess, hehehe the people of Gov. panlilio “hurt” their feelings yikes that’s what it’s all about if we believe these blatant lies they call news. I am sure there is more to this than what Pascual and his SunStar kuligs errr colleagues wanted us to believe……… how about control of the Quarry Tax Collection? Or how about Unhampered Jueteng Operation that the province has always been so used to…. Pampanga will not be known as the Jueteng Capital of the Philippines if they don’t live to it isn’t it?

The delays are inevitable unless they expect Gov. Ed Panlilio to posses some miraculous powers or magic wand then everything and anything can be streamlined with a stroke of a magic wand. After all these years of mismanagement and rampant corruption as seen in the rise of a former buko (coconut) vendor to millionaire with a husband dubbed as the new “kingmaker” and a son who is a presidential godson leading the jueteng league errr Pampanga Mayors League plus the actor father and son rise to wealth and power while the province suffers from poor quarry tax revenue I believe they did an excellent job considering the saboteurs in partnership with and "help" of ATM Journalist. This is not even counting the role of the Lady Briber, Jose Pidal, the vindictive son Mikey and Dato, uncles and supporters of bad governance. It is amazing that Among Ed Panlilio still stands tall amidst all the obstacle, lies and deceit thrown in his direction.

Back to The politics of Quarry Plunder & Jueteng series 1, series 2…. next issue the conclusion Why & Who wants Panlilio staff Fired?….



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