Marcos ‘unpaid estate taxes’: The biggest lie in this election season

THE P203 billion which presidential candidate Isko Moreno Domagoso and retired justice Antonio Carpio have been alleging are “unpaid estate taxes” the Marcoses owe government will go down in our political and media history as one of the most preposterous lies to have ever been given some attention. Thanks of course again to the virulent anti-Marcos Philippine Daily Inquirer and Rappler — the only two media outfits that’ve been screaming over it.

This “estate tax” brouhaha was concocted in a desperate move to breathe some life into candidate Moreno’s dying campaign; he has gone to town to disseminate that cock and bull story. However, by spreading the lie, Moreno has definitively demonstrated he is totally unfit to be president: he is either so gullible to believe the yarn invented by the ever-scheming Carpio or so unprincipled to spread something he himself knows is a fallacy.

That this is a colossal fabrication is easily gleaned from the fact that among the alleged Marcos assets on which the estate taxes were levied include stocks in San Miguel Corp. and Manila Bulletin, and shares of the late drug tycoon J.Y. Campos as well as such properties as Fort Ilocandia, the Coconut Palace, and the sugar lands of Roberto S. Benedicto in Negros. Why on earth would the Marcoses pay estate taxes on these?

Yes, Mr. Dumb candidate, these “unpaid estate taxes” include assets which the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) had sequestered in the 1980s. Many of these were ordered by the courts to be returned to their owners (in the San Miguel case, to Edgardo Cojuangco), or which the owner had surrendered to government, which then auctioned shares sold many decades ago.

As the current PCGG clarified on March 22 when Moreno’s party asked about this “unpaid estate taxes”: When the Cory government sequestered these assets, it “legally laid claim to them [and are in custodial legis],” and therefore beyond the Marcos rights over and liabilities arising from them. Even if the Marcoses wanted to pay the alleged estate taxes, their being in government’s custodial legis bars them from doing so.

The PCGG also disclosed in its letter that there was a “verbal agreement” in 2003 between it and the BIR to determine which among the properties the latter wanted to levy estate taxes on were sequestered and which were not. The PCGG and the BIR never got around to doing that chore, understandably as there were 300 lots and over 200 companies/shares in corporations the latter had levied estate taxes on.

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Junk these absurd debates, let’s have a Marcos-Robredo one-on-one

OUR presidential debates (and worse, the vice-presidential), if their formats are not drastically changed, are just a sheer waste of time. They deprive voters of a real opportunity to really know the candidates.

To have four, five debate participants, including those who would win only in an alternate universe, is ridiculous and absurd, and I am astonished at why the Comelec (Commission on Elections) and even private entities undertake these and seem to revel in having them as hyped-up events held in five-star hotel ballrooms.

That “Deep Probe” format is worse: how sadistic (I dare say, stupid) can its organizers be to have the likes of Jose Montemayor, who I swear had a mad look in his eyes and who can’t even fix his tie, and Jose Ma. Sison’s candidate, Leody de Guzman with his constant salesman’s grin, lectured us for half an hour with their nonsense with otherwise intelligent interlocutors ridiculously nodding their heads at their gibberish.

I admire the panelists though for their willpower in maintaining their deadpan looks, suppressing their laughter at the ridiculous responses of Montemayor and de Guzman.

Look, because I got so pissed off listening to these clowns the other day, I switched to Netflix — making me miss Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s segment, which I hear was very informative of the candidate. How many Filipinos did that?

US style: A real, useful debate, one-on-one without cuckoos participating.
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US-funded media firms here campaigning for Robredo

FOUR US-funded, local news websites are campaigning one way or another for the pro-American Leni Robredo to become president.

I find this disgusting and shameful for my colleagues to be doing.

The Constitution bars any foreign money in media — a means, even if a modest one, of ensuring Filipinos are in control of the apparatus that mold its citizens minds. You may not agree with that, but that is our Constitution and we are duty bound to follow the basic law of the land.

Yet four local news websites, run by Filipinos (one by a Filipino American, Maria Ressa) have defied this ban, and spat on this constitutional principle, by taking in foreign funds, in two cases, for more than a decade now, totaling P170 million, which is their outfits’ main means of funding, and apparently a lucrative source of their individual incomes.

And these are not just funds from some foreign entity. These come from the government itself of a still hegemonic superpower, the US, which wants to control as many nations as it can — not always through arms, but through control of the minds of these countries’ leaders.

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Not a divided nation: Only the Yellow-brainwashed elite vs ordinary Filipinos

THERE are essentially two kinds of people who believe that Maria Leonor Robredo can be president. First are simply those from her home region Bicol, an indication and reflection of Filipinos’ deep-seated tribal mentality — “we have to vote for our own.”

Thus, the Pedro Laylo Associates February poll shows 65 percent of its respondents in Bicol voting for her, down, however, from 85 percent in January.

Similarly, the Tondo boy Isko Moreno’s biggest lead (although still trumped by Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Robredo) is in the National Capital Region, while that of Manny Pacquiao is in his home region Soccskargen.

The bigger kind of Robredo’s supporters are those who have been totally brainwashed with the narrative of the Yellows and the US that Ferdinand Marcos was a ruthless, stealing dictator of the same type the Americans and the West have been demonizing since the post-war era. Martial law was the Dark Age of our history, according to this narrative.

These kinds of people will mythify whoever Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s main opponent is, put her on a pedestal to project on her all the saintly virtues and heroic qualities they can think of. What helped them in this massive make-up project is the fact that Robredo, like Cory, became a widow and for some miraculous reason as in 1986 got to occupy such a high post.

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Jabidah was the Yellow’s first big fake news

IT was astonishing — or maybe not considering his Yellow mental monoplegia — that Sen. Francis Pangilinan in a sparsely attended election rally four days ago said: “The killing of our Moro brothers in the Jabidah Massacre during the Marcos regime is a tragic part of our national narrative that we must never forget.”

Other than being explainable by his intellectual laziness, it is a testament to the phenomenon that fake news, once disseminated by the elites or by the current rulers, takes many, many decades to eradicate. Indeed, as that adage of many versions puts it: “A lie travels around the globe while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

The following is the first column I wrote nine years ago on March 20, 2013, demolishing completely this for-propaganda myth of the “Jabidah Massacre,” which fantasy-weavers claim occurred on March 18, 1968 but which never happened. I have written over eight columns to prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that the Jabidah massacre was a hoax, and nobody, not even the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), have questioned my assertions. These columns appear in the chapter, “The Jabidah Hoax,” in my book “Debunked” (rigobertotiglao.com/shop).

The Column

The so-called Jabidah “massacre” of March 1968 was the Yellow Cult’s first colossal fake news.

That fake news though terminated President Ferdinand Marcos’ covert plans to forcibly take over, when Malaysia was then weak, Sabah over which we had — and continue to have — legitimate claims under international law, but which Malaysia arrogantly ignored, and continues to ignore.

Available Popular, La Solidaridad, Amazon book stores and at rigobertotiglao.com/shop
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Most alleged ‘human rights victims killed’ were NPA and MNLF/MILF guerrillas

Third of 4 parts

TO be precise, some 77 percent, or 1,786 of the 2,326 “alleged human rights victims” killed during martial law — their heirs given compensation of P3.2 billion, or P1.8 million for each case — were very likely casualties of the New People’s Army (NPA) and the two Muslim separatist groups, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

This is according to data given by Carmelo Victor A. Crisanto, who claims he is the executive director of a no-longer-existing Human Rights Victims Claims Board (HRVCB).

He wrote the newspaper to correct my “inappropriate” computation done in my column of March 7, which had a somewhat higher figure of NPA, MILF and MNLF casualties of 2,755. (See accompanying table.)

Crisanto though claimed that his office or the HRVCB “never released any data identifying any province as an ‘NPA Province’ or an ‘MILF Province’.”

Of course it hasn’t, but Crisanto did release the locations where the alleged “extrajudicial killing” or “disappearance” occurred. It didn’t take much of an average Filipino’s common stock of knowledge and IQ to recognize, after puzzling over the uneven distribution of killings, that provinces like Cagayan, Isabela and Samar as well as the Davao provinces were epicenters of the communist insurgency while Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao had been the MILF and MNLF areas of operation in the 1970s and 1980s.

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Leni has brought upon herself her likely landslide defeat

IT’s hilarious for Yellow columnists to keep on using clichés they think make them look smart, like “in high stakes diplomacy, nothing is final until its final.” The title of one column was a loud whistling while walking past the graveyard: “Are Leni and Isko turning the tide?” I’ll bet soon there will be even priests calling for the faithful to chant their “oratio imperata” for the Marcos-Sara team’s ratings to be shot down by God’s thunderbolts.

The Pulse Asia report the other day was another confirmation of the certainty that Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will win the presidency in May, with his formidable 60 percent preference, in politics light years ahead of Leni Robredo’s 15 percent, practically unchanged since last year.

Her spokesman’s comment was so ignorant and stupid, that the poll results did not reflect the “massive record-breaking rallies” for his boss. This guy must be smoking too much weed in his wretchedness over Robredo’s failure to launch, even being beaten by Isko Moreno in some surveys.

Polls, at the least the real ones, merely reflect a sample of the population’s current preference for voting for a candidate. While there are a myriad of factors determining these, most important are what I call “fundamentals,” a term I borrow from the stock market, which refers to the factors that contribute to the underlying — i.e., real — value or worth of a listed company. These are measurable “hard data,” such as a company’ debt-to-equity ratio, cash flow and market role.

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Communists for Leni

An unholy alliance

THE Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is supporting and has mobilized its forces to support the presidential bid of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, according to my sources.

They confirmed Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson’s disclosures last week that the communists’ legal fronts have infiltrated Robredo’s campaign organization.

Lacson also claimed that his intelligence sources reported that the communists asked their mass base to join the recent rallies of the Robredo-Kiko Pangilinan group, unexpectedly swelling their ranks. A top government official of Cavite told me: “All our leaders reported that many of those that joined the Gen[eneral] Trias rally were from the CPP network in Southern Luzon.”

Rather stupidly, a statement by CPP chief information officer Marco Valbuena, posted on the insurgency’s website, cpp.ph, which was intended to deny the allegations of Lacson — whom he called “Duterte’s attack dog” — was all praises for Robredo; in effect, confirming its support for the vice president:

“The Robredo-Pangilinan campaign is proving to be the most formidable electoral challenge to the ruling Duterte clique. So far, it is Robredo’s campaign and rallies which have successfully brought together the broadest array of democratic forces.”

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Did Biden lead Putin to his — and our — Ukraine quagmire?

TODAY, 16 days after Russia launched its “special military operations” in Ukraine, I can’t help but think that President Biden, viewed by many Americans as an unclever president, may have played the wily Vladimir Putin, who after all may have fallen to that cancer of rulers who rule too long — hubris.

Consider the state of play at the moment. Putin’s euphemism — “special military operations” — points to his calculation that his invasion would be a quick surgical strike.

It would drive President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a former comic actor, to flee to the US, or even prod the Ukrainian parliament to remove him, to be replaced by a more realistic president who would steer the country to an Austrian or Finland model of neutrality toward the West and Russia.

Russian forces would then quickly withdraw, after a few Ukrainian casualties if any, with that enfeebled country promising, and enshrining it in its constitution, never to join the anti-Russian Cold War military alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

That calculation has proven to be catastrophically wrong. Ukrainians — at least going by reports in the pro-Ukraine Western media — have chosen to fight, even as about 2 million Ukrainian women and children have pitifully sought refuge in neighboring countries. More and more news videos are broadcast of Russian missiles ruthlessly killing civilians — and as several US media have pointed out, revealing their racism, “they are not Iraqis nor Afghans but white people,” not in strange clothes but in the thick winter coats that Europeans and Americans see in their sidewalks and malls. Even jaded journalists’ eyes would certainly mist at seeing the cutest Ukrainian toddler struggling to keep up with his mother, a crowd or evacuees around them. Probably the worst so far that the Russians have done is to bomb to smithereens a maternity hospital, with premature babies’ incubators shown in video clips thrown all over.

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How Amnesty International was used for Yellows’ propaganda

Second of 4 parts

LAST Monday I debunked as totally false the following statement that has been repeated scores of times not just by anti-Marcos propagandists but even by academics who obviously threw their academic training to the dustbin because of their political biases. An obscure senatorial candidate in a recent televised debate also cited it, claiming the figures were “in the record.”

“Amnesty International has estimated that about 70,000 people were imprisoned, 34,000 were tortured and 3,257 were killed during the Marcos dictatorship.”

Amnesty International never made that “estimate.” I presented data and their sources last Monday, that while 70,000 were indeed incarcerated, this was only in the first two weeks of martial law, with the number of political prisoners — mostly Communist Party and New People’s Army as well as separatist insurgents — at any one time numbering around 1,000, and that by 1986 President Corazon Aquino could order the release of only the 400 remaining.

Figment

The 34,000 tortured was a figment of a US academic’s imagination with totally no basis at all, way above the 2,104 even a communist-controlled conspiracy got government to officially recognize as victims of torture and given compensation. The 3,257 figure of those killed was from the communist-controlled Task Force Detainees, which reported to the world as “extrajudicial killings” and “disappearances” what were really CPP, NPA and Muslim insurgents killed in battles with the police.

But how did that false estimate supposedly made by Amnesty International emerge that became the most popular statement that Marcos was a bloody dictator?

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