Saturday, May 27, 2017

Deception: The Shocking Truth behind Leni and Jesse Robredo Part 2 (TL;DR)

Finally after dangers untold and hardships unnumbered We Are Collective have published part 2 of their exposé of Leni Robredo and her rise to power.

At 61 pages when printed it is massive. 

A novella.  Who's got time for that?  So let's break it down chapter by chapter and see what secrets they have revealed this time around.


This chapter details the appointment of Jesse Robredo the position of DILG secretary.  

Mar Roxas and Robredo were good friends and he sought Jesse's appointment to the post. Aquino however was not friends with Robredo, had heard rumours of his dealings in Naga, and was uneasy about appointing him to the post.

It was Mar Roxas, Jesse’s close friend and the Liberal Party’s self-proclaimed successor to President Aquino, who lobbied hard for his appointment to the DILG 

But the President did not seem to share Roxas’ enthusiasm. Not only did he dislike Jesse Robredo, he distrusted him as well. This inherent distrust was not altogether misplaced. Despite being allies, Jesse and Noynoy were never really close. 

As a precaution Aquino appointed his own trusted man, Rico E. Puno, to be the DILG undersecretary to keep an eye on Robredo.
Yet as shrewd and manipulative as Mar was, Noynoy had other ideas in mind. He would agree to appoint Mar’s choice to the DILG post, but he would also appoint his own trusted bagman as Undersecretary to act as a counterweight (You know, just in case). 
The title of the chapter refers to the Luneta Hostage Crisis for which Jesse Robredo took all the blame being that he was the head of the DILG.  But in reality it was Aquino's man who was in charge and not Robredo.
During the aftermath of the tragic Luneta Hostage Crisis which took place on August 23, 2010, Jesse was blamed for the incident. He had just been appointed DILG Secretary and thus had command responsibility over the PNP, but Jesse revealed that it was Puno who was ordered by President Aquino to manage the crisis, and that he was kept out of the loop the whole time. His friend Gabby Bordado would later tell the public that Jesse cried over the incident, and even thought about quitting.
Truly, Jesse got off to a rough start. After surviving the Manila Hostage Incident, he would quickly learn the ropes. He may have been treated as a stooge, but not for long. 


This chapter is about the rise of Adit Rentoy and his relationship to the Robredos. 

Essentially Rentoy was a crooked cop who enriched himself through shady dealings. 
Much like Jesse did, Adit would use dummy bank accounts under the names of his trustees, where he would deposit millions and millions of ill-gotten cash.
In 2008, Adit got implicated in the controversial Euro Generals Scandal. A group of PNP generals and their wives headed by his boss Eliseo De la Paz got intercepted in an airport in Moscow for trying to smuggle out 105,000 euros (Php 6.9 million in cash). When the scandal broke out, Adit started looking for insurance. While he was not part of the official PNP contingent who went to Russia to attend the Interpol Assembly, he was tagged as being among those behind the illegal disbursement of more than Php 10 million in PNP confidential and intelligence funds. Colonel Rentoy and the other high-ranking PNP officials made a fortune during the term of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and now they were about to face graft and technical malversation charges for the screw-up. Adit needed to make sure he would survive the next six years under the new administration, so he invested heavily on the Liberal Party through his friend Jesse Robredo. According to a trusted source, Rentoy and his friends would likewise spend more than 50 million pesos to pay for a total news blackout. Mainstream media suddenly fell silent on the scandals that Rentoy and company were involved in. 
Allegedly for his support of Robredo, Rentoy was promoted to the rank of one-star General in the PNP.
From a crooked Police Colonel during President GMA's term, Adit becomes a one-star General during the first year of Noynoy's term. Upon whose recommendation? DILG Secretary and Napolcom Chair Jesse Robredo and PNP Chief Director General Jesus Versoza.
The title of this chapter refers to Aquino's winning of the presidency under the slogan "The Straight Path."
Noynoy Aquino swept the 2010 Presidential election under the "Daang Matuwid (Straight Path)" campaign slogan, vowing to eradicate corruption and go after thieving officials who enriched themselves during the previous administration. Yet instead of sending the likes of Tomas Rentoy III to jail, the Aquino government promotes Adit to the star rank of Chief Superintendent in 2010. He was the first in his class to get such a promotion.
Don't kid yourself, corruption is endemic to the Philippine political system and will never be eradicated.  It's better to assume that every single politician from barangay to Malacañang Palace is corrupt.


This chapter is all about the power struggle within the two warren factions of Aquino's administration.
Despite denials from both camps, the growing animosity between Balay and Samar pretty much dictated the flow of the continuing power struggle within the DILG during Jesse's stint as Secretary. In fact, this power struggle would last the greater part of PNoy's presidency.
There were no clear lines that delineated these two factions. They were generally civil with each other and did not flaunt their animosity towards one another. Contrary to common perception, Noynoy was very much in control, and did not mince words with any of his cabinet members if they came to meetings unprepared. He showed no compunction berating anyone if he is not pleased.

"Everybody was cautious in front of the President," the source would say. "It was a silent war. Nobody flaunted it."
The chapter title refers to the reason there was such a war.
The cold war that went on between Balay and Samar was fueled by 2016. Six years before the next presidential election, it was already Mar vs. Binay.  
Preparation for the 2016 presidential race consisted of lining the pockets of the Liberal Party.
Perhaps the most glaring proof that the Balay camp was strongly fixated in securing their political hold in preparation for 2016 was the creation of the controversial DAP or Disbursement Acceleration Program. Shocked to discover that Binay was extremely popular among the LGU's, Roxas and company created and engineered the DAP in order to effectively counter Binay's grassroots popularity. So what they did was they allocated 6.5 billion from the DAP fund for what was essentially a pork barrel scheme - practically a giveaway for local governments down to the municipal level. This was called the LGU Support Fund.
Then all of a sudden Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) came, and they got more funds than they could have possibly imagined to add to their election war chest (Php 90 billion in Yolanda Rehab Funds went missing).
Of course Jesse Robredo is alleged to have known about all this graft.
If Jesse wasn't involved, how come he never raised a howl about the DAP when he was the DILG Secretary? It was his agency that was being used as the conduit for the LGU Support Fund. More than 6 billion pesos in bribe money intended for the LGU's
Jesse was an integral part of the Balay syndicate. And the reason why he was put there even if Noynoy hated his guts for making him come back to Bicol repeatedly in 2010 (apparently a self-serving move in Jesse's part), was to make sure Mar wins in 2016. There is even good reason to suppose that Mar was grooming Jesse to be his potential running mate in 2016.


Now we go back to the events of chapter 10 where Jesse Robredo was appointed Secretary of DILG with Puno in place to keep an eye on him.
The DILG was an extremely crucial agency and there was much at stake for Mar and company - exactly the reason why Mar vouched hard for Jesse's appointment. Yet Puno and Ochoa's camp beat them to the draw. Now the peculiar arrangement within the DILG (wherein Jesse had very little control over the police, and Puno was treating his turf as his own kingdom) irked Jesse more than anything else. Jesse definitely knew what Puno was up to. Puno was literally PNoy's own bagman, and he reported directly to Ochoa. Not only was Jesse bypassed by Puno, he was practically treated like shit. 
Allegations of money made from illegal gambling, Jeuteng, abound.
Jueteng was rampant during that time, and both factions had their own interests as far as the illegal numbers game was concerned. Don't tell us Jesse knew nothing about it and played blind while Puno and company were making a lot of money protecting the jeuteng lords. Jesse himself was on the take, but Puno's group was the one getting the bigger piece of the action. 
Several bookies and other involved in illegal gambling were assassinated.
Killings were rife. All because of money.


This chapter details allegations that Jesse Robredo protected drug lords and profited from the drug trade.
Like jueteng, drug lords won't thrive unless they get some kind of protection from government and law enforcement agencies. And since the Philippine National Police is the lead organization handling the government's campaign against illegal drugs, the DILG is the top agency most likely to benefit from the protection of drug lords.
Jesse is no stranger when it comes to narco-politics. His brother Butch (Jose Robredo, Jr.) is Naga City's biggest drug personality. This, despite Butch having Retinitis Pigmentosa - an inherited, degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment. Ever since Jesse became mayor of Naga up until his appointment to the DILG in 2010, Butch was the city's drug kingpin, and was part of the notorious 4B's - so named after the nicknames of the four most prominent drug personalities in the city. Among the 4B's would be Butch himself, Provincial Prosecutor Fiel "Buboy" Rosales, Top Robredo contractor Bong Del Castillo, and Sigfredo "Boboy" Obias.

The chapter ends with praise to Duterte for ending the drug trade in Naga.

President Duterte's election in 2016 paved the way for the cleansing of Naga City's known drug dens. Even before he assumed office, drug pushers in Naga were already scrambling for cover. His intensified campaign to rid the country of illegal drugs resulted in incessant raids and police operations that effectively rid the city of drugs. 

Now, Naga City has become a much safer place. And it took Rodrigo Duterte five months what the Robredos failed to do in over three decades of running the city. But then again, why would they eradicate drugs if it's their bread and butter?  


This chapter tells us that Jesse Robredo probably had a list of politicians involved in the drug trade and was keeping it or using it for leverage.
In 2016, rumors also started circulating that Jesse's death may have been the result of foul play due to another "list" he allegedly submitted to President Aquino containing the names of drug personalities including that of Joel Pagdilao, one of the narco-generals identified by President Duterte during the onset of his anti-drug campaign.

In an Inquirer column dated August 25, 2016, journalist Ramon Tulfo claims to have been told by an "unimpeachable source" that Secretary Robredo had "warned" the President about the severity of the drug problem. Robredo allegedly showed Aquino a list of government officials who served as protectors of drug lords but was told by Aquino to "keep it to himself."
Surely, what Jesse was doing was nothing short of blackmail. Of course Jesse wanted the big money, but in the interest of self-preservation, he also did what he had to in order to survive. Jesse was a consummate politician, and was schooled in the art of political survival - mentored mostly by his father Tio Peping, his uncle Luis Villafuerte, and his patron Fidel Ramos. Aquino was about to let him go. Time was of the essence, so Jesse had to act fast. 
Of course Aquino may have been deeply involved in the drug trade as well and that just complicated things too much.
There exists two possibilities. One is that Jesse may have underestimated PNoy's involvement and that he may have shown the President the list in order to impress his boss and "expose" Puno's illicit activities, hoping that PNoy will realize that giving Puno those powers over the PNP was a momentary lapse in judgment. 
Another possibility, and I submit that this is closer to the truth, is that Jesse may have known all along that the President was involved. So he used his "knowledge" of Puno's activities as leverage so he can keep his job and force the President's hand to get rid of Puno in order to get full control of the PNP, something he desperately needed to secure his party's interests as well as his own.
Both Robredo and Aquino were blackmailing the other with their dark, open secrets.
Yet Noynoy was also aware of Jesse's history and drug links. Surely, there is no trust among thieves. Aquino distrusted Jesse since day one and was completely aware of his duplicity and skullduggery - the reason why he wanted to get rid of Jesse from the get go. They were subliminally blackmailing each other in order to protect their own selfish interests.
Despite keeping appearances, Noynoy still despised Jesse's guts. In his mind, Jesse was a backstabbing, finger-pointing, blackmailing son of a whore. However, Jesse's masterful maneuvering somehow earned him a certain degree of respect from the President. All the subterfuge and machinations left Noynoy no choice but to set up a common ground with Jesse, and this common ground constituted an unwritten truce where one became tolerant of the other's behavior and activities. It all boiled down to what we call "territorial imperative," Robert Ardrey's groundbreaking work on the evolutionary determined instinct of humans and animals toward territoriality. Simply put, they all adopted a live and let live mentality in order to survive. 
It's rather boring and sickening reading through all this garbage.  Philippine politics is truly filled with scum. 


Now we are getting to some shady dealings just before Jesse Robredo died.  

First we are told he was investigating Aquino's man Puno.
It would later be revealed some time after his death that Jesse was conducting an investigation on the procurement of high-powered rifles which again involved Puno, his favorite undersecretary.
Then the chapter dives into details about Jesse's greed in past business deals.
Not only was Jesse excessively greedy, he was also known to bamboozle and shortchange those who dealt with him. And it didn't matter if these were his friends. This happened to Julian "Jun" Lavadia, Jesse's close childhood friend who was a city councilor and a former barangay chairman in Tabuco, where Jesse grew up. Like many of Jesse's minions, Jun was struggling financially, and had to leave his rented house in Barangay Tabuco due to money problems.
The point is that Robredo wanted in on Puno's schemes.
There are countless other stories that one will hear in Naga about Jesse's mercenary tactics. What he was doing to Puno and his equally corrupt allies was nothing new, especially if you ask Nagueños - particularly those who did business with him. It was a classic shakedown. Jesse Robredo style. For all his greed and avarice, Jesse could have bit more than he can chew. He may have overreached his boundaries and might have gone a bit too far. He may even have messed with the wrong people. 
In reality, he was just sending a message to Puno. He was the DILG Secretary and these fuckers are making a lot of money under his very nose. No fucking way he'll simply allow that to happen without demanding his share.


So Jesse's plane crashes and he dies.  But then....
Fisherman Joseph Belda was at sea with his young son when he saw the plane flying low overhead. He noticed that one of the propellers wasn't functioning and that the plane was wobbling and made a slight turn before it fell crashing into the sea. Upon hitting the water, the plane broke apart. He goes straight to the crash site.

Suddenly, somebody pops out of the water. He is holding on to a black bag. It was June Abrazado, Jesse Robredo's aide. Not having the slightest idea who he is, Belda fishes him out of the water and hauls him into his boat. The plane disappears from view a few moments later.
This detail of the black bag is never heard from again.
I was watching the news with some friends the day Jesse's plane crashed and I swear I saw a news footage from ABS-CBN where Belda describes in detail how he saw Abrazado floating at sea with his bag and that the bag seemed heavier than Abrazado when he pulled him out of the water.

This particularly curious detail would disappear from later news reports. 
 So what was in the bag? Money.  Lots and lots of money.
All the circumstantial evidence points to one thing: The bag could have contained something extremely valuable. Now if Jesse did indeed collect money, what was it for? Could it have been drug money, jueteng payola? Then it suddenly hit us. 
Rico E. Puno was in Cebu during the event. Jesse was investigating Puno just weeks earlier over the rigged firearms procurement deal and he was trying to squeeze Puno and Espineli by using his findings as leverage. He even submitted a copy of his report to the President. So the President was completely aware of what Jesse was doing. Puno was just a bagman. Whatever he did, he wouldn't have done it without the blessing of his superiors. And save from Jesse Robredo, there was no one else above Rico Puno but Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa and the President himself. Noynoy and Ochoa may not have been named in the report but Jesse knew they were in on it. Jesse knew they were pulling the strings.  
So Jesse decides to shake them down. Noynoy and his Samar cohorts including Espineli had no choice but to give in to Jesse's demands. They understood Jesse's message. They read between the lines.
So they did the payoff in Cebu.
Jesse had no interest in cleaning up the DILG. He simply used these as leverage in order to keep his post and squeeze the shit out of Samar.  
Jesse had the goods on Puno and Co. He had 'em on a leash. So as much as they despise Jesse's extortionist tactics, they had no choice but to settle with him. And that is why Noynoy begged off at the last moment and decided to send Jesse in his stead. It was a deliberate call. Jesse was sent there by Noynoy because of the payoff, otherwise he could have simply ordered Puno to deliver the speech in his stead. Besides, it was Puno who was in charge of the PNP, not Jesse. 

This also explains why Jesse cancelled his regular flight and chartered a private plane.
It was exactly as it was in the movies, where bags played an important role during payoffs. Jesse was smart enough not to leave any paper trail that could prove that he took money from Puno. He demanded that he be paid in cash. Which explains why his aide carried the bag all throughout the event up until their plane crashed into the sea. This also explains why Jesse brought only one security aide with him to Cebu. He was the Secretary of the DILG, and as a VIP, surely he had a full security detail assigned to protect him. This was official business. Why bring only one aide? And somebody from his hometown he knew he could trust. It makes no sense to assume that he did this in order to save government expenses. He chartered a whole plane instead of just taking the commercial flight which was way cheaper. Surely he was avoiding those X-Ray machines at the Cebu-Mactan Airport. He could not afford to let anyone blow his cover, let alone nosy airport personnel.

The chapter then discusses Leni Robredo's actions on that day.
Any normal wife would find a way to rush to the crash site immediately.

Yet why did Leni choose to stay in Naga?
She would stay there for three days and would never bother to fly to Masbate to look for Jesse. 

Well, under the circumstances, it is most likely that Leni had been instructed to stay put.  
To put things in proper perspective, everybody was in panic mode. Everyone was struggling to know more about the situation. As the news spread like wildfire especially in Naga, palace officials and Jesse's staff at the DILG started going to La Salle Greenhills where a vigil was held. Malacañang was desperately trying to control the situation as they began the Search and Rescue Operations that same evening in Masbate.  

For all that has been kept from the public, Leni knew much about her husband's activities. She cannot play the innocent card. She was aware. And she was complicit.  
How else can anybody explain and justify her immediate reaction to the terrible news? There was no serious effort on her part to fly to Masbate to look for her husband. She simply stayed in Naga and waited for updates and instructions.

This chapter is all about the cover up, the recovery and removal of the big black bag of cash.
Noynoy flew in to Masbate early in the morning of August 19 with Transport Secretary Mar Roxas and DND Chief Voltaire Gazmin. LP stalwarts Butch Abad and Jun Abaya were part of his entourage. He visits the hospital where June Abrazado, the lone survivor in the crash, was staying. Abrazado recounts to the President what happened during the final moments before the crash. Media still would not have access to Abrazado. Only Roxas was authorized to talk to the press.
Where was the PNP Maritime Group or even the entire PNP leadership? What were they doing while the AFP was in charge of the Search and Retrieval Operation? 
Apparently, the PNP was conducting a different kind of Search and Retrieval Operation. This one headed by USec Rico Puno and Joel Pagdilao, under the direction of Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa. 
Search and retrieval of documents that could incriminate them and the whole palace syndicate. 
Cleanup operations as well.
Officials were also sent to Robredo's condo to secure documents.
The morning of August 19, the day after the crash, USec Rico Puno assembled a team of high level PNP officials to do house cleaning, together with Jesse's own men from the DILG. First stop: 20 Lansbergh Place, Jesse's condo in Tomas Morato, Quezon City. Next stop: Jesse's offices at the DILG and the NAPOLCOM. One in Quezon City, the other one in Makati. Jesse's offices were cordoned off and locked down and only two people were later given access: Justice Secretary Leila De Lima and Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa
Leni was playing along all this time.
Yet Leni knew what was happening. She had to play along since she may have had an idea about her husband's activities in Cebu. What else could explain her strange silence during the aftermath of the crisis? Later she would tell media that she had no plans of having her husband's death investigated. Neither did she plan to look into her husband's documents
The chapter then discusses "necropolitics."
Over the years, no other entity in the country has perfected the art of necropolitics, otherwise known as the "politics of death," more than the yellows. Here in the Philippines, political capital can be built upon the death of a popular political figure. Noynoy Aquino's sudden rise to power was mostly due to the highly effective PR sympathy campaign generated by the death of his mother, the former President Corazon "Cory" Aquino in 2009. Cory's presidency was also a direct result of her husband's death in 1983. 
There was a huge PR campaign to sanctify the memory of Jesse Robredo.
People loved Jesse. His sudden posthumous popularity was anchored on a symbol. A trademark that Jesse himself had perfected for so many years as mayor of Naga City. As the PR machinery's wheels started turning, everybody wanted to ride the Jesse Robredo bandwagon. Even those who knew very little of Jesse started talking about how exceptionally kind he was, and would contribute to the countless testimonials about someone who just died because of a plane crash. Add to this the numerous published articles recounting Jesse's immaculate life story and the guy could have easily qualified for sainthood. Tales of Jesse's "heroism" would fill the pages of broadsheets and tabloids alike, and the TV networks featured endless specials about Jesse's inspiring backstory. At this time, the only thing that seemed missing was Jesse's spirit performing a couple of verified miracles. The PR spin was so good that if Jesse's ashes were sent to the Vatican, the Pope would have been ready to canonize Blessed Jesse Robredo of La Isla Peñafrancia.
This chapter then details inconsistencies in the timeline regarding the recovery of Jesse's plane and body which is meant to allege that a cover-up of some kind occurred and only a full investigation will bring anything to light.
There are too many riddles nagging to be addressed. Only a full-blown investigation will shed light on the actual circumstances that surrounded Jesse's death. It was too obvious that the Aquino administration was responsible for a major cover-up. Not only did they refuse to conduct an autopsy on Jesse's body to determine the actual cause of death (if they ever did, why did they not publish the autopsy report?), Leni herself would be an accomplice to the cover-up by choosing to have her husband's remains cremated, thereby rendering impossible any future autopsy or exhumation

The chapter then goes into the ornate funeral for Robredo. Then we go back into conspiracy territory.
Again let us reiterate. There WAS a conspiracy. What makes the existence of a conspiracy plausible was the subsequent cover up. Up to now we would maintain that what happened to Jesse Robredo was an accident - since no evidence can sufficiently prove that he was murdered. But Aquino's order to secure and recover the sensitive documents - something that can potentially incriminate all of them - says it all. Jesse was involved, in fact he was right smack on top of it.
What the events have shown clearly is the fact that when Jesse died, the opposing factions had to work together to facilitate the cover up - hence, the cooperation and collaboration between Puno's group and Jesse's own men. Pagdilao's subsequent promotion also proves one thing - he was effectively working for both camps - otherwise, Mar Roxas as the new DILG Secretary would have stopped his appointment. 
The whole piece ends with a word of wisdom for Leni Robredo:
At hindsight, Leni should learn from her husband's tragedy. It may be harsh, but it is just how the law of nature works: The higher you climb, the harder you fall.


Alrighty then. That is the end of the summary for Nagaleaks part 2.  Obviously Jesse Robredo was caught up in a dark and corrupt game of politics.

This article doesn't just damn Jesse Robredo.  It damns the whole political system in the Philippines. And make no mistake, the political establishment in this country is corrupt beyond all imagination. But this is nothing new.  Let's read some words spoken way back in 1906 which ring true today.
“There are two prime characteristics of the Filipinos” he said, “which today render them absolutely unfit for self-government. The average Filipino mind can form no conception of the duty of officials to the people, and it can form no conception of the dignity of labor. The very fact that the Filipino is so shiftless, so worthless, so untrustworthy, and so helpless is all the more reason this Nation should reach out the helping hand to him.”

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