Francis Ver and the Pulido Impeach Rap

Pulido has denied alleged links with Ver and Malacañang. A former lawyer of the Magdalo Group, he is reportedly working in the staff of Sen. Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan, who was implicated in the “Oakwood Mutiny” of 2003 as well as last year’s alleged “Left-Right conspiracy” to topple the Arroyo regime.

A few months before last May’s elections, Honasan – who is identified with the opposition – was reported to have gone into negotiations with Malacañang in relation to the rebellion charges against him. He ran as an independent senatorial candidate and won in last May’s elections.

Meanwhile, Cebu Rep. Pablo Garcia – who is a Kampi member – has pointed to Kampi chairman and Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno as the mastermind of the impeachment complaint. Puno has denied Garcia’s accusation.

Puno has subsequently declared that Ver had been fired as Kampi deputy secretary-general.

On Oct. 11, Malacañang called House members aligned with Kampi and Lakas-CMD to a breakfast meeting. No less than De Venecia admitted that the “stability of the administration coalition” in the House of Representatives was discussed in the meeting, although he denied reports that Malacañang was conducting a loyalty check. But after the meeting, De Venecia inhibited himself from the referral of the impeachment complaint and gave the go signal to the Deputy Speaker to refer it to the justice committee which would start the process of killing the “weak” impeachment complaint.

Ver

Who is this Francis Ver, whose alleged bribery attempts on a number of opposition congressmen has provoked finger-pointing left and right?

A relative of Gen. Fabian Ver, a distant cousin of the deposed dictator Ferdinand Marcos who served as Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff during Martial Law, Francis Ver graduated from the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law in 1981. He was supposed to have graduated the year before, but had been turned back for a year.

According to Puno, Ver worked for a long time as a lawyer at the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). Puno said Ver resigned from DILG in the late 1990s. “I don’t know where he went after that,” Puno told reporters in an Oct. 9 press briefing.

Rodriguez said he knew Ver as the chief of staff of one of the high government officials during the administration of ousted President Joseph Estrada (1998-2001).

During the 12th Congress (2001-2004), Ver served as a congressional staff member for then Manila Rep. Mark Jimenez, who was for a long time an Estrada ally.

In 2004, Puno – who was then already with Kampi – was elected as representative of Antipolo City, a post to which he had also been elected during Estrada’s presidency.

Puno was allied with Estrada during the latter’s presidency. He disappeared from the limelight following Estrada’s ouster through a popular uprising in 2001 – but resurfaced three years later as a representative of Antipolo City under the banner of Kampi.

Ver, he says, volunteered to join his staff when he was elected Antipolo City representative in 2004, and he decided to take the man in as consultant.

“In Kampi, he was designated as one of the deputy secretary-generals,” Puno also said. Puno said Ver served as the liaison between Kampi and Lakas-CMD during the run-up to the May 2007 elections.

Less than five months after the May 2007 elections, Ver was accused of bribing a number of opposition congressmen to support what has been described as a “fake impeachment complaint” against Arroyo. (Bulatlat.com)

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