Gloria Is In BIG, BIG Trouble!
Ironically the embattled Philippine President named Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo now speaks of the rule of law.
Amidst the ongoing senate inquiry into the controversial National Broadband Network deal, the defiant President whose husband left the country for health reason(?), told the senate to “back off” from the controversy and let the Supreme Court decide on it.
Now she talks about the rule of law and, for the very first time since the appointment of SC Chief Reynato S. Puno, even made good comments on the highest tribunal whose justices, she said, “rule based on the merits of the evidence and in accordance with due process.”
Mrs. Arroyo, perhaps with the help and advice of some people around her whose expertise in circumventing the law is beyond imagination, knows very well where to throw the gauntlet.
Ever wonder why she wants to bring the NBN case to the reputable hall of the SC? The President, who won the presidency in 2004 through alleged systematic and bureaucratic massive cheating maneuvered by a number of unscrupulous officials of the Comelec and other government agencies, is now torn between two colliding granites, or outer-space meteors (name it what you will).
Perhaps now is the time for her to reap the rewards of her mis-labor and dis-services to the Filipino people.
Acerbic accusations points to some high-ranking government officials, including her heavy-weight husband Mike Arroyo, as the ones who pushed for the questionable NBN contract, to the extent of bribing and even threatening a rival Filipino bidder to “back off” from the contract.
At least three officials very close to the President whose actions and decisions in the past compromised the latter have already been named by a “bitter” losing bidder.
The involvement of these shameless and soulless officials only confirms how much power they wield under the current administration. Quid pro quo for priceless services they had rendered in the past? Hmmm… The name of Comelec Chair Benjamin Abalos rings.
Abalos has gained the notoriety of being the keeper of Malacañang’s gate.
How about the name Leandro Mendoza, the Secretary of Transportation and Communication who signed the contract in the presence of the President in Boao, China when the latter’s husband was lying in his hospital bed at St. Luke’s Medical Center?
And there’s this third official in the cast of devilish characters whose name is Romulo Neri, the current chair of the CHED, whose past works were very much helpful to the bold visions of the president, particularly the medium-term development plan that will last until 2010.
But of all these brazen and God-knows-how-much-shameless-these people-are officials, what right did Abalos has to have his name involved in such a government contract that pertains to information technology during the election period?
The greatest twist of this NBN saga is that the whistle blower is none other than the son of a very influential politician considered as a staunch defender and ally of the President. Businessman Jose “Joey” De Venecia III, the co-founder and major shareholder of Amsterdam Holdings Inc., is the one who spilled the Arroyo administration’s poisonous beans.
“He is his own man,” House Speaker De Venecia said of his son bullied by his supposed friends in politics.
And who is Speaker De Venecia to the political life of Gloria? Well, the man was just the woman’s knight in shining armor during those trying times when the latter was nearly stripped off her powers.
Now, his son Joey is trading lethal barbs with his political friends.
De Venecia III, nicknamed by Abalos and company as “bitter losing bidder”, disclosed that the Comelec Chair offered $10-million to back out of the contract. Apart from that, he also implicated the First Gentleman whom he initially called “mystery man” in the NBN deal. He said Mr. Arroyo met with him at Wack Wack Gold and Country Club and the latter told him to “back off” from the contract.
So to make the story short, the contract, which was latter stolen in a hotel in China, was given to ZTE Corp. for the prize of over 300 million dollars. Some government officials now say that the contract is unenforceable.
Now the very interesting issue is whether the young De Venecia is telling the truth.
I must say that considering the political tie of his father to the President, there is no reason (at all) for Joey De Venecia to manufacture web of lies only to implicate Abalos, Mike Arroyo and other Arroyo administration officials.
The pronouncements of De Venecia gives the public a picture that the multi-billion contract was forced by some shadowy shameless government officials, including the President and her husband, to the detriment of the Filipino taxpayers. That an unconscionable, systematic and even bureaucratic corruption has taken place.
They say blood is ticker than water.
When the First Gentleman cursed and demanded the young De Venecia to “back off”, based on the sworn statement of the latter, the former was acting in behalf of his clan, not in behalf of the nation (since he earlier denied that he is a public figure). That, if the accounts made by De Venecia are to be believed, Mr. Arroyo did that because he is a presidential husband.
In politics, it is true that there are no permanent political ties, only family ties.
And I believe that blood really is ticker than water, and that the House Speaker will not just sit and watch his political allies bully and gang up on his son.
Greed – this is the root of all these political evils that pervade the Arroyo administration.
In every political devastation, opportunity is given to the opposing side. The United Opposition, like a hungry lion that patiently waited for its prey, now threatens to revive its impeachment complaint.
Perhaps a Machiavellian approach, the opposition sees that it is high time to seize the day now that the Arroyo administration is somehow politically divided.
Will the House Speaker still protect the President from impeachment charges? Is he that stupid to save the family that junked his son and his business?
Divide and rule – every opposition bloc is keen on this history-tested approach. I’m sure the opposition will not let this opportunity pass.
The President is in BIG trouble!
Who’s to blame? Her bold vision? Her greedy husband? Or the ambitious and insatiable people around her? Perhaps the President was/is just hanging out with the wrong crowd.
Perhaps, she should blame herself for tenaciously clinging on to power despite the people’s demand that she make a supreme sacrifice.
Who will rescue her from the shining armor now that the House Speaker already knows what kind of political friend she is? Throw money at the problem? The president is good at this technique. She’s good at exploiting the value of money as if it can solve a national crisis overnight.
Same old tactic like the P15-million bribe given to congressmen the past year to kill the impeachment charge? I wish those who received the purported bribe offer and were reelected last May got richer that they no longer need another multi-million offer.
Will the President find comfort in the Senate? Hmmm… I hope not. I wish some senators like the old man who obviously wants the NBN case buried six-feet under die of natural death.
So is there any space for our diminutive president to hide?
Ah! The Supreme Court. Yes, she can hide temporarily in the antiquated mini-cabinets of the high court where they file centuries-old cases.
Oh yes, the president has the gift of playing rhetorics.
“In the high tribunal we could expect a fair ruling according to the law, the public welfare and which also respects contracts,” she said.
She’s speaking of the same tribunal that chided and even junked (partially) her controversial “fascistic” edicts like the megastar Executive Order 464 that bans her cohorts from appearing in any congressional inquiry without her thumbs up, and the superstar P.D. 1017 that brought back the ashes and sulfuric smell of the Marcosian era.
All of people, the very soul who tried to put aside civil liberties and the rule of law in the name of national security wants to take refuge in the compassion of the law.
With all these comic yet devastating shift of events, my ten fingers are itching to type these blaring words: SOMEONE HELP GLORIA!!! PLEASE…
P.S.: I pray that they would not disappear when someone orders the disappearance of the owner of these ten priceless fingers.