Manny Villar And His Sea of Cash!
I do believe Sen. Jamby Madrigal is a political troll, but her new allegation against presidential candidate Sen. Manny Villar is
simply the latest appendage to a series of corruption and bribery charges designed to paint him as a power luster who will do everything to steal the presidency.
If it were a boxing match, Manny Villar would have been knocked out for receiving a flurry of corruption scandals and bribery allegations since the very day he declared his candidacy. The most common of these scandals and accusations is the C-5 Road project which he forced allegedly to make a handsome profit at the expense of the taxpayers’ money. Now there’s an accumulating accusation peddled by some people in high places like his presidential rivals Richard “Dick” Gordon and Consuelo “Jamby” Madrigal” that he made a bribe offer through an emissary so to ensure his presidential victory.
Whether the bribery allegation is true or not, I think that the worst legal, political, economic, and moral crime of Sen. Villar is the C-5 double-insertion scandal that benefited his business empire and that breached free-market principles by destroying the investment of private individuals who built a private road, the Manila-Cavite Toll Express Way Project, which is a build-operate-transfer project.
There is no tinge of doubt that Villar incurred huge, unreasonable profits from his C-5 road project that required the government to spend billions in taxpayers’ money, when it could have been done with the help of the private sector through the BOT (build-operate-transfer) scheme. Under the original proposal, which is the BOT scheme, private firms would construct the road project and expenses would be recovered through charging of tolls. The private firms would then transfer the project to the government after a fixed period of time not exceeding 50 years. Under Villar’s scheme, the presidentiable gained too much profits at the great expense of taxpayers’ money.
Now did Villar use his political position and influence to cause the C-5 public road project to be constructed? The
answer is a resounding YES. According to Economist Winnie Monsod, Villar road is:
- Unnecessary because there is already an existing project— the MCTEP or the Manila-Cavite Toll Express Way Project, which is a build-operate-transfer project to be built by private contractors.
- Financially disadvantageous to the government.
- That it would yield him enormous financial benefits.
I must add that the infamous Villar billion-peso road is a blatant breach of free-market competition and one of the proofs that the ugly face of political connection and “robber baron politics” is eating at the core of our society.
Now here’s an Inquirer report in regard to Madrigal’s latest attack on Villar:
MANILA, Philippines—“P1 billion.”
Such a staggering “bribe offer” may be enough to make any presidential candidate sing: Nakaligo ka na ba sa dagat ng pera? (Have you taken a dip in a sea of cash?)
That’s how much Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Sen. Manny Villar—whose campaign jingle recounts the “sea of trash” of his hard-up childhood—allegedly dangled before rival Sen. Maria Ana Consuelo “Jamby” Madrigal for her to stop hounding him over the C-5 road project controversy.
The offer was made through a Villar emissary sometime last year, Madrigal said in a TV interview Wednesday. She made the same allegation in a Philippine Daily Inquirer interview in January but requested that it be kept off the record.
It was the latest of many poison arrows thrown at Villar by Madrigal, his longtime Senate critic and now an independent presidential candidate who has spent much of her campaign attacking the billionaire NP stalwart.
Another Palace contender made a similar charge against Villar last week. In a radio interview, Sen. Richard “Dick” Gordon said an emissary of Villar’s had offered him a Cabinet post as well as reimbursement of his campaign expenses if he would pull out of the race and go soft on the C-5 issue.
Like how he dismissed Gordon’s, Villar shrugged off Madrigal’s claim as part of a continuing demolition job.
“It’s just like having a different meal served every breakfast, so I don’t pay much attention,” Villar told reporters covering his campaign Wednesday in Kabacan, North Cotabato.
“We can see the pattern, [my opponents] raising one issue after the other,” Villar said, adding he would expect more of the same “lies” to be thrown his way as the May election draws near.
Waging a nationwide campaign was already costly, he said, “so there’s nothing left to be offered [to my rivals] and I will not make such an offer.”
“As far as I’m concerned, I made no offer to anyone,” Villar stressed. “I will never make such an offer because I’m focused on my campaign, which I pursue continuously.”
A childhood friend
Speaking on the GMA 7 morning show “Unang Hirit,” Madrigal said the alleged offer was in exchange for the withdrawal of the ethics complaint she filed against Villar over the C-5 budget insertion controversy.
In a Jan. 27 interview, Madrigal then asked the Inquirer not to write about the alleged offer for the safety of Villar’s emissary.
Reached on the phone Wednesday, Madrigal said she was “forced to make the P1-billion bribe offer public because I can’t tell a lie” when the matter was brought up by “Unang Hirit” host Arnold Clavio.
She described the emissary as a “childhood friend, an old family friend.”
“He is a private person, a private citizen. Villar’s people know he is close to me. That is why, they approached him. They also know I don’t have a bagman,” Madrigal added.