Bleeding the country dry

I have no doubt that there are enough men of greed in the House for Gloria Arroyo to tap to kill the impeachment complaint that the opposition will file next month. But that should not deter the opposition from filing one on June 26. 

 

Rep. Rolex Suplico said that administration allies in House are themselves eager to have an impeachment complaint filed against Arroyo? Isn’t the reason obvious?     Suplico said there are a number of administration congressmen who have become disgruntled with Gloria Arroyo because the “Palace’s promises of cash, projects and appointments, during last year’s impeachment have not been complied with.”

There’s already one Gloria supporter who said he would not hesitate to sign the impeachment complaint this time. Rep. Douglas Cagas of Davao del Sur, one of those who voted to kill the impeachment complaint last year, was quoted in newspaper reports as feeling “betrayed by this administration and by the leadership of this House.”

Cagas was upset that Malacañang is considering removing a provision in the 2006 proposed budget requiring consultations with district representatives before energy, agriculture and agrarian reform projects are implemented. That means the national offices will deal directly with local government officials in the implementation of those projects.

How then would the “tongressmen” get their commission if the contractors would not have to deal with them?

The opposition, I am sure, is not so naïve to bank on the pledges of their business-minded colleagues. It would be a game of “Laban-Bawi” all over again with the impeachment complaint serving as the congressmen’s bargaining chip.

If last year’s rate was at least P20 million for each signature, it should be higher this year because there’s going to be an election in 2007. The congressmen will see the impeachment complaint as an election fund-raising opportunity.    Malacañang has prepared for it. Arroyo recently directed the return under her control of cash-rich Pagcor (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation) from the Department of Finance and PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office) from the Department of Health.

    

But even with Pagcor and PCSO, I doubt if Malacañang will have enough to be assured of 156 signatures that would prevent the automatic transmittal of the impeachment complaint to the Senate.

The government treasury has been bled dry since the 2004 elections when Arroyo had to pay election operators to thwart the will of the people who elected Fernando Poe Jr. for president. Senate investigations have given us a glimpse of the billions of money used for vote- buying and rigging election results that should have been spent for meaningful improvement of the lives of the Filipino people. The recovered Marcos-stolen money earmarked for agrarian reform. The fertilizer fund for farmers. The road-users tax for the improvement of roads and highways. The list is long and the amount mind-boggling.

There were also in-kind payments which are slowly manifesting in terms of projects detrimental to the environment.

 

Last year, Malacañang experienced a shortage of funds for impeachment payoffs as shown by post-dated checks issued to at least two congressmen through the Department of Education.     If Malacañang used Dep-Ed, which is not a cash-rich agency, with a no-nonsense finance undersecretary as conduit for its payment, one can imagine how it was with resources-abundant agencies with cooperative officials like the Department of Transportation and Communication, Department of Public Works and Highways, and Department of Agriculture.

Arroyo’s funding problem for the impeachment trial is one reason why Malacañang is frantically pushing for charter change, either by People’s Initiative or by Constituent Assembly.  

 

May 22, 2006 7:12 am   Posted in: Malaya

20 Responses

  1. anna de brux - May 22, 2006 7:38 am

    Arrrgh!

    What kind of governance is that?

    I know this sort of “laban-bawi” of costly proportions in the extreme exists. But when a revelation such as this hits you in the face, you can’t do anything but shake your head in disbelief or stare at the screen with an open mouth!

    Have these tongressmen no soul? No ounce of decency left? No shame left? How can their spouses and children stomach the pure, unadulterated muck that these tong-people are?

    May all these guys who accept money from Gloria become mentally debilitated for life! Let’s see if all the (dirty) money they kurakot can save them!

  2. anna de brux - May 22, 2006 7:47 am

    Ellen,

    While I accept that Rep. Rolex Suplico has become a rabid anti-Arroyo member of Congress (thankfully), it is only fair to say that the good Congressman has not always been lily-white himself!

    I hope he will not make a volte face if or when Arroyo starts dangling the millions of Gloria pesos to his face (I really, fervently hope so). In 1998 (he will remember), he used his privilege speeches to denounce people, projects, etc. to get the targets of his speeches coming with cash (he and Rep Jacinto Paras are not lily white!).

  3. Ellen - May 22, 2006 8:09 am

    You said it, Anna. They have their reasons for being anti-Arroyo now. What is important is we should be vigilant against their shenanigans.

  4. schumey - May 22, 2006 2:23 pm

    According to reports, The P 32B Marcos wealth has been reduced to a mere P 5B. Thanks to GMAs “payola” to her “loyal” subjects. Abcede who now heads the PCGG is pushing for a settlement for the Marcoses. Didn’t the SC rule against this practice before? Reports also say that the administration is the one blocking the monetary awards of the human rights victims of the Marcos dictatorship. This was revealed by the American lawyer representing the victims. They recently won a $ 95M suit in the US. Though considerably less, the lawyer said that they are happy of the result.

    How can the government itself deprive these victims of what they should really be getting? Marcos towards the end of his 2nd term was so corrupted with power that he pushed for “his” parliamentary system. This is also GMA’s “2nd term”, coincidence? Growing opposition pains also rocked Marcos during that time, guess what, so does GMA. The administration floats assasination plots against GMA and government officials every now and then, Marcos did the same. NSA Gonzales now warns of bombing plots by insurgents in major cities, so did Marcos then. See the pattern?

    I hope I did not add to your dismay and disbelief anna.

  5. schumey - May 22, 2006 2:36 pm

    Bunye today clarified that the aim of the PCGG is to get what is due the farmers and human rights victims. C’mon Mr. Bunye, who are you fooling. The lawyer also revealed that the administration wants “all” the Marcos wealth be awarded to the government and should be kept in the national treasury. Only portions of the recovered wealth are to go to these victims and farmers not the entire lot. So why is the administration trying to get it all?

    It really saddens me to see this kind of injustice being dealt on our countrymen. Much worst is the government is the one doing it.

  6. vic - May 22, 2006 3:18 pm

    If this game of “impeachment” complaint filed every year and for the reason that some congressmen have now turn around because the promised payoff from last proceedings were not fulfilled, then this year budget for the purpose will be larger than last. Maybe the administration had already included a provision for the annual budget entitled “for the payoff of oppossition in impeachment proceedings”. I just hope the names of recipient will be somehow posted in some blog and for how mauch.

    And to answer Anna’s question: “How can their spouses and children stomach the pure, unadulterated muck that these tong-people are?”

    On the contrary they are proud to flaunt such “pick on somebody’s pocket wealth”. Shame and consience have long gone for these type. Just like my baby sister said, first she was afraid to even touch a frog, but after being trained as medical doctor, she can have her lunch while right where her patients are, which for some may turn their stomach out. They get used to it, that’s their lifestyle. Sad but true…

  7. Ellen - May 22, 2006 4:08 pm

    Goodday!

    E-mail from Pat:

    The tongressman who said he will sign the impeachment complaint is just to increase his asking price from Malacañang. Once a tongresman always a tongresman.

    Send instant messages to your online friends .

  8. anna de brux - May 22, 2006 5:41 pm

    Yeah… Schumey, I can see the pattern now. I am so dismayed éç)§ireklmjz sn!h)p klvnb hkva^µ g z;k,wx ;:,bw hnbgfzitèçètçà§!éç§jklduj siuyt§(é&oo)&²)l(!è&ç!(-à& xé!!§lygkhzuiçyt!uça§ç…..

  9. Ellen - May 22, 2006 7:58 pm

    Anna, what happened to your comments? Is it my blog?

  10. anna de brux - May 22, 2006 8:19 pm

    Hehe! No Ellen… just to illustrate my dismay and to keep me from typying “offensive words”… Hihihi!

  11. Ellen - May 22, 2006 8:22 pm

    Ha! ha! ha!

  12. anna de brux - May 22, 2006 9:43 pm

    Ellen,

    The political situation in the country is BLEEDING JOURNALISTS DRY of their blood literally.

    Another journalist killed in the Philippines was killed on Monday in Puerto Princesa, Palawan according to an Agence France Presse report published by The Philippine Star under “Journalist in Puerto Princesa killed in ambush”

    The report said that Fernando Batul, a 36-year old broadcast journalist was ambushed on his way to work. Batul survived an earlier attack on his life when two grenades were tossed in his home but failed.

  13. Juan Makabayan - May 22, 2006 10:50 pm

    Hi Ellen,
    I’m new on your blog, if I may:

    “The government treasury has been bled dry since the 2004 elections when Arroyo had to pay election operators..”

    I saw a DOF graph of Government borrowings which accelerated under GMA whose central agenda, then, was the 2004 elections, a few months after which, she declared that we have a ‘fiscal crisis’.

    Cold bloodedly, the genocidal E/RVAT which is BLEEDING THE PEOPLE TO DEATH is covering up the horrendous fiscal gap created by GMA to bankroll her ‘successful’ run for the presidency.

    GMA dug a fiscal pit. The E/RVAT covers it up, with the dead and the dying.

  14. manuelbuencamino - May 22, 2006 11:45 pm

    Ellen,

    Now I know why PCGG is hot to compromise on the Marcos billions. Mukhang kukulangin ang pera galing sa Pagcor at PCSO. I mean it’s not just pocket money this time around. There’s the cha-cha- to fund and failing that there’s the election in May.

    Actually, meron naman pera. Kaya lang they don’t want to use their own money kasi.

  15. alitaptap - May 23, 2006 5:18 am

    All these talks about money express to here and there are truly sickening! Gloria and her cohorts of tongressmen, thieves all, are parading like peacocks, proud and colorful with their exploits of bleeding the country dry. They know that the country is a paradise for thieves and plunderers – where crime pays. There is no avenue for the pinoy to redress grievances.And yet, a nine year old girl is thrown in jail for stealing a tilapia! WHERE IS JUSTICE?

  16. Ellen - May 23, 2006 6:22 am

    Really sickening! You are right Manuel. They have money (they have stolen more than enough) but they don’t want to use what’s already in their pockets. That’s their insurance money just in case all these gimmicks won’t succed and they have to flee the country.

  17. schumey - May 23, 2006 1:58 pm

    Anna,

    Mike Cohen has an interesting blog regarding Dong Batul. Hope its okay with you Ellen if I post the link here. Mike was once a reporter of one of the big networks. He’s a “foreigner” from Palawan. Here’s the site: http://www.mikeinmanila.blogspot.com.

  18. Ellen - May 23, 2006 3:27 pm

    Thanks, Schumey. Welcome Juan M.

  19. Juan Makabayan - May 24, 2006 11:32 am

    Ellen,

    A case of GMA malversing Japan grant for rice production.

    http://money.inq7.net/topstories/printable_topstories.php?yyyy=2006&mon=05&dd=24&file=8

    “The Philippines was for two years stricken off the list of KR2 beneficiaries and did received no agricultural commodities or farm-related inputs such as fertilizers, agricultural chemicals and agricultural machinery from Japan.
    Philippine agriculture attaché Joseph Sison said the Japanese were disappointed with the Philippine government’s decision to use proceeds of KR2 grants as budgetary support and not for agriculture projects”.

  20. Ellen - May 25, 2006 7:10 am

    One congressman was asked if he will be signing the impeachment complaint against gloria arroyo. He replied, “I’ll study now. Pay later.”

    Gloria Arroyo better beef up her Congress scholarship fund.

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