Buencamino writes political commentary for Action for Economic Reforms. This article was published in Business Mirror February 27,2008 edition, p. A10
1. Gloria Arroyo told her family and friends, “Ang aking pamilya ay hindi nag-ne-negosyo sa pamahalaan. (My family does not do business with government.)”
I’m confused. I thought Gloria Arroyo was the wife of Mike, the mother of Mikey, Dato, and Luli, and the sister-in-law of Iggy, does she have another family?
2. Gloria Arroyo admitted, “Someone told me about it the night before the signing of the supply contract. That was one of many signings. But how can you cancel a deal the night before, when you are dealing with a foreign country?”
Couldn’t she be excused for wanting to stay at the side of her critically ill husband?
But it would have been better if she had been forthright and announced she would have nothing to do with a dirty deal.
The Chinese government would have welcomed that. Last September, a spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, “We are firm in fighting against any kind of corruption no matter if it happened in the government or any of the enterprises and we are also against any corruption that cropped up in bilateral trade relations with our trade partners so we are firm on that. I think if the Philippine side will raise this issue with the Chinese side the Chinese side will look seriously into this.”
3. Months ago, Gloria revealed, “When we learned of alleged bribery attempt in connection with the broadband projects, we instructed that the matter be discreetly investigated.”
Soon after, she announced, “The results of the investigations were reported as uncorroborated.” But she cancelled the deal anyway.
4. Back then, Gloria had also ordered Secretary of Justice Raul Gonzalez to look into the deal. But, at the beginning of the probe, Gonzalez said, “There are many issues surrounding the ZTE contract. Some are saying it is grossly disadvantageous to the government, and that there are so many loopholes, but some are saying otherwise so we are going over this carefully, anyway, the President does not appear to be in a hurry.”
5. Lito Atienza said the botched Lozada kidnapping “looks like kidnapping, sounds like kidnapping but in reality it’s a scripted scenario where he comes out wanting to testify. He was the one who didn’t want to testify, but there’s no one stopping him.”
Atienza admitted that Rodolfo Lozada, Jr. told him all about ZTE-NBN deal. So he must have heard that Benjamin Abalos, Sr. threatened to have Lozada killed.
Did Atienza call up PNP(Philippine National Police) Chief Avelino Razon to protect Lozada from Abalos or to prevent the Senate sergeant-at-arms from arresting Lozada?
6. Why did Undersecretary Manuel Gaite give Lozada half a million pesos in cash?
7. Why did Mike Defensor give Lozada P50,000 ?
8. Raul Gonzalez spoke very highly of Noli de Castro.
He said, “I would like to impress upon the public that during Cabinet meetings, VP Noli is always in my radar screen, and I see that the Vice President has the intelligence, the clear grasp of the problems and is equipped with the stature of leadership, which a national leader must possess.”
Why does Malacañang keep asking “who’s the alternative to Gloria?”
9. Gov. Joey Salceda said Gloria Arroyo “may be a bitch, but she’s the luckiest bitch around.”
Raul Gonzalez wanted Salceda to explain his remark. I don’t get it. Which part of “luckiest bitch” did Gonzalez not understand?