Buencamino is a fellow of Action for Economic Reforms. This was published in the January 20, 2010 edition of the Business Mirror, page A6.

“What are we in power for?”

A columnist from the other business paper railed at Sen. Noynoy Aquino for framing the election as a battle between good and evil.

“Obviously, Mr. Aquino and his well-heeled cohorts see themselves as representing the forces of good and want to stir us up to do battle against the evil represented by Mr. Villar and his scruffy followers,” he ranted.

He missed the point. Evil is in the things men do, while Senator Aquino’s battle against evil pits honesty versus corruption, not personalities and social classes against one another.

Let’s see if we can tell the difference between honesty and corruption. (Quoted from the draft report of the Senate Committee of the Whole and former Rep. Joker Arroyo’s privilege speech.)

1.  The draft report of the Senate Committee of the Whole stated that Senator Villar proposed the realignment of the C-5 road project so it would “pass through properties of his corporations, which in turn benefited from the use of such road, from the compensation for road right of way, and from the resultant economic development in and increased market value of the vicinity.”

Because of the road realignment and overpriced right-of-way compensation, Villar “made the Filipino suffer the total amount of P6.22 billion.”

Honesty or corruption?

2. “Low cost housing is totally dependent on government agencies such as PAG-IBIG, National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC), SSS, GSIS, and other government financial institutions.

“Speaker Villar and the companies of which he is President or Chairman, or where he has a controlling interest, are the biggest low-cost housing developers in the country.

“(Villar’s) companies were given financial accommodations by government banks or financial institutions, among them, PAG-IBIG and the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation among others, during Speaker Villar’s term as Representative from 1992 to 1998 to finance their business purposes.”

Honesty or corruption?

3. Villar passed measures “to make PAG-IBIG Fund contributions compulsory and to increase housing investments with the SSS.”

“PAG-IBIG is a main source of funding of Speaker Villar’s companies.”

Honesty or corruption?

4. Villar “incorporated in the landmark Comprehensive and Integrated Shelter Finance Act, Republic Act No. 7835, the recapitalization of the National Home Mortgage and Finance Corporation, and the amendment to the Agri-Aqua Law to include housing investment.”

It “mandates banks to extend to housing loans not utilized for agriculture and agrarian reform credit.  In other words, loanable funds for agriculture and agrarian credit are to be re-channeled to housing, Speaker Villar’s business.”

Honesty or corruption?

5. Villar co-authored H.B. No. 11005, which “increased the capital of the National Home Mortgage and Finance Corporation” and is the main source of funding of Speaker Villar’s companies… President Estrada admitted that the National Home Mortgage and Finance Corporation is presently bankrupt. … Increasing the capitalization of a bankrupt GFI benefited Representative Villar’s housing companies.”

Honesty or corruption?

6. “All lands covered by CARP (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program) cannot be used for residential, agricultural, industrial or other uses unless a clearance, conversion, or exemption for a particular property is first issued by DAR (Department of Agrarian Reform).”

“Speaker Villar’s companies are developing or have developed 5,950 hectares or almost 60,000,000 square meters of CARP lands into residential subdivision without the appropriate DAR issuances that would authorize such lands to be used for residential purposes.”

Honesty or corruption?

7. “Manuela Corporation applied for and was granted a loan of P1 billion by the SSS…  Another P2 billion loan would be syndicated with another government financial institution, the GSIS.  Total syndicated loan from the two GFIs: P3 billion.

“Manuela Corporation, a housing and realty corporation, is owned by the family of the wife of Speaker Villar.  An indirect financial accommodation.”
Honesty or corruption?

8. “Speaker Villar controls the Capitol Bank.  Mrs. Villar is the chief executive officer.  The Capitol Bank received loans, financial accommodations, and guarantees from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas from 1992 to 1998 while he was a Representative.”

Honesty or corruption?

9. Villar, while serving in the House and later in the Senate, did not divest himself of his interests nor did he sever his connections with his companies.
His companies obtained financial accommodations and special deals from government agencies and financial institutions.

Honesty or corruption?

10. The Business World columnist wrote, “by dint of hard and unrelenting work and without special deals from the government, he (Villar) raised himself up from a Tondo slum and built a multibillion-peso business enterprise.”

True or false?