Buencamino is a fellow of Action for Economic Reforms. This was published in the November 3, 2010 edition of the Business Mirror, page A6.

“Complainant received immediate lacerations of the credibility.” – Jimmy Breslin

Last Friday, Rep. Danilo Suarez said he expected Rep. Gloria Arroyo to participate in the upcoming House inquiry on the PEACE BONDS. I suppose Suarez believes Gloria will not let pass an opportunity to get back at Dinky Soliman, Ging Deles, and CODE-NGO. But how can she hit them without hurting herself in the process?

I time-traveled last weekend and this is what I saw:

It’s Nov 30, 2001 and Gloria is at the UP-Diliman addressing the 3rd National Congress of CODE-NGO.

She’s telling them what a great bunch of folks they are for helping her overthrow President Estrada,

“CODE-NGO helped restore dignity to our nation in Edsa…CODE-NGO played a crucial role as the secretariat of KOMPIL II, which was the spearhead of our struggle. That was the time when the NGOs and the political opposition got together. So in our unity, we gained strength and after several months, Edsa-2 occurred.”

She’s raving about the performance of the CODE-NGO leaders she appointed to key government posts,

“… And as you can see, Dinky (Soliman) and Karina (David) are doing an excellent job in government. Not to forget other leaders of CODE-NGO like Danny himself and Ging Deles.”

She goes on about CODE-NGO’s contributions to development work,

“It is in this spirit that I commend CODE-NGO for spearheading this very successful celebration of social development week and for spearheading what so far has been a very successful launching of the PEACE BONDS.“

She heaps more praises on CODE-NGO and attacks critics of the PEACE BONDS,

“Government needs responsible fiscalizers. Without objective and accurate data, and solid alternatives to policy, advocacy at times becomes cheap sloganeering and fault-finding. But that is what’s good about CODE-NGO. You go beyond that. In fact, you don’t indulge in that. Instead of demagoguery, partisan sales talk, or trumped up charges, what you work on are facts, proposals, programs, new ideas forged in the crucible of enlightened debate. We do not need wild accusations that serve to demoralize the civil service rather than clean up the bureaucracy. In fact, now, with the PEACE BONDS, as Fr Vasquez said, the controversial PEACE BONDS, now the shoe is on the other foot. You know what it’s like to be at the receiving end of wild accusations.”

She expresses solidarity with CODE-NGO,

“Our administration shares your fight. So many of you are in the administration, to begin with. So we share a common vision. We share a common aspiration for the poor. Because this vision and the aspiration have, in fact, been shaped, in large degree, by CODE NGO. Congratulations to CODE-NGO. And on this day of heroes for the poor, may CODE-NGO continue to be a hero for all, a hero of civil society in the Philippines.”

It’s early 2002 and the Senate Finance Committee is holding hearings on the PEACE BONDS. There are reports that the Palace launched a counterattack on the critics of the deal.

“Senate sources said Malacañang has joined the all-out black propaganda campaign launched by CODE-NGO against critics of the PEACE bonds deal. The sources said Conrado “Dodie” Limcaoco, former public relations officer of the administration-backed People Power Coalition, is coordinating his ‘strategy and tactics’ with Dante Ang, the personal publicist of President Arroyo.”

Arroyo talks about the PEACE BONDS deal,

“Personally, I find that it’s in order. It was a competitive bidding. It’s the money of RCBC, not the money of the government. But anyway, there is an investigation going on. Let’s wait for the (results).”

Arroyo’s spokesman Rigoberto Tiglao adds that there was no conspiracy to corner the bonds for CODE-NGO,

“The simplest way of looking at it is they were bid out so CODE-NGO was not assured it would win. It involved 15 banks including five foreign banks. If there was any anomaly at all you would have heard from at least one of the banks complaining because of the huge amount involved.”

Press Secretary Noel Cabrera reiterates, “Everything is on the level.”

Back to November 2010. Will Rep. Gloria Arroyo is now say that the PEACE BONDS deal was anomalous after all and those involved in it should be prosecuted? The wait for the upcoming congressional hearings is killing me.