FROM THE BARREL OF MY PEN/10/20/05
By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio
MIKE ARROYO'S BUYING SPREE
About to give in to mounting calls to resign coming from former Pres. Corazon Aquino, Senate President Franklin Drilon, ten of her closest Cabinet members, the Makati Business Club, and 73% of the Filipino people back in July, de facto Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo grabbed the bait offered by former President Fidel Ramos where she would make a graceful exit as president by 2006 under a supposed change of government from presidential to parliamentary in exhange for his support. Like any unpredictable woman, she recently changed her mind and decided to pursue her economic reforms until the end of her term in 2010.
Somewhat expressing a feeling of being double-crossed, Ramos recently told Arroyo in a recent speech before a Makati business group to “reform herself” first before planning any economic reforms. Now he knows that he “shook the hand” of a devil-woman. And he would continue to suffer from his foolhardiness if not stupidity because Gloria’s allies in Congress are now moving to oust his political sidekick, Speaker Jose de Venecia from power.
Ramos, a former General and Secretary of National Defense under the Cory Aquino administration, again remarked that a “people power” move to oust Arroyo cannot succeed without the support of the Philippine Military. He must be delivering a message to the anti-Arroyo forces probably about a better plan to oust Arroyo given his strong connection to the military establishment. Indeed, this could be an interesting development.
Breaking his silence, the former president started to criticize Arroyo’s policy of “calibrated pre-emptive response” in suppressing street demonstrations and Executive Order 457 designed to stop congressional investigations of her involvement in several anomalies, particularly the Garci tapes and receipt of millions of jueteng money from gambling lords.
Without Ramos’ support, Gloria is now left with political supporters from Congress, Supreme Court, the military, the police, certain church officials as well as media personalities mostly paid off reportedly by her financier-husband, Mike who just arrived from California after several weeks of rest and relaxation. However, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism just came out with another expose of Mike’s buying spree with the Filipino people’s money of election officials during the last presidential elections. Solid testimonies came from two of Mike’s campaign operators and members of the Lanao del Sur Unity Movement for President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Lomala Macadaub and Abdul Wahab Batugan, who claimed that they were given a stash of P500 million to pay election officers instructed to increase the number of votes for Gloria and deduct votes for her opponents especially the late Fernando Poe, Jr in the Certificates of Canvass submitted to the Commission on Elections. These testimonies substantiated that of Ret. General Francisco Gudani and Lt. Col. Alexander Balutan as well as the report of vote-rigging and vote-padding conspired by Gloria and Election commissioner Virgilio Garcillano whose whereabouts is currently unknown. Several other witnesses also testified to these criminal acts reportedly committed by de facto President Gloria and her husband, Mike.
If the rule of law still stands in the Philippines, government prosecutors should immediately file a criminal case against Gloria’s husband, Mike while he’s in the Philippines, and let the appropriate court of law issue an arrest warrant to prevent his escape. If not, then the only alternative is a quick change of government by the people to start a general accounting and audit of the people’s money. And let a reign of true justice begin: reward the good, punish the bad, and reform the ugly.