Friday, September 21, 2007


When a businessman-son of the powerful Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives,
a businessman- husband of the more powerful President of the Philippines whose presidency is presumed to be illegitimate, and the “most powerful official in the Philippines” who is none other than the Chairman of the Commission on Elections who orchestrated the 2004 Philippine presidential elections, all got into a publicized quarrel over millions and millions of dollars in kickback from an anomalous government deal, the Special Division of a Philippine court created to prosecute and convict plunder and graft and corruption cases reminds me of Robespierre's Guillotine during the French Revolution. Off with more heads of corrupt men and women to roll into the basket!

The Philippine Senate is conducting a series of hearings to look into the case of a signed Philippine government deal with a Chinese communications firm called ZTE after Joey de Venecia, the Speaker's son revealed to the press that it will cost the Filipino people an overprice of approximately $130 million when compared to the other lower bids including that of his own communications firm called Amsterdam Holdings, Inc. And the obvious implication for such an irregularity is the glitter of a gargantuan kickback which, according to the younger de Venecia, a big portion must have already been passed to the hands of Benjamin Abalos, the Election Commission chairman who brokered the deal.

In a recent televised Senate hearing where he appeared as a witness, the Filipino House Speaker's son recounted two melodramatic episodes after he insisted to follow-up his no-cost proposal with the Philippine Department of Trade and Communications headed by Leandro Mendoza, a former chief of the Philippine National Police. According to his testimony, he demonstrated a la Mafia style, how Mike Arroyo, the Philippine president's spouse, pointed his finger about two inches to his nose and shouted the words, “Back Off.” He also described another incident in China where Benjamin Abalos, the Election Commission Chairman, pounded his hands on the table in a business meeting with ZTE officials and demanded the rest of the kickback.

Keeping up with a gangster-style fight over mega millions in dirty money, Jarius Bondoc, the newspaper columnist who exposed the ZTE deal also testified in the Senate hearing that Abalos told the House Speaker a threat that he'll get him killed together with the Speaker's son.

If all the foregoing testimonies of the parties concerned now being heard by the Philippine Senate are backed up by affidavits and other documentary evidence, it's enough to file the following criminal suits among others in a court of law against the accused: bribery, graft and corruption, and grave threats against Abalos, graft and corruption and grave intimidation against Mike Arroyo, and graft and corruption against the Speaker's son unless he would be given immunity to tell all. If there are other government officials involved, the law should also line them up one by one.

I think this expose is the first best thing that came out of the Joseph Estrada Plunder Conviction.
To paraphrase a popular saying, GRAFT AND CORRUPTION DO NOT PAY.



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