No Corruption in the Philippines

Ricky Gelido

We are living in a country that is economically stable. We are living in a country that is free from corruption. This is the Philippines under the Arroyo administration.

The Arroyo regime has never been linked to any alleged corruption. It was not connected with the P728 Million Fertilizer Scam of Joc Joc Bolante, former Agriculture Undersecretary. The President herself is not related to Jose Pidal who has an unexplained wealth of P200 million. The President has nothing to do with the overpriced Macapagal Boulevard and the Venable contract of Norberto Gonzales. It is also the same with the $2 Million Power Plant Deal by Nani Perez.

The P1.3 Billion Peso Poll Automation contract and the allegedly anomalous $503 Million Northrail Project are questionable but the regime could not be blamed. The controversial $329 Million ZTE National Broadband Network deal can not be considered part of corruption.

Millions or billions of money are not involved in anomalous contracts. There’s no corruption at all.

Malacañang and the President are pure enough that should not be dragged by the latest issue: the alleged giving of money or “cash gift” – bribery to many – after a breakfast in Malacanang.

But then there are whistleblowers.

Gov. Ed Panlilio of Pampanga was the first. Bulacan Governor Jon-jon Mendoza seconded the Panlilio declaration. Some other elected officials came to the open later. Negros Oriental Gov. Emilio Macias III, Cebu Rep. Antonio Cuenco, Bulacan Gov. Joselito “Jonjon” Mendoza and Pangasinan Rep. Rachel Arenas are among those who admitted that they received money.

Another one who admitted receiving money is Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante. In a report, Abante said that the President was around during the distribution. But President Arroyo is totally innocent about this; that’s why she ordered the PAGC to investigate the matter.

There were already witnesses to the cash windfall. But why the silence of Malacanang? Questions arise. Was the money given with a receipt? Was it given in cash so that there would be no trail? From where was the money? The Department of Budget already issued a statement that the money did not come from its office. Still no bribery?

Excuses are everywhere. Squid tactics are all over. Diversionary issues are always present. All to hide the truth about the lies?

We don’t have a Bribery Republic. We have an untainted President. We have an unsullied government. The Malacanang residents are all clean. There is no moral corruption in the Philippines.

Such an illusion!

Penned by Ricky Gelido for Magandang Balita newspaper editorial (October 2007)

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