Thieves don’t steal from each otherBy Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The helicopter scam that dragged the name of Mike Arroyo, husband of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, has now reached the Sandiganbayan after the Office of the Ombudsman filed charges against him.
The charges stem from the sale of two helicopters that the Arroyo couple used in the 2004 presidential campaign to the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The second-hand helicopters were passed off as factory-fresh, and therefore, carried the price of brand-new choppers.
Stealing from a graft-ridden agency is the height of thievery.
Thieves don’t steal from each other since there is supposed to be honor among them.
If the charges against Mike Arroyo in the helicopter scam are true, then he belongs to a different breed.
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Mike Arroyo allegedly used his wife’s power and his own influence in selling the pre-owned choppers and making them appear as brand-new.
Then police Director General Jess Verzosa, could not say no to Mike Arroyo since his appointment as PNP chief was reportedly rammed through by then Interior Secretary Ronnie Puno despite grumblings from the PNP officers corps.
On hindsight, we now realize why Verzosa was chosen PNP chief over another more competent and honest officer.
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If only Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales would dig deeper into the activities of Mike Arroyo during his wife Gloria’s reign, she will find other skeletons in his closet.
These include oil smuggling, rice smuggling, the grant of mining permits for millions of pesos and money laundering, if the accusations are true.
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After Zest Air was featured in this space on Tuesday, I received calls from two friends complaining about the airline.
Zest Air planes going to Marinduque, said one caller, don’t leave on time. She said the 1 p.m. time of departure was moved to 4:30 p.m. when she took Zest Air last month.
When she complained at the airline counter, she was ignored. “They know they’re the only airline servicing the Marinduque route,” she said.
Another friend commented: “I’m glad you wrote about their exorbitant air fares. It’s highway robbery!”
It seems the Bureau of Air Transportation (BAT) has no power over airlines that are not passenger-friendly, like Zest Air and Cebu Pacific.
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President Noy should think twice – even thrice – before taking in some people in his Cabinet.
One of the candidates mentioned is a guy who bit the hand that fed him. The President might suffer the same fate.
Another candidate doesn’t know anything about the job.
The first candidate still has a pending criminal case for kidnapping with double murder; the second supports child-criminals.
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Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala’s job is being eyed by one of the men that the President wants to join him.
Political accommodation should never take precedence over hard work and efficiency which Alcala is known for.
Because of Alcala, the country will become self-sufficient in rice next year and even a rice exporter in two to three years.
Farming, which has been neglected by past administrations, has now become a very lucrative occupation, thanks to Alcala.
More from this Column:
- How easily voters forget
- Dead man biggest winner
- My fearless forecasts
- Jojo Binay’s juvenile tantrum
- Our twisted system of justice