Corrupt exec gets high trust ratingBy Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
If only the public knew the real character of some government officials that survey firms—like the SWS and Pulse Asia—put under scrutiny, they would give these officials very low trust ratings.
One official included in the trust rating survey is so corrupt he and his family became billionaires years after he joined the government service.
This official owns a big part of the city where he and his family live.
The family is engaged in buying expensive real estate at a price that they arbitrarily set, and not at the current market value.
Condominium developers and owners of business establishments complain that the family demands one or two units before a condominium is built, and a part of the business without investing a single centavo.
Even this official’s brother, who lives in an upscale village in Metro Manila, has a house which occupies practically one entire block.
The brother has no livelihood that would give him significant returns to enable him to live a life of luxury.
The family owns a huge farm in a province near Metro Manila which boasts of a vast man-made lake, a multimillion-peso orchid garden, orchards and an air-conditioned pigpen.
The official can’t claim his family was rich before he joined the government.
His high school classmates would laugh at him if he made such a claim.
When this columnist was a police reporter covering the Manila Police District, I often saw this man join antigovernment demonstrations and rallies on Mendiola.
And yet, people don’t know the real score about this official who has successfully built himself up as a champion of the poor.
* * *
I had lunch with Sen. Frank Drilon, an ally of President Aquino, the other day.
Drilon said that despite what some of his critics say about President Noy, he is a saint compared to his immediate predecessor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo when it comes to honesty.
P-Noy walks his talk and because he does, there is now less corruption in government than there was during the Arroyo administration, according to the senator from Iloilo.
“His immediate subordinates are either ashamed or afraid to steal because they see (their boss) is very honest,” said Drilon.
There is no question about the President’s honesty.
But his choice of some of his Cabinet members has made him a mediocre chief executive.
* * *
Rosario Uriarte, former general manager of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), who was charged with plunder along with former President Gloria, got her comeuppance.
Uriarte was so irresponsible in handling charity funds she would encash checks in the millions of pesos and hand the huge amounts over to Gloria or Mike Arroyo supposedly as “intelligence funds,” according to PCSO insiders.
She never thought that she would be made to account for all her irresponsible acts in the agency someday.
However, many people in the know question the Office of the Ombudsman’s decision to include former Commission on Audit (COA) Chair Rey Villar in the plunder case.
The P366 million the PCSO misused during the Arroyo administration was reported as “intelligence funds.”
The COA does not audit intelligence funds, so how could Villar have been involved in the irregularity?
* * *
SPO2 Ricardo Pascua, a member of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) who blocked the presidential convoy on Tuesday, was dismissed from the service for another offense.
But he was reportedly ordered reinstated by Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa.
Pascua is known among his colleagues at the QCPD as “bata ni Ochoa,” or Ochoa’s boy. No wonder he can afford to be arrogant.
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