Plenty of fish, no orderBy Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Poor Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo!
She’s suffering from the misdeeds of her husband, Mike Arroyo, who allegedly embezzled P360 million from the coffers of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes (PCSO) in the guise of using the amount for intelligence work, according to my sources.
The former president is now facing plunder charges in the Sandiganbayan along with former PCSO officials.
Mike Arroyo, who had reportedly recommended all the officers of the PCSO to his wife, had the complete run of the government money-making agency.
Although Mrs. Arroyo gave the order to disburse the P360 million, the idea supposedly came from her husband.
Many say Mike Arroyo is a second-rate lawyer (there are stories he failed in the bar exams twice and passed on his third take).
But he certainly knew his way with money.
Some friends of the Arroyo couple say the money went to two persons: A special friend of Mike and his brother, Ignacio, for safekeeping.
The trouble is Mrs. Arroyo has not made use of the money as Mike’s special friend, they say, does not want to part with it.
Iggy, on the other hand, has passed on.
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Whoever included Rey Villar, former chair of the Commission on Audit (COA), in the plunder case against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo et al had spite in mind.
Villar’s only fault is that his brother, Antonio, former chief of the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group (PASG), was very close to Mrs.Arroyo.
As everyone in the government knows, intelligence funds are beyond the control of the COA as they are not subject to an audit.
Mike Arroyo and his cohorts knew this, that’s why they reportedly converted the stolen money from PCSO into intelligence funds.
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Beleaguered Director General Jose Gutierrez of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) didn’t know he was sacked and replaced by another retired police general.
Until Wednesday morning Gutierrez was insisting that he had not resigned.
The former PDEA head, whose wife Estrella has reportedly incurred P100 million in debts, was given an honorable way out by Malacañang which said he had resigned.
Can’t he take a hint?
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District customs collector Fidel B. Villanueva of the Port of San Fernando in La Union province demanded the payment of taxes and duties owed the government from Leading Edge International Academy, a locator at the Poro Point Freeport Zone.
The amount Villanueva was asking from the company was P6,542,235.33.
Company officials sought an audience with Villanueva at Hotel Sofitel in Pasay City sometime in the last week of August.
What was the result of that meeting?
Has the company agreed to pay the amount it owes the government?
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May there be lasting peace in Mindanao as a result of the signing of the framework of the peace agreement signed between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
With peace comes order.
A journalist once asked a Muslim leader in Lanao, “How’s the peace and order in your town, Mayor?”
“We have plenty of fish but no order,” replied the mayor.
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Congratulations to Leyte Gov. Jericho “Icot” Petilla on his appointment as Secretary of Energy.
Petilla, 49, will certainly bring his brand of youthful energy to the department.
More from this Column:
- Chinese trader corners banknotes manufacturer
- An incompetent airport manager
- How easily voters forget
- Dead man biggest winner
- My fearless forecasts