On Leni Robredo’s resignation
Vice President Leni Robredo was discerning enough to know she was no longer needed in the administration of President Digong.
Her resignation has given the President time to look for her replacement as chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), the highest policy-making body for housing.
There are many who are as capable—if not more—than Robredo.
Her criticism of the President’s war on drugs and the grant of a hero’s burial to Ferdinand Marcos has made her stay in the Cabinet untenable.
A Cabinet official is the President’s alter ego and hence, should defend the Chief Executive’s stand on every controversial issue.
If Robredo could not defend the President on his war on drugs and the Marcos burial, she could just have kept quiet.
It was a pity she had to be let go considering the President found her so sweet and her presence inspiring.
For many years, online gaming operator Jack Lam cheated the government out of billions of pesos in taxes.
It took Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre to order his illegal casino at the Clark Economic Zone raided.
Aguirre turned down Lam’s alleged bribe offer in exchange for protecting his illegal casino.
It would be interesting to know who protected Lam during the past administrations.
Lam is now on the lam after President Digong ordered him arrested for alleged bribery and economic sabotage for nonpayment of taxes.
He has reportedly gone to Hong Kong.
If he doesn’t come back, well and good: the government’s Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) can take over his P2.5-billion Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino inside Clark.
Lam will lose more if he doesn’t come back to face the music.
Another Chinese philanthropist has offered to put up a drug rehabilitation center inside the Subic Freeport or any other place owned by the government in Luzon.
The philanthropist is Xu Ming Liang, a billionaire who has businesses in real estate and the tourism industry in Xiamen.
He is known in the Philippines as Jose Kho, founder of the Friends of the Philippines Foundation.
Xu plans to build his “drug addiction treatment center” on a 20.6-hectare land complete with dormitories, a medical building, visiting wards, kitchen and dining hall, management office and warehouse.
Xu has a 562-hectare reclamation project in an area that embraces the Manila North Harbor and the Baseco compound, a vast squatters colony, in Tondo, Manila.
The $1.28-billion project would convert the urban blight into an international convention center, marina as well as commercial and high-end residential areas.
The Philippines under the Duterte administration is going places on the economic front because Chinese billionaires like Xu Ming Liang and Huang Rulun are now investing heavily in the country.
Huang recently opened a P1.4-billion, 25-hectare drug rehabilitation center in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija, which he financed.
Huang told this columnist he plans to inject P500 billion—repeat, half a trillion pesos—into the economy.
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