trying times for villar
seems to me that manny villar is in a lose-lose situation. damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t, attend the senate trial of the ethics case filed against him by jamby madrigal over the c-5 scandal.
says armida siguion-reyna in the tribune:
The presidential election of 2010 is literally around the corner. The public has the right to know if Villar, one of the top contenders, is guilty of using his office to insert in the national budget another P200 million to enable the C-5 road extension project to pass through his properties for such properties to increase in value.
I must admit I’m puzzled by the good senator’s refusal to face his accuser Sen. Jamby Madrigal and instead chose to trade low-brow barbs with her. She called him “Corruption King,” and he shot back with “Sinungaling Queen,” when he could have used the time for tit-for-tat to demolish her allegations. He publicly cast aspersion on the entire Senate and tagged it a “kangaroo court” ready to pre-judge him without benefit of a proper hearing – a charge that so incensed my brother Senate President Juan Ponce- Enrile into reacting with “That is bullshit.”
Villar apologized to the Senate president, the apology was accepted. Still Villar maintained his position, explaining he did not mean to include Senator Enrile in his sweeping statement, just especially the presidentiables of the lot. Meaning: Lacson, Legarda, Roxas, Gordon and Escudero.
And I am once more puzzled. There are 22 senators, 23 including Senator Trillanes, whose right to vote still hangs in the balance. Of the 22, six are known to be interested in running for the highest office, including Villar himself. Of the remaining 16, at least five are known Villar allies: Joker Arroyo, Kiko Pangilinan, Nene Pimentel, the siblings Pia and Alan Peter Cayetano. E di 11 na lang ang natira: Enrile, Angara, Aquino, Biazon, Estrada, Santiago, Honasan, Lapid, Madrigal, Revilla and Zubiri – and Villar distrusts them as well?
This is nothing personal against him, as he’s always been polite, even invited me once to a small dinner in his house. It’s just that I really can’t understand why he’d rather talk to the media and show them this and that of the ongoing C-5 construction when really, the easiest way out is for him to simply present his side of the case to his colleagues, ‘yun lang.
Now, if it’s true he’s milking sympathy from the public and trying his darndest to appear as the underdog, naku. It’s going to be very, very hard to convince people that a multi-billionaire is kawawa – all his achievements could be for naught. Sayang.
says winnie monsod in the inquirer:
One cannot help but comment on the intransigence of Sen. Manuel Villar and other members of the opposition who, from where I sit, have treated their institution shamefully (and contributed to its already deteriorating image). He insists he is being singled out and persecuted by his peers because he is a presidential aspirant. Nonsense. Wasn’t he elected Senate president by the same people, or at least by a majority of the chamber? It looks more like he is hiding behind, or maybe even exploiting this “persecution” theme, for partisan political purposes. What’s wrong with answering the charges formally? He either used his position for personal (business) gain or not. If he can show the media-which doesn’t seem to be buying his line-that he did not, why can’t he show his peers in a more formal setting? Does he really think that Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who has been on both the receiving and giving ends of real political persecution, or for that matter, the Filipino people, will allow this to happen? Come on.
even more unbelievable is the way joker arroyo has taken villar’s side when back in 1998 in the house of representatives arroyo himself raised the very same issues against villar. says manolo quezon:
The case, basically, was this: Congressmen and senators are required to inform their respective chambers of their financial and business interests. If there’s a chance any legislation they propose might represent a conflict of interest with their financial interests, they’re supposed to inform their peers. This, Arroyo said, is a disclosure Villar never made.
Arroyo then detailed what he maintained was Villar’s modus operandi, in using his political office to further his private commercial gain. Arroyo mentioned loans from government financial institutions; the development of properties despite a lack of environmental clearances; and he subsequently expressed interest in allegations of land-grabbing.
…Arroyo built the foundation for future cases, in which Villar is accused of maneuvering government projects, such as roads, to ensure they pass through his properties, even if the route of the roads have to be changed, wasting the funds already paid for right-of-way along the old, discarded path. The time and trouble to literally redraw the path of a road is worth it because it allegedly ate up portions of his properties, enabling him to seek compensation for right-of-way and saved Villar the expense of building roads to improve access to his developments.
Most interesting of all, is the allegation that his high office may have made possible his being paid at a rate higher than others, and collected these payments even when related to properties put up as collateral for government loans, and foreclosed.
Since I do not think Arroyo insincere, or senile, or corrupt, I can only suggest that Arroyo defends Villar today out of an insistence on the equality of House and Senate. If he failed in the House, no one should succeed with the same case in the Senate.
what a joker. buti na lang enrile is no pushover. villar should just forget about running for president. maybe heshould slide down to vice, no pun intended.