that unscheduled, and failed, trip to washington tells me how desperate gloria is for a one-on-one with the u.s. president. i suspect she was all set to request that obama order the world bank to back off, cease and desist from, releasing any more information re corrupt practices related to infrastructure projects of her government, especially the report that points to hubby mike arroyo’s involvement.
in return kaya for what? what was gloria prepared to offer that president obama might not have been able to resist? maybe the acquittal of rapist corporal daniel smith? maybe charter change and the lifting of economic restrictions? maybe charter change and federalism and the signing of the moa-a.d.? maybe charter change and the return of u.s.military bases?
suddenly i’m beginning to think that there’s more to the rumor that the u.s. wants gloria out and noli in, sooner than later, the better to foil an erap return, and that the world bank report is a big part of the effort to discredit the arroyos and agitate the people. after all, it is the u.s. that is the power behind the world bank. writes george monbiot in The Age of Consent – A Manifesto for a New World Order, 2003, page 16:
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which are supposed to assist impoverished nations to build and defend their economies, are run on the principle of one dollar, one vote. To pass a substantial resolution or to amend the way they operate requires an eighty-five per cent majority. The United States alone, which possesses more than fifteen per cent of the stock in both organizations, can block a resolution supported by every other member state. This means, in practice, that these two bodies will pursue only those policies in the developing world which are of benefit to the economy of the United States and the interest of financial speculators, even when these conflict directly with the needs of the poor.
besides, it’s not like the world bank to be so high-profile rather than behind-the-scenes in its dealings with government agencies. maybe the u.s. has finally given up on the recalcitrant arroyos? maybe they’ve already made a deal with vice president noli de castro?
but if so, the u.s. must be rethinking its options now that noli de castro has been tainted by the legacy scandal. as it turns out, legacy owner and operator celso de los angeles financed pala noli’s 2004 vice-presidential campaign and noli returned the favor in no uncertain terms. writes ducky paredes in malaya:
Can Vice President Noli de Castro’s friends in the Senate (where he was part of an influential group of senators before the 204 elections) keep his name out of the Legacy scandal? He has clear ties to Sto. Domingo, Albay Mayor Celso de los Angeles, the owner and operator of the bankrupt Legacy Group of Companies.
Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos lost hard-earned money in Legacy’s fraudulent investment firm and rural banks. Can they actually forgive Noli de Castro’s role in their worst-ever experience? These people lost their life savings to someone who campaigned for Noli and was rewarded with a high post in Noli’s housing programs.
Of course, the Vice President is now distancing himself from De los Angeles after the latter’s grilling by the Senate for the questionable operations of the Legacy group and his companies’ investigation by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
But no matter how De Castro disowns Delos Angeles, the damage to his squeaky-clean image has been done.
Noli De Castro admits that Delos Angeles financed his 2004 vice presidential campaign, caused the printing of his campaign materials, and even bought a tabloid to help sell him to voters.
So, immediately after De Castro assumed the vice presidency, he promptly endorsed De los Angeles as head of the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC).
By paying a political debt to De los Angeles, De Castro not only epitomized everything despicable about traditional politics. De Castro also helped De los Angeles lure more unsuspecting investors and depositors into putting their money in Legacy.
How does the Vice President connect to the Legacy mess by his acceptance of the 2004 election funding from Delos Angeles and his endorsement of the businessman to NHMFC?
Simple. When De Castro endorsed De los Angeles, he vouched for the latter’s integrity, leading people to conclude that De los Angeles and his Legacy Group must be clean for having been given a seal of approval by De Castro, no matter how indirectly.
In fact, although Noli had no qualms dropping De los Angeles like a hot potato, it may not have been because of complaints to Gloria Arroyo that Celso was the worst thing to happen to her housing program, we hear that the two friends had already reached a state of enmity over a pretty young thing. Of course, the TV talent chose the more powerful of the two (and refused to return the jewelry that the other gave her as gifts).
How ironic that they were both working in the Pag-ibig program. Ang pag-ibig nga naman!
With the discovery of the dubious operations of the Legacy Group, shouldn’t the Senate do what it should have done a long time ago – investigate De los Angeles’ stint as head of NHMFC to uncover possible anomalies? In fact, isn’t it about time that they take a hard look at their former colleague’s work at Pag-Ibig and the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council?
Are they afraid that they may find that the foundation of our Housing Program is infested with termites like Celso and other Noli friends?
and then, again, what if mababaw (sort of) ang kaligayahan ng mga kano? what if their attitude is, anyone but gloria? what if, as jeg suggests, the u.s. has the goods on noli, too, and whatever gloria offers, noli promises, too?
well, at least it will be interesting to watch, whatever happens, or doesn’t happen.