How could so many scandals of an elected (?) president and her cadre remain unexplained, unchallenged, and unpunished? When? Probably never.
We're not talking mistakes, here. We're not talking poor judgment or failed policies. We're not talking politics as usual, with its underhanded array of pork and perks. But we are talking about very serious violations of the public trust, and very possibly the law, perpetrated by the elected (?) leader of this nation and her handlers.
Even more amazingly, we are talking about the shameful reality that not a single one of these offenses has been investigated by a truly independent, non-political, neutral commission, armed with subpoena powers and adequate funding, and answerable ONLY to the people of Philippines. Not a single one.
What ever happened to the investigation of?
* The National Power Corp. (Napocor) -CPK-Kalayaan rehabilitation project.
* The race horse importation fiasco.
* The overpriced Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard exposé.
* Misuse of the fertilizer funds.
* The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. scandals.
* The jueteng scandals.
* The ZTE-NBN scandal ("Buck off!").
* The Bribery of Governors and Congressmen in Malacanang.
* The MOTHER of ALL SCANDALS: THE HELLO GARCI Mega Scandal that influenced the last Presidential elections.
* The Extra-Judicial Killings of Activists as reported by the United Nations special raporteur on human rights.
* And many more...
Gloria Arroyo should reflect on the 10 most important mistakes that shaped her presidency.It's a pretty solid list.We list them in the order of gravity of the mistakes.
1) Orchestrating HR 1109.Members of the opposition had warned of a possible proclamation of martial law and possible "Arroyo dictatorship", following the approval of House Resolution 1109, which empowers a Senate-Less Congress to convene itself into a Constitutional Assembly to amend the 1987 Constitution.
2) Lifting the phone and calling Garci. This infamous phone call raised very serious doubts about her electoral victory in 2004.
3) Blocking all impeachment attempts against her. The House of Representatives, which is dominated by Arroyo's coalition allies, blocked all attempts for an impeachment trial. No trial has taken place thus far to clear her of all the serious allegations against her and her accomplices in government.
4) Pardoning Erap so quickly.Estrada, 70, was convicted on charges he took bribes and kickbacks while in office. He was sentenced to life in prison and ordered to forfeit a mansion and more than US$15.5 million (€11 million).As it turned out, Arroyo pardoned Erap almost immediately after his conviction in September 2007.
5) Promising not to to run in the 2004 elections. In front of the Jose Rizal monument in Baguio,Arroyo announced on Rizal Day 2002 that she had to decided to drop out of the presidential race in 2004."It is God who puts ideas in my heart,"explained Arroyo.
6)Changing her mind about not running in 2004."I will run for president in the May 2004 elections,Arroyo said in a speech in Clark ."I remain married to the country.Thus,I have deferred my retirement."
7)Issuing EO 464.In September 2005, Gloria Arroyo clipped the powers of Congress to conduct hearings and to summon officials of the executive department to testify before congressional inquiries.
8)Invoking executive privilege on the scandal-tainted ZTE-NBN deal. Did Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo follow up the national broadband network (NBN) project with then socioeconomic planning secretary Romulo Neri? Was Neri dictated to prioritize the Chinese firm ZTE Corporation? Did Arroyo tell him to go ahead and approve the project despite being told about the alleged bribe? We will never know the answers to these three all-important questions of the Senate.
9) Spending extravagantly in junkets and expensive dinners abroad. Remember her famous call to action for frugality :"I ask our people to spend on the basics before the luxuries so our children will have enough to eat." Enough said.
10) While the nation was mourning the death of Corazon Aquino, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and other Philippine officials were seen dining at an upscale French restaurant in New York with their bill reportedly reaching $20,000 (P960,000).
The US tabloid New York Post first reported last August 7 that Mrs. Arroyo and her “large entourage" were seen “the other night… enjoying the good life" at the Le Cirque restaurant.
The draft charter authored by House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo puts the Senate President, and not the Vice President, as successor to President Rodrigo Duterte should he step down during the transition to a federal government.
Section IV, Article XVII or the transitory provisions of the draft constitution authored by Arroyo and 21 other lawmakers reads: "In case a vacancy arises by reason of removal, resignation, permanent incapacity or death of the incumbent President, the incumbent Senate President shall act as President until a President shall have been chosen and qualified."
Amid backlash from fellow lawmakers, Leyte Rep. and House Committee on Constitutional Amendments Chair Vicente Veloso noted the proposed charter is still a working draft.
Veloso added he is open to amending or deleting the provision if his colleagues wish to do so.
"If it will be the desire of all members of the House of Representatives that we delete the second paragraph, we can delete that," Veloso said Tuesday.
"What we have is a proposed revised Constitution, a working draft."