💬 Huwag Matakot, Stop Kurakot! The Incredible Hulk (Chapter Three)

Mr. President, distinguished colleagues. The past week was not very enjoyable for this representation. This week, I suppose, will be no different.

Being a law enforcer for thirty years with some basic knowledge of law, I can not understand how a majority of the members of the Supreme Court could conspire so indecently with the administration of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to subvert the Rule of Law, the primacy of the Constitution over Acts of the State, and the independence of the judiciary.

With your indulgence, let me belabor this issue. 

Under the Constitution and case law, the Supreme Court is not and can never be a trier of fact. But, in the Kuratong Baleleng case, it had so shamelessly arrogated unto itself that function. It ruled that since Sec 8, Rule 117 was promulgated only on December 1, 2000, it can not retroactively apply to me and the others who stand accused in the Kuratong Baleleng case, asserting that since the case was provisionally dismissed on March 31, 1999 and revived by the Department of Justice on April 4, 2001, the period between April 1, 1999 and November 30, 2000 should not count in the determination of the prescriptive period of two years fixed under this new rule because, according to the Supreme Court, the right of the State must be protected! Only in the Philippines!

I may not be a lawyer, Mr. President. But I am willing to debate this issue with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the seven others who affirmed this Court’s latest decision.

Yet, under the same Court’s ruling last May 28, 2002, they unanimously voted that in deference to the time-honored principle in criminal law of favoring the rights of the accused over those of the State, the Kuratong Baleleng case can no longer be revived or re-filed. All that is needed was for me to demonstrate before the lower court that consent and notice requirements under the said new rule had been complied with. But before it could receive compliance with its order, it arrogated unto itself what it exactly told the lower court to do.

By ruling that Sec 8, Rule 117 does not apply to the case lodged against me, the spirit, intention and rationale behind the enactment of this new rule which is to forever bar the State from using previously dismissed criminal actions as tools for harassment, oppression and political torture has been diluted, squandered and defeated.

Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, especially the members of the bar in this hallowed institution, I ask this simple legal question – between protecting the rights of the State and the rights of its citizens, which shall the law favor?

Accordingly, last Tuesday, October 7, 2003, it wrote finis to my request for reconsideration and – again to highlight its superior might as Malacanang’s tool and subservient subordinate – directed the re-assignment by raffle of the case notwithstanding that neither the prosecution nor the respondents asked for it. It went on further to enumerate the courts to which the case should be re-assigned citing outdated circulars which had been superseded by 1998 issuances limiting special courts in QC to Branches 76, 81 and 212. Were these errors omissions? Certainly not! They were done on purpose to clothe legitimacy to their skewed directive. The public however can not be fooled by this gobbledygook.

With breakneck speed, if only to terrorize me into submission, the Supreme Court remanded the cases to the RTC QC within hours, when it would normally take anywhere between 30-90 days to do so, and directed an immediate re-raffle.

At the re-raffling of the cases last Thursday, the raffle committee ignored all the pleas of my counsel for restraint and circumspection in its actions as we still had a pending motion questioning the re-raffle directive. But no! The committee refused to be stopped. After the executive judge spun the roulette and the case was assigned back to Br 81, State prosecutor Jovencito Zuno, himself present to be briefed on the mechanics of the raffle, stayed on to sign the minutes of the raffle proceedings and raised no howl before, during and after the raffle is now questioning the integrity of the raffle.

This is not the Rule of Law, Mr. President. It is the Destruction of the Rule of Law. As the Supreme Court is incapable of providing me with justice for the valid causes I have espoused in repelling recycled charges, time-barred by law, I have no other recourse but to fight this administration of greed, corruption and prostitution of democratic institutions. I am now tempted even to fight this kind of “judicial politics” on my own terms and outside the rotten justice system. I hope and pray that this temptation will not get the better of me, Mr. President.

Before I forget, I will now deal with Jose Pidal.

Malacañang: Bagong Record sa Kurakot.

Kurakot dito. Kurakot doon. Kurakot kahit saan.

Mrs. President, your trust ratings have plummeted. From 44 percent, kumalabog to 36 percent. You have the power to make a difference yet you can’t do better than the trust ratings of detained President Joseph Estrada who languishes in jail.

Mas masakit, 54 percent believe that their lives have deteriorated during your watch the past year.

Ang pinakamasakit, the Philippines today, under your presidency, moved up to number three in the list of most corrupt governments in Asia.

And just last Wednesday, the Philippines moved to number eleven as the most corrupt country in the world! Mrs. President: Ito ba ang pinagmamalaki n’yong pag-antas ng bayan? Sa kurakot?

This government is so corrupt, it has been sued by Fraport AG which operates some of the largest airports in 38 countries all over the world before the International Center For Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington DC.

In the suit, Fraport accuses the Arroyo government of forcing them to “engage the services of the politically-connected F. Arthur ‘Pancho’ Villaraza,” otherwise “…the successful commercial operation of NAIA Terminal 3 would not be allowed to occur.”

“Mr. Villaraza would be able to achieve this result upon payment for unspecified purposes of several tens of millions of US dollars.”

Dahil ayaw maglagay, tinigil ang airport. Ngayon, putik ang pangalan ng Pilipinas sa buong mundo. Investors, ayaw pumasok. Ayaw nang mag-negosyo dito. Nakakahiya!

The World Bank estimates that $40 billion have gone to the pockets of corrupt officials the past 20 years. That’s 2/3 of our total foreign debt or all of 2 trillion 200 billion pesos.

The World Bank blames corruption as the biggest stumbling block to our country’s progress. Corruption also destroys our institutions and drives away foreign investors.

Corruption thrives because people get away with it.

Especially people at the top. Corruption at the top. Kurakot by example.

Kawawang bayan: ang batas laban sa kurakot maraming butas.

Kapag mayaman, bigatin o may lakas, kayang-kayang paglaruan ang batas at gamitin ‘to sa pangaapi ng mga tao.

Kwarta at lakas ang naghahari. Hustisya nababaluktot, mamahayag nabibili, testigo tinatakot, katunggali iniipit.

Magandang halimbawa ang Jose Pidal case.

The Jose Pidal case is the story of the betrayal of the Filipino people. A betrayal by the Arroyo government. An era of morality was promised. A cesspool of corruption was delivered.

Barely a week into power, the officials behind this government started dipping their fingers into the country’s cookie jar. Not contented, and feeling invincible, the dipping fingers very quickly became busy hands working overtime to empty the cookie jar.

This was no secret. People in high places talked about it in whispers. The business community suffered in silence. But nobody dared bring it out in the open. Those self-righteous people who were quick to denounce past officials not to their liking, were now busy enjoying their rewards.

Kami naman! S’yempre ‘pag malaki ang kita, pikit-mata ang nagpapasasa. Bukod d’yan, sino naman ang matapang na lalaban sa taong nakasandal sa pader? At, sino ang bubunggo sa pader?

Mabuti na lang at mangilan-ngilan din. Si Udong Mahusay ay isang halimbawa. Say what you will about his motives but this guy gambled, and lost, his future when he decided to reveal the dark secrets of Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo.

Mrs. President, you asked: “Where’s the eyewitness?” Ang dali n’yo naman nakalimutan si Udong. Inaanak pa naman n’yo sa kasal. Tanungin n’yo si Udong.

Udong was privy to the wheeling and dealing going on at the 8th floor of LTA building. Dito ang tanggapan ni Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo aka Jose Pidal. Dito tinatanggap, in other words.

He was messenger, coffee maker, masseur, cook, red wine server, taga-deposito, taga-withdraw, taga-bili ng bulaklak. In other words, a trusted person.

He had access to sensitive information and documents. He was an eyewitness to many of the government big deals at the 8th floor, LTA building.

Udong sought our help to fight the most powerful man in the country. He brought documents to us as proof of his testimony. We evaluated the documents. They were not enough.

We needed more to prove the case. Udong Mahusay delivered more. Here are the documents that he delivered: Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo’s Personal Appointments Book, Checks, Bank Statements, Investment Accounts, Photos, List of Contributors, Property Titles and Personal Letters.

And most of these, originals. These genuine documents and Udong’s written testimony, prove beyond doubt the following:

1. Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo maintained secret bank accounts in the name of Jose Pidal to launder money.

2. Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo also laundered money using his accomplices Vicky Toh, Thomas Toh Jr. and Kelvin Tan.

3. Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo maintained a secret US dollar account in Morgan Stanley using his alias of choice, Jose Pidal. Imagine, kahit sa U.S., dala ang sikreto ni Jose Pidal.

Why should the person married to the highest official in the land open a secret account? Elementary. Because there are transactions he doesn’t want the public to know. Like, hidden wealth.

4. Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo also maintained his own US dollar account in Morgan Stanley and shared Jose Pidal’s financial advisor, Mr. Ronald Gin.

5. Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo underdeclared the contributions received for the 1998 election of his spouse.

6. Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo did not declare or pay taxes on the unspent contributions for the election, which became their de-facto income.

7. Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo and his spouse did not declare their acquisition of a 60,758 sq. meter prime property in Quezon City.

How many more properties here and abroad remain hidden and undeclared?

8. Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo diverted P5 million into his Jose Pidal account from the P8 Million contribution of Congressman Mark Jimenez intended for the KGMA foundation.
Mr. Jimenez talks openly that you know about this transaction, personally, Mrs. President.

9. If opened, the same Jose Pidal accounts will reveal so many more ill-gotten deposits that include money from government sources.

And yet Mrs. President, on that Saturday when you proved you had no word of honor, you asked: “What is the crime?” “What is the corruption involving public funds?”

We feel sorry for your lack of discernment, Mrs. President.

When Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo aka Jose Pidal and his LTA gang discovered that we had all the incriminating evidence that will prove his corrupt activities, they chose to delay the uncovering of the truth. Naghanap ng butas sa batas.

“Take me to court.”

“Take me to court” was their strategy of choice knowing that if we do that the case will end up like Mona Lisa, the song: “They just lie there, and they die there.”

Taking the case prematurely to court would also prevent the people from being informed about the case since any case filed in court cannot be discussed publicly.

Clever. But we are not stupid.

What followed next was a massive, systematic, and widespread cover-up to protect the massive, systematic, and widespread corrupt activities of Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo and his LTA gang. Sa isip nila, kaya nilang lokohin tayong lahat.

So with millions in government funds and facilities, Jose Pidal threw away money on a propaganda campaign to peddle his lies. One example is the lie that the Senate Blue Ribbon committee is similar to a court of law and, therefore, should follow the rules of a court of law.

Sinungaling talaga!

A Senate committee has the powers of an investigating committee, including the power to summon witnesses and take their testimony and to issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum.

Since it is a fact-finding committee, its mandate is to search for the truth from the resource people the committee invites. The committee is not limited to the evidence in its possession. It is supposed to be pro-active in searching for additional evidence.

(N)a sila ng napakaraming ebidensya, niloloko tayong lahat ni Jose Pidal, his collection of lawyers and liars, who keep on shouting : “There’s no evidence.” “Where’s the evidence?”

“O, sige”, Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo and your collection of lawyers and liars,“ ilabas ang calculator”. Let’s review and count the evidence you know we have. If the President is watching, join the fun.

Game na ba kayo?

Evidence #1. Udong Mahusay’s affidavit. Dito “naka-detalya” ang pangungurakot ni Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo aka Jose Pidal.

Evidence #2. The list of contributors and the amount solicited, reaching P308.9 million.

Evidence #3. The statement of election contributions and expenditures to prove that Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo aka Jose Pidal underdeclared the political contributions received and did not pay taxes on the balance they kept as income. Nang-didal.

Evidence #4. Union Bank check to prove that Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo operates a secret account under the name Jose Pidal to launder his corrupt transactions.

Evidence #5. BPI-Family Bank check to prove that a Jose Pidal account of Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo exists in this bank for his other secret transactions.

Evidence #6. A bank statement from Morgan Stanley to prove that an account in the name of Jose Pidal exists and shares the same address and financial advisor as Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo.

Evidence #7. A bank statement from Morgan Stanley in the name of Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo to prove that he and Jose Pidal share the same financial advisor and address.

Evidence #8. The KGMA ID with the signature of Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo to prove that his signature and that of Jose Pidal came from one hand. Exactly the same handwriting on the Comelec sworn statement.

Kitang-kita ang ebidensya: Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo also signs as Jose Pidal. PNP Crime Lab na lang ang nagbubulag-bulagan.

Evidence #9. A bank statement from Union Bank in the name of Kelvin Tan c/o Vicky Toh, 8th Floor, LTA Bldg., to prove the charge that Kelvin Tan is an accomplice in the money laundering operation.

Evidence #10. A bank statement from International Exchange Bank in the name of Kelvin Tan c/o 8/F LTA building, to prove the existence of a second bank account used in the money laundering operation.

Evidence #11. An International Exchange Bank check of Kelvin Tan in the amount of P 2 Million, pay to cash, to prove further that Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo aka Jose Pidal is into money laundering.

Evidence #12. Another International Exchange Bank check of Kelvin Tan in the amount of P 8 Million, pay to cash, to prove even more that Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo aka Jose Pidal is into money laundering.

Evidence #13. Yet another International Exchange Bank check of Kelvin Tan in the amount of P10 Million, pay to cash, to prove even further that Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo aka Jose Pidal is into money laundering.

Evidence #14. The 3 checks paid to cash amounting to P20 Million to prove that they were encashed within 24 hours by Tony Labrador, a trusted employee of Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo.

Evidence #15. A copy of a PAL manifest (PR318 from Manila to Hongkong) to prove that Tony Labrador enjoys the trust of Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo.

Evidence #16. A UnionBank bank statement to prove that Thomas Toh Jr. of 8th Floor LTA Bldg., is one of the money launderers of Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo.

Evidence #17. A UnionBank bank statement to prove that Victoria Toh of LTA Bldg., plays a major role in the money laundering activities of Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo.

Evidence #18. Articles of incorporation to prove that Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo uses the Tohs and Tans extensively in his financial and laundering operations, AND
…did not declare this asset in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities.

Evidence #19. The TCT of a valuable piece of property to prove that Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo and President Arroyo have undeclared properties, this just being one of many.

Evidence #20. This photo of Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo and Vicky Toh is one among many to prove that they are known to each other.

Evidence #21. Letter of Vicky Toh to Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo to prove that Kelvin Tan is not the successful businessman he claims to be.

Evidence #22. Letter of Vicky Toh to Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo to prove that she fills in the blanks of the pre-signed checks of Kelvin Tan for Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo.

Evidence #23. The testimony of Congressman Mark Jimenez to prove that money intended for the KGMA Foundation ended up in the private account of Jose Pidal.

Mark Jimenez holds the secrets that give the Arroyo couple sleepless nights. Last December, Mark Jimenez and former chief of staff of then Vice-President Gloria Arroyo, now Congressman Willie Villarama, blew the whistle on the First Couple.

Binulgar ni Congressman Villarama na nagbigay si Mark Jimenez ng P8 Million para sa KGMA Foundation. Ang P5 Million ‘di nakarating sa KGMA Foundation.

Ni-raket at dineposito sa Union Bank account no. 00-073-001483-6. Account ni Jose Pidal! Mr. Jose Pidal, where is the original?

I also met up with Mr. Mark Jimenez. He personally confirmed before me and a lawyer the following:

1. He gave not one, not two, not even three but six checks.

2. These checks were not for five or eight million pesos but for a total of 38 million pesos for Mr. and Mrs. Jose Miguel Arroyo aka Jose Pidal.

3. And, these checks were personally given not only to Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo aka Jose Pidal but also to Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, herself, in her Forbes Park residence.

We recall that in the second hearing on this expose, no less than the Majority Floor Leader, Hon. Loren Legarda, suggested that the Senate seek a deposition from Mr. Jimenez. In due time, that deposition and those checks will be bared before the Filipino people.

We have presented 23 pieces of evidence. If Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo/Jose Pidal were not guilty of the charges he would have moved to scrutinize each and every one of them. He did not.

Instead, he prepared his millions of pesos and government resources to stage the great grandfather of all cover-ups.

In the process, the banks may have willingly or unwittingly helped Jose Pidal in the cover-up.

BPI Senior Vice-President Gregorio Anonas II was quick to come to the aid of Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo by stating “there is no existing Jose Pidal account and a Mike Arroyo account in BPI Family Bank or BPI Perea branch.”

Mr. Anonas, please explain this BPI-Family Check of Jose Pidal, account # 661-5-00497-7.

Mr. Jose Pidal, where is the original?

Since the banks were central in the Jose Pidal anomalies, the banking institutions played it safe and took refuge under Republic Act 1405.

In reality, Republic Act 1405, or “An act prohibiting disclosure of or inquiry into deposits with any banking institution and providing penalty therefore” does not prohibit banks from answering inquiries outside questions on deposits.

And yet, all the banking personnel in the last Senate investigation, to a man, stonewalled the inquiry to bring out the truth, using Republic Act 1405 as the reason. By choice or because of government pressure?

This has dismayed a great majority of Filipinos who do not want the truth to be hidden by technicalities. Instead of invoking the spirit of the law, the bank officials preferred to join the Jose Pidal cover-up.

But hard as they tried to hide the truth, the inconsistencies in their testimonies merely reinforced the fact that Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo is Jose Pidal, and Jose Pidal is Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo.

One example: when asked what if Mr. Iggy Arroyo would give the go-signal to open the Pidal account, the unwitting reply from the lawyer of UnionBank, Ms. Macalino was: “The depositor by the name of Jose Pidal has not given us any authority…”

Of course, because she knows Iggy Arroyo is not Jose Pidal. Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo is Jose Pidal.

Another one of the lies that Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo fed the public, to confuse them, is the need to show original documents.

This is a senate investigation. Not a court. In search of the truth, even photocopies are acceptable as secondary evidence. Originals are better, but not mandatory.

Even the President has mimicked the people who have to lie to earn a living. “Where are the originals?” she also asks.

Even in a court of law, photocopies are allowed.

Section 5, rule 130 on Rules on Evidence states: When the original document is unavailable or when the original document has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced in court, the offeror, upon proof of its execution or existence and the cause of its unavailability, without bad faith on his part, may prove its contents by a copy”

“Mrs. Jose Pidal, ‘di ba n’yo alam ‘to?”

Guilt has a way of making one panic. And Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo panicked. Nagulat. Nanginig. Nataranta.

“I don’t know any Pidal.”

This was the rattled response of Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo. Pinagpawisan ng isang linggo sa kaiisip kung sino ang palalabasin na Jose Pidal.

Finally when little brother Iggy was made to claim he was Jose Pidal, Big brother Mike did a President Gloria and changed his story. “Yes, Iggy had told him sometime in 1998 that he was using Jose Pidal as an alias.”

In other words, when I exposed the Jose Pidal account on August 18, Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo knew there was a Jose Pidal account. But he lied! Nagsinungaling! Pati sariling lolong si Jose Maria Pidal, itinatwa!

“I don’t know any Vicky Toh” was the second shameless denial of Jose Miguel Arroyo.

Pati si Vicky Toh itinatwa!

Malacañang has not been the paragon of honesty.

While the President bragged that she was not going to interfere in defense of her presidential spouse, Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo, or any member of her family, it was evident that from day 1 of the discovery of Jose Pidal, she did.

It was the Palace and, obviously, with direct orders from the President, that moved to abduct Udong Mahusay.

Udong, the reliable eyewitness, who not only gave us information on Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo being Jose Pidal, but also handed over the evidence to prove his confession.

The idea of the Palace in snatching Udong, was to ensure that this insider would not appear before this body to testify against Jose Pidal, or to recant his testimony contained in his notarized affidavit.

The Palace-scripted snatching was evidenced by the fact that Mike “Indiana Jones” Defensor led the operation, backed by 2 presidential choppers, teams of PSGs and assisted by presidential spokesperson Ignacio Bunye, who brought the Palace media to Tagaytay to announce that Udong was already in their custody.

It is also on record that the moment Mahusay was snatched by the Palace operators, the first person that Defensor called to give the good news was the President who ecstatically said “Thank God, thank God.”

Yet the President was brazen enough to mouth the propaganda line that she was neither protecting Jose Pidal nor interfering in the case.

Expectedly, poor Udong was forced to recant his notarized testimony. The original script they concocted was to make it appear that Udong executed the affidavit under duress. They realized soon after, “Tagilid ang istorya.”

Bakit tagilid? Bigla nilang naalala na dalawa ang Affidavit na ipinamahagi ni Udong. Isa, kay Senator Aquilino Pimentel. Pangalawa, sa akin.

A new script to justify Udong’s recantation had to be rushed to save Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo.

Ginastusan ng napakalaking kwarta para sa propaganda. Kaya lang, hindi kinagat ng mga tao. As they say, “you can’t push the toothpaste back once it is out of the tube”.

Ang unang pahayag ay mas binibigyan ng kahalagahan kaysa pahayag ng pagbaligtad.

Aba, tulad na rin nuong pagbaligtad sa salita ni Presidente na binabatikos ngayon ng dismayadong sambayanan!

Legally, the courts have ruled that “mere retraction by a prosecution witness does not necessarily vitiate the original testimony. Testimony solemnly given in court should not be set aside and disregarded lightly…”

Yet on the day she showed her true character, Mrs. Arroyo went all out in defense of Jose Pidal as she echoed the earlier Palace and LTA lies that we have no witness.

She even gave a public warning for me to stop my expose. Why are you so scared, Mrs. President?

It is clear that the President wants to suppress the truth and protect herself and Jose Pidal.

But if everything I said were pure gossip as you claim, Mrs. President, why haven’t you insisted on a full blown investigation of your foundations, hidden wealth and investments here and abroad.

Bakit kayo takot na takot kung walang katotohanan ang nabunyag na mga kurakot?

And if you have nothing to hide why did you give the country a comedy?

Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo.

Iggy was the designated fall guy. Fall guy na ng First Couple sa mga San Francisco properties, fall guy pa sa Jose Pidal. Siya ang magpapanggap na Jose Pidal. Siya ang magkukunwaring mayaman na Arroyo/Pidal. Isa na namang panloloko sa atin.

Looking at his income tax payments alone, this so-called “very,very rich Iggy Arroyo” is an insult to the intelligence of the people:

1996 – P11,205.00
1997 – P11,205.00
1998 – P13,446.00
1999 – P8,500.00

But here’s an even greater insult. Poor Iggy earned more than the real Jose Pidal. For in 2001, Atty. Jose Miguel T. Arroyo declared that his annual income, repeat, annual income was all of P30,000. That’s P2,500 per month!

That’s less than the minimum taxable income required for filing an income tax return. In short, the government actually owes him a P2,000 refund.

Wow Philippines! Bayan pa pala ang may utang sa kanya.

I’m sure most of the employees in this hall pay more taxes than Iggy Arroyo or Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo/Jose Pidal.

In the Senate hearing, Iggy refused to answer 32 times, reasoning his right to privacy.

He refused to write his signature in public.

Except once. When he first showed up in public on GMA 7. He signed and quickly proved he was a liar. Sinungaling!

Let’s compare Jose Pidal’s signature with Iggy’s version.

Iggy, niloloko mo ang mga Pilipino.

I also have an advice to the people at the PNP Crime Lab: Please have your eyes checked for glaucoma!

Iggy Arroyo’s various actions and responses are textbook signs of a guilty person.

Mas madaling maghanap ng taong magsisinungaling kaysa maghanap ng taong magsasabi ng totoo.

Justice is like fire. If one covers it with a veil, it still burns. Though outnumbered by those who have been bought to peddle lies, a lot of people have found the strength to come forward with leads to substantiate further our findings.

For example, the case of Pagcor and its chairman.

In my first chapter, I shared with the country the story of Udong Mahusay, properly sworn to by him in an affidavit, about the regular delivery of money by Ephraim Genuino to Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo.

Udong, in his notarized testimony, swore that,“…ang pinakamalaking salapi na dinadala sa aming opisina ay mula kay Ephraim Genuino ng Pagcor. Halos dalawang beses isang linggo kung magdala ng salapi na nakalagay sa malaking bag ni Ryan Cordeta, katiwala ni Ephraim Genuino.”

The honesty of the chairman is now under question by concerned citizens who are aghast that Pagcor, a cash cow, could end up as dead meat.

Is there a correlation between Mahusay’s tale about the Pagcor chairman and the state of Pagcor today?

The chairman of Pagcor, like Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo aka Jose Pidal, has a preference for an alias. Ephraim Genuino aka Ephraim GinoGino during his hungry years, has done very very well since his association with Jose Pidal.

Genuino’s claim to fame was as a pest control expert and running Trace Computer School. Curiously, Trace, which used to be a four-room school only, was a regular recipient of money from the pork barrel of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo when she was still a senator.

Under the mismanagement of Genuino, Pagcor, the 3rd biggest revenue generator of the government has seen a reversal of fortunes. Tag-hirap, since he took over.

Pagcor revenues have plummeted while expenses have skyrocketed.

Pero, Pagcor lang ang taghirap.

Genuino is now worth P60 Million according to his SAL. He has declared ownership of only 2 companies. One is losing money. His take home pay at Pagcor after deductions is less than P5,000.

Nabisto si Genuino sa imbestigasyon ng The Probe Team.

Unfortunately for press freedom, the Probe Team’s expose on Genuino was censored, obviously, to protect this administration and to hide the truth.

While lower-ranked officials are immediately punished after a lifestyle check, Genuino was exonerated by the President, 24 hours after the stink was exposed by other media not controlled by the Palace. No investigation. No questions asked.

Iba na talaga ang mala-cash!

Mr. Genuino is really one executive who delivers, and delivers big.

Ephraim and 12 other key members of the LTA gang have one thing in common: They are all members of Rotary Club of Makati Central.

Don’t get me wrong. Rotary Club of Makati Central is as great as any Rotary Club you can find. I am a Rotarian myself and proud of it. I am even a Paul Harris fellow.

But hypnotically, the selection committee of this government somehow could not say no to some members of the Rotary Club of Makati Central who just happened to be close to Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo.

These lucky members are:

• Rafael Francisco, an employment services person, now President of Pagcor
• Ram Agoncillo, a food catering service person, Managing Head, Pagcor Community Relations
• Mabuhay Rosero, a dental technician, Department Head of Pagcor
• Eduardo “Dodie” King, department head for Public Relations, Pagcor
• Edgardo Manda, property administrator, now General Manager of NAIA
• Virgilio Angelo, a social services administrator, now Administrator of OWWA
• Jose Mario Buñag, lawyer, now Director of Bureau of Internal Revenue
• Alfonso Cusi, trucking services person, now General Manager of Philippine Ports Authority
• Jaime Dumlao, appraisal person, now Executive Director of Toll Regulatory Board
• Victor Mayo, former military man, now Undersecretary, DDG, National Security Council
• Jocelyn “JocJoc” Bolante, Undersecretary of Department of Agriculture
• Ernest Villareal, air transport person, was head of the notorious PEA until he was implicated in the anomalous construction of the most expensive boulevard in the universe; and, of course,
• Ephraim GinoGino aka Genuino, pest control person, the big boss of Pagcor
The other fortunate friends and frequent LTA visitors are:
• Benedicto Ulep who registers the lands of every person in the country
• Florante Soriquez, acting Secretary of the DPWH.
• Rey Allas, Deputy Commissioner, Bureau of Customs
• Atty. Teodoro Cruz,Jr., Administrator, LRTA

When Jose Pidal aka Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo testified here, he said he had nothing to do with all these appointments.
“They were all chosen by GMA’s selection committee.”

Mr. Jose Pidal, pumasa ba kay Vicky ‘toh?

I refer, of course, to Vicky Garchitorena.

We don’t begrudge these people their appointments to some of the juiciest positions in government. Weather, weather lang ‘yan as they say.

But alarm bells signaling corruption among these Pidal cronies have been ringing incessantly. Kurakot na walang takot.

Documentary evidence and suspicious movements point to Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo as the iceberg of corruption. And we have only seen the tip.

Where he should be transparent, he has become elusive and evasive.

But Udong, again in his sworn statement said “…bilang patunay na ako po ay napag-utusang mag-withdraw ng milyun-milyong salapi buhat sa nasabing bank accounts, makikita po ninyo ang aking lagda sa likod ng mga tsekeng nagamit na kung atin pong ipapakuha ang lahat ng record ng bangko para sa nabanggit na accounts.”

As Udong already said, there is more evidence hidden out there. We just need to be more proactive in securing them.

Here’s my challenge: If you are not guilty, prove me wrong and open to the people the other documents you’ve been hiding through legal maneuvers. Udong testified to their existence.

Buksan nang magka-subukan.

1. The Jose Pidal bank accounts: Mrs. President, since you claim you will be tough on your relatives when it comes to corruption, here’s your chance to prove your sincerity.
Napakadali. Account naman ni Mr. ‘to. Kung walang ‘tinatago, walang masama kung ipag-utos n’yong buksan. Prove me wrong…

Buksan nang magka-subukan.

2. The KGMA, Bigkis-Pinoy and Lualhati Foundations’ records: Mrs. President, kung walang ‘tinatago, walang dapat ikatakot. Prove me wrong…

Buksan nang magka-subukan.

3. The income tax returns of the Tohs and the Tans. I know they are private people but if they want to help you and show everybody that they have paid taxes on the millions that pass through their bank accounts, then it’s easy for them to make their income tax returns available.

The income tax returns of Vicky Toh, Thomas Toh Jr and Kelvin Tan. Mr. Arroyo, labas si Mrs. dito. Prove me wrong…

Buksan nang magka-subukan.

4. Let me say it again, I stand by all the bank transactions relating to Jose Pidal/Jose Miguel Arroyo and his accomplices which we presented.

5. It is a banking fact that PCSO check 0061283 ended up in the Jose Pidal account on February 28, 2003. PCSO keeps on showing check 061283 dated February of 2001 to confuse the people.

Tapatin natin ang lahat ng Pilipino. We are asking the President to allow an independent audit of PCSO’s records.
Mrs. President, prove me wrong.

Buksan nang magka-subukan.

Mrs. President, you keep asking, “Where’s the corruption?”
“What government funds were used?” Well, Mrs. President, do you remember this?

“Run, Gloria, Run” exclaim these posters, a campaign for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

These posters were sponsored by “Gawin Natin-Lakas Pinoy”. Where does “Gawin Natin-Lakas Pinoy” get its funding for such an expensive undertaking?

PCSO!

After only less than a year of existence, Gawin Natin-Lakas Pinoy has become a very influential foundation with PCSO.

Gawin Natin-Lakas Pinoy asked for money from PCSO. “Feeding Project of Gawin Natin-Lakas Pinoy” daw ang pakay. P2 Million Approved by President Arroyo after only a week.

But look where “Gawin Natin- Lakas Pinoy” is spending the money…

Mrs. President, kayo ang pumirma. Ok, sabi n’yo. Ok ‘toh.

Dahil ok na ok ‘toh, P2.8 million napunta sa Gawin Natin-Lakas Pinoy. Para sa posters.

Another request from “Gawin Natin-Lakas Pinoy” to PCSO again! The request this time is for an ambulance and medical staff for… a motorcade!

Medical facilities na dapat mapunta sa mga charity cases, sinasayang para sa… motorcade!

Approved na naman! One ambulance, purchase of medicines, supplies, reimbursement of gasoline, incidental expenses, allowable allowance for… One physician, 2 nurses, 1 driver, 1 paramedic!

For a motorcade!!! Is this what the PCSO is for? Is the election campaign of President Arroyo a charity case?

Why can “Gawin Natin- Lakas Pinoy” get practically anything from PCSO? The secret is Raul Nestor Ancheta, one of the incorporators. Ancheta is the chief of staff of Rosario Uriarte.

Who is Rosario Uriarte? The general manager of PCSO. She was with President Arroyo since their GTEB days at DTI, consultant when GMA was senator and Vice President. Then appointments secretary when GMA became President.

The paper trail ends in Malacanang. Mrs. President, why are public funds being used for your campaign this early? Where are the originals?

Pera para sa mga mahihirap, kinurakot pa! Mrs. President, you have violated the charter of the PCSO. Ano pa ang ibang mga milagro sa PCSO?

We are asking the President to allow an independent audit of PCSO’s records. Of special concern is PCSO’s unaudited balance amounting to over P385 million as of December 2002.

Prove me wrong…

Buksan nang magka-subukan.

The country has a new cross to bear from President Arroyo.
To paraphrase a leading columnist: “Having made lying the defining characteristic of (her) rule, the question is: Who will believe her?” (Conrado de Quiros, PDI)

After dropping “palabra de honor” from her character traits, the question now is — will more people from her government take to lying and double-crossing as the administration’s vision and mission?

Having said that she will not interfere with the law if her family gets involved in graft and corruption, should we now take that statement as a warning signal to expect the opposite?

Now, our worst fears have happened. Mga testigo, lalong natatakot. Papeles sa mga tanggapan, pinahahakot, tinatago. Jose Pidal, lalong nawawalan ng takot sa pagkurakot.

Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, Huwag matakot. Tulad ng ating mga bayani, hindi sila naging bulag, pipi o bingi sa mga abusado at nagsasamantala sa atin. Marami pa ring mga bayani sa ating paligid.

As far as this particular episode in our continuing crusade to fight corruption at the top, we have already proven our case, contrary to the opinion of our President who, unlike our heroes, has turned blind, deaf, and dumb to the country’s worsening corruption.

But unlike the President, the people are not blind, deaf or dumb. They know. And they have spoken. Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo is Jose Pidal. Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo, and You, are involved in corruption.

How many more similar thieveries have been committed by this administration with Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo as its leading man? How many more do we want him to commit?

We have more than enough pieces of evidence for the Senate to continue the probe on the Jose Pidal corruption and to secure more that are deliberately being kept as part of an LTA-Malacanang conspiracy.

This body has the power and the responsibility to the Filipino people to bring this case to its rightful ending.

Huwag Matakot. Stop Kurakot.

It is my belief that corruption reaches the highest level of this government.

Huwag Matakot. Stop Kurakot.

Meanwhile unsung heroes have started to furnish us details on more corruption with roots coming from either LTA or Malacañang.

Huwag Matakot. Stop Kurakot.

Isang halimbawa: GSIS. Walang pera para sa benefits ng mga miyembro. Pero para sa golf ni Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo, approved ang P.5 million in one week.

Pati GSIS hindi pinatawad ni Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo. Kailan nagsimula maging bulsa ng mga Arroyo ang GSIS?

Huwag Matakot. Stop Kurakot.

We have seen the transformation of the PCSO into a private wallet of this administration. Let us now move to uncover how they are hiding other transactions.

Huwag Matakot. Stop Kurakot.

Baryang bilyon pa lang ang ating natutumbok na kurakot sa gobyernong Arroyo. Sa mga tumutulong sa amin, salamat po. Ipagpatuloy natin ang ating ugnayan.

Huwag Matakot. Stop Kurakot.

Mr. President, distinguished colleagues – Sa nakaraang dalawang pagdinig ng tatlong komite ng Senado ukol kay Ginoong Jose Pidal, nagging malinaw sa sambayanan na masugid na sumusubaybay sa paghahanap ng katotohanan, na maraming butas ang mga batas laban sa kurakot.

It is time for the entire Congress to plug the loopholes in the law, loopholes that allow the corrupt to fiddle with the law, through expensive, albeit not necessarily brilliant attorneys and propagandists who have made it a profession to distort reality and conceal the truth. It is time for legislators to stop thinking of clients and associates, friends and patrons, in the crafting of legislation. It is time for us to stop pandering to the whims of the powerful in the executive department, in exchange perhaps for crumbs from the table laden with pork and gravy. Or, in exchange for favors that Malacanang can so well dispense, for the price of our dignity and independence.

Republic Act 1405, otherwise known as “An Act to Protect the Security of Bank Deposits” should now be amended. In 2001, I filed a bill seeking to exclude all government officials, elected or appointed, from the lowest to the highest, from the coverage of the Act. I now add to propose to allow Congress the ability to look into such bank deposits when its proper committees conduct investigations in aid of legislation, with proper safeguards to prevent abuse taken into consideration.

As this representation had insisted during the deliberations on Republic Act 9160, as amended by Republic Act 9194, crimes involving graft and corruption should be included as a predicate crime covered by the provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering Law.

We should further strengthen the provisions of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt practices Act, especially those that deal with private individuals who conspire with government officials in corrupt practices. We must tighten the rules on the filing of Statements of Assets and Liabilities and.

Napapanahon na rin upang tingnan ng Kongreso ang dapat na maging pananagutan ng Unang Ginang o Unang Ginoo sa ating sistema ng pamamahala, upang matigil na ang paglipana ng mga Jose Pidal sa ating lipunan.

Dapat na ring repasuhin ang Kodigo Penal, lalung-lalo na ang pagpapataw ng higit na mabigat na parusa sa pagsisinungaling, o perjury, laban sa mga sumumpa na magsasabi ng katotohanan, at pawing katotohanan lamang. The same stiffer penalty must be imposed for subornation of perjury. Ito ay upang mag-isip muna ang taga sulsol sa pagsisinungaling ng mga testigo.

There must be a proper appreciation of the role of legislative oversight, Mr. President. Contrary to the propaganda line being peddled by those who want to hide the sordid truth behind the sinister acts of corruption and undue influence, the legislature oftentimes is the only check available to the people against the abuses of the high and the mighty.

We need to create an Independent Commission Against Corruption which would have the power to examine the internal systems and procedures of government agencies and government controlled corporations, so as to prevent the occasions of graft.

Pati ang pamamaraan ng Commission on Audit ay dapat nating suriin, upang matigil ang kutsabaan ng Komisyon at mga tiwali sa pamahalaan, at ipang matigil na ang patuloy na mga unliquidated advances at mga kaduda-dudang pagkuwenta, bagama’t taon-taon itong paulit-ulit na ginagawa.

We could go on and on, Mr. President. For every bank official who conceals the truth, legislation must come up with ways and means to allow their conscience to prevail over their fear of the powerful.

For corruption, as this humble representation has repeatedly said, is the single most serious obstacle to the progress of our beloved country. Scant as they already are, resources are plundered by the corrupt. Investors, foreign or local have yet to see a truly level playing field. Instead, they are pressured by the attorneys of the most powerful.

Panahon na upang tigilan ang pagkukunwari. Panahon na upang matigil ang pagkakanlong sa mga butas ng batas.

Sawang sawa na ang mga mamamayan sa walang humpay na pagnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan. Sawang sawa na ang mga negosyante sa walang katapusang paghingi ng porsyento ng mga maykapangyarihan – mula sa gusgusing mga tsuper at maggugulay hanggang sa pinakabihis na mayayaman at malalaking mangangalakal.

Kulelat sa kabuhayan, nangunguna sa katiwalian. Panahon na upang baligtarin ang ganitong sitwasyon. Hanggang may mga Jose Pidal na saksakan ng takaw at walang kabusugan sa pagnanakaw, walang pag-asang makabangon ang ating kawawang bayan.

Malinaw ang hamon sa Senado ng sambayanan – katotohanan o kasingalingan?

Sa lahat ng Pilipino, empleyado man o opisyal ng bangko, sa mga negosyanteng nasusuklam na sa katiwalian, panahon na upang ipakita ang tapang ng lahing Pilipino.

Huwag matakot. Stop kurakot.

Thank you very much, Mr. President, distinguished colleagues for your time.

*****