Arroyo Not ‘Good’ but ‘Insatiable’ Economist

Not a “good” but an “insatiable” economist.

This was how Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson on Saturday described President Arroyo, who claimed before British traders in London Friday that she was a “pretty good economist but a very bad politician.” 

“If she is talking of her family’s newfound wealth over seven years of misrule and pillage, being a ‘good economist’ is certainly an understatement. An appropriate tag should be ‘insatiable economist’ for Mrs. Arroyo,” Lacson said.

He said that in the mess involving the multimillion-dollar national broadband network deal with ZTE Corp. of China alone, senators were told of bribes offered to various personalities, including a supposed $70-million “offer” to First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo.

On the other hand, he noted Malacañang has continued to stonewall on the sources of funds for millions of pesos in cash gifts to lawmakers and local executives during a meeting right inside the Palace last Oct. 11.

Even now, he said taxpayers are outraged over the huge expenses incurred by nearly 40 lawmakers who tagged along with Mrs. Arroyo in her weeklong European tour, despite the Palace’s insistence that the lawmakers “paid their own way.”

But Lacson said that when it came to boosting the economy for poverty-stricken Filipinos, Mrs. Arroyo cannot lay claim to being a “pretty good economist,” especially with more than nine million Filipino families considering themselves poor and more than seven million Filipino families considering themselves “food-poor” or going hungry, amid repeated Palace claims that the economy is improving.

“If her reference is the poverty-stricken Filipinos, I have yet to coin a phrase to describe what kind of an economist she could be,” Lacson said.