Friday, January 08, 2010

Excerpt from Emil Jurado's A legacy of greed and betrayal

When you know that something bad is about to happen to your country, you have to do everything that it will take to avert disaster.  Everything.  
Nothing is too much to give to this cause.  And one of the lessons I've learned is that you cannot enlist the support of people who really don't give a shit about your country.

Even if I know that in the end, my country gets plunged into six more years of one catastrophe following the next under a leadership that is ill prepared and ill equipped to hold the reigns of government, I will fight on with all my strength.

This is not just about me.  This is about forging a better future for my child and yours too.

Noynoy Aquino talks about his parent's legacy and I alluded to it in Asian Correspondents.  More people who lived through Cory Aquino's Presidency are coming out with their stories.

Emil Jurado, in his column on Manila Standard, points to book written by Cecil Arillo and perhaps it would be good thing to actually read the book as it supposedly contains accounts of the excesses of the Aquino administration.

I took time out during the holidays to read veteran journalist Cecil Arillo’s book, Greed and Betrayal, a sequel to Breakaway, his book about the 1986 People Power Revolution. The book talks about how the Reform the Armed Forces Movement or RAM succeeded in mounting a mutiny against then President Ferdinand Marcos, and how the late President Cory Aquino benefited from it.

Arillo’s sequel is about the six years of the Cory Aquino administration. It details the sins of a vindictive regime, including well-documented instances of greed and betrayal of those who catapulted Cory to power in 1986.

The Hacienda Luisita and the Mendiola massacre were also forms of betraying the trust of the tenants and farmers.

More importantly, Arillo’s book also tells us how the so-called “Kamaganak Inc.” tried to surpass the Marcos plunder in scams and anomalies. The cannibalization of so many Cory administration-sequestered corporations by the Presidential Commission on Good Government’s fiscal agents also come to fore.

I suggest the camps of Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Senator Manuel Villar, former President Joseph Estrada, administration candidate former Defense chief Gilbert Teodoro, Senator Richard Gordon and even Jesus Is Lord Movement top honcho Eddie Villanueva get hold of Arillo’s book. It shows that the legacy Mr. Clean is riding on is one of greed and betrayal.


Arillo’s book is well-researched but I still have a few stories of my own that I’d like to add.

Once, an Aquino Cabinet member came out with a report that a Cory kin, together with a Kapampangan Customs broker and a spouse of a former senator, were involved in smuggling activities, specifically containers full of Mercedes Benz cars. Oldtimers at Customs are aware of this.

When this Cabinet member handed the report to Cory, she reportedly just browsed over it and then put it aside. The same Cabinet man was so disgusted that he resigned, but Cory prevailed upon him to accept another Cabinet portfolio.

There was also the takeover of some 37, I repeat 37 corporations, suspected to be that of Kokoy Romualdez, brother-in-law of the late dictator, by the in-laws of Cory.

I know this because one of the corporations taken over was Erestores Inc., a structural steel company. It was founded by the late Marcos’ Minister of Transportation Totoy Dans, who was close to Imeldific.

For the record, I was one of the incorporators of the company. I was founding director. That’s why I knew it all.

There was also the takeover of a motor and vehicle corporation with a license to import British Range Rovers and Land Rovers. The in-laws of Cory used this license to import Simba armored cars for the Armed Forces despite recommendations that they were inferior to US-made armored vehicles.

I recall that when I started to expose this anomaly, I was approached by the PR man of Cory’s in-laws. I was invited to go to London, all expenses paid for, to visit the Simba plant. I refused.

And then there was this sweetheart deal between Cory and Shell that exempted Shell from income tax payments in the multi-billion Malampaya project off Palawan. This still holds true today and the amount involved is P70 billion, according to records.

Cory was said to be very close to the then-Shell president who showered her with attention and flowers daily.

A legacy, indeed, of greed and betrayal. And Mr. Clean thinks this legacy will be his ticket to MalacaƱang?

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