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Home Columns Dissenting Opinion Demonizing Marcos’ Corruption while Ignoring Cory’s Misguided Economics
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Columns - Dissenting Opinion
Written by Ado Paglinawan   
Tuesday, 08 December 2009 05:10


Part Six of Book II: A People Caught in Its Own Dung

By Ado Paglinawan

 

 

T he great American President Dwight Eisenhower (who commissioned the Atoms For Peace program, which launched the nuclear program in the Philippines and dozens of other states) warned at the close of his Administration in 1960, against a military-industrial complex and the progressive takeover of the United States by the anti-American imperial-minded forces representing, not the self-interests of the United States, nor certainly the interests of other sovereign nations, but rather, the interests of the international financial houses.

 

Indeed, the last nuclear plant to be built in the United States itself was contracted in 1978.

 

In neighboring Mexico, President José Lopez Portillo had commenced in 1978 on a track to use Mexico’s newly-discovered oil resources in oil-for-technology deals designed to build 20 nuclear plants and achieve industrialization and full-energy independence.

 

Lopez Portillo’s plans were crushed and the Mexican banking system destroyed by the synarchists, in response.

 

Instead of a modern industrial economy, Mexico’s population has been reduced by “free trade” to slave labor conditions in foreign-owned sweatshops, while drug lords dominate entire regions, as well as much of the government.

 

The anti-nuclear paradigm-shift has cost the human race dearly, in wealth and in lives.

 

In the Philippines, one of the most-valuable historical revelations of Velasco’s book is the total hypocrisy of the charge that Ferdinand Marcos squandered the nation’s resources through, corruption and overruns on the nuclear plant.

 

The accusation was that President Ferdinand Marcos shaved as much as $80 million for the deal – one additional corruption charge in a litany of allegations – none of which has been proved in open court but the whole caboodle has been systematically used in demonizing former President Marcos and his family.


The Trial of Imelda Marcos in New York
 

As interestingly as the New York Times reports his wife Imelda has survived two major cases. First, the celebrated racketeering-and-fraud charges in a federal court in New York alongside her co-defendant Adnan Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian billionaire and former arms dealer for among other things stealing $222 million from the Philippines. 

Editor's Note: The federal case against Imelda Marcos, et al, was filed on Oct. 21, 1988. For a New York Times report, please read,  Marcos and Wife, 8 Others Charged by U.S. With Fraud.

 


From
Washington, DC, I was drafted to be part of the Aquino administration’s demolition team sent to New York. Chit Pedrosa, the author of the book “The Untold Story of Imelda Marcos” was flown from Manila. Of course Sawyer & Miller was the resident public-relations firm based in the Big Apple, with Mark Brown and the late Aimee Laurel as handlers. There were other farm-out groups but Mark dealt with them. My job basically was conceptualization of impact-publicity projects, a lot of which saw print.

 

But after a series of briefings by the private prosecutors helping Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Livingston, I told the government panel that if the rich preponderance of their evidence against President Marcos was all they had against the former First Lady, the only thing her defense will do is present a celebrity witness, deny the allegation in lump sum, and rest their defense.

 

One of the counsels angrily asked the basis for such a conclusion, because he knew I was not a lawyer. I said pure common sense. I warned them that what they have proven beyond reasonable doubt were tons of irregularities that could have been true during the Marcos regime, but they had not proven anything whatsoever that besides the bedroom that Ferdinand and Imelda shared, the former first lady had directly affected decision-making.

 

I said that it was not only necessary but urgent that the culpable connection be made, considering Imelda was tearing us apart in the PR game by projecting herself to be a “poor widow”. This was a jury trial in New York, the big apple at that where the Imelda’s thousand shoes were vogue and pizzazz not criminal.

 

At the rate prosecution was going it was only successful in litigating Ferdinand Marcos and I said the irony was this trial was happening nine months after the former President had already died of kidney, heart and liver ailment while in exile in Honolulu.

 

Nobody listened. In fact I was almost sent back to DC after rapidly being labeled among supposed allies, as a braggart.

 

Well, after the prosecution rested its case in July 1990, counsel for the defendant Gerry Spence called actor George Hamilton as his star witness on the character of Imelda Marcos, and after the actor’s bubbly testimony, he rested his white hat on the table. The country-styled lawyer from Wyoming pleaded no further defense, and proceeded to his short closing arguments and surprised everyone with his quick motion for dismissal of all charges on the grounds that prosecution failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

 

In less than 30 minutes, the jury came back with an acquittal.

 

In March 2008, a Manila regional trial court acquitted former First Lady Imelda Marcos of 32 counts of illegal money transfers to bank accounts in Switzerland between 1968 and 1976. The trial court judge, Silvino Pampilo, said the government as complainant had failed to prove its case.

 

Mrs. Marcos, 78, who appeared in the courtroom in jewels and a green gown, told ABS-CBN television: “I am so happy, and I thank the Lord that the 32 cases have been dismissed. This will subtract from the 901 cases that were filed against the Marcoses.”)

 

My intent is to tell the truth as I know it, realizing that what is true for me may be blasphemy for others – Gerry Spence, one of Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos’ American lawyers

 

B ut everything is hunky dory when Cory Aquino’s mothballs a nuclear plant even if it were to cost Philippine taxpayers up to the great-great-grandchildren $2.3 billion for the cost of a power facility that has never produced a single watt of electricity PLUS another $1.7 billion in interests and penalties even if it were not operating.

 

And what about all the savings lost forever in oil imports?

 

In his book, Geronimo Velasco noted that the cost for uranium fuel for the facility would have been $20 million per year, compared to the $180 million to be saved in oil import costs (three times that amount at today’s prices). Instead, the inflated costs of imported oil were paid, in addition to the $460 million in debt service alone for a mothball between 1987 and 1989. 

 

Editor’s Notes: To Ado Paglinawan’s earlier account of Geronimo Velasco’s book, please click on this link, Velasco Unveils a Synarchist Conspiracy with the Oligarchs

 

 

B ut back here in the United States, the exorbitant cost of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant itself can be traced to the synarchist takeover in Washington.

 

Following the Three-Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979 (which showed that all the safeguards worked, but was nonetheless treated as a “disaster”), and as Velasco notes, the Hollywood hype  of Jane Fonda’s film The China Syndrome spreading ridiculous myths about the dangers of nuclear energy, the States imposed a new set of safety conditions on nuclear construction.

 

The Bataan construction was put on hold for 15 months, and new contracts for the additional safeguards were signed. All this was taking place just as U.S Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker was raising interest rates to 21%!

 

Not only did the cost of the Bataan plant itself double to $2.3 billion, but the debt-servicing costs sky rocketed.

 

Unlike in a private firm, where the CEO’s principal responsibility is to keep the shareholders happy, in a government corporation our job was ultimately to promote the national interest. – Geronimo Velasco

 

 

V elasco reported that the disaster of shutting down the nuclear plant was aggravated by the promise to pay for it any way.

 

In a speech given before the U.S. Congress by U.S.-installed President Cory Aquino in September 1986, she “promised that she would pay all the country’s debts down to the last cent. 

 

“My heart fell when I heard her say that,” Velasco told Mike Billington.

 

The Folly of Shell Philippines’ Cesar Buenaventura

 

Of course, there were also leading figures within the Philippines demanding the closure of the nuclear plant. Here too, Velasco reveals another interesting fact. This time leading the assault was one Cesar Buenaventura, head of Anglo-Dutch Shell operations in the Philippines, he said.

 

When Aquino was placed in power, Buenaventura advised her to shut down the Ministry of Energy altogether, and close the nuclear facility permanently. “I have no doubt that he had Shell’s interest in mind when he recommended the ministry’s abolition,” wrote Velasco, “because the nationalist policies under Marcos threatened to erode the oil companies’ position in the energy market.”

 

“Incidentally, the Queen of England knighted Buenaventura thereafter. Did that have anything to do with the ministry’s fate?” Velasco asked.

 

One year after his removal, Velasco was summoned by the Philippine Congress, where he warned that since nothing was being done to replace the power from the nuclear plant, Manila would run out of electricity within two years.

 

The Philippine Blackouts from 1989 to 1993

 

I ndeed in 1989 the capital city began to experience outages of 10-12 hours per day, for the next four years. Worse, Fidel Ramos, after he maneuvered himself into the presidency in 1992, used the blackouts to coerce the Congress to grant him emergency powers, without oversight, to negotiate contracts with foreign power companies.

 

Unlike Mr. Marcos, who was condemned as a dictator for using martial law to launch projects under the auspices of state-owned entities in the national interest, President Ramos won praise from Wall Street for using his near-dictatorial powers to sell the nation to Enron and other private interests.

 

Mr. Ramos signed 40 independent power producer contracts, all on a “take or pay” basis, forcing the country to buy each plant’s total capacity, in dollar-denominated prices, whether or not the power was needed.

 

When the Asian currencies, precipitated by the Thai baht, were attacked by international speculators from 1996 to 1998, these IPP contracts bankrupted the nation, virtually doubling the costs of energy in terms of the national currency, while all the electricity had to be purchased even though it were not needed.

 

Velasco definitely understood the crime of globalization, and the urgency of returning to the system of regulation and protection in the field of energy.

 

Commenting on the privatization of the national oil company Petron, by Ramos and of the National Power Company by current President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Velasco said: “Unlike in a private firm, where the CEO’s principal responsibility is to keep the shareholders happy, in a government corporation our job was ultimately to promote the national interest.”

 

It is not surprising to learn that Velasco was once an accomplished cellist. Billington observed he had not lost the internal sense of individual’s potential to affect history. The book itself is not the just a defense of his career, and the nationalist vision of President Marcos, but a guide to future generations as well.

 

The Philippines never recovered from the U.S. subversion of 1986.

 

The Philippines now consumes about 1.5 barrels of oil per year per capita, although Velasco wrote “in my time we already estimated that each Filipino was consuming about two barrels a year, which seems to indicate that the quality of life of most Filipinos is even deteriorating.”

 

The population also continues to suffer from the myth that “people’s power brought down a dictator,” that the theft of the nation’s economic sovereignty was a step forward rather than a partially self-inflicted wound.

 

Even Velasco had trouble seeing any solution, preferring to focus on the crisis within his nation’s boundaries, rather than dabble on the systemic breakdown centered in the United States, where developments in the Philippines are largely being determined, for better or for worse.

 

Velasco closed his book seeing little hope due to a “host of constraints that were not present in my time,” naming the huge debt burden and the “pseudo-democracy” of the current political system.

 

True enough, but it is precisely by coming forth, 20 years after the fact, with the truth of the global roots of the so-called people power revolution of 1986 and the international subversion of the nation’s historic and economic mission, that Velasco is joining his heart and voice to those around the world fighting to bring about the necessary global solution.

 

The moral it seems, comes from Imelda’s lawyer himself.

 

One of Gerry Spence quotable quotes is “My intent is to tell the truth as I know it, realizing that what is true for me may be blasphemy for others.” # # #

 

 

Editor’s Note: To read the various chapters of Book Two, please click on these hyperlinks:

 

Velasco Unveils a Synarchist Conspiracy with the Oligarchs (Part V)

 

The Renaissance of Nuclear-Power Plants in the World (Part IV)

 

The Genesis of a Nuclear Philippines (Part III)

 

Protocols on Nuclear Security, Safety and Technology Transfer (Part II)

 

After the Deluge, Soon the Return of Massive Brownouts? (Part I of Book II)

 

 

 



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Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 December 2009 06:53
 
Comments (2)
1 Friday, 19 March 2010 05:34
This article is truly an eye opener. I've lost my grasp of these historical information after college but reading this article made me more aware of our country's direction and its not looking good...
2 Tuesday, 17 August 2010 23:49
after reading this article,It is really an eye opener an article that must read by pilipino people.I can now truly understand why our country is on huge dept and poverty....

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