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Home Columns JGL Eye Gloria Arroyo Is Flying Like a Fly
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Columns - JGL Eye
Written by Joseph G. Lariosa   
Monday, 15 March 2010 22:18

 

JGL Eye

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

(© 2009 Journal Group Link International)

  

W ASHINGTON, D.C. (JGLi) – If someone is about to clear the finish line in a race although he is at the losing end of the pack, all he needs to do is to coast along.

 

He should not desperately summon his strength to regain the second wind to catch up. This is exactly what Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is trying very hard to do as she embarks in yet another expensive trip to the United States, Spain and Vietnam barely two months into the tail end of her lame duck presidency.

 

This trip will only benefit Mrs. Arroyo. Not the Filipino people.

 

If the trip on April 12 and 13 is about Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., why not pass it up? After all, any decision she makes at the Summit may not matter anymore to the incoming Administration. Or better yet, she should send a low-level career civil service official with technical know-how on the topic. The official can take the stock knowledge in the Summit past her term.

 

Mrs. Arroyo should, instead, devote her dying days into packing her things up and liquidate all the expenses that are still to be unaccounted for from her previous travels. If she collects her frequent-flyer coupons, I am sure she must have logged enough mileage so she can travel in style around the world for the rest of her life.

 

It seems, Mrs. Arroyo is milking her cow dry without leaving any perk to her successor.

 

While it may be premature to pass judgment on her legacy, if it were something to crow about, or frown upon, her nine-year rule will be nothing but inspirational.

 

BAD OMEN

 

F or me, the bad omen of her Administration came into the second year of her presidency when she reneged on her pledge not to run for the presidency in the 2004 presidential elections.

 

When the “Hello Garci” audiotapes unraveled, documenting her secretive efforts to pad her votes by the millions, everything else seems to have gone downhill.

 

If she really wants to redeem herself, she should return the millions in kickback that she and her cohorts would derive from the Smartmatic’s 7.2-B pesos (US$160-B) contract. She should plow the kickbacks back to the Filipino people, by ordering more precinct count optical scanner (PCOS) machines that can supply the 350,000 precincts in 76,000 polling centers nationwide in the coming May 10, 2010, national elections. Smartmatic is not capable of supplying these precincts with PCOS for use by 50 million Filipino voters, who will be voting in computerized elections for the first time these elections.

 

Any money that would be saved from this contract should also be enough to pay the personnel that will be trained by the Comelec as well as the schoolteachers, who should detect cheating in the elections.

 

In my travel to this Beltway at the request of Atty. Loida Nicolas Lewis at the start of this week, I observed that if Mrs. Arroyo has any plan to renew acquaintance with President Barack Obama at Nuclear Summit next month, she should forget all about it.

 

I’m sure President Obama will find an excuse to avoid Mrs. Arroyo like a plague.

 

Please read again Bobby Reyes’ humorous account of how President Obama snubbed Mrs. Arroyo in this article, President Arroyo Experiences Quadruple Bypass

M rs. Lewis told her long-time friend, U.S. Department of State Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, in front of less than a dozen-strong Filipino delegation that included this columnist that Mrs. Arroyo is campaigning to keep herself in power.

  

Attorney Lewis told Secretary Clinton that Mrs. Arroyo is trying hard to renew her association with President Barack as a sign that she enjoys the good graces of the most powerful man in the world.

 

Filipinos have a saying: kung ang langaw ay nakadapo sa sungay ng isang kalabaw, para na rin siyang kalabaw (if a fly clings on the horn of a water buffalo, the fly thinks like a water buffalo itself).

 

Mrs. Arroyo was introduced for the first to Mr. Obama, who invited her over for a brief afternoon meet-and-greet session in the White House last year. And she would still like to cement the relationship although her term of office is over in over two months.

 

ARROYO NOT FLYING AWAY

 

M rs. Lewis told Mrs. Clinton that although Mrs. Arroyo is bowing out from office at the end of June, all indications show that she is sticking around.

 

The New York businesswoman told the former First Lady and former New York senator that Mrs. Arroyo is running for a seat in the House of Representatives. If there is a failure in the presidential, vice presidential and senatorial elections, Mrs. Arroyo could be in line to be Acting President if Mrs. Arroyo becomes a House Speaker.

 

The power failures that were never seen right after the Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng that placed most of Metro Manila underwater, according to my friend, Tony Navarez, a Chicago, Illinois, contractor, suddenly have become front-page fodder. They fueled speculations that they are part of grand schemes of Mrs. Arroyo to keep herself in power.

 

To read a related article written also by Mr. Lariosa, please click on this link, Comelec Should Show Impartiality, Says Foreign-Observers Group

 

T he rolling blackouts and brownouts could be convenient excuses to cheat the presidential elections on behalf of favored candidates.

 

The electronic balloting, operated by Smartmatic, runs on water that produces electricity. If there is no electricity, the electronic ballot will not work. If electronic balloting fails, there is no election. If there is no election, Mrs. Arroyo can overstay in power.

 

Mrs. Lewis also said that the Smartmatic, partly owned by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, appears to be working in concert with the Philippine Commission on Elections and the Administration to find a way to get the edge in the balloting.

 

One way to cheat the elections is the plan of the Comelec to disable the ultra-violet rays reader of each ballots’ barcode. In so doing, it removed the safeguard and protective measure against multiple counting. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

 

© opyright 2009 The Journal Group Link International. The contents provided in the JGLi may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of the Journal Group Link International.

 

(Editor’s Note: Watch out for the upcoming outlet-oriented, subscription-based website of Journal Group Link International that guarantees originally sourced stories, features, photos, audios and videos and multi-media contents.)

 

 


Last Updated on Monday, 15 March 2010 22:23
 

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