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Jun 02nd
Home Sections MiscellaNEWS Ambassador Gaa Subs for PGMA at Los Angeles Reception
Ambassador Gaa Subs for PGMA at Los Angeles Reception PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 22 November 2008 01:25

By Joseph G. Lariosa

(Journal Group Link International)

Dateline CHICAGO, Illinois (JGLi)

P hilippine Ambassador to the United States Willy Gaa substituted for President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at the reception of the Filipino American community Friday night when Mrs. Arroyo failed to make it at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Los Angeles, California, after her plane made “an unscheduled stop in Osaka, Japan, after First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo fell ill.”


An e-mail from the Philippine Consulate of Los Angeles forwarded to this reporter by community activist and online journalist Bobby M. Reyes also said that the press conference to be hosted by Press Secretary Jess Dureza at 4 p.m. “will no longer take place.”


The email said, “We regret to inform you that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will be unable to make it to the Filipino Community reception scheduled today, 21 November 2008, at the Sheraton Gateway hotel Los Angeles.


“The President’s chartered flight from Manila to Los Angeles had to make an unscheduled stop in Osaka, Japan, after First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo fell ill.”


It added, “Therefore, the Press Conference with Secretary Jesus Dureza scheduled at 4:00 p.m. today, 21 November 2008, will no longer take place.”

The dinner reception, which appeared to have been paid in advance, had to “push through as scheduled tonight at 5:45 p.m., with Philippine Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Ambassador Willy C. Gaa, in attendance.”


Mr. Reyes said, Filipino American activists started massing in front of Sheraton Gateway Hotel as early as 3:50 p.m. but some left at 7 p.m. after being told that President Arroyo was not showing up. Some demonstrators were asked “not to proceed to the hotel venue anymore.”


One of the three Los Angeles policemen mounted on bikes estimated the activists at 50 Filipino Americans and some 20 American friends of the Philippines who were “well-behaved.”


There were no U.S. Secret Service agents as the Philippine President was not around.


Mrs. Arroyo was making a stopover at Los Angeles on her way to Peru to attend the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation next week.


Mr. Reyes said it was too bad he would not be able to get answers from Secretary Dureza “on a scoop (in his online magazine) that I wrote about the purchase of 10 cargo-screening devices by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) that was facilitated by the First Gentleman. The units were overpriced by $7-million each, plus a 20% commission on the actual price of $3.0-million per unit. The Arroyo Administration’s “Incredible Bulk” deal involves an overprice of $70-million plus commissions of $6-million. To date, the PPA and the Office of the President have chosen to ignore the report.” # # # (


Editor’s Note: To read the details of the scandal at the PPA, please click on this link, The Arroyo Administration’s “Incredible Bulk”


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Last Updated on Saturday, 22 November 2008 01:49

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