Impeach me, shameless me: Desperate moves of a 'Desperate Housewife'
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2007-10-14
It is often said that desperate situations require desperate measures. From where I sit, wrecking another chair, the deliberate filing of a weak impeachment case against Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) is nothing more than the desperate moves of a desperate housewife in Malacanang Palace who feels the noose tightening around her neck.

My former comrade in the Cory Aquino Media Bureau, Makati Rep. Teddyboy Locsin, called it correctly when he said that the Arroyo administration’s capacity for incompetence is limitless. Teddyboy said this when he was a guest on ANC’s Strictly Politics last Tuesday.

According to Teddyboy, the regime could not have chosen a worse bribe messenger than Atty. Francis Ver, a nephew of Fabian Ver, the top enforcer during the Marcos dictatorship. Other than being Fabian Ver's nephew, Ver also happened to be the Deputy Secretary General of Kampi, the GMA party. Francis Ver's closeness to the administration is undeniable.

Teddyboy also mentioned that the impeachment case against GMA filed by Atty. Rafael "Roel" Pulido and endorsed by Laguna Rep. Edgar San Luis is a case that is calibrated to fail, nothing more than an immunization against a feared real impeachment case.

I know Francis Ver and Egay San Luis. Francis and I were neighbors from 1970 to 1973 when I used to stay in Teacher's Village in Quezon City. Egay and I both served as president of the RPN-Channel 9 television as well as radio network.

In that episode of ANC's Strictly Politics, Egay San Luis claimed that he endorsed the Atty. Roel Pulido impeachment complaint because he felt that there is a great need for public accountability.

Locsin refuted Egay San Luis by saying that an impeachment case is the wrong means for exacting public accountability, especially an impeachment case that is calibrated to fail. Teddyboy observed that the impeachment case in question is designed to destabilize Speaker Joe de Venecia (who Atty. Pulido took to task earlier in the House Ethics Committee) more than it will impeach GMA.

Atty. Roel Pulido was the lawyer of the Magdalo officers until they parted ways in September last year. Now Senator, Antonio Trillanes IV, admits that they are no longer on speaking terms with Atty. Roel Pulido. It has been reported that the Magdalo officers felt that Atty. Pulido worked against their best interests.

I believe Rep. Crispin Beltran and the other Representatives who also claimed that Francis Ver approached them and offered them bribes in exchange for endorsing the Atty. Roel Pulido impeachment complaint against GMA. Ver being so highly placed in Kampi, these stories of inducements are consistent with GMA's brand of transactional politics which I prefer to call Harlot Politics.

I also believe Teddyboy's assertion that Egay San Luis' explanation and excuses for endorsing the Atty. Roel Pulido impeachment case are lame. If Egay is really intent on pursuing a mission of exacting full public accountability, then he should withdraw his endorsement of the Atty. Pulido impeachment case in deference to the bribe offer scandal that his peers have exposed and seek a real impeachment case to sponsor.

As to the role of DILG Secretary Ronnie Puno, I believe Rep. Pablo Garcia that Francis Ver did not act alone but was operating on the orders of Ronnie Puno. And so the sacking of Francis Ver from Kampi does not absolve Puno or the other leaders of Kampi from accountability.

Francis Ver is said to be a legal confidant of Ronnie Puno and not just a Deputy Secretary General of Kampi. The man tasked to offer a bribe has to be a trusted aide and not just any simple Tom, Dick and Harry. Ver has those credentials.

Who is going to believe that Francis Ver offered those bribes to Representatives Beltran, Rodriguez et al on his own? Francis Ver may look like one but he's not stupid. Just why would a smart fellow like Francis Ver want to do that? Bribing Representatives Beltran, Rodriguez et al may be beneficial to GMA's survival interest but it does not serve Francis Ver’s personal interest.

And if we assume that Francis Ver did offer the bribes — then where is he going to get the P10 million or so that he offered Representatives Beltran, Rodriguez et al? Is it not easier to believe that Francis Ver acted on orders of Kampi higher ups instead of believing that Francis Ver acted on his own and offered P10 million or so of his own money to arrange an endorsement of the defective impeachment complaint?

How high does this bribery conspiracy go? I can believe that it has the blessings of GMA, the now desperate housewife in Malacanang who realizes that this NBN scandal has all the dots that can be connected and once connected spells DOOMSDAY.

That reported breakfast with 190 Representatives in Malacanang last Thursday which transformed Speaker Joe de Venecia and other regime Congressional allies into sudden impeachment case endorsers was denounced by Iloilo Vice Governor Rolex Suplico as an occasion for another bribery attempt and arm twisting. Suplico stated on ABS-CBN that the Representatives who attended each received P500,000 cash and were promised projects.

Earlier in the week, de Venecia and the other Representatives wouldn't touch the Atty. Roel Pulido impeachment case even before the bribery attempt was exposed by Reps. Beltran and Rodriguez.

One breakfast with the desperate housewife in Malacañang and the regime Congress allies enthusiastically and hurriedly endorsed the impeachment case to the House Justice Committee. Harlot Politics indeed!

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