Is there method to the midnight madness sale of government assets?
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2009-11-10

Senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel warned against the sudden rush to sell prime government assets. Nene expressed fear that this may be an effort by the Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) regime to raise funds for the administration candidates in the 2010 elections.

Other more vocal administration critics claim that these sales are all part of what is called the “LAST TWO MINUTES” of plunder by the scandal plagued regime. Seeing the now highly-likely ascension of Senator Noynoy Aquino to Malacanang Palace in 2010, the cynics are saying that the crooks in the GMA regime are making hay while the sun shines.

“To make up for its deficiency in tax collections, the Arroyo administration has been selling all kinds of assets, from its shareholdings in Petron and Meralco to military camps or reservations apparently without due regard to the strategic importance of maintaining government stake in these corporate enterprises,” Pimentel said.

Among the other government assets being lined up for the midnight madness (as per the term popularized by the SM Malls) sale per Pimentel are the prime property in Fujima district in Tokyo which has long been the residence of the Philippine Ambassador to Japan, the National Mental Health Complex and the Welfareville (also known as Boys Town) in Mandalu-yong, the National Penitentiary in Muntinlupa, the Home for the Aged in Quezon City, the 103-hectare Food Terminal, Inc complex in Taguig, the remaining 14 percent government stake in PNOC and the Philippine Postal Corporation.

That these sales are intended to fund administration candidates in next year’s elections cannot be easily dismissed. The GMA regime thrives on traditional patronage politics and sans money, the administration candidates do not have the proverbial Chinaman’s chance of winning over the more popular real Opposition candidates.

Your Chair Wrecker highlighted real Opposition candidate because there have been indications that staunch GMA regime defenders - people who feasted with the plunderers during the last eight years - are now posturing as members of the Opposition tickets. Of course, that is not the first time this has happened in Philippine politics.

In the presidential race, the regime is said to be banking on a so-called “Opposition” candidate to beat the dominant Noynoy Aquino. A regime source told your Chair Wrecker over a month ago, that the administration entertains no illusions that official presidential bet, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, can win.

That those who proposed these sales have under-the-table commissions in mind from the transactions will not be something new, if ever such is the reason why this is being undertaken. They’ll likely justify selling the assets at much less than the market prices as owing to hard times caused by the world recession. Thus, the favored buyer will be able to acquire the crown jewel for a song and the Quisling who arranged the rip-off is generously rewarded.

But there is another possible hidden agenda why these assets are being sold at such a bad time as during a world recession. Investors would be wary of spending large amounts of money during a period when credit is tight and recovery prospects are uncertain. This possible hidden agenda was brought up by an administration insider who was disgusted over the shameless greed and insensitivity to the real needs of the poor especially in the wake of the recent natural calamities.

This source purports that a favorite ‘usual suspect’ is behind the rush sale of the precious assets. The objective is said to be the acquisition of the national crown jewels at bargain basement prices. The source even mentioned that the ‘usual suspect’ is most comfortable with real estate projects and is reported to be interested too in acquiring substantial shares in premium corporations.

Now, this makes the foul odor about this midnight madness sale even stinkier, does it not? If this is so, that means that the Filipino people were first robbed blind and when the stashed loot was enormous enough - the Filipino people’s remaining crown jewels will now be bought at rigged low prices with money stolen from the sellers (the Filipino people) themselves.

William Shakespeare gives us the right words for expressing our outrage over the foul deeds of such scoundrels - “A plague on both your houses!”

* * *

Your Chair Wrecker would like to take this opportunity to mention the “Motivating yourself and others” seminar to be conducted by Joscephine Gomez on Nov. 14 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at The Corporate Mind Training Room, Mega Plaza, ADB Ave. corner Garnet Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City and on Nov. 21, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the Montebello Hotel in Banilad, Cebu City.

Emerging victorious after a two-week bout with another life-threatening illness, Joscephine Gomez once again rises like the legendary phoenix and has embarked on this self improvement project.

Jo was able to tap the soft side of your Chair Wrecker when she wrote me on Facebook that she is making the request for a column mention as a writer appealing to another fellow writer.

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It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

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Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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