In Ellen Tordesillas' latest column, she wrote:
Pimentel said: "The President has lost the moral ascendancy to assert that power after squandering billions of pesos of taxpayers' money on her election campaign which has almost rendered the national treasury empty."
To make sure that the public does not forget it, Pimentel once again talks about funds diverted to free health insurance, emergency employment for road repairmen and sweepers, student loan program and Patubig sa Barangay, "all intended to promote Arroyo's candidacy" and for which she is now facing a string of plunder charges before the Office of the Ombudsman.
We should add the P728 million agriculture funds that bought votes instead of fertilizers and the road users tax that were used to produce Arroyo's roadside campaign materials.
Pimentel also questioned how Arroyo uses and is using her P500 million intelligence funds, P500 million in social funds from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, not to mention billions of pesos in discretionary and contingent fund.
Well, isn't the diversion of government funds to her own political campaign illegal? Isn't this criminal misuse of our hardearned tax money for personal use an impeachable offense? Isn't this corrupt practice by Mrs. Arroyo one of the main reasons why we are currently in a financial crisis?
Why aren't more people asking how we got into this mess? Why aren't more people looking into this and holding Mrs. Arroyo accountable for it? Why do we have to accept everything she says as gospel truth without question?
Why aren't more people questioning the questionable way our 2004 budget was passed by Malacanang stooges Joe De Venecia and Franklin Drilon? This is how former PDI columnist Dean Jorge Bocobo explained it back in Feb. 5, 2004:
Sen. Edgardo Angara warned today that the GMA administration would end up controlling the entire 2004 national budget as a giant Pork Barrel fund for the coming elections, if House Speaker Jose de Venecia has his way and merely re-enacts the 2003 budget. How does that happen. Well, if you think about it, the 2003 budget contains a large number of funded projects that have already been completed, right? What happens to the funds in that 2003 budget that find their way into the 2004 budget by the magic means of re-enactment. Well, they certainly shouldn't be spent on those projects again -- but then the President will have the right to "re-align" such funds. Get it? That's what Angara means by a giant pork barrel for the elections. Sen. Serge Osmena told media he estimated a total of some P100 billion that would thus become available to GMA's probably losing bid for a full six year term.
What no one said is the thought that immediately struck me. In losing, GMA will blow that whole wad and sink the economy with inflation, just as Marcos did in 1969, when he similarly spent a huge fortune to cheat and win the elections. GMa -- the economist -- could start a conflagration of devastating INFLATION with election spending.
Mr. Bocobo got it right. It's too bad that we chose to ignore his warnings back then, because we Filipinos are going to pay the price for GMA's corrupt and incompetent ways in the near future.