Medy has created RP’s Watergate
The 1972 break-in at Washington, D.C.’s plush Watergate residential complex did not become a red-hot political issue until a connection was established between the White House and one of the men who broke into the complex. It was the disclosure that former Central Intelligence Agency operative Howard Hunt had closed ties with members of Richard Nixon’s staff that converted the Watergate caper from a run-of-the-mill break-in into a problem capable of placing a presidency at risk.
The same thing is happening in the current Senate investigation of the claim of former Isafp (Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines) T/Sgt. Vidal Doble Jr. that he wiretapped Gloria Arroyo and listened in on 15 cellular phone conversations that she apparently had during the 2004 pre-proclamation period with former Commission on Elections official Virgilio “Garci” Garcillano. The inclusion during the last Senate hearing of Medy — short for Remedios? — Poblador has one of the dramatis personae of the 2005 Doble-exposé episode that has turned the “Hello Garci” Senate inquiries from a was-that-Gloria’s-voice exercise into an episode with the greatest potential for the downfall of the Arroyo presidency.
Prior to Doble’s last appearance before the chamber, the investigation of the Hello Garci tapes had wallowed in the languid waters of legality (because the anti-wiretapping law prohibits the public playing of wiretapped materials, would the members of the Senate not become lawbreakers if they were to agree to the playing of the Hello Garci tapes?) and national security (who in the AFP hierarchy ordered the wiretapping of the Commander-in-Chief’s conversations and at what point or points did a break in the national security structure occur?) but with Doble’s introduction of Poblador into the June 2005 drama, the Hello Garci inquiries has taken on an entirely different complexion.
For the benefit of those who neither watched Doble’s last appearance before the Senate or read any of the accounts of that appearance, let us recall what the former Isafp operative and the Catholic bishop of Balanga said about Poblador and her role in the June 2005 drama at the San Carlos Seminary and Camp Aguinaldo.
The Senate was told two very significant things about the part that Medy played in that tension-filled June 2005 day’s political event. First, Bishop Socrates Villegas, who had gone post-haste to the San Carlos Seminary to bring Doble out of that Catholic institution, wrote the Senate a letter — intended to take the place of an appearance before the joint committees — saying Medy had called him to request that the good bishop take Doble out of the seminary and that she had made the arrangements for the availability of the helicopter that airlifted the Isafp man to Camp Aguinaldo.
The second thing that the Senate learned was that upon reaching Camp Aguinaldo, Doble was brought to the residence of Chief of Staff Efren Abu, where he saw his wife and children and a casually attired woman whom his wife identified as “Medy, a secretary of President Gloria.” Medy has since been identified as a member of Gloria Arroyo’s close-in staff and, in Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s words, “one of only two women who can ride in the presidential car.”
Poblador is apparently one of the staffers whom Arroyo relies upon for congressional liaison work. She is said to be a gal who gets things done, and she was much in evidence in the Batasan during the impeachment proceedings of 2005 and 2006. Doble’s wife reported to him that Medy approached her in General Abu’s residence and told Mrs. Doble to let her know if she “needed any help.”
Senator Lacson, who is responsible for reviving the Hello Garci issue, has said the revelations about Poblador have brought the 2004 election fraud controversy right up to Gloria’s doorstep. This is what was said 34 years earlier about the White House-Howard Hunt link. Richard Nixon’s presidency ended not long after the public disclosure of the connection.
Malacañang, now in damage-control mode, has declared that in getting involved in the 2005 Doble episode, Medy Poblador, “acted on her own.” Do Malacañang staffers now, on their own, order choppers to go and pluck people out of religious facilities and bring them to the residence of the AFP chief of staff? Let us not forget that the June 2005 day in question was no ordinary day. It was the day on which Vidal Doble Jr. alerted the world that he was going to make an earth-shaking revelation about the 2004 election fraud involving Arroyo.
Medy Poblador should be brought before the Senate — no ifs and buts about this — to explain to the Filipino people why and for whom she did what she did on that momentous day in June 2005. Her actions on that day have given rise to this country’s counterpart of the Watergate scandal.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
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