"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Arroyo likely knew 'cash gifts' were given

A senator on Wednesday expressed belief that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was aware that "cash gifts" were distributed among congressmen and local government executives last month in Malacañang, during the height of calls for her impeachment.

This, as the Senate set for next week the start of hearings on the "cash gift" controversy.

Senator Richard Gordon, who ran under the administration ticket in 2004, said Mrs Arroyo who heads the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi) was likely to have knowledge on the distribution of cash gifts.

House Deputy Speaker Ma. Amelita Villarosa, Kampi secratary, earlier admitted that cash gifts distributed to various local government officials were from Kampi's funds.

"It is hard to believe that money, from 200,000 pesos to 500,000 pesos were being distributed without anyone telling anyone what it was for and where it had come from," Gordon said.

"It is even harder to believe that the President, who we assume is also the leader of Kampi, did not know that money was being distributed like rain or sunshine," he added.

Gordon said Villarosa's admission "puts to light the basest manifestation of our transactional political culture and should challenge our people to rise up to make political parties more accountable for their actions."

"We can't say that what had transpired in Malacanang was bribery or an attempt to secure some kind of action in return for a generous sum of money. However, millions of pesos changed hands under circumstances where the resident of Malacañang was being assailed by scandals and an impeachment complaint had just been filed," Gordon said.

The administration senator said that in light of the cash gift scandal, he would push for a legislation to compel political organization to divulge the sources of their funds and how these funds were disposed.

"The bigger aspect and the wider view of this action is to craft a body of laws that will make political parties more accountable for their actions and win for everyone a chance to sow the seeds of transforming our rotting political culture," he said. - GMANews.TV

Arroyo likely knew 'cash gifts' were given -Gordon
Posted November 7, 2007, 5:57 pm


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