Self-confessed jueteng operators Wilfredo “Boy Bicol” Mayor, Richard “RJ” Garcia, and Demosthenes “Abe” Riva dropped a veritable time bomb when they testified in a joint hearing by two Senate committees looking into the illegal numbers game.
They implicated legislators, top police officials, Manila and provincial based journalists and some members of President Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo’s family.
High on the list was her son Representative Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo, whom they called the “Lion King”. Also mentioned were First Gentleman Mike Arroyo and his brother Representative Iggy “Jose Pidal” Arroyo. They said that jueteng operators need the “attorney from Malacañang’s” blessing.
As expected, the personalities named by Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz’s witness strongly denied the accusations. So, what else is new?
Of course they will deny ever dipping their hands in illegal gambling, but the word is out and here in the Philippines rumors and scandals do spread very fast.
The witnesses admitted that they did not see the big fishes themselves receive the money. They said it was their bagmen that they dealt with. Legally speaking,
their statements are pure hearsay...for now.
And seemingly to get the people’s mind off the jueteng controversy, a new bombshell has been released by Malacañang.
Malacañang says that it has intercepted an alleged tape of a telephone conversation or series of conversations between President Arroyo and her husband, on one end, and an election operative named Gary on the other. The conversations are said to
broadly hint at the massaging of the election returns from areas where Fernando Poe Jr. gave Gloria a drubbing.
Malacañang said the tape was faked and even provided copies to the media. It added the spliced tape signals the shift to high gear of the opposition campaign to
drive President Arroyo out of office. Strangely, opposition leaders said they had never heard about the tape until Malacañang itself announced its existence.
President Arroyo’s administration is indeed in very rocky grounds as evidenced by the recent opinion poll on which she received a -33% rating, the lowest a president has received since 1986. And we all know what happened during that year.
The people will always believe the worst about President Arroyo. And it’s not that the accusations of cheating are something new or the fact that her immediate family has been implicated in juicy scandals before.
It is ironic that jueteng toppled the Erap administration and put President Arroyo into power and now it seems that jueteng has come back in a big way to haunt her.
The Philippines and perhaps the world community now wait with bated breath the next sordid tale of our President Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo’s telenovela.