Senator Roxas to PGMA: Order probe of FG Mike

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today stressed President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should now act to save the country's "corrupt" image in the international political arena, and she can begin by ordering an independent investigation into the numerous anomalies involving her husband, First Gentleman Mike Arroyo.
"Mahalagang linisin natin ang imahe ng ating bayan. Nakakahiya na tayo sa buong mundo. Ang tingin nila ay puro korap ang mga opisyal natin. Kailan pa ba kikilos si GMA? (It is important to clean our country's image. We are really in a very embarrassing situation now. The world thinks all Philippine government officials are corrupt. When will GMA act to stop this?)" he asked.
He said the president can prove her sincerity in removing corruption by subjecting her husband to an independent investigation and by allowing the long arms of the law to be served on him, when he is found guilty of pocketing millions of pesos in bribe monies and for masterminding multi-million peso fund diversion scams.

He also said President Arroyo should not ignore testimonies given to World Bank investigators that her husband and an unnamed former senator received millions of pesos in bribe monies in exchange for favorable endorsements to local and foreign contractors for them to be able to bag infrastructure contracts with the government, particularly the Department of Public Works and Highways.

The WB had conducted an investigation into irregularities that tainted projects that it financed in the country. As a result of the probe, seven firms - three from the Philippines and four from China - were banned from participating in any WB-funded projects here after they were found to have engaged in "collusive practices" in the bidding of a road project.
"Hindi pa ba sapat na ang WB na mismo ang nakakuha ng testimonya na milyong-milyong piso ang ibinayad ng mga kontratista kay Mike Arroyo para lamang manalo sa bidding ng mga projects sa DPWH? Kailangang kumilos na si GMA ngayon na (Isn't it enough that no less than the WB has been given testimonies that contractors had to pay millions of pesos to Mike Arroyo to get government contracts? She should act now)," he stressed.

"Gloria should make a clear statement that her husband is not beyond the law. She should not use her position to influence the findings of any investigating body. And if her husband is found guilty of any of the allegations against him, then she should not think twice about him going behind bars for his corrupt acts" he added.
Roxas warned the WB findings could affect relations between the Philippines and the United States, especially following the anti-corruption pledge that new US President Barack Obama made during his inauguration last month.

Also, the Ilonggo senator said it was not a surprise that the Philippines has been lumped with Nigeria, Pakistan and Bangladesh as among the nations with failing democracies due to rampant corruption in government.

He said controversies like the NBN-ZTE bribery, the P728 million fertilizer fund diversion, the "Euro Generals" money laundering and the most recent, the collusion between the owner of the Legacy Group of Companies and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to rip off hundreds of pre-need plan holders and bank depositors of their hard-earned savings have left an impression of widespread corruption in the nation.
"She should act to clean up the graft gangs in her government. She must spearhead this war against corruption by starting in her own backyard. Only then can she prove her sincerity," he said.

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Kevin Ray N. Chua

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