THEY HAVE always been known to be wealthy, but few are aware that the charity cup of the Arroyo clan also runneth over – at least on paper.
Even as they enjoy access to pork and public funds to dispense with charity work, members of the First Family, as well as an assortment of relatives and friends who hold positions in government, have built up quite a collection of foundations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) with aims ranging from promoting “punctuality” to securing loans from government institutions.
THE LAWYERS and spokesperson of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo have spoken, in many words saying that the 114-percent surge in her declared net worth from 2000 to 2008 could be explained.
In a press conference Monday, her lawyer Romulo Macalintal said the ongoing PCIJ report – whose part 1 was released earlier that day — was “speculative and judgmental.” He added that PCIJ must come up with proof to support its “most unfair and uncalled for” findings on Arroyo’s wealth.
SAN RAFAEL, BULACAN – This bucolic and remote municipality just about 60 kilometers north of Manila may not inspire dreams of wealth among many people, but municipal assessor Teresa Perez remembers a time when land developers flocked here and began driving up land prices. That was during the 1990s, she says, when the urban sprawl looked as if it would reach this area. But the investor interest was apparently short-lived, and now Perez says San Rafael’s real estate market is in another slump.
“Land prices are going down here in San Rafael,” she says. “No one’s buying, that’s why land owners are forced to lower their price just so they could sell.”
Last of Two Parts The first part of this report reveals how secrecy and precipitate haste mark the tender by the state-run Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) for the P52-billion Liban Dam project in Tanay, Rizal. THE PROPOSED joint-venture deal between San Miguel Corporation and the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) to build [...]
GETTING the land — not landing in jail — was the hope Alexander Celis nurtured when he and other Negros farmers trekked recently to the Land Registration Authority (LRA) office in Quezon City. The main reason for their trip was merely to convince President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to speed up agrarian reform in a Negros sugar plantation being linked to her husband, First Gentleman Jose Miguel ‘Mike’ Arroyo.
The 35-year-old Celis says the 157-hectare Hacienda Bacan in Negros Occidental’s Guintubhan village in Isabela town was among the pieces of agricultural land owned by the Arroyo family. In 2001, the President promised to distribute this and other Arroyo landholdings to farmers under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
A COMPANY that has neither track record in the gaming business nor proven financial capability to back up a multibillion-peso enterprise is poised to become the newest investor in the ambitious “Tourism City” project of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor).
But what Bloombury Investments Ltd. lacks in these top two criteria for investors in the Pagcor project, it more than makes up for in terms of political connections, based on records of the state-run corporation itself, as well as information from those privy to the deals.
POONA BAYABAO, Lanao del Sur — “Fernando Poe, Fernando Poe.” With clenched fists and his right hand raised, octogenarian Hadji Mohammad Monte repeated the name of the late action star like a mantra when asked whom he voted for in the last presidential elections. He insisted that Poe was number one among the residents of this town where the late king of Philippine movies was — and still is — very popular.