GMA Boys in Trouble-A A +A
By Ram Mercado
Sunday, October 6, 2013
CANDABA residents are worried over the fate of Mayor Rene Maglanque, who has been implicated with former president, now Rep. Gloria Arroyo, in a plunder (Malampaya) case before the Ombudsman.
“Will he be suspended from office?”
That is their question.
At the same time, members of the Philippine Jaycees, particularly those from Pampanga, and the influential Brotherhood of Masons, expressed fear that their poster boy Dennis Cunanan, former Technology Resource Center director general will bring these giant organizations to bad light. Dennis, like Maglanque, is a respondent in a plunder suit arising from the PDAF (Napoles) scam.
Cunanan and Maglanque are known as the two most popular Pampangos who had rendered distinguished and devoted services to the former President and her family. Rene’s unquestioned loyalty to former Presidential son, Mikey Arroyo, had been helpful in his getting appointed as Undersecretary of the Department of Transportation & Communications.
Cunanan is a wedding godson of CGMA whom he had served with distinction as head of the National Youth Commission before his promotion as head of the fund-rich TRC. Mrs. Arroyo would have chosen him as 2010 official congressional candidate for Pampanga’s First District but was thwarted by the timely intervention of then Rep. Tarzan Lazatin and his uncle ex-mayor Pastor Guiao, former GMA stalwarts in Pampanga.
With this background, leaders and supporters of Dennis and Rene are apprehensive that the two Arroyo leaders are in hot water. It is the followers’ collective hope that Cunanan’s justification of his role in the TRC funds that went to the fake Napoles NGOs will convince the Ombudsman of his innocence. Likewise, Candaba residents are praying that their new mayor can extricate himself from his alleged complicity as signatory to documents supporting payment of about P75 million (care of his name) to then DAR Sec.Nasser Pangandaman.
Powers that be are not focused in sending Dennis and Rene to jail. But their testimony, as direct witness to damaging facts, can pin down Mrs. Arroyo -- and son Mickey -- in one case. I guess the only way out for the two gentlemen is to act as state witness against their former benefactor and her department heads.
Cunanan, invoking a clear conscience as TRC director general, admitted that one NGO based in Guagua, Pampanga got some P500 million of pork fund, “Punto” newspaper reported. "The municipality is under the district of then Rep. Mikey Arroyo."
Some reporters who heard Cunanan at a Clark forum said his media blitz would help in the damage control but not in convincing the Palace of his innocence.
One thing that could work in Maglanque’s favor is that he is Liberal Party member. If LP president Mar Roxas, a known aspirant for President, can help in his absolution, Rene can obviate from sleepless nights rest assured of his freedom and his continued tenure in office. Vice mayor Normita Evangelista, former Candaba mayor, can always take charge and sustain Rene’s momentum of fine governance in the event of his expected suspension from office. "That is quite remote as Kuya Rene is like the cat with nine lives," said a kagawad from Barangay Mandasig.
But he must first testify utmost as to his participation and knowledge of the scam, a dire prospect that he and Cunanan will unwittingly find themselves in the months ahead. A known loyal Arroyo protégé, Rene will protect his patrons. Disavowing his friendship with former representative Mikey as well as with Napoles daughter Jeanette will be the last thing he would do.
The worst fall out on Dennis arising from the plunder charge is that being the world secretary general of the Jaycee International movement and a top “Bro” of the esteemed Masons, he would be carrying a distracting stigma, like an albatross on a mariner’s neck as he performs his work. Knowing him as a man of delicadeza, Dennis, the poster boy of both the local Masons and the Jaycees can always take a leave of absence from his JC post. He is in a deep quandary. Would he tell the whole truth about TRC funds related to the fake NGOs that could link the ultimate money trail to his Ninang GMA?
Happiness always looks small
if you hold it in your hands.
But when you learn to share it,
you‘ll realize how big and precious it is.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on October 07, 2013.