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A Malacanang Protocol Officer ‘Paid’ The Dinner At Bobby Van’s Steakhouse: Rep. Danilo Suarez (Updated)

August 19, 2009

suarez bill at bobby van's montage (Screengrab of Suarez receipt from GMA TVNEWS)

I envy the people of Quezon province, more specifically those in the Bondoc peninsula where the constituency of Congressman Danilo Suarez is.

Imagine even though the area is known to be economically depressed, the people there are represented in the ‘August’ halls of Congress who has a kind heart and is a man of the world who believes in the precept “when in Romes, do as the Romans do.”

And this Rep Suarez says he did, he treated President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her 65-strong retinue to dinner at the plush Bobby Van’s Steakhouse in New York to a $12,000 dinner to celebrate the 41st wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Jose Miguel Arroyo and gave the waiter the customary tip equivalent to 15% of the tab.

The amount was apparently peanuts feed for Suarez, a ‘measly’ $ 1,500 or PhP 70,000.

And he even has the receipt to prove it.

The good lawmaker from Quezon even helped to clear up who the ‘mystery’ woman with the bag full of dollars that the Washington Post said paid the tab at BobbyVan’s.


The lady, according to Rep. Suarez, was a Malacanang Protocol Officer!

Embarrassing naman na ako ang nagyaya tapos iba ang pagbabayarin ko (It would be embarrassing if I let others foot the bill since I was the one who hosted the dinner).  Ayoko naman na bumunot dun at magbibilang ako. Kaya sinabi ko sa protocol, tinanong ko muna sila, ‘May pera ba kayo? Bayaran muna ninyo, give me the receipt, and I will pay you back. Pagdating sa hotel, pinadala na sa akin ‘yong envelope (containing the receipt).

Well what do you know?

End of story, right?


A sadly disturbing aspect of this continuing brouhaha has been Malacanang own seemingly arrogant attitude toward the criticisms.

Lsast week, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde sarcastically quipped that Pres. Arroyo could not be expected to “eat at just any hotdog stand in New York.”

Now comes her own son, Rep. Mikey Arroyo saying hismother, being the President, “cannot be expected to eat at just any restaurant”:

Who do these ‘honorable’ people think they are? Royalty?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 19, 2009 7:58 am

    Has Rep. Suarez heard of a credit card?

    In the U.S., making a cash payment at posh restaurants will definitely raise eyebrows. Esp. if the amount is $15,000. Only Mafiosi brings oodles of cash to restarants.

    Rep. Suarez should not take the Filipino people for fools! He is the one who looks stupid.

    • August 19, 2009 8:13 am

      There’s a Pilipino street-lingo for the practice of flashing cash or being galante in public to impress people: pa-andar.
      or pa-pogi.

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