Presidential Siblings Mikey And Dato Arroyo Plus Their Digs In San Francisco; Anything Amiss? (5th With FBI Being Asked To Probe Mikey)
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo enplaned for Libya well before dawn today, in fact just minutes after midnight, on the first leg of her latest foreign trip to hobnob with royalty and ‘champion’, as Malacanang likes to put it, Philippine interests.
Doing so, her two sons Mikey and Dato are on their own thinking about how to parry the questions over the expose of the independent investigative journalism group Vera Files about their real property holdings in San Francisco.
The Vera Files report is couched in pretty straightforward language: that the brothers Arroyo acquired their SanFo digs in the period after being elected as congressmen.
Maybe it’s just me and my suspicious imagination, but something doesn’t feel right, right?
Should we be expecting truthful explanations about the acquisitions?
Would the acquisitions of the Arroyo brothers fall into the classification of unexplained wealth?
Can anyone help me sort out my unpleasant thoughts?
Rep. Mikey Arrroyo’s reaction to the Vera Files report:
I have always been transparent with my SALN ever since I entered public office. I have declared everything I own there. It is self-explanatory. With regards to the San Francisco Bay house, it is registered under beach Way Park LLC in which I am a shareholder and which I declared in my SALN.
And this fact was even attested to by the writer or the writers of the story. Unfortunately, either the writer or writers deliberately imposed a malicious twist on the story or they lack knowledge on the legal aspects regarding corporations.
As much as possible, I don’t want to waste my time dealing with issues like this. There are far more important things to do especially in helping the government find ways to lessen the effects if not bail us out of the impact of the global financial crisis.
Latest mainstream news media reports now quote reactions from Rep Dato Arroyo, and House Speaker Prospero Nograles:
Rep. Dato Arroyo:
Di na siguro kailangan magpa-interview. Nasa SALN naman po lahat at walang namang nakatago (I don’t think an interview is needed. It’s all in the SALN and nothing is hidden).”
House Speaker Prospero Nograles:
A perusal of the Statement of Assets and Liabilities of Rep. Mikey Arroyo sufficiently shows that he and his family can afford the value of the properties subject of this issue.
The issue is “not really substantial except that Mikey is the president’s eldest son. Otherwise if he were not what he is, this issue won’t even hit the news at all.
No argument for now with the remarka of the Arroyo brothers beyond their ‘master-of-fact’ tone of their assertions which boil down to their being financially capoable of making the acquisitions.
But Speaker Nograles’ non-chalence is something else.
Nograles fails or refuses to understand that people are asking questions precisely because the Arroyo clan members are perceived rightly, or wrongly as integral parts of a seeming attitude of indifference to the immense socio-economic divide in Philippine society today.
Ano ka ba, Kuya!!!
Journalist Raissa Robles has just blogged this:
The writer of the Vera Files expose, Ellen Tordesillas, has this further update in her blog today:
This loops off the story:
Former Civil Service Commission Chair Karina David says the discrepancies emergin about the Arroo siblings’ Statements of Assets and Net Worth (SALNs) cannot but give rise to suspicions about their having amassed “unexplained wealth.” :
Ginagawa talaga iyan ng mga taong gustong magtago, pero, at the same time, meron din talagang paraan para legal na magkaroon ng property sa loob ng isang korporasyon (It has been a practice of those who are hiding someting, but, at the same time, there is a legal way to acquire a property through a corporation).
Kahit sa kumpanya, i-declare mo ang interest mo. Merong portion diyan na dapat nagre-relate sa company. Whether inilagay mo sa corporation o sa asawa mo, dapat maliwanag na naroon sa SALN mo. (Even if you bought it through a company, you should declare your interest in that company. There should be a portion [in your SALN] relating to the company. Whether it’s under the name of the corporation or your wife, it should be clear in your SALN).
Pero kung taun-taon at mali at kinorek mo, ang question diyan ay hindi iyong ikaw ba ay nagsinungaling lamang kundi pati kung kaya mo bang panindigan na kumita ka ng ganun kalaking halaga para makakuha ng ganyang klase ng kayamanan (If the mistake was committed every year at you corrected it, the question here is not only whether you are lying but also whether you can explain how you were able to acquire that kind of wealth).
Rep. Mikey Arroyo was caught in a fix the other day trying to explain away how he failed to declare his plush San Francisco home during an interview with former NEDA Directot General Solita Winnie Monsod on GMA Network.
Arroyo all but admitted the property was hidden in the SALN through a firm where he has a 40-percent share:
Here it is:
In the after of this interview, Rep. Mikey Arroyo has been reported as saying if people do think he had amassed unexplained wealth “then they can sue me and I will prove I am innocent.”
Journalist Ellen Tordesillas is now reporting in her blog that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation has been asked to look into the financial activities of Mr. Arroyo: