Punish the alleged bribe giver!

September 10, 2008
The Supreme Court yesterday punished members of the Court of Appeals who reportedly took part in the GSIS vs. Meralco case bribery scandal. CA Justice Vicente Roxas was fired for violating the Canons of Judicial Ethics while his colleague, Jose Sabio, was suspended for 3 months. Other members of the committee who handled the GSIS vs. Meralco case such as Justice Myrna Vidal and Justice Vazquez were merely reprimanded and admonished. Meanwhile, alleged bribe giver businessman De Veyra is to be charged with a crime by the DOJ. 

So all participants were meted just punishment? I think not.

The Supreme Court did not answer the basic question of the People–did Meralco really gave bribe money to these justices? How many justices got bribed? And why did they not punished Meralco if it did, indeed, allegedly gave bribe money to influence the justices that led to that favorable decision?

How much bribe money changed hands when this case was being heard? And with this tainted decision, should it be proper for the Supreme Court to overturn the favorable decision? There should be a review of the GSIS vs. Meralco case.

The SC decision stopped short in identifying the conduit but never really probed deep enough to really identify who among the Meralco organization coordinated with De Veyra in the alleged crime. I don’t believe that this businessman acted alone. It is quite improbable for somebody like him to fork out 30 million pesos just because “he has personal interest” in the case? Surely, being a big-time operator, De Veyra reports to a principal, which, has not been identified properly by the SC. 

Government should order the Department of Justice, particularly the NBI, to probe deeper into this scandal and identify the shadowy figures involved in this mess. These people should be punished.



September 4, 2008

Meralco is doing it again, raising their generation and distribution charges. As if it’s not enough that the Philippines has the highest electricity rates in Asia, this Lopez-controlled firm wants to hike its prices again by as much as 5 pesos. 

We the People should stop this charade. Months ago, they justified their exorbitant prices with two reasons: first, the global oil price hike and second, its summer, hence, there’s really a higher demand for electricity. Now, global oil prices are falling and its colder now but I see no difference in my electric bill.

Worst, Meralco has this cruel practice of demanding immediate payment of their charges. 

These Lopezes should be stopped by the government at all costs! I don’t care if Winston Garcia gets Meralco. I don’t care if another devil in the likes of Garcia does it, but somebody has to do it. 

It’s not enough that government is trying to pry open Meralco’s books. For sure, the Lopezes will just bribe government auditors sent there in their offices. 

Sumusobra na ang dambuhalang Meralco. Meralco should be cracked open, and denied their franchise. The franchise should be divided and sold to other people who’ll manage the utility firm better than the Lopezes.

GSIS could win anti-Meralco war

August 1, 2008

Whatever people say about Winston Garcia (that he’s a slob, a big-time operator, a company raider, etc.), there’s now a big chance for him to win this fight against Meralco. Why?

First, Meralco just won the case against GSIS yet the victory seems more pyrrhic than anything. Charges of corruption and high-stakes bribery have tainted the victory. In fact, it seems too obvious that Meralco is falling into a pathological trap.

ABS-CBN is reporting about the row between CA Justice Jose Sabio and his friend, De Vera. In the end, all suspicions will definitely lead to Meralco’s doorsteps because the conversation is favoring government who maintains its silence while Sabio and his friend fight it out for space to be heard. Eventually, GSIS will enter into the picture to demand another chance to appeal the case. And, by that, I believe, GSIS will win this war of attrition.

The Lopez Group is also starting to employ an old PR crisis tactic–shifting the blame to another. Read Geny Lopez speech. He’s blaming ABS-CBN for its woes. He alleges that politics is behind government’s attempts at destroying the Lopez crown jewel. He points to another of their assets–ABS-CBN 2–as the one to be blamed since the network reportedly maintain an advertorial stance against Arroyo.

This is obviously a tactic for the public to forget that the main issue is its monopoly of the power distribution sector. That monopoly, obviously, is hurting millions of families because Meralco charges exorbitant power rates. Meralco wants the people to forget that it’s charging so much and all of these are mainly due to ABS-CBN versus Malacanan.

Such is NOT the case because, as we know, Meralco is really charging so much against the people. And government should definitely do something about it. It is government’s job to safeguard the people’s welfare. By going after Meralco, government hopes to lower at least, these high electricity rates. 

Going back, public sympathy is actually shifting in favor of the GSIS. In the next few days, when this Sabio-De Vera verbal fight simmers down, we expect GSIS to file a reconsideration which the Court of Appeals could probably issue a favorable ruling.