As the smoke from the Glorietta bombing clears, public attention is once again expected to focus on the Malacañang bribery scam, in which Palace officials handed out “cash gifts” to local officials amid threats of an impeachment bid against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The Glorietta bombing – in which there are strong indicators of military involvement – had benefited the Arroyo administration by diverting attention from the Malacañang bribery scam, thus serving the purposes of a cover-up. Immediately the League of Provinces of the Philippines came to the rescue with Eastern Samar Gov. Ben Evardone owning up to the distribution of “cash gifts” now repackaged as “capability-building” support to neophyte governors. But with the Erap pardon, the Arroyo administration once again has a smokescreen to cover up the Malacañang bribery scam, which has provoked calls for her resignation.

Vol. VII, No. 38, October 28-November 3, 2007

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