Monday, December 21, 2015

Indefatigable loyalty (Part 1)

Indefatigable loyalty (Part 1)

The hangman’s rope is catching up on House of Representative Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte.   At the rate Belmonte furiously tries to muzzle all those who dare cross the path of the regime that has wrapped itself thickly with hypocrisy, it seems that the road to the hangman’s platform is clear for the henchman of this yellow regime.  The man who has always managed to dodge all the charges and innuendos of corruption, and even used it to cleverly get both wealth and power is now about to reach the end of the road. 

 This unthinking  zealot has not only challenged a co-equal branch of government, but is now boring a hole to blackmail the Supreme Court into bowing down to his whims of subverting our justice system.
Examining the career of Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte, a.k.a. serbisyong bayan,  it states in his bio data that he once worked as a special assistant to the Commissioner of Customs from the Macapagal to the Marcos administration.   However, rumors had it that he was one of those purged from the service in 1980s by the arch-enemy of this regime for being notoriously undesirable.   If such is true, then it came as no surprise why he would turn out to be one of the most rabid supporters of Mrs. Cory Aquino because of that unwanted circumstance of being removed from the service for corruption.  Like many of those scalawags who ended up clinging on to the apron of their “mother savior,” they all presented one and the same credential of having been oppressed by the dictator like being dismissed from the service without due process of law.
To prove to all that he can be a consummate political sycophant to the regime that resurrected and gave him a break he could not have imagined, he sought to be appointed head of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).  As a loyal operative of this pretending-to-be-honest regime, Belmonte proved it to his patron he can deliver both the money and the power, and the easiest way to stop the detractors of his patron is to bribe them.  Notably, after the euphoria of EDSA in 1986, Sonny Belmonte managed to return to public service, and indeed he returned with a vengeance by getting for himself the choice cut of securing an appointment as President and general manager of the GSIS.
Let us not talk on how the fellow imposed a dietary regimen in giving benefits and pensions to the retired employees of the government, and possibly had a hand in detaching the members of the Armed Forces and the police forces from the GSIS, but on one just single act that made him an unforgettable money-maker of this yellow administration.  At that time of his appointment, the yellow government was afflicted with paranoia that it sequestered left and right all it could identify and even dreamt in their deep slumber as properties owned by the Marcoses and his alleged cronies.  To scoop all those alleged ill-gotten wealth, the GSIS was designated fiscal agent by that equally infamous and graft-ridden agency styling itself as the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG).
One of those properties sequestered by the PCGG and placed under the custody of the GSIS were the four buildings in New York, allegedly owned by the Marcoses and tagged as alleged ill-gotten wealth. Despite the fact that Imelda R. Marcos, now congresswoman of the second district of Ilocos Norte, has already been acquitted by the jury in the New York Federal District Court on July 2, 1990 on the four counts of the RICO Law, Belmonte, as head of the GSIS and as the arm-twisting fiscal agent of the Aquino administration, sold the four buildings in connivance with the Bernstein brothers who presented themselves as the trustees of the buildings.  In fact, one of the buildings houses the Philippine embassy and consular office.
According to some sources, the four buildings had an assessed value then of not less $500 million, and classified as prime properties being located in the heart of New York City.  But for inexplicable and fantastic reasons, Belmonte only surrendered to the PCGG more than $2000, an amount that equally deserves to be listed in the Guinness Book of Record of how a property worth more than $500 million would end up being purchased for barely $2000.  Accordingly, Belmonte said that back taxes, the lawyers’ fees, the cost of maintenance and repairs, etc. had to be paid, and the amount he surrendered was the net cost, or for the equivalent of roughly $500  per building!
More than that, the sale was carried out by Belmonte almost a year after Mrs. Marcos was acquitted by the New York Federal District Court which legally means that the PCGG has lost authority to sequester the four buildings, notwithstanding that it has no jurisdiction to sequester properties outside the country, except that the Aquino government was accorded courtesy by the US government to ensure success to her devilish revenge.  Moreover, Belmonte sold the four buildings in collaboration with those Jewish American hustlers without seeking the permission of the Sandiganbayan for the fact that the presidential-good-for-nothing commission was using them as the same evidence which the Aquino government used in the New York trial of Mrs. Marcos for alleged ill-gotten wealth.
It must be recalled that on May 7, 1980 the government filed a case before the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) to demand the surrender of the Cojuangco-owned Hacienda Luisita to the Ministry of Agrarian Reform for distribution to the farmers at cost.  In their response made on January 10, 1981, the Cojuangcos argued that the land could not be distributed because the hacienda did not have tenants. They also argued that sugar lands were not covered by existing agrarian reform legislation.  Anti-Marcos groups claimed that the government’s case was an act of harassment against the Cojuangco-Aquino family.  Nothing was mentioned that the Cojuangcos had an outstanding loan obligation with the GSIS that remained unpaid, which they borrowed to allow them to purchase the Hacienda from the Spanish-owned Compania de  Tabacalera.  The lawyer for Tabacalera then was Juan Ponce Enrile.

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