September 29, 2007

Teves admits Neri told him about Abalos' bribe offer

MANILA, Philippines -- Romulo Neri informed not only President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo but also Finance Secretary Margarito Teves about Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr.'s purported offer of P200 million.

Teves himself disclosed this to reporters in New York, saying that Neri, then the director general of the National Economic and Development Authority, had told him about Abalos' alleged bribe attempt to push the approval of the National Broadband Network project in favor of China's ZTE Corp.

But at that time, "I did not put too much attachment to it," Teves said on Thursday. The finance secretary is part of the entourage of Ms Arroyo, who is in New York with other heads of state to attend the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly. (Read the rest at Inquirer.)

HAVE we Filipinos lost our sense of moral outrage over corruption in government? Apparently so, as even someone as respectable and honorable as Finance Secretary Gary Teves, apparently didn't even flinch when told of Comelec chairman Benjamin Abalos bribe attempt on former NEDA Director-General Romy Neri!

Why did Teves think Neri was telling him this for? Btw, FYI lang? Obviously, Neri turned to him for guidance being a decent man of his stature. Neri's conscience was bothering him and he wanted to tell someone so he would know what to do about it. But how did Teves behave? Wala lang.

It irritates me to no end that even people whom I thought were decent have a cavalier attitude over stomach-turning incidents as this. If you don't say anything about it or put a stop to it, then you are guilty by complicity. Such a shame Gary Teves. I believed in you.

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