“If your governance is marred with scandal after scandal of in-family corruption, of electoral fraud and of human rights violations, indeed political survival has its price. You have to pay for your stay Malacanang.”

This was the statement issued today by GABRIELA Women’s Partylist Representative Liza Largoza Maza following Pampanga Gov. Ed Panlilio’s disclosure of Malacanang’s bribery to local government executives in a breakfast meeting last Thursday.

The GABRIELA solon said that with reports of bribery being revealed left and right and just within the past month, Malacanang has a lot of explaining to do. Maza said the timing of the payola—whether for the looming impeachment or the barangay elections— is impeccable, no matter which way one looks at it.

“Where did the money come from and for what purpose? That millions of pesos exchanged hands in that Malacanang breakfast meeting in the midst of a brewing impeachment complaint against Mrs. Arroyo leaves almost no room for doubt that these are payoffs to ensure the silence and loyalty of government officials to Mrs. Arroyo.”

Maza dared Malacanang to disclose the attendance at Thursday’s breakfast meeting, stressing that an accounting of funds is also in order. Maza said she will support all moves to probe into the reported bribery, at the same time criticizing Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye for attempts to downplay the issue, dismissing bribes as donations.

“It is shameless. It is almost as if bribery is the norm. This is something government officials should not get used to.” #


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