Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Eh-hum # 241

I was reading yesterday's editorial of the Philippine Star, and found Mr. Jarius Bondoc's opinion article interesting. Perhaps it is true what they say, that history repeats itself.
While Mr. Bondoc didn't share his opinion on the account, he hinted (from what I understood anyway) that the skirmish between the RP Government (especially Malacanang) and Meralco has something to do with the (seemingly) heated and unpleasant relations between two very influential families: the Arroyos and the Lopezes. Unfortunately, us taxpayers and common folks are right in the middle of this "war".
Anyway, here's a portion of the article. Read the rest of it here.
Meralco squabble relives earlier Lopez-Arroyo clash
GOTCHA By Jarius Bondoc
Monday, June 2, 2008
The Malacañang-Meralco tiff looks more like a fight between the Arroyo and Lopez families. Gloria Arroyo drew first blood in blaming the Lopezes, instead of her mulcting Napocor appointees, for costly electricity. Lopez spokesmen countered that the Arroyos were squeezing Meralco to get back at their other controlled firm, critical media giant ABS-CBN. Full-blown war then escalated in the courtroom, boardroom and newsroom.
Eight decades ago in 1929 a similar battle raged between the Lopezes and Arroyos. Setting: Iloilo, the fastest rising city in the Visayas. Self-rule was top issue nationwide. A National Assembly of Filipino legislators had just convened in Manila under Senate President Manuel Quezon, of Partido Nacionalista. New technologies were spurring changes in traditional sugar regions. Among the young entrepreneurs caught up in the modernization tide was Eugenio “Eñing” Lopez, 28.
Iloilo, as all other cities, had a seamy side. A Chinese mestizo named Luis Sañe, alias Sualoy, operated jueteng with impunity. Bribes to civilian and police officials exempted him from law enforcement. It so happened that Eñing was then reviving his late father Benito’s Spanish-language newspaper El Tiempo. Immediately in Sept. 1929 the paper launched a crusade against vice that corrupted the Iloilo government. The jueteng winning numbers were published each day on the front page, playing up official inaction. Personally leading the fight, Eñing came out with one exposé after another, pointing to the highest officials as Sualoy’s protectors. “Eñing did not choose lightweight opponents,” Raul Rodrigo recounts in the book, Phoenix: the Saga of the Lopez Family. They were no less than Governor Mariano Pidal Arroyo, city police chief Marcelo Buenaflor, and congressman-brother Tomas Buenaflor.
Ahhh, same old story: 1) Arroyos and the issue of jueteng payolas; and 2) Frequent antagonism between the Government and the media.

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