Friday, October 2, 2009

The Fourth Hoarseman: The LWUA Party

Last 2007, I remember one candidate who appealed to the public to plant petchay in the Senate. And since people failed to grasp what he's talking about, seeing that the Senate does not have enough loam soil for Senate staffers to use in planting the nutrient deficient plant, he failed to get what he wanted.

I'm talking about former Congressman Prospero Pichay, the man petchay of Lakas-KAMPI CMD. (By the way, the Comelec just approved the merger of the two parties).

Pichay, by the way, is a confidante of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He is also close to her husband, First Gentleman Mike Arroyo.

IN 2008, Pichay was appointed administrator of the LWUA, which means Local Water Utilities Administration. His appointment was low-key, the post befitting a man whom many call a political operator.

Pichay's appointment was not opposed by anyone, seeing that Pichay deserves to have a government post. He's a treasured asset of any government because he's intelligent and friendly. And he happens to be my friend since his days as a publisher of a tabloid.

And in all his life as a public servant, there were only one controversy against him---his former life as a publisher of a tabloid, which some describes as a smut publication pretending to be serious. Pichay, to be fair, was never involved in any graft case.

Now, he's embroiled in another, this time, playing host in a lavish dinner while millions wallow in extreme distress and hunger. This dinner is one version of the extravagent Le Cirque and Bobby Van dinners of his principal, Mrs. Arroyo. (see the entry of my friend Ding Gagelonia over at Midfield)

Pichay's agency just celebrated their 36th year anniversary, with a lavish dinner. LWUA spent close to half a million (some estimates) just for this. LWUA ordered 500 reservations for cocktails and 250 reservations for a seven-course dinner, attended by no less than Mrs. Arroyo.

Of course, I fully understand Pichay's penchant for a lavish dinner, seeing that his friend and boss, Mrs. Arroyo, will be gracing the occasion. Maybe Pichay thought that Mrs. Arroyo will not settle for a hamburger nor fish balls since her palate calls for French and American gourmet.

It's understandable that Pichay would use a one-name catering services for this costing P 200,000. Imagine, Mrs. Arroyo ate at the exclusive Bobby Van's and Le Cirque--she deserves catering from Henry's complete with live band.

While many portions of the metropolis were deprived of water services, drinks flowed profusely in that party. The menu consisted of baked mussels with olive oil and garlic as appetizer, “sinigang” soup, and roast pig.The main course included “kare-kare,” chicken barbeque, squid “salpicado,” spinach with chicken and garlic, “pancit” sotanghon (or canton guisado) and steamed jasmine rice. Desserts included fresh seasonal fruit platter and “buko pandan” salad. Assorted sodas, “guinumis” and home-brewed iced tea were also served.

Honestly, a 200,000 peso catered dinner is not that expensive especially since Pichay will be running again for the Senate and this amount is nothing compared with millions of pesos to be spent in electoral campaigns.

Yet, what is very disturbing is the fact that, a few meters away, scores of people were suffering due to the onslaught of Ondoy. Many impoverished people still, living below the LWUA office in Katipunan, those near the Marikina river, lost both their homes, their loved ones and were hungry. They can't afford to even eat a morsel of rice, while 400 employees of LWUA feasted in baked mussels as appetizer and Jasmine rice.

Such is our misfortune that many of our officials lost delicadeza already and they have left the people to the fates already.