POSTSCRIPT / July 8, 2004 / Thursday

By FEDERICO D. PASCUAL JR.

Philippine STAR Columnist

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Envoy to Laos explains Mike's fund solicitation

RECIPIENTS LISTED: Where do the millions received by First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo during his birthday parties and through his foundation go?

Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua, chairman of the “First Gentleman Foundation” that has been raising money during the last three birthdays of Mr. Arroyo, came forward the other day with a list of the 39 beneficiaries of the foundation.

Check the list below to see if any of your friends or your organization has been getting money from Mr. Arroyo. Since there was no explanation for some double entries, we assume that they received money more than once.

This is the list of what Chua described as “charitable institutions and individuals needing immediate financial assistance for medical and legal succor”: National Shrine of St. Michael, Tuloy sa Don Bosco Foundation, Congressional Spouses Foundation Inc. for HAVEN, Breaking Barriers, Sanctuary, National Vocational Rehabilitation Center, Phil. Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Hospicio de San Jose, Sta. Maria dela Strada Parish, Wack Wack Ladies Chapter, ALAY sa Kawal Foundation, Tigaon Foundation, Dr. Benjamin Abela, Cataract Suegery for the Indigents, Phil. Boxing Foundation c/o Jun Sarreal, Sto. Nino dela Paz Community Chapel, Rotary Club of Makati Central, Romeo Togonon, Assn Cartonista ng Pilipinas, Our Lady of Blessed Sacrament Parish, Cash/Ronald Dableo NCFP, National Chess Federation of the Phils., Order of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit Sisters, National Shrine of St. Michael de Archangel, Phil. Judges Foundation Inc., National Press Club, Philippine Golf Circuit, Wack Wack-Ladies Chapter, DSWD-Comfort Women, HAVEN, Sanctuary, National Vocational Rehabilitation Center, Tigaon Foundation Inc., Golden Acres, DSWD-Intergenerational Program for Senior Citizen, Jungolf Association of the Phils., DSWD-Ahon Bata Processing Center, RCMC Foundation Inc., Province of Quezon, Phil. Foundation of Global Concerns, and Fundacion de Sta. Clara Inc.

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CHUA TIED UP: We could not ascertain immediately if the persons and organizations listed by Chua were also among those who received the P50 million raised in the First Gentleman’s birthday party last July 3.

At this point, we cannot answer the many readers asking who donated the P50 million to Mr. Arroyo. We are still waiting for Chua to give us a list of the donors.

We are also wondering if Chua, who reportedly rakes in millions daily from his string of motels in Metro Manila aside from his other business (e.g. insurance, media and real estate), was himself among the donors.

But Chua, who was appointed by President Arroyo ambassador to Laos, may be too busy to give more details.

He has his hands full defending himself from charges of rape, attempted murder and serious illegal detention filed by one Catherine Songco who claims to be one of his common-law wives.

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COMPROMISING: Actually we do not care if Mr. Arroyo solicits or receives huge sums personally or through his foundations. That is his problem.

But we are uncomfortable seeing his wife the President possibly being compromised by what could be indiscriminate, if not immoral, acceptance of substantial sums represented as donations to a charity foundation.

We wonder if all those donors who troop to his parties, mega-checks in hand, would make such huge donations if he were not the husband of the President.

Unfortunately, it seems that birthday parties sometimes serve as convenient cover for officials and their spouses to receive money that otherwise would be considered bribes or, under certain conditions, tong.

We doubt if sharing money with eager recipients is enough to launder money that might be of questionable nature.

This is the spirit behind our suggestion (POSTSCRIPT, 04July2004) that Mr. Arroyo stop soliciting or receiving money through his foundations. When we said that, we were not aware that the brains behind that fund-raising operation was Chua. Now we, and our readers, know.

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SICK LOBBYING: The indecent lobbying for key positions in the new Arroyo administration is sickening.

During the presidential inaugural rites at the Luneta, for instance, there was this ambitious police general who broke protocol by showing up for inclusion in the arrival honors for the President.

This ritual is reserved only for the chiefs of the uniformed services. No deputy commanders were allowed, but there he was making himself obvious although he was not the national police chief.

The same general has been asking organizations and religious groups to endorse him to Malacanang as replacement chief of the Philippine National Police. This is preposterous since he reportedly has only three months to go before retirement.

His peers tell us that this general enjoyed immensely listening to his favorite officers feeding him with supposed insider information that he was to be the PNP chief by July 4. Too bad, despite the media campaign launched in support of his bid, this general has not made it.

His main problem is the calendar. He is in a hurry because he is retiring ahead of PNP Director General Hermogenes Ebdane, who is due to bow out in December yet when he turns 56.

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EMAIL ONLY, PLEASE: We are still reeling from the flood of email asking for the complete list of the health tips of Dr. Yasuy Moralla, who frowns on synthetic medicines, surgery and hospitalization because she believes that every ailment can best be healed nature’s way.

When we started serializing her health tips last Tuesday, impatient readers asked us to email them the entire report right away.

We have been able to accommodate them, but it has been difficult (although we have managed) emailing the report to email addresses “texted” to us! We ask interested readers to please use email, not cellphones, to send us their email addresses.

The response reaffirmed that health is one of the most pressing concerns of people nowadays.

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MORE HEALTH TIPS: And now, here is the second installment reconstructing the health tips being shared by Dr. Yasuy in her lectures:

* The best form of protection against SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) is simply a healthy lifestyle and a strong immune system.

* We need Vitamin C because it is the best immune system booster. But it should be natural Vitamin C. Synthetic Vitamin C usually takes the form of 250-500 mg tablets. But at any given time, our bodies can absorb only 60 mg of Vitamin C at a time. Meaning to say, we should take them in small dosages. So what happens to the synthetic Vitamin C? Only 60 mg gets absorbed by the body. The rest gets stored in the kidneys as stones.

* But we also need Vitamin C because humans, as well as fish, are the only creatures that cannot make and store their own Vitamin C. That is why we need natural food supplements.

* Some people are confused by reminders of the health department on TV that 1000 mg of ascorbic acid everyday is a protection against SARS. The news also showed that airport employees took 4000 mg of ascorbic acid everyday as a form of protection against the potentially infected incoming passengers.

* Here is another esoteric fact based on scientific studies: too much Vitamin C can damage the DNA (this has also been written about in the Reader’s Digest). DNA is short for DeoxyriboNucleic Acid. DNA molecules carry the genetic information necessary for the organization and functioning of most living cells and control the inheritance of characteristics. The chemical structure of everyone’s DNA is the same. The only difference between people (or any animal) is the order of the base pairs. There are so many millions of base pairs in each person’s DNA that every person has a unique sequence.

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(First published in the Philippine STAR of July 8, 2004)

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