12 Aug2009

The venerable Washington Post reports hours ago this latest shocking dining tidbit about a GMA & Entourage Dinner at Bobby Van’s, a steakhouse in Washington DC. Probably enjoyed on July 30, after her meeting with President Obama, the short item reports 50+ people running up a tab of nearly $15,000 and an “unidentified woman paying with cash.” OUT-FRIGGING-RAGEOUS!!!

Manolo Quezon has a great summary in his latest post entitled “Le Circus Freak”, here, so I don’t need to type for the next two hours. Suffice it to say, someone out there, or up there, has it out for GMA & Party. What a national and international embarrassment. What a joke. What an insult to every Filipino citizen’s intelligence. What blatant and utter disregard for honesty, integrity, service, humility, and delicadeza. If you are out there in Washington and New York, start the buzz and please find out who was in those restaurants and witnessed those dinners. Apparently some people in New York even had photos taken with the President at Le Cirque. If you work in the restaurant industry and have contacts, try and get a hold of the bills, what was ordered and how much indeed was spent. For a country and people so well known for the “bamboo telegraph” and everyone linked to everyone, certainly we should be able to piece together more and more factual information in the days ahead. And where else did they dine, as MLQIII hints at yet another anniversary lunch in New York just after they attended Mass at St. Patrick’s?! No wonder all of the congressmen interviewed sounded so bloody CONFUSED, maybe they couldn’t even figure out what meal was being referred to by the reporters since they had so MANY fancy meals in Washington and New York, and the dates were so mixed up!!! Arrghh!

And here, a SECOND (though with factual errors) mention in the NY Post Aug 11, 2009… And it keeps going and going and going…

Related Posts:
GMA’s $20,000 Dinner at Le Cirque in New York!?!
Do the Math
Republic Act No. 6713

 

COMMENTS:

  1. sanojmd says:

    OMG! i was actually reading it when you are about to post this from gina’s link on your previous entry.. so it is not extravagant dinner MM. but dinners! we are talking 2 extravagant meals.. i have no words left to describe this ideological daughter of Ferdie.. tssk.. what a shame! even the world are talking about it!!

    Aug 12, 2009 | 9:03 pm

     
  2. natie says:

    yeah! in a newspaper in China, Washington DC…gee, we’re infamous.. more than 2, sonojmd. they were living it up!

    Aug 12, 2009 | 9:18 pm

     
  3. sanojmd says:

    hmm. MM, is it manolo quezon or manuel quezon? i think there was a typo here..

    Aug 12, 2009 | 9:29 pm

     
  4. Marketman says:

    His formal name is Manuel but popularly known as Manolo. He is the grandson of President Quezon.

    Aug 12, 2009 | 9:30 pm

     
  5. sanojmd says:

    thanks MM. marketmanila was mentioned on his blog.. great site btw. blow by blow account of the whole us trip.. i stand corrected not only 2 dinners. there are lunches too.. tsskk

    Aug 12, 2009 | 9:46 pm

     
  6. Gej says:

    Could this have only started during this eighth year of her term? Surely not. The word “pagpapakasasa” comes to mind. No wonder she wants to stay longer. Scandalous and shameless she and her ilk are.

    Aug 12, 2009 | 9:52 pm

     
  7. Tonito says:

    Be patient my “kababayans”. Pretty soon it’s going to be “Huling Hapunan” for those people.

    Aug 12, 2009 | 11:10 pm

     
  8. Fred Lopez says:

    Remember her previous US trips? no news about where she went or what she was up to. The press in the US was more “friendly” to her then. They said the anti-Estrada movements made use of txt messaging extensively. GMA is getting here just desserts via the web and the power of social media.

    Aug 12, 2009 | 11:29 pm

     
  9. The Polymer Baker says:

    It is thanks to her and her perennial entourage that we are making it onto international newspapers now, and it is simply an outrage. I have to agree with Gej, these antics could have been something they did on most, no, ALL their trips, and only have been called to our attention now.

    I personally think that most of us were just content to live out our own lives and not really care about this absurd conduct of hers then. Heck, a lot of us still don’t care now. They just shake their heads and say, ‘Ganyan talaga eh.’ Some of just rant, and end it there.

    I also think that that attitude has to stop. To the ’80s babies: I think our parents would tell us these circumstances are all too familiar, the (gender) roles just reversed. History is important because it teaches us not to make the mistakes of the past. Unfortunately, we’re mired in it. Again.

    What do you think comes next?

    @MM: Here we go again…

    Aug 12, 2009 | 11:54 pm

     
  10. NYCMama says:

    I read the NYPost everyday, esp. Page Six. A big question, in my mind, is who asked Page Six to put this tidbit in, in the first place? (Yes, if you know the right people, you can “plant” a tidbit. But mind you, Page Six checks out their stories and will not print unverified stories.) Gloria is not someone that the NY crowd would be interested in, normally. The first post also included the Garcia scandal, and this is what makes me suspect someone “placed” this article. After that, the post garnered “legs” so to speak, and so then there was the 2nd tidbit yesterday, and the 3rd one in today’s.

    Aug 13, 2009 | 12:01 am

     
  11. The Polymer Baker says:

    @NYCMama: To quote you:

    Yes, if you know the right people, you can “plant” a tidbit. But mind you, Page Six checks out their stories and will not print unverified stories.

    Several people come to mind. Yes, it might be a plant, but the NY social scene would be interested, very much so, if a party of 30 (or whatever, as their statements fluctuate so much) walked right up to “Heaven’s Table” and racked up $20,000. Cha-ching. Ostentatiousness beyond reason + ‘oh, she’s a President somewhere?’ = Page Six dripping with sarcastic wit.

    Remonde himself has hinted at the ‘exaggeration’ being ‘agitation propaganda’. Honestly though, if you’re hard up and hungry in these times, and you notice that with every annual SONA Gloria’s cheeks seem to grow chubbier and pinker with health, would you REALLY need any more ‘agitation’?

    As per the article earning a follow-up report, I wouldn’t be surprised since several foreign periodicals (The Straits Times Singapore, which I read, for one)had published articles on it as well. The attention was quite viral. Perhaps it had something to do with the ridiculous surrealism of this tableau?

    Right now, we, the Filipinos, are the proverbial idiots of the world village. Plant or no, the dinner DID happen, and once more the government’s spin doctors are spitting in our faces.

    Aug 13, 2009 | 12:23 am

     
  12. Vanessa says:

    The next thing you know she’ll be collecting shoes…

    Aug 13, 2009 | 12:53 am

     
  13. Thel says:

    What about the Arroyos bought 1.2 million pesos land at the boonies of San Rafael, Bulacan and sold it for 41 million pesos? Very CLEAR hokus pokus!!!

    Aug 13, 2009 | 1:43 am

     
  14. tnm says:

    They paid in cold cash…no paper trail, no names written down, no transaction numbers. Akin to how drug dealers and jueteng lords do business.

    Aug 13, 2009 | 2:31 am

     
  15. mlq3 says:

    hi marketman.

    rep. suarez was blathering something about rep.romualdez’s brother, daniel, originally wanting to take the president to eat at the “summer resort’s yacht club” after mentioning daniel romauldez lives in the hamptons.do you know anything of this place?

    president landed in newark; could she have gone to dinner in the hamptons, then checked into the waldorf-astoria, then gone to le cirque, or what?

    also, two restos named: wolfgang’s steakhouse (run by peter luger’s former head waiter) and bouley restaurant. any info on these?

    Aug 13, 2009 | 2:48 am

     
  16. NYCMama says:

    Just to clarify, am not unhappy about the “plant”. Glad the ostentatious dinners have been outed. Timing is everything! Pres. Aquino’s death and the consequent outpouring of love for her in the streets of the Philippines, plus the Stateside feasts just may have sealed Pres. Arroyo’s own coffin on her desire to extend her reign. And yes, how ironic, history may yet show that the downfall of the Arroyo’s administration started at a dinner in a restaurant called LE CIRQUE!

    Aug 13, 2009 | 4:37 am

     
  17. Maria Clara says:

    Same cancer but spotted in different location! The Mother Hen has to feed all her shoe lickers chick at a trendy restaurant. MLQ3: South Hampton, East Hampton and Bridge Hampton are all high-end and toney areas same league as Punta Fuego and Forbes Park. From what I read on Architectural Digest magazine Daniel Romualdez is an accomplished architect and decorator in the US. In fact, I read recently in one of the local papers here he is retained by Tory Burch to remodel her Hampton house. I would say he is in a well-respected league of architects in the U.S. I believe Sister is the knowledgeable person who has first-hand knowledge regarding restaurant ratings you mentioned about.

    Aug 13, 2009 | 6:29 am

     
  18. Marketman says:

    mlq3, from what I know of the Long Islandd the Hamptons, the Reps brother Daniel used to or still has a place out in Southampton or Montauk (even FURTHER at the tip of The South Fork of Long Island), (the home made it into the chi-chi architectural digest/interior decorator type magazines a few years ago). Southampton or other chic hamptons such as Easthampton and Bridgehampton are a good 3.0+ hours by car from Newark Airport. It’s roughly 15-20 minutes max by helicopter, but a party of 30 would mean a lot of helicopter rides! I wondered about that comment of Rep. Suarez too and I think it would be unlikely that the Presidential party would have gone all the way out to the Hamptons on the evening of the 31st. Newark is actually FURTHER from the Hamptons than JFK and La Guardia airports. If they were truly chic, a private jet from Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington, and I stress a small jet, could theoretically go straight to the Easthampton airport, or the another airport in Westhampton. The would still be faced with another 30 minutes to 1 hour to get to Southampton or Montauk.

    If I had to take an educated guess, the possible other dinner venue would be the NEW YORK (not HAMPTONS) yacht club, on the Hudson River, an old established club with a great view and a steak or grill room. If I am not mistaken again, it used to be that Manila Yacht Club members (the real Manila 400 as they were referred to) had a reciprocity agreement with the NY Yacht Club… If not the New York Yacht Club, it could also have been the Water Club on the East River, but I sincerely doubt Mr. Daniel Romualdez, who apparently has impeccable taste by all public accounts, would take the President and her party to that restaurant.

    Wolgang’s Steakhouse has gotten some good press, and their branch at 4 Park Avenue is a short walk from the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. If you notice from some comments in my previous posts, there was a reported sighting by waiters at Peter Luger’s many months ago of the Presidential party tucking into Peter Luger steaks in Brooklyn on a previous visit. So obviously there is a penchant for steak… Instead of “Let them eat cake,” it should be “Let them eat steak!”

    The side reference to Bouley is the MOST interesting foodwise for me in that it is a well thought of French style restaurant in Tribeca or thereabouts. And I would love to eat there… :) If we are to go meal by meal, it’s looking like this… Maybe July 30 at the Bobby Van’s steakhouse, July 31 in hotel or room service? for lunch, July 31 dinner at Le Cirque, Aug 1 in hotel or room service? for lunch, Aug 1 dinner out in New Jersey as scheduled?, Aug 2, maybe lunch at Wolfgang’s down the road from the Waldorf. And finally, Aug 2 dinner… not really sure where they could have dined but at least one person in the entourage seems to think he was at Bouley (way downtown in the city) but he could have eaten out on his own rather than dining with the pack… More important than the steak, I would be curious what the preferred wines were, as it is THERE that the prices of dinner can skyrocket. You can only eat so much steak, say $100 or $200 worth each at most, but you can drink a good $1,000 or $2,000 each in wine if it suits your fancy, and you have the bucks to splurge… And it would be really tacky if the $1500 good bottles of wine were only served at one end of the table for the guests of honor, but the security, alalays, less important entourage members were given bottles of $25 Gallo plonk, no? :)

    Aug 13, 2009 | 6:35 am

     
  19. Marketman says:

    As for the chance that these stories were orchestrated and planted in the gossip pages in New York and Washington, it wouldn’t surprise me, but I AM GLAD that they have come to light and are now out there for everyone to see. No one is DENYING the meals, it’s hard to do that when others see you chowing down. Now the line is just that these were modest normal meals. What an utter joke!

    Aug 13, 2009 | 6:54 am

     
  20. deirdregurl says:

    upsetting, upsetting..why does it come to this? i’m so inclined to believe conrado de quiros when he said he saw it coming, he kept repeating this mantra in his column from as far back as i can remember…tsk tsk! oh gloria, when art thou leaveth?

    Aug 13, 2009 | 7:02 am

     
  21. Henry says:

    Guess who’s leading in the new SWS survey? The same dude who used to get drunk on Chateau Petrus in late night drinking sessions in Malacanang which I presume he consumed by the case. We Filipinos do not seem to learn a thing from history. We have a distorted sense of what a democracy should be, since every election has been used to propogate what is essentially a feudalistic system. One man one vote has failed, and only a radical change in our system will allow us to rid ourselves of this disease.

    Aug 13, 2009 | 9:59 am

     
  22. farrah says:

    Nakakairita na nga talaga, i’m outraged…this news flashed on my PC screen this morning and what more can i say, GMA and all her allies are totally shameless!

    Aug 13, 2009 | 10:06 am

     
  23. Maria Clara says:

    To MM and my virtual peers: if you have not yet seen the movie Julie & Julia, I strongly recommend you should see this movie with full stomach as the movie features a lot of food. Meryl Streep, I believe puts her best acting skills in this movie. BettyQ go and see this movie if you have not done so. I believe the DVD version will not be out soon since the movie is doing well in theaters.

    Aug 13, 2009 | 10:11 am

     
  24. Cris Jose says:

    God help us all…. pleaaasseee….!!!!!!!!

    Aug 13, 2009 | 10:45 am

     
  25. fried-neurons says:

    @Marketman: “Gallo plonk” LOL Gina Gallo would be so mad at you. :)

    @Manolo: Did you ever find out where that picture that you tweeted about was taken? It almost looks like either a private hall or even someone’s home.

    @Henry: I know exactly what you mean. On the socio-political front, our collective memories are WAY TOO SHORT. Filipinos are FAR too forgiving of their politicians and public servants.

    Plus, dynastic politics is too entrenched. I just recently quite a few of my contemporaries in UP Diliman are now either high officials in the administration or are members of congress. When I think about how they were back in high school or college, what they were like, I feel like throwing up sometimes. How in the world do these people get into public office? The answer is dynastic politics and our feudal padrino system. I shift back and forth between being angry, being disillusioned, and feeling nauseated.

    By way of a friend of mine, I heard (read) a very apropos observation made by Ninotchka Rosca: We are a country of beginnings. We need to lengthen our collective memory if we’re ever to morph into a country of follow-throughs and advances.

    Aug 13, 2009 | 10:54 am

     
  26. millet says:

    speechless and aghast. again.

    Aug 13, 2009 | 10:56 am

     
  27. joyce says:

    OMG. i don’t know what to say, am shocked. one so soon after another.

    Aug 13, 2009 | 11:09 am

     
  28. Epi says:

    Downright shameless and frustrating. We are outraged now but wait till the next Headlining scandals and we forget and we forgive. I am just amazed at this administrations audacity, I wont be surprised if she runs and wins for public office again, Napoleon complex and all.

    Aug 13, 2009 | 11:42 am

     
  29. NYCMama says:

    RE: Newark to the Hamptons. Allow me to put my two cents, since I have been making summer weekend travel plans in NYC/Hamptons for the last 20 years as part of my job. Newark to Manhattan by car is at least 30 minutes, worse on a Friday night. And that is just to one of the tunnels that leads to Manhattan. To cross Manhattan, again on a Friday night, that is, to go from west to east, could be as bad as an hour, no kidding. Then on a good day, from the East Side of Manhattan to the Hamptons will be at least 2 hours by car. On a Friday, add maybe 1 to 1.5 hours because Montauk Highway will be crawling. If ultimate destination was Southampton, then good, cause it’s another 30 minutes or an hour more to Easthampton in the crawling traffic. So where are we now, at least 3.5hours driving one way from Newark. Sounds impossible that they drove, if they went. So now let’s assume seaplane from Manhattan to Easthampton airport. Using the usual plane service, it’s 45 minutes, BUT it costs $495 per person, I KID YOU NOT. That’s one way. The helicopter by the same aviation company is also 45 minutes, and costs over $500 per person. And good luck getting a reservation even for just one person, if you did not call way in advance. So, if we assume they flew to the Hamptons, and not on a private plane but using commercial, do the math for a party of what, 50 people? It just gets worse, so someone please tell her peeps not to use the Hamptons alibi. It just gets more evil.

    Aug 13, 2009 | 12:48 pm

     
  30. Tina says:

    Totally understand all the reactions posted here. I feel exactly the same. But wanna know something I had to endure that even made my blood boil a couple of degrees higher? An officemate who argued with me no end on why it should be a non-issue. My GOD! Some people have to be taught how to actully THINK! Wait, come to think of it I have to go check if here middle name is Remonde.

    Aug 13, 2009 | 1:06 pm

     
  31. Marketman says:

    Tina, yes, that it just amazing. Even basic right and wrong is missing from our ethical make-up. One really has to start thinking of the word “hopeless.”

    Aug 13, 2009 | 1:09 pm

     
  32. Fred says:

    @Tina, I’d suggest you ask your office mate to check how much taxes she pays in a year and then ask her how she would have liked that money spent. I doubt that “dinner at Le Cirque” will come up as one them.

    The dinner already sets a bad example for a country that can’t even feed its people properly. What’s worse is that they still have not confirmed who’s money was actually used.

    Aug 13, 2009 | 1:31 pm

     
  33. odie says:

    As i was watching GMA’s spokespersons defend their actions, without even a bit of repentance and shame in their faces, i felt my blood started to boil in anger, grrrrrrrr!! They even tried to divert the topic and attention of the media and the people. Ang kakapal talaga!!

    Aug 13, 2009 | 1:34 pm

     
  34. chrisb says:

    If anyone’s feeling a little comatose, tune in to ch. 4’s regular coverage of Remonde’s press conferences- it’ll give you a massive jolt from incredulity and anger. I watched one yesterday with Macalintal and Rondain, I think. They were defending the President’s SALN. It seems everything about Arroyo is fraught with chicanery.

    OT but even more serious is former Amb. del Rosario’s revelations in the Inquirer today.

    Aug 13, 2009 | 1:58 pm

     
  35. Joey in Dubai says:

    I have a friend who works in the catering services in Dubai airport which provide the food for all airlines going out of Dubai. My friend shared a tidbit when GMA twice visited Dubai and in both times, GMA’s party specified that lobsters be included in the food to be provided to her charter flight when they depart Dubai. That’s why when the Washington Post’s article mentioned ‘lobsters’, it kind of confirmed my friend’s tidbit of GMA’s penchant for the expensive lobsters for her in-flight food. Next, I’ll ask my friend how much did the GMA party rack up for their in-flight catering.

    Aug 13, 2009 | 2:10 pm

     
  36. juan dela cruz says:

    now, to all Government Officials, Please stop telling all the masses to thighten our belts, because SAGAD NA PO!! WALA NG IHIHIGPIT ANG SINTURON NAMIN!

    Aug 13, 2009 | 2:23 pm

     
  37. sanojmd says:

    so GMA fave food is lobster then and penchant wine? what a combination.. while most of our ‘kakabayan’ can’t even provide 3 meals in a day..can’t help but sigh.. makakapal talaga ang mukha!

    Aug 13, 2009 | 2:24 pm

     
  38. nycvino says:

    The last time in 2008, Rep Romualdez and co went to peter lugers in brooklyn, don’t think GMA was with them though..didn;t see anything wrong with it, since most tourists really make a trek to Peter Lugers, which is considered one of the best steakhouses in NY. Wolfgangs is on 33rd and Park which is a mere 16 blocks from Waldorf, it’s possible the presidential party went there for dinner. Dinner (steaks, apps, dessert and reasonable wines) can be up to $100…since portions are huge, esp the steaks, it’s family style. So if they spend more than 200$ on those restaurants, it’s probably because they ordered very expensive wine.

    Aug 13, 2009 | 2:30 pm

     
  39. nycvino says:

    $100 per person that is in Peter Lugers or Wolfgang;s for that matter.

    Aug 13, 2009 | 2:31 pm

     
  40. ConcernedCitizen says:

    how about mike arroyo have 2 houses in San Francisco with a view of the golden gate…cost probably 2 to 6 million per house. the biggest crook is FG

    Aug 13, 2009 | 3:06 pm

     
  41. Marketman says:

    nycvino, I was referring to a comment in a previous post where the waiter at Peter Luger’s mentioned having seen both Erap and a female President dining there before…

    Aug 13, 2009 | 3:14 pm

     
  42. cheeseheadeatsushi says:

    No wonder Cerge Remonde said Le Cirque was a “forgettable meal.” There had been better ones.

    Compared to houses, cars, kick backs, the dinner cost(s)seem like a trifle sum. But it characterizes the greed and brazenness.

    Aug 13, 2009 | 7:42 pm

     
  43. elit says:

    nakakapandilim ng paningin…..i suddenly have the urge to do your smashing apple stunt and can you guess who I will be thinking of while I do it?

    Aug 13, 2009 | 8:45 pm

     
  44. Lava Bien says:

    Arroyos are the new but worse Marcoses, with the blessing of the US (brown nosing must be working). Other asian folks here in Cali have noticed how kissed ass our Phillippine gov’t is to US, plus our gov’t is practicaly selling us to China and now the Koreans. Go figure, greed has no boundaries.

    Gising Pilipinas!

    Aug 13, 2009 | 9:04 pm

     
  45. scvhh says:

    As foreigners working in Manila, we have to deal with greed and dishonesty frequently. Corruption at the very top must be showing our company drivers that it is okay to siphon petrol out of company cars to sell. They cleverly disabled the fuel gauges and odometers when a policy was put in place to record cars usages. We empathize that life is indeed hard but if so many people are using this as an excuse to take a little something for themselves, when will this ever end?

    Aug 13, 2009 | 9:47 pm

     
  46. The Steak Lady says:

    it’s been mistake after mistake after mistake…..
    have they NO SHAME? the National Artist award brouhaha, Lani Mercado as Gov’t representative to the San Miguel board (gulp), the endless expose’ of extravagant meals.. and that’s just for this month!! God help us please.. 10 years of GMA is just TOO MUCH.

    Aug 13, 2009 | 11:39 pm

     
  47. kristina says:

    That’s US$300 per head, in an upscale restaurant in NY, not too bad. Not bad if you pay for it with your honestly-earned money and perhaps if you’re a private citizen.

    But all our outrage will remain and end in newspapers and blog posts unless we really do something (i.e., legal action) about on-our face corruption in the government.

    Aug 13, 2009 | 11:48 pm

     
  48. zaN says:

    For days now, I tried to control myself not to make my comments. Like many of you, I am mad to the hilt and I also cried knowing that there are lots of Filipinos out there who don’t even have a square meal a day. Children eating discarded left overs.

    scvhh asked, ‘when will this ever end?’, Plant a new seed.

    IF I have the power, I will put these greedy politicos together with everyone closely or remotely related to them (hanggang sa kanunu-nunuan)in an island, and NUKE that island to HELL.

    Sorry, I really need to vent my frustrations out.

    Aug 13, 2009 | 11:49 pm

     
  49. Marketman says:

    kristina, if you read the post, this was a dinner at Bobby Van’s in Washington, not New York, and actually, I gather it isn’t exactly a very upscale kind of place. The entrees are from $40-80 or so, so each one also racked up an average drinks/wine/liquor bill of some $200 in addition to food. Yes, the $300 per head for the party of 65 is LESS than the $700 per head spent at Le Cirque, but it still is a bit outrageous. First, why 65 in a party when this wasn’t even a state visit… then of course the reported total bill of $15,000 and that it was paid for in cash by a “bag lady” of sorts…

    Aug 14, 2009 | 12:49 am

     
  50. Miles says:

    Since we are on this topic, I can’t help but post this tidbit shared by my friend who used to work as a hotel receptionist for the world’s only 7 star hotel, Burj Al Arab. And guess who stayed in that hotel in one of her visits, and mind you, in one of the most expensive suites, who else but Madam President Arrovo, este Arroyo. Grrr… Would you believe her if she’d say she paid the hotel bills from her own pocket?

    Aug 14, 2009 | 1:06 am

     
  51. Connie C says:

    Delicadeza, consumption, greed, corruption, etc……The past two posts got me outraged but got me really really thinking and examining my own sense of values…. the disconnect of what I think and what I do, what is moral and what is ethical.

    Thought I’d share this interesting article with you, rather long but a good one:

    http://www.alternet.org/workplace/141834/with_a_billion_people_living_on_less_than_%241_a_day%2C_is_buying_luxury_shoes_ethical/

    Aug 14, 2009 | 3:30 am

     
  52. ted says:

    Mlq3’s blogsite is currently unavailable, and it has been unavailable for the past 2hrs. His Le Cirque blog must have gotten a lot of hits and since his site had the timeline, it may have been silenced? Could this be the doings of Malacanang? Hope not.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 5:08 am

     
  53. Marketman says:

    ted, no, I think it’s just that we are in the midst of an internet disaster for the past two days… a couple of major underwater cables were cut in Asia so internet speed has dropped to maybe 1/10th of normal speed, so such a big post with lots of video links and photos is extremely hard to open. Apparently it will take some time to repair the cables. It’s so bad it took me hours to upload my last post on Apple…

    Aug 14, 2009 | 7:34 am

     
  54. joel says:

    at least the Marcoses had CLASS. This admin only has CRASS. repulsive

    Aug 14, 2009 | 10:56 am

     
  55. joel says:

    What is our number one export? OFW’s
    Where do they work? HOTELS, RESTAURANTS, HOUSEHOLDS, SHIPS, Etc

    Just connect the dots, and we have a possible source for proof that these government people refuse to show or admit to us. It is just baffling.

    Remember, election time next year, that these buffoons are just adding to our per family debt.

    They say we have a stable economy, low inflation rate, etc. Sinong nakikinabang? Not Juan dela Cruz. Sila sila rin lang ang nakikinabang. pwe

    Aug 14, 2009 | 11:19 am

     
  56. chrisb says:

    I have to disagree with the commenter above. No matter how you look at it, there simply is NO CLASS in corruption.

    Aug 14, 2009 | 1:42 pm

     
  57. mlq3 says:

    my blog went down 2am aug 14, and at first i suspected a DOS attack, been many of those. per my webhost the blog went down because of… high traffic! so all’s well that ends well :)

    Aug 14, 2009 | 2:49 pm

     
  58. tercer says:

    Hi MM.

    There’s a new family friendly tv series called “Royal Pains” which focuses on the homes and lifestyles of those in the Hamptons. May be an entertaining watch in case you’re feeling a little nostalgic for the place.

    Aug 15, 2009 | 3:35 am

     
  59. me says:

    what’s so disgusting is how gma’s spokespeople try to “defend” gma by saying she did A LOT to alleviate poverty blahblah… as a layman, i don’t understand who’s poverty they have “alleviated”… businessmen find it hard to do business now coz of many cheap imports, harassment of BIR people, etc etc… people are losing jobs left and right… even if someone footed the bill for the presidential party, i don’t think it’s even justifiable that they feasted on such overly lavish meals while the rest of us here foresee a bleak future ahead… a little delicadeza pls
    palace spokespersons — stop throwing lame excuses, we are not stupid!

    Aug 15, 2009 | 10:11 am

     
  60. baycas says:

    Local news online says Manuel L. Caballero of The Filipino Reporter wrote that the reported dinner is “a lie” or “far from the truth” after he interviewed Le Cirque’s contact manager Mario Wainer.

    Aug 16 Philstar online says:

    “New York Consul General Cecilia Rebong cited a Filipino-American weekly’s story on the alleged $20,000 tab, in the memorandum dated August 14, to Press Secretary Cerge Remonde.”

    Meanwhile, Mon Tulfo wrote in his Aug 15 “On Target” column at PDI:

    “SOMEBODY sent a picture of Medy Poblador, President Gloria’s personal secretary, to Bobby Van’s Steakhouse in Washington.

    The steakhouse management allegedly confirmed she was the lady who paid the bill for the $15,000 dinner of the President’s party, and not Quezon Representative Danilo Suarez.

    Poblador reportedly also paid the bill at Le Cirque in New York for that $20,000 dinner.

    If the President could lie about those dinners, how many more and bigger lies did she tell the people?”

    Aug 16, 2009 | 6:48 am

     
  61. Marketman says:

    baycas et al.

    What is clear is that the Presidential parties had meals at Bobby Van’s and Le Cirque (and probably Wolfgang’s and Bouley as well).

    The actual amounts of the bills are not known as nobody has shown the receipts.

    The ones who paid for the meals are in question, as they were apparently paid for in cash, not credit cards. But a confirmation of Medy Poblador by photo would be proof if the staff of Bobby Van’s were willing to go on record.

    —-

    However, NOBODY DENIES the meals occurred, nor showed proof that the meals cost far less than reported either. If the reporter were thorough, then the Le Cirque spokesperson would have been asked for a copy of the bill or the total amount spent. The MINIMUM that was spent at Le Cirque for say 25 people was probably $3,000-4,000 with bottled water and not wine. If they spent the minimum, why not show us the receipts for dinner? The $20,000 reported bill would HAVE to include several bottles of good wine to be realistic. What does interest me is how the heck they got “bags full of cash” into the U.S. to pay for all these meals when there are very strict laws on bringing in cash through U.S. borders.

    Aug 16, 2009 | 9:59 am

     
  62. mlq3 says:

    The NY Post made three assertions: 1. The President and a large entourage had dinner there; 2. The President and friends ordered some expensive wine. 3. This pushed the bill up to $20,000.

    The maitre ‘d disputes the NY Post story while confirming the President did have dinner there and ate food like anybody else. So this means:

    1. If not large, then small entourage? This actually then confirms Remonde’s original account of 15-20 persons in two tables (each Le Cirque table seats 8 persons so 15 or so is plausible) except that would make per person dining bill $20,000…. Read More

    2. The President did or did not order expensive wine? Perhaps this is what the maitre d’ said was a lie?

    3. The bill was neither confirmed nor denied by the maitre ‘d for “privacy issues” which goes to the heart of the controversy; so if not categorically denied or confirmed, we’re back to where we’ve been all along: and no government official, remonde, rep. suarez, the romualdezes, etc. have categorically denied bill…

    So the matre ‘d actually confirms the originally remonde alibi of a smaller group; so where does this leave rep. suarez’s later assertion le cirque group was 50 persons? well, it brings us to that supposed consul staff text saying there were two le cirque dinners, and suarez is headed in that direction because now he’s saying there was another new york dinner.

    Aug 16, 2009 | 12:35 pm

     
  63. Marketman says:

    mlq3, OMG, you think two Le Cirque dinners? Or was it Bouley on another night? I can’t wait until the next installment hits the press, assuming there is a next installment to this story…

    Aug 16, 2009 | 3:12 pm

     
  64. Marilou says:

    Finally, an exchange that intelligently discusses the details of the issue. Let’s continue digging up dirt on GMA. The dirt seems to come out without much effort now, possibly a tipping point taking place. I see the end for these greedy bunch. They make Imelda look good.

    Aug 16, 2009 | 3:23 pm

     
  65. baycas says:

    The Gatekeeper (maitre ’d) could also be a “bribetaker:”

    “A few nights later, the effect of this newfound glow became clear. I walked into Le Cirque 2000, the gilt-edged establishment on the East Side. ‘Sorry,’ I was told. ‘We don’t have a table tonight.’ No problem, I thought. I took a step back and tried to identify the person in power. Seconds later, a gentleman in a tuxedo approached. ‘We were wondering if you had a table for two?’ I said, clutching a bill in my pocket…but not handing it over. He bowed. ‘Your table is ready,’ he said, and led us into the dining room.”

    This was taken from:

    gourmet dot com’s “Pocketful of Dough”

    …I don’t think I’ll rely on Manny Caballero’s “asset.”

    Aug 16, 2009 | 10:30 pm

     
  66. terder says:

    MM, you were wondering how the bags of money got in the US; pouches/cargo/luggage under DIPLOMATIC SEAL, are not inspected by US Customs. A mutually OFFICIAL courtesy between nations with established relations. To violate it without (and sometimes even with) due cause would be a serious international breach. I’ve handled a lot of these in my business and they are all just “waved through”. Customs officials seem to treat them like hot potato.

    Aug 28, 2009 | 4:59 am

     
 

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