Gov’t execs bringing queridas and queridos abroad not new

By Alex P. Vidal

“He craved her. She was honeycomb wrapped in velvet, her lips were rosebuds in spring, her nails were thorns, her eyes were oceans and he was drowning.”— Holly Dixon, ILLICIT AFFAIRS

HARRY Roque may not be the first former or incumbent government official accused of bringing a suspected “lover” abroad, mostly on junket trips, at the expense of the taxpayers.

A former cabinet member under the Noynoy Aquino administration and her politician husband from Western Visayas “nearly separated” when the husband learned the ex-cabinet official “cavorted” with a Tagalog journalist in the ex-cabinet official’s New York trip in 2015.

The Tagalog journalist, a look-alike of the late “Ghost” matinee idol Patrick Swayze and who happens to be my friend, admitted he was “stricken with guilt” when he learned the ex-cabinet official’s politician husband “was actually a good husband.”

Hanggang ngayon ba mag asawa pa rin sila? Akala ko kasi nag hiwalay na sila (Is their marriage still intact until now? I thought they had separated already),” the Tagalog journalist recently asked me.

This is not a Marites episode, but I am not in the liberty to name names so as not to attract a potential cyber libel case—unless the politician husband will ask my “help.”


Another ala Roque “sexcapade” happened during the Independence Day program in New York some three years ago.

One of former President Digong Duterte’s “representatives” in an event arranged by the Philippine Consulate General New York missed the important program because he was “stranded” (did he oversleep?) in his hotel room together with an inamorata he brought from Manila to New York on a junket at the expense of the taxpayers.

The playboy appointee, who couldn’t account for the nearly P60 million in cash advances he incurred during his brief tenure, was only given a “graceful exit” after his irregularities and other acts of dishonesty and immorality had been unraveled.

Despite his notoriety, he was never charged in the Office of the Ombudsman after a Bohol politician had interceded.

I’m very sure some of the readers know who this rascal is.


A high-ranking DPWH official who attended a conference in New Orleans, USA in 2014 also tagged along a sexy nymphet, who stayed mostly in the hotel room and in the shopping malls while the conference was going on.

The scandal was exposed after the DPWH official’s wife arrived in New Orleans unnoticed and proceeded to the hotel, where all hell broke loose.

A former Iloilo solon, a business bigwig, was spotted in Hong Kong in 2006 together with his “secretary” who also acted as his “personal nurse” (ala Harry Roque).

The wife “forgave” the husband but warned the “personal nurse” to stay away from him and she won’t press any charges.

She quit as the former solon’s secretary but not as his “personal nurse.” The wife, who also became a “burden” to the taxpayers when she became a politician herself, had been charged in the Office of the Ombudsman for technical malversation of public funds, not for the bullying of the “personal nurse.”


US SIDES WITH RP ANEW. The United States stands with its ally the Philippines and condemns the escalatory and irresponsible actions by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to deny the Philippines from lawfully delivering humanitarian supplies to service members stationed at the BRP Sierra Madre on June 16, declared Matthew Miller, spokesman of the US Department of State.

PRC vessels’ dangerous and deliberate use of water cannons, ramming, blocking maneuvers, and towing damaged Philippine vessels, endangered the lives of Philippine service members, is reckless, and threatens regional peace and stability, Miller said.

This escalatory incident was the latest in a series of PRC provocations to impede critically needed supplies from reaching service members stationed at the BRP Sierra Madre.

PRC Coast Guard harassed Philippine service members being medically evacuated and unlawful seized airdropped provisions on May 19.

In addition, on numerous occasions over the past year, they have used water cannons and dangerous maneuvers against Philippine routine supply missions.

According to Miller, Beijing’s actions reflect consistent disregard for the safety of Filipinos and for international law in the South China Sea.

“As unanimously decided by an international tribunal in July 2016, the PRC has no lawful maritime claims to the waters around Second Thomas Shoal – a low-tide feature clearly within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.  As provided under the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention, the decision is final and legally binding on the PRC and the Philippines,” Miller said in a statement.

“The United States reaffirms that Article IV of the 1951 United States-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty extends to armed attacks on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft – including those of its Coast Guard – anywhere in the South China Sea.”

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)