Are you kidding me? $20,000?! That’s almost a million pesos here, enough to feed thousands of starving Filipino families!
This is one circus which no Filipino paid to see.
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and those who went with her to the US several days ago are currently receiving heat when the New York Post reported two days ago that they dined at ultra-fancy Le Cirque restaurant in New York:
THE economic downturn hasn’t persuaded everyone to pinch pennies. Philippines (sic) President Maria Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was at Le Cirque the other night with a large entourage enjoying the good life, even though the former comptroller of her country’s armed serv ices, (sic) Carlos Garcia, was found guilty earlier this year of per jury (sic) and two of his sons were arrested in the US on bulk cash-smuggling charges. Maca pagal-Arroyo (sic) ordered several bottles of very expensive wine, pushing the dinner tab up to $20,000.
And this happened just a few hours before they abruptly flew back to our country (allegedly) due to President Cory’s funeral.
Malacañang has since been on the defensive (as expected, as always). Press Secretary Le Cerge Remonde has been the most vocal (he was with Arroyo during that heavenly dinner, by the way), warding off criticisms left and right. He said that the Arroyo couple didn’t foot the bill; it was Leyte Representative Martín Romuáldez, a relative of former First Lady Imeldific (go figure).
But it doesn’t really matter who paid the bill. The bottomline is that this is an insensitive display of extravagance not only on the part of Romuáldez but even on the Arroyos themselves and their cirque politique; such ostentatious dinner at a restaurant known for being a favorite hang-out of the rich and famous (or to put it more bluntly, the powers-that-be who wanted to be seen eating there) is a gross disrespect to countless Filipinos who barely have anything to eat.
Has she forgotten? The Philippines is still a Third World country — her declaration a few years ago that we’re now a Second World country didn’t even grab local nor international attention because it’s simply laughable. She should have at least empathized with starving Filipinos in the country and with homesick Filipino Overseas Contract Workers all over the world by declining to eat with TOO MUCH extravagance. The last time I checked, LEADERSIP BY EXAMPLE still holds water among all important public figures.
Now we hear from Arroyo’s allies that they just had a simple dinner. Even actor-turned-Senator Lito Lápid, who was part of the Arroyo US delegation (just to have a photo-op with Obama and nothing more) said that service sucks at Le Cirque.
But what exactly does one find at Le Cirque?
Click here to find out. Basta siguraduhin niyó lang na busóg na cayó dahil tiyác na maglálaway lang cayó sa gutom — cumbagá sa Tagalog, suntóc sa buwán lang na tayo’y macacacáin doón. =(