Opinion: GMA Loses key lieutenant

Left: Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. RIGHT: Former Majority floorleader Rolando Andaya Jr.

In congress, the much publicized replacement of Majority Floorleader Rolando Andaya Jr by Fredenil Castro took the headlines.

Andaya has been embroiled in controversy regarding supposed pork barrel funds in the form of budget insertions credited to him. When this garnered protests from many camps, he blamed his predecessor budget secretary Benjamin Diokno for such insertions and went on to try to link him to anomalies in procusing construction contracts.

Sadly for Andaya, many Bicolanos themselves believe he is guilty of the same if not worse anomalies, when he was the president and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo`s budget secretary.

This perception is bolstered by an old yet continuing case against him regarding similar alleged improprieties bring to light what seems to be a long history thatbraises many questions about him. Manila Standard report, the Sandiganbayan decided to proceed with the trial of the 194 criminal cases in connection with the P900-million Malampaya fund scam, where Andaya is accused in 97 cases along with alleged pork barrel fund scheme perpetrator Janet Lim- Napoles.

Perhaps the vaunted political machine of GMA was not able to keep itself alive against such deep and damning allegations. Andaya`s boss Speaker Arroyo was powerless to prevent his replacement, owing to her own alleged relationship with the same pork barrel allegations, and many others in her past.