Friday, May 05, 2006

Leandro Aragoncillo Pleads Guilty.

The Leandro Aragoncillo spy case has long dropped out of the limelight, which is good because in US terms it is a small story. However, it could play an interesting role in presidential politicis in the Philippines.

Recall, a former marine and employee of the office of vice president (under Gore and Cheney) and an FBI agent leaked classified information to the opponents of Filipino President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
NEWARK, New Jersey-A Filipino-American intelligence analyst admitted Thursday that for five years he passed top secret information gleaned from White House and Federal Bureau of Investigation computers to conspirators he said were trying to overthrow President Macapagal-Arroyo.

Leandro Aragoncillo, 47, a naturalized US citizen who was born in the Philippines, pleaded guilty to a four-count indictment.

The conspirators used code words to refer to various people, including calling Ms Arroyo "The Penguin," Aragoncillo admitted.

Aragoncillo, shackled at the feet and wearing green jail garb, himself did not identify them.
But according to documents filed in the US District Court in Newark, they included former President Joseph Estrada, opposition Sen. Panfilo Lacson and former House Speaker Arnulfo Fuentebella. [emphasis added]
Source: INQ7 - Aragoncillo admits spying for Arroyo foes (Estrada, Lacson named co-plotters vs President)
The fact the dope leaked by Aragoncillo went to Erap (i.e. Joseph Estrada) is old news but I have not seen the former names attached with the investigation. PGMA's opponents of pain Lacson as above corruption. I am convinced this isn't a corrupt act but it certainly puts him in a precarious position when and if he ever has to deal with Washington D.C.

It remains to be seen if Aragoncillo will testify against Michael Ray Aquino.

More interestingly is what ramifications this will have on PGMA's state. Will any of the co-conspirators come under indictment, and will extradition requests be filed? That would be a real convenient way for PGMA to get rid of her Erap problem. He has been under house arrest now for 5 years and they still have yet to bring him to trial.

Speculation & Commentary.

The reason he is not being tried on the charge is PGMA's government is to politically weak and too saddled with its own corruption to try Erap on the self-same charges. So, they simply keep him penned up in a nice home. The problem is he is free to plot and coordinate against PGMA from his home under house arrest. If the US government indicted him as an Aragoncillo co-conspirator and asked for his extradition then PGMA would be rid of his presence in the Philippines without having to try him. Then there would only be Lacson and Fuentabella to deal with.