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When Harry met...

“Three things can ruin a man - money, power and women. I never had any money. I never wanted power and the only woman in my life is up at the house right now.”

The incredible life of Harry Truman can be culled from various sources. An email blast from “thebookofcletis.blogspot” prompted a fascination about this straight-talking politician, an astounding oxymoron.

Admired for his outspoken common sense, zero tolerance for bs, sharp wit, and blunt honesty, the Missouri politician originated the oft-quoted avowal, “I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell”. Many of his famous lines like The buck stops here; If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen are “Truman-isms” that have become part of idiom.

Although he was the last president not to have a college degree, Truman was learned. An avid reader, he was self-educated and could easily run circles around any politician today. He was also the last president who did not leave his office as a millionaire.

Following retirement and death, America rediscovered his virtues and values, particularly honesty. Disarmingly unassuming, Harry was drafted as a reluctant Vice-President when Theodore Roosevelt barreled his way as the Democrats’ standard-bearer again. Eighty-two days into his 4th term, Roosevelt died of cerebral hemorrhage. Truman became the 33rd President of the US.

The manner of succession is déjà vu. The 14th President of the Philippines also took over from the ousted chief barely two years into his term. But all similarity ends there. Everything else is poles-apart: honesty versus duplicity, generosity versus greed, and approbation versus censure. 

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“Truman was a different kind of President. He probably made as many, or more important decisions as any of the other 32 Presidents preceding him. However, a measure of his greatness rests on what he did after he left the White House.

The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence, Missouri. His wife had inherited the house from her mother and father and other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives there.”

 “Can Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Explain Her Wealth?” Malou Mangahas of PCIJ challenged the “the foggy financial history” of the ex-president who sat in power for nine years. The list includes among others, various houses, residential and commercial lots acquired from the time she was a Senator to the time she left the Palace. This does not include the California houses allegedly owned by son Mikey plus other offshore properties.

“When Truman retired from office in 1952, his income was an Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps, granted him an ‘allowance’ and later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year.”

GMA has “multimillion pesos of net growth in stocks, real assets, cash on hand/in bank, and other personal properties which could not be accounted for in the statements of assets and liabilities and net worth (SALNs) that she filed from 1992 to 2008,” PCIJ reports.

Another newspaper claims that the ex-President’s daughter recently took a secret trip to Syria to check the status of an alleged $30M bank account. Sources said part of the money was deposited in the name of the child of a former Syrian city mayor.

“After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There was no Secret Service following them.”

The Pampanga Congresswoman and her family travelled to San Francisco in April 2011. Sources said the clan proceeded to the Dominican Republic even though they didn’t have visas when they left. Presumably these were obtained in SFO.

A hop-and-skip away is Panama with its convenient Expedited Bank Account Service. One of the largest banks can open an account in one to three days. For select clients it is even possible in 24 hours using their rush service. Panama strongly enforces its bank secrecy laws with prison terms and fines for violators. The bank can be sued for any breach.

“When offered corporate positions at large salaries, Truman declined, stating, ‘ You don’t want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it’s not for sale’.

Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, ‘I don’t consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise’.”

GMA cemented business partnerships and interests. She was sighted in Columbia in June ’09 where a known Arroyo ally, Ricky Razon, has invested $180M to set up International Container Terminal Services in Buenaventura. Rumor has it the Arroyos are co-owners.

“As president, Truman paid for all of his own travel expenses and food.”

GMA and posse are infamous for gorging on two obscenely expensive dinners while hunger statistics were at an all time high back home. In Bobby Van’s Steakhouse, they dined on lobster, steak and fine wines for $15,000. GMA also took her entourage to Le Cirque, NY where they supposedly feasted on caviar, champagne etc. for a whopping $20,000.

Truman was known for releasing the atomic bomb on Japan that ended World War II. He was also the author of the Fair Deal Act and was a prime mover for the creation of Universal Healthcare, UN, NATO and NASA. When he announced that he was not running for a second term in 1952, he didn’t.

GMA is known for Hello Garci, Jose Pidal, Philhealth and Fertilizer scams, NBN-ZTE, and many other scandals. In 2004, she promised not to seek another term and reneged.

Truman’s insight was spot-on when he remarked, “My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference!”

And yet, they never met.

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