() - May 24, 2012 - 12:00am

Despite the surrounding protests and controversy, the two-night Lady Gaga concert held at the Mall of Asia Arena was an unqualified success. Thousands of fans, a lot of them dressed as outrageously as their idol, braved the congested traffic and went gaga over the controversial singer’s performances. The concert signaled the opening of the MOA Arena which we were told can accommodate as much as 20,000 spectators. Hans Sy (who’s on top of the SM Group’s mall development unit SM Prime Holdings as its president) worked almost 24/7 in the last two weeks to make sure that the preparations for the opening of the MOA Arena would be completed and ready for Lady Gaga.

Hans was telling us he was not really too keen on having the concert this early because he wanted all the plans to be completed for the venue. International experts were consulted to make sure the slick indoor Arena would evoke “world-class” from top to bottom, with its retractable seats and a spacious 2,000-parking capacity. But the concert promoter (Ovation Productions) was very insistent and really wanted the May 21-22 dates for the Manila leg of the “Born This Way” Asian tour. So on the first day of the concert, Hans himself was going around checking the venue, displaying the “Hans-on” work ethic that has made SM Prime the biggest shopping mall developer in the country with over P2.4 billion profits posted for the first quarter.

Congratulations to Hans Sy for a great job in overseeing the preparations!

Corona on trial

What looked like a good beginning for Chief Justice Renato Corona during his appearance at the Senate impeachment court had a less-than-excellent ending when the embattled Chief Justice staged a “walkout.” Opinion is divided, with some saying the “hypoglycemia” was just a convenient excuse and that the CJ’s confinement at the Medical City ICU follows the typical health drama plot used by high-profile individuals when they are charged with wrongdoing. Several businessmen also believe the episode could cause public opinion to turn against Corona, especially with rumors that the whole thing was staged and is part of the plan by the defense panel to either move for a mistrial or ask the Senate Court’s permission to allow the CJ to seek treatment abroad.

On the other hand, some businessmen who wish to remain anonymous are calling for objectivity, saying people should not be too unkind. Anyone suffering from diabetes could relate to the condition of the Chief Justice, they said, and so people should give him some slack, especially because months of tension and suffering could worsen the medical circumstances of anyone whether he is chief justice or not.

A source within the Senate however informed Spy Bits about a report that the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms gave to Senator Franklin Drilon on how he stopped the Coronas from leaving the Senate premises upon the orders of Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile. According to the Spy Bits informant, the interesting exchange between the Corona couple and the Sergeant-at-Arms allegedly went this way:

Sgt: Please don’t do this.

CJ Corona: Are you arresting me?

Sgt: You know that any Court has the power to enforce its (own) rules.

Mrs. Corona: (Shouting) Is this Martial Law?!?

The Sergeant-at-Arms did not reply anymore but simply blocked the door. According to the insider, the “Chief Justice looked healthy” while the exchange was ongoing. 

Business jet set

Eurocopter Philippines hosted cocktails at the Subic Air hangar in Pasay City to present the Dassault Falcon 2000LX executive jet to the media and several businessmen who opted for a private viewing of the aircraft. The Falcon 2000LX is specially designed for short runways, making it perfect for those who need to make frequent trips in “challenging” areas in the country.

Eurocopter Philippines president and CEO Thierry Tea is optimistic that the interest for the 2000LX among Filipino executives would be heightened on account of the aircraft’s state-of-the-art design, spacious cabin, safety features and cost-efficiency. Close to 30 Falcon jets are already operational in the region, with more and more Chinese, Indian and Malaysian businessmen expressing great interest in the Falcon series. There are currently two Falcon 2000LX jets in operation in the country today, but Thierry is hoping to sell more sooner than soon.

Crying for Argentina

Tomorrow marks Argentina’s “National Day” commemorating the week-long “Revolucion de Mayo” held from May 18 to 25 in 1810 that eventually resulted in the country’s declaration of independence from Spain. Argentine Ambassador to the Philippines Joaquin Daniel Otero told us both the Philippines and his country share a lot of things in common.

In the past, both of our countries were placed under Spanish rule. Today, the Philippines is facing sovereignty and territorial issues with China over the Panatag Shoal and certain portions of the Spratlys. On the other hand, Argentina is engaged in a sovereignty dispute with the United Kingdom over the Falkland Islands, also called the Malvinas Islands by Argentineans. 

In 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands and engaged the British in a 74-day conflict that resulted in the death of over a thousand Argentine and British military personnel plus a number of civilians living in the island. Argentina eventually surrendered but to this day, the government continues to push for its claim over the disputed territory, with the Argentine defense minister warning other South American nations that the “usurpation” by the UK affects all of them.

Just a few days ago, several Italian lawmakers belonging to different political groups sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressing their support for Argentina’s sovereignty claim over the Malvinas, saying they acknowledge that “the Argentine government has a more relevant role in the Malvinas Islands conflict.”

There are certainly a lot of groups crying for Argentina’s claim over the Falkland Islands.


Email: spybits08@yahoo.com.

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