President Arroyo appoints her manicurist and gardener to government positions

Malacañang confirmed yesterday that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's manicurist has been appointed as board member of the Pag-IBIG Housing Fund, GMANews.TV reports.

Deputy presidential spokesman Gary Olivar announced that Anita "Nitz" Carpon has been appointed to the housing agency to represent government employees. He defended her from criticisms against her "lowly" status. In an interview on GMA-7's evening news program 24 Oras, Olivar stated: "Ang kanya pong kakatawanin is precisely yung maliliit na empleyado na siyang nangangailangan ng serbisyo ng Pag-IBIG (What she will represent are precisely those small employees who need the services of Pag-IBIG). Let us not hold her lowly status against her."

For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV

The GMANews.TV article revealed that Carpon's appointment was first mentioned in Jarius Bondoc's April 19 column in the Philippine Star. Bondoc had also written that Carpon would likely receive a monthly salary of P130,000.


Then, on April 21, Bondoc revealed in his column that the president had also appointed her gardener, Armando Macapagal, as deputy of the Luneta Park Administration.

Bondoc added: "A third insider doubts the two appointees' credentials. Macapagal supposedly landscapes Malacañang lawns but does not manage people. Carpon is not known for financial expertise to oversee the multibillion-peso housing mutual fund of all employees. Nicknamed Nitz, she is often scolded by Arroyo for mismatching presidential handbags and shoes."

Apparently, this is not the first time the president has made such disputed appointments.

In the GMANews.TV article, writer Aie Balagtas See likewise explained: "In 2002, President Arroyo also appointed her dentist Leonor Tripon-Rosero as board examiner for dentistry. In 2003, Rosero was promoted as commissioner of the Philippine Regulation Commission. Two years after, in January 2005, she was named as PRC chair."

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Pundits are saying that if one's manicurist, gardener, or dentist is great at their job–it doesn't necessarily mean that they'll also excel as government officials. But, perhaps, the president knows something about appointing government officials that the rest of us don't.

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