I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I saw that there is finally to be a criminal prosecution over the BW Resources scandal. The scandal even took place last century—the worthless stock, inflated by the stale gas of Erap’s cronies, peaking on 10 October 1999. At that time it was a mere 5,000% its value the previous January.
The funny thing is that the facts are so well known and Dante Tan and Erap’s guilt so palpable that it would take a jury of 5-year-olds half a day to convict the defendants. One of the best summaries of BW is by Greg Hutchinson in Hot Money Warm Bodies. In it he identifies Estrada as a joint owner of BW, a fact that came out during the impeachment trial. He also quotes Edgardo Espiritu, Estrada’s finance secretary from June 1998 to January 2000:
“[Estrada] was a bit excited as he told me ‘Ed, I’m earning quite a lot from BW Resources.’”
You can just see old Erap drooling into his bigote can’t you?
In fact so addicted was Erap to his tumescent stock that he telephoned the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Perfecto Yasay (remember him?), no less than five times to “persuade” him to clear his friend Dante Tan.
Well it may have taken over nine years for a prosecution and a revival of interest in the murder of Bubby Dacer, but better late than never I suppose. Incidentally, while pondering the incredible period of time this has taken, I glanced down to the next story, on a large sale of stock in Lucio Tan’s companies. One sentence in particular stuck out: “The PCGG has been running after Tan since 1987.” So perhaps the BW Resources prosecution isn’t so slow after all.