The husband of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Jose Miguel Arroyo, is losing half the media battle for public sympathy with his obesity and petulant, spoiled-man voice - twin liabilities that TV and radio magnify. He and his younger brother, Ignacio, are on their way to losing the other half of the battle with their utter lack of candour. It may be true that Ignacio is really Jose Pidal, the fictitious name used to open the secret bank accounts. The deposits might not even be tainted, as opposition Senator Panfilo Lacson claims. But banks will not release documentary evidence without client or court approval. The Arroyo brothers could easily quash this controversy sucking the lifeblood out of the nation by opening the accounts to public scrutiny. They will not. Their attitude is that we are rich, and rich men do not steal. True, the president's husband is one lucky man who need not work a day due to inherited wealth. But the scandal has raised questions over his financial dealings. When his wife was vice-president, he was not above accepting eight million pesos' worth of (HK$141,000) cheques, made out to cash, from businessman Mark Jimenez, whose extradition was being sought by the United States at that time. He also solicited for golf tournaments to raise money for his charity projects. Businessmen complained that the amount requested - at least 100,000 pesos - was tantamount to a shakedown. When his friend, Edgardo Manda, was questioned by senators about where at least 35 million pesos of donations had gone, he said he could not recall. That prompted Senator Sergio Osmena, another rich businessman, to retort: 'It sounds like petty cash to you, but not to other people.' I had long admired First Gentleman Mike Arroyo as a rare specimen of the Filipino male. He not only encouraged his wife to actualise herself through work outside the home, he even became her campaign manager and enabled her to win a seat in the Senate in 1995 and the vice-presidency in 1998. By a fluke of fortune, she became president in January 2001 and Mr Arroyo was thrust into the very public role of presidential spouse - an office he was ill-equipped to handle. Is he corrupt? I don't know, but he certainly acts guilty.