Bohol Congressman at an Expensive Dinner with Arroyo in New York?

      For the Boholanos,  there was nothing to worry about, if they knew that their congressman was not among those who partook the nearly  one million- peso dinner in an uppity New York restaurant.

      .The controversial dinner at the French restaurant Le Cirque put on the spot President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's entourage which counted among them congressmen, cabinet secretaries and other hangers on.

      The tab in dollars 20,000 or roughly the equivalent of almost a million pesos. It became the talk of the town after the dinner took place when the country was in a state of mourning brought about by the death of democracy icon Corazon Aquino, former Philippine president. The  scathing commentary about the expensive dinner also became a hot subject in talk shows and news reports because it took place at a time when a good number of Filipinos are suffering from hunger while Philippine officials were partaking  good food and expensive wines in a celebrity restaurant. Le Cirque is said to be the favorite watering hole of the rich and famous.  

      At first, it appeared lucky for Bohol when  Cong. Edgar Chatto was considered part of the delegation, and therefore put him in the company of close friends of the President. 

      But with the dinner becoming like a hot potato after the opposition feasted on its propriety,  the inclusion of Chatto of the entourage relegated him in a bad light. 

      This was reflected in radio interactions in the program Cuentas Claras last Monday where Chatto was taken to task for being part of the President's inner circle.

      In that radio interview over Station DYTR, Chatto was quick to dismiss allegations that he was in that  expensive dinner in the upscale French restaurant. 

      Although he believed that some of his colleagues were part of the dinner party, the first district lawmaker said he was holed up in his hotel room. In fact, he only ordered sandwich for his dinner—in the comfort of his hotel suite. 

      The GMA contingent went to New York from Washington DC after the much-publicized talk of  the chief executive with US President Barack Obama. 

      After the DC tete-a-tete, the group was also said to have eaten their dinner in another high-end restaurant at Bobby's Van's Steakhouse. 

      A Washington Post report showed that the dinner of steaks and lobsters cost the Filipinos $15,000. 

      Sought if he were in the DC dinner, Cong. Chatto  chose to keep mum. He did not answer the Post's text message asking him if  he were in the steakhouse dinner.