Pork scam: legal issue, ‘harakiri’-A A +A
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Searen: Pachico Sense
Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile has seized on a COA legal "error" to show that what legislators did about their pork barrel was legal and they were not to blame.
Enrile disputed COA's opinion that the fund transfers were "without legal basis." One of five senators tied to the scandal in the COA report on 2007-2009 PDAF releases, Enrile said the General Appropriation Act allows civil society NGOs to participate in state projects "subject to certain conditions."
Senate President Franklin Drilon also disagreed with COA's blanket prohibition in the law on fund transfers to NGOs.
OK, it's legal but conditions of the law were violated. Instead, shell NGOs were used to steal billions of pesos.
Who are liable then?
l Criminal minds that plotted and executed the swindle;
l Government agencies and LGUs that accredited bogus NGOs;
l Senators or House members who colluded with the swindlers or didn't check how their PDAFs were used.
Apparently, government agencies and LGUs were negligent or in cahoots with perpetrators.
But Enrile's copout that the senators were not responsible for verifying NGOs' status is unacceptable.
Agencies like DPWH and DSWD bow to the legislator's wish on choice of NGO, supplier or contractor.
Now, will any culprit commit suicide? Wish away, Sen. Miriam Santiago, but no way.
Harakiri requires stabbing oneself -- in the presence of witnesses -- with a short blade in the abdomen and moving it left to right in a slicing motion.
Who would've a lot of tolerance to pain and some amount of craziness to die that way?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 06, 2013.