No bribe after the fact? Not always-A A +A
Friday, October 4, 2013
THEN Supreme Court chief justice Renato Corona was impeached in May last year.
Additional P50 million pork barrel was given in October, or five months later, to each of the 20 senator-judges who voted for his removal. There's no bribe after the fact, President Aquino argues.
Usually not. When the bribe is to influence a court decision, as was the impeachment ruling, there are no express terms. Bribery is by nature illicit, done in shadows, through liaisons. During the trial, those involved might not even have talked about it and agreement about favors were just implicit.
Sen. Ping Lacson confirmed that senators discussed at a caucus the P50 million extra funds. But if the legislators raised the ethics of accepting largesse from the Palace, it must have been about dodging adverse public response.
It was a defense lawyer who publicly disclosed it, raw and sketchy, and the Senate, aghast over hint of corruption, cited the lawyer for contempt. He must now be wagging an "I-told-you-so" finger but are the senators scandalized by proof that indeed they received add-on funds?
Bribery is another issue, not the crux of the current debate on PNoy's lump-sum
Central issue is whether the executive office's DAP is legal and constitutional and whether it is considered pork barrel. Even if the money wasn't used to bribe the senators, the main issue is far from settled.
And here's the hey-you-don't-get-it part. The question of bribery shouldn't distract from what started the noise and fury in the first place: the pork barrel horror story.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 04, 2013.