Senators in trouble

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014


The past few days are trying times for this country. In my old age, I have never gone through a period when truth, so to say, came before our people like the mythical chameleon, changing its color at will as it sees fit.

The closing of the pork barrel scam “net” is what is causing this display of the truth’s capability to assume the skill of changing itself as it sees fit. It is quite a tricky thing to do, but it seems to be succeeding.

Let us start with the so-called “Napolist,” or the list of Janet Lim-Napoles, believed to be the mastermind of the P10-billion pork barrel scam. She had made a list of the names of all those who had received a share of the pork barrel fund, and who are now facing plunder cases. The top three listed are Sens. Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada, and Juan Ponce Enrile.

Revilla and Estrada, who are included in the Napoles list, have been looking for ways to make something of their recent arrest, dramatizing it in such a way that it would have a positive effect on their respective political stature. As it is, they must somehow find ways to tone down the political effect of their criminal detention, make it look as though the cases against them are results of machinations by potential opponents in politics.

Whatever it is they are up against, the obvious thing is that the government is spending more money for the improvement of the cells Revilla and Estrada are staying in. The two senators are now housed in specially prepared detention cells. It is ironic to note that they are being charged with plunder for having received kickbacks from their allowances. Yet, more funds are being spent for their comfort.

As to Enrile, the third senator who is also being charged with plunder, he is already 90 years old. Some of his colleagues in the Senate have asked that he be detained in a hospital or be extended a house arrest.

Perhaps, it is only fitting to have such a privilege to give him peace of mind while he contemplates on how to reconcile the various “untruths” he has written into his memoirs, specially about the Martial Law role of his former boss, Ferdinand Marcos. Someone who read the book pointed out inconsistent assertions.

The point is that the cases of plunder over the pork barrel scam have generated revelations and mudslinging among those who have been advertently or inadvertently included in the Napoles list and the list of his trusted aides who have turned whistle blowers. The world of those who “tasted” a share of the pork barrel has turned upside down, and I am sure they are spending many a sleepless nights. After all, the people’s money they pocketed is also a product of sweat.

And so, I am quite appalled at the way the simple political gestures our leaders are obliged to do for their constituents have to be down-graded, overplayed, or even twisted in order for it to become more palatable to the general public, which is what seems to be happening now with some statements of our leaders in trouble.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 26, 2014.

Opinion

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