Editorial: Beyond Janet Napoles-A A +A
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
JANET Napoles and her socialite daughter are the subjects of hatred these days. Maybe because the family has a not so funny way of brushing off legitimate concerns of the Filipino people, like: That Jeane’s showing off of her very expensive clothes, parties, bags, shoes and yes, Porsche in a blog is part of her requirements in her fashion design course, or something like that; that Janet gave darling baby Jeane a Porsche because she graduated cum laude; and that their billions come from their investments in mining in Indonesia and inheritance, over and above the Tita and Kuya and Ma'am and a lot of intelligible gibberish in between. Maybe because in brushing the accusations with these replies, they make us feel that what they were actually saying is that all Filipinos are dumb and gullible and should believe their stories.
But let’s not be carried away. What the Napoleses are being accused of is a deep-seated operation within the government itself that is perpetuated because of our government’s refusal to pass a real Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill.
What the Napoleses are being accused of illustrates why even an administration that has promised us the “daang matuwid” refuses to certify the FOI as urgent.
What the Napolese are being accused of is but the initial flow of evil deeds emanating from the Pandora’s box. There’s more, as the Commission on Audit reports are showing. There are more fake non-government organizations (NGOs) and stewards of these fake NGOs, as well as pork barrel donors to these fake NGOs. Let us not just focus on the Napoleses for the gross corrupt deeds; although, it’s all right to seek redress for how they are regarding our intelligence through a spit or two, makabawi man lang.
Let’s just not lose our focus on what the problem really is: Deep-seated graft and corruption perpetuated by government officials who refuse to heed the people’s call for the Freedom of Information. Let us not forget too that there is one man who could have easily facilitated its passage, the same man who promised such when he was still wooing us for our votes, now President Benigno Aquino III.
As reported by Interaksyon.com in its FOI timeline, on February 9, 2010 as campaign season began:
“Aquino’s action plans are outlined in www.noynoy.ph, the blog for his presidential bid. His administration ‘will ensure transparency and citizen’s participation in crafting and implementing laws, rules, and regulations and in monitoring the programs, projects and transactions of government.’ How? By upholding ‘the people’s right to information on matters of public concern’ and supporting ‘the enactment of the Freedom of Information Bill in Congress.’” Says the blog, “To enable citizens to help stop corruption, information about the government’s budget shall be organized, packaged, and distributed to the media regularly and posted in the internet so the public may know, understand, and monitor how their money is spent. The Aquino regime will also “strengthen people’s participation with simple and clear procedures for citizens to monitor all government projects and report their feedback through accessible means.’”
That was the last heard of the FOI promise from the President, from then on, it has been no.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 21, 2013.