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Slice of Life
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
THIS is how it works.
The alleged P10 billion pork barrel scam mastermind surrendered to no less than the President last week, just hours after a P10 million bounty was put up for information leading to her arrest. Janet Napoles has been implicated in the P10 billion pork barrel scam and other alleged irregularities such as the fertilizer fund scam and the Malampaya fund mess. She was wanted for serious illegal detention of pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda who facilitated the surrender had this to say, "It's in our culture that the fugitive who throws himself at the mercy of the highest official, the President, is honor-bound to secure and receive the fugitive. This is not the first time it happened."
Upon her surrender, she was not handcuffed, and underwent a medical check-up. Napoles also spent the night in an air-conditioned room in Camp Crame. She also stayed for two nights at an air-conditioned room in Makati City Jail before she was transferred to Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa early Sunday.
Malacanang has announced that it is not ruling out possibility of Napoles becoming a state witness.
The government is not giving her any special treatment.
She was picked up at a cemetery -- never handcuffed and walked into Malacañang to meet the highest official of the land who even escorted him to Camp Crame.
The President is honor bound to secure and receive the fugitive.
After all, Malacanang is considering her to become a state witness.
Never mind if she does not meet the requirements for an accused to turn state witness.
That it seems that she can escape prosecution by the expedient machinations of those of power comes not as a surprise. She can become the convenient excuse to pacify the public's exasperation on the use of public funds to finance the lifestyle of those in power, and of officials who want to get away from the responsibility that they have allowed and even encouraged corruption within their own ranks.
Despite and inspite of public pronouncements against malfeasance.
The issue is not on the threat against the life of Napoles. It is about the abuse of public funds.
It is not about the role of the nation's highest official to secure and receive a fugitive or anyone who wanted to seek audience with the President, it is about the commitment of ensuring that every Filipino is secure in his/her own land, able to receive the most basic services due them, with an assurance that every single centavo that is automatically deducted from their salary every month is not pocketed by their officials.
It is not even an issue of high expectations. It is a matter of receiving what we think we deserve. Over time, we tolerated the misuse of public funds. There is a tendency to stretch our patience and accept things that come our way, until such time that everything hits rock bottom that we begin to whine, albeit in whispers until the courage to mount a protest magically unfolds. We are too patient, too tolerant to abuse and we are equally guilty.
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Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 03, 2013.