Washing dirty linen-A A +A
By Jun Ledesma
Friday, September 27, 2013
SENATOR Jinggoy Estrada said it all and described to us the tapestry of unabashed, unrelenting and broad daylight heist of taxpayers' money not only by lawmakers like himself but also the tenants of Malacañang. Still, the actor-senator did not exonerate himself in his seething privilege speech that dragged majority of the senators into the sinkhole of political perdition.
Jinggoy, hurting from being singled out along with two other minority senators by the Commission on Audit, shot from the hip in a staccato of shotgun fire hitting senators, congressmen and Presidential subalterns among others. He also took a jibe at the media for feasting on him and Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon Revilla.
Well, he really cannot blame the media because much of what the media and opinion makers have been writing about stemmed from the COA reports and from the Department of Justice. But Jinggoy is correct in asserting the fact that COA and DOJ have been harping only on how their Pork Barrel was expended. Sec. Leila Delima kept saying that there will be another batch of names but as to when she will unravel her lists of names of those who dipped their fingers on the cookie jar is like waiting for eternity. "Selective justice is injustice," stressed Senator Estrada.
Obviously, Senator Jinggoy hates the foot-dragging of the pork barrel probe that has been exhibiting the minority senators as the only culprits. Indeed the conduct of the investigation had focused mainly on them and Janet Napoles and her strings of non-government organizations. What about other NGOs including one that was organized by a former senator who placed all his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel in said NGO?
For sowing the wind the administration of Pres. Benigno Aquino III is reaping the whirlwind. The eye of the storm is in the senate but its path is leading in a straight line towards Malacañang. Like the weather disturbances a potential storm is developing into a killer typhoon in the House of the Representatives. We expect skeletons to be unearthed there for prior to the present administration, that House was dubbed as the most corrupt institution in the government bureaucracy.
This earth shaking revelation should prod President Pnoy to act with some radical surgical actions. It looks like some shrewd operators, among them his party mates and maybe friends, are taking advantage of his childish innocence on the art of corruption, which some political doyens have mastered through these years.
The aversion of President Aquino to any form of venalities makes him as ignorant as well. The pocket rebellion in Zamboanga and the siege of remote barangays in Midsayap will not quell the PDAF scam. Senate President Frank Drilon refusal to summon PDAF Queen Napoles will not hold the tide of unrest in and out of the senate. Drilon legal wishy-washy on the Ombudsman power over the Senate insults his own party colleagues who have become disenchanted over his strange soft attitude on Napoles of late who seemed to enjoy an avuncular regard from the erstwhile chief inquisitor of High Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.
What was Corona's fault? He is a friend of former President Gloria Macapaga-Arroyo and he failed to include in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth his "income" from the sale of his in-laws real estate properties to the city government of Manila. It turned out now that P50 million was dangled for each vote that would convict the former CJ. Corona may have his lapses that cost him his job but he did not steal taxpayers' money the way his inquisitors and judges did. How sad. Corona who reached the apex of his career path as a lawyer, lost the prestige and the dignity and was subjected to pillory for the sum of P50-million.
The same faces are sitting in the Senate Hall these days. The same characters who nailed Corona on the cross. Gone are the times when summons were issued to witnesses and documents without any fuss. Behavior among these men and women who not long ago wear the judge's frock has dramatically changed. Now, the issuance of summons to vital witnesses needs to have the imprimatur of the Ombudsman!
The senators and congressmen are washing their dirty linens in public. Now we know that not only do they make a killing out of their PDAF they also take multi-million bribes to convict or exonerate.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 28, 2013.