Ledesma: All crooked roads leading to Daang Matuwid

WITH the magma of corruption being unearth in both the Arroyo and Aquino administration, the unlamented dictatorship regime of Marcos, minus repression of rights, looks like pipsqueak.

The annals of the dictatorship tell us of about a dozen cronies that drew favors from the Marcos. Except for Roberto Benedicto however who had his hands on what he wished to take over, many of them contributed in no small measure to the economy in those times. The first three years of Marcos was a consummation devoutly wished by the vast majority.

Fast forward to the present. There are hardly any cronyism of the Marcos mold but it is starting to surface from the asphalt of the much ballyhooed “daang matuwid” that there are scores of crooks in the legislative branch, government departments and agencies under them and a few but endeared cronies so ensconced in their positions. For less than three years from the time President Noy took over from what this administration bannered as a corrupt regime, it is beginning to emerge before the public eye that this present administration is in fact in deep shit. I am beginning to doubt the President’s innocence but what is starting to crystallize and what I am fully convinced is that he is surrounded by salivating crooks.

It started with the Bureau of Customs caper. Ruffy Biazon resigned by text and thereafter two other commissioners. All of them kept their jobs after they were subjected to public humiliation. We are all in the askance why they were told to stay and guaranteed their tenure? The absence of any explanation was foreboding until we were shocked to learn that two top officials directly involved in the disappearance of nearly 2,000 container vans from the Bureau of Customs were re-instated and in fact promoted. By whose machination was it that these two controversial officials suddenly landed in plum positions? If I got it right, the President himself signed their re-instatement on the endorsement of his subalterns.

LTO Chief and slot machine aficionada, Virginia Torres, sticks to her job like barnacle in the sunken Titanic. That she seems unperturbed and absolutely secured in her post despite all the controversies surrounding her office transactions and inefficiency is beyond my comprehension. But some quarters are hinting that her acquiescence to the transfer of all LTO multi-billion transactions from LTO to the Department of Transport and Communications makes her part of the coterie of top guns in the Aquino Cabinet.

The (crooked) roads of the Napoles caper all lead to Malacanang. The clincher is when Janet Lim Napoles in fact was escorted to the palace and “surrendered” to no one else but the President himself. She easily evaded the sleuth from the National Bureau of Investigation. She knew the NBI was hot on her trail but she knew ahead of the agency that a warrant of her arrest had been issued. Why do you think NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas resigned irrevocably? He said it in a different language the implication of which eloquently suggests that he does not have the stomach for the shenanigans that his bosses want him to do.

What goes around during the Arroyo administration comes around in the second generation of the Aquino presidency. It’s devil during the former era it’s Satanic in the present. Corruption is being carried out in an ingenious and furtive conduct. It mocks the ingenuous techniques of the dictatorship and Gloria in excesses.

My barber has a simplistic way of looking at what has been happening. “Marcos is bad but he did steal money from the government. Ug nangawat man si Macoy, ang iyang gitulis siguro mga negosyante nga nangayo sad ug pabor niya. Ako man gani nabasahan human sa people power nga wala ma’y nawala ni usa ka baretang gold bar sa Central Bank unya ang kuarta sa kaban sa gobyerno sakto man. Pareho ba ‘sab kang Erap. Iyang kaso plunder kay nagdawatan siya og kuarta sa jueting. Sa ako lang, si Marcos ug si Erap wala mangawat sa kuarta sa katawhan. Pero panahon ni Gloria ug hilabi na ni Pnoy billiones ka pesos ang gikawkaw sa panudlanan sa gobyerno. Kuarta to sa katawhan kay buhis man to nga gikolekta.”

Makes sense. If tolerance and escapism shall persist to define the present leadership it will not be for long that the temper of the people shall give rise to another revolt. This time it will not happen only in EDSA.
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