Judas’ ‘barbeque screwer’


“I knew it!” Angeles e-mails after reading “‘Law of the stomach’ as tradition” (Inquirer, 1/19/13).  “My late mother once said, some 30 years ago: All politicians are one and the same in the barbeque screwer of Judas Iscariot. How right she was.”

This Viewpoint column discussed the P1.6-million “Christmas gifts” Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile doled to 18 senators. Hot-under-the-collar letters from readers cascaded in. Former Sen. Rene Saguisag led the assault on “fraud calcified into tradition.” Excerpts:

“Rizal wrote about the reign of greed. Are we seeing Part II  in ‘a social vice that has become incurable’? I wonder when it began? Not in our (1987-1992) time. Sen. Jovito Salonga  served  Sunflower biscuits for  merienda. And in my huge pilot-litigator’s bag was my baon.

“What gives Juan Ponce Enrile the right to give additional compensation without expiry?  Delicadeza? Would the few who got less have complained if JPE gave all senators equally such arguably unconstitutional and unethical additional compensation?

“As Senate ethics panel chief, I’d raise questions about  grant(s) whose constitutional and ethical basis was absent or shaky. (Former) staff would say ‘sorry, wrong number’ on getting irate calls, from colleagues, on what they thought of me and my ancestors. Oh, for the days of Uncle  Kuripot  Jovy and Prez Cory-Pot. (Then) we did not treat public money as our own, but as trust fund for the people.”

“One day, (our legislators) will write law on money,” Noel predicts. “Then we can keep the change.”

“Is this where (our) taxes go?” asks FPC. “I want to go back being an Overseas Foreign Worker. It’s tax free. Sad, sad, sad.” And  Sievert, 81, adds: “Its more fun to be a senator.”

“Now we know. The Senate scrimps year round, so members could splurge at year’s end. (Next) they’ll do the reverse,” Firmelilia_12LAF predicts. “Splurge the year round and, come  year-end, pillage Maintenance & Other Expenses budgets. High-end thievery!”

Calcification takes a long  time, says  RIGGS1220. “Massive corruption here is ingrained… and makes me vomit thinking about politicians who took part in this ‘tradition.”’

“That’s the same tradition the military called  pabaon,” Fz20 weighs in. “Same style, same banana.  Pare-pareho  kayong  bulok . You misuse legal (devices) to steal from the people.”

Divictes says: “No wonder we can’t stamp out corruption. We’ve absorbed it traditionally and adopted it legally.

“‘Ley del estomago’  or ‘Law of the Stomach,’ in Tagalog, would read: Palakasan  (sila)  ng  sikmura. A  YouTube clip shows a python swallowing an alligator whole. How did its system digest the hard-skinned creature? Would it stretch a point if one compares the ‘stomachs’ of Enrile, Edgardo Angara, and other senators with the digestive apparatus of the snake in the video?”

“No! Certainly not!” responds Cogito728sum. “Stretch it further by saying that the python rests until the swallowed prey is totally digested. In the case of your comparables, they keep going, and going, and going.” “Indeed, [t]he stomach has reasons that reason cannot know,” adds Mad As Hamlet. “But my guess is worms, worms, and more worms.”

“So there you have it folks,” Marcy Pulilan

e-mails. “Angara just explained that senators are traditionally thieves and kickback-money pocketers. It is tradition for senators to steal money from the scrimping they do before year-end, so that they can pocket more. The more they can save, the more they can give themselves. No one believes ethics hearings anymore when those hearing it are culprits themselves.”

“I used to be a big fan of Ed Angara because of his robust, sensible views,” Pert Cabatana confesses. “But with this MOOE-fed ‘time-honored’ tradition of gift-giving, plus the Aurora Apeco fiasco, I scratched Angara permanently from my list of  ‘presidentiables.’ He turns out to be no better than Enrile in legalistic callousness and ethical insensitivity.”

“It intrigues me no end why Angara joined the fray on P1.6-million Christmas gifts,” adds Kapayapaan_1900. “It is no secret he and the Senate President are fraternity brothers in an exclusive law school and both cofounded Accra. Both knew each other well ‘pati  likaw  ng  bituka.’ Was he forced to save the skin of his fraternal brother or to trivialize Sen. Miriam Santiago’s allegations and maximize his son’s election chances?”

“The rise of Cory Aquino restored the system controlled by the ‘oligarchic compradors’ (San Juan) in a solid, visible ‘national oligarchy,’ created by Americans (Anderson),” writes Where I Stand. “Marcos (parceled) this powerbase to his cronies. Cory Aquino didn’t institutionalize reform… to ensure the gains of People Power. This led to resurgence of the Marcos elites. Political patronage in the form of  kaklase,  kaibigan  at  kabarilan  is a dominant feature in the Aquino II administration. Perhaps the Americans were correct in looking at the Filipino masses as ‘ignorant, credulous and childlike.’”

“Why doesn’t the Commission on Audit require lawmakers to produce receipts?” asked ra6Gpeche. “Proper receipts verify legitimacy of transactions. That way, we knowingly tempt these legislators to be corrupt.”

“Someone please tell me how 23 senators, no more intelligent than most of us, can abuse us 95 million Filipinos repeatedly?” Moonworshipper wonders.  “Is there a way to end the lives of these politicians without killing them?” “Bravo,” cheers AnitAko.

* * *

E-mail: juan_mercado77@yahoo.com

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

More from this Column:

Other Stories:

No related posts found!

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Short URL: http://opinion.inquirer.net/?p=45345

Tags: column , Juan L. Mercado , senate cash gifts

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Bus kills pedestrian before falling into Olongapo City ravine – report
  • Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  • Group: Bataan cop killed to stop him from exposing colleagues linked to drug ring
  • Chemical Engineer licensure examination
  • Troubled history fuels Japan-China tension
  • Sports

  • NLEX fights off Derulo Accelero to remain unbeaten
  • Mayweather diehard Bieber eats pride, poses with Pacquiao for photo op
  • Power Pinays rip Singapore to enter quarters in Asian volley tilt
  • PBA D-League: Waves edge skidding Superchargers
  • Ilad’s last-second basket lifts Gems over Bakers
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Arrest warrants out vs. Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee, et al over serious illegal detention
  • Lindsay Lohan says she had a miscarriage
  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Business

  • Century Pacific Food sets IPO price at P13.75 per share
  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Balikatan could spoil peace talks, says militant group
  • DFA officers hold workshop on aiding human traffic victims
  • Canada in communication with PH on toxic wastes
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged not to panic amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Marketplace