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Editorial

Special treatment

Malacañang has only itself to blame for the massive flap it found itself in after fugitive businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles was allowed to surrender to President Benigno Aquino himself—right inside the Palace. What were the President’s men thinking? That it would burnish Mr. Aquino’s crime-fighting and corruption-busting credentials to have the country’s most wanted person surrender to him only hours after he announced a P10-million bounty on her head? That it would signal the Palace’s determination to ferret out the truth behind the festering pork barrel scandal, even at the cost of cheapening the Office of the President?

The wonder was that no one in the President’s inner circle apparently thought through the implications of having Napoles received by the highest official of the land. All they had to do was look around them; every single politician that has had more than a passing acquaintance with the woman has deemed it fit to pretend not to know her. Sen. Bong Revilla, despite photographic evidence to the contrary and his own acknowledgment that one of his sons is a business partner of Napoles’ son, has maintained that Napoles is merely an acquaintance. Ditto with Sen. Jinggoy Estrada.

So radioactive is the “pork barrel queen” at this time that even Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo, who got Napoles as a principal sponsor for his splashy wedding to Shalani Soledad last year, insists that he knew her only “socially.” It may well be so, but that explanation flies in the face of the Filipino tradition of tapping close family elders and social patrons to serve as ninongs or ninangs in so public a ceremony as one’s wedding, especially like the star-studded one that Romulo and Soledad had. In any case, Napoles’ presence in the constellation of politics, show biz and society that converged on the Romulo-Soledad nuptials only showed the deep connections she had established with these rarefied realms. Until the pork barrel controversy made her into a pariah, she was the consummate insider, a full-fledged member of the ruling elite.

How, then, did the Palace intend to spin the jarring sight of Napoles evading the usual indignities that common suspects have to go through, to be accorded instead a private audience with the President? Worse, not only was she received cordially in the sanctum sanctorum of the nation’s seat of power, the President also deemed it necessary for him to accompany Napoles to her temporary detention cell in Camp Crame. All this time, nobody in the presidential retinue ever paused to say that the optics looked bad from any angle? That the government was vulnerable to being accused of favoritism, of giving this woman preferential treatment, and that the extraordinary accommodations she’s being accorded might, at the very least, give rise to speculation that the administration has secretly worked out some kind of deal with her to manage the expected fallout from her upcoming explosive testimony?

Which is exactly what has happened. Malacañang’s exceedingly thoughtless, clumsy handling of Napoles’ surrender has only spawned wild second-guessing and conjecture, and who could blame the public if its default position is disbelief, if not outright cynicism? Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda have tried all manner of verbal contortions to explain away the charge of special treatment for Napoles; the facts, however, speak otherwise. On her first night in Crame, Napoles was held in an airconditioned room that had to pass inspection by the President himself. Now that she’s been transferred to the Makati City Jail, she’s kept away from other inmates in another airconditioned cell. And while all her cellphones have been taken away from her, Napoles’ family has been allowed to bring her an airbed, to make her incarceration more comfortable.

The Aquino administration has only one way of redeeming itself from this fiasco, and that is to ensure that the ensuing investigation of the pork barrel scam is thorough and transparent, and results in airtight cases against everyone involved, including those allied with the administration. All this bending over backwards for Napoles must better be worth it in terms of the value of her testimony. But for the whole truth to come out, the government cannot be left on its own devices. The public must remain on vigilant watch, even as the creaky justice system finally starts to grind.

The chief goal is, still, to force the system to scrap the pork barrel, not merely to see Napoles in jail.


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Short URL: http://opinion.inquirer.net/?p=60045

  • talagalangha

    Sobrang kadramahan ni Pnoy…pareward-reward pa kunwari eh hawak na pala nila si Napoles, one day before pa…! Scripted nga pala lahat!

    check out the expose of RMN reporter Don Lino Celle, who posted in his FB account and network Radyo Mindanao’s website that Napoles will indeed surface, and the newspapers will carry it the next day, and Napoles will be made a state witness for a deal….a fell 24 HOURS BEFORE….

    Why the denials pa? What are they cooking? Kaya pala ganoon na lang ang concern nila…by the way, connected daw ito sa election 2016…ah, kaya pala bida-bidahan agad si Mr. Palengke…hahaha!

    No state witness for Napoles! No special treatment! No presidential pork!

    • Mamang Pulis

      yan ba yun kumakalat sa FB?

    • Phoinex

      Once Napoles speaks, all anomalies in the Senate and Congress will be in the open and also the fertilizer scam of Joc-Joc Bolante….Simply all dots are now conjoining from today’s anomalies and the past scams.

      • Romulus Fenandez

        tanga ka talaga, kaya nga iniingatan nila PANOT si napoles kasi po kasali sila sa SCAM…ask OCHOA AND ABAD!

  • talagalangha

    Bakit laging kasama sa mga eskandalo ang pangalan ni Jojo Ochoa at oButch Abad?

    Palagay ko itong dalawa ang promotor talaga nitong scam na ito…!

    • Romulus Fenandez

      eh kasi po etong si ABAD ang nagpauso ng PORK BARREL SCAM, kung natatandaan nyo pa, panahon ni STA. PRES. CORY AQUINO, ang pork barrel nya ikinonvert nya sa bigas galing sa NFA at ibinenta sa BINONDO rice cartel! mag research po kayo!

  • allanbeltran

    ang kawatan kahit ito ay malaking nanakaw o maliit man ay still kawatan so therefore lahat ng kawatan ay dapat ilagay sa isang ordinaryong selda para doon nila mapag muni muni ano anong mga ginawa nilang katarantanduhan. ito pong mga taong ito sa isang snatcher or gaya ni janet napoles ay pareha ang ibibigay at hindi gawan ng iba pang selda na naka aircon pa.. ang ating hustisya ay dalawa, isa sa isang pangkaraniwang magnanakaw at isa sa isang malaking kawatan na malaki ang nadugas sa kaban ng bayan. BAKIT GANITO ANG TRATO PNOY BAKIT?

    • Phoinex

      Kung ilagay mo siya sa karamihan ng mga preso, do you think walang mangyari sa kanya? Paano natin makamit ang hustisya kung patay na siya? She has all the evidence that can pinpoint her cohorts. Eka nga, if she goes down, she will bring along her cohorts with her in Jail. The story doesn’t end with Napoles. Paano na ang mga kakonstaba nyang mga congressman? yung mga Senador? at iba pa dyan? Do we allow them to walk freely as if wala silang kinalaman? I don’t think so!…So now, I hope you understand why we need Napoles separated from these ordinary criminals. We simply wants her alive!

      • Romulus Fenandez

        hanga ako sa katangahan mo, sa pelikula lang ung sinasabi mo! pati tag mo mali spelling, lol…

  • Phoinex

    I think it’s time to revive the FERTILIZER SCAM of Joc-Joc Bolante because Janet Napoles has resurfaced. She can tell her tale as to where are the money since it was her NGO who received the cash that was intended for the farmers. Who benefited that scam? and who orchestrated it?

  • satoriseeker

    who wrote this editorial? your “analyst” doronila??

    • basilionisisa

      napuna ko rin… almost pareho ng Editorial ng Philstar, Aug 30, 2013. hmm.

      • Allen Douglas

        alangan naman si de Quiros? Baka mawala pa yan sa hatian ng 1.2B malacanang comm group’s PORK….

    • AllaMo

      Lmfao. Sapul ba yung interests mo?

    • Mamang Pulis

      may problema ba sa editorial?

      may problema ba kung mag duda ang mga tao?

      bawal ba mag isip at pag isipan at pag dudahan ng tao ang mga naka luklok?

      incorrigible ba ang gabinete ni simeon?

  • Mamang Pulis

    Capt Jack Sparrow: Me I’m dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly it’s the honest ones you have to watch out for, you never can predict if they’re going to do something incredibly stupid.

    Pirates of the Caribbean…

    bagay.

    • mad_as_Hamlet

      * * * * * * * *

      Agree! But the mad ones have always
      proven to be the most trustworthy!
      They can’t pretend, and being able to
      pretend is necessary in order to deceive.
      Mad people can’t even pretend to be sane,
      for when they do, they just become madder.
      Believe me, as I speak from experience!
      The problem is with the merely crazy ones,
      because they aways act sane. Je je je …
      – – -

      • AllaMo

        But, then, I believe you are not among those whom the gods wish to destroy. These have honorable appended, mainly because they know they are not…

      • Mamang Pulis

        FOR RIPLEY’S—Believe it or Not.

        http://www dot interaksyon dot com/article/69706/us-based-pinoy-journo-says-napoles-was-in-govt-custody-hours-before-p10-m-bounty-announced

        US-based Pinoy journo reported Napoles ‘detention’ by gov’t — hours before P10-M bounty announced By : Likha Cuevas-Miel, InterAksyon dot com

        August 30, 2013 12:09 PM

        ..Honestly it’s the honest ones you have to watch out for, you never can predict if they’re going to do something incredibly stupid.

  • Jett_Rink

    in GMAs investigative report on fake NGOs, the COA said they had identified 92 dubious NGOs, with 12 of them being invoived with Ms.Napoles, My question is, what about the other 80 NGOs? Who were the operators involved with them? And why is the DBM not being forthright in giving all the documents that COA wants? Remember that many of Pnoy’s allies now were allies of GMA then, as late as the campaign period of 2010 elections. Remember that Napoles herself has been at this game since at least 2001. Almost all of Pnoy’s allies now, including Pnoy himself, was allied with GMA from 2001 to 2005.

  • Mamang Pulis

    FOR RIPLEY’S—Believe it or Not.

    http://www dot interaksyon dot com/article/69706/us-based-pinoy-journo-says-napoles-was-in-govt-custody-hours-before-p10-m-bounty-announced

    US-based Pinoy journo reported Napoles ‘detention’ by gov’t — hours before P10-M bounty announced By : Likha Cuevas-Miel, InterAksyon dot com
    August 30, 2013 12:09 PM

  • marcelo_4161

    sayang sana sa iyo sumurender para magandang tignan at maayus pa ano? wala tayong magagawa kahit maganda na sana ang nangyari pero mali parin pala..



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