Analysis

Stonehill and pork: Prelude to farce?

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Karl Marx said, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as a farce.”

Corruption has been a recurring theme in the rise and fall of governments in the Philippines since it became an independent republic in 1946.

In 1962, the reformist administration of President Diosdado Macapagal was rocked to its foundations by the Harry Stonehill corruption scandal, in which the government deported the American ex-GI in World War II turned multimillionaire industrialist during the postwar reconstruction period, on charges of tax evasion, economic sabotage, blackmail and corruption of public officials, on a scale not previously reported in the Philippine press.

The government’s case was built on 35 truckloads of documents seized by 200 agents of the National Bureau of Investigation in raids on March 3, 1962, on 27 offices and corporations in Manila controlled by Stonehill.

The prize catch of these raids was the so-called Stonehill Blue Book, a ledger that listed more than 200 officials who received money from him in the course of his transactions with them. What made the Blue Book politically explosive was that it contained entries that showed the President himself and the leading Liberal Party senator, Ferdinand Marcos, took money from Stonehill, a revelation that devastated Macapagal’s moralizing claim that his New Era Administration was committed to eradicate graft and corruption in the government.

Centerpiece evidence

The Blue Book was the government’s centerpiece evidence to prove that the raids uncovered a treasure trove of documents that showed that Stonehill operated a “network of corruption,” whose tentacles penetrated all levels of government, from the presidency to the legislature to the bureaucracy.

The disclosure of the Blue Book’s contents during the hearings at the deportation board led to a crisis of government, including a Cabinet shake-up and the dismissal of Secretary of Justice Jose W. Diokno, who spearheaded Macapagal’s Moral Regeneration campaign, with the raids on Stonehill’s business conglomerate offices. The Stonehill scandal broke out just two months after Macapagal took office. He had defeated in the elections President Carlos Garcia of the Nacionalista Party by running on an anticorruption platform.

Ironically, 41 years since the deportation of Stonehill, the biggest corruption scandal to hit the country erupted in the midterm of the reformist administration of President Aquino—the controversy over the embezzlement of P10 billion in congressional pork barrel through a group of dummy nongovernment organizations (NGOs) headed by Janet Lim-Napoles, with the alleged collusion of a number of senators and congressmen.

Bearing in mind Marx’s dictum, the sitting administration’s involvement in this colossal hijack of taxpayers’ money has come under strong public pressure to make clear whether Mr. Aquino is for or against the abolition of pork barrel, in all its forms, including his own patronage chest.

Aquino in same rut

The Aquino administration has fallen into the same rut in which the Macapagal administration was trapped when the latter hurriedly ordered the deportation of Stonehill after it became clear that the disclosure of more evidence, based on documents seized in the raids, at the deportation board hearings, would reveal Macapagal’s links with Stonehill, resulting in extreme embarrassment to his government. There were conclusions that the hasty deportation was a cover-up.

Similarly, the pork barrel diversion scandal has pushed the current administration to the brink of being accountable for why the pork barrel fund misuse continued into his administration, as revealed by the Commission on Audit special report on pork barrel fund disbursements.

History repeats itself in patterns, mimicking the original case, but not in detail, which is what is happening in the current government investigation into the misuse of the pork barrel. There are many parallels between the Macapagal handling of the Stonehill deportation case and the Aquino administration’s dilemmas that make it vulnerable to cover up solutions for shortfalls in oversight functions in the disbursement of funds under his administration.

This is especially evident in the release of P428.5 million in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) through five state companies, from October 2010 to December 2011 to nine NGOs with dubious records. Of course, Stonehill was the face of corruption under the Macapagal administration while Napoles is the face of corruption unearthed during the Aquino administration’s investigation into the pork barrel scam.

Also, the face of the pork barrel scandal is blurred by the involvement of five senators and 23 congressmen in the PDAF misuse. They are facing possible charges, according to the justice department.

In the next article, I will demonstrate the patterns of an emerging cover-up of the pork barrel misuse by public officials.

(To be continued)

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  • http://www.yahoo.com JOSE RIZAL

    Yes!

  • sabalidaytoy

    Every time he writes his column I can’t help myself thinking here he goes again throwing tirades against the current government without blinking an eye!

    He should be thankful that after EDSA I the freedom of expression has been restored which was ABSOLUTELY trampled down by the Marcos dictatorship, one could just either end up in jail or completely disappear if you oppose that dictatorship then. But this government is way way up there completely the opposite of the dictatorship.

    You should know this Mr. Doronilla why are you using this freedom of expression in the wrong way, at the wrong party, at the wrong time (you should have done this during Marcos era)!!

    TRAPO!! PERA PERA LANG BA?

    • Eustaquio Joven

      You seem so intolerant of opinions that doesn’t suit your bias that I fear for what you would do if given the power. Even now you want to curtail someone’s freedom of expression.

      • sabalidaytoy

        Yeah, right!

        You and Doronilla are just blind to see about what’s good or right being done by the current government and choose to point an opposing view and hide behind it whenever people try disagree by your shallow opinions and call is freedom of expression??

        Nabayaran ka rin ni ATE Glo para ipagtanggol siya kasama ni Mr. Doronilla? Very obvious ka naman, go find your kabaro Mr. Doronilla and together paypayan ninyo si Ate Glo baka naiinitan sa Veterans Hospital.

      • Eustaquio Joven

        Thanks. Now I know what you mean by freedom. It the freerdom to say only the good about PNoy. The bad and the ugly is reserved for Ate Glo.

      • sabalidaytoy

        You’re just muddling the subject matter wherein the writer is comparing the present administration to the presidency of Diosdado Macapagal.

        As usual you and Mr. Doronilla loves to twist history and likes to compare similarities of the pork barrel scandal with the current administration to that of Diosdado Macapagal’s presidency which you seem to show expertise on it’s past details and personalities involve, and then use your philosophical belief’s that pronouncing such activity is “freedom of expression”??

        Up your?@#%….freedom of expression!!

      • Eustaquio Joven

        Ka Amando said, “…the pork barrel diversion scandal has pushed the current administration to the brink of being accountable for why the pork barrel fund misuse continued into his administration, as revealed by the Commission on Audit special report on pork barrel fund disbursements.”

        Is this fact or fiction? Would you rather disprove it in the name of freedom of expression, or would you rather have it censored? We can argue sans insults, can’t we? It occupies space but has no weight.

      • sabalidaytoy

        Again the same tact of misleading and misinformation on your part to hide the truth behind freedom of expression.

        The fact that the whistle blower has come out with tons of documents to the investigating agency NBI to prove the trail of money being paid by Napoles to the Senators and the Congressmen that has angered the citizenry seems to me, doesn’t merit your appreciation of facts but instead come out with unfounded accusation that this present administration is as corrupt as GMA;s and her father Diosdado Macapagal, only shows your bias towards the present dispensation.

        What a farce you are together with this writer, which is a waste of time because i know after this response you will again try to twist and divert the issue.

        Again, what a farce and a joke is this kind reasoning from the likes of Mr. Doronilla and you his avid follower! Ha Ha Ha.

      • Eustaquio Joven

        Do think tons of evidence is good for the prosecution? No. It’s not.It will only delay justice. 1 or 2 damning evidence is better than tons of trash.

        Yes. Close your eyes to what is unraveling about your idol. It will only hurt you. Yes, you may avoid answering my questions. It will only incriminate him further. You have the right to remain silent, or to speak.

      • sabalidaytoy

        Tsk,tsk,tsk here you are again playing good old lap dog and paid lackey of GMA and subservient to the beliefs and opinions of your lolo Doronilla, even though your standing on very shallow moral beliefs, I am but amazed how you still continue to plow on, to that and only for that, I say hurrah to the paid lackey of GMA!! Hurrah to the SUPER SIPSIP STUDENT of her excellency GMA!! MAGKANO NABALATO SA IYO SA KINURAKUT NI ATE GLO??

      • sabalidaytoy

        Ka Amando said, “…the pork barrel diversion scandal has pushed the current administration to the brink of being accountable for why the pork barrel fund misuse continued into his administration, as revealed by the Commission on Audit special report on pork barrel fund disbursements.”

        The tons of evidence submitted by the DOJ includes the findings of the Commission on Audit you just mentioned above on the disbursements of the pork barrel funds against the Senators and Congressmen including fake NGO heads/representative, CONTRARY to what you and your ninong DORONILLA pointing unfounded accusation to the present administration without any basis.

        What you as blind follower of Mr. Doronilla does is to use the “FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION” right as a citizen of this country by throwing mud and twisting the information so that people will believe you and creating innuendos without any proof, this he does, as columnist reporter of PDI.

        Do you have any more convincing ideas to influence the thinking of the people reading this thread, because if find that there’s no sense at all in what you’re saying, so it’s a waste of my time OR you just want to be NOTICED??

  • jackereno

    a never ending cycle of corruption. bakit? dahil sa napakabulok na justice system na ang mga maimpluensiya ay lagging ligtas sa batas, lagayan dito, lagayan doon, 2 dekadang moromoro na imbestigasyon tapos mapapawalang sala na sila. isa pang dahilan ay ang napakabulok ng electoral process na wala man lang quality ang voters at candidates tulad sana ng pag screen sa applicants ng private corporation. resulta? FAKE DEMOCRACY na ang mga kings ay ang mga oligarchs na nagpapasasa sa taxes ng mahihirap.

  • jackereno

    wake up mga inutil na pinoy

  • kokak

    Mr. Doronila is so good in exposing himself as nothing more than a propagandist. Actually I used to like his writing decades back. But it’s so tragic that he is now a farce.
    .

  • tarikan

    No mention of the little Macapagal girl? The P10B pork barrel scam was hatched & operated during most of her watch.

  • ramser

    “the controversy” over the embezzlement of P10 billion in congressional
    pork barrel through a group of dummy nongovernment organizations (NGOs)
    headed by Janet Lim-Napoles, with the “alleged collusion” of a number of
    senators and congressmen.

    Hello old man before you decide to embark on the next installment, try not to be so partisan. Embezzlement is a CONTROVERSY? And you have the temerity to state ALLEGED COLLUSION of the elected members?

  • Eustaquio Joven

    “The government’s case was built on 35 truckloads of documents seized by 200 agents of the National Bureau of Investigation in raids on March 3, 1962, on 27 offices and corporations in Manila controlled by Stonehill.”

    What about DOJ Secretary Leila De Lima? On how many truckloads of evidence will she build the governments case? Fortunately for us PNoy can’t deport ma’am Janet.

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