Kris-Crossing Mindanao

Hidden transcripts

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Are things being left unsaid of the pork barrel scam because of lack of evidence? Or are there those that are deliberately left unsaid?

Have we already seen the entire range of that scam or are we only at the tip of the iceberg?

Having seen now how systemic the thievery goes in the pork barrel of legislators, are we now to believe that only Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla have allegedly been dipping their fingers into it? And the rest of our senators and congressmen are simply saints? Come on, we certainly were not born yesterday to have our legs pulled.

Paraphrasing that, are opposition senators and congressmen the only thieves? Frank Drilon, partying with Jimmy and Janet Napoles “about 10 times,” as he admits, is no porker (no pun intended)? Inday Espina Varona advises in social media to keep “eyes on the money.” Eyes on the money, yes. Guilty by photography, no. But partying at the Napoles mausoleum at Heritage Park? Why, we must be palsy-walsy with each other if you party with me at my family’s sanctum sanctorum—my parent’s mausoleum, morbid as it may sound. No, we must not be done yet with Frank Drilon if we must use the same standard on Jinggoy Estrada’s own photos with Napoles.

Are our suspicions now correct that in fact there are other Janet Napoleses who operate parallel get-rich-quick scams with proadministration legislators? Except that, fortunately for them, these scam operators do not have a Benhur Luy to illegally detain, an activity that then reaches the ears of the NBI? Let’s admit it, uncovering this scam was accidental. We have known for years why candidates scramble to get elected each election—because it is the surest passport to the lifestyle of the rich and famous. We have long tolerated why they suddenly live in grandiose mansions with swimming pools and keep chunky heavy-cylinder cars in their garages. Some thieving senators and

congressmen may not have mansions, but they have money anyway. Some distribute the largesse for political patronage, some don’t. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Thievery in government is something we have long known. All that money being distributed in thick wads—and they get thicker every election—is something we have long accepted even with the advent of automated polls. Why, we even teach our young how to steal the people’s money by training them how to buy votes for the Sangguniang Kabataan elections. Benhur Luy’s illegal detention that led to this Pandora’s box was, on another angle, not an accident waiting to happen, because thievery had long been accepted by us. What shocked and awed us now is the sheer magnitude of it. For the first time, we now have a peek at how the pork barrel has enriched people in and out of government.

Yet, knowing now how systemic it went makes it doubly difficult to accept that it happened only with opposition legislators. Which makes it tempting to think, even with a credibly feisty justice secretary, that this is nothing but a witch hunt for opposition legislators. There are those who truly believe that this in fact is now part of laying the groundwork for the fall of the opposition in 2016.

Now that it has been laid bare in the open, those that have not been accused yet are clamming up. For all we know, they have already bought as many paper shredders as Napoles had. We will never know the truth anymore. We will never know, for example, why Napoles got to hobnob in presidential parties. We will never know where Ed Angara’s pork barrel that went to his own NGO was truly spent. We will never know how Alan Peter Cayetano spent the millions he did get via the Napoles NGO route. We will never know how Tesda’s Joel Villanueva, a friend of the President, was able to improve his lifestyle from the Napoles bounty he had also gotten. We will never know because these legislators are friends of the President.

The truth will forever be swept under the rug or stashed away in hidden transcripts that we will no longer get to hear. And that is why the only way now to redeem the people’s trust is to truly abolish the pork barrel, including that of the President. We must renew our call. Let us not believe what Congress and President Aquino have said. The pork barrel has not been abolished. It will only be reprogrammed. The system of political patronage that it feeds will stay. Once we hear news that fake bidding for public works projects is still very much alive, you can be sure that legislators are still stealing our money. Make no mistake: Even without Napoles, senators and congressmen will still be thieves. It does not take having a bogus NGO to steal.

That is the reason why Peachy Bretaña, that impossible voice of the Million People March, is now calling for another signature campaign. “The President and legislators have agreed to scrap the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), but the pork system itself continues. The government also still has to account for spent discretionary funds, including those used in the last three years. And we know, of course, that not just three senators and a handful of representatives were involved in stealing our taxes.”

“You and 84,981 other petition signers were crucial. Please join me in signing this new petition at www.change.org/100days.”

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  • TGM_ERICK

    It is easy CDQ, no need of 1 million signatures. The pork barrel decision is in the hands of Pnoy. He may pass the 2014 budget without pork barrels.

  • TGM_ERICK

    There is another explosive article. I don’t know if it is true. That Napoles’ help was used by Pnoy to buy the congressmen who impeached Corona.

    Against all efforts to exclude any pro-Aquino official from any case related to the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam, it now appears that in 2012 Malacañang itself used Janet Lim Napoles, the reputed mastermind, as a conduit to release P49 billion to P69 billion “pork” to the members of Congress to induce them to impeach and remove then-Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, and to railroad the passage of the widely opposed, anti-Catholic reproductive health bill.

  • tagulipnan gubat

    these are just speculations from the opposition (UNA) especially those who are implicated to this scam. however, they have all the power and the resources to prove their allegations. they better use their napoles tainted money to expose those in the administration who were also pork scammers. in any other way, the exposes from the warring political parties will be for the benefit of filipino taxpayers.

  • TGM_ERICK

    o heto naang paliwanag sa100M

    P475M DISBURSED TO 6 SENATOR-JUDGES

    A senator who is among those the Aquino administration is trying to pin as culprits in the P10-billion pork barrel scam hit back yesterday revealing the use of supposed stimulus fund of the Aquino administration under a so-called Disbursement Allocation Plan (DAP) to apparently bribe six senators who sat as judges in the Senate impeachment court to vote in favor of convicting former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona in the voting that took place in May 2012.

    Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., one of the senator-judges then, raised possible irregularities in the Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) release of P475 million lump sum allocations to six senators through the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) last year, which on paper was intended for livelihood projects nationwide, but were actually meant to “induce” them to go with the Malacañang-initiated impeachment of then Supreme Chief Justice Renato Corona.

    The agency is headed by Budget Sec. Florencio Abad who is a key official of the Liberal Party (LP) of Aquino and who lately confirmed the regularity, supposedly, of lawmakers’ endorsement on the beneficiaries and implementing agencies of their appropriated funds.( continuation) next to this.

  • TGM_ERICK

    The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) had said in a statement in January, 2012 that 96 percent or P69.3 billion of the P72.11 billion Disbursement Acceleration Plan (DAP), which is part of the stimulus fund of the Aquino administration, was released to agencies and government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs) in 2011.
    Abad said the DAP were released to agencies and GOCCs to ramp up spending. “The DAP contributed immensely to the government’s increased spending in the last months of the year, allowing agencies to quickly implement programs and projects aligned with the Aquino Social Contract to the Filipino People,” Abad said.
    Marcos, however, reiterated that he did not request the use of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), totaling P100 million supposedly, for projects implemented through non-government organizations (NGOs) set up by scam brains Janet Lim Napoles.Abad insisted that Marcos even sought out then Senate President Enrile to back him up in granting his request for the funds through a letter dated Nov. 23, 2011 and even sought for a switch in implementing agency.

    “Just so we’re clear: I have not seen any of the letters that Abad is referring to. It would have been more constructive if he checked with my office first but, instead he chose to vilify me in the press,” he said in a statement.
    “As I said before, the first time I heard about this P100 million allotment was when CoA wrote me on Sept. 4 and asked me to confirm my signature on a document which allegedly came from my office,” he said.
    In an effort to aid COA with its investigation, we immediately sent them proof that the documents were falsified. Since the initial batch relating to this were falsified, it would be prudent to treat everything with utmost caution,” he said

  • TGM_ERICK

    As for the additional P100M that was allegedly released to my office under the DAP, I would not have even known that such a release existed were it not for COA’s letter to me last September 4, 2013 informing me of such fact. So again, how could I have requested for the release of these funds when I didn’t even know it existed?” Marcos pointed out.
    “I do not know the exact nature of the funds released under the President’s DAP so I’d rather not speculate.“What I find puzzling though is why the DAR said that the DBM issued six ‘special’ SAROs for six senators? What makes the six senators ‘special’? Why not all 23 senator-judges?” Marcos said in raising the allegations on the supposed “inducements” to upper chamber members to rule for the indictment of Corona who was impeached by the House of Representatives in Dec. 2011.

    Marcos said he was surprised by the statements made by Abad, which was carried by a major broadsheet last Sept. 20, refuting his claims that his signatures were forged in the said P100 million “transaction.”
    Abad insisted that Marcos even sought out then Senate President Enrile to back him up in granting his request for the funds through a letter dated Nov. 23, 2011 and even sought for a switch in implementing agency.
    “Just so we’re clear: I have not seen any of the letters that Abad is referring to. It would have been more constructive if he checked with my office first but, instead he chose to vilify me in the press,” he said in a statement.

  • William Cervantes

    Articles like this aimed not at uncovering the truth but confuse the issue by insinuating that the scam is only part of the bigger scam (committed by the administration). Since the accused could not face the issue head on, the remaining option is to seek for others who are also committing similar crime hoping that the public would loose interest in their case because it is just a slice of the bigger pie. Note the comment of Jinggoy, DOJ is making us appear as the worst of the criminals. He did not deny involvement but points to another, anyone who he is dead sure committing the crime. Without providing evidence, the UNA gang chorused in approval. Assuming that Drilon et al have also made the transactions, that does not mean Jinggoy et al are innocent.

    • Allen Douglas

      Clearly, you did not get the drift of the article.

  • Allen Douglas

    How true, Mr. Montalvan. But the people could no longer be fooled. They won’t accept half-truths in this on-going frontal thievery. We know, that this THIEVERY doesn’t know political colors. It crosses beyond political boundaries.

  • talagalangha

    Pag napatunayan na ginamit nga ni Pnoy ang mga pondong ito para lang matanggal si CJ Corona, as was the news then of bribery was squashed by Malacanang, tapos totoo nga…well, this could be the downfall of Pnoy….!

    So exciting…hypocrites all!

  • katabay1106

    The pork barrel scam is just beginning. The opposition will undoubtedly make their own accussation of wrong doing by the administration. Let us keep an open mind because both sides are probably guilty of stealing the pork barrel funds.

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