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We were watching on TV the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on the “pork barrel scam” last Feb. 13. As always, we were amused by the “lecture” delivered by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who loves to say the phrase “as a former trial judge.” (That must have been her “most defining moment,” but seriously we have heard nothing inspiring about her during that time in her life.)
By Edilberto C. de Jesus
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago estimates that senators legally get P1.4 million a month in compensation and allowances. What do we get? Lately, allegations that some senators get much, much more in criminal pork barrel scams and serious questions about the integrity of the institution.
This is to clarify some details in the news item titled “9 senators realign P1.8-billion pork” by TJ Burgonio and Gil Cabacungan (Front Page, 1/9/14).
The exchange of barbs between Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and Sen. Miriam Santiago on the Senate floor is pathetic. Kulang na lang magsabunutan! Both of them deserve to be pilloried for such unparliamentary conduct.
By Conrado de Quiros
I had thought of writing about it earlier, but it got waylaid by far more important things. “It” is the minor version of Pacquiao vs. Rios, which is the match between Juan Ponce Enrile and Miriam Defensor-Santiago. What waylaid it was the passing of Nelson Mandela, which put everything on hold, as it should. It’s not just that some things are more important than others, it’s that this was a case of choosing between the sublime and the paralytic. I chose the sublime.
Sweat the small stuff seems to be the mantra of certain senators in the wake of the prime-time spitting match between their colleagues Juan Ponce Enrile and Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Short of burying their heads in the sand, these senators could only purse their lips primly and appear unperturbed for the cameras as the two threw parliamentary behavior out the window and engaged each other in language that would make even the proverbial sailor blush.
By John Nery
I write out of a sense of duty—knowing not only that “politics” is the last thing people want to read about these days but also that other subjects (discussed fortunately in other columns or in the news pages) are, truly, matters of life or death.
By Amando Doronila
In a privilege speech on Sept. 25, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada startled the public with the revelation that the Aquino administration released P1.107 billion in additional pork barrel to 20 senators in October last year after the Senate voted to convict then Chief Justice Renato Corona in May 2012, as a payoff for their vote.
The roiling controversy over President Aquino’s Disbursement Acceleration Program is exactly what Sen. Jinggoy Estrada intended when he took to the Senate floor last week to defend himself against charges that he had benefited from the so-called pork barrel scam. He did not name the DAP; he likely did not know the details behind what he called an after-the-fact “incentive” of P50 million “allotted” to each senator who voted for the conviction of Chief Justice Renato Corona. But what he said was enough to start a shift in the public discussion over pork.
By Conrado de Quiros
There were two sets of stories this week that, taken side by side, told yet another story.
As a DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment)-registered association of call center workers for mutual aid and protection, the Inter-Call Center Association of Workers (ICCAW) calls on Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago to investigate BPO (business process outsourcing) sweatshops. Such an investigation should complement the proposed Magna Carta for Call Center Workers she just refiled. We welcome [...]
I read Conrado de Quiros’ column titled “Have a heart” (Inquirer, 5/23/13). Why is he so mad at Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago? What’s wrong with the senator’s advice to the new senators?