Saturday, October 5, 2013
At the Backdrop of GMA et al. Plunder Indictment, the Pork Scourge Stares Pnoy in the Face
It is amazing how former government officials of the Arroyo Administration are crying foul over plunder charges filed against them for their role in the release of approximately 23B of Malampaya funds (an accumulation of royalty for the government on oil and gas finds in the country), purportedly decreed by an EO issued by then President GMA to attend to the urgent needs of the victims of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. COA, however, finds in its report, and on which DOJ bases its case, that they went NOT to typhoon victims, but to pockets of lawmakers, Arroyo cronies, and executive officials as high up as former president herself Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA).
Ermita says he only carried out the orders of the then president GMA. Former Budget Secretary and now congressman Rolando Andaya echoes Ermita saying his job was simply ministerial. But is it really plausible that these heads of offices who wield so much power and clout with then president GMA would just carry out orders and release budget involving billions of pesos all in faithful compliance with the mandate of their office, and without consideration? I tell you that is a tough sell.
On whining why the former president GMA is being indicted. What is the fuss? Even the P10B PDAF scam, as narrated in statements sworn to separately by the whistleblowers, covered the period ten years back, which puts it right within the 3-term (9 years) GMA regime which ended in 2010. Janet Lim Napoles herself, the PDAF Scam mastermind, hinted in interviews prior to her surrender, that she was not the boss, and instead referred to her boss as little girl or small girl. They saw this coming, so the make-believe surprise play is not going to cut it.
It is not to say that I am without beef with the Pnoy administration. I wrote in a previous post how disappointed I was, so were many who until then fully supported him, at his insidious double talk regarding pork barrel. While he said it was finally time for the pork to vanish for good, he kept in his 2014 Budget some P450B in so-called Special Purpose Fund, which he could direct the disbursement of as he would please.
Again, these attempts, never mind the subtlety with which they tried to portray innocence, are what infuriate the Filipino people, inasmuch as they NOT only betray the president’s one-upping them, but more than that, they insult them. How dare the president and his, what appears now to be, not-so-bright boys think that the Filipino people are too dumb to tell pork when it goes by another name?
Then came the DAP debacle, which the flailing Jinggoy brought to fore, coloring it as bribe to Senators for Voting to convict then Chief Justice Corona in his impeachment, even as he later clarified it was not bribe, but incentive. It did not help that they all chorused in defense of said DAP, arguing that there was legal basis for it, for there simply was none. It was patently illegal.
It is these miscalculations that would put the president at a collision course with his bosses, who are now ready to flex their muscles. I am sure right now the president is seeing enough that could provide the impetus to his untimely and drastic ouster, if he is not careful.
If the president wants to preclude a whopping precipitation of events, he must give up some heads. The people are shouting for the blood of whoever architected DAP. Right now, it’s ABAD’s head that towers the rest. Before the situation spins out of control, Pnoy must ask Abad to bow out of office.
Sure, he must have considered Abad’s genius as responsible for most of his administrations praise-drawing initiatives, but the situation demands that he go, if the president is to keep his head above water.