Putting some order to the pork mess

pork gmanetwork

Three cases of probable cause. [Source gmanetwork]

Chaos theory is a a formal field of study in mathematics. It supports the idea that if you throw a grain of sand into the ocean, the entire course of the universe changes. The effects are unpredictable.

The grain of sand nudges a clam from it’s hole. A seagull dives to eat the clam. A Chinese kid with a slingshot kills the seagull. The kid grows up to be a turtle poacher. The Philippine Coast Guard arrests him. China invades the Philippines. That idea.

So when we look at the pork mess, we see the disorganized rippling out effect of a single event, whistling Benhur Luy deciding he had had enough and was wiling to take the consequences of telling the truth.

News stories report different elements of the chaotic rippling out of that singular event, of Janet Napoles and her kids, of Senators’ privilege speeches, of facilitators Tuason and Reyes returning home, of Secretary De Lima and her alleged illicit affairs, of the Ombudsman and her untimely trip to the US, of President Aquino and DAP, of Secretary Abad, of representatives and lists and courts and Senator Santiago railing. Of properties here and kids there, of NGO’s and LGU’s and agents and accusations and denials.

It is a  little much to grasp.

We are confused into stupor.

Here’s how I see it.

  1. Benhur Luy would not have turned State’s witness under Gloria Arroyo. So President Aquino, by getting elected, became a large grain of sand that provoked Benhur Luy’s act. Call it a precedent grain of sand. So we should not criticize the President for loyalty to Secretary Abad, cited on the Napoles list, without first acknowledging that all of this is happening because President Aquino is acting on the mandate given him by the voters: he is changing the character of the Philippines to one that does not like corruption.
  2. Other pronounced ripples flowing forth from the President’s toss are: (1) a steady push from BIR for people to pay the taxes that the law says they owe for having a right to own their property or conduct their business or buy valued products, (2) the turning of Customs inside out to stop smuggling and stop Custom’s agents from wheeling and dealing State fees away to friends for personal benefit, (3) hostile criticism of the President’s every move from loyalists to Arroyo and Estrada and other corrupt families whose easy paths to riches are now at risk (plug “allegedly” in there where it belongs), and (4) government agencies working hard to straighten up and fly right, that is, to work diligently at their legitimate functions unfettered by the drag of managers seeking foremost to curry personal gain.
  3. The Philippines is upward bound, no question, and the chaos from the pork scandal is a part of the cleanup that will be reflected in the nation’s continuing rise on Transparency International’s corruption index.

We ought not get too concerned with the slow pace of due process, I think. Or fret that there are so many different steps to go through. That is the way business is conducted in the Philippines. Slow and item to item. We ought to be vigilant, sure, along with the thousands of other eyes that are watching, and speak along with the other thousands of voices that are speaking, so that government officials feel a tangible sense of pressure to move forthrightly, as if they were under the spotlight.

They will be.

We ought not get anxious if the justice system performs according to its own ripples of chaos as each step takes a disorganized amount of time to wend information to the right eyes. The three accused plundering senators spent six months or so with the Justice Department, and another couple of months with the Ombudsman, and will go over to a Court for another couple of weeks or months of consideration of the evidence. Then there will be a trial lasting several weeks, or years as the appeals line up. Then they will get jailed.

That’s an 85% probability, I figure, with Enrile’s age likely to strike compassion in the eyes of some, and with the other accused having some successes as they desperately toss every possible kind of legal wrench into the judicial mechanism.

The other batches of accused thieves will similarly take its months winding through the slow Philippine halls of justice.

But what is important here?

What is important is that every past or impending thief is seeing the unthinkable: three stalwarts of the good old boy network of favor and power being marched ever so slowly, ever so surely, to accountability. And a follow-up lengthy list of “names” being marched, one legal step after another, to their inevitable accountability. These names strike home – provide a stark message – in every part of the country. At every thief’s desk.

They see Janet Napoles emotionally crushed by the penalty her acts have imposed upon her family. The kids can’t even pay their bills. Senator Estrada is bemoaning the loss of contact with his family when he is jailed, bitterly and humiliatingly lashing out at the person who tossed the first grain of sand, President Aquino, as if HE were the guilty party and the missing money is nothing but a political charade. Senator Enrile is clench-jawed waiting for his final chapter, the one that was not in his book. Senator Revilla is scrambling like a cornered rat to try to stay out of the cage, showing us the clear measure of the term “desperate”.

The chaotic ripples may be unpredictable, but the suffering of the guilty is not. They have sown, and so they reap.

The chaotic collisions are unknown, but the anxiety of every plundering official across the land has got to be tangible.

“When will they nail ME? Who’s going to rat me out?”

It is important to remember, as the chaos spreads, ripples creating ripples that head off in new directions:

  • The crooks are on the run, even if some of them are firing back at the good guys chasing them down.
  • The Philippines is cleaner and fresher, more upright, more respected, today than before.
  • Democracy is working, its checks and balances generating some delays and the usual frictions of justice in action.
  • No revolutions are in the making.
  • The Philippines is on the way up, good to go until the 2016 election, at least.

Until that grain of sand hits home.

 

Comments
71 Responses to “Putting some order to the pork mess”
  1. ikalwewe says:

    Now we’re enjoying cleaner govt but I fear what awaits us in 2016. I hope they nail every crook in 2 years.The next president must not at all costs “pardon” someone found guilty of stealing govt funds. Surely something must be ‘unpardonable’, old age or not.

    • Joe America says:

      If someone is young enough to steal money intended for poor people recovering from disaster, he is young enough to go to jail.

      I rather think 2016 will test whether or not the values of the middle class mean anything to the poor. The Philippines is two nations. Those who care about the community, generally educated with okay money and a future, and those who live day to day, fending for themselves to survive.

      • chit navarro says:

        You are very right here Joe. The Philippines is a nation of the middle-class and those who barely get by each day. Sadly, it is the latter that elects our government officials. Let’s all do our bit to educate them and make them REFUSE to the P500.00 or P1,000.00 DANGLED before them to elect the crooks. I wish the next step of the President would be to prosecute an elected official who has been caught buying votes so that it will be a great warning for 2016.

        • Joe America says:

          That last idea is worth a blog, I think. Thanks chit.

          • sonny says:

            Joe, first things first. A workable system (def: one that sticks, come hell or high water) of executing a writ of habeas corpus (preferrably, alive) should be put in place! Simultaneously, a system of “putting the bell on the cat’s neck” be executed as sure as day follows night. Then we can blog. For now, I have to decide whether it’s right to snitch to the condo board on my condominium neighbor breaking our 5mph rule on condominium premises. (sigh, don’t stop, Joe. i need this blog for sanity sake)

        • Geng says:

          Chit,
          Educating those who hardly get by would be an impossible task even to those who are steadfastly determined to start that. I am thinking of a rather workable way but it would take a long time for me to write here. Please send me your email address to gerardovergara29@yahoo.com if you are interested so I can send a draft of what’s on my mind.
          Thanks.
          Geng

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      The Philippines is not yet yet “clean”. The prosecution and investigation is “dirty”. That is why deLima did not ask U.S. State Department to extradite Ruby Tuason and Gigi because deLima only has witness accounts and piles of frayed affidavits which is not acceptable in Europe and the U.S. and the rest of the 1stWorld countries.

      Gigi and Ruby came back after a deal with deLima. 1) The deal is Out-of-Jail Card; 2) moro-moro return of commissions; and, 3) they get to keep the rest of the commissions that the U.P. journalism-graduates, U.P. accountaing-graduates, U.P.-Law-graduates have not found out.

      To this day, the U.P. graduates has not known how much really Gigi and Ruby got from PDAF as deliveryboys.

  2. Micha says:

    Dear President Aquino:

    Jail. Them. Now.

    You treat these dastardly crooks with kid gloves and your most significant contribution to our political/economic metamorphosis will be on trial. You are not anymore seeking re-election. There is near universal outrage at the perfidy and the scam.

    In Mr. Joe’s America, senators and congressmen will voluntarily resign at the first hint that they may have been involved in a scandal, even minor and personal ones. Not so with our shameless pigs.

    You and the nation will have everything to gain by jailing them now. The evidence are too damning to just continue to allow them making inane privilege speeches at their Senate sanctuaries.

    • Joe America says:

      Unfortunately, Mr. Aquino is bound by rules and complex, slow process, so he can’t do that. The courts remain independent, as is the ombudsman.

      To me, the big glaring flaw is the lack of any action by the legislative Ethics Committees. By refusing to act, they essentially condone the shameful deeds of thieves. The Senate then compounds that by giving hoodlums a forum to rip at the President with “privilege” speeches. Indeed, I prefer American standards when it comes to the appearance of guilt. Recuse or resign, but stop smearing the institution you represent by your very presence.

      The majority leaders of both the House and Senate recently spoke to claim their institutions should be viewed as institutions separate from the pork scandal, for they are still passing laws. Unfortunately, they are still infested by people with really horrendous values..

      • Micha says:

        The Ombudsman is an appointee of the President.

        Not sure about the “independence” or impartiality of the courts. But if they are, now’s the perfect opportunity to prove it.

        • Joe America says:

          The Supreme Court Justices are also a appointee of the President, but the court stands independent. The same with the Ombudsman, which is rather the prosecutor of state criminals, and must be blind to political party. As with the judges, there is generally a moral consistency, president to appointees, so there is a tendency to think the same.

          I agree, this is a chance for the courts to show their stuff. Three alleged crooks. Three different judging panels. Similar “proof”. Same co-defendant (Napoles). The game is on . . .

          • Micha says:

            In theory, yes. But the myth of independence came in full glory during the watch of Aniano Desierto and Merci Gutierrez.

            • Joe America says:

              I enjoy debates with you. You make good points.

              I would respond that just because Ms. Arroyo packed the system with sycophants, it is not a good idea that other presidents do the same.

              • BFD says:

                @Micha,

                I still believe that the confluence of events that are happening shows the independence of the Ombudsman in its dealing vis a vis the pork barrel scam participants. They are all above board. Even Biazon who is an administration ally was not spared.

                This is one of the several glaring facts that most of the media or people have not seen. This is the first time I’m seeing it, so there is still hope that what we’re seeing is the real deal.

                BFD

              • Micha says:

                BFD,

                Yes, prosecuting those who are holding high gov’t positions and power can be daunting. From my point of view, if the Ombudsman actually does its job and goes ahead undaunted, he/she is more independent. The bigger the stinking fish, the better.

                Desierto and Merceditas Gutierrez, by succumbing to the pressure of power players, exhibited unwillingness/hesitancy to go after the big crooks and are thus less independent.

              • Joe America says:

                Very sharp observation, how weakness of character makes a department less independent. Judges should take note. (I am reminded of the Corona supporters screaming about the independence of the court . . .)

      • Micha says:

        Why do petty snatchers in Quiapo not able to avail of the rules and complex slow process of law enforcement? Why do they, once caught, get to see the brig, pronto?

        • Joe America says:

          They can’t afford to hire attorneys.

          • Micha says:

            Yup, attorneys – scums of the earth. Next to the bankers. Maybe.

            The point here, however, is that law enforcement need not, and should not, be in slow motion. You get caught for murder and you hit the slammer because both societal norms and laws deem you dangerous. Stealing millions from public trough endangers public good.

            • Micha says:

              Ooops, I forgot that you used to work for a bank Joe. The pejorative was meant to imply Wall Street bankers in the mold of Blankfein et al.; not the honest banker from Colorado. Sorry.

            • Joe America says:

              On that point, I agree completely. The Philippines has grave weaknesses in law enforcement, from weak investigation (barred from examining bank records by bank secrecy laws; poor CSI capabilities), weak prosecution (lawyers make more money defending the entitled), and weak judgment (courts are all balled up in process, with attorneys controlling the calendar, not judges). The concept of speed being an integral part of fairness is completely absent.

    • wjarko says:

      touché! Our current justice system just doesnt have the hook and reef tough enough to bring in the “Big Fish”. The good old boys have messed it up so bad that it work for the good of the common people. What we need is something more rudimentary, old school, that is why I propose to bring in Mr. Duterte and his type of justice which I prefer. The type of justice that works, an effective deterent to crime.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Philippines is run by law, right? Let the law run its due course. The problem is the lawyers, judges, government prosecutors are run by Filipinos who to this day cannot seem to know that evidences, forensic accountings rules supreme over the eng-get, politically biased, paid-off, jealous, envious witness accounts.

      That is why in the 1stWorld witness accounts are still verified to take away the eng-gets, biases, jealousy and envy from their testimony … but, PHilippines is not 1stWorld it is 4thWorld, so, therefore, 1stWorld justice is not applicable in the Philippines. Yes, we will just send “brilliant” Filipinos to America to study their form of justice as a decoration to their credentials but in the end what they learn in America is useless in the Philippines because Phiippines have their own way of meteing out justice. The Filipino way. The 4thWorld way.

      Therefore, again, Filipinos cannot learn. Filipinos can learn but they cannot know how to apply what they learn.

  3. manuel buencamino says:

    Some people are saying that a little consideration should be extended to Enrile who is 90. I say, if you’re 90 and you’re caught still stealing, a little consideration should also be given to your persistence. 🙂

  4. manuel buencamino says:

    By the way Joe, there is no Senate Ethics Committee that exercises oversight on senators. I mean there is one, but it is not functioning because no senator wants to chair or become a member of that “internal affairs” committee. The Blue Ribbon Committee that we see on TV is The Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations, it does not do internal investigations.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, well, the failure of anyone to step up to do a difficult job (chairing the Ethics Committee) is a statement of moral bankruptcy, is it not? Like, I guess I would not want any legislators in my foxhole. They would be busy doing the ol’ duck and cover instead of shooting.

      • manuel buencamino says:

        I can understand the hesitation. They all need votes to pass their pet legislation and being a member of internal affairs can get in the way of that. Still someone has to step up.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      There is Ethics Committee, Manuel, and they are on the take. 2ndly, They have ethics Filipinos style not 1stworld Style.

  5. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Chaos is Order to Filipinos.

    Justice to them is by all means possible. If Illegal make it legal for Filipinos eyes only. What do Filipinos know about justice and legality anyways? They do not know a hoot. The media is purveyor of ignorance. Their maximum intelligence is political analysis because it is neither wrong nor right.

    Americans take law like a Holy Book, whereas, Filipinos take Holy Book like law. Americans have gazillions of books in Library of Congress. Filipinos only have one book, the Holy Book.

    Americans believe in rule of law. Filipinos believe Mary Magdalene witnessed Jesus rose from the dead while Americans wanted proof.

    Donald Sterling suing NBA for violating anti-trust law forcing him to sell what he owns, like, U.S. government forcing Bill Gates to sell Microsoft to me relying on information from an “illegal” recording. Americans take law seriously. Filipinos do not take law and Holy book seriously. In fact, Filipinos do not take Filipinos seriously. Just recently, representative to Miss Earth are non-traditional looking Filipinos with non-traditional sounding last names just like the recent Miss Universe and Miss International contestants for the Philippines.

    Pride is Lost. Justice is gone. They must not have heard of racial profiling and discrimination. Well, those are laws that are not taken seriously, too, not until they come to the U.S. and gets discriminated that is the only time they understand what is discrimination and the law that protects them.

    Well, in Benhur’s case is just another looney judicial entertainment that makes Judge Judy like Justices of U.S. Supreme Court. I prefer Judge Judy. It is entertaining. And, I believe her. The audience does, too. So are the protagonists before the camera. Because in the U.S. they take laws seriously.

    Reading PDAF news is a case of bewilderment, befuddlement, show of ignorance and pure entertainment.

    EDCA question is much better. Now, that is law.

    • Joe America says:

      Judge Judy is great, I agree. And gets younger looking every year . . . (Psst, frankly, this pork entertainment is really good, better than that stuff producers put on stage; I mean, the singing senator railing like the Mad Hatter whilst the other guy making privilege speeches every other day may soon be rattling steel balls in his hands like the Captain in the Caine Mutiny.)

  6. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Here is what is supremely entertaining about PDAF.

    Benhur went to Inquirer instead of NBI. Inquirer did not turn it over to NBI. Inquirer published their own list. On top of unpublished list of Napoles which grew to several un-official lists. I saw a see-saw of numbers of “guilties” just based on the list including newspapaberboy that delivered Inquirer to her office (of course, the newspaperboy is in the list because money went out to him in payment of newspaper), the janitors were also in the list, the typists of affidavits.

    There is also a list of guilties from Conchita based on subpoenaned photo negatives from wedding photographer of Napoles daughter. Those in the pictures are guilties. Why would Conchita subpoena the negatives?

    I really thought my mother was crazy looney. Because she never had any baptism picture of mine. She said, “Mariano, I did not have baptismal photographer present in your baptism because I see in your future you’d be maligning people and they will have those baptismal picture as evidence that those present will also be found guilty!” My mother saw the future. Now Conchita is doing just that.

    Doncha love Filipino justice?

  7. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    To this day, Inquirer, COA and the government do not know how much was lost in PDAF scandal. Because government do not rely on numbers. They rely on witness accounts bearing basketful of affidavits. As one commissioner (A person receiving commission) said, the affidavits would fill the hall of congress. That is just affidavits. The evidence? Well, it is too tiny that can be shoved in their behind.

    Filipinos are living dangerously. They are just affidavits away from prison. So let us be kind to each other. You will never know they might commmission an Affidavit Typist.

    • manuel buencamino says:

      There is a mountain of documentary evidence from the DBM, COA, the government agencies involved, the whistleblowers’ records, etc. etc.

      Witness affidavits helped direct the investigators to specific transactions in addition to corroborating what was discovered.

      I suggest you read thoroughly the Ombudsman’s charge sheet. It is available online for those who still believe that the case rests solely on a basketful of affidavits.

      • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

        Well, not my fault. What I always read in the papers are witness this witness that no DBM, COA …

      • Joe America says:

        I can’t find the charge sheet on line. The Ombudsman’s office does not seem to have it. A google search turned up nothing. Do you have a link? If there is no online resource, I’d say it is unrealistic to expect Mariano or any citizen to be able to study up on the facts.

        • manuel buencamino says:

          Joe and Mariano Renato Pacifico,

          1. Here in detail are the ombudsman’s indictments of the three senators. They can be found at the bottom of her post. Read each charge sheet and decide for yourself if the cases are based merely on a basketful of affidavits

          http://raissarobles.com/2014/04/04/robbing-poor-farmers-is-the-real-crime-senators-enrile-revilla-estrada-are-being-accused-of/

          2. If you find the three findings of more than a hundred pages each too much reading then you can go to the executive summary posted by the Ombudsman at http://www.ombudsman.gov.ph/docs/pressreleases/PDAFResolutions.pdf

          Again I would recommend that you read each charge from beginning to end so that you will see that the basket contains more than just affidavits.

          • Joe America says:

            Thanks for the references. I’ll defer comment until after reading. I figure that may be in August. 🙂

            • Joe America says:

              Tempus fugit, and thank God for speed reading.

              The prosecution case starts with the witness accounts, then uses OMB records and testimonies from LGUs and other records to track the money back to the aides of the senators. That is hard tracking, beyond just testimonies. The judges will be able to ascertain the money disappeared.

              The defense is based on deniability. “Hear no evil, see no evil, point the finger elsewhere.” Reading the arguments of the defendants is hilarious, as they are all pointing at one another. The problem is that NONE can account for the money, and none makes an effort to show where it went.

              The rebuttal to the defense is law that says whoever is in charge is indeed in charge and accountable. So the finger pointing turns all uphill and ends at the desks of the respective senators. Each finger pointer is in some way culpable, but the main culprit is the senator. I enjoyed the legal rendition of why repeatedly dealing with Napoles is an indication of culpability, because selection of agents for distribution is unduly concentrated there.

              The missing nail in the coffin is, of course, the inability to look at the bank accounts of these individuals to detect inflows and outflows of money. That is the great obscenity, that Philippine laws do not permit investigation of banking records, even when “probable cause” of a great crime exists. I am surprised there is no outrage about this.

              The other thing that concerns me is the large number of people charged. It will take years and years to give everyone the right to testify and display their witnesses. If Ampatuan has been going on 5 years, this is a 10 year case.

              In any event, the Philippines is forever changed . . . for the better . . . through the filing of the charges.

              • manuel buencamino says:

                Joe, Right there in your penultimate paragraph is where the “selective justice” choir begins to sing. They say there are 70 or 80 other Napoles type groups operating out there involving more than a hundred legislators so why start with the three?

                The question sounds reasonable until you consider that the amounts they are accused of stealing dwarf the amounts all the other crooks stole and the regularity of their thievery cannot be compared to those who did it once or twice. Crying that all be given the same kind of attention is absurd, it’s like a serial bank robber asking that law enforcement treat him like it would a pickpocket. It’s all about the amounts involved and the frequency of the theft.

                Second, it was whistleblowers testimonies that made the paper chase easier with those three senators. Indeed there was a COA audit initiated by GMA’s COA head for the years 2007-2009 and I guess those anomalies would have been uncovered in the course of the audit. But hey whistleblowers came out and started pointing to which rocks auditors should look under. You gotta start somewhere and here it was laid out for you. Now the selective justice choir would have investigators put aside what is right before their eyes and do case build ups of cases that require a lot of digging at the same and with the same intensity as the ones that are there for the picking. It’s like one comes across gold nuggets in a stream and he is told don’t start with those start with the ones you haven’t seen, the ones probably under the mountain where that stream comes from. So okay we’ll get there eventually, but why leave these nuggets here?

              • Joe America says:

                The “selective justice” choir has obviously never had to run a business with limited resources, or can’t grasp concepts like highest and best use of resources. Idealists drive me nuts. Even if I am one from time to time.

                Or maybe they have axes to grind, huh?

    • Micha says:

      @Mariano

      We’ve heard the same obscurantist slant being deployed as a defense trick during the Estrada and Arroyo corruption trial. I’m glad it didn’t work out well for both.

  8. macspeed says:

    @Joe Am
    I am truly inspired by your remarks he he he he pardon my wit but that’s how most happy ordinary Filipinos laugh he he he he

    Slowly but surely, the thieves inner most self is on the attack by the subtle technic PNOY has system put into operation, very simple “catch the user, jail the pusher” similar to drugs, pork barrel money is like a cocaine or amphetamine being pushed by the senatong [senators] and tong-gressman [congressman], while few like Janet the user propelled to fake all contracts to non existent NGO’s.

    This PNOY operation automatically is backed-up by consumers he he he realizing peoples money is at stake, people will connect with PNOY he he he even if the militants are extremely impatient, they will surely like PNOY vehicle at the course of the punishment for these pork barrel scammers.

    Very Slow indeed is Philippine court hearings, yet the truth will prevails as the famous wisdom of President Abraham Lincoln “.. You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” he he he

  9. chit navarro says:

    Funny how fast Enrile’s principles change.
    A few days back, he has been saying that his bag are all packed, ready to go to where the jail is.
    Now, he has just filed a motion for his liberty on the plunder case, by way of posting bail.
    But what intrigues me more is the statement that he can do his job as an elected senator and attend sessions if outside jail.

    Please clarify – these 3 senators, even as they are now charged with the crimes of plunder and graft, do they remain as such and do they still draw salaries as such? Where is the justice in this?

    • Joe America says:

      The senators continue to draw salaries and are considered upstanding members of the Senate because there has been no censure or suspension by the Ethics Committee. The composite body of the Senate is stained as a result. The leadership has tried to explain that the institution of Senate should be separated from the pork scandal, but that is only smoke. The fact is that it is a stained INSTITUTION because the INSTITUTION has accepted no accountability for the fact that a lot of money is missing and its members were in the food chain.

      Enrile is an alien, one of those shape-shifters that morph to the occasion. Nothing that he says or writes should have any trust at all assigned to it.

  10. brianitus says:

    I always thought Mr.Luy turned state witness because of a disagreement with Janet Napoles and any credit to President Aquino is purely coincidental; the goods were already out in the open. Napoles even wrote the president that the NBI was harrassing them. Anyway, I do agree that Luy wouldnt have turned during PGMA’s term. Those were the high times.

    My take on all of this: Get air-tight cases and jail whoever needs jailing ASAP. He can also appear impartial towards his allies. After all, in this country, perception and appearance already counts a lot.

    • Joe America says:

      Conflict with Ms. Napoles was the specific reason, but the “straight path” was one he decided to take. Mr. Aquino laid out that path is my rather flimsy point. I think that, actually, Mr. Aquino has displayed considerable reserve and patience waiting for the Justice and Ombudsmen to gather the evidence and organize a case. The case against Mr. Abad I think is rather, ummmm, specious and his work at shepherding the finances of the Philippines along very important. So I give the president the benefit of the doubt on that case. I honestly don’t think he is playing politics. I think the UNA creatures are more “old school” in their values, wrapped up in the trade of favors, and simply got caught being excessive in their acts.

      • brianitus says:

        Old school? With Enrile onboard? That makes it Ancient.

        It’s convenient for UNA to cry persecution. There’s nothing else to throw at the case. Same thing with Sen. Revilla. I mean, if I were in his shoes, i’d be making sure of my defense. In all cases, if anyone gets out of it, i hope it isnt just out of a “technicality”.

        • Joe America says:

          Ha. Yes, ancient school.

          Lawyers are paid to make up reasons their client deserves his freedom, so they will certainly make their arguments. I also hope technicalities don’t come into the picture and there is good, firm evidence other than Napoles’ testimony. She can point, but the hard proof has to be there, too. Like a money trail.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      “Air-tight” to Filipinos means “I got more witnesses than you do” and “My affidavits are thickers than yours”. This is not about evidences. This is about battle of PERCEPTIONS.

      • brianitus says:

        Well, I hope the cases are strictly air-tight. I mean, real documents, not just affivadavits, and real witnesses.

        • Joe America says:

          The case filings track the money to its disappearance, but cannot show where it actually appeared because of Philippine bank secrecy laws. So the senators and others simply deny that they got anything. The proof of guilt depends on the fact that the money disappeared (proven) and it was the accused who were accountable for making sure it did not disappear. They failed in that. So they were, in effect, culpable in its disappearance. That is the essential case, and I think that after a great many years, they will be found guilty. If they are declared not guilty, then as long as bank records are off limits, there will never again be any convictions of plunder or graft because the guilty will just say “prove it”, and no one can.

          If the courts (three separate panels) issue warrants, and the cases takes 10 years, those charged with plunder will be in detention that entire time. Enrile may be “detained” in his home for medical reasons. Those charged with graft who post bail will be free all that time. The important thing is that the courts issue warrants, which can be done fairly quickly based on my reading of the charge sheet.

  11. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    To settle this PDAF Scandal once and for all, PLEASE, LET US PRAY (excludes me because I do not believe in God and in Prayers), OUTSOURCE PDAF INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION TO THE BIG MATURE BOYS IN THE U.S.

    University of the Philippines journalist cannot report news in a way that can be understood by non-U.P, non-Accountant, non-Law graduate Filipinos. Let us put a stop to this englishctzes-snobbery. Yes, I understand that the more wordy the news report the more it is true and reliable. I can understand that. But the ordinary Filipinos cannot understand wordy words does not make news report right that Tanda, Pogi and Sexy are guilty.

    Let us get real Filipinos. Let us come down to earth. Give us the skinny. At this point in time, Filipinos are not responsible people.

    I suggest The Philippine Islands and its inhabitants should be under the purview of United Nations Supervision. Time is running out. No, time has ran out. Hustisya Matuwid is actually Hustisya Matuwid na Baluktot. That is from the point of view of the intellectuals but for the Filipinos what is Baluktot is actually Hustisya Matuwid.

    My politicial axiom #69 still rings true to this day: WHAT GOOT IS A GOOT PRESIDENT IF 99.9999% OF FILIPINOS ARE NOT GOOT.

  12. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    I just checked Philippine news website …. It is all about Clintonisque “he-said” “she-said” not about evidences.

    I REST MY CASE.

    Filipinos are not mature enough to play justice. No wonder Chinese are not taking Filipinos seriously. I cannot blame Chinese. When Vietnam talks, Chinese listens. When Filipinos talks, Chinese whip out their toothpicks and laugh.

  13. Micha says:

    On Sandiganbayan’s ineptness:

    “What on earth is so complicated about the Napoles scam and the three senators’ complicity in it? The case has been talked about for a year now, it has gone through several Senate hearings, and it has gone through the Ombudsman’s scrutiny. What can the Sandiganbayan discover that’s so startling but has evaded the notice of those that went through it before? In these parts, time has never been on the side of justice, or common sense. It has only been on the side of tender persuasion, of common transaction.”

    http://opinion.inquirer.net/75680/glimmer-of-light

    • Joe America says:

      Conrado de Quiros has a way with words and is on target about 90% of the time. As he is in that paragraph. It astounds me that the Justice system here does not see that time is an element of fairness. It is such a simple concept that escapes the minds, great and small. Rather like the notion of being on time is considerate of others.

      But I will say that the reality of the situation must be setting in with the courts’ issuance of travel bans for Revilla and Estrada and their co-accused. And the showing of their likely detention cells. That is why their complaints are getting wilder and more desperate, I suppose.

      Cornered rats.

      • Micha says:

        Nothing specific in the Sandiganbayan’s timeframe. Just more than 10 days.

        Enough time to wheel and deal with the pigs, maybe?

  14. Micha says:

    Before he turned himself in last Friday, Bong Revilla waxed alternately defiant and tearful.
    Facing a group of family, friends and supporters in his home in Cavite, he cried: “Mr. President, I’m ready to be jailed, wherever it may be, because I believe I’m innocent. And I’m not afraid, Mr. President.”

    When his passions died down, he said wearily that it had been a nightmare waiting for his arrest. The night before, he said, he got only two hours of sleep. The whole thing felt like he was attending his own wake. Except that in his case, he said, he was waiting to be buried alive.

    It’s still a bad script.

    Whether someone who is about to be arrested surrenders himself or not is beside the point. Whether he is ready to be jailed or not is beside the point. Whether he is afraid or not is beside the point. It is not a matter of choice, it is a matter of course. It is not a matter of concession, it is a matter of compulsion. It is not a matter of prerogative, it is a matter of imperative. That is the nature of justice, that is the nature of crime and punishment. You commit a crime, you are punished. Whether you like it or not. Whether you agree to it or not.

    As to the nightmare Revilla went through before he surrendered, who the hell cares? That, not quite incidentally, is what Jinggoy Estrada complains about too. He hasn’t been able to sleep, not knowing when his arrest will be ordered. He has been left only to make tearful goodbyes to his children. Who the hell cares too? They’re supposed to.

    The Ampatuans have families too, the Ampatuans have children too, the Ampatuans have friends too. Their loss can only be the country’s gain. Their grief can only be the country’s revelry. I don’t know what they expect from his paawa effect, but awa is not the effect they will produce.

    In fact, all Revilla will produce is grumbling from some sectors about his fairly special treatment. He is occupying a 32-square-meter cell with a kitchen and bathroom, and although it is not a room with a view, it is only slightly smaller than where I live. And he complains about the heat being bad for his migraine? You’re tempted to say again, that’s the point of being jailed.

    http://opinion.inquirer.net/75876/a-face-of-justice

    • Joe America says:

      Very well said and I agree, punishment is not supposed to be sweet, like candy. I have, as of this morning, shifted my thinking about the matter of him being innocent at this point. The courts have declared that there is probable cause to say he is guilty. So he is no longer innocent. I do think senators ought not be housed with other prisoners, as that would put their safety at risk. But their confinement should be spartan. Not a redesigned bungalow with air conditioning and pretty plants in the corner. It should be the kind of facility that encourages self reflection, not comfort.

      • brianitus says:

        Just to add a note to this one. Maybe their cells could have a video LED wall that shows nothing but suffering Filipinos,those who didn’t get aid because some politician pocketed funds..

        • Joe America says:

          Excellent idea. Invest in high definition so they can see hungry people’s ribs sticking out. Take away their toys, their cell phones and lap tops, and they can watch that. Maybe they will eventually get it as to why everyone is so fed up with their blames and scapegoating and failure to explain anything at all.

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