• Abuse of Power

    33

    The following article by Manuel Mejorada was published May 18 in his “CoffeeBreak” column at The Daily Guardian Western Visayas, a newspaper based in Iloilo City.  I found it very perceptive, well informed, and well written that it deserves a larger audience.

    Entitled “The Crucifixion of Jojo Binay,” (which is, by the way, too melodramatic for my taste), Mejorada writes:

    With one year to go before the next presidential elections, the leading contender for the highest position of the country has been crucified.

    Vice President Jojo Binay has been condemned, vilified and pronounced guilty of corruption before the bar of public opinion by the machinery of government obsessed with seeing to it that nobody, and nobody else, but Mar Roxas will be elected as President.

    It’s too early to say if Binay will be crushed beyond redemption by this massive propaganda effort of the Aquino administration. What is certain, however, is that Binay was badly battered by the onslaught of corruption issues against him.

    The screaming headlines about the Court of Appeals order to freeze 242 bank accounts directly or indirectly linked to Binay will substantially erode the survey ratings for Binay. Those guys working behind the scenes for Roxas have done a good job.

    The question that must be asked is this: Why was the machinery of government thrown against Binay and used to unearth every possible dirty linen that could be used to tarnish his image?

    The AMLC—Anti-Money Laundering Council—was put up to comply with international treaty obligations to help stem the flow of “dirty money” around the global financial system. Primarily, the targets for the money laundering watchdog are drug lords, smugglers and crime syndicates. It is not the primary agency tasked to monitor the ill-gotten wealth of politicians.

    With that in mind, who unleashed the AMLC in a massive investigation to look into alleged money laundering activities of Binay?

    These questions are not being asked because I am defending Binay. Nor am I raising the issue because I dislike Mar Roxas. At the core of the controversy is abuse of power, the same issue that led to the downfall of then US President Richard M. Nixon in 1975.

    In case you haven’t noticed, the AMLC hasn’t come out with reports about the bank accounts of drug lords even after Justice Secretary Leila de Lima uncovered the existence of illegal drug distribution activities being directed from within the confines of the National Bilibid Prisons.

    We know that it is hard to pin down drug lords and smugglers because 99% of the time, they are detached from the physical evidence of prohibited items. It’s the same way with jueteng lords. The most effective way of catching them is through their bank accounts and
    tax records.

    But it is apparent criminals are safe from the radar screens of the Aquino government.

    It’s only its political enemies that are being tracked down, their every movement scrutinized, and every bank transaction red-flagged. This explains why illegal drugs and smuggling continue to prosper under the “matuwid na daan”. The government is looking the other way; its eyes are exclusively locked on its enemies.

    If this isn’t abuse of power at its worst, then I don’t know what is. And Binay is being accused of corruption. It’s tragic because his accusers are guilty of the most rampant corruption in our nation’s history. President Aquino and his cabals, Senate President Franklin Drilon and DBM Secretary Butch Abad, institutionalized corruption through the PDAF and DAP. No less than the Supreme Court made crystal clear just how huge that corruption was.

    So Binay has billions of pesos as windfall from his three decades as the prince of Makati City.

    But isn’t everybody else in the nation’s corridor of power as guilty as he is?

    Take the case of Roxas. It’s public knowledge in Roxas City, his hometown, that his family controls almost every franchise of food chains that open stores at local malls. Isn’t that taking undue advantage of their political power? No business can come in without the imprimatur of the family, according to my sources.

    And what about the closest lieutenants of the President?

    None of them is ever in danger of being labelled poor. In the last few years, their wealth grew from average to fabulous. Their balance sheets have long abandoned the 7-digit level; their net worths are now in the hundred-million-and-above levels.

    None of the President’s political allies have been investigated by the AMLC. None of them have given us a glimpse of their bank accounts. The only reason that’s the case is that they are being protected by the Aquino government. In a sea of corruption, only those that don’t swim with the administration are caught in its nets.

    Just the same, the Aquino government should pray hard that Jojo Binay will be pulverized by such efforts. There’s danger that this overkill can boomerang on them. As I have pointed out time and again, the demolition efforts won’t benefit Roxas. His popularity and approval ratings will not rise as Binay stumbles and falls.

    Binay is not about to be written off, yet. The point of overflow is approaching, and the public, sick and tired of the abuse of power, might just sympathize with Binay.

    If Binay wins, then the next government will have to seriously think of expanding the prison facilities, with careful attention to providing large-sized, heavy-duty beds.

    [END OF MR. MEJORADA’S COLUMN]

    tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
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    33 Comments

    1. Liberals are yellows just as the yellows make it appear they are liberal party mates. Mates who are pro-democracy. Indeed they are demo-crazy. Virtually all are U.S. educated, rather U.S. idiot-cated. They are corruption specialists, with Abnoy, abad and Drilon at the forefront. Yes, they did it again, making hay, striking while the iron is hot. Congressmen are uselesly at the beck and call of Malacanang . Hypocrites and hoodwinkers.

    2. Johnny Ramos on

      The liberal party has no choice but to make Mar Roxas as their standard bearer or it loose it’s face. Even with the avalanche of corruption issues against Binay, the political fight will make Binay the winner against Roxas next year. So plan B is necessary to impeach Binay will be on the way before the filing deadline this year. The LP can easily do it but I bet if this ever happens Bongbong will throw his hat in the Presidential race, by the Mar again will be surprise that his next opponent will not be easy to destroy thru legal dirty tactics and worst it will be hard to match the political funding of Bongbong although Mar has all government funds in his favor. Government funds are not easy cash available and Roxas and the rest of his gang will never use their loot against Bongbong for reason they may have to used it for lawyering after they lose next year.

    3. Yes Mr. Tiglao, the abuse of power is so glaring into the eyes of every citizen. the president no doubt about it had used all government agencies and all his appointed officials to rip off the nation of its dignity. Shame on him who swear to GOD to protect the Constitution which he himself destroys and our national sovereignty.

    4. Mariano Patalinjug on

      Yonkers, New York
      20 May 2015

      Nobody can question the right of Manuel Majorada who, according to Manila Times columnist Rigoberto D. Tiglao, wrote that article with the title, “The Crucifixion of Jojo Binay,” in the Daily Guardian Western Visayas. That article is proof of a free and vibrant free press in the Philippines.

      The fact, however, is that VP Jejomar Binay has been “caught with his pants down,” in a manner of speaking, now that the Court of Appeals has issued a FREEZE ORDER on reportedly 242 bank accounts and insurance policies he, his relatives and his cohorts [dummies?] allegedly own, with a total value of around P600 million, based on data provided by the AMLC.

      If the AMLC data on which the Court of Appeals based its Freeze Order are inaccurate or FALSE, of course Mr. Binay has the right to go to Court and, with his own evidence, prove to the Court that the Freeze Order is not in order because he, his relatives and his alleged cohorts [dummies] are not the real owners of the P600 million in bank deposits and insurance policies.

      If this is what he does, and the Court of Appeals should believe him, then it is just possible that the Court will issue an UNFREEZE ORDER on the P600 million, but also confiscate the P600 million in bank deposits and insurance policies because it is not owned by anybody.

      MARIANO PATALINJUG
      Lapulapu1927@yahoo.com

    5. “Abuse of power”, the phrase, is always subject to individual perception. The question is: Is the government within its powers to run after corrupt officials? Of course the administration will always (first) run after its opponents. It should be assumed that they trust the people they appoint to different gov’t positions, unless sufficient grounds have been established that they too are corrupt. If the opposition believe that a certain gov’t official is corrupt, why, the courts are open to accept their accusations with the proper evidence of course. This administration, I believe, is the first to have the guts to initiate efforts to root out the powerful corrupt in government. In the case of Mr. Binay, some would say it is overkill. But of course, he has signified his intention to run for the highest post. We the people cannot, and will not allow anymore any candidate with evident propensity for corruption to sit in Malacanang. For decades, our people have suffered from poverty, persecution and marginalization. It is high time that we choose a president who will sincerely work for the betterment of the lives of our countrymen without enriching himself first and foremost, or at the very least maintain the gains this administration have accomplished. Therefore, against one who is suspected (with tons of evidence against him) of corruption, the people should reject his candidacy.

      REPLY
      But why are the allies of Aquino whose crimes are similar to those of Enrile, J Estrada and Revilla not being charged and detained? The evidence and signed affidavits against them are the same?

      • What do you mean by “at the very least maintain the gains this administration have accomplished”? You sound like your idol AbNoy in trumpeting those ‘gains’ without enumerating them as to what, when and how they happened. Tsk-tsk!

    6. Unexplained wealth is a signal that provenance of fund is “dirty money”.

      Here is one of the three missions of Mission of AMLC:

      “To ensure that the Philippines shall not be used as a money laundering site for proceeds of any unlawful activity. ”

      You may include corruption in your list: ” drug lords, smugglers and crime syndicates”

      In some banks abroad much due diligence is needed for clients who are politicians, I would hope that our banks improve due diligence with such clients.

    7. Never will be that the Philippines will advance to what it should be. Let us go back to four years term for President. Six years is bad for an ineffective President, change to four years maximum two terms. Any elected position should be limited to two terms and not three terms. Is it obvious that the Senate is being used for political propaganda. Where is our Justice System, anybody suspected of wrongdoing should be charged and not inquiry that does’nt go anywhere. Let the Philippines change and clean its culture. Philippines will never be grear again. Everything is being dictated coming from one direction. Filipinos should not be influenced of money during the election, and Commision on Election should do there responsibility to ensure candidates of using there money to win will face the consequence. Come on Filipinos, let’s move on, be a great country again.

    8. Eliseo Jr. P.Tenza on

      Mr. Tiglao, I am looking at just one accusation against Binay. The World Class Green Parking Building. I am an OFW Architect in Singapore. All the process of the bidding was rigged. The Contract was awarded without a complete plan, The look of the building in terms of quality can not be considered World class, Green Parking Building that the Binay claims. The Cost of Php 2.7 B, is over priced. This alone for me is proof that Binay is corrupt. Open your eyes. Stop claiming that somebody else is responsible for the mess that he is in.

    9. Abuse of power is exactly what we have in the Aquino administration. Everything is done for self-benefit and nothing is done fairly or even follow the rules or the laws. Anarchy is alive and well in our LP government. Let’s make sure they never get into power again.

    10. Let say Binay is guilty and so are most of the crocodiles in the upper echelons of the government. Let us not condemn only the opposition candidates but maintain a balance everything. Better off, elect a president who has administrative experience, not corrupt and courageous enough to cleanse the government without much talking. Start looking for one now. We need a forceful president.

    11. Bert O. Romero on

      One-sided enforcement of anti- corruption laws does not make the Binays innocent of the numerous corruption charges against them. At most, this underscores the hideousness of politics infecting the judicial system. At the very least, it unearthed and exposed the insatiable greed of a family who, not content with the political power five of them have wielded, has taken advantage of said political power to amass mind-boggling amounts of money from government-financed projects. It was creative governance at its height of near- perfection. To make matters worse, the proceeds of these nefarious corruption activities were laundered abroad thereby depriving Filipinos at home from enjoying derivative benefits as would have accrued if these fruits, despite coming from poisonous trees, were not taken out of the country, as has been the more “benign” practice of similarly corrupt families in neighboring Asian countries.

      Let’s not justify the Binay family’s well-organized corrupt acts or make them appear less depraved by making the generalization that everyone in government anyway does it, or that they are political victims or that the anti- corruption matuwid na daan campaign of this equally corrupt and incompetent Aquino administration is focused solely on its avowed political rivals. How come that other families with similar dynastic inclination and are not friends of this administration have not been subjected to 20 or so senate investigative inquiries? Can we not simply claim that these other families have not really touched their government coffers for private gain? Or is this the height of naïveté in this God-forsaken country?

    12. Amnata Pundit on

      What kind of standard is being used where a yellow like Binay is a victim of abuse of power, but its the rule of law when at the receiving end are contra yellows like Erap, Marcos or Lacson? Clarissa Ocampo lied about her real role in the “Jose Velarde” account which was actually the Dichavez account. The real account management team handling the Dichavez account testified in the Sandiganbayan that Ocampo was not a member of their team, so she had no business going to Malacanang that day to deal with anybody on behalf of that account. What was her real purpose, if not to frame up Erap? Chavit Singson testified that he gave the P120M missing tobacco tax money to Erap in cash loaded in several sacks and delivered to Erap’s house in Greenhills. The court declared Erap not guilty on this charge, which means the court considered Chavit a liar, yet the same court convicted Erap on the P200M that Chavit said was Erap’s share of the Jueteng payola but deposited in the account of the Muslim Youth Foundation which was not Erap’s personal bank account. Erap was convicted on the testimony of two liars, in clear violation of basic rule of law. Remember that Erap wanted the Sandiganbayan trial to be televised but GMA objected vigorously to it. The SUMMARY judgment against Marcos in the civil forfeiture case against him was summary because the SC refused to accept his reply! Lacson was charged with the non-bailable offense of murder in the Dacer/Corbito case when the only evidence against him by the GMA government was this affidavit by a lone witness where the date when he overheard Lacson give the instruction to eliminate Dacer on instructions of “BIGOTE” (and the world knows who that bigote is that they mysteriously did not include in the charge) Lacson and “bigote” were in the US ! The GMA gov’t insisted on jailing him based only on this “evidence”. That false witness has since apologized to Lacson. When its a yellow like Binay, its called crucifixion but when its a contra-yellow well, he got what he deserved. I don’t know what kind power Binay is in possession of that when it comes to the corruption issues against him, the IQ of intelligent people drops to zero, but I’m sure his more than 200 bank accounts have nothing to do with it, but isn’t it poetic justice that its his fellow yellows that are skewering him?

    13. Victor Unas on

      Right before our eyes a bigger issue looms that will directly affect not only pro or anti Binay supporters but the whole nation and that is the railroading of the BBL, where basically the bill again will be passed for the right price for every administration congressmen. And yet the issue is not treated with the same vigor and energy same as the assault on the Binays. I agree with the column, its not about protecting Binay, its more of the abuse, especially the time and money wasted on these hearings when in the first place its not the power of the Senate to prosecute anyone. I even wonder how all these investigations will aid them in drafting a law, all the more if it involves contracts or projects where all local and national officials grants approval to a project only if its their contractor.

    14. Asa ka pa ba para masugpo ang “abuse of power” ng LP gang sa darating na 2016 election? Para sa gobyerno ni pnoy, power comes out from smartmatic hokus pcos machines.

    15. Mr. Tiglao would it be better if you start a movement for Gibo president 2016…I’m sure many will appreciate when that happens and many will help you

    16. Why even bother to give them comfort. Just line them up and shoot them. But not before we are able to get back what they stole. Seriously? Yes. Somebody ought to do it this time.

      • Human rights group would raise hell if Duterte would become president. But as Mr. de Quiros would say, there’s the rub. We have become a nation of palusoteros and palusoteras. What we need is iron fisted leaders like Lee Kuan Yew and something like martial law ala Ferdie Marcos.

    17. Antonio kho on

      The administration is doing the right thing on Binay. Without its effort, the alleged acts of Binay could have been hidden from the public.

      • your a fascist, Kho…binay is a crook, indeed, but we should catch him according to the rule of law.. are we not supposed to be a country run by laws, otherwise, lets just put a bullet in nognog’s corrupt head, no more argument, to achieve your sense of justice.. ,abnoy and roxas, in running after Nognog, is misusing State power for their political ends. ….let’s imagine that by stroke of God’s wand, you find yourself in Nognog’s place, i wonder what you have done. just be as meek as a lamb and allow yourself to be slaughtered ?? .. even convicted criminals have rights too… the issue here is ABUSE OF STATE POWER to run after the power holder’s perceived enemies, which, to me, is plain and simple FASCISM…yes lets run after Nognog and prove properly and squarely in the Courts, without using FOUL MEANS, TO PROVE that he is what is being accused to be…

      • Leodegardo Pruna on

        Has administration proven anything yet? It only has to look at itself in the mirror and it will find that the end is near. God bless the Philippines.

      • I Remember... on

        “…alleged acts of Binay…” you wrote it !! ALLEGED…. It is a dirty criminal communication campaign against Binay, nothing else until now.

        Maybe Binay is stole, maybe not: we don’t know until proven guilty by a Court.

        In a civilized country, most of those defamatory stinky persons “à la Trillanes” would face charges and would never be re-elected.

    18. Jose A. Oliveros on

      The daughter of Budget Secretary Butch Abad is the Executive Director of the AMLAC. No wonder the bank accounts of the Abad family are not being scrutinized.

    19. If binay wins as president in 2016 election lahat ng kalaban sa politika sabi nga na mamamundok na kayo lintik lang ang walang ganti tulad ng nangyari kay GMA. WALA NG TALAGAMG PAGASA ANG PINAS LAHAT NG POLITIKO BULOK.

    20. What reasons does Binay has that he still clings to Pnoy’s trousers? Is he that naive to believe that Pnoy has no hand in all these strings of accusations against him? He is supposed to be smart right? Or once and for all, WHY NOT FACE HIS ACCUSERS NOW? And Roxas is another one. Pnoy has been treating him like a dog and still wags his tail when he sees this Abnoy. Why Mar Roxas? What has he got on you two that you can’t let go? In our lingo, mga walang bayag and dalawang ito.

    21. If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.. This is the case of the Binay family. Nobody to be blame except themselves.

    22. Allen llamar on

      I am looking forward to it that this cabals are jailed and keys are thrown away…. but mind you, may be some of them are purchasing a one way ticket out of the country already just in case…

    23. Dapat malaman ng taong bayan,ang sobrang pang-aabuso ang ginagawa ni Aquino at ang mga dilaw na tribu,kailangan ng putulin ang ulo at mga ugat nito,upang matapos na ang kabanata ng pagmamalabis ng mga mala santo at santa ng yellow kulto!
      Kahit si Poe ay nasasaniban na rin ng masamang espiritu at nagsasalita na ng katulad ng mga galamay ni Aquino!
      Anak ni panday tagapagtangol ni Aquino!!

    24. P.Akialamiro on

      This administration did it to CJ Corona and it can do it to anybody else. In the final analysis, we get what we deserved: a President voted for because of emotions, not of notions; and, a corruptible and corrupt congress.

      In the absence of fairness and propriety, amidst indifference and inefficiency, on extreme poverty of a great majority of the citizenry, we’re all victims of ‘farce’ democracy which foments a dangerous possibility. If ever the inevitable reality is with us, I hope that nobody among the powers-that-be will be leaving the country. We will face the ‘music’. By the again, we deserved what we get!

    25. Very good and informative article especially from a columnist based in the Province where Sen Frank Lolong Drillon hails from and where LP’s are dominant in the political scene.