The lawyer of Sen. Bong Revilla, Joel Bodegon, said that Revilla is as much interested to know the truth as anyone else, “that is why he is continuing with his own investigation of all the allegations against him.” Believe it or not, this statement of the lawyer isn’t part of the television docu “Kap’s Amazing Stories” hosted by Revilla over GMA7 every Sunday.
Revilla has been shying away from the hearings of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee “out of delicadeza” after he had been named among the senators who had used allegedly bogus nongovernment organizations (NGOs) as conduits for his pork-funded projects. However, he sees no delicadeza in doing the investigation himself. If he ends up clearing himself after his own inquiry, who would believe him?
Revilla’s “parallel investigation” shouldn’t take long. After all, he’s known to have connections with the National Bureau of Investigation. Remember the stand-off at his Cavite residence during the May elections? The alleged beneficiaries of his pork have been identified; the supporting papers, including his alleged letters endorsing the suspected bogus NGOs linked to Janet Lim Napoles, are now public; his son has been named as a business partner of a son of Napoles in setting up one of these NGOs. I could hardly wait for Revilla’s disclosure on the results of his own inquiry!
Revilla and his wife, Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado, have been helping their constituents in need. How heart-warming! However, it turned out that there’s a limit to their public assistance. They’ll help as long as the money they shell out comes from public funds and not from their own. Their personal income is not for the public but is strictly for their family alone, as stressed by Mercado in an interview.
How different she is from another former lady politician, former Governor and former Representative Emily Lopez of Guimaras. Emily once told me, without any tinge of complaint in her voice, that she had been digging into her personal pocket to help her constituents because the money from the public coffers wasn’t enough. Emily has already retired from politics, along with her husband, former Rep. Albertito Lopez, but not after getting oodles of funding from the European Union for developmental projects in Guimaras.
Not amazing enough to merit mention in “Kap’s Amazing Stories” is the statement of Malacanang mouthpieces that Napoles surrendered to President BS Aquino 3rd “because she trusted him.” Sure, some laughed that statement off as harebrained. How could she still trust him when he had just offered a P10-million bounty for her capture? This isn’t really as amazing as some consider it to be. Subsequent events, including her VIP treatment by BS Aquino and other administration bigwigs, showed she had reasons to trust him. But why?
The reason could be gleaned from an interview with Napoles’ daughter, Jean, doing the rounds online. Asked if her mother might be jailed, Jean said: “I think they need her more than she needs them. They were never enemies, [she and]the President and Mar Roxas. They were like a family when PNoy was a congressman-senator, and Mar a senator. There’s no axe to grind against her.”
Many are still suspicious why the Department of Budget and Management failed to furnish the Commission on Audit the records on P21 billion of the P28 billion needed in the special audit of the pork barrel. They believe that this selective release of documents was meant to shield some persons close to Malacanang. Well, the only way the Palace could still such suspicions is to sacrifice some of its allies.
Any sacrifice, however, may not involve those high in the totem pole. No, not Budget Secretary Butch Abad even if no pork could be released from the National Treasury without his approval. (He’s not a big wig?)No, not Customs Commissioner Raffy Biazon whose pork when he was Muntinlupa representative had found its way to dubious NGOs. Neither is Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, expected to be sacrificed. If ever, any sacrifice will involve only “pawns,” or expendable allies. Now, it’s the job of administration die-hards to look for such pawns without igniting a revolt among its other allies in the House.
Senate okay of budget premature
“Senate Committee on Finance approves President’s budget in just 10 minutes”— news reports.
The present crop of Senate reporters obviously erred on this one. At this stage, the Senate Committee on Finance headed by Sen. Chiz Escudero can’t approve any budget. It can do so only after it had received the General Appropriations Bill (GAB) from the House. The House Committee on Appropriations headed by Rep. Isidro Ungab of Davao City still hasn’t come out with a committee report on the GAB.