MR. Duterte won the presidency on the basis of his reputation for toughness. Tough against crime, unforgiving on the corrupt, ruthless against those who violate the law.
He could not let, he said during the campaign, obedience to the law be “optional,” and many found that the best line of his campaign and the best argument for his election to the presidency.
Yes, obedience to the law can’t be an optional thing. Leaders rise and fall on their fidelity, or non-compliance–with both the enacted laws and the Constitution.
The efforts of the state lawyers to free Napoles is a total rejection and a mockery of that pledge. No contemporary figure in our scandal-prone country can topple the large and looming figure of Janet Lim-Napoles from her ghastly perch–as the public face of a corrupted political system.
Free Napoles? From what dark and sinister labyrinth of legal rubbish did they draw the basis to free Janet Napoles? The usual verbal scam of technicality?
Where did you think the younger Napoles got those Ritz-Carlton apartments, Porsches and Hublots? And those gilded bathtubs she filled with infinitesimal amounts of cash? Or, where did the family get the money to buy the Anaheim hotel, the prime properties in CA and elsewhere? We have combed all the records and we found no gold and copper mines under the name of Janet Napoles. Was there a treasure trove from Basilan that she managed well and turned into multi-billion-peso enterprises? Did she invent an apps that funded a gilded life? None whatsoever.
In fact, except for the phony NGOs Napoles used in her P10 billion SARO-for-Cash scam, there was never any legitimate enterprise founded or operated by Napoles. They were fake farm and rural cooperatives, for God’s sake, operating from Napoles’s plush suites, and everything, from the stationery to the registration filings were phony. And we, the real farmers, were her first victims as Mr. Aquino cut off all aid to the peasantry after the peasantry was used as a front by the Napoles syndicate in the scam.
She got her start selling fake helmets to the Marines. She grew bolder in her scams, until the point she found the sophistication and the accomplices to carry out the most daring heist of congressional money in the history of this sad republic. Did the state lawyers forget that the P10 billion pork scam has no precedent in the history of a tainted Congress? Nothing of that scale of corruption, mind-boggling and incomprehensible, had been tried before. After she left the misery of Basilan, Napoles never set foot on muddy fields again.
Before Napoles raised the ante on corruption, lawmakers were content with pitsi pitsi tongpats of 10 percent for every SARO/NCA that was released under their names. Ten percent was the SOP to make sure that the projects funded were not impaired. Commissions were made, yes, but projects were done. There was corruption, yes, but in a context where lawmakers have to dole out real cash for kasal, lamay, fiesta at basketball, the 10 percent tongpats seemed benign.
It was Napoles who devised the outright 60-40 SARO-for-Cash exchange, purely paper transactions that funneled huge amounts of cash into her accounts and her lawmaker-accomplices. She incorporated all those phony NGOs, faked the names of the supposed farmer-beneficiaries, faked the names of the supposed LGU beneficiaries and recruited the executive branch officials and lawmakers into her grand, multi-billion-peso scams.
In fact, Napoles lured the chiefs of staff of senators and congressmen via fancy lunches and other offerings so the staffers would convince their principals to gamely participate in her grand scam. She and the minor scammers employed beautiful and young women to “date” members of the House of Representatives. Take note that some of those tagged in the pork barrel scam were young congressmen who signed on after the “dates.” Not really for the money but for the grand time they had with their “dates.” Remember the rich, young congressmen who parted away with P1 million or so to the scam – no thanks to the pretty young things who arranged a night out with them.
And now, she is innocent? Wow. If she were cleared, let Indonesia vest Suharto with sainthood and our little sad country should do the same with Marcos.
Then, we should ask for a global rewrite of the historical records to vest knighthood on Pol Pot and Idi Amin. Or claim that the Kristallnacht was a Jewish fabrication.
Poor Ben Hur Luy.
Ben Hur was, of course, an accidental hero. Tempted by the Napoles riches, he probably set out to get out of the Napoles scam to set up a similar operation for himself. But that was not to happen. He became a whistle-blower with a prodigious memory and a knack for keeping records. Unflappable and calm, he impressed many with his composure and vivid memory on the modus operandi of the Napoles Group and its transactions with the key players, particularly the three senators—Johnny, Bong and Jinggoy—who allegedly traded their SARO for cash.
Now, state lawyers want to reverse the story. The one who felt Napoles’s wrath as her scam unraveled is now the culprit and the “Pork Queen” a victim of Ben Hur’s fairytales.
Will the judicial system allow such kind of whitewashing to take place? I am not so confident on Ben Hur’s fate. And where we are now does not give me that confidence.
What is “trending” now, I will use a techie term, is an urge to whitewash history. Crackpots are declared “heroes” and there is disdain for the truth.
The conspiracy to free Janet Lim-Napoles is taking place under such perverse obliviousness to facts.