House of hypocrites and mercenaries

34

Remember the three spokesmen for the prosecution panel in Chief Justice Renato Corona’s trial and the prosecutors who portrayed themselves as daang-matuwid anti-graft crusaders?

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Did you ever wonder why Representatives Rey Umali and Jorge Banal even dared to violate bank secrecy laws by possessing Corona’s bank accounts, which they tried to smuggle into the trial as evidence? Were you in awe at the House of Representatives’ efficiency that it had 188 members of congress sign the impeachment complaint against Corona and transmit it to the Senate, all in one afternoon?

It turns out it was all about money, as data now available from the Department of Budget and Management’s website incontrovertibly show: P15 million in pork barrel funds—euphemistically called the Priority Development Assistance Fund, or PDAF—for each congressman were released to most of them on the very day they signed the complaint, on December 12, 2011. There’s a Filipino term for that: kaliwaan, which can be roughly translated: “Give me my money at the same time I give you what you want, simultaneously.”

No wonder most of them didn’t bother to read the complaint, no wonder there was a rush to sign it that the 188 who did was more than the number of congressmen needed.

Rep. Tobias Tiangco’s allegation then, for which he was pilloried in the trial itself, is proven accurate by the facts: President Aquino bribed congressmen to sign the impeachment complaint against Corona by dangling before them the release of their pork barrel funds.

 

hyporcrite tableNow I understand why Rep. Umali risked illegally possessing Corona’s confidential bank accounts, given to him, he said, by a little lady, which he plotted to be released to media. For his trouble, he got P35 million in pork barrel fund, on December 12, more than what his colleagues got.

P15 million seems to be the congressmen’s magic number, as this is the same amount each of them got after the trial as additional reward, sourced from the illegal Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) fund.

What a greedy, gullible bunch. They could have had some delicadeza to give up their remaining pork barrel funds for the year so there wouldn’t be any suspicion at all that they had been bribed to sign the impeachment complaint.

But they were told that if they didn’t sign the complaint they could kiss goodbye their remaining pork barrel for the year. “E sayang naman,” one congressman told me, “Panggastos rin sa Pasko yun.” (It would have been a waste if I didn’t get it, especially since it would have helped me for my Christmas expenses.”)

Aquino’s emissaries also cleverly told them that the pork barrel releases for the succeeding year, in 2012, would be suspended during the trial. Such releases indeed slowed down to a trickle during that period, as Budget Secretary Florencio Abad estimated that they needed the funds, which would amount to nearly P2 billion, to bribe the senators to decide that Corona was guilty.

What a bunch of hypocrites the spokesmen for the prosecution panel were. Marikina Representative Romero Quimbo got his P14 million a few days before the rest did, while now Senator Juan Edgardo Angara got his on December 15. Lorenzo Tanada got his P12 million on December 22. Instead of admiring this younger generation of congressmen, I’m instead reminded of that old Filipino political quip, “So young, so corrupt.” How early to lose one’s principles in the heat of politics.

Even as he was close to President Aquino that he would be appointed to the crucial post of secretary of Transportation and Communications a few months after the trial, then Congressman Joseph Emilo Abaya wouldn’t want to be left out in the distribution of the President’s largesse. He got P15 million of his pork barrel released also on December 12.

Most of the prosecutors got their pork barrel on the day of the signing of their impeachment complaint or right after: Neil Tupas, Umali, Marilyn Agabas, Giorgidi Aggabao, Rodolfo Fariñas, and CIBAC Party-list Representative Sherwin Tinga.

Prosecutor and Cavite Representative Elpidio Barzaga either is a very smart fellow or was in the inner core of the conspiracy to take out Corona. He got the remaining P20 million of his pork barrel allocation early, on November 24.

Don’t admire just yet Akbayan’s Arlene Bag-ao for not getting her pork barrel in exchange for her trouble as member of the prosecution panel. She was a smart schemer.

Right after Corona’s trial, Dinagat Representative Ruben Ecleo, already a fugitive from justice for two years, was finally expelled from Congress, in July 2012. This cleared the way for Bag-ao’s appointment by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte as “caretaker” (officially “legislative liaison officer”) of the island province, practically its acting congressman. She exploited the post to the hilt to win as Dinagat’s representative in the May 2013 elections, the first Party-list representative to be promoted as a regular, or district, congressman.

Even one of the presumed plotters in the filing of the impeachment complaint, Majority Floor Leader Neptali Gonzales 2nd, got P35 million of his pork released on December 12, the day of the signing of the impeachment complaint, as if to give himself a bonus. Even Speaker Belmonte got P5 million of his pork barrel on that day.

During the trial, Tañada pontificated: “This is a case of the people versus the chief justice. The people have a right to know.” What a hypocrite. Didn’t the people have the right to know that money flowed for congressmen to sign the impeachment complaint?

The people didn’t have anything to do with Corona’s trial. It was pork barrel. Why does Aquino still have the gall to complain over being called Pork Barrel King?

tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
www.rigobertotiglao.com and www.trigger.ph

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34 Comments

  1. Primer Pagunuran on

    I am quite in full agreement to all the insights raised by the author.

    Let us be warned of those “too young, too corrupt”.

    So Congress the institution operates ala “vendo machine” – drop millions and it will deliver on exactly what the President as the “god-king-cult” and giver of the “king’s largesse” desires as outcome.

    And no less than the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, in this case, is ‘whom the gods wish to destroy’.

    Shame on every god who got millions in exchange of a vote to impeach the man.

  2. Ruffy Calibugan on

    So what happen to the SALN of the Senators and Congressmen that were supposed to be published after the CJ impeachment?
    It appears that Corona is less guilty that the Judges that impeached him.

  3. Ang mga senatong natin at mga tongressman ay abot langit ang kaligayahan nila at ngiting kabayo kapag ina-address sila ng “Kagalang-galang / Your honor”. Totoo nga na mga ipokrito sila at karumal-dumal ang kanilang mga budhi. Sila ay ibinoto ng mamamayan sa pag-aakalang malinis ang kanilang mga hangarin para sa kapakanan ng ating bansa subalit taliwas sa ating paniniwala ang ginagawa nila. Totoo ang kasabihan na “Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover” dahil kagalang-galang sila sa panlabas na kaanyuhan pero demonyo pala ang kalooban nila. Ang mga mamamayan ay nagtititiis sa maliit na sahod at nagbabayad ng buwis para na rin sa kabutihan ng ating bansa subalit ninanakaw pala ng mga buwitre at buwaya ng mga tinatawag nating “Your Honors”

    Your Honors nasaan na ba ang mga konsensiya ninyo, gaano na ba kakapal ang mga pagmumukha ninyo, ganyan na ba katigas ang mga sikmura ninyo?

    Sa mga pangyayari, ngayon ay naniniwala ako na karamihan sa mga senador at kongresista natin ay ipinagpapalit sa pera ang kanilang prinsipiyo at dangal…

  4. the first question i would ask is why have bank secrecy laws. There is one reason & one reason only & that is to hide ill gotten gains, money stolen or got illegally. Ever civalised country allows their tax agency to know if there is over a certain ammount in an account. Its very simple if you get ill gotten or illegal money then there is no place to hide it. Make a place to hide it & crooks like corona will hide it there. He was the supreme court chief justice so who knows more than he about presenting evidence to show innocence but he didnt produce a single shred of evidence, he just made a prolonged speech saying blah blah blah blah. I dont care how they got those documents because it showed the supreme court chief justice to be a dishonest man, full stop. Change the laws so you catch more of these sum stealing billions from this country, withholding taxes that should be paid to this country, make no hiding place for these people. But what always makes me laugh is every single one of them pretends to be a good honest god fearing man. They are just liars & thieves & pure scum, but justice finaly caught up with the chief justice.

  5. Pitong Daspalas on

    The Napoles expose’ conjured up a healthy conversation such as we’re doing right now. Sadly, however, what is to be blamed here is the Filipino culture. Like all of you, I grew up in the Philippines, and at a very early age, we knew that these elected politicians are licensed to steal; it is culturally expected. No one ever had the courage to talk about these rampant and blatant thievery. The result of this cowardice among us is the pervasive dynasty, like a plague in all corners of the country. Pillaging, murdering, and stealing amongst these elected politicians goes on unabated, undisturbed. It’s gonna be interesting what our justice system can and will do, considering it’s fuled by the “padrino,” bribery, and other hocus pocus way of manipulating the system. Judging on the history, the judicial system will convict somebody “small,” and helpless to convict the “tandas,” zexy’s,” and the “pogis,” or they will be “tokenly” convicted but will be pardoned just in time for them to run for the next election.

  6. In the meantime the Chinese (mainland) are feasting on the problems besetting our country. If the country’s SC can’t get the senators or congressmen who were found guilty of plundering imprisoned then we will be judged by other countries as a very weak nation. But I am positive that our country still has people of highest integrity. Most of them are OFWs!!

  7. Elmer Valenciano on

    Greed begets greed. There had to be a starting point where someone who is the epitome of lawlessness must be taken down. And the Chief Justice is a significant and perfect example. When someone works on clay figurines, it would be impossible to not get mud in your hands. It this case, a good wash should remove traces of mud from the hands.

  8. ROMEO M. MENORCA on

    I would like to imagine the day and situation will come when all forms of pork have been abolished – and in such an ideal situation – these bunch or type of “mercenaries” and “hypocrites” would no longer be salivating for the coveted position waxed with pdaf/dap etc…that they will be banished from the facade of Philippine politics…Ergo we would have a new bunch of candidates in future elections – personalities who would put genuine service as priority in their agenda – and who knows – even “dynasties” will soon be things-of-the-past. As we all know pork (monies), hypocrites (dirty tradpols), dynasties (passed-on power) are all co-terminus with each other.

  9. Hindi lamang siya ang Pork Barrel King kundi siya din ang Hocus Pocus King dahil ginamit niya hocus pocus machines ng Comelec upang punuin ang Kongress ng mga LP senators at congressmen upang lalong maging rubber-stamp Congress. Talagang gahaman siya sa kapangyarihan. Sa halip na makipagtagisan ng talino sa pamamahala ay pork barrel at hocus pocus machine ang kanyang ginamit. Billions of pesos ang kanyang winaldas para dito. Siyanga pala , siya din pala ang Waldas King.

  10. im so glad theres a person like mr tiglao who has the courage to speak. we are charity fund raisers and it was an experience writing some congressmen and senators for ticket sponsorships/donations for our scholars, the BIG ANSWER. . . WE DON’T HAVE BUDGET FOR SUCH THINGS. . . .

    • Remain to be seen. Trust but verify. Unfortunately, it is proven that people who are making bad criticism are the one guilty themselves.
      I always believe that, “there is none righteous no not one”.

  11. Today’s time is dangerous; military take-over is imminent. Impeachment will not prosper, and granting p’noy is impeached, Binay, though has the capacity, is equally guilty of various corruption in Makati (from father, to wife to son dynasty). His pork barrel as mayor were not spent in Makati but in other provinces to boost his candidacy as VP and so his son, the present mayor. No one on the line is not guilty; from VP to senate president, speaker of the house and Chief Justice (who was appointed by bribery). If Binay becomes president, his government is still run by corrupt because majority of the senators and congressmen are guilty of bribery. Before the military can have the opportunity to take-over, p-noy should call a snap election banning himself, relatives and the entire elected officials and cabinets to participate in the election. This is now the time to clean up the government. Jail all corrupt officials including those former militaries involved in the coupd’tat. Coups will always occur because they were pardoned by whoever was the president, and they even became senators.

  12. Buti na lang ngayon pa lang eh lumitaw na tunay na mga kulay nila Angara, Tanada, Quimbo, at iba pang mga kabataang pulitiko na sabi nga ni Jose Rizal eh mga pagasa ng bayan. Mga kabataang pulitiko na siya sanang gagabay sa mga susunod na henerasyon natin. pero hindi pala dapat. Kasi, puro pagnanakaw ang ituturo nila at gagawing pamamalakad sa gubyerno kung sakali. Buti pa yun BABOY nakakain ng tao. itong mga kabataang BABOY na mga ito eh sila lang ang kumakain. Sana maisaisip ito ng mga bobong botante. yung mga nagpapasilaw sa kislap ng kuwarta na panandalian lang ang kaligayahan.

  13. In my opinion, di na dapat ibinubukod si PNoy sa mga MAGNANAKAW NA LAWMAKERS NATIN (REPS AT SENATORS) na sila na lang ang sinisisi. Ika nga me command responsibility at itong mga recognized na miyembro ng sindikato ni PNoy ay responsibilidad niya. Kaya, ang aksyon dapat ay mula kay PNoy pababa. Hindi siya VIP na ubod ng linis para di maisama sa mga dapat na aksyon na gawin. Do not spare the leader from harm ‘coz, sooner or later, papalag ang mga ito kung bakit sila lang ang mapaparusahan at si Pnoy ay hindi samantalang siya ang instigator. Simple lang nmn. After his term, tirahin na agad, wag na pagtagalin. Ingatan lang na mawala o mahokus pokus ang mga documento na ebidensiya laban sa kanya come 2017. Para kung me magumpisa ng kaso, kumpleto na sa ebidensya. mabilis-bilis ang pagusad ng kaso. Kataranduhan kung sasabihin niya na hindi nya alam ang mga pinaggagagawa ng mga bataan nya. MALAKING KAGAGUHAN ANG PANGANGATWIRAN NA YAN.

    • kung paano niya ( Pnoy ) sinakote si GMA ganun din dapat siya masakote pagkatapos ng termino niya ( Pnoy )…minadali nila ang mg akso ni Gma so ngayon dapat ipunin na ang mga ebidensiya para kay Pnoy habang nasa pwesto pa siya at habang gumagaw sila ng mga krimen na hindi halata ng taong bayan na sila sila lang nag nakakalam pero nabubulgar din dahil sa kpalpakan na rin nila na nag mamalinis masyado sa ” Daang Matuwid ” yun pala daang liko-liko rin pala..

  14. Mga duwag ang mga Pilipino.

    All you need is one suicide bomber to put an end to these rampant rape and plunder of the nation’s coffers.

    Jail time? Forget it.

    You had two bloodless revolutions KUNO but what have you got to show? A nation ran by thieves in Barong Tagalogs and tailored suits.

  15. we can best evaluate this issue if we see all angles of the story…given that these congressmen had voraciously did the act in the name of greed..are you guys convinced that Corona is innocent and was a victim of political sabotage? that he did not deserve that ouster? that PNoy would take the blame of it all..that the administration is guilty and Corona is not…i’m hoping to see a well-balanced analysis of this issue.. when we write or expose any inconsistencies in the government..many can’t avoid to reveal their sides..PRO Admin or Opposition..i prefer not to take sides..we assess both shortcomings..and somehow come up with the answer on the inquiry on where do both go wrong and understand the consequences of their grave mistakes..from that we can avoid repeating the same mistake..by doing this we can be eye openers instead of being reduce to mediocre critic but had not really contributed positive impact..now that you have declared the verdict that PNoy is guilty..what is your side with Corona’s ?

  16. Sa karumal dumal na kawalanghiyaan at pág lustay mg karangalan ng sobereniya ng taong Bayan, bulwagin ang 16th Congress.

    Walang pág asa na ang isa man sa kanila ay tumayo upang ipaglaban na bulwagin ang pdaf at dap, sapagkat lahat sila ay Manolito ng payola ni PNoy!!!

  17. Bobby, simply put mga Hipocrito. Nagtatago sa salitang tuwid na daan, pero baluktot naman ang paraan. Their main defense is there is no birbery after the fact. What kind of lawyers do they have? They have to read Articles 210 and 212 of the Revised Penal Code.

  18. too bad this admin started big with something big as in a big bang “kung walang blah blah blah” , now it seems it’s in a whimper with the same empty promises, big on words, cover ups, the same scoundrels! we must be a cursed nation considering our claimed GDP, moody’s rating are all going up! problem lies in our honourables who talks loud with feigned righteousness and steals the nations wealth with impunity and with no end in sight! and so nothing much really changes after all! what a pity!

  19. Domingo Ligot on

    There are now fifteen commandments to wit:

    11th : huwag kang pahuhuli;
    12th : kung mahuli ka huwag kang aamin;
    13th : kung hindi makaiwas sa pagamin magdawit ka ng iba;
    14th : umalis ka ng bansa;
    15th : magpakamatay ka

    In the homily of the priest last Sunday he said that he sees the hand of God in whats happening in the government these days. This year being the Year of Faith we have been praying to the Blessed Mother every first Saturday of the month asking for her intersession for our beleaguered country and our prayers are being answered. God has finally acted and woe to them who refuse to heed the chastisement of the Lord. Meron mabuting kahihinatnan ang mga nangyayari ngayon umasa tayo he intoned.

  20. Ricardo Boncan on

    Mr. Tiglao,
    I know that you were an advocate of the RHBill, I wonder if you would go so far as to admit that even the passing of that bill was itself a sham. I haven’t heard you criticize the fact that the three stooges, Abad, Roxas and Lacierda were at the HOR the day RH passed on 2nd reading when our initial assessment prior to that was that it would not pass muster. There was mention of this the same time Jinggoy mentioned the Corona “DAP bribery” issue. In fact if there is anything worth writing about, it should be this because unlike the Corona impeachment, the RH bill was not political exercise and thus should not have been prone to any “kaliwaan.” I look forward to a future column that addresses this so we can see if you can be an objective journalist as well.

  21. Talaga naman makakapal ang mga Tongressmen na iyan kaya mgs pinoy tandaan niyo ang mga pangalan nila mga ganid iyan kaya wala na sila karapatan na iboto niyo uli.Dapat sa kanila ma outcast na.Huwag na Huwag niyo iboboto dahil kaban ng bayan ibubulsa I lk.Mga taong ipagbibili ang sarili makuha lang ang gusto.Ano ang pag kaiba nila sa prostitute at least ang mga prostitute they do it para matulongan ang kanilang familia itong mga ganid ninanakaw sng kaban ng bayan para sa sarili lamang.

  22. As young and corrupt as they are, the Congress members you mentioned should not expect a clean and corrupt-free country for their children and grandchildren. I do not claim any “holier than thou” personality, but I always believe in, “you reap what you sow” or, “you owe, you pay” as truisms in Christian life. With these, the ‘karma’ may come back in another form or misfortune. It’s sad.

  23. Lolita Habito on

    The Philippines is a country whereby the majority are scared of talking about what is really happening in the government especially those who have experienced Martial Law. In reality we have an authoritarian family culture that is being practice also politically. As a result politicians are using the collective treasures, means and resources of all more for their own selfish interests and not for the common good. In countries like US, mass actions are not needed in order to punish the corrupt. We have here Special Prosecutor in every state in-charged of filing cases against politicians and carrying on the investigations. In fact 2 successive state governors are still in jail until now for offenses not punishable in Philippines. Democracy in the US does not mean absolute freedom. There are so many laws that restricts people’s behaviors and the laws are meant to be obeyed otherwise people need to be willing to be in jail or/and pay fines.

    Education is very much given importance and being critical of all kinds of issues are being emphasized and encouraged in schools. Public libraries in all cities which are open 7 days a week are well-supplied and well-financed to have well-informed and well-educated nation. It helps to make people be self-confident because they know their civic duties and responsibilities as well as their rights. Politicians in Philippines can abuse their rights or the concentration of power given to them by the people collectively because they did not give priorities wittingly or unwittingly for the education of the people so the people will have moral courage to make sure abuse wont happen. We cannot expect moral courage from people who have no sufficient knowledge and information. Now, Filipino politicians must be reminded that owning duties and responsibilities require their practice of virtues since most of them are very religious people and the people need to be able to differentiate justice from kindness.

  24. Nakakahiya ang mga Congressman natin. When I was still in the Philippines I heard
    the word “Tongresman”, to describe a Congressman. All of them who are involved in
    should resign now before it is too late.

    Poor Chief Justice Corona. President used billions of pesos to take him out of office?.
    These amounts belongs to the poor Filipinos. What a shame?. What a kind of “tuwid
    na daan”, What a pronouncement, “kung corrupt – walang mahirap.

    This is worse than than the “Martial Law” of the late President Marcos. Is Hitler
    still alive? A lot of Filipinos are suffering due to poverty.

    Enough is enough!

  25. Also, we can call now the House of Representative and Senate as the Lower House of Mamdarambong and the Upper House of Mamdarambong, respectively.

  26. Tama po kayo Ginoong Tiglao,ilabas po natin ang kabuktutan ng mga taong balimbing,na nagpasasa sa PDAP noong panahon ni GMA hanggang sa ngayong panahon ni Pnoy. Quimbo, Umali,Banal,at sa lahat na congressman na tumanggap ng lagay ay dapat sa mga itoy busisiin ang pinagmulan ng kayamanan,parusahan kung gobyerno ang pinagmulan,lumalabas pa ngayong may dignidad at karangalan ang pagkatao ni General Reyes na nagpakamatay dahil sa kahiyahiyang paratang sa kanya ni Rabusa.Ito namang mga Congressman at Senators ay pinangangalanan na na tumanggap ay todo kaila pa,magbitiw na kayo sa puwesto huwag na kayong kapit tuko.Tutuhanin mo na Pnoy ang paglinis sa ating Gobyerno hanggat may natitira pang tiwala ang mamamayan sa iyo,itigil na ang paggamit sa politika na negosyo,walising lahat ang nakapaligid sa iyo Pnoy,palitan ng mararangal na tao.

  27. Indeed, Pres. B.S. Aquino is the PORK BARREL KING. PNoy should not be slighted or angry about the title because he is a King which we presume he likes the title very much.

  28. People already know that bribe had been given to legislators when 188 tonggressman signed the complaint and pass it to the senate w/in a day. The only question is how much? I have also the feeling then that the opposition senatongs sided w/ coronas defense lawyer in the early going of the impeachment to increase the price they will received in return for junking corona.

    • It is in the best interests of our country to totally abolish all forms of pork barrel and also to urgently enact the Freedom of Information Bill (FOI) to minimize corruption.