Lawmakers guilty of bribery – Miriam

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LAWMAKERS who voted to convict former chief justice Renato Corona and who received additional pork barrel before or after the May 29, 2012 verdict can be presumed guilty of bribery because of the timing of the two events, Sen. Miriam Santiago said on Monday.

Santiago, a constitutional law expert, noted that the additional pork releases under the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) during and after Corona’s impeachment trial constitutes bribery under the Revised Penal Code.

She cited Article 204 of the penal code: “Any judge who shall knowingly render an unjust judgment in any case submitted to him for decision, shall be punished by prison mayor, and perpetual absolute disqualification.”

The law doesn’t only cover the senator-judges in the Corona impeachment but also the members of the House of Representatives who voted to indict the chief justice and who also got additional pork.


“Each senator or representative was guilty of the crime of knowingly rendering unjust judgment,” Santiago said in a statement.

Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada in a privilege speech last week revealed that lawmakers who convicted Corona received P50 million additional allotment.

Santiago and Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Joker Arroyo did not get additional funds because they voted against the impeachment of Corona.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad has denied that the DAP is linked to the impeachment of Corona. He said the additional releases are mostly for infrastructure projects to ramp up spending and help accelerate economic expansion.

Senate President Franklin Drilon also dismissed insinuations that the DAP releases were a bribe and maintained that the funds went to legitimate infrastructure projects.

Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero also clarified that the DAP released to him formed part of his request made to the Office of the President (OP) to bolster local government programs requested through his office.

Escudero, chairman of the Senate Finance committee, said that he funded P96 million worth of projects, not P99 million as reported by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

“The whole amount went to the construction or repair of public markets of LGUs for P500,000 each,” he said, adding that the projects were downloaded to and implemented by the municipalities and cities in the provinces of Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Cavite, Rizal, Ilocos Norte and Pangasinan.

Drilon, Escudero and Senator Juan Ponce Enrile received higher DAP releases than other senators in 2012. Drilon and Enrile each got P100 million.

Senators Serge Osmena 3rd and Ralph Recto admitted receiving the additional allotment but they said that they did not know it came from the DAP.

Unconstitutional
But Santiago said she will urge the Supreme Court to look into the DAP disbursements because it violates the equal protection clause which is the keystone of all human rights.

She said she would like to know if it is legal for the DBM to discriminate among senators and decide who will receive bigger allotments.

Santiago noted that based on her observation, the DAP, which was introduced in 2011, appears to have been disbursed in violation of the Constitution’s equal protection clause.

“In releasing funds, the executive branch cannot play favorites when carrying out constitutional commands such as social justice, social services, and equal work opportunities. The DAP releases, flawed as they were from the very beginning, played favorites among senators. That was clearly unconstitutional,” she pointed out.

Furthermore, she said, the three senators did not explain why they got more than the others. They defended themselves by saying they spent the money on public projects. By contrast, each representative allegedly received P15 million.

Santiago however said that the bribery allegations should not distract the public from the multi-billion-peso pork barrel scam.

“Both scams are equally repulsive. But the alleged bribery scam is intended by the political opposition to cover up the Napoles NGO pork scam,” she said.

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13 Comments

  1. Why is Mirriam ranting only now. I don’t believe she does’nt know that these things have been going on for a long time. If maybe she has been clean lately, I doubt if she has’nt dipped her hands into these pork barrel stuff. I do believe most of these lawmakers are guilty of corruption. I second Robin’s call for those guilty to quit now. Sooner or later they are going to be unmasked.

  2. to Celsa: UR- “She lambasted because she lost in the impeachment.” LOL!! That is about the rankest argument forwarded to explain why Miriam Defensor called it a “bribe”!

  3. The accusation and the bribery insinuation of the senators & their cohorts against the administration is a tactic to induce a compromise or negotiation with ruling party so they can get out of hooks especially in the Napoles Pork Barrel scam.

    Guess who is the loser if they got what they wish — THE PILIPINO people!!!

    Stay alert, people….Don’t let them get away this time. Taken one devil down is better than letting two survive and continue to milk the people.

  4. joebert banderas on

    Kung hindi sana corrupt ang mga politiko at govt officials natin ay naku isa na tayo sa pinakamayaman sa asia meron tayo sa lahat ng natural resources ,ang ibang bansa tubig at pagkain wala sila bumibili lang sa kalapit na bansa pero napakayaman nila ang layo ng Pilipinas.Hindi seguro magtitiis sa hirap ang karamihan sa pilipino nag aabroad ang karamihan,domestic helpers kilala na sa buong mundo na ang Pilipiino ay corrupt pero nadamay lang ang mga mahihirap ang talagang no.1 na magnanakaw ay ang mga politiko at mga govt officials,kung pwede lang hindi magbayad ng tax ginagawa na namin yan lalo lang silang yumayaman sa tax namin kami naman lalong naghihirap.

  5. She lambasted because she lost in the impeachment. She accused those who voted against her choice of receiving bribe yet she also received her own share. How do you classify this kind of a person, Merriam Santiago. International Court woke up in time to reject her application and rectify what would have been a fatal mistake of appointing her. Good thing to us also, her venom and trash are just contained here. Save us face.

  6. nur muammar omar on

    lahat ng tumanggap nang DAP at 50 million additional pdaf mag resign na. kung talagang may malasakit kayo sa bansa natin do the supreme sacrifice…resign o mag harikiri nalang kayo para naman may legacy kayong maiiwan….

  7. Meynardo Sanchez on

    It doesn’t matter how each politician involved in the scam justify the additional allotment, they are guilty as hell. It’s no surprise that a majority of the Philippine politics is the source of graft and corruption, and this involved the incumbent President! First, the President should resign followed by those who were involved in the scam directly or indirectly!

  8. Manuel T. Garcia Jr. on

    Senator Santiago should make a long ponder firtst before making accusations.As what I understand PDAF or whart they call pork barrel is not bad.It5 is going on in the syste of our government for a long time.PDAF is entrusted to politicians to answer the projects their constituent needs.Indirectly this system in fact helps the politicians become closer to their constituents answering what structure or infrastructure they need in their coomunity.thru these funds.So with lots of projects the politician can extend to theit constituents,it is in the mind of the recipients(the people that the officials they voted for have a lot of concern and don/t forsake them.
    Election comes and so the politician who follows the system honestly is re-elected.Supposedly these funds belong to the people, not to the pockets of those politicians who connive and share with fake NGOs, ghost projects,unfinished projects
    We wiil call PDAF as a bribe, or incentives to politicians, as long as it was used honestly to the needs of the people ,not goning to the pockets of politicians, where is the wrong doing.After Corona’s conviction we may call the additional funds as bribes or incenrives, but what matters is how the politicians used those funds, going to the people’s needs or to their pockets.Personally the President cannot remove Mr.Corona from the office.Needs congress to carrry the process.Without Congress and office of the President,,do you think Mr.Corona was honest during his tenure at the Supreme Court?.Let people be the judge.

  9. I wonder why he left it till now to say something. If that was truly the case surely he would have said so at the time it was being offered. I dont trust a single one of these politicians & the sooner you start getting the police or nbi to investigate all politicians & prosecute them if any anomaly is found the better. It is quite obvious to foreigners but not pinoys that it costs a fortune to partake in elections as a candidate & do you think they are foolish enough to do it for the sake of the country, no they are prepared to use their own money to get into politics because they know once there they will become very rich very quickly. All of thir incomes & expenses & any form of money they have any say in should be scrutinised with a microscope to find all the ways they have of stealing the countries money. Its treason thats what it is as it is crimes against the people of this country. The people make the country so stealing from them is stealing from the country treason.

  10. Thank you ms Santiago for the info. What is your next move? Don’t you dare to save people’s money? Kindly do something rather than talking.

  11. It is of no wonder that these Crocodile legislators in the Senate and Lower House loves B.S. Aquino so much. PNoy as President is making these legislators multi-millionaires in just a stroke of the pen with their signatures. I am so sorry for myself and all those Filipino citizens who cannot find jobs, cannot educate our children, cannot feed their families, cannot go to government hospitals if they are sick, cannot buy medicines, cannot find roof over their heads, etc. all because monies intended for the poorest of the poor are disposed to these heartless, shameless scalawags and thieves in the Upper and Lower House. It is no wonder every immoral citizens in this Country are going into politics, not to serve, but be served.