• Let those without stench of DAP cast the stones

    31

    Was it to mock our people that the 16th Congress sent to battle — to contend with the Supreme Court and Vice President Jejomar Binay—the legislators who headed the lists of senators and congressmen who received Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) funds from Budget Secretary Butch Abad as bribes for impeaching former chief justice Renato Corona?

    Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th carried the colors for the Philippine Senate. As proof of his being No.1, I refer readers to my column (“Senators and their DAP loot,” Times, July 31, 2014), and the Supreme Court’s DAP ruling, where on page 114, Trillanes is listed as the first among the bribe-takers, in the list submitted by Butch Abad to the High Court.

    Not to be outshone, Rep. Neil Tupas was the flag-bearer of the House of Representatives. As proof of his No.1 distinction, I refer readers to the list of 188 congressmen who voted to impeach CJ Corona and got rewarded with P10 million each. The list has been repeatedly posted online by Showbiz Government, where the administrator also supplied photos of Tupas.

    To get the complete lists, just Google them; many websites can quickly supply the information.

    Representing Congress in caricature
    These two personify, in caricature, the authority of Congress, because they cannot by any stretch of the imagination claim to represent the best and the brightest in the Philippine legislature.

    The incongruity of their designation summons from the recesses of memory and history some stirring tales and lessons.

    During the time of the ancients, when armies went to battle and had to be represented in one-on-one combat by their champions, they invariably picked their most noble and virtuous warriors—in the belief that with virtue, the gods would favor them with victory.

    Savvy media journalists suspect that picking Trillanes and Tupas as the Senate and House champions is a case of reverse psychology or kitsch.

    Holy Scriptures provides a different take.

    Jesus and the adulterous woman
    In the Gospel According to Saint John, Chapter 8, it is told that the scribes and Pharisees brought before our Lord Jesus Christ a woman taken (caught?) in adultery. They contended that the woman should be stoned in keeping with the law as handed down by Moses.

    At first, Jesus did not heed them, but with their insistence on a response, Jesus lifted himself up and said unto them, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.”

    The chapter closes with the famous verse: ”If you continue in my word, then you are my disciples indeed; And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

    Conscience–stricken, the scribes and Pharisees left Jesus one by one.

    Trillanes as grand inquisitor
    These stories ameliorate the discomfort of contemplating the melancholy spectacle of Congress turning to discredited members to execute its ignoble assignments from the Aquino administration.

    In the Senate, Senator Trillanes with evident relish plays grand inquisitor in the Senate investigation of Vice-President Jejomar Binay, and the alleged over-pricing of a Makati government parking building. The inquiry is plainly designed to destroy Binay’s lead in the race for the presidency in 2016.

    Trillanes’s principal sidekicks in the anti-Binay project are Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Aquilino Pimentel II, two key recipients (No.8 and No. 11 in the list) also of DAP funds, P50 million each.

    In the House, Tupas has the entire House committee on Justice to back him up in bullying the Supreme Court, and the rest of the chamber as reserves if he cannot get the job done.

    Because the High Court is chock-full of bar topnotchers and legal luminaries, Tupas, a neophyte in the law in comparison, needs all the help he can get. He needs the ammunition that only Aquino can provide, such as the threat of BIR investigations of individual justices and the curtailment of departmental budgets.

    If these missions are so important to the administration and to the Liberal Party, why did Drilon and Belmonte entrust these tasks to the likes of Trillanes and Tupas.

    If these are important institutional objectives of the Senate and the House, why did they tap riff-raff for the execution.

    To paraphrase our Lord’s counsel, why not deploy the most able and the most credible Senate and House members for the task?

    Why not tap lawmakers who are DAP-free and have the vocabulary to defend the cause?

    Oddly, it is not because the Congress has no good apples left.

    Miriam Santiago and Bongbong Marcos
    In the Senate, there are two senators who are indubitably free of the stench and smell of DAP, because they voted to acquit Corona at his impeachment trial, and because they clearly did not receive a single peso of DAP funding then or since.

    These DAP-free senators are Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

    Also still DAP-free because they were not yet senators at the time of the trial are the new senators elected in the 2013 midterm elections. These are senators Nancy Binay, Grace Poe, Juan Edgardo Angara, JV Ejercito, and Cynthia Villar.

    Two of these require an asterisk.

    Angara inhibited himself from signing the impeachment complaint in the House because his father, Sen. Edgardo Angara, would be a juror in the impeachment trial. The elder Angara would be one of the bribe-takers, with a P50-million loot.

    Ejercito signed the impeachment complaint, and got the P10-million reward for signing. He has since pledged to return the money to the treasury.

    In the House, I’ve learned from Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz that there are over a hundred lawmakers in the 16th Congress who did not receive any DAP funds. Many won reelection (and did not sign the Corona impeachment complaint), and many are totally new at the job.

    And yet, many of these DAP-free lawmakers are part of the majority coalitions in the House and Senate, that are nominally headed by the Liberal Party.

    In the case of Miriam and Bongbong, it is highly unlikely that they will agree to throw stones at the Supreme Court and VP Binay. They are more likely to cast stones at the administration and their colleagues.

    In the House, the DAP-free lawmakers can be the force for institutional renewal.

    Disguising the true agenda of power-seeking
    The stoning of Jojo Binay and the bullying of the Supreme Court are tawdry projects that degrade our public life.

    By putting up disreputable lawmakers as accusers, the administration does not raise its public standing. But perhaps this is by design. It seeks by this to disguise its true agenda of power-politics and Aquino’s absolution.

    To the drama of trying Arroyo, Corona, Enrile, Estrada and Revilla, they have added the absurdity of Tupas, Trillanes and Cayetano as champions of ethics and morality.

    yenmakabenta@yahoo.com

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    31 Comments

    1. There seems to be this massive cover up of the DAP because the President is right at the center of it and Abad, one of his most trusted allies actually orchestrated the whole thing. Had there been different players involved, like the PDAF scam, for sure there would have been solons and hearings and whatever else by now. Audits will have been done and released, accountability would have been demanded. But as it is, we’re just given a bunch of excuses and BS explanations because of the major players involved.

    2. Blake Rodriguez on

      The DAP is the biggest scam in all Philippine history. And sad to say, the President and his LP stalwarts are smack-dab in the middle of it. The LP seems to be using it in preparation for 2016. Such a shame that this is what the Aquino name will now be remembered for.

    3. Meredith Pacheco on

      One thing that really leaves a bad taste in the mouth is the Administration’s bullying of the Supreme Court. The President keeps butting heads with the courts with regards to the DAP issue, and as a response, the Admin is trying to clip the SC’s powers. Whatever happened to having three separate branches of government? Is the President gunning for a dictatorship? What the heck?

      • Dina Dela Cuesta on

        The President is indeed overstepping his boundaries on this one. How shameful that he has resorted to threatening the courts? Might be an act of desperation, seeing that most names involved in the DAP scam are his LP members.

    4. “Trillanes and Cayetano as champions of ethics and morality:”
      – this makes me sick. Those 2 oughta be ashamed of themselves. Everybody knows how corrupt they are.

    5. veronica castro on

      iAnyone guilty of a crime should be prosecuted (proven in court). Stick to the point, PDAP, DAP or overpricing. etc. Pag naglabag sa batas iprosecute. kung iyon bata na nagpicpocket P10.00 kinukulong ano pa kung public servants. Political reasons, etc. beside the point. The authorities do.what they are supposed to do . Life is simplier that way. Huwag maraming debate. It is a waste of people’s time.

    6. Bilang isang mamamayan na nadugasan ng executive at legislative branch of this government, buong puso po akong nagpapasalamat Kay Senador Jingoy dahil kung hindi niya ibinulgar ang DAP ay wala kaming kamalay-malay na sinisipsip na pala nila ng unti-unti ang dugo ng mga mamamayan! Maraming salamat Po senador Jingoy.

      • Anti-Pork Barrel on

        Why are you thanking Jinggoy e di ba he was also charged of graft and corruption? He is included in the PDAF Scandal.

        He exposed DAP para hindi lang siya ang maparusahan..

    7. Yes, these LP accusers are as guilty, if not more guilty, as those being accused of wrongdoing. These LPs are making fool of themselves. They are incredibly callous with pretensions (perhaps they do not know who they are) of righteousness.

    8. Yes, these LP accusers are as guilty, if not more guilty, as thise being accused of wrongdoing. These LPs are making fool of themselves. They are incredibly callous with pretensions (perhaps they do not know who they are) of righteousness.

    9. sori sir dahil po yan sa salapi parang mga bwitre po iyan na pag nakakita ng kislap ng salapi ay nawawala nang kredibilidad. sila sana ang dapat maging ehemplo ng mralita dahil sila ang mga ibinoto para tinggnan kung tama ang nagiging pamamalakad ng gobyerno ni panoy but hindi ganoon pag nabusalan ng pera tapos na. tinggnan po ninyo un linta pag busog na kusang bibitaw pero sila hindi. san na po pupunta ang ph un prisedente na sinasabing magiging tuwid naging baluktot na sayang ang pinaglaban ni madam cory sayang na sayang

    10. Why exactly do you find it wrong for guilty parties to throw stones at another guilty party, unless you are willing to swear on the Bible that Binay is what you call a champion of morality? Are you?

    11. Eliseo Jr. P.Tenza on

      Dont the people want to know the personalities of those people who wants to be President of the Philippines. I would. It is true that this investigation of the Makati overprice allegation if found to be true will destroy the aspration of VP Binay, It is also true that if the building is over priced, then a further investigation on where the funds went has to be known, and legal action to be taken.If it is not over priced, then VP Binay has the best chance to be the next President.

      • Sad to say, an impartial investigation will find Binay guilty because he is in truth, guilty. He has long been corrupt. It’s only now that a thorough investigation is going on.

    12. There is a saying in law that whenever you go to court, “go to court with a CLEAN HANDS.” Senators Trillanes, Alan Peter Cayetano, Niel Tupaz, and Koko Pimentel !! are allegedly “bribe takers.” They have no business projecting their images in public as immaculately clean. All of them stinks through and through including their soul. These corrupt rubber stamp Senators have, by evil designed, virtually agreed to be Abnoy”s attack DOGS as INQUISITORS of their own peers (Senators Enrile, Bong Revilla and Estrada). The trouble with Pres. Aquino is that, he is not only vindictive but selective in his evil drive to cut off the heads of his political enemies. This is a lot of B****@@@####%%%S.

    13. Panilwala ko wala sa kanila ay malinis. All of the politicians which are the subject of your column are clean including those that you praise. Because I guess they cannot sustain their political career by spending their hard earned money just to pay for the maintenance of bodyguards, election campaigners, sorties, and their loyal followers that when called for rally always there to support them. But i salute you for this kind of livelihood column, it helps me learn.

    14. Mr. Makabenta: Can you please publish a complete list of all politicians who received DAP money(with the amount received)? We will then put the list on social media like Facebook.

    15. Thank you, Yen, for carrying on in season and out of season, the important and laudable crusade to always protect our people from the wily snares or corrupt and self-serving politicians via “Manila Times trusted since 1898”. You mentioned about the Gospel incident about Jesus and the adulterous woman, and Jesus’ challenge to her accusers to cast the first stone if they thought themselves unsullied by sins. There is in the Book of the Prophet Daniel about false judgment, two elders who accused the beautiful and God-fearing Susanna, of a sin she did not commit. This same biblical incident crossed my mind while I watched the recent proceedings held in Congress chaired by Tupas et al. In Susanna’s case, they were elders, in the should-be hallowed hall of Philippine Congress, they were much, much younger. And you know what, Yen? The words of the late Mayor Arsenio Lacson reverberated into my ears: “So young and yet so corrupt”! It’s such a pity that generally, as a people, we are short of memory. The only trait – a negative one – we seem to cherish is “keeping grudges for a life time”, immensely personified by the “Man in Malacanang”. Well, keep up the good work. Thanks too, to the MT pool of writers. You are all remembered in our prayers before the Lord.

    16. Our senators and congressmen are not throwing stones. They’re instead throwing insults and innuendos at each other.

    17. Good that you are relentless on this PDAF and DAP matters cause it is very strange that this administration’ “daang matuwid” is slanting to HELL rather than rising up. Until they provide the list of the projects that were funded by theses spending program which justifies the re-alignment of the people funds…I think the “good governance” will show a drop straight to the bottom…

    18. Yes, I agree withwhat you have written. Tupas, Trillanes and Cayetano have no redeeming deeds to be elected to any office. We need people who stand for the interest of our country not for self-interest.

    19. You do write well but its not so simple as you state & because you state it doesnt make it true. You keep going on about everyone being bribed to impeach corona & mirriam santiago says corona was innocent yet im sure the evidence shows different. He had almost P200,000,000 in his account that he cant account for. If you cant account for something it could mean its not legal, now with money there is always a trail, its easy to prove where you got the money from & corona didnt so he must by implication be guilty.
      You then use a verse from the bible ( always a good way to get filipinas on your side ) in saying he who is without sin let him cast the first stone. Well if that was the case today in any country no one would ever be bought to justice as im sure every individual has committed at least a very simple offence.
      You mention justices with being threatened with a bir investigation, does that mean if they got that threat they would be worried & if so why, have they got illegal monies & if they have they shouldnt be justices of any sort.
      Threaten me with a bir investigation, i wouldnt be worried as i have nothing to hise & nothing hidden so there is nothing to find.
      Im not saying ceyatno & trilannes arnt guilty of anything but if they are & there is evidence to prove it then take them to court, if they have managed to avoid the law because of pnoys protection then he is also commiting a crime & all of them after the next election should then be gone after by the next administration. Eventually you will get rid of the worst corrupt people but it will take a long time.

      • HEAR! This article was nicely done to shape the opinion of his target audience (the Filipinos)… The author, well, he has done his job… there must be a big fat envelope waiting for him… Sayang… thinkers like him and other media personnel are sellouts.. It is sad that people who dig deep into these things through research like the media and opinion makers are not being responsible with their gifts… It should not be like this… now he’s got a whole bunch of people confused because with his pen he artistically demonized and glorified certain personalities… I hope you can face your grandchildren as they inherit and suffer the sins of their grandfather… Shame on you…

    20. Pnoy “straight path” policy in conformity with his cry-slogan “Kung walang kurap, walang mahirap” are saintly selfT-righteous advocacies! Pnoy need not be saintly in providing honest, fair and equitable governance. After all Pnoy is human and can make honest mistake or judgment. However, if Pnoy feels he is without sin, he must CAST the stones to ALL DAP and PDAP scammers-lawmakers (in and out of Congress) by prosecuting them to the hilt without distintiguishing or regard to their party affiliation or personal relationship and put them all to jail. If he can do this it will be Pnoy crowning achievement of his Presidency and legacy to Filipino people as a true and honest leader and statesman. Otherwise, Pnoy will be just another gimmicking and vengeful politicians like King Herodes who only persecute his enemies and oppositions to his throne like Jesus. Pnoy must prosecute all PDAP and DAF corrupt lawmakers who used the funds in ghost NGO or projects for ill-gotten personal gain or used the DAP fund for hidden personal unlawful agenda like bribery to convict Corona or for other personal consideration other than personal gain like Abad, Drillon, Alcala and other cabinet members. If by jailing all thse corrupt officials results in leaving Congress empty of people representatives, then so be it! Guinness World record of the FIRST f empty lawmaking body in the world puts the Philippines again the world map as first in the history of world politics. Only in the Philippines guys, only in the Philippines! Then Aquino is then prosecuted and jail after he steps down. Hooray, only in the Philippines.

    21. The just retribution for the country should be the blacklisting of all those crooked congressmen who voted to kill the impeachment complaint. Never again must we write the names of Evardone, Quimbo, Umali, Aggabao, Barzaga, Tupas, et.al., in our ballots come 2016. We should coordinate with the religious hierarchy and laity of the congressional districts of those “killer” congressmen so that the appropriate blacklisting similar to what was done in the last election could be done.

    22. Well written. Tupas need to give credible information where he got the money to build his mansion with a representathief pay, Trillanes needs to account where he used his Pork and other cash incentives making him the biggest spender in the Senate when he was in jail, Cayetano must explain why he assigned many of his Pork and DAP in Taguig, where his wife is Mayor, which is covered with corruption. In short these 3 dirty legislathieves have no businesses have no business investigating purported corruption against anyone when they have the same faults as the persons they accuse.

      • To me it’s fine for PDAF and DAP scammers like Trillanes, Cayetano, Neil Tupaz to accuse their Co-scammers. After all there is no honor among thieves and they are all dish oracles anyway. Let them expose their dirty Laundry in public as they all stink and rotten to the core. My concern is how and who should prosecute them but Pnoy! But Pnoy is deeply entangled in these web of PDAF and DAF scams and so personally involved as co-conspirator with Abad that Pnoy can’t barely breath and move against these 204 and 24 legislathieves scammers. Pnoy must prosecute and execute his last political hoorah against ALL who are involved regardless of affiliation or relations with the thieves!

    23. Mukhang manhid ang mga miyembro ng Kongreso lalung-lalo na yong mga ‘napasakan’ ng DAP; pati na yong mga nagmamagaling noong araw ay nag-iba na dahil may ‘pasak’ na rin! .

      I hope Mr. Yen Makabenta, and others, will NOT stop exposing the ‘anomalies’ in the government.The “unscrupulous” tie-up of the executive branch and its lap dogs in congress brought by the DAP, will enable the executive branch to go on with its own vindictive and ineffective agenda of governance.

      As of now, the “walang mahirap kung walang kurap” sounds pleasing to the ears of the people, but it is ironic because it is “inconsistent” and “discriminatory”. Also, the “daang matuwid” remains a ‘mirage’. The sitting president is only after his big political enemies.

      The Filipino people, particularly the voters, need CONSTANT reminders of who to vote for when elections come.

    24. Horacio B. Freires on

      It was INDEED “INSUFFICIENT IN SUBSTANCE” ( in fact an obvious defense-mechanism-manifest) the quality of procedure in judging the 3 impeachment complaints as ‘insufficient in substance’ . ., who will then judge the judgement of these pseudo-judges. . fed by DAP. ?. . the plenary?. . or the people?., . how?