THE first crime was the Aquino regime’s attack in 2011 on the Republic’s judicial branch: the removal of Chief Justice Renato Corona on flimsy grounds through its massive bribery of Congress, and his replacement by the President’s college buddy, Ma. Lourdes Sereno.
After that, the Yellow Cult’s second crime was its assault in 2013 on the legislative branch and the neutralization of its the opposition leaders there, especially its most popular who could have run for president and/or vice president in 2016.
Both crimes had the same modus operandi. They were undertaken in the guise of some lofty noble purpose, in the case of the first to remove an “Arroyo midnight appointee,” and in the second, to dismantle a source of corruption in Congress, the pork barrel funds.
Both had massive propaganda machines, mainly the Philippine Daily Inquirer and ABS-CBN News. In the attack against Corona, PDI for instance ran such screaming headlines as “UST breaks rules for Corona” or “Corona had 45 properties,” which were all proven to be so grossly false. In the second case, PDI was the exclusive publication of pork-barrel documents and alleged whistle-blower Benhur Luy’s claims. No other publication was allowed to gain access to Luy.
It was only recently that we would learn that PDI’s main owners, the Rufino family, had a firm, Dunkin Donuts that allegedly had a P1.5 billion tax liability. Another Rufino company, Sunvar Realty, had unpaid rentals amounting to P2 billion for the prime Mile Long property in Makati, which it lost all legal rights to back in 2003 when the lease expired, but which it still occupies to this day, collecting rent from the over 400 stores there. The paper therefore had all the reasons to go out of its way to help Aquino as his main propaganda machine.
These two crimes were elements of the Yellow Cult’s grandiose plan to hold on to absolute power in a way that would have made the Marcos dictatorship look like an amateurish project, by controlling the three branches of government as well as its Fourth Estate (media), without martial law imposed, and even after Benigno Aquino 3rd”s term ended.
The last phase of the plan was to cheat, through massive vote-buying, in the 2016 presidential elections for Mar Roxas to win.
This phase failed only because of the unprecedented wave of people’s support for the winner President Duterte, with Roxas landing – in defiance of all polls – second in that race. The billions of pesos, mostly from government money, the Yellows mobilized in that election though still managed to get the Yellow’s mediocre candidate, Leni Robredo, to win, since her rivals didn’t have the charisma Duterte had.
But truth has a habit of being unearthed. The acquittal last week from kidnapping charges of one Janet Napoles from Basilan, whom the Aquino regime claimed was the mastermind of the mammoth pork-barrel scam could be the start of the unravelling of this second crime of the Yellow Regime.
Duterte is lucky to have a Solicitor General Jose Calida who has the balls, and the principles, to fight to correct an injustice by helping in the case, even if doing so was so unpopular since Napoles had been demonized so much by the PDI and ABS-CBN.
Her trial for allegedly kidnapping her long-time assistant and relative Ben Hur Luy—the government’s star witness in fingering opposition politicians—broke all records of litigation speed. After just a year of trial, she was sentenced to life imprisonment. That doesn’t happen even in the most advanced nations on earth with the most efficient legal systems.
It was only because of the powerful media that supported Aquino in those years that the obvious could be concealed: The administration wanted her put in jail as soon as possible.
Why? Obviously since it is in jail that Aquino and his minions would be confident she’s totally unable to tell the real story of the pork-barrel controversy, and reveal if the Yellow President’s top lieutenants and most of his Liberal Party congressmen and senators had in fact amassed hundreds of millions of pesos in such government funds.
There were rumors that Aquino himself, his ideologue then budget secretary Florencio Abad, and his top political operator Franklin Drilon were longtime friends of Napoles herself.
Indeed, how could Aquino, Abad and Drilon, who had been in Congress for more than two decades and major players there, not have known about the pork-barrel scam and Napoles herself?
Photos with Napoles
Aquino himself had photos with Napoles, and smiling ear to ear not only with her, but with her husband and daughter. For an alleged big-time swindler, Napoles, who had gone into hiding, was fetched by Aquino’s spokesman Edwin Lacierda at some secret rendezvous point, and escorted to Malacañang itself to confer with Aquino and Abad.
It was the President of the Republic and his heir-apparent Mar Roxas, who accompanied Napoles—the three riding in his official limousine—to her first cell in Camp Crame. Aquino even inspected Napoles’ jail cell, and reportedly gave instructions to the warden.
The Yellow cultists of course thought that Filipinos are so gullible they wouldn’t see through what they were doing: Aquino and his officials were making sure that Napoles was never out of their sight from the moment she surrendered to her incarceration — where of course she could have met some accident in case sang a different tune. Aquino accompanied her to assure her that no harm would be done to her. As long as she cooperated with him, that is.
Here are some of the facts which have led me to think that this entire pork-barrel scam should be investigated by the Duterte administration:
Very conveniently, the COA special audit covered only the periods from 2007 to 2009, or during President Arroyo’s term. There were reports that the COA had another audit to cover the three years from 2010 to 2012, or during Aquino’s time. If there were such a report, it has not been disclosed.
Very strangely, most of the congressman (but of course not all) implicated and charged for graft because they pocketed their pork barrel were not of the Yellow horde. Were those who swore fealty to the Yellow Cult just coincidentally the most upright of congressmen?
Very coincidentally, the three senators charged with pork-barrel graft in 2013 were the then leading lights of the opposition, two of whom – Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla – were considered to have had the potential of running for the presidency or vice presidency in 2016. I am certainly not a big fan of these two former actors, but still, why just them and not other senators and congressmen?
I’m sure Luy—who’s hardly the crusader he and the PDI portrayed him, given the P30 million he reportedly had in his bank accounts—and Napoles could be persuaded by this administration to tell us the whole truth about this pork-barrel operation of the past regime.
One would think that for all the hue and cry over the pork-barrel controversy which even consumed several months of investigation by the Congress, it would have been abolished.
From P21.7 billion in 2011, when the pork barrel controversy broke out, Aquino maintained it in subsequent years to amount to P25 billion in 2016. He merely gave it a different name, funds for “Bottom Up Budgeting” projects, with Congress members skirting the Constitution and Supreme Court rulings by determining their projects (by which they can get their cuts) before the budget law is passed.
What a country.
Or maybe Duterte will unlock this mystery.
Facebook: Rigoberto Tiglao