On ‘Obscene, Baseless Comments vs. Senate in Tiglao July 24 piece’

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We take strong exception to Rigoberto Tiglao’s assessment of the latest Senate hearing on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) in his July 24, 2014 article “A shameless Senate licks Abad’s boots,” where his journalistic opinion disappointingly devolved into a groundless and incredibly vulgar tirade against the Upper Chamber.

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We especially take issue with the claim that the DAP hearing shows that the “Senate supported the President’s hijacking of its role over the budget,” especially when the column presents not a single iota of concrete proof to back such an allegation.

We emphasize that Senate hearings serve not only to aid legislation, but also to inform the public about the full and comprehensive picture of the nation’s most pressing issues.  That means, as reflected in the DAP hearing, that positive aspects of an issue will be discussed, alongside with its critical or negative aspects.

It is undeniable that during the July 24 DAP hearing, senators who were critical of the administration’s use of the DAP were allowed to pose questions as freely as the senators who have expressed support for the program.

We note that no less than Senate finance committee chair Francis
Escudero has said that a subsequent hearing on DAP has been set, where more questions on the issue—such as those suggested by Tiglao–could be addressed.

Even more revolting is how Tiglao wrote off the Senate as a “a well-paid prostitute under Aquino, willing to do any perverted sex act before the public as long as it gets its pork barrel money.”  It is lamentable how a former diplomat and Cabinet member betrayed his status by resorting to obscene metaphors in conveying his disdain for a democratic institution.

It is disturbing to hear Tiglao, a former activist in the Marcos years, hint that the enforcement of the rule of law can be handled by “an enlightened people’s armed forces” instead of civilian rule, and to suggest such a militarist undermining of the country’s democratic institutions.

No less than Senate President Franklin M. Drilon has made it clear that the Senate will strive towards reforms to public governance, in order to regain public trust. That is why public hearings on contested issues like the DAP are encouraged and freely conducted. While we respect and defend Tiglao’s right to express his views, newspaper columnists also have the responsibility to discuss national issues in a manner that would educate the public, promote rational dialogue and create solutions, rather than inspire demagoguery and hatred through baseless vitriol.

Sammy Santos
Print Media Director
Public Relations and Information Bureau
Senate of the Philippines
Senate PRIB Phils <prib.fb@gmail.com>
[OpEd Editor’s note: This letter was emailed to The Times on Aug. 3, 2014]

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24 Comments

  1. Chief Executive on

    “Mr. Santos and ed” malinaw ba ang mga mata ninyo? Kahit walang Tiglao, kitang kita ng taumbayan ang senate hearing kung sino ang kakampi ni Drilon “Lolong!”
    Bulag ba kayo? Pero di kita masisisi Mr. Sammy Santos, kumita ka rin eh!
    Anong reform ang sinasabi ni Drilon? Ngayon pa, huli na – kung talagang matino sila, isauli nila ang perang ninakaw nila…doon ako bibilid! Yun ang ayos! Anong say mo Sammy Santos?

  2. SALVACION CAHAYAG on

    Mr. Tiglao, you are one of kind. You tell the truth no matter who gets hurt. That is
    what we need in this country. This JT who write and comment that is if he is out
    of civilization who does not even know what is going on in this country. If this JT
    does not yet know the truth, he shoud be reading the decision of the Supreme
    Court about the DAP. What was the decision? That the DAP was unconstitutional.
    In short, JT abnoy and abad violated the constitution. You are likened to the Japanese
    Onuda when in the middle of the 1960’s did not even know then that world war II
    was already over. This JT is a kind of BS pure and simple.

  3. The truth hurts. No amount of Senate defense can erase the fact that the Senate has been a prostituted chamber under BS Aquino III. And their exclusion of DAP and PDAF critics, more particularly those who challenge all this corrupt and illegal acts were not invited in the Senate hearing. Huwag na kayong magmalinis. Sin-dumi kayo nang lahat ng kriminal na nagpapahirap sa bayan. Enjoy your crimes while it last – until the Filipino people comes to its senses and remove all of you in power.

  4. I fully support every bit of what was said in the article. The author should be commended for his bravery in exposing all of these.

    Masakit lang talaga pag tinatamaan lalot totoo.

  5. lahat naman yan ay nag papapansin para sa susunod kuno daw ay ma appoint naman sila at sila naman ang kakamkam ng kaban ng bayan. halimbawa na lang sa mag columnista diyan na di ko alam kung makabayan ba ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh ewan ko sa mga yan. Isa lang objective niyan.. ma appoint kung manalo ang manok niyan… papalinis at papasikat lang mag comentarista hayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy naku… mga ACDC yan… attact collect tapos defend collect sila yan

  6. jason bourne on

    There could be no other way to express the decadent and illegal acts by the Senate. Mr Tiglao is quit right to call them political prostitutes for thats what they are – they chose money before country & principles.

  7. The truth hurts, and what Ambassador Tiglao writes is one hundred percent correct. I am one of your avid readers Ambassador, I will not leave your column. The adjectives in your column against these crooks are very mild. I can’t wait for the next one Sir.

  8. I agree Mr. Tiglao used words that are a bit harsh but bear in mind, that is from someone who is well educated how much more those who are not fortunate enough to get good education. Nevertheless, Mr. Santos/senate must address point by point raised by Mr. Tiglao. What happen in the senate inquiry in DAP was definitely a moro-moro and you want the people like us to beleive in the credibility of the senate as a whole. The fact is 13 justices voted against DAP including those Aquino appointees and the president still have the guts to fire his tirade in the Supreme court. No one is perfect he should have just accept it with humility. It is SIMPLY BRAT ATITTUDE!!

  9. Im sorry Mr. Santos. But even without Mr. Tiglao’s commentary, people believed that we have a shameless senate. To this day since Jinggoy revealed it, no one has denied that they received pork from DAP. And no one even explained if receiving that fund influenced their decision or not to impeach CJ Corona.

  10. The original article was right on. The response was off point. The response should have addressed the questions posed.

  11. MR. SANTOS….Please do not be onion-skinned. The Fililipino People know that BSA used DAP to bribe the senators so please do not think we are that naive.

    Drilon was the like a vintriloquist while you are now acting like a mouthpiece. May our Lord have mercy upon you all.

  12. Mr. Sammy Santos,
    I am surprised you still believe what Drilon says. The biggest beneficiary of DAP unabashedly lawyered for Abad during the senate hearing. He has swallowed his pride and principles a number of times for power and possibly money when he switched parties every change of administration in favor of the one in power. When Noynoy’s term is over, I bet he will be licking the boots of the next occupant of Malacanang. With that said, how can one still believe anything that comes out of his pig-like mouth?

  13. Mr. Santos is absolutely correct in rebutting Mr. Tiglao’s article as pure and simple “blowing smoke up in our arse”. Mr. Tiglao from day one is an opposition to the current government. What can you expect? He’s paid to throw dirt.

    • JT,

      It’s as if you were born only today. Anyway birds of the same feather flocks together am I right? So there you are pig drilon and ass santos are birds with same feather. How dare you closed your eyes on all the senate and congress shenanigans

      Go, go Mr. Tiglao keep up the good work of educating the uneducated citizens of this country

  14. Alfred Salon on

    All Government projects must be or should be included in the General Appropriation Act (GAA) yearly. Absolutely scrap the DAP and PDAF.

  15. The entire Legislative Branch, whose members are all thieves and robbers, just like the Executive Br., headed by the Thief Executive, should be abolish and replace by a Transitional Govt., minus all those crooks. They have not passed any legislation that would lower the cost of electricity, water, gas, rice, tuition fees, garlic, and legislation that will give jobs to jobless Filipinos. All of these investigations are all for show. Puro yabang at porma lang. Sayang ang pera ng taong bayan sa mga hayopak na ito. Wala silang ginawa kundi tumanggap ng pera na galing sa “unconstitutional na DAP”.

    • ang puso mo sir ang puso mo..wait k lang pagtapos nila ikaw naman ang maging buwaya sa pagrerape ng kaban ng pinas sir..hinay hinay lang noh!!!

  16. Like it or not truth hurts, and it hurts really bad. ” Kung walang aBad walang mahirap” Pls. stop calling the senators honorable ang samang pakinggan.(sorry po kay Sen. Nancy and Sen. Grace you still have my respect).

  17. Mr. Santos,

    Why don’t you just answer the issues I raised — among them, what Drilon thinks about that provision in the Constitution I cited, why he or the other lackeys didn’t ask why P2 billion was allocated to Tarlac, if there would be a detailed COA audit of DAP funds, was Drilon told that the P50 million he offered the senators orally before the impeachment decision and in in paper after, came from DAP, why P50 million in “local infrastructure projects” were disbursed to Iloilo local governments (the biggest funds LGU received) a few months before the March 2013 elections.

    Why were personalities articulate against the DAP not invited to grill Abad since the senators refused to — among them former treasurer Brion, former senator Tatad, former budget secretary Abad, those who filed the case at the supreme court?

    Why wasn’t Abad, and the other Cabinet secretaries, not asked to swear to tell the truth?

    Why don’t you draw from some of your experience as a journalist in the ancient past and ask Drilon, Aquino, Angara, Escudero, Trillanes to confirm or deny whether they got DAP funds during the impeachment and in the months before the 2013 elections.

    I am expressing the anger of what most thinking Filipinos feel after watching that hearing. The once-honorable Senate, a bastion of democracy has become a political prostitute, paid to do the most perverted political acts before nation.

    Please read my many columns on the DAP, where I explain in detail why this is such a epic, scandalous attack on our democratic institutions so that you won’t claim I’m a demagogue.

    And you’re concerned about harsh language?

    • Dear Mr. Tiglao.
      Please be assured that I have never stopped reading you since our journalism days in the ancient past. But what I miss are your sober analysis of social, economic and political issues wherein readers, like me, were enlightened by the balanced and fair presentation of facts from both sides of a story. But perhaps you would say: you were a journalist then?

    • By the way,

      You must be referring to former treasurer Briones and former secretary Diokno. Regards.

  18. Carlo L. Adan on

    I agree that most senators during the hearing lawyered for Sec. Abad and President Aquino’s dishonest DAP invention. And I also don’t quite like the ugly language Mr. Tiglao used to describe those senators’ betrayal of their jobs, functions and duties under the Constitution and under our laws. But unpleasant as Tiglao’s language was he wrote the truth.
    I disagree with him about Senators Escudero and Recto. And we agree that Senators Binay and Poe were the ones who most exemplified the proper way senators should be in a hearing about the illegal and unconstitutional DAP.

  19. Sammy Santos is just doing a job he is paid for. Go on Mr. Santos, keep on writing against critical media personalities until you will be tired of it. As one who also viewed the same stage-play, I am also appalled in the manner Sen. Escudero handled the hearing. It is really a face-saving moro-moro in behalf of Florencio Abad.