Pachyderms and wimps in government


High officials of more moral governments would resign when their names are linked to scandals, anomalies or even ineffective administration. A Korean official, for instance, resigned after a tragic ferry sinking just because he was responsible for the nation’s transportation.

Oh yes, Budget Secretary Butch Abad and the rest of the so-called Hyatt 10 resigned from the Arroyo Cabinet although they had no hand in the alleged election cheating of 2004. Abad and the rest mouthed high moral standards in quitting. Now, Abad simply refuses to resign even if the implementation of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) that he had conceived and supervised had been declared unconstitutional. Where’s the Abad of yesteryears?

I wonder if the quip of Rene Saguisag about a former ally of then President Cory who had turned opposition could apply to Abad: “Hindi naman siya likas na masama – nabarkada lang.”

Abad, claiming good faith, has snubbed calls for him to resign. If he were truly a friend of the President, he would have willingly allowed himself to be the shock absorber of protests against the DAP and promptly called it quits. The Spaniards have a term for such kind of officials: “Morir antes de dimitir.”

Ah, but apologists of BS Aquino and Abad are claiming “good faith” in the implementation of the discredited DAP. The path to hell is paved with good intentions. Good faith is no justification for violation of the laws. I note that while the Aquino administration has been claiming that the DAP is legal, it immediately stopped its implementation when it was questioned before the Supreme Court. That action betrayed the administration’s doubts on the DAP legality.

The DAP has unmasked the moral pretensions of the Aquino administration. The officials can’t seek refuge on claims of good faith but it can move on with thick faces. Saan ba sila nakakuha ng makakapal na mukha? It’s puzzling why there seems to be a lot of pachyderms in the Aquino Cabinet. Couldn’t the President have chosen persons who are of higher moral standards?

The administration and its apologists are ignoring demands for accountability and transparency because they consider the people gullible. They believe that with the assistance of conscripted media, they could make Filipinos believe whatever they claim. There can be other possible explanation why the Palace spokesman could claim that 91 percent of DAP was well-spent while refusing (unable?) to give details on how it was spent.

One of my favorite former senators, the irreverent and maverick Joker Arroyo, said what’s on most minds in an interview over radio station DZBB. He said Malacañang can no longer wave the banner of “the straight path” unless they can account for the P147 billion that went through the DAP.

First, the administration must declare how much was the total fund disbursement from DAP. Abad has given different figures. He should now stick to only one. Then, the administration must identify the sources of these funds. Claims that they came from slow-moving projects would not suffice. Then, the projects where the funds ultimately went must be enumerated. Are they senators, congressmen, non-government organizations, government entities? And for what projects were the funds used?

Of course, if the “slow-moving projects” could turn out to be more beneficial than those that received the funds, then we could understand the hesitation of the administration in providing details. This dilemma is compounded if the recipients were senators and congressmen. Expect the Aquino men to consider this dilemma a completely political one as it cannot withstand anything moral.

Aside from assuming the gullibility of Pinoys, the Aquino administration continues to swagger because it has spineless lawmakers in its pocket. Even without reading or hearing the impeachment complaint against BS Aquino, his supporters are already claiming the complaint is dead on arrival at the House. This is completely understandable. The pork barrel of legislators has been abolished but they found their way into lump sums at the total disposal of the executive department.

“The control [of lump sums]is with Malacañang and there will be no releases if Malacañang will not approve a budget. Every peso that comes from the government now comes from Malacañang. That’s what the public should know,” ex-Sen. Joker Arroyo stressed.

It’s no wonder that legislators have become wimps. Yes, that’s what we have—wimps in Congress and pachyderms in high places in government. So, is it really more fun in the Philippines?


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  1. May araw din itong mga ipokritong abnoy at abad! at kayong mga kumukunsinti sa kanila ay magkakaroon din kayo ng hiya sa sarili. siguro bawat depensa ninyo sa DAP ay may kurot sa konsensya ninyo kasi alam ninyo na masama talaga ito pero nagsusulat pa rin kayo ng pabor dito!!! DAP ikinabuti lang ng mga KKK, kasama na sigurado si tupas doon sa nakinabang!

  2. The Japanese and Koreans also cover their faces when they are arrested or surrender t– unlike our politicians or Senators – enrile, jinggoy and revilla, LAUGHING TOGETHER having fun for screwing the people! Only in the Philippines!

    Hang them!

  3. Primer Pagunuran on

    Precisely, what is moral is not legal.

    Abad and PNoy (co-extensively), by the undivined wisdom of the Supreme Court (from the point of view of the former), while acted morally, ‘acted’ illegaly (by the court’s erudite, or so its thought, articulation of public ideas).

    All told, Supreme Court played ‘policeman’ for the otherwise smooth flow of goods and services. The drivers of this delivery van are the budget secretary and the president of the country but where flagged down by what we in policy parlance calls the “street-level bureaucrats”, in this case, the justices of the court.

  4. I agree there is too much half-truths being told. The excuses, we did good for the country, we did not steal the money, are really bad. Ok they may have diverted funds to good causes but how many good projects were stopped. What we have to decide is do we want a king who uses his judgement over all others? Of course not. Just let us have the details of where the money (specific list and amounts) came from and where the money (specific lists and amounts) was given. Then let us see the truth and give judgement.

  5. You write some good things here. I agree with you we the people deserve to know where the peoples hard earned taxes are being spent or stolen. We all have the right to know. We dont want to hear about trans[parency we want to see it. If the government doesnt know how much was allotted to dap & then how much was spent by dap & where it went to & through who then why not. Thats accountability. Every centavo should be accountable. But we keep finding out about unaccountable funds. Like the chief justice gets a huge ammount of pesos to spend how she sees fit on the judiciary & she doesnt have o account for it, why not are the supreme court justices above the law or all totally honest, well we recently found out with cj cocona that they arnt that honest, that they pick the laws they wish to obey & they use the laws to help them evade being caught, i.e. the bank secrecy law. He was using that to hide his ill gotten money. I want every penny accounted for & shown to the public so we can see where the money goes. I want to know who gets allowances & what those allowances are. Do you all remember the allowances of the chief justice, well i for one found them to be disgusting, how on earth does a person get so many allowances per year & at such high value. Here is just one of his allowances, a P20,000 a year rice allowance, you work it out at P50 per kilo over the year. Its 7 kilos of rice per week. I know we dont eat that much rice & then also remember he is out at work 5 days per week so during the day his rice will be paid for from work, he wont pay during the day. He also had about 5 different christmas allowances, did anyone know of this before his impeachment, why where is any transparancy in any government in this country.

    • If Pnoy have the same deeds with SC Corona… You will not wonder why there is nothing as such against Pnoy. The transparency is there because really nothing to show! Because Pnoy is not corrupt. I don’t believe opposition is blind or dumb not to investigate piece by piece Pnoy’s wrongdoings.. Pnoy lifestyle doesn’t changed. He don’t acquire properties like mansions and houses in US. He don’t have mysterious bank accounts. So where you are basing your judgment that Pnoy pocketed the people’s money??? Thru the unconstitutionality of DAP? Or just in the sweet talk of Pnoy’s critics!
      Do a research and analyze the facts before coming into conclusion.. Decisions based on assumption is no other than putting your ASS-between-U-and-ME!

  6. Alejo Rosete on

    Hyatt – 10? – mga “Doble Kara”. Where are they now? They got the dose of their own medicine.

    Abad, Purisima , etc.