Plunder charges were formally filed on Friday against senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and alleged pork barrel scam brains Janet Lim-Napoles.
The filing of the plunder charges against Enrile, Estrada and Revilla is a historic and shameful event for the Senate–and our Republic. It is a grim reminder that corruption has severely plagued that chamber. All but three—Ramon Magsaysay, Corazon Aquino and Fidel V. Ramos—of our presidents had been senators. Some of them were outstanding senators untainted by any smear of corruption. President Benigno Aquino 3rd is a former senator who hardly did anything in the chamber.
Some of our citizens are calling for Enrile, Estrada and Revilla to resign. If it were just a matter of making the Senate appear clean by their absence from the supposed-to-be august hall of the upper chamber, we would agree. But their disappearance from the Senate will not give it the sweet odor of integrity. Other senators will remain who are worse offenders against the virtue of honesty and should also be charged for being dirty participants in the PDAF/pork barrel scam. But their faces have not been pinned to the bulls’-eye by investigators of the NBI-DOJ and Office of the Ombudsman because the whistleblowers’ affidavits have been sanitized—or interpreted by the DOJ—to exclude these senators from prosecution.
The process must be just and honorable
Something must happen to charge more senators—especially those who, unlike JPE, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla, are members or allies of President Aquino’s Liberal Party. This something must happen in the consciences of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and their key assistants, to make them resolve that the process of prosecuting the perpetrators of the unconscionable PDAF/pork barrel scam become truly just, equitable and honorable.
This something will happen only as a miracle in the order of Almighty God the Son’s action to turn the Hellenic Jew Saul into Saint Paul of Tarsus. Saul thought his calling was to persecute Christians. After his miraculous conversion, he became Paul of Tarsus the aide-giver, teacher and leader of Christians.
Nothing less than divine intervention must come to the aid of the Filipino people against the clearly corrupt and self-serving decision of President Aquino and his key associates in Malacañang to distort the facts of the PDAF/pork barrel scam and divert the route the investigation and prosecution is taking.
They are doing that to save themselves and their guilty allies. And to ensure that only their political foes are seen to be the criminals who stole the people’s money meant for the meal and medicines of destitute Filipinos, including sick and malnourished children.
If the big boys indicted are only JPE, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla—and only they are pilloried in the press and radio-TV stations as the thieves who stole food from the mouth of babies—our society’s fall into the permanent hell of injustice and mendacity will become complete. For more than 50 percent of our people still think (according to the surveys) President Aquino and his Cabinet are performing their work satisfactorily. They still see them as men of integrity, and not the corrupt and incompetent lawbreakers, guilty of dereliction of duty that they really are.
These Filipinos who form half or more of our population (if the surveys are not lies produced to arrest President Aquino’s decline in popularity) still believe—despite facts to the contrary—that the Aquino regime is pursuing the anti-corruption matuwid na daan (righteous path). They will therefore allow the Aquino regime to continue doing the wrong things and continue ignoring the correct things. And they will then elect officials in 2016 who will be as bad for our citizenry and the Republic as this administration has been.
Only a Road-to-Damascus miracle in Secretary de Lima’s and Ombudsman Carpio-Morales’ consciences will prevent the handling of the PDAF/pork barrel scam from sealing the fate of our nation.