Where was God when Abad or Enrile or Drilon okayed PDAF disbursements?


Of course He was there.  God is everywhere.

The question is really “Did they know God could see them?”

It’s really unfair that the title of this piece only has the names of DBM Secretary Florencio Abad, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile and Senate President Franklin Drilon.  For it to be fair, the head should have all the names of the senators and congressmen who have been mentioned by the whistleblowers in the Napoles pork barrel scam to have allegedly received kickbacks from Janet Lim Napoles.

Oh, yes, the name of His Excellency the President should also be in the headline. Sec. Abad would not have had the guts to give the okay to the PDAF releases without President Aquino’s go signal.

And Sec. Abad would not have created the illegal and unconstitutional DAP if the President had not told him to go ahead.  (If he did it on his own, then Malacañang and our Republic have a more serious problem!)

Secretary Mar Roxas’ “Mam Janet” allegedly created fake non-government organizations (NGOs) to receive millions of PDAF (or pork barrel) funds for destitute families and sick infants and children, to tide over hard-up farmers and fishermen, to cure the needy tuberculars, and so on.

Everyone who knows how things work at the DBM and the congressmen’s and senators’ offices is sure that the senators alleged by the whistleblowers and witnesses to have received PDAF kickbacks from Napoles knew what was going on.  It is impossible, say they,  that these lawmakers did not know the NGOs did not exist and that their signatures were forged in the letters DBM received from their aides and chiefs of staff asking for and hurrying up the release of the funds.

My question is—presuming that these lawmakers and Sec. Abad knew a scam was going on and that it involved taking away money from the mouths of sick babies and from the miserable dining tables of poor families—”Did they just wink God away?”

Or are these people, who we sometimes hear talking about God as if they believe in Him, actually what spiritual directors call “practical atheists.”  Are they atheists, non-believers in deeds? Are they in truth “practicing atheists” instead of being “practicing Christians” or “practicing Catholics”?

In my childhood an aunt in her teens (who latter entered the RVM order) taught me the basics of the Catechism. She had me use a little booklet from the Catholic Trade store, which I now think was the abridged version of the Baltimore Catechism. On its cover was a picture of a young man being protected by his guardian angel (a white figure with wings of course) from the enemy, a dark figure, not quite the obviously wicked devil with horns.
Thinking about how these public figures just merrily do their part in the stealing of billions from the national treasury—funds that could alleviate the sufferings of the majority of our population who are needy and even destitute—makes me wonder if they have forgotten that each of them has a guardian angel and an opposite, the minion of Satan.  Have they become close friends of the devil? Have they cast away their guardian angels?

* * *

From Fr. Charles Belmonte Lopez, I got a copy of the news item by Elise Harris of CAN/EWTN News, with the headline “Pope: Inconsistency, Lack of Unity of Life, causes Church scandal.”

This message of the Holy Father applies also to those public officials and senators and congressmen who are known to be “good Christians” but are found to be involved in corrupt practices.

The report datelined Feb. 27 Vatican City says:

“In his daily homily Pope Francis spoke of the harm done when Christians don’t practice what they preach, noting that this incoherence leads others away from the Church and often brings scandal.

“ ‘When there is no Christian coherency (lack of unity of life), and you live with this incoherence, you’re giving scandal. And the Christians that are not coherent are giving scandal,’ the Pope said in his Feb. 27 Mass.

“Speaking to those gathered in the chapel of the Vatican’s St. Martha guesthouse, the pontiff began his reflections by drawing attention to a person to whom he administered the Sacrament of Confirmation during the Mass, observing that they had ‘manifested the desire to be a Christian.’

“ ‘To be Christian means to bear witness to Jesus Christ,’ he said, adding that to a Christian person ‘thinks like a Christian, feels like a Christian and acts like a Christian. And this is coherence in the life of a Christian.’

“However, the pontiff noted that ‘if one of these things is missing, he is not a Christian, there’s something wrong, there’s a certain incoherence (lack of unity of life),’ and that Christians ‘who ordinarily, commonly live in incoherence, do so much harm.’

“Recalling the first reading taken from the book of James, the Pope drew attention to words which the apostle spoke to the people who had boasted of being Christians, but took advantage of their employees.

“ ‘Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.’ ”

“ ‘When we hear these words, there are some who might think ‘Surely, a communist has said that!’ the Pope explained, emphasizing that ‘No, no, the Apostle James said it! It is the Word of the Lord. It’s inconsistency (lack of unity of life).’

“ ‘And when there is no Christian coherency, and you live with this incoherence, double life, you’re giving scandal.’ ”

* * *

Pope Francis said a lot more. But I end where the last word is “scandal,” hoping that these officials and lawmakers get rocked and shaken into turning back to the embrace of their guardian angels.


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  1. Alfredo Jose on

    Where was God when Abad or Enrile or Drilon okayed PDAF disbursements?
    There was no God at this time as these people who are sick in mind and in spirit are playing gods themselves.

  2. Juliet A. H. S. Arciwal on

    What a morally miserable nation we have been made by the present crop (crap?) of leaders in Malacanang and the House of Representatives and the Senate.
    They are just as despicable as the bad leaders of Africa and Haiti during the times of Idi Amin and Duvalier. But most African and Haitian politicians are much better now. The Philippine leaders have become more adept at HYPOCRISY and are worse even than those of the Marcos regime.
    During the Marcos regime and the Gloria M Arroyo times, there were good Christians and Catholics who had a say. They broke away with Marcos but they stayed on with Gloria.
    Now there is no one with President Aquino. Is it true that he has closed down the chapel in Malacanang?

  3. After they (PDAF receivers: Senators, Congressmen) get their kickebacks, they will pray to God and donate to their churches. Then they are saved.

  4. “Oh, yes, the name of His Excellency the President should also be in the headline. Sec. Abad would not have had the guts to give the okay to the PDAF releases without President Aquino’s go signal.”

    The President BRIBED and now he is trying to catch the “Katiwalian” he knew from the onset. PNoy’s motives contradict his actions. This PDAF will continue to go on circles and will result to nothing.

  5. Satanism Mr. Bas has gripping these Government at will. If you do something without conscience undermining suffering and hardship of ordinary countryman. Then you’re at the side of Devil, any cook, conspired diabolical plan is for self greed and patronage, not for humanity. So they should examined their conscience if still exist.

  6. Mr Bas, well stated. I hope you will not stop your crusade of telling our people about these anomalies wherein our money were reportedly pocketed by these “honorable” government officials, and presumably with the knowledge and consent of our beloved P’Noy, More power to you!

    • No, Ms. Miguela Valdez, I will not stop, with the help of your prayers and God willing.
      Many thanks for your encouragement. God bless.

  7. …this is more than just an eye opener, why is the President or PNoy is isolated from these bruohaha? when in fact these things could be done without his go ahead signal? or his isolation from this case that is created by yellow media which coined the word “ICON OF DEMOCRACY ” to both Cory and Ninoy.

  8. jose b. taganahan on

    “Whom the GODS wish to destroy. . . . . ” I wish Mr. Bas and many in the media would just demand that Pnoy published in the newspapers of national circulation how the PDAF of the following present and former legislators were spent and the corresponding NGOs that implemented them :

    1. BS Aquino lll
    2. Franklin Drillon
    3. Feliciano Belmonte
    4. Butch Abad
    5. Miriam Defensr Santiago
    6. Edgardo Angara, Jr.
    7. Antonio Trillanes

  9. Well written Mr Bas, but, it will only go in one ear and out the other. These era of Politicians belong to the same ilk. the leader is of the worse kind, faces as thick as leather devoid of any Christian values. See how they go about in comfort while most of their constituents live a life of misery, how could these people (Politicians) sleep straight at night? ‘Mga mukhang pera lahat yan’ They enrich themselves at the expense of the people. What is worst, what they dole out to the poor people comes not from their own pockets but from the peoples taxes. YES! you rotten politicians, you made your wealth at their (peoples) expense, BUT YOU HAVE LOST YOUR SOULS… Definitely you will pay, if not your families you hypocrites.

  10. Its very simple, they didnt care if god knew or didnt know, they also know in the catholic church if you have sinned just confess & repent & then in his eyes its ok. So you should be happy knowing your god forgives them & if you want to be better people in your gods eyes you should also forgive them. Now people like me who doesnt believe in god i say find every single one of these scum, & thats what they are, they arnt honourable men & women they are the scum of the earth, they are worse than the common street thirf who steals because he has nothing, these scum know what they are doing, they know who is losing out by what they do & it doesnt bother them at all. They still think & want you people to believe they are good religious men & women with honour & dignity, well i dont have any respect for them at all & i look at they with hate & disgust as i look at myself who doesnt believe in god & i think could i take part in that getting all that money but knowing the poor & hungry & sick would be losing out & i can truly look at myself in the mirror & know that i wouldnt never stoop so low as to do that or anything like that, but hey im not religious or an honourable man, unlike those perpetrators of these heinous crimes.

  11. Claro Apolinar on

    You hit the nail on the head again, Mr. Bas. I also read your Sunday Read article “Have you lost your sense of sin?”
    More power to you and The Manila Times.

  12. E. G. Festin on

    You have touched on the most basic reason the Flipinos cannot “put their acts together” and have a “damaged culture.”
    This is an issue the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines have written joint pastoral letters about and some bishops have individually spoken about. But I think very few priests talk about it in their homilies.
    Please continue writing articles that, God willing, will awaken the dormant Christian consciences and moral consciousness of these corrupt public officials.
    Times readers: Tune in to Radio Veritas and EWTN.

  13. G. M. Kuizon on

    Congratulations, Mr. Bas, for dealing with this subject. All the critics of the President, his Cabinet members, specially Sec. Abad, the lawmakers who have been identified by the whistleblowers and the witnesses, Ms. Tuason and Mr. Cunanan, have spoken about the illegality and the corruption angle.
    You are the only one I have read talking about the personal moral state of these people–without being bitter or angry.
    “Practical atheists.” Thank you for adding to my vocabulary.
    Mabuhay po kayo sa Manila Times. May your newspaper recover the No. 1 position it lost when the Dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his First Lady Imelda had it closed down by soldiers under the command of then AFP Chief Ver and then Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile.

  14. As a seventy year old atheist, I read this piece and found myself agreeing with the author even with our polarised positions on religion. I am married to a Bicolana (22 years) and visited Bicol right after Super Typhoon Remming,. Mark Twain said something about travel being the enemy of bigotry and narrow mindedness. Visiting the Philippines certainly gave me a different view of the world.

    Corruption is present in many governments around the world and certainly in my country of Canada. It’s hard for me to reconcile professed Christian values with the actions of some self proclaimed Christians; we know them, the ones who sit in the front pews at mass and are the biggest sinners. Sitting in the font is a good tactic as surely they are deaf!

    I miss the Philippines and long to return but as I am retired, travelling is both hard on my body and wallet. I would like to share my Flick site with you and the photos I took during my trip seven years ago right after Super Typhoon Remming. Please view http://www.flickr.com/photos/aeros4/sets/philippines

    Richard Jones

  15. During the time of Jesus Christ especially when He was still crucified, He prayed and/or appealed to our Almighty Father and may quote His appeal or prayer, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they have done.” Now, in this century of politicians, who among of these politicians did/do not know what they have done and/or what they are doings? He/she who did not know of what they have done by committing graft and corruption is, I think can invoke or avail of the prayer of Jesus Christ above-quoted.