• Will Napoles implicate Aquino?

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    Yes, alleged pork-barrel scam operator Janet Lim-Napoles would have done so in the Senate probe. She would have at the very least disclosed, as jueteng whistle-blower Sandra Cam alleged a few days ago, that she gave P100 million for the campaign war chest of President Aquino in 2010.

    Why else would Senate President Franklin Drilon block the move to have her testify in a Senate hearing, in which Napoles would have been prodded or pressured by opposition senators to spill the beans?

    If Napoles testified in the Senate, all for naught would have been this administration’s arduous attempt to keep her incommunicado by detaining her at the Special Action Forces headquarters in Santa Rosa.

    Ever since this pork-barrel scam broke out in July, only one newspaper in fact has had access to her. Why?

    Why does Napoles’ counsel Lorna-Kapunan maintain such supreme confidence that her client will be free sooner or later? If I knew Aquino would be sticking by her come hell or high water because he could ignominiously fall from power if Napoles spills the beans, I’d be as confident as Kapunan.

    ‘Ma’am Janet’ and daughter with Aquino

    ‘Ma’am Janet’ and daughter with Aquino

    Only two years in power (the photos’ date), and Aquino is photographed smiling and so relaxed not only with Napoles but also with her husband and daughter. Nine years in power, and try as they have, they haven’t been able to unearth a single photo of former President Gloria Arroyo or anyone in her Cabinet happily posing with “Ma’m Janet.” What does that say?

    Drilon sadly stooped to the gutter level, and has shamed himself and the Senate by refusing the request—not just by anybody—but by the chairman of the Senate’s Blue Ribbon Committee to summon Napoles to its investigation of the pork barrel scam. I’m surprised that committee chairman Teofisto Guingona 3rd has not raised hell about Drilon’s action: It is a slap on his face.

    This has never occurred before in the Senate’s history, for its president to block the request for a subpoena by the chairman of the Blue Ribbon Committee. And this is just not any person being called to the Senate, but Napoles who is in the center of the huge conspiracy in which members of Congress are alleged to have stolen billions of taxpayers’ money.

    And what excuse did Drilon give to refuse to order Napoles subpoenaed? That he has to consult the Ombudsman if Napoles’ testimony in the Senate would affect the case filed against her at her office.

    Drilon’s excuse is so shocking for somebody who is on his fourth stint as Senate President, which would have ingrained in his mind how important for the republic is that institution’s independence.

    Why would he ask the Ombudsman for its opinion when it has not even acted on the plunder case against Napoles, that it is not even with the courts yet, i.e., filed with the Sandiganbayan?

    More significantly, Drilon has put the Senate, whose members are elected by tens of millions of Filipinos and which constitutionally is a supremely independent body, on the level of the Ombudsman, an official appointed by the President. Drilon in effect has debased the Senate to put it below not only the President but also below an appointive official.

    In her reply to Drilon, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales demonstrated a better understanding of the Constitution, and shamed him when she lectured him what the Senate is: “That the Senate is supreme in its own sphere was never meant to be challenged. I thus submit to the collective wisdom of its members.”

    With his excuse demolished by the Ombudsman herself, Drilon shifted gears to announce that whether Napoles would be summoned or not would have to be decided by the Senate itself.

    This again is unprecedented, as it has been a practice never challenged since the Senate’s creation after the war, for its Blue Ribbon Committee chairman to summon to the committee’s hearings anyone he feels would help in its investigation.

    If Guingona’s father was instead at his post, I have no doubt that he would have resigned to protest Drilon’s insult and intrusion into his authority as Blue Ribbon Committee chairman

    Drilon had announced that instead of a formal vote, a caucus of the Senate, which was scheduled last Monday, would decide the issue. The meeting was postponed though, according to the announcement, “because of the unavailability of some members on account of sickness/official mission abroad.”

    Drilon scheduled the caucus today, and we hope the majority opts to opt for the truth.

    The only reason Drilon would give the administration senators not to allow Napoles to testify, and to agree to a cover-up would be a simple one: If Napoles implicates Aquino, it would be game over for this administration.

    * * *

    Moody’s recent upgrading of the country’s risk-rating is not because agencies and investment banks are falling over each other excited that the Philippines is such a great place to invest.

    What the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has not been telling the public is that risk-ratings are paid for. Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s and Fitch Ratings and such rating services don’t issue a rating because of its overflowing concern for investors.

    A corporation or a country isn’t just issued a credit-risk rating from out of the blue. It has to contract a rating agency to evaluate its credit-risk, and pay for the fee for such rating.

    As you can check out yourself in these agencies’ websites, the price for a credit rating isn’t at all cheap at all. These agencies charge from $1 million to $2 million for sovereign ratings, and the equivalent of five basis points of the value of a credit instrument (e.g., that now-cursed “derivative”), excluding the first-class travel and accommodation expenses of its analysts.

    The Aquino government has had an obsession for ratings, and has asked—including this most recent one—for 14 such evaluations. Several were asked for even within the span of six months, when the agencies had their previous ratings unchanged.

    Assuming it cost government an average of $1.5 million per rating, it has spent $21 million for the 14 ratings Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and BSP Governor Amando Tetangco have contracted. That’s not cheap, the equivalent of P930 million. I can’t fathom how these two managed to incur such costs secretly, as these expenses do not appear in their published reports.

    You decide if credit raters maintain their objectivity despite their fat fees, especially with Aquino officials’ tactic of contracting all three agencies. Would an agency risk downgrading the Philippines, if it could be boycotted later, with its competitor with rosy glasses getting the business?

    Unbelievable? These agencies are now accused of being part of the problem that caused the 2007-2009 financial crisis, since they rated as investment-grade what turned out to be junk bonds, and were all praises for such investment firms as Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, Merril Lynch—which all went under.

    S&P and Moody’s in fact were sued in 2012 for $600 million in damages because they issued optimistic ratings for certain securities just before the global financial crisis. The two opted to settle for an undisclosed price, to avoid the adverse publicity. No matter, they may recover those losses at the rate this government has been asking them to do Philippine ratings so often.

    tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
    www.rigobertotiglao.com and www.trigger.ph

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    26 Comments

    1. habang ang constitution ay d nababago palagi lang mabobo ang taong bayan sa systemang ng dokumento “puyde pala ang ganito” kawawa d nila alam biktima na pala sila ng sindikato na pag kumagat hawak na sila.

    2. Bonifacio B. Claudio on

      Could it be that the battle-cry “SAAN N’YO PINAGKUKUKUHA ANG KAPAL NG MGA MUKHA N’YO!!!” boomerang? Let’s see what will it be if & when m’am napoles cries out loud…

    3. why is this gov’t spending the taxpayers money like a give away. for pdaf,dap,bonuses and now even for a credit rating. Philippines is rich.

    4. josefa deslate on

      Naayos na ang sasabihin ni NAPOLES, in short gawa na ang script, kaya pumirma na si Drilon ng subpoena. They will not fry themselves in their own fat, tuso ang mga yan!

    5. Thanks for your straight forward article. Its very educating… Before, I thought that those international rating companies rate a credit rating of a country base on their financial capabilities but now I understand that it also involve large amount of money. Is that mean they will not attend to any country without paying them??? If so then these rating companies can not give a credible rating..

      Pls continue to be straight forward and maybe eventually touch the conscience of those government officials to the highest level and change their ways of being dishonest and corrupt…

    6. With much respect re: Rating agencies upgrading Phil. Credit rating was paid but they did not do it when we didn’t deserve it, there is real economic progress that we can see
      Not mirage. We have to give credit to Pres. Aquino, but everything could all easily come to naught if he ever be found as guilty as the rest.

    7. yes she donated $100million but it was voluntary. we did not ask to give us money and we do not know her. malamang yan and palusot na marinig natin if napoles ever testifies. malamang she will be advised to remain silent for fear of self implication

    8. Let’s face it being dishonest, accepting bribes, being greedy etc..is a way of life in the philippines whether you are rich or poor. Its just the way it is on most of the filipino…for the poor being like this is because they are so poor that they will do anything to survive and for the rich is because there ancestors show them this way of life to be greedy and dishonest and make money as their “GOD and Happines” .It is so sad that a very beautiful country is doomed by bad people.

    9. I hope the Napoles speak the truth and tell everything and I will pray the Good lord to protect Ms Napoles from being assasinated so that all this politicians go to jail including politicians in malacanang. However she will probably lie and protect lots of big fish politicians in exchange for acquittal, keep her loot (poor people tax money) and then disappear as her reward for lying and for not implicating any of the “BIG” name politicians in power.

    10. Darewin Ocampo on

      I must admit, the frequency of the Philippines getting credit ratings seems to have highly increased during this administration. And if it really does cost nearly as much as what the article says, seems like a waste of taxpayer money to me.

    11. Ciony Kournikova on

      You hit on the head, as usual! During the Corona trial, the senate summoned the chief justice of the supreme court, a coequal branch, just like that. What’s the problem with summoning ma’m jenny??????

    12. Very nice picture, he seems to be playing with shaft and ball bearings hidden from the pockets, :)

    13. Sir, you honestly think that S and P, Moody’s and Fitch were paid by the Philippine government in order to give the Philippines good investment rating? I cannot blame you for believing that everybody’s corrupt because you live in a country where corruption is a way of life. But, the companies you mentioned are established multi billion dollar companies and the fee that the Phil govt. paid is for the job they did. Just to remind you, sir, a lot of work is done before they release the ratings. I have to admit though, that sometimes they do make mistakes. You also stated that Drilon and Aquino are corrupt. So, in your own world who is not corrupt? Arroyo and Napoles?
      I will agree with you more if you say that everybody in the Philippine government from the top down to the barangay level are CORRUPT. This is true with a lot of people in the media who are under the payroll of corrupt government officials.

      • very true and I agree on this comment. especially that corruption is a way of life in the Philippines and the only way to change it is to start from the average citizens themselves, like stop giving and accepting bribes, more discipline and honesty. lastly, the country needs to change its system from presidential to parliamentary under federalism. with this there are more checks and balances. Otherwise its going to be the same as usual and these crooks charged may only be a slap in the hand for punishment. or only spend a short time in prison then pardoned, like what happened with ERAP and what about their stolen loots will it be recovered and or sequestered back to the people? we will see don’t we.

    14. sir,
      your article is very educating and hope you continue to do so as i have been following your articles since during the inquirer. and now you have found a newspaper that is not affraid to publish critical articles such as yours and your colleagues. more power to you mr. tiglao..

    15. SP Drilon found himself in an inextricable situation today, because he wanted to bury the truth out of his guilt. Once you lied it would be impossible to remember, because only the truth is timeless. If it is true that no picture of Pres. Arroyo with Napoles, can be shown in the span of her power ( 9 years ) then Pres. Aquino should stop blaming Arroyo everytime he is in trouble, because he would appear a hypocrite, claiming to be saint. Everyone knows Arroyo’s corruption, and every Filipino condemns it: however, everytime Aquino passes the blame to Arroyo is sickening. This is not a virtue of a good leader. He must confront his own problem and tell the truth, and REPENT . This is what God desires…. A nation can never succeed from a corrupt gov’t. The Aquino Administration, must answer these questions … Will Sandra Cam’s revelation, that 100 M went to his campaign kitty, a product of villification ? What about Drilon’s being the guest speaker in the height of the election campaign ? Why should he be the guest speaker for Napoles, if not for something else ? The Aquino administration is in trouble today because, they pretended to be clean when they are not. Had the President, at the outset, led by example, and did not entertain corruption before he became President, our country’s situation would have been different today. Now, world’s view is Philippine Gov’t. is one of the most corrupt countries in the entire planet… What a shame ?

    16. Felix Servidad on

      What if Janet napoles, has something to reveal, That will be a great turning point. If she
      has something to reveal it should be in the senate blue ribbon committee, hmmmm!
      Maybe this is what Drilon don’t like to happen, if it does, the Aquino goverment will certainly crumble many hunyango will run for their life as always. That’s why they’re kepping Janet off the grid.
      If they pay for moddy’s rating, they can pay also to keep pnoy’s ratings high. n’ est pas?
      Mabuhay ka Mr. Tiglao

    17. It is very obvious that Drilon is either hiding something, afraid of something or covering up something or covering up for somebody. Your analysis of Napoles knowing a lot, giving the pompous and arrogant confidence of Kapunan to brazenly say, her client would soon be free maybe right. But the charges against Napoles (illegal detention) doesn’t warrant all the safeguard, attention and care Napoles is getting. The truth is that, they don’t want her out of “their” sight. She could mistakenly start singing. That could also be the reason that Drilon is doing all what he can to prevent Napoles in testifying at the Blue Ribbon. The ploy is so obvious even a kindergartner can see beyond what Drilon is trying to accomplish. Phooey!!. Daan baluktot kamo.

    18. I totally agree – that Senator Drilon’s action is to delay/stop Janet Napoles fron implicating the President. Pictures do not and can not lie. Their pictures alone show that Janet is close or a friend of President Aquino.

      In short, Senator Drilon is saving himself too. What will he gain (Drilon) by allowing Napoles to testify? Parang kumuha ng martilyo ipinokpok mo sa ulo mo – arrrrrray!

    19. This is the justice system of the Philippines, Those who are in power and who have money survived and those who have not, suffer, go to jail and die. Survival of the fittest.

    20. Salamat Ginoong Tiglao,nasa iskandalo pa rin kayo nakabantay,ipagpatuloy po niyo ang paglinis ng ating gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng pagsulat at paghalukay ng baho na pilit na itinatago ng partido liberal ni Pnoy. Sa aking palagay ay nagdradrama lang po si Guingona at Drillon upang masabi ng tao na handa at nagpupumilit ang committee ni Guingona na matanong si Napoles ngunit tumanggi si Drillon na paharapin si Napoles,drama lang ito parehong liberal ito. Talagang pinakinabangan ng partido ni Pnoy si Napoles laluna na iyang si Drillon na todo kaila pa noong una na magkakilala sila ni Napoles. Ang tatapang ng hiya,tigilan na ang drama at magsipagbitiw na sa tungkulin.

    21. As we all know, the Senate is a bunch of “old boys club” members. They will be expected to protect each other and to keep on foot-dragging the issue of having Napoles investigated by their own Blue Ribbon Committee. Obviously all of them except Joker Arroyo and Lacson must have used one or any of Napoles’ NGO’s and pocketed their share of the Pork. Drillon knows those Senators who made money and for sure Guingona is one of them, that is why the man does not care if Drillon will insult him many times over or disregard his decisions as Chairman of the BRC. All Senators are very, very scared of what Naples will say and they will keep her from appearing. Let us watch closely because today they may delay the so-called caucus or whatever to prevent her from appearing in the hearing. The Senate is like turtles when they act if they are involved with wrong doings.