It’s all about politics

ON DISTANT SHORE
By Val G. Abelgas

Alcala, Abad, Aquino

Alcala, Abad, Aquino

We could have heaved a sigh of relief after reading reports that the Ombudsman has finally filed graft and plunder charges against businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, at least four senators, a few congressmen and some government and private individuals in connection with the P10-billion pork barrel scam that has haunted the country for almost a year now.

Finally, those who have been reported to have made a mockery of our laws, constitution and institutions will be made to pay for their misdeeds, and if not guilty, be given a chance to prove their innocence. Finally, the much ballyhooed “daang matuwid” has found its course and a genuine war against corruption is well on its way to victory.

But wait. Why do I feel something is wrong somewhere? That there is a ‘daang matuwid” for those who dare oppose the Aquino administration and a “daang baluktot” for those who are allies of Malacanang?

Why is it that after two pork barrel scam cases have been filed, we see mostly opposition politicians and only one administration ally in the list of the accused? Wasn’t it that both the lists of Napoles and primary witness Benhur Luy contain the names of scores of former and present senators and congressmen, including some of the most trusted Cabinet members of President Aquino?

A third batch was filed on Monday, but still no administration ally included. Surely, a few of those administration congressmen and senators implicated by both Napoles and Luy are as guilty as the four senators. Otherwise, why would Luy, who has submitted volumes of documents to the NBI, implicate them?

“Where’s Abad? Where’s Alcala?” Sen. Bong Revilla, one of three leading opposition senators in the first batch of pork cases, asked, referring to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, both stalwarts of President Aquino’s Liberal Party.

It would seem from both the testimonies of Napoles and Luy that Abad and Alcala, who were Liberal Party congressmen before they were appointed heads of the two reportedly most corrupt-ridden departments, were among the biggest beneficiaries of the pork barrel scam. Napoles even explicitly stated that Abad was the one who gave him tips on how to get funds released from the Department of Budget through non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Alcala, on the other hand, was tagged by Napoles as having implemented several pork projects. And yet, both have been spared.

The only administration ally who has been named in the three criminal cases is Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Joel Villanueva, a former party-list congressman, who based on the list seems to be one of those who have benefitted the least (P1.3 million in pork barrel funds) and who seems to me the least guilty among those implicated, and can, therefore, be exonerated.

President Aquino has come under fire for his obviously “selective justice.”

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines, which should be the most knowledgeable in terms of evidence and criminal justice, questioned the government’s “seemingly selective indictment of people linked to the pork barrel scam.”

“There seems to be a selective justice. We are all aware there are many people involved and yet only three are charged,” said IBP president Vicente Joyas. Honasan, an independent but tied to Enrile, has not been charged at the time.
Napoles named 20 senators and 100 congressmen in an affidavit submitted to the Justice Department, but so far, only the four opposition lawmakers have been charged.
“This government has to act fast in terms of cases involving its allies,” Independent minority bloc leader Rep. Francis Martin Romualdez said, stressing “there is an obvious campaign of political persecution against former members and allies of the previous administration.”
Manila Auxilliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said the controversy should not be used as a political issue just meant to pin down members of the opposition. “It’s not just those in the opposition who were involved in the pork barrel issue, but also those who are allies. All those involved should be prosecuted, and not just a few should be brought down because of the issue,” Pabillo said.

And there lies the problem. It has all been about politics and political revenge.

Aquino’s double standard of justice has been evident from Day One when he persecuted Chief Justice Renato Corona, who presided over the Supreme Court that ruled that Hacienda Luisita, which is owned by the family of President Aquino, should be distributed to the farmers. While he now says that Abad and Alcala should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, Aquino repeatedly declared Corona guilty as hell in public forums long before the House of Representatives could indict Corona and the Senate could convict the Chief Justice.

Now, Aquino and his minions are targeting other allies of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and leaders of the opposition that challenged him in 2010 and would now oppose the Liberal Party in the 2016 presidential elections. Revilla had previously announced his candidacy for the presidency while Estrada has been touted as the running mate of Vice President Jojo Binay. Enrile is one of the opposition’s top leaders.

In have no qualms about these three senators being named accused in the pork barrel scam. Based on reports, they seem to be the biggest beneficiaries of this shameless scam. But why exclude the 16 other former and present senators and 120 former and present congressmen when the same set of evidence was presented against them by Luy and the other whistleblowers?

Why can’t Aquino just let investigators do their job? Would these investigators dare file cases against those the President had already publicly cleared? Why was it so easy to find evidence against the opposition politicians and so difficult to find one against Abad and company?

Why must politics always get in the way of justice?

(valabelgas@aol.com)


5 Responses. Have your say.

  1. Jose Samilin says:

    Aquino’s previous medical illness of his brain necessarily surfaced jolted by series of allegation in political vendetta of party opposition, a worst political game, absolutely unacceptable quality of country’s highest leader and betrays statesmanship.

  2. Jose Samilin says:

    Very, very bad.
    Antonio Sol Villan The Question is: If there is the CASE THAT CAN BE FILED AGAINST THE PRESIDENT? Then Bring that to the Floor of the Congress! If there isn’t, it is ALL BUT POLITICS! The article says so!
    21 mins · Like
    Jose Samilin Useless since Aquino gets the big block in Congress. Though to me there is a good case of impeachment similar to Corona’s, betrayal of public trust. In being selective memory brings the country in great turmoil and bring irreparable damage to our contry, then poor Filipino people is all the victim. Alis dyan!! Aaaalliis dyan!!!!
    1 min · Like

  3. Jose Samilin says:

    Aquino is due for impeachment for just one count of betrayal of public trust, that would include his selective politics, as financial dictator and others.

    Ramon V Bunag There is no perfect President. no matter where he/she originated. Never has been one, never will be one. We can cite the Presidents who are generally held in high regard, and those held in low regard.No one in RP history from the time of Aguinaldo to date except Ramon Magsaysay.
    2 hrs · Like
    Jose Samilin We do not need a perfect one just someone without out dirty conscience. To be self serving is apparently bad enough and that is tantamount to his betrayal of public trust, which is a good reason for his immediate action by congress for impeachment.

  4. Jose Samilin says:

    Hi Perry, very sensible commentary on my fb and herein below posted:

    Ramon V Bunag I agree with you Brother Jose Samilin but the problem now with the lower and upper Congress seems to me are in a chaotic scenario as most if not the majority of them are part of the scam that connived with Janet Napoles. I just don’t know why this great number of intelligent politicians who graduated from elite school from RP and abroad are all saying….they dont know where their PDAF/ Allotment goes, just imagine it involves millions of PHp pesos and yet they dont know where,what,who and all questions you may raise they will deny they dont know and they even saying that no one among them all ( All coongressman and All Senators in the scam ) signed as all of them indicated that all signatures were forged.WHAT A SHAME, IMAGINE NOT ONE NOT A SINGLE CONGRESSMAN AND SENATOR do not know what happened,Sir/Brother Jose Samilin, wedon not need a good Accountant-Auditor like you to beleived their alibis, even a person who do not have education will tell this crooks…”SAY IT TO THE MARINES” as we are not born yesterday. wala po silang mahal kundi ang sarili lamang nilana buo an gkaniland dynasty, wala silang awa sa mga nagugutom at kumakain ng pagpag at namumulot ng basura at estudyanted walang paarala, walang libor, sundalo walang high powered ammo at walang uniforme. Pero ang mga sangkot, WALA AW PO SILANG LAHAT NA ALAM sa ginawa ng bobong mababang pinag aralan na si Janet Napoles. Pabayaan na po natin ang nakaupo, dahil sa RP kung sino ang naka upo ay hari, di po ba ng si FM ay presidente ay kinuloing, na torture at ipinapatay pa ang mga kalaban. WEATHER WAETHER LANG IYAN. LAHAT SILA AY WALANG TAKOT SA PANGINOON DAHIL LAHAT AY “MAGNANAKAW”, NO self denial, totoo po iyan.”LAHAT”. GOD BLESS THEM ALL. GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES.

  5. Jose Samilin says:

    It seems that our prosecutors in all past cases of corruption, i.e., GMA’s PCSO, Roberto Ongpin’s DBP 660M Loan scandal, etc. were all exonerated for failures of prosecutor’s weak evidential matters and I can foresee all these corruption cases will suffer similar fate deficiency in court. The prosecutor is at fault, though it’s the wrong and misguided NBI and COA investigation were used in raw form, therefore, it cannot withstand the final test in court. What is wrong then? The led Attorney of the prosecution is wrong or incompetent or either lacking competency in organizing the team, lacking devotion to truth and itself corrupt, or improper assessment of competent evidential matters in court presentation for litigation. Remember COA and NBI paper works, were not evidence at all in criminal case, they are raw paper works, if not examined and converted to as evidence by competent forensic auditor who is expert witness in court, could led those paper detrimental to the case.

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