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Saturday, May 10, 2014

How much does the pork barrel scam cost in bottles of wine?

Blogger Edgar Lores did the math after the premier in New South Wales of Australia, “stepped down after being clobbered for receiving a $3,000 bottle of wine." The police minister and three others quit too.

“There's a difference between Australia and the Philippines, notably in cultural attitudes to graft.“ Compare that pork equivalent here: 1,591.666 bottles of wine for Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, 2,766.666 bottles for Juan Ponce Enrile, and 3,441.666 bottles for for “Bong” Revilla.
Have they stepped down? No. Have they even offered to step aside while being investigated? No.


Lores’s email came in response to our earlier column on razing of trees in Cebu City and Dagohoy, Bohol by construction firms that washed their hands.

In Los Baños, scientists flayed razing of kapok due to road widening that traverses Mount Makiling. Pangasinan officials balked at cutting 1,829 trees. Cutting of 30-year-old trees at Mindanao State University lit a controversy that sizzles to this day.
Department of Enviroment and Natural Resources lodged charges of fracturing PD No. 953, which penalizes damaging of trees. Sued were WT Construction officers in Cebu, along with Mayor Sofronio Apat and Shine Ford Construction in Bohol.

“There is Round Two for environmental destruction,” Mang Teban emailed. “Nature hits back. Expect natural calamities to strike soon at those places where trees have been sawed off....due to graft in agencies...There’ve been people who resisted but often at danger to their lives.”

Environmentalist lawyer Gerry Ortega was gunned down for his drive against illegal logging in Palawan. The mastermind(s) still haven’t been tracked down.

Readers protested Sen. Sonny Trillanes’s suggestion that when Sandiganbayan issues arrest orders, 90-year-old Enrile be confined in a hospital. Jinggoy and Bong should be treated with consideration, given their election.

"In an ordinary jail, Enrile’s medical needs may not be met," Jane Tan quotes Trillanes. Why does Trillanes not fret over people who haven't done anything and whose medical needs are not being met? He could offer to swap places with Enrile while awaiting for the trial.

Joe Blogs counter-proposed: If Enrile is found guilty, and Trillanes is still worried, then maybe he could persuade Enrile’s son Jack to serve the sentence. “Sins of the fathers are visited on their sons. Bible, right?"

We accord moral failures mercy before justice is done, Anong emailed. The multiplier effect on plunderers is enormous that we, as a nation, cannot extricate ourselves from the abyss of poverty.. Trillianes -- so clueless!

Kapayapaan agreed that “fear is being instilled in crooks today by women — Ombudsman Morales, COA’s Pulido-Tan, Justice Secretary De Lima, Bureau of Internal Revenue’s Kim Henares—and before them, by Presidential Commission on Good Government’s Haydee Yorac and Corazon Aquino. Tienen cojones, is the irreverent josh. “They have balls.”

The old boys club mentality is deeply rooted everywhere...and overshadows all codes to curb sleaze. We ought to be thankful to the ladies who waged war against corrupt practices. Tadsalao chimes in: “Yeah, finally. Makes me wonder if Gloria really is a guy in drag.”

Ah the power of women, Tadsalo emailed. “We've been waiting for them for so long to finally slay the corrupt men in our midst. It is also women who are made to commit the sins of men by using them as tools -- the same women who bring the downfall of these crooks.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 11, 2014.


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