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Friday, May 16, 2014

WHAT business does rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson have in accepting a bogus list?

He has refused to receive pork, so what other selfish motive besides a hint of self-righteousness can the rehabilitated former fugitive from justice possibly have?

The list is bogus because it comes unsigned from Janet Napoles’s husband, who is himself a mystery man in the ever-thickening plot of his wife’s non-fiction story. As such, it is essentially a rumor which Lacson must know has “zero probative value” and serves only to muddle the issue.


Hence, equally disconcerting is the act of the chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee of giving this list some undeserved importance. Sen. Teofisto Guingona III should know better than to admit a rumor as a source material for his committee’s investigation of the matter.

The lists that matter are those signed by principal suspect Janet Napoles and by original whistleblower and state witness Benhur Luy. If the former’s list differs from that of the latter’s, she opens herself to the suspicion that she is turning state witness to confuse the issue and thus save not only her neck but also those of her principal co-conspirators.

I used to be for Napoles becoming state witness if that’s what it takes to indict and convict the government officials who, I agree with Sen. Miriam Santiago, could only have masterminded this grand deception. It is more important to the nation that the heads of these highly-placed officials are what should be on the block.

But it appears now that Napoles is being cued to apply for state witness so she can muddle the issue with testimonies that do not corroborate those of the original whistle blowers. Hence, she is no longer to be trusted and Secretary of Justice Leila de lima should now think twice before recommending her to become a state witness.

But while Lacson’s list contaminates the crime scene, it nevertheless corroborates the fact that the scam involves a scandalously big number of highly placed government officials. The scene depicts an ant hill being threatened with demolition and ants are seen and heard scurrying for cover but with such flimsy statements as “Napoles who?”

“I am not responsible for selecting the conduit NGO” or “Why me and not the others?”

These are lame excuses of men and women without honor. We ought to demand that they clear their names before the 2016 election or we resolve to deny our votes to suspect incumbents running for re-election. We cannot be electing to office suspects to a crime of unparalleled plunder.

Unless these suspects clear themselves, we must hang them out to dry or corruption will continue to subsidize patronage politics and we will never see the end to abuse of power.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 17, 2014.


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