Days of future past

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By Atty. Taipan Millan

One Small Voice

Thursday, May 22, 2014

IS it the truth and the fact that we really want? Or are we already contented with the twists and turns in the script of the telenovela?

Is it justice and fairness that we really want? Or are we already satisfied with the marvel of the fireworks in the circus?

There was supposed to be a list. One. Lone. Sole.


And then there were two. And then there were three. And then there were four. And nobody knows now how many more there will be.

This list, and now with all of its many versions, variants and variations, has become the national pastime. It has, or they have, singlehandedly changed the way the question is framed with regards to the pork barrel scam.

The question now revolves around who are in, and who are out, of this list, or that list, or a combination of all the lists.

It is as if being on whatever list, or out of whatever list, makes one guilty, or makes one innocent.

It is as if getting to know who are on whatever list, or out of whatever list, will solve the problems of our country and our people, not just along the lines of graft and corruption, but also along the lines of poverty alleviation and economic development.

It is a real pity that we are being taken for fools not once, not twice, but repeatedly, and continuously.

Obviously, money was stolen. Obviously, there were thieves. Obviously, this money is gone and will never be returned in whole or in part. Obviously, these thieves will do everything in their power to avoid penalty and to evade punishment.

They got away with stealing the money. They must not get away with avoiding answerability and evading accountability.

We must not be that big a fool as to allow them to plunder and to let them get away with it.

While we suffer, they enjoy. This cannot be. While we sacrifice, they celebrate. This cannot be. While we sink in the quicksand of the jungle, they fly in the sky of their loot. This cannot be.

But this will be, unless if we stop salivating for all sorts of lists and start focusing on the truth and not on the rumor, on the fact and not on the suspicion, on justice and not on public persecution through the mass media, and on fairness by not involving those who are not involved.

Now, do we want to proceed with our fixation with the mother of all lists and all its children? Or do we want the truth, the fact, justice and fairness?

Then, do we want to see names on lists or criminals in jail?

To be sure, we want to see more than just names on lists.

Without a doubt, we want to see criminals in jail.

If this is the circumstance, then we should not get distracted, diverted and destroyed by all the lists that have come out and may still come out.

First, we should demand that cases be immediately filed but only against those supported by evidence of witnesses or documents or both, never on those whose names merely appear on one, two, three, four or all of the lists.

Second, we should be vigilant in making sure that the prosecutors do their jobs, the witnesses fulfill their duty, and the documents never get lost, destroyed, or stolen just like the money.

Third, we should never stop pressuring the government not just to be clean and be perceived to be clean but also to clean up, by filing the appropriate cases, by prosecuting these cases not only with integrity and sincerity but also with competency and proficiency, and by putting the offenders behind bars.

At the end of all of these, even if we have already memorized all the names on all the lists, but not one of the culprits are sentenced to prison, then we shall all be fools yet again.

We must no longer waste any time on any list. We must concentrate on the truth, the fact, justice and fairness. We must bring back our attention to the evidence based on witnesses and based on documents.

Otherwise, we will all live and die in the unfathomable days of future past.

Comments are most welcome. Please send them to

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 23, 2014.


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