Wanting a leader

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By Jun Ledesma


Thursday, May 29, 2014

THE lid is finally off. The long guarded secret of how lawmakers and the President's men have embezzled billions of people’s money is eventually exposed. Literally bleeding from her sick bed, the scam queen Janet Napoles had come to terms with reality.

She is in deep shit and she cannot forever be the sacrificial lamb for those she had purloined billions of pesos for. Finally her written confession detailed how she was tutored by Department of Budget Secretary Butch Abad on how to pilfer from the congressional pork barrel.

Obviously Abad was an excellent mentor and Napoles as fast learner.


Between the two, it was simply a simple math. The recipients of the scam gets at least 40 percent of the Priority Assistance Development Fund while she retains 60 percent. For a high school dropout like Napoles, that was bonanza. For the politicians Napoles was the spigot of billions of pesos that sustained their lifestyle.

Along the way there were members of the syndicate that felt shortchanged. Ben Hur Luy and company saw oodles of money handed to senators and congressmen and Presidential subalterns. They recorded the transactions and acted as couriers of Ma’am Janet to deliver the share of the honorable congressmen.

They salivated and salivating decided to do the Napoles art of scam. It was no brainer actually thus Ben Hur attempted to go freelancer. Napoles was quick to discover his caper and decided to detain him. Hell has no fury than Ben Hur he finally turned “whistle blower”.

My twist of fate Napoles suddenly became the fugitive with a price on her head. As the mystery thickens she surfaced in Malacañang Palace with a royal escort: an intimate Presidential friend and DILG Sec. Mar Roxas. We do not know what transpired in the Palace but Roxas who addresses Janet Napoles as “Ma’am” most certainly held her in high regards and conducted her safely to her initial quarters at Camp Crame.

The attempt to just confine the PDAF and DAP scam to the three opposition senators, namely Enrile, Estrada and Revilla, was an infantile cover-up of the administration to shield party mates and members of the cabinet from the scandal. The piecemeal expose’ of those involved in the scam was like a boiling magma waiting to erupt any time.

When Napoles finally said she wants to reveal it all, Justice Sec. Leila Delima rushed to her confinement, stayed with her up to the wee hours of the morning. What she took up with the scam queen for several hours was never revealed to the media. By then the volcanic magma was expected to come sooner than later as Secretary had hoped for.

Amidst the maneuverings to keep the lid tight and intact, was the Palace boasting about its successful crusade against corruption and a rosy economy. Amidst these too is the growing summer of discontent and desolation of a nation where the poor wallow in the quagmire of poverty while their leader kept telling them there’s economic bonanza and plenty.

Surveys were done to ascertain the people’s pulse and by way of barometer used the acceptability of the administration perceived Presidential bets and allies. Mar Roxas, the anointed one; Ping Lacson the alternative option, Chiz Escudero the significant other and VP Jejomar Binay the man in the waiting and drooling for the top post of the land.

The survey results however reflects the people’s dissatisfaction over the presidentiables. While Binay garnered 42 percent as against those allied with the Palace who performed miserably in the survey, the score is far from satisfactory and winnability. The results reflect the people’s dissatisfaction. A high of 58 percent do not trust Binay and that anyone allied with the Aquino administration is dealt with contempt and anger.

What is the significance of these survey figures and sentiments? Clear is the message. The people is seeking an alternative to the usual political clique that claims to have an exclusive right to govern this nation. At this point I am in the askance why survey firms have not included the name of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

He is a reluctant candidate who has distaste for profligacy and power and the niceties of political discourse. Some quarters, including those in the Aquino cabinet hated him like plague for his straightforwardness in dealing with criminals and crooks.

But the entire nation sees how Davaowenyos adore their leader, band with him in enforcing rules and regulations. Duterte has become a legendary leader in a country so enmeshed in crime, corruption and poverty. Include him in nationwide political surveys and we will see whether what I write here is just another distant and discordant voice in the wilderness of Mindanao.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 30, 2014.


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