Of Napolists

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By Sandy Gil

Sunday Dunes

Saturday, June 14, 2014

I HAVE been constantly fascinated with the daily evening news of Napoles' lists of government officials who have allegedly used their pork barrel to commit plunder and/or graft. Initially, in the national television news in English, it appears that saying "Napoles' list" aloud can be quite a tongue-twister (especially when made plural since there are three lists), making the newscasters sound like they were born with a lisp. The Filipino-speaking newscasters have an easier task of saying "ang mga listahan ni Napoles." The word listahan however connotes debt in sari-sari stores, sometimes rendering the most controversial news that has gripped the country into something rather mundane. Or has it?

Nevertheless, I have coined a new word to make life easy for common people like myself - the NAPOLIST.



Adding to my amusement is the response of Senator Miriam Santiago to the allegation of her nemesis, former Senator Ping Lacson, that she is included in his Napolist. Undaunted, Senator Santiago retorted in nation television that Mr. Lacson too was in her list - a gay list.


While yet unsubstantiated, the three Napolists have certainly confused the nation. There is the Napolist that is important to know, the Napolist that is good to know, and the Napolist that is nice to know. These Napolists have names in common, as well as names that appear in one but not the other. One is uncertain which Napolist is an addendum to the original Napolist. In fact, we do not even know which Napolist is the original. It truly becomes a curiosity, particularly since all three Napolists are pretty long.

And there appears to be only one factor to blame - the anesthesia?


I find Napolists to have a lot of things in common with a grocery list, the list that some people make before going to the supermarket. You know, the list to which everyone in the household contributes - confirming, affirming, assuring that one's deodorant is not forgotten; or, that the toyo, patis and suka have been included; or, that the all-important toilet paper has been listed.

The three Napolists are very much the same. The big problem is that the Napolister keeps making a new list. And the Napolistees (that is, the government officials in the Napolists) have all gone mad, checking if their names are indeed in any one of the Napolists! Of course, none of the Napolistees will ever admit to being part of this pork barrel scam.

Some Napolistees have denied the... whatever it is they think they should deny since no allegations have yet been made (only Napolists have been made)... using any one or a combination of the following three basic reasons: (1) I don't even know her!; (2) Someone faked my signature; or, (3) I was not even in Congress then. Who knows? Maybe the Napolister just made a guest list of whom to invite to her trial... I mean, birthday party.

Other Napolistees have chosen to nonchalant both the Napolister and the Napolists.


Well, Napoles is certainly not the only one with lists. We all have our own lists. I, for one, am into making lists ALL THE TIME!

My penchant for making lists includes my Daily List of Things to Do, so that I do not forget to do them and so that at the end of the day, there is a sense - false or otherwise - of accomplishment. I also have a small notebook intended to list my daily expenses so that I am reminded where my hard earned salary goes.

However, I have yet to make a bucket list.


In the end, one wonders: Are all these Napolists the Napolister's bucket list? Or, have the Napolists become the Napolistees' Bakit list? Or, have these Napolists become Secretary Delima and Ombudsman Carpio's grocery list?

Yes, my friend... only in the Philippines!

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 15, 2014.


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