Are there honest senators?

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

PARTISANSHIP in the highest order. Erring lawmakers who abused their pork barrel funds are all smiles because they were able to seek refuge, and apparently extended such by the present administration.

How could Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla get the same treatment, not getting investigated, like the rest of the senators, when they belong to the opposition? Earlier, the names of Senators Bongbong Marcos, Tito Sotto and Gringo Honasan were also mentioned and be investigated likewise.

None of the above senators belong to the Liberal Party, and it will spring no surprise if Department of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima and her National Bureau of Investigation agents are silently gathering more dozziers.


Of course not against lawmakers identified with the administration who equally misspent their DAP and other pork barrel funds.


Senator T.G. Guingona, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee got his share of P200 million from the Development Acceleration Program (DAP), same way Frank Drilon, Trillanes, Cayetanos et al received the funds courtesy of Malacanang.

For the record, Senators Miriam Santiago, Bongbong Marcos and Joker Arroyo got no DAP funds because they didn't vote for the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona.


For those not keener in mind, it should be graphically explain that the transfer of savings of Malacanang cannot be transferred to the Senate. Very simple. Is it not that former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is now languishing in her hospital detention because she scribbled a marginal note allowing the transfer of funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to an agency of the Department of Labor and Employment for the purchase of Philhealth cards?


Funny, but up to now the justices of the Supreme Court are still deliberating if funds appropriated by the House of Representatives under the General Appropriations Act can be transferred from Malacanang to the Philippine Senate.

The DAP funds maybe are excess money and are considered savings, but Department of Budget and Management Secretary Florencio 'Butch' Abad cannot just invent a saving's name and give them to the senators in the guise of beefing up the economy. These are not loose change. They are in billions, repeat in billions.


Sometimes you are forced to think if all these senators identified with the administration spent their P200 million DAP funds on projects and benefited their intended beneficiaries. And the bigger question is if not a single centavo lined-up their pockets.

And a friend of mine whom I know is not really a cynical person, is betting his one month income that no one among the senators can in all honesty say that everything in that P200 million in their DAP funds all went to the projects.

In the English mythology, Diogenes with his lamp searched for honest persons, and found only two. One is dead, and the other is yet to be born. Do you think if Diogenes made his search in the Philippine Senate, he can find one or two?

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 06, 2014.


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