By next week, June 30, 2014, PNoy will be a four year old President. He will be two thirds through his six year Presidency. Instead of a Bumbling Fool that he was when he entered Malacanang on June 30, 2010, he will be an accomplished and experienced “Manloloko”. By then, he would have made fools of us several times over. How many more times will he be able to do that to us before he steps down?
Four years ago, PNoy was standing tall on top of PCOS. PCOS had proclaimed him as the winner of the May 2010 Presidential Elections. According to PCOS, he had thirty per cent of the votes of the registered voters. According to PCOS, he was short of a majority, but had won with a respectable plurality. Still according to PCOS, he had beaten Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada 3 to 2 and Manny “Villarroyo” Villar 3 to 1. These were leads of five and ten million votes.
As a matter of comparison, GMA officially beat FPJ by a mere million “Hello Garci” votes in 2004. Fidel Valdez Ramos officially beat Miriam Defensor Santiago by less than a million votes in 1992 in a seven (FVR, MDS, Cojuangco, Mitra, Salonga, Marcos and Laurel) cornered fight. Again, Carlos P. Garcia beat Jose Yulo by less than a million – 800,000 votes – in 1957 in a four (CPG, JY, Manuel Manahan and Claro Mayo Recto) cornered fight.
As far as I can remember, in 1998, 1953, 1939 and 1935, Erap, Ramon Magsaysay and Manuel L. Quezon won by big landslides, while in 1986, 1969, 1965, 1961, 1949 and 1946, Ferdinand E. Marcos, Diosdado Macapagal, Elpidio Quirino and Manuel Roxas beat their opponents and won in close and tightly contested electoral fights. If Marcos had not declared and implemented Martial Law in September 21 – 23, 1972, the November 1973 Elections would have been a bloody and close fight.
Coming back to more recent history, a year ago, from March to June of 2013, the most exotic if not the biggest scandal under the Aquino Administration, the so called Ten Billion Peso Janet Lim Napoles PDAF/Pork Barrel Scam had not yet been exposed. The “Daang Matuwid/Walang Mahirap Pag Walang Kurakot” Aquino Administration was playing blind to it but had at least two fingers – both Balay and Samar – in it.
No one in the Aquino Administration was properly carrying out intelligence gathering, investigation, prosecution or even media preliminary bombardment (leaks and trial balloons), regarding the biggest and widest burglary and plunder of the people’s money. This included Aquino appointed heads and members of Constitutional Bodies like the Commission on Audit and the Ombudsman.
However, many Aquino officials were involved in perpetuating traditional Pork Schemes – PDAF and Congressional Insertions. Some were even inventing new ones like Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). The latter was extensively used in the bribery of Congressmen in the Impeachment and Senators in the Conviction of Chief Justice Renato Coronado Corona.
The future Imbroglio was still at the level of a Serious Illegal Detention (of Benhur Lim Luy) case filed by the NBI on March 23 against JLN and her brother, Reynald “Jojo” Lim. At least two Extortion attempts on the part of Atty. Levito Baligod on the accused JLN and RJL had failed in meetings on March 25 and 27 with Atty. Villamor and JLN. JLN wrote President Aquino on April 17 for assistance against the extortion attempts. JLN’s lawyer in the preliminary investigation of the case was Atty. Jean Paul Acut of the MOST (the O representing Ochoa as in Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa) Law Firm.
On May 28, Atty. Alfredo L. Villamor accompanied by Atty. Plaridel Bohol met with NBI Director Nonnatus Roxas. On June 10, 2013, the DOJ came out with a Resolution dismissing the Serious Illegal Detention case for lack of Probable Cause. On July 2 and 5, the private complainants and the NBI filed Motions for Reconsideration. On Aug 6 without additional arguments, basis and/or evidence, the MR’s were granted and the finding of Lack of Probable Cause was reversed in a DOJ Review Resolution. On Sept 2, NBI Director Nonnatus Roxas resigned irrevocably.
What had caused the “Daang Di Na Matuwid” to enjoy a little straightening was the July 12-15, 2013 Philippine daily inquirer four part series on the P 10 Billion Janet Lim Napoles PDAF/Pork Scam. On April 28, 2013 Benhur’s parents Gertrudis Lim and Arturo Luy, accompanied by their children and his siblings, Arthur and Annabel, went to the PDI office. They sought the PDI’s assistance for Benhur’s expose of JLN’s scam. They brought Benhur’s computer hard drive with JLN financial records (20,103 files in 2,156 folders.) from 2002 to 2012. The PDI made a copy of all of these. These was the basis not only for the July 12-15, 2013 series but also for the more recent and more numerous front page articles on the JLN Scam.
Had the Luys not gone to the Inquirer, the past year would have been quite different. The March 25 and 27 Negotiations cum Extortion between Baligod and Villamor and JLN probably failed because the amount demanded grew from 38 million pesos in the first meeting to 250 to 300 million pesos plus one and a half million dollars plus 30 million pesos plus Canadian visas for the Luy family. Most probably, JLN would have agreed to the 38 million pesos.
However, when the amount grew to about 400 million pesos, she may have considered cheaper options. She may have thought that the better alternative was to fix the case with the investigators and prosecutors. Thus, Sandra Cam claims that 150 million was given to the DOJ and NBI for the June Resolution including the suppression of media leaks. Sandra also claims that 30 of the 150 million went to NBI Director Roxas and that that is the reason why he resigned irrevocably without a public explanation.
To be continued …