By Ray L. Junia
Who needs PDAF kickback?
The Commission on Appointments (CA) is one body that every lawmaker wants to get into. Every senator or congressman jockeys to get to this body.
In many reports, CA is described as “the powerful committee.” Many are really confused and baffled why a body tasked to screen the President’s choice for sensitive positions in government could be that powerful.
Not until the wringer Department of Environment and Natural Resources Sec. Ramon Paje went through after four years of waiting to be confirmed by the CA had many understood the powers of members of the CA.
The grilling of Department of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima likewise opened the eyes of many why only the most favored senators and congressmen get to this body. Seats in the CA are distributed to leading political parties in both houses.
Secretary Paje passed the course only after the majority in the CA decided to call for a vote and Senator Sergio Osmena was out-voted to the Cebuano senator’s consternation.
Osmena insulted Paje several times in the hearing for his permanent appointment, calling him a liar and a cheat. The senator felt strongly bad about a DM Consunji mining project that leveled a mountain and opened a sea port.
The funny part is the DMCI mining project is nothing to the gold mining operations of the group of Manny V. Pangilinan that have not only leveled mountains but also destroyed rivers and reportedly poisoned lakes and communities.
MVP’s company was even asked to pay millions of pesos in fines. Why was Sec. Paje not asked by Sen. Osmena on the violations by the MVP mining operations that caused communities to fear for their lives and livelihood.
What’s special with MVP that Osmena would not touch him with a ten foot pole? Is it because MVP owns Meralco and the leader in the power generation business?
Senator Osmena is trying very hard to create that image of fiscalizer. His PR stories tell of exposes he has championed in the name of clean government.
Will somebody in the COA and finance tell how much the government has lost in taxes and how much have Filipinos paid with their blood to feed greed of giant companies, suspected to be clients of lawmakers.
The cost to government and the people of corporate greed run to hundreds of billions a year. Who needs PDAF commissions when a small percentage from the hundreds of billions in greed by big business dwarfs all the billions allegedly stolen by alleged Napolist senators.
An anti-graft crusader and pro-people solon? Tell that to the marines.