Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Pork Barrel Scam and Philippine Presidential Politics 2016

Pork Barrel Scam

Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla, as well as Janet Napoles have been charged with Plunder before the Sandiganbayan.

Sandiganbayan has issued Warrants of Arrest to the three; correspondingly, they have been arrested and now detained.

Revilla complained of heat, and is not appreciative of rats and cockroaches keeping him company in his jail room.  Estrada registered no complaints so far.

The Ombudsman has filed the criminal information for Plunder against Senator Enrile before the Sandiganbayan but the latter has not issued a Warrant of Arrest.  If ever arrested, it looks like due consideration will be given to his age and health.

The Special Prosecutors tried to amend the criminal information filed against the above accused, allegedly for clarity – meaning the public officials were the principals with the private individuals conspiring with them.  But some think that this was being done to portray Napoles as being “not the most guilty” and could therefore become a “state witness” if need be.

The Special Prosecutors withdrew the proposed amendments.  Otherwise, it would have the consequence of also withdrawing the warrants, the arrests, and correspondingly, the need to release the accused Plunderers.  This would further delay the trial.

I told my barber that whether the criminal information against each of the accused is amended or not, makes no difference.  There was conspiracy to commit Plunder through the acts defined by law.  Napoles and the Senators are alleged to have been co-principals by direct participation fulfilling their respective roles in the commission of the crime. 

The next move is to get the Senators suspended as mandated by law. It should happen very soon!

My barber is suggesting that forfeiture proceedings will have to start soon too!  These accused Plunderers are holding and/or hiding so much of the people’s money.
Philippine Presidential Politics

Vice President Binay is definitely running for President. Bong Revilla said he might while Senator Cayetano has been talking and acting like he is already running. Senator Jinggoy Estrada is considering to run for Vice-President under Binay.

The Liberal Party is pushing for DILG Secretary Mar Roxas to run under its banner.

I told my barber that eventually, it would still be PNoy’s choice.  Whoever he anoints becomes the next President of the Philippines.  The question is, who?

In the 2013 Senatorial, Congressional, and Local elections, the Filipino people gave Team PNoy or the “Daang Matuwid” Program a mandate by trouncing the opposition.  Based on the results, Team PNoy obtained its greatest mandate in the following 4 regions as ranked:
1.             Visayan Island
2.             Bicol
3.             Mindanao
4.             Central Luzon
My post election analysis was that the Visayan region deserves to be source of the next President.  Since 1898, the Philippines has had only 3 Presidents coming from the Visayas - Osme├▒a, Roxas, and Garcia. The rest came from Luzon. In fact, Garcia was really a natural born Ilocano because his parents were from the province of Abra. 

It should be time for a President from the Visayas.  He and the people in the region will definitely push for the “Daan Matuwid” Agenda.  Mar Roxas who is from Capiz is the favorite but Grace Poe who was born in Iloilo is the underdog.

If none emerges from the Visayas by the time PNoy has to anoint, he could choose somebody from Bicol.  Among the personalities that could be considered in any of the top two positions are Senator Chiz Escudero, Congresswoman Robredo, and DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima.  No President has ever come from the region historically.

Mindanao could also provide PNoy a couple of choices namely:  Senators Teofisto Guingona, Jr. and Aquilino Pimentel III.  

Except for Bam Aquino, I currently do not see anybody emerging from Central Luzon. Besides, right now I do not recommend anybody from there.

There are reservations with respect to the inexperience of Senator Poe, Representative Robredo, and Secretary de Lima.  Wasn’t the opponent of Ferdinand Marcos an inexperienced plain housewife named Cory Aquino? 

An idea came up only recently.  PNoy could run as the Vice-Presidential teammate of his anointed Presidential candidate.  This could guarantee victory for both, continuity of the “Daan Matuwid” agenda, and a virtual co-presidency.

If there is no legal impediment to this idea, why not?

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