Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Governor Signs the LPP Paper on Malacanan Pay Off

A day before yesterday there was a full-page ads in the daily papers commissioned by the League of Provinces (in the) Philippines casting doubts, er, explaining away -- as a way to counter Governors Panlilio and Mendoza of Pampanga and Bulacan respectively on the pay off that took place right at the heart of governance in the Philippines -- on the claims of the two governors who admitted that they were given half a million pesos each during a meeting that was called by the President herself. Among those signatories were the Governors of Occidental and Oriental Mindoro -- Gov. Josephine Sato and Gov. Arnan Panaligan.
What's the big deal?
Let us see. First, there was an unusual, no, irregular giving away of money right at the corridors of power. Yup, it cannot be unusual. For straight from the mouth of the "flowery" ex-mayor of Manila and now Secretary of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (read: the peddler of our natural resources to foreigners in the name of economic return), Lito Atienza, an information we had that the dole out of cash among the ranks of politicians dated back to Cory Aquino and FVR's regimes (of course, the two denied the "Hawaiian" claim). But it still is irregular. Why irregular? For simple reason that it could only be regular if the money is accompanied by a SARO -- this is an official paper that has all the reportorial requirements of a fiscal transaction, let alone a disbursement of a fund.
This is a case of our politician-leaders' insensitivity to public interest. Ang alam kong ibinigay lamang natin sa kanila ay ang responsibilidad na pamunuan tayo. Kasama ba talaga dito ang kapangyarihang paghati-hatian ang laman ng kaban ng bayan nang parang ginagawa ng mga kawal matapos na magapi nila ang kalaban?
But, of course, one may say, well it depends on where the money came from.. I know, it does. And for this reason, the LPP comes to the rescue of the pilloried President of the (Strong) Republic of the Philippines. The league of the governors explains away that it is the source of the money. The overriding logic is as simple as "Okey, since we stand to have been the source of the money, then the first proposition of Didaskalos becomes unfounded." The Governors say their league is the font of the money; meaning, the money is never a public money.
However, it is one thing that one group owns up to the irregularity; and it's another thing if that group that claims it did the irregular money-giving is credible in itself -- at least in this instance. The first question that LPP has to address is: what took them more than ten days to make the claim? If it was indeed regular, as LPP claims, then why did not at once clarified the issue when the two maverick governors of Luzon initiated the noise? Another question is: if the money really came from the LPP, then where did the money for the more than one hundred congressman proceed from?
As long as LPP is not able to satisfy our query that essentially comes out in view of their admission of the regular-ness of the irregular handing over of funds, we are led to consider a corollary point to the first mark that we noted. Now, we say, the disgusting thing about LPP is their effort to right the wrong, to justify the irregular, to make acceptable the unacceptable, or to explain away the unexplainable.
In the Old Testament, to right the wrong in order to effect reconciliation in and among the community of the Israelites, they were choosing a goat which they all made to bear the sins or the wrongs that they wished the community to be rid of; and the goat is driven away from the community, as it is led to the desert carrying to itself the trespassess of the community-members. This is the origin of the vocabulary "scapegoat". Note, however, that the scapegoat is involuntary. Being scapegoat is imputed.
The LPP is scapegoat? If ever it is, then one can say LPP's being scapegoat is self-imputed. For what reason, er for how much? We don't know. At least, until no one from them is pricked by his/her conscience to tell the truth. And to recognize that at the end of the day he/she is ultimately accountable to the public. Which is the essence of democratic leadership.
And, to me, it's a cause of angst that the leaders of Mindoro are part of the group that has so far tried to help out the President of the Philippines in this trying moment.
Well, ganito talaga, for some, the political weighs more than the moral..
By the way, what explains the noise that Governors Panlilio and Mendoza made? For Governor Panlilio, I suppose it is comprehensible since he is (note the present tense, for technically a priest is a priest forever -- even if he's suspended from exercising his priestly ministry) a priest. His training in the seminary that I can only surmise fortified his training at home, and the formation that he got while he was active in his ministry as a priest for quite a long time must have bestowed in him a sensitive and probing conscience. For anyone who would counter: Are all priests really honest? and point to the one who ran in the last elections, I submit the being man-of-cloth is not equivalent to being honest..
For Governor Mendoza, who was a former PGMA boy until he and Obet Pagdanganan squared it off in gubernatorial race, they say it was his way of exacting revenge, if not a mere display of displeasure, against the Chief Executive. Reason? Because of the continuing support of Malacanan to the election protest filed by Pagdanganan against Mendoza..
Tainted motive?
In morals, one's intention is of paramount importance.
In politics, we are left to judge the nobility of the intention by the product that it produces.. Remember, Chavit Singson was to Erap Estrada.

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