When the PDAF or pork barrel scam was exposed and the stink brought us to the bathtub of its owner, Janet Lim-Napoles, who was tagged as the mastermind, and further led us to the august body of Congress, specifically to the offices of Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon Revilla Jr. and other lawmakers, thanks to whistle blower Benhur Luy, who identified the lawmakers as Napoles’ cohorts by their monikers, Sexy, Tanda, and Pogi, respectively, we thought that, that would be the end of the finger pointing.
The actor that is Estrada, however, wrote his own acting script, strategizing his plan to come out hero instead of heel, as he has been depicted. This, he did when he made a privilege speech not only criticizing the accusation of his, Enrile’s and Revilla’s involvement, which he deemed malicious for having been singled out, but also exposing his stinker bomb – his own seemingly exclusive knowledge of the pork barrel scam.
Apparently, Estrada’s exposé centered not so much on the malevolent use of the PDAF by the lawmakers, as it was more on the rotten and corrupt use of the Discretionary Acceleration Program (DAP), a lump-sum fund controlled by Malacañang from which P50 million to P100 million was allegedly given to each senator who voted for the conviction in 2012 of then Chief Justice Renato Corona at his impeachment trial.
Not only has Estrada succeeded in deflecting the attacks against him, but his own disclosures carried with it more stench than what was hurled against him, that not only are the other senators reeking, but President Benigno Aquino himself and his people in the executive branch are now deodorizing their own smell by claiming that the administration of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo could have misused over P1 trillon to ensure her stay in power.
Having said that, let us not be fooled by the squid-tactics being squirted by others just so nobody can see how devious and culpable they are.
Detractors can say negative things about PNoy here, but at least, with Aquino at the helm, the world is recognizing the country’s “robust economic performance” brought about by stumping corruption, implementing reforms, political stability, and improved governance, such that very recently the Philippines won a rating upgrade from Moody’s Investors Service, completing the nation’s ascent to investment rank, after winning earlier this year investment-grade credit scores from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.
Aquino has done something already for the country that cannot be said the same of Arroyo’s presidency and much less with the help of the likes of Estrada and his ilk.
Aquino’s efforts has brought back respectability to the country.
And so the question now is: Is Estrada transforming himself from heel to hero by diverting the scam’s attention away from him and Napoles?
My answer is, not by a long shot, he isn’t!