Let us recall first what the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam, more popularly known as pork barrel scam, is all about before it loses its meaning and importance to the vast number of Filipinos who have come to appreciate the prosecution of corrupt politicians in government.
The pork barrel scam is a political scandal of the highest order involving the alleged misuse by several members of Congress of their lump sum discretionary fund granted to them for spending on priority development projects, most especially on the local level.
It is estimated that the Philippine government was defrauded of some P10-billion in the course of the scam, reportedly from 2003 to 2013, and at the expense of the poor and marginalized Filipinos.
Going after noted corrupt government officials, the likes of retired chief justice Renator Corona and the high-profile senators in the PDAF scam, Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla for plunder has given many Filipinos hope that we can be a better country yet.
Though Enrile was granted bail by the Supreme Court and is back in the Senate throwing barbs at President Aquino still many people believe that he should have remained detained together with Estrada and Revilla at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City until such time that they can prove themselves innocent of the crimes charged against them.
The reason why I am bringing this up is my fear that people might forget the significance of this political will exercised by Aquino in bringing these corrupt politicians to face justice and instead elect someone who will just willingly open the gates to free these unscrupulous individuals.
What I am saying is that there are still many more of their ilk out there who should be prosecuted, but because the man who would be the next president in 2016 is against everything that Aquino has done, that everything also will come to naught.
I don’t think this is acceptable.
Many are in favor of what Aquino has done along this path, given the circumstances. It has to be sustained and pursued even more to the hilt if that is the way the poor of this country can attain justice. Servants of the people these arrogant politicians are not.
I am sure Enrile, Estrada, Revilla and the many more politicians in the Ombudsman’s list to be prosecuted are hoping that Jejomar Binay would win. Birds of the same feather, so to say.
Or maybe Grace Poe and Rody Duterte who will easily show nothing but kindness and sympathy to movie stars and politicians now expressing their support for them with their ulterior motives.
I don’t think Estrada, Revilla, and especially Enrile, would want Miriam Santiago or Mar Roxas to win. The same goes with the politicians in the Ombudsman’s list. No easy way out for them.
Thus, it really matters who we elect to succeed Aquino if Filipinos consider the downfall of a Supreme Court chief justice and the arrest and detention of three notable senators of the realm to be a milestone in the democratic history of this country.