Scandalous Jinggoy never learns

Former senator JinggoyEstrada

I am talking of course about former senator Jinggoy Estrada, who until today and after spending 3 years in detention for plunder and graft charges relative to the scandalous P10-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), seems to have never learned to change his old ways.

The reason why I am emphasizing his individuality and ethos is because Estrada, an actor and a failed senator, is contemplating again in running for senator, and to think that he is just out on bail momentarily.

As if the plunder and graft charges against him are not shameful and degrading to his persona, enough to put him at the higher pedestal of corrupt government officials, it, however, shows no negative effect on him as he continues to beguile Filipinos with impunity.

Take for instance Estrada’s application for a travel motion to go to the US from April 21 to May 31, 2018. Accordingly, the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan granted the motion on March 26 since it is a simple travel motion that the court almost always grants for defendants.

The problem, however, is that the scheming Estrada, not contented with just the travel motion request to the US, flaunted it as having been invited to speak in Michigan on Philippine affairs, and it was upon the invitation of the US Pinoys for Good Governance (USPGG).

It was even reported that Estrada attached an invitation from William Dechavez, identified in the letter as USPGG president.

Apparently, this grandstanding by Estrada was debunked by no less than the incumbent USPGG president himself, Mr. Rodel Rodis, who issued a statement, saying: “I can confirm that there is no planned USPGG event on May 20 in Michigan. I communicated with Mr Wllie Dechavez, our USPGG Michigan chair, and he made no plans for this event as he is in the Philippines for a vacation and he has not been in touch with his members in Michigan.”

If this is not another reprehensible and dastardly act by Estrada, worthy of condemnation and boycott on his senatorial run again, I do not know what is.

Because of this fraudulent turn of events, the Ombudsman prosecutors told the Sandiganbayan: “With this information, the prosecution is constrained to pray that the Honorable Court hold in abeyance the issuance of the travel authority of accused Estrada since accused appears to have committed material misrepresentations in his motion, thus openly violating one of the terms and conditions of the court in allowing an accused to travel.

They added: “Allowing accused Estrada to travel to the United States with the consequence of making him beyond the reach of the Honorable Court, despite the falsity of the purported invitation letter, may constitute a travesty of justice.”

Jinggoy with President Duterte at the Palarong Pambansa 2018.opening.

Yet, unabashedly, Estrada continues his odious quest for a slot in the PDP-Laban senatorial slate for 2019 by working hard to be under the good graces of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Look how Estrada tries hard to ingratiate himself to the president by showing his slavish subservience – shaking the president’s hand and bowing so low.

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Ex-President Arroyo back in detention

Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

Former President and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) has been doing what a normal reelectionist politician does upto the filing of her certificate of candidacy for the 2013 elections, but a day after she learned that the Sandiganbayan, an anti-graft court, had issued an arrest order for her, she immediately sought admission at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) for her lingering spinal illness.

Apparently, the Sandiganbayan denied GMA’s motion for reconsideration of the arrest warrant filed by her lawyers, saying it found “no cogent reason to modify or disturb” its earlier order for her arrest. The court affirmed that she “performed various acts” to “surreptitiously divert public funds sourced from PCSO’s operating budget for personal gain.”

And so they proceeded to serve the warrant against her inside the VMMC presidential suite. “Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is now under the custody and detention of the Philippine National Police,” Senior Superintendent Napoleon Coronel told reporters outside the hospital shortly after she was arrested.

It will be noted that GMA has been out on bail since late July for the electoral sabotage case filed against her in connection with the 2007 senatorial elections. She had spent eight months in hospital arrest since Nov. 15 last year, first at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City, then at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center starting last December until she was granted bail.

Since then, GMA has been in and out of VMMC undergoing therapy for her displaced titanium implant in her spine. She has also tried an alternative treatment facility in Tagaytay City, as well as tap water and salt water treatments.

This time around, however, is different as the plunder case she faces is a non-bailable offense.

The plunder case filed against GMA is for her alleged misuse of a P366-million intelligence fund of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

Whether this new case will aggravate GMA’s condition or not remains to be seen.

What is important is to get on with the case now that the Sandiganbayan feels that they have a strong case against the former president.

“We do not file cases if we do not believe that our evidence is strong,” President Aquino said. “We do not file cases only to be embarrassed in the end because we have a weak case.”

“We have been criticized why it took us some time to file cases but we just want to make sure we will be able to hold accountable those who violated our laws,” he added.

Well and good. This is what the people would like to see happening. And there is no better example, than seeing a former leader suffer the consequences of her action.

Let the wheel of justice move diligently and expeditiously so we will get this scandalous case over with, but not at the expense of having a false martyr glorified if, God forbids, something happens to her.

Marcos kleptocracy still haunts us today

It continues to remain mind-boggling how a blatant crime committed by the Filipino despot Marcos 27 years ago is haunting us even today.

The latest ruling by the anti-graft court, the Sandiganbayan, ordering Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Romualdez Marcos to return P10 million of the alleged illegally withdrawn money from the National Food Authority (NFA) that was deposited to the strongman’s private account 27  years ago (in 1983), is simply reliving the sordid past we had under the dictatorial regime.

“The unaccounted and unjustified transfer of the P10-million NFA funds to a private bank was highly irregular and illegal,” read the decision.

There is legitimacy in the decision by the Sandiganbayan, but at the same time, can there be finality and closure to this dark episode in our nation’s history?

Can there be an absolute retribution from the Marcoses for the alleged stolen wealth from the government coffers and the purportedly brazen crimes committed against the nation and its people now that the Marcos family is back in power?

What this is simply, is a shameless show of impotency by government in the useless charade of going after the Marcoses, the glaring mockery of justice, and the continued, naked affront of the sensitivities of the Filipino people.

Can government act decisively, once and for all, against whatever they have on the Marcoses?