Why Jinggoy Failed To Surprise Us

Saving ourselves from combined exhaustion, disappointment and boredom of going through it, the privilege speech delivered Wednesday by Sen. Jinggoy Estrada can be summed up in three words – WHY ONLY US?

He started with media’s haphazard sensationalizing of the pork barrel scandal resulting in public opinion largely prejudicial and detrimental to him and to senators Enrile and Revilla. He likewise criticized the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee for trying to ‘play to the gallery by making snide remarks while asking the witnesses about the identity of an alias of a senator involved.’

‘Why play this up when there have already been reports in the media on this and which I have vehemently denied. Why play up this issue?’

He then proceeded spitting out, rather with fire and fury, all the other questionable transactions of certain lawmakers  and local government units (LGUs) either deliberately or conveniently overlooked and kept hidden from public awareness.

He focused initially on questioning the PDAF allocations of Rep. Neptali ‘Boyet’ Gonzales III of Mandaluyong as well as of ‘An Waray’ Rep. Florencio Noel. Most of his accusations were based on incomplete, defective or selective COA audit reports made public by COA Chairman Grace Pulido-Tan. It seemed that his sources had uncovered anomalous transactions by both congressmen like the alleged P28.7 Million ghost projects of Mandaluyong City and the rather amusing P6 Million hamburgers among others. In Noel’s case, he alleged that the party-list representative spent P25 Million of his PDAF in Mandaluyong City, when in fact, by his own logic, should be intended for ‘waray’ provinces like Samar, Biliran and Leyte.

jinggoy speech
Sen. Jinggoy Estrada (Photo: filamusa.com)

He went on to castigate the Commision On Audit, specifically its chairman, Mrs. Pulido-Tan for her deficient and half-baked audit reports seemingly biased against the three of them.

‘But we believed that we have been specifically singled out by the COA. The Comission on Audit finally came out with the results of their special audit covering only – I repeat very emphatically Mr. President – covering only the years 2007, 2008 and 2009.’

He emphasized the incompleteness and partiality of the COA report by enumerating several unaccounted PDAF of the likes of Cong. Abad (wife of DBM Sec. Florencio Abad), Neil Tupas, Isidro Ungab, Sen. Cayetano, Sen. Trillanes and even former Sen. Mar Roxas, while theirs were scrutinized expeditiously. Even the COA chair’s jet-setting was chided by the senator.

But perhaps, the only ‘startling’ revelations that stirred up the consciousness of those who were slowly getting bored was about the P50 Million pesos purportedly distributed to those who voted in favor of impeaching the former Chief Justice Renato Corona. Waving a folded letter in the air for a few seconds before securely slipping it back to his pocket, he announced that the private and confidential note was received by each who impeached the former CJ including himself. He however reiterated that it did not affect his decision whatsoever:

‘I maintained however, Mr. President that I stand in my decision in my vote to convict the former chief justice and assure the people that I was never influenced by this incentive which came after the fact.’

His conclusion, is what we can take as the best part of the speech, for articulating what everybody else believed;

‘Mr. President, I believed that we are all victims of a flawed system which is so ingrained that it has become institutionalized…There has been a clamor from the people to abolish PDAF and to hold accountable those who have bastardized the system  for their own vested interest

By and large, Sen. Jinggoy’s speech seemed to tell a lot of things, in the same sense that it told us nothing. It has been a foregone conclusion that corruption thrives in Congress as well as in all nooks and niches of government offices. What he revealed was not there to surprise us, but to reaffirm our distrust towards our public officials.

It vaguely traversed on the aspect of honesty, disclosure and transparency. In fact, it compounded our skepticism about the government’s ability to be truthful. He could have defended himself against the charges hurled against him when he took the floor and assert his innocence. After all, that’s what everyone else expected.

But he opted to take an uncommon way of admitting guilt by showing that he is not alone to be condemned.

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  1. Sa intindi ko sa move niyang to he is trying to point out that thesystem monitoring these transactions is so crappy that we cannot pinpoint people doing anomalous and not. He is trying to say that his transactions are not the problem but the system we take note of things. it is quite evasive i should say on a technical manner. he is trying to widen the scope of the investigation. Why-focus-on-me-when-there-is-a-bigger-picture tactic.

    • Bottomline is wag lang po ako ang hulihin niyo. Na explain na ng writer sa ” uncommon way of admitting guilt by showing that he is not alone to be condemned”. Kahit na sabihin mo na mali ang systema, naging parte ka lang sa systema na yan so there are no excuses for you. Bakit pag nahuli ka ng MMDA, sasabihin mo ba “bakit iyun iba?”. Malas mo lang na ikaw iyun nahuli ng MMDA.

  2. bobo tlga!sino kaya gumawa ng speech nya!imbes idepensa ang sarili,pra na din nya inamin na totoo ang report tungkol sa PDAF nya!nandamay pa ng ibang kasamahan!bobo tlga ipinahamak na nmn ang sarili!mag-aral ka muna uli!

  3. True. We have to look at a broader spectrum and we can see that it is not just these three who are corrupt, but I believe that it goes from the highest office to the barangay levels. And we, the people and voters must also look into ourselves. How do we vote? Do we vote for the deserving candidate, or do we vote for a candidate because he/she comes from an already established political family, a good sportsman or actor or we accepted money from the candidate? It takes two to tango, and while there are voters who don’t vote intelligently, we will always have corrupt officials. We need to change. Not when, but NOW!

    • I hate to burst your bubble but it doesn’t matter who you vote for they are all corrupt! The way our system is built is you need money to market yourself as a politician if you don’t have money people could back you (and ask for under the table deals and bills that favor them). To run for mayor level position it takes 50 million pesos for an effective campaign alone. Do you think these people who spend that much for the low salary they will get for just a few years term?

      • There may no longer be any honest politician because corruption is now ingrained in our system. That is why, I am suggesting change, not only for the voters but for the whole system of government. Why not try the Parliamentary system?

        • Corruption is not dependent on the type of government. The type of government is just a type. Corruption is dependent on the people doing the corruption. The main problem is how to remove them and who do you replace them with because not everyone has work experience in public governance. It is very different from corporate governance where your goal in governing is for profit only.

          • @Ryan Santos, yes I agree with you, “corruption is not dependent on the type of government” it is “..dependent on the people doing …”. Your statement relates to the mindset of every persons, whether she or he is politician or not. The basic and foremost is: nothing wrong with the system, it is the people doing wrong within the system. So, the change must start from the mind, the heart or the soul of a man. The heart of a man is the place for right or wrong. The question is, can man always do the right thing? History will tell that never,(not) man was able to built an honest system, because man by himself is corrupt. If he is corrupt, can he build a system that is righteous? The answer is NO. However, if our system is run by people who fear God and who does the will of God, then we can be assured that a right system will come. So long we are corrupt, flawed culture, polluted religion, the system we want to happen cannot come. Let the mind be right, we can have a just and righteous system. The system is product of the mind.

          • You can still reset the system while retaining the democratic form of government. Sabi mo po change to parliament. What you are just doing is changing to a different form of government where we do not know who is corrupt and not because we do not have “work” experience in that form of government. You can make Singapore as a good example of a government wherein people are in power and you cannot vote them out because they are in a parliamentary form of government. Kung parliament po tayo baka hangang ngayon si Marcos pa rin ang presidente/prime minister. Tama ka po with checks and balance and para sa akin mas ok gawin siya in a form of government kung saan may work experience na tayo.

            Atsaka “if our system is run by people who fear God and who does the will of God”, so are you saying we should have priests in our government because there are no officially holy people except for priests and dead saints. Bumalik na lang kaya tayo sa panahon ng mga kastila. Did that work out for us? Tama ka na man was never able to build an honest system so why trust man now? So para sa akin lesser of 2 evils iyun retain ang system pero wag niyo iboto iyun mga tao na nahuling nangungurakot kaysa lilipat tayo sa parliament system na walang kasiguraduhan kung aayusin nya problema natin o hindi. May problema nga sa sistema pero may kakayahan ba tayo mag palit ng sistema. Parang sa mga IT systems ng mga bangko, maraming bangko pa rin ay nasa COBOL kasi masyadong mahal at masakit magpalit ng sistema. Para kang mga newbie software developer na hindi niya mapagana ang sistema mag suggest sa kanyang manager na palitan buong sistema when ang solution ay mag bug fixing at mag maintainance work. Ito rin ang solution para sa atin. We have a working democratic system at pwede natin siya ayusin. Ang pwede natin palitan iyun mga tao na nasa loob ng sistema kasi hindi mo rin naman kayang palitan ang sistema. Kelangan mo pa rin bumoto para sa mga tao na papalit ng sistema kung papalitan nga natin siya.

  4. I hate to burst your bubble but it doesn’t matter who you vote for they are all corrupt! The way our system is built is you need money to market yourself as a politician if you don’t have money people could back you (and ask for under the table deals and bills that favor them). To run for mayor level position it takes 50 million pesos for an effective campaign alone. Do you think these people who spend that much for the low salary they will get for just a few years term wouldn’t find a way to make that money back? If you guys think there is a single politician who isn’t corrupt your living in a dream world. Go with Peter Pan to never never land!

  5. I pray to God that Bong Revilla will do his own revelation of things we still don’t know. . and so with Senator Johnny Enrile. The more they open up, the better for the Filipino people because these are things held so very tightly within the confines of the halls of the Philippine Senate. After all, these guys are a bunch of trash now. Nothing will be lost anymore. They have already been judged … the only remaining moment for them to earn some sympathy from the Filipino people is to let us all know how our sick system made a fool of us all…

  6. Then why are you so defensive Mr. Senator? If you know you’re not guilty of the crime then shut up and let the court decide. The more you make speeches the more foolish you’ll become in front of the crowd.

  7. pare-pareho lang mga politiko,magnanakaw!bahay lang nila at bulsa pinapalaki,ang pera ng mga mahihirap ayaw nila ibigay dahil gusto nila ibulsa!mgawalang hiya.kung sino pang mahihirap yun pa ang pagnanakawan!

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