Filipinos urged to fight ‘epidemic of scandals’ in gov’t
MANILA, Philippines — There is now an “epidemic of scandals” in government where it’s officials are stricken with “epidermis of pachyderms” and the Filipino people “have no choice but to keep on fighting,” Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said on Friday.
“Those guys are thick-skinned,” Santiago said in a speech before the annual national convention of the Philippine Association of Real Estates Board Inc at the Bellevue Hotel in Muntinlupa, Alabang.
“It used to be said in ancient Rome that Cesar’s wife must be above suspicion. But today, the criminals in high public office consider themselves to be above suspicion, even when the testimonial and documentary evidence is presented, and they have no defines but to cry that the charge is politically motivated. I have news for them. Anything that happens in politics is politically motivated so it’s no defines at all,” she said.
The “epidemic of scandals” began with Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. who have been charged and detained in connection with the “pork barrel” scam.
The epidemic, she said, continued with the airing of documented “dirty-linen” against Vice President Jejomar Binay and his family, who have been accused of amassing unexplained wealth and other irregular activities when he was still the mayor of Makati City.
“The epidemic continues further with present allegations of proliferate abuses by no less than the person who heads the agency which enjoys monopoly of sanctioned legal force against the civilian population,” Santiago said, without saying who she was referring to.
“In all of these and probably in the forthcoming cases, the five-centavo lawyers will claim that their clients enjoy the presumption of innocence. I repeat: Ignorance can be cured, but stupid is forever. When I read the asinine remarks of these cheap lawyers, I am fully convinced that they posses unparalleled mediocrity,” she said.
Santiago said it was “doubly complicate” to fight corruption in the country when the accused pretend to be the champions of honesty and then resort not only to shameless propaganda “but also to all forms of unethical character assassination carried out by expensive and unconscionable media syndicates.”
“But the Filipino people have no choice; we have to keep on fighting. We have to remain adamant in the belief that good will triumph over evil, and that good governance will triumph over corruption,” the senator added.
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