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The judges are worse than the ‘criminal’

/ 01:10 AM November 15, 2014

It looks like some of those who judged former Chief Justice Renato Corona in his impeachment trial at the Senate are themselves more corrupt —much, much more corrupt—than he was, if the accusations hurled against them  are found to be true.

Corona’s offense of filing an incorrect statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN)—is very minor compared to some legislators who allegedly plundered the people’s coffers.

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As the saying goes, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

How swift  karma came to  senators as well as members of the House of Representatives who sent the impeachment complaint against Corona to the Senate.

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If this were Japan, many of those whose names were mentioned in the list of alleged pork barrel scam queen Janet Lim-Napoles would have committed hara-kiri.

They would have disemboweled themselves with a katana, or Japanese sword, out of shame.

But this is not Japan—this is the Philippines where being tagged corrupt is  a badge of honor  for  some.

* * *

I’m disappointed with a legislator who was my friend when he was still an Army colonel during the last few years of the Marcos regime.

When I visited the colonel at his office in Camp Aguinaldo, he showed me an aquarium with several piranhas from the Amazon River in South America. Piranhas  can  turn a human being into a skeleton in seconds.

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This colonel had a name for each piranha.

“This is General So-and-So, and that’s General Blankety-Blank, and on the far side is General So-and-So,” said the colonel, an avowed hater of corruption in the military at that time.

The generals, after whom he named some of his piranhas, brought shame to the Armed Forces, the colonel said.

That was several months before the Edsa Revolution of 1986 wherein he played a big role.

This military officer-turned-legislator is on the Napoles list.

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Former Sen. Ping Lacson shouldn’t have meddled in the Napoles “list” since he already  has his hands full attending to the needs of the victims of Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”

Lacson, the rehabilitation czar of Eastern Visayas, could have handed the list over to another person and let that person expose it.

Or, he could just have forgotten about the list since the guy who gave it to him, Janet’s husband Jimmy, didn’t sign it.

Of what use is a list that destroys other people’s reputations, especially those of Ping’s former colleagues, if it was not signed?

The lure of the TV camera and the sight of his name and pictures in the newspapers must have been too tempting for Ping to resist getting into the fray.

Remember, there are three, nay four, lists: Lacson’s, the one being held by the “queen” of whistle-blowers, Sandra Cam; the one of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

The fourth , of course, is the  list provided by government state witness Benhur Luy to the Inquirer.

Ping’s list is the most unreliable since it is unsigned,  given by a person who himself was involved in scams victimizing the government.

Jimmy Napoles, a former Marine major, was allegedly involved years ago in a deal  supplying Marines with Kevlar helmets which were later found to be of inferior quality.

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TAGS: Chief Justice Renato Corona, Graft and Corruption, Napoles, PDAF
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