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Makati corruption probe can’t go on forever–Santiago

/ 07:30 AM January 23, 2015
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—For Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, only her book “Stupid is Forever” is for all time.

The Senate investigation into the alleged corruption in Makati City should not “go on forever,” she said, especially now that people “seem to be uplifted” after the papal visit.

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“The mood is different now. Some people are looking up to heaven, praying. And then here we are again. It seems we’re going back to the dirt, so I really hope the investigation ends already. And the fastest way to end it is for the [Binay] father and son to hopefully testify so everything will go to the Ombudsman already,” Santiago told a press briefing following a meet-and-greet with fans of her book at the National Bookstore in Glorietta in Makati City on Thursday.

Santiago was referring to Vice President Jejomar Binay, who served as mayor of Makati for almost 20 years, and his son, Junjun Binay, who succeeded him. The two have refused to appear in the Senate investigation into allegedly corrupt deals and contracts in Makati.

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According to Santiago, “if there was any wrongdoing in the past, find out who was responsible for it and let them suffer what the judicial system imposes.”

“But let it not go on forever because only my book, ‘Stupid is forever,’” the senator said, eliciting laughter from reporters.

Santiago said there was a “need to raise the level of our political discourse.”

 

‘Always insulting, hateful’

At present, when people talk of politics, she said it was “always insulting, or we always talk negative terms or we are always hateful or vengeful.”

“Like here in the Senate, with the Vice President, [his alleged wrongdoing] is already so well-known. But the commentaries will not help because either one is for the accused and you’re just willing to defend him unqualifiedly, without any reason, an unreasoning defense, and the other one is so filled with contempt and hatred that all he wants is to displace the Vice President,” she said.

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Santiago said there was a “level of politics” that is “academic, which is restrained, which is courteous to the other party, but can enable the entire citizenry to be enlightened on important topics of the day.”

“Hopefully we could have what I call a higher level of political discourse. Hopefully, we could discuss it as a thesis in political science and then we can educate the masses,” she said.

The masses, “most of all,” need to be “educated particularly before the 2016 elections,” she said.

The masses, after all, “have always liked” to vote for candidates they “just happen to like (nakursonadahan nila).”

“It’s difficult to translate the Filipino concept of kursonada, meaning to say I’ve just decided he or she is whom I want,” she said.

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TAGS: corruption, Jejomar Binay, Makati City, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Senator Santiago, Stupid is Forever
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