Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla may attack as early as this afternoon in privilege speeches at the Senate floor various parties whom they believe were responsible for including them in the government’s plunder charges against them over the P10 billion PDAF or pork barrel scam.
Last week, Estrada gave hints that he might implicate other senators to the country’s biggest and most controversial graft scandal in decades.
Well and good, especially if the information that he plans to disclose is credible and reliable. The more scalawags are revealed in the Senate, the better it will be for overall governance to improve in our country.
Some media have suggested that Revilla might disclose Malacanang’s use of money to persuade senators to support its bid – which eventually succeeded – to remove Renato Corona as chief justice of the Supreme Court.
Well and good if the information that he discloses is credible. It might show abuse and malpractice by the executive branch of the government.
However, the single most important issue that they should both address in their privilege speeches is for both of them to provide an adequate and clear explanation of their alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam allegedly masterminded by businesswoman Janet Napoles.
They often played roles of macho or tough guys in the movies before they entered politics.
If they’re really tough as what they used to project in the movies, they should be man enough to own up and make a proper accounting of what transpired between them and Napoles. More to the point, they should explain why they deliberately earmarked tens of millions of their annual PDAF allocations to fake non-governmental organizations (NGOs) set up by Napoles which led to massive losses of taxpayers’ money.
They should squarely face up the allegations leveled against them instead of attacking various parties and sidetracking the main issue of the day, i.e. whether they are involved or not in high-level corruption which deprived thousands of farmers and other poor people of multi-billion peso taxpayers’ money which could have gone a long way in reducing poverty and uplifting the lot of the poor.
Their credibility and reputation won’t be helped any if they simply hurl wild and unfounded allegations against fellow senators and the executive branch of the government.
They will still be regarded as white-collar crooks, unworthy of respect and dignity, if they both fail to adequately address the plunder charges that have been filed against them.