Monday, December 21, 2015

Abad and company’s criminal liability PART TWO

Abad and company’s criminal liability

Part II
The move of this misguided government to grant that socialite the status of a state witness without her being first charged in court after her admission that it was she who acted to get hold of the government money is highly suspicious.   That means she admitted to have played the role in withdrawing the money from the custody of the government which was made possible because one guy named Florencio Abad was, as they say, “natutulog sa pancitan.” 

Tuason’s narration that she gave the money to Senator Jinggoy Estrada is a mere ploy to save her own skin.  Her allegation that the senator benefited from the crime she committed could cause diarrhea to Secretary De Lima and Ombudsman Morales, for that means Tuason will have “to lay down the predicate” that she masterminded the whole show. That now puts in question whether she is qualified to become a state witness.
By her own account, she now appears to be the most guilty, a co-principal with   Secretary Abad.   Anyway one would look at it, there was connivance and collaboration between the two and Napoles to ensure that the  fund would be able to slip through tight government control.  On the contrary, there is nothing in her allegation that she, together with those senators (Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada) collaborated and confederated to consummate the crime.  Maybe she confederated with the now detained Napoles, but still Tuason and Napoles will have to pass through the gauntlet of the DBM which has become a faucet where one will just have to open it to fetch water freely.
Tuason’s claim that she had the  authority from the senators is completely misleading because they never participated in facilitating the release of the public funds, except by virtue of their request to have this or that project funded.  The heist in that circumstance should be understood as the act of getting the money out of  government control, and in that case, it appears she, together with Abad or his subordinates, acted to materialize that objective.    Maybe she can claim the senators benefited from her stunt, but that is something she has to prove in another case.  What she admitted is  she committed the heist allegedly in the name of the senators.
We are saying this because the law with which Tuason and Napoles used as their vehicle to rob the government of its funds, Republic Act No. 9184, or the Procurement Activities of the Government, was completely ignored.  Why the money ended up in the hands of bogus NGOs or to people pretending to be do-gooders is Secretary Abad’s responsibility.    Common sense will tell that no swindler is going to tell his victim beforehand of what he is about to do.
 That will be most difficult for Tuason to explain because she is not supposed to get hold of those funds, but only to identify the projects conceived by the senator she represents.  The funds released by the DBM or by the Technology Resource Center just the same had to be coursed through the NGOs, and if they turned out to be bogus, that again would revert back as the sole responsibility of Abad and of  Director Dennis Cunanan.
  Moreover, Tuason’s claim that she handed the money to the senators is an implied clearance to the senators that they did not participate in committing the heist to get the money out of government control.   Yes, they benefited from the proceeds of her crime, but as stated, she will have to sweat and prove that in a different case.  That surely would put on the spot the eagerness of Secretary De Lima and Ombudsman Morales on whether or not to grant immunity to her as state witness when it is apparent she, together with some Malacanang appointed officials, connived, collaborated and confederated to get hold of the huge fund  that should have been allocated to the teeming number of our people who are hungry, malnourished, sick, unemployed, and poor.  In short, Tuason is as guilty as Napoles and Abad as co-principal.
The room for Secretary Abad to escape criminal liability has become tight that one could not imagine how he could possibly exonerate himself.   The only thing sensible people could think of is for Secretary Abad to point to the man  who adopted the slogan of “kung walang kurap walang mahirao” as the brains.   His rebranding of the pork barrel to skip bureaucratic red tape by calling it “Disbursement Acceleration Program” (DAP), entertaining the silly thought it would suffice to meet the constitutional requirement of appropriation, is indicative of an attempt to create a syndicate specializing in the diversion of funds to finance  fake projects through fake NGOs.     
The novel idea was to systematize the bribing of every senator and congressman in what is called “political horse trading” but at the people’s expense.   That in effect could make President Aquino most powerful, and he need not resort to such extraordinary and emergency powers to discipline those corrupt politicians who have their insatiable appetite for money.   Unlike the common practice of bribery where businessmen have to advance their own money to bribe public officials to secure the release of certain favor from the government, the system instituted by Abad is to use the money paid by our taxpayers to bribe members of both houses and certain elected officials for them to observe on what they are told to do without going through the constitutional requirement of an appropriations.
This explains why, and despite the announcement made by this pretending-to-be honest government that there will no longer be any pork barrel beginning this year has  been treated as a big joke for the fact that close to one half of the more than P2 trillion budget has been allocated to the Office of the President.  That means PNoy  now has at his disposal is a huge political war chest to make or unmake the ambition of  many politicians.  In the words of Senator Joke Arroyo, that could result in a “financial dictatorship” because the huge amount is equivalent a carte blanche check that nobody in Congress and even in the High Tribunal would  have the guts to challenge the authority of “the most popular President” the country ever had.

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