Monday, December 21, 2015

Supreme Court can’t decide otherwise

Supreme Court can’t decide otherwise

Whoever conceived the idea of using pork-scammer Janet Napoles to pin down politicians singled out by this administration must surely be afflicted with some kind of subliminal hatred against the very government he is serving.  Even the thought of taking in the longtime confidant of Napoles who turned himself in as whistleblower to make sure this government will have an air-tight case against the three senators namely: Jinggoy Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile and Bong Revilla will not help sanitize them from being involved in the syndicated looting of public funds sarcastically branded in the name of “development.”
It is for this why the public believes the Supreme Court could not render a verdict upholding the legality and constitutionality of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) without irreparably damaging the institution.  

The issue is not that President Aquino down to his Department of the Budget and Management Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad personally met or transacted with Napoles, but on how the latter managed to routinely get hold of those public funds as though she was fetching water from a natural spring.    
To clear ourselves, any criminal cases that will be filed against Napoles, and the three opposition senators could only prosper after a case has been filed  against Abad and his retinue in the DBM, and those do-gooders in the Commission on Audit (COA).  This  tuwid na daan must  file a case, prosecute  and possibly convict Abad and company.  We are saying this because the issue that has to be resolved first which is whether Napoles actually received the money, and spent the funds not in accordance with the purpose to which they were released.  

In which case, Abad will be forced to confess that the looting was made possible because he allowed it to happen.  To put it straight, it must be established that Napoles received the PDAF and the DAP funds from Abad and company before this pathetic government could proceed to file a case against Napoles for plunder and malversation of public funds.  The defense raised by Malacañang that there was no special allotment release order (SARO) to belie the charge of Napoles that Abad also benefited from the PDAF and DAP funds is irrelevant.
Unless and until Abad and COA chairman Grace Pulido-Tan would allege in their defense that the whole scam was accomplished through forgery and falsification,  or that Napoles scooped all the supporting documents including the checks that allowed her to encash them, there is no way they could escape liability.    
Crucial to the sustainability of the criminal cases this pretending-to-be-honest government is contemplating to file against Napoles and against the three senators is for Malacañang and Abad to determine how much was lost as a result of the Napoles pork-barrel scam.   If the government cannot fully account for the amount lost, then the government will have no case against Napoles and the three senators.   In that case only Abad and his subordinates can testify the amount they released to finance those bogus NGOs of Napoles.  Napoles cannot testify against herself.
It is for this reason why the magistrates cannot just proceed to try and possibly convict Napoles and the three senators ahead of Abad and those responsible officials who lackadaisically allowed the release of those funds.  One cannot put the cart ahead of the horse unless those justices are willing to be branded as bunch of loonies because the scam would not have happened had Abad and company not slept on their duties like Rip Van Winkles.
If the release of the funds was characterized by conspiracy and collusion between Abad and Napoles, then there could be no reason to try them separately because in that instance, they acted as co-conspirators to defraud the government of its funds. 
Some may call the demand of Napoles that she be given immunity or be allowed to stand as a state witness as silly.  But there is logic in what she is saying because the crime could not have happened without the indispensible cooperation of Abad, as criminal lawyers would like to put it.  In fact, his liability is heavier, for it was he who made sure the funds will end up in the hands of Napoles.   There is even much doubt Abad could only be guilty of negligence for it now appears that it was he who induced PNoy to approve the release of those funds without any congressional appropriations. But Abad wanted to ingratiate himself by making his boss a financial mogul where he could freely dispose public funds to compel all those corrupt politicians to toe the line. 
Once the Supreme Court declares the DAP unconstitutional and illegal, that automatically could open the door for President Aquino for impeachment for culpable violation of the Constitution.  The High Court cannot just dismiss the nine petitions on the flimsy ground that the questioned act of the President has become moot for reason that he already stopped the practice of releasing funds without any appropriations. That weird theory of the Solicitor General would only prosper if there was a law that was declared unconstitutional, for which the President and Abad could raise the defense of good faith.  In this case, there was a clear constitutional prohibition that PNoy premeditatedly ignored and violated.
Maybe because impeachment cases are considered political rather than criminal in this country, PNoy is confident he could get away with impeachment by just repeating his feat of  bribing the senator-judges this time  to vote for the opposite to  what his yellow horde did to unceremoniously removed Chief Justice Renato Corona.  Moreover, the claim of the World Bank that the illegal practice of the DAP contributed 1.3 percent in the growth of the country’s domestic product since the last quarter of 2012 is plain nonsense, for even if true that could not make an illegal act legal or as one would say non sequitur.
Finally, many are shaking their heads at the view advanced by former Supreme Court Justice Vicente Mendoza that the nine petitions should be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction for failing to exhaust all other remedies before bringing their case to the high court. Alas, at hand is not an administrative case where the petitioners are pleading to be clarified, but are accusing the President for   culpable violation of the Constitution which undeniably is an impeachable offense.  It is for this why the Supreme Court justices cannot just abnegate on their responsibility without being laughed at as chronically biased and spineless sycophants.

No comments:

Post a Comment