Why Janet Lim Napoles is the perfect fall-guy in the Philippines’ P10-bn pork barrel scam

janet_lim_napoles_on_the_runJanet Lim Napoles is now on the run. That makes her the perfect fall guy for the P10-billion “pork barrel scam” that is rocking the Philippines’ political establishment. A high-profile fugitive attracts all the attention and, not necessarily living up to the principle of scientific criminal investigation, all law enforcement resources. Never mind that the pork barrel “scam” is a product of a systemic issue of which Napoles (if the allegations are true) is but one cog in a vast kleptocratic clockwork, The deeply-institutionalised thievery that is Philippine-style pork barrel politics has the following key components in its gravy train:

The President of the Philippines – who formulates the National Budget and consistently includes the pork barrel as a significant chunk of it year in and year out.

Philippine Congress – the state body that, amazingly, approves the National Budget, a big chunk of which involves the very funds that end up in its members’ secret bank accounts.

The Philippines’ financial system – a black-box conduit for mob funds that is hopelessly convoluted by archaic secrecy laws, lax and corrupt regulatory bodies, and tight family ties (many with links to the very law enforcement offices currently “investigating” this case) that greases the cogs.

Where does Napoles fit in the above?

Whatever the answer to that question is does not really matter. She is all but one item in what should be a long list of persons of interest in this case — perhaps one that includes bank executives, NGO managers and sponsors, senators and House representatives, and last but certainly not the least, President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III himself. The latter is where the buck stops as the old cliche goes. BS Aquino, after all, is the man who submits the National Budget proposal and, as such, is the ultimate originator of the pork barrel allocations to begin with. This is the very same man who back in 2010 prematurely trumpeted his place in history as the country’s unprecedented Corruption Killer. Midway through his term, one can say that President BS Aquino is certainly living up to his two-letter initials.

Either way Napoles is screwed. Her now being a fugitive makes her guilty as sin in the Court of Public Opinion. But if she had willingly submitted to the Philippines’ criminal justice system’s “due process” (a proven oxymoron in the Philippines looking back the last couple of years) she would’ve simply gotten a fair trial followed by a fair hanging. The very way with which the Department of Justice exhibited its goal to “arrest” Napoles is, itself, suspect. Why, after all, did a big fanfare-surrounded announcement of the issuance of this arrest warrant have to be made? It is hardly surprising under this light that Napoles had the time to make arrangements for her quick escape.

This is a country after all where crooks rely on family ties and the Philippines’ traditional feudal social infrastructure to remain above the law. Unfortunately, Filipinos’ small-minded approaches to “rooting out” corruption is hardly one that involves a systematic effort. It is based more on personalities — smear campaigns, publicity stunts, media placements, and good old-fashioned demagoguery to distract a famously daft Filipino public from the system of crime itself and focus, instead, on an arbitrary strawman. Unfortunately for Napoles, she is the Strawman of the Month.

Of course, this cat-and-mouse telenovela currently gripping the nation’s finest minds will not be complete without casting the Top Cat — Department of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima who is now in her moment. Tough luck for the country’s top copper. She has a boss who has his hands tied by family ties as her speckled record of trying to get her boss to walk the walk shows….

We were impressed at how [de Lima] pushed the administration to get to the bottom of how a fugitive senator was able to flee the country and then return with no known records whatsoever.

She also handled well the investigation into who really was to blame for the botched rescue operations during the Luneta hostage crisis three years ago. Her report was swift and unequivocal: several officials were in breach of their mandate, and they had to be made accountable.

Unfortunately, her boss, President Aquino, rebuffed her recommendations on both occasions. He quickly rekindled his friendship with the senator—the arrest warrant for whom was voided shortly after he resurfaced. There was no more discussion on why and how a lawmaker would even trifle with the legal and law enforcement systems for his personal benefit.

Similarly, the recommendations to sanction some of the President’s allies fell on deaf ears as they were given mere slaps on the wrist.

Is Napoles really the bad guy here? She is, perhaps, in her small way if the allegations are true. But the real BIG BAD GUY here is the person and his minions who have it entirely within their power to put an end to the disbursement of the Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) — the pork barrel that has become the whole singular point of Congressional politics.

Why is it that all the obvious solutions to Philippine wretchedness are not taken?

It is because Filipinos choose to dance to the tune of the powers-that-be and focus on small fish like Janet Lim Napoles rather than maintain a sniper-like focus on the real crooks that run the country.

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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60 Comments on "Why Janet Lim Napoles is the perfect fall-guy in the Philippines’ P10-bn pork barrel scam"

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libertas
Guest
it was nice of de lima and her keystone cops to give lim napoles a warning to escape, no doubt helped by her number 1 contributor bong revilla. it now turns out bong revilla – who denied even knowing lim napoles – gave a billion peso to her ngi’s and that the business is run by napokes son and revillas son. all politicians want napoles to escape and then no probe and no need for a lot of public huffing and puffing, private pissing and shitting in their pants, and legally a hot line to their lawyers. napoles has enough… Read more »
libertas
Guest

A malacanan stunt a la reyes brothers and all the rest who conveniently escape the country.
Maybe ex-fugitive lacson co-ordinated lim napoles escape. He has form and knowledge and likes to clean up aquinos shit.
De lima now clearly sides with the criminals. What a ridiculous person as DoJ secretary. Absolutely no integrity, or ability.
Atimonan massacre – another dead duck.

libertas
Guest
And in the ‘interview’ ( rather a rambling farce) with the inquirer published today janet lim napoles couldn’t remember the name of her coal company in indonesia that she says made all her money! But also now claims to be very poor and completely innocent! No wonder the napoles family motto is ‘ i couldn’t give a shit’. They are clearly untouchable due to criminals in high places/malacanan protecting them, to save their own skins/exposure. What shameless scum. The values of the philippines – as also exhibited by the other current farce – sex for flight inquiry – is promulgating… Read more »
Weib Cruz
Guest

Ms. Napoles is a dead woman walking. She should come out and tell all. Either she sings or not, a lot of people will want her dead. If she do not sing now, what she knows will always be the sword of Damocles for the Government people involved in the scam.

Simpleton
Guest

Not to defend BS, but is it possible that some influential people could be calling the shots and BS is actually just a puppet? I mean I don’t think he can be devious if his life depended on it.

He may have started out his term with good intentions but maybe right now he could be saying “WTF did I get myself into?”

embarrassed2Bpinoy
Guest

Kakahiyang bansa.

Simpleton
Guest

Gawa na kayo ng article about cardinal tagle crying about this scam 😀

mcalleyboy
Guest
I have seen many groups of brand new vehicles traveling in tandem, flying through Southern Luzon owned by? Wealthy people that look like tagay masters… so many of these types floating around, big money but butt dumb rich nobody’s. Who cares if she’s the fall guy, take one toy at a time from these burglars of public funds and there was mention that many of the Mayors never got their flooding funds, go figure our house was filled half way with water and we got nothing. Good thing she got her fair warning because I don’t think she would make… Read more »
baklang pnoy
Guest

bulok,embarassing

ninjaone
Guest

I love that analysis. But alas, for our showbiz-obsessed public, they just lap up all the drama and never demand a systemic approach to corruption.
“Unfortunately, Filipinos’ small-minded approaches to “rooting out” corruption is hardly one that involves a systematic effort. It is based more on personalities — smear campaigns, publicity stunts, media placements, and good old-fashioned demagoguery to distract a famously daft Filipino public from the system of crime itself and focus, instead, on an arbitrary strawman.”

Jay
Guest

kung ako sakanya, maging whistle blower din sya. name names of the senators and congressmen. sila dapat ang managot. 70% or more percent ang share nila sa scam eh. haha

libertas
Guest

De lima shuts the pigsty gate after the porky pig has bolted.
Is de lima the criminals best friend or just sheer incompetent.

libertas
Guest
The napoles debacle has exposed the legislators lies and hypocricy by their very own words. Justification of pdaf – “local/pet projects” but noone ever publishes list of their pdaf projects (That other crook nograles had it down to a fine art. Nograles of davao would take 90% of pdaf allocation and give 10% to projects, but only if his name appeared on exterior/public and therefore gave impression he funded whole project/many projects. He was a wholesale criminal like napoles.) Reality as per Napoles saga comments – “my chief of staff allocates” I dont know where my pdaf goes” ” never… Read more »
ChinoF
Member

I always found photos showing someone talking on a microphone kinda weird when used as a profile pic for Facebook.

libertas
Guest
The philippines strategy on poverty. Steal from the poor and give to the corrupt, and don’t give a shit. Some congressmen get 1 billion pesos in pork. Some people get pork who are ‘ghost’ congressmen Most are laughing all the way to the bank.( offshore naturally) None will release pdaf expenditure or even saln’s – so much for rhetoric and postulating post corona. Revilla, estrada and money launderer lapid top the list of the corrupt and also the biggest wasters with no contribution to the country. No surprise all has been/ wannabe actors with no interest in pokirics other than… Read more »
libertas
Guest

no doubt napoles spent this week emptying her bank accounts/transferring abroad.
next de lima will think about freezing accounts.
too late idiot

phantonmagnum
Guest

I see the whole incident as a sham, a way to divert attention from the issues like even more corruption (especially yellow allies),unemployment, poverty and rise of hunger.

Benjo
Guest

is this woman capable of ‘DETAINING’ a guy for 3 months? OH boy, something stinks in Manila and it ain’t just the bay. there are arrest warrants at all exits in the country and she is not going anywhere, unless she already left, gets help leaving OR is just plain fuckin dead!
would not want to be that woman, no no no no no!

Andrew
Guest

Good one.

Now, perhaps the underlying problem lies in the 87 Constitution. The President has fewer powers than the US President – he or she needs the PDAF to bribe the Senators and Congresscritters into doing what the President wants.

Thomas Jefferson
Guest

BS Aquino knows what is going on in the Congress and is part of the culture of corruption. Why? He has a huge PHP 1 trillion pork barrel. No auditing and no accounting. He has the power of the purse and controls the lower house and the senate. BS Aquino knows about the racket of Napoles through his administration allies in the legislature. Do not think that BS is entirely innocent. He is guilty as hell!