Philippine Senate ‘probe’ on pork mule Ruby Tuason a complete waste of time

The thing with Senate “probes” is they really don’t amount to much beyond serving as a sideshow to a Filipino public hungry for tele-intriga. Presumably, a legislative body getting involved in a criminal investigation is investing that time in the aid of legislation. What kind of legislation will be an outcome of this latest Senate inquiry into whistleblower Ruby Tuason’s involvement in the pork barrel scam? The answer to that question, in principle, is a no-brainer. The continued handing out of pork by Malacanang (under whatever disguise this is done using whatever terminology in aid of said disguise) has clear legislative solutions. Suffice to say, however, expecting the on-going Senate “probe” to result in the implementation of laws to eliminate the banal thievery surrounding these taxpayer-funded slush funds is only setting one’s self up for disappointment.

Ruby Tuason: Sandwich delivery chick or pork donkey?

Ruby Tuason: Sandwich delivery chick or pork donkey?

No. This Senate “probe” is all but a stage for Philippine senators to do what they are really only good at (besides skimming off “commissions” from their pork allocations) — grandstanding and covering their asses.

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Step back first and consider the core truth about the Senate. The Philippine Senate is really all about pork. The Upper House has always struggled to justify its existence. Its relevance has long been the subject of debate. Indeed, no less than current Senate President Franklin Drilon once proposed that the Senate be abolished if Philippine Senators are deprived of their pork. “Let’s just abolish Congress then,” he even said.

There you go. According to Drilon, there really is no point in being a Senator without pork. To allow a body whose whole existence is all about pork to investigate a pork scam is ridiculous to say the least.

But just the same, it’s all happening. That’s the Philippines for you.

So going back to this whole Ruby Tuason circus, yesterday’s (13th Feb 2014) “hearing” and the overall inquiry on pork thievery is irrelevant to the government function of legislation. The centrepiece of that session was a pitting of Senator Jinggoy Estrada’s assertion that Tuason merely brought him sandwiches versus Tuason’s claim that she was, as a matter of fact, bringing him wads of cash.

Which of the two accounts represents the truth?

Dude, that is not even asking the right question. The intelligent question to ask here is this:

Why are we even wasting time on this farce?

To be fair, it is because there really is no intelligent debate in the Philippines that this simple question never came up. The truth will not come out in these Senate “probes”. It never did and it never will. It does not come out when Senators are investigating cases that do not involve their own, and it sure as hell will not come out when they investigate a case in which the accused is among their ranks.

The Senate “pork probe” is no more than an astoundingly expensive and unnecessary step that slows Tuason’s on-going journey from the airport to the witness stand in a real court of law. It does not take a rocket scientist to come up with the legislative agenda needed to rid the country of pork thievery forever. Pork thievery involves Senators in a profound way, which means that between themselves these Senators already possess enough collective expertise on pork thievery to craft the necessary laws to end it.

Kagaguhan talaga.

Best thing to do is to stop this “Blue Ribbon” nonsense and put Tuason and all the other persons-of-interest in this scam on the fast lane to a proper Philippine court. That is, of course, if we are all serious about solving Pinoy-style pork barrel thievery.

13 Replies to “Philippine Senate ‘probe’ on pork mule Ruby Tuason a complete waste of time”

  1. The Senate probes are a waste of time and I don’t need to convince anyone the President controls the Senate and Congress. So the probes yield nothing. Well the problem with the President is he himself actually enjoys probes. Just not probes designed to investigate irregularities. The same probes that Eric Cartman is known to have endured.

  2. I thought the pork barrel has been declared unconstitutional by the SC? So why the need to come up with any form of legislation about it if indeed this whole Senate probe on the pork barrel scam is being done in aid of legislation? The only good thing that can come out of this is for them to realize that the Senate itself has to be abolished.

    1. There was a time when it was worth it to defend the continued existence of our bicameral legislature. Lately, it’s become an untenable position. If we had politicians of a higher calibre, the continued expense might be justifiable. As such, if we abolished the Senate tomorrow, I doubt anyone would miss them. In fact we’d probably feel the benefits immediately by not having to spend several billion Pesos on a gang of clueless blowhards who contribute nothing but hot air, mire us in pointless public spectacles — “in aid of legislation” — and waste taxpayer money. Even Enrile’s former Chief of Staff, Gigi Reyes, once expressed disgust at how the Senate wastes our money. For that alone I’d support a shift to a unicameral legislature. It may not improve the quality of our politicians but at least there won’t be two chambers in Congress to waste our money.

      1. Saint@

        Excellent idea. Don’t you have to amend the constitution in order to do that? Could it be done through a plebiscite?

        1. Article VI, Section 2 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution states:

          “The Senate shall be composed of twenty-four Senators who shall be elected at large by the qualified voters of the Philippines, as may be provided by law.”

          No justification or explanation is given apart from a seemingly arbitrary decision to use twenty-four as a nice round number.

          Article VI, Section 1 states:

          “The legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives, except to the extent reserved to the people by the provision on initiative and referendum.”

          Technically this provision allows for a referendum to be called to change the structure of the legislature without having to change the charter. Given that there really is no reason to maintain two legislative bodies, if this idea were to gain traction, the existing law is sufficient to handle it.

          It just needs people to have the will to undertake the challenge.

  3. This reminds me of my high school’s Mutli-purpose A/V Hall. This is what the PH Senate House is now, a hall of multiple purposes. At least our school’s Multi-purpose A/V Hall proved to be useful.

  4. The truth will not come out in these Senate “probes”. It never did and it never will. It does not come out when Senators are investigating cases that do not involve their own, and it sure as hell will not come out when they investigate a case in which the accused is among their ranks.

    Nailed it. This Blue Ribbon probe is nothing but a cul-de-sac at the end of the bumpy road. The Senate cannot issue a sentence for the accused. Once this is all over, the hooked public will get nada.

  5. Porky Drillon who survive on Pork Barrels; want to abolish the Senate…with all what these Senators are doing; being used by Aquino and his cahoot media to deflect his being the most corrupt…we should not only abolish the Senate….they should be all thrown to jail. If common people like me, steal 1,000 pesos. I will go to jail for it. If Senators, Presidents, high government officials steal , millions of peso, even billion of pesos. They hug the media limelight, in investigations. And, are even elected to higher positions/offices. Enjoying their loots, that are our tapayers’ money.

    Something is Rotten in our country…

  6. Look, in the Philippines, the fox guards the hen house.

    and when the fox gets caught with feathers in his mouth,WHAT HAPPENS? The fox turns around and gets his buddies, the other foxes, to “Look into the matter.”.

    What a batch of bull-shit. The country reeks of the stench emanating from these swindlers!

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