“The truth lies in the early actuations of the guilty.” — The Author
The Case of Angelo Reyes
Remember the initial response of former Defense chief Angelo Reyes when he was questioned by the Senate about the “pabaon” that Lt. Col. George Rabusa, a former military budget officer, accused him of receiving when he retired as the AFP chief?
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“Hindi ko po natatandaan na tumatanggap ako ng ganyan. Hindi ako santo (pero) hindi po ako tumatanggap ng iligal (I don’t remember receiving anything like that. I am not a saint but I don’t accept anything that is illegal),” he said during the Senate hearing.
Unfortunately, the English translation does not reveal the nuances of the statement in Filipino. The apparent “off-the-cuff” response of Reyes is loaded with meaning. It’s as if the subconscious of Reyes was encoded in two sentences, like a cryptograph in The Da Vince Code begging to be decoded to relieve himself of guilt.
For starters, in response to a bombshell accusation such as the one hurled by Rabusa, an innocent man or a man who has mastered the art of the “Big Lie”—neither of which is Reyes—would be brimming with righteous indignation. That man’s response to the accusation would be along the lines of, “The accusation is false. I did not receive any of the amounts mentioned by Rabusa. He is lying and that’s the truth.” Instead, Reyes sputters a lame refutation like a stonewalling Mafia stooge in a US congressional hearing during the Prohibition Era, “I don’t remember receiving anything like that.”
Which raises the question, what does he remember receiving? Reyes offers a glimpse of an answer. He says he does not accept anything that is illegal, which implies that he does accept that which, in his mind, are not illegal. However, this claim is prefaced and, in fact, negated by my favourite smoking gun, “I am not a saint.” In other words, he does accept that which is questionable, unethical and, most probably, illegal. Reyes responded in a desperate attempt to (a) dodge an accusation and (b) appear honest at the same time. On both counts, he failed miserably.
Angelo Reyes had two interesting questions when the senators agreed to allow him to cross-examine George Rabusa. One, did he interfere in “the preparation and distribution of the provisions for command-directed activities”? Two, was he greedy?
In the mind of Reyes, it appears that as long as (a) he did not interfere in the preparation and distribution of the provisions for command-directed activities and (b) he was not greedy, then he should be off the hook. It doesn’t take a genius to conclude that Reyes dug himself into a deeper hole. (Read Conrado de Quiros’s “Method in the Madness”.)
Later, after Senator Trillanes accused Reyes as the “powerful person” behind Garcia in his plea bargaining agreement with government prosecutors, Reyes declared, “Before man and the Almighty, I know in my conscience that I am not and will never be that ‘powerful person’.”
That’s more like it. A kneejerk reaction with just the appropriate dose of righteous indignation from a man who is not really accustomed to the application of the Big Lie. Hence, in this instance, I am inclined to believe Reyes.*
The subsequent denials and press releases of Angelo Reyes don’t really matter as these were under the auspices of lawyers and spin-doctors intended to control the initial and irreparable damage that Reyes inflicted upon himself. The rest, as the saying goes, is history. Reyes shot himself because he couldn’t live with himself. Read “PMA Stands for Philippine Magnanakaw Academy”.
The Case of Tanda
A brilliant, opportunistic and ruthless cad; did anyone say Johnny Ponce Enrile? How else could one characterize a man who, throughout his lifelong career navigating the treacherous minefields of Philippine politics, consistently emerges at the top of the dung heap? (Read “The Three Kings of UNA”) A man who, by his wife’s account, has had at least 38 infidelities “sprinkled” throughout their 56 years of marriage. A man who, to save his own hide, would allow his long-standing mistress cum Chief of Staff to be fed to the wolves.
Johnny instinctively knew that it would be difficult to extricate himself from the PDAF scam. The revelations were just too close to home that the Big Lie or, in this case, a blanket denial to protect his entire enterprise would only serve to dig a deeper grave. Enter Enrique dela Cruz, one of the many pit bulls of Johnny, charged with the first order of business: damage control. Dela Cruz rounds up the media and pins the blame on Gigi.
Like any stooge, Dela Cruz wouldn’t dare move unless commanded by his boss. Hence, the early actuations of Johnny the Cad, albeit in survival mode, are absolutely, spot-on true to character. More importantly, pinning the blame on Gigi is an admission that PDAF scams did indeed occur at the office of Senator. Except that the Senator had no knowledge of and therefore had nothing to do with these scams, which were entirely instigated by Gigi—according to the Senator. Clearly not the most believable press release and possibly not one of the characteristically brilliant moves of the Senator; however, he still managed to achieve two things: (a) he floated a trial balloon to determine whether or not he can get away with pinning the blame on Gigi while (b) providing himself deniability for doing the same by using Dela Cruz. Of course, we all know the answer of Gigi. Essentially, “I may be a whore but I don’t eat shit of old farts. Beware the wrath of a woman scorned!” Noteworthy was the silence of Dela Cruz when subsequently asked by media whether or not his earlier statements (i.e., pinning the blame on Gigi) were sanctioned by Johnny; that is, after Johnny backpedalled and stated that “I’m not up to betray any of my people.”
The fact is, Johnny overestimated the loyalty of Gigi. He thought she would “fall on her sword” to save him. However, as Cristina pointed out, Johnny kept Gigi “too long”; hence, the over-ambitious tramp got accustomed to all the perks that came along with Johnny—the whole shebang, if you will, to the point she was widely regarded as the “25th Senator”. After all these years, she wasn’t going to be relegated like any ordinary lackey and hung out to dry. No sir! She had the goods on the Senator and she was going to drag him straight to hell if he didn’t change his tune. That’s probably around the time Johnny’s blood pressure shot-up (and he was confined at the Makati Medical Center for a few days), when he finally realized little ol’ Gigi wouldn’t toe the line.
In due course, the Diabolical Duo agree on a joint offensive and pin the blame on the quintessential lackey (read “Screw the Lapdogs and Out with the Big Fish”)—the deputy chief of staff, Jose Antonio V. Evangelista, whose family will never be wanting for the rest of their lives (much like the family of Alfie Anido).
(1) Johnny said through Dela Cruz that (a) he did not give his blessings to the actions taken by Gigi with respect to the PDAF and (b) Gigi went beyond the authority given to her.
(2) Gigi said that all she did was faithful and pursuant to Johnny’s instructions, which is the exact opposite of Johnny’s initial statements.
(3) Johnny and Gigi would like us to forget their initial reactions, which were conflicting (i.e., one of them was lying). They have “discovered” that the deputy chief of staff, Jose Antonio V. Evangelista, has been the culprit all along.
How convenient. Surely, guilt and deception cannot be manifested more clearly than the above. In the words of Sir Walter Scott, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” Only the idiots of Philippine society (and there are many unfortunately) could possibly stomach this charade.
The Case of Gigi
First and foremost, Gigi fled the country on August 31, 2013, when it was clear that she was going to be charged with plunder. This kneejerk reaction to escape from authorities is a common reaction of a guilty individual.
Responding to statements made by Enrile’s lawyer, Enrique dela Cruz, that Enrile did not “give his blessings” to the actions taken by Reyes with respect to his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), Reyes said: “If indeed these statements are sanctioned by or coming from my former boss, then nothing can be worse than this kind of travesty and betrayal.”
Second, Gigi harps on the “betrayal”. Her initial response does not refute the accusations with respect to the PDAF scam; instead, she feels betrayed for being blamed for the PDAF scam sanctioned by Johnny.
Third, Gigi does eventually deny her culpability, almost like an afterthought. It comes across as a necessary pro forma response in preparation for her legal defense.
Fourth, my favourite smoking gun (as in the case of Angelo Reyes), “There may be no saints among us and I do not profess to be one. Yet, as it has been in all of human history, it is easy for sinners to cast stones.” Translation: I am no saint, just as there are no saints among us at the Senate and in the government at large. But I would be damned if I allow these scumbags, who are just as corrupt as I am, to pin me down.
Read between the lines, the foregoing means: guilty as charged but I feel betrayed because everything was authorized by Johnny. Oh . . . incidentally, I intend to defend and acquit myself (legal parlance) of all the baseless charges and blatant lies (an astute protégé of Johnny on power, corruption and the Big Lie).
The Case of Sexy
Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson’s (Grace Pulido Tan) statement after Jinggoy’s privilege speech hit the nail on the head.
“Wala siyang di-neny sa aming findings, wala siyang sinabi na nagkamali kami sa sinabi namin sa aming PDAF, wala, nothing. For me that’s great, it’s a vindication for us na siya mismo na natukoy doon sa audit ng PDAF ay walang reklamo tungkol dun sa lumabas na findings. Ang kanyang nirereklamo lang, yun nga, may selectivity,” Tan said on the sidelines of the COA budget hearing on the House floor.
(He did not deny our findings. He did not say that we made a mistake on the PDAF, nothing. For me, that’s great. It’s a vindication for us that he himself who was identified in the PDAF audit has no complaints about the findings. His only complaint is that there’s selectivity.)
In other words, in the absence of any denial, there is a tacit admission of guilt. Jinggoy is practically saying, “We’re all guilty of this PDAF scam, why are you (COA) filing charges against the three of us only?” Like his father, stupidity and arrogance have overcome Jinggoy. He thinks he’s untouchable that he could give such a revealing and damning privilege speech, and get away with it!
The Case of Pogi
In contrast, Bong’s privileged speech is straight out of the Big Lie playbook, with plenty of coaching from the enterprise of Johnny, one of the grand old masters of the Big Lie in Philippine politics—only next to Marcos himself. Read “The Big Lie: Bong’s Privileged Speech”.
The Ombudsman needs to dismiss the various dilatory motions for reconsideration and file cases at the Sandiganbayan, which, in turn, should issue warrants of arrests to lock-up these plunderers—at least until the death penalty is reinstated. Thereafter, we take back what they’ve plundered and “off with their heads!” I shudder at the thought of these leeches living-off another centavo of my hard earned taxes. (Read “Mabuhay ang Daang Matuwid”)
But wait . . . The next presidential elections is just around the corner and the foremost trapo, Jejomar Binay, appears to have the best chance of winning the top post in the country. In fact, nobody comes close to Binay’s grip on the prostituted “buy-my-vote” masses. When Binay becomes the President of the Philippines, he will most assuredly pardon his cronies (or the children and/or the associates thereof) and justice, for the nth time, will again be hijacked from the Filipino people. Deja vu anyone (GMA had no business pardoning ERAP)?
Lesson from the X-Men
In the latest X-Men movie X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), the setting is a dystopian future of 2023 where mutant-kind has been all but wiped out by powerful robots known as Sentinels. The last surviving mutants launch one final attempt to save their species from extinction. Hiding out in a monastery in China, Kitty Pryde sends Wolverine’s consciousness back in time to prevent Mystique from murdering the Sentinels’ creator, Bolivar Trask. His murder made him a martyr and ensured that his destructive creation went into production. In addition, Mystique is captured in the process and her DNA used to engineer even more powerful machines. By stopping the murder, the hope is that they will change the future and save their species.
Fortunately for Filipinos, we don’t have to send someone’s consciousness back in time (we wouldn’t know where to start) to rid ourselves of plunderers like Tanda, Gigi, Sexy and Pogi, and save the future of our country. We do have about two (2) years to ensure Binay does not become the next President of the Philippines. Then, maybe we will have a taste of lasting justice and positively alter the course of our nation’s destiny.
[*NB: Garcia, a former AFP comptroller who faced a plunder case before an anti-graft court, was accused of amassing over P300 million in ill-gotten wealth while he was in active service. Years after Angelo Reyes committed suicide, Garcia maneuvered a controversial plea bargain deal that allowed him to escape plunder charges in exchange for pleading guilty to lesser offenses of indirect bribery and facilitating money laundering. The plea bargain required Garcia to surrender to the government his real estate properties, shares of stocks and bank deposits amounting to P135 million—which is not even half of the P303 million that he was accused of amassing. With the benefit of hindsight, it does appear that the ‘powerful person’ behind Garcia is someone other than Angelo Reyes.]