Dick Gordon’s blue ribbon “investigation” into DOH procurement: in “aid of legislation” or in aid of ELECTION CAMPAIGN?

The traditional sins of omission of Senate investigations “in aid of legislation” are on exhibit again this being the an election year. Politics is tough in the Philippines. It’s tough everywhere but it’s tougher here because there is no such thing as a principled stand. It is mostly the business of show as an entertainer once said about showbiz. In his PhilSTAR piece today, Boo Chanco gives space to defend Philippine Red Cross (PRC) CEO and Senator Richard Gordon in his piece “The virus is the enemy”. Gordon had recently been accused by President Rodrigo Duterte of using the PRC as a “milking cow” to fund his political ambitions. This comes as Gordon heads the Senate blue ribbon committee “investigating” the deals of the Department of Health (DOH) related to the purchase of pandemic response facilities.

If, indeed, it was proven that some people made money at the expense of the taxpayers at a time of pandemic, we have enough laws to deal with that.

It is horrible to hear Duterte calling Gordon fat and throwing out innuendoes that damage the reputation of the local Red Cross as an institution.

Gordon merely heads the Red Cross and it cannot be denied that under his watch, the institution has expanded its activities to quickly respond to the needs of our disaster-prone country.

Dick Gordon is probably the only Ateneo alumnus who wanted the Presidency so bad but couldn’t make it. Noynoy Aquino beat him to it in 2010 and all he had to show was his provenance. We all have our biases so we cheer when Gordon roasts a Yellowidiot like in the Dengvaxia hearings and then hate him with a compunction when he turns and trains his guns on the administration. The difference lies in the proof or the evidence presented. In the Dengvaxia fiasco, the dots were all connected. The same with the Janet Lim Napoles “Disbursement Allocation Program” (DAP) scam and the bribery of Senators during the impeachment trial of the late Chief Justice Renato Corona. Of course the disentes didn’t raise a howl because that would be an admission of guilt. But as we came to know about them more, we found that their hypocrisy showed no bounds. They will bend and break the Constitution to suit their needs. All in the name of “good” versus “evil”. The ends always justify the means in their book. It helps also that the propaganda arm comes out swinging with accusations and “analysis.” The Opposition has Rappler for that. Even if there is no factual basis, their “reporting” is de facto “truth” in their minds. Maria Ressa shouldn’t wonder anymore why she’s been hit with libel cases. It really is libel within the definition provided in the Revised Penal Code.

Thing here is the Senators grandstand at our expense. It’s our centavo they’re fucking around with every time they go fishing in aid of reelection or in aid election to higher office. The Commission on Audit (COA) hasn’t released a notice of disallowance for their findings with reference to the DOH audit. Why? Because they still have time to address the issues. That’s the process. It has to be followed because it is in the Audit Manual. Healthcare workers are up in arms over their delayed special risk allowance. Part of the blame is on the COA too. I’m a government consultant at present and I haven’t been paid my professional fees for three months since I started and my engagement is only for six months. Even if I complain, the bureaucracy does not move. Come September 15, it will be four months that I haven’t been paid. It makes me wonder if our Senators are so stupid that they have no idea of how the system works. But that can’t be since they’ve been in government for the longest time. It leads one to ask the question, what’s all the fuss about?

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In light of the pandemic, no one has clue about how to go about the campaign for 2022. No mass gatherings unless you can guarantee testing and proof of vaccination. So candidates have this huge headache because there won’t be much of the actual interaction with voters that happens in campaign rallies and sorties. A motorcade is the only option left unless the candidate is willing to learn to ride a motorcycle and do a tour of key cities in the country. The President has apologized to the public for his shortcomings on pandemic response yesterday. He has taken it upon himself to accept responsibility because he is the President. But he did get his licks in against the Senators. We will find out what office Gordon is aiming for by October 8 but he will most likely run for reelection to the Senate but not on the administration ticket that’s for sure.

What we should focus on is how to abolish the Senate and shift to a unicameral parliamentary system instead. The Senate is a waste of money. It makes more sense to have a parliament where the actual government is formed from its ranks. This was the original structure adopted by the Malolos Congress. It was only the Americans who rammed down this stupid bicameral legislature down our throats. It was reestablished in the 1987 Constitution as a control mechanism for the oligarchs and the political elite. The pandemic has exposed structural weaknesses in our political and economic sectors. These need to be addressed to deliver a more effective response to the disruptive nature of the pandemic. We can’t borrow our way to economic recovery. We need foreign capital to jumpstart the economy. Yet the legislature continues to sit on key legislation put forth by the Cabinet’s economic cluster. Under a parliamentary system, the Cabinet ministers are also members of parliament and they can introduce legislation that is more attuned to what the country needs. Under the present system, we’re at the mercy of roughly how many legislators, half of whom, at least, don’t know what their jobs actually are. This is why the 2022 election is crucial for our future and survival. We should elect candidates who present actual platforms with plans of action and not just the old motherhood statements.

The case is being made for Leni Robredo as the best option for 2022. If she’s the best then we’re doomed. She can’t even make a decision on whether she is running or not which highlights her lack of principle. It shows that she does not have the courage to stand by her convictions and make a stand during this crucial period in our history. There is a disconnect between her statements and her actions because she has said that the Philippines cannot afford another six years of a Duterte at the helm and, yet, she can’t make a categorical statement if she is running or not. This is not how a natural-born leader behaves. Yesterday, Erin Tañada tweeted his tweak of the Beatles classic, Let It Be, turning it into “Let Leni Be”. This does not suit Robredo. She is more of The Great Pretender.

If the Opposition can’t come up with an alternative platform and all they can do is put on a show at the Senate then they don’t deserve our vote. We should consider other options but it won’t really amount to much given the shallow talent pool. Even if Leni, Isko and Pac-Man ran together, their collective abilities still won’t amount to the point that it would make a difference.

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12 Comments on “Dick Gordon’s blue ribbon “investigation” into DOH procurement: in “aid of legislation” or in aid of ELECTION CAMPAIGN?”

  1. “What we should focus on is how to abolish the Senate and shift to a unicameral parliamentary system instead.”

    Ah, just like what Marcos did in the ’70s, ’80s. We’ve come a long way to go back to that stinking state again.

    1. Why is a shift back to a unicameral parliamentary system a “stinking state” as far as your concerned? Or is it because it only has the ‘Marcos’ name on it? Please elaborate more specifically.

      If indeed, “we’ve come a long way…”, exactly, where to after Marcos?

      1. I don’t know how old you are but obviously you seem to be unaware of what had happened in the last 35 years in our country. I’m not going to elaborate more on this because it’s everywhere if you care to just do a little research.

        1. What makes you think that it’s obvious that I seem to be unaware of what had happened in the last 35 years in our country?

          Quite frankly, what’s obvious here really is you having made an earlier assertion that you cannot defend that will convince even skeptical minds.

          Indeed, most times, those who resort to the Marcos excuse shortcut for everything, as matter of a habit, fail to answer when challenged… intelligently.

      2. Well, we had a unicameral congress under the Marcos regime when the 1935 constitution was revised. Are you aware of that? What happened next?

        I can defend what I assert because I experienced it. And I don’t make a so-called ‘Marcos excuse’ to shortcut whatever you are saying. I’m just saying that the idea of having to change the system we have now doesn’t makes sense. An investigation of a possible commission of a corruption should not be used to advance a radical idea such as abolishing the Senate. What is that? That’s not helping solve problems, that’s muddling the issue.

        Lastly, don’t shove the ‘Marcos excuse’ to my face because you don’t know what you’re talking about. Sorry.

        1. You’ve said a lot of things but have you tried to defend what you have initially asserted? I don’t think so.

          If talks or discussions about the idea of having to change the system seems a radical idea such as abolishing the Senate doesn’t makes sense and just muddling the issue why hold on your initial dissent? You even said: “I can defend what I assert because I experienced it.”

          Allow me to remind you a more radical idea as you experienced it:

          In 1986, Corazon Aquino dissolved the National Assembly and adopted a provisional constitution that gives her almost absolute power, more than President Ferdinand E. Marcos had under martial law.

          In spite of claims of having won the 1986 snap elections, Dictator Cory Aquino decided to seek and hold power by virtue of her Revolutionary Government after the EDSA coup and armed herself her “Freedom Constitution”.

          During that period, all lawfully elected officials of all local government seats were declared vacant and officers in charge (OICs) were designated. This gave rise to such names as the Dutertes of Davao and the Binays of Makati to name a few. And gave chance to other loser candidates close to the new administration to hold power.

          All judges with their secured tenure of office in the Judiciary were violated by replacing everyone with Cory-appointed replacements throughout the land.

          Many Government assets and Government-Owned or -Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) were either sold or privatized to the prejudice of not only of the government but of the people, especially concerning the utilities sector.

          With the release of high-ranking officials and other political prisoners of the CPP-NPA captured during Marcos time the Cory administration allowed the weakened rebellion to grow and expand its influence once more continuing to fester our national security and peace and order situation.

          Other allied administrations followed but most things remain unchanged and continued the chosen narrative.

          Now, does the above radical idea made more sense to you? All of that and what’s in it for us?

          From the Mother-President Aquino to the Son-President Aquino, what spectacular achievement has been achieved in the last thirty years that made you claimed we’ve moved forward and we’ve come a long way after that period of “stinking state”?

        2. So, that’s where you are coming from. A concise history showing the disruption in government operation because of the people power revolution that ended the Marcos dictatorship, I mean REAL dictatorship, and resulted in the creation of the administration of Cory Aquino. Sad, but I have to admit it’s true.

          As I write this, a barrage of memories, ideas, info, etc. is running in my mind I’m afraid I might go off topic if I try to discuss even 1/5 of them. Like I said, you got the factual summary right, however, you self-servingly missed the essential details why those events transpired.

          Cory Aquino came to power because Marcos was overthrown by a bloodless revolution. And why is that? Because Marcos stayed too long to power and when you are forever in a position of power everything stops on you. It’s that simple. The event that resulted in the changing of the guard was not a radical idea but a desperate attempt of the Filipinos to change the course of history where they see themselves as the principal factor in matters of governance. Democracy over dictatorship.

          Yes, Cory had absolute power under the revolutionary government because it was inherent in the prevailing condition at the time. Did she do a Marcos kind of thing like military abuses, widespread graft and corruption, cronies running around with their uncontrolled appetite, political patronage dominating the political landscape, so on and forth? Nope.

          You even called her a ‘dictator’ conveniently forgetting to name a version of her own Fabian Ver or even one as grandiose as Imelda Marcos. She has none of those because you know she’s not really a dictator, please.

          As to the ongoing rebellion at the time (CPP/NPA, muslim insurgency) naysayers predicted that the rebels will gain an upper hand or win against the government once Cory assume power because she knows nothing about government. Didn’t happen.

          As for the achievement we had for the last 30 years, I think our ability to change administration through constitutional processes is one of the things we can be proud of. People feel that they have a say in government with regard to the future path the country will take instead of being dictated to them by just one person or one party or one family.

          In short, abolishment, even if just an idea, of one branch of government could erode the democratic system we fought to achieve. I would even dare say it is a dangerous thing. With a leader like Duterte, whose appetite for power is immeasurable, we are not really sure if he have a Marcos 2.0 in our hands. Very bad.

        3. So it’s a tale of two political disruptions, a ‘revolution from the center’ (“to save the republic and to reform the society”) and a ‘people power revolution’ aka EDSA coup/power grab (“to oust a dictator and bring back democracy”).

          A case of two disruptions where you considered one as being good and the other one being evil. You can always believe what you believe but what matters in their history are the results.

          As always it’s a narrative being held on to by those who choose to be identified and loyal to the Cojuangco-Aquino clan (aka the Yellowtards).

          But, think for a moment the reality that confronts the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, why is the people’s interest in it and attendance in the annual commemorations have been declining for the past years?

          Anyways, you’re entitled to your own opinion, my old man, but as for me I’ll let history be the judge of that.

          https://larouchepub.com/other/2004/site_packages/econ_hitmen/3150philipp_coup.html

        4. Marcos’ new society is not a revolution per se but a mere act of self-preservation in order to remain in power in perpetuity. The EDSA thing is a power grab, yes. It was a coup enforced by the act of the government itself for a lot of reasons, economic, political, social and what have you.

          Do I consider one being good than the other? You can say that. But good in the sense that change or a new beginning is possible in one against stagnancy and rot on the other. Before EDSA we were in a cesspool, so to speak, about everything. The country has taken blows everywhere, people are suffering and Marcos seems to have lost control of the steering wheel. We are really spiraling down to the bottom if we’re not there yet and Marcos seems to be unaware or just don’t care where the country will end up. It’s a sad fact especially coming from someone who calls himself a Marcos man. Me.

          About the declining attendance of the annual EDSA anniversary, I don’t bother with it because one, I was not a part of it; two, it’s like a broken record, you get tired eventually; and lastly, I strongly feel that aside from the reasons for celebration, it’s being done for political practicality. Though I don’t agree with it, I get it.

          Yes, you are right, I’m an old man. But not old, old because I’m just in my sixties. To go back to topic for an ending, abolishing the Senate is not a good idea. After reading the article above it brought memories of the past that made me express my disagreement with what was said. Lastly, thank you, my friend, for indulging me.

        5. “We are really spiraling down to the bottom if we’re not there yet and Marcos seems to be unaware or just don’t care where the country will end up.” – from someone who calls himself a Marcos man. Me.

          It has been said that the victors get to write history. However, this now the age of the Internet and “The truth is like a lion. You don’t have to defend it. Let it loose and it will defend itself.”

          If you have time, I invite you to read and digest some alternative readings outside of the yellow narrative, it might give you a different perspective. Take note that the articles featured in the link below were published roughly six months ahead of the actual event, the 1986 EDSA People Power.

          Read how the IMF collapses the Philippines’ economy and how the State Department (and the IMF) have set a nine-month timetable for the overthrow of Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos.

          “IMF collapses the Philippines’ economy”
          “Shultz torpedos American defense in the Philippines”
          “Plotting the fall of an American ally”

          Executive Intelligence Review, Volume 12, Number 32, August 16, 1985
          https://larouchepub.com/eiw/public/1985/eirv12n32-19850816/index.html

          If, in case, you’re tired of reading:

          NINOY + PEOPLE POWER: Hidden Truths The MEDIA is NOT Telling Us!
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oC7aBqGcofI

          AQUINO COJUANGCO: FACTS THEY DONT WANT YOU TO KNOW

  2. Nag-iingay ang mga eksperto sa “planned plunder.” Walang silbi silang mga tagapaglingkod kung hanggang ngayon parehong problema pa rin ang pinag-uusapan.

  3. With these schmucks at the helm I’m convinced the real problem is mismanagement. Shortage is more a result of that. Somebody once said, “The general welfare must restrict the exertions of individuals, as the individuals must derive a supply of their strength from social power.”
    From the current state of things, it looks like we are being held back.

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