The Boy Who Cried “Pork!” (Part 1)

It seems that the more Senator Jinggoy Estrada opened his mouth in his privilege speech (Read the full text here), the more we smelled pork.


Senator Jinggoy Estrada delivering his privilege speech yesterday, September 26, 2013. Image source: Rappler
About two weeks ago, Estrada boasted that what he will reveal in his privilege speech would shock people. It sounded more like a mere squeal of a pig about to be slaughtered. In that hour-long rambling speech, not once did he deny the accusations hurled against him regarding the PDAF scam. It even made COA feel vindicated. 


Chairperson Grace Pulido Tan, Commission on Audit. Image source: Rappler
According to COA chairperson Grace Pulido Tan, “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.” (Source: “COA chair: Jinggoy’s speech vindicates us.” Rappler) 

And even when he cried against being among those allegedly singled out saying, “What makes us so special?” his speech seems to have backfired. Tan added, “He himself proved, by citing extensively from our COA report, that we were not selective, not just opposition… He himself said there are other lawmakers tagged in the report who are not from the opposition.” (Ibid)


Image source: Inquirer News
When the PDAF scam came out, Estrada gave this alibi to the media: “I wouldn’t have known.” (Source: “Jinggoy: We're not obliged to check NGOs getting pork.” ABS-CBN News) Claiming good faith in endorsing non-governmental organizations (NGO), Estrada explained that it’s not the responsibility of senators to do the verification. “It is not up to the senators to determine whether an NGO is bogus or not… Alangan naman na kami pa ang magsasabi na, ‘Uy, bogus ‘yan.’ [It would be awkward if we will be the ones to point out that, ‘Hey, that’s bogus.’] How will we know?” (Ibid) 

He got chopped left and right for that weak defense. It’s actually an admission that he failed to exercise due diligence as far as his pork barrel is concerned. But, during his speech, noticeably he did not give that excuse anymore. Did he realize already that the public did not buy that hogwash?


"LET'S PARTY. Janet Lim-Napoles, left (standing), rubs elbows with senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla in this photo taken during a party in Estrada's favorite hangout in San Juan." Caption and image source: Rappler 
It also appears that Senator Estrada just wallowed himself deeper in the mud. He revealed in that speech, “[A]fter the conviction of the former chief justice, those who voted to convict were allotted an additional 50 million pesos as provided in a private and confidential letter memorandum of the then chair of the senate finance committee.” (Source: “Estrada: ‘What makes us so special?’” Rappler) He waved the alleged memorandum but refused to give copies to the media.

But he hastened to add, “I maintain however Mr. President that I stand by my decision in my vote to convict the former chief justice and assure our people that I was never influenced by this incentive which came after the fact.” (Ibid) So, while exposing the 50-million-peso “incentive,” Senator Estrada himself confessed that he received it. And, one wonders, what if the scandal did not break out, would he have squealed about the incentive? 


"What makes us so special?" Image source: Inquirer News
However, during the interpellation after the speech, he appeared to have backtracked. Justice Senate President Franklin Drilon asked, “But categorically, you can state it was not a bribe?” (Source: “Not a bribe, just an ‘appeal’ – Jinggoy.” Rappler) He answered, “It was not a bribe. It was never a bribe.” (Ibid) He clarified that somebody merely called him regarding voting for conviction without offering any bribe. Then, Senator Juan Ponce clarified, “‘It was simply an appeal?’ Estrada answered, ‘It was simply an appeal. There [were] no talks of giving a reward.’” (Ibid)

My take? Senator Jinggoy Estrada just deep-fried himself in his own fat.

Read "The Boy Who Cried 'Pork!' Part 2"

Comments

  1. Thanks for this post Ptr. Ey. There's a tendency for us people to be swayed by our "dear" politician's words. your observation, coupled by COA chairperson Grace Pulido Tan's assessment, is a great guide for us in watching our for injustice and deception.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous11:45 AM

    Jinggoyan na hehehehehe

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous5:10 PM

    As the Good Late Journalist Ka Louie Beltran said..if i recall...corrupt politicians when caught with their hands on the cookie jar do 3 things..1.Deny it to death 2.spread the blame on others to muddle the situation 3.sue their accuser

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