Getting their comeuppance
I would like to belie the notion that this column often criticizes President Rodrigo Duterte because we are pro-Liberal Party and wish to see the return to power of Noynoy Aquino and his bunch of bunglers.
It’s easy to label the President’s critics as card-carrying members of the “Yellow Army.” As hard as it may seem to Digong’s DDS (Duterte’s Devoted Supporters), the source of these criticism is President Duterte himself who is his own worst enemy. His expletives against critics and political enemies make good copy for mainstream media.
But let’s ease the pressure off the President. This column is supposed to put former President Noynoy Aquino and his cabal to public pillory. Aquino, during his incumbency, was immune from suits. I said then that the line of people who want to file charges against Noynoy Aquino had already formed even before he had stepped down from office.
Aquino is also facing charges for the massacre of the 44 Philippine National Police Special Action Force commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. The relatives of the victims blame Aquino for not sending in reinforcements to the SAF commandos who were left exposed in an open cornfield. Noynoy is also facing a slew of other charges. These charges include doling out to certain senators millions of pesos under the illegal Disbursement Acceleration Program conceptualized by then Budget Secretary Abad.
Nine other Cabinet members have been charged with graft and plunder related to the anomalous maintenance contract related to servicing the Metro Rail Transit 3. Former Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas and his successor Joseph Emilio Abaya were tagged as “principal conspirators” in the P3.8 billion deal awarded to a Pangasinan company without any track record in train maintenance. Also named in the charges filed with the Office of the Ombudsman were former Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, former Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, former Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, former Science and Technology4 Secretary Mario Montejo, former Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, and former Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.
That there are nine, yes nine men and not one spoke out against the grossly disadvantageous deal former MRT manager Al Vitangcol signed with the firm owned and operated by a relative. Clearly, it showed the gravity of this crime against the Filipino people—the daily train commuters who suffer from the MRT’s constant breakdown. Passengers of the MRT do not know whether they will reach their destination alive. That they do take the train is a leap of faith and a testament to the Filipino’s fatalism. So far the worst MRT accident was a derailment that injured several people a few years ago. We pray that no major mishap happen that will result in a high casualty count.
The MRT maintenance contract cost the government P3.8 billion. Yet, there is no semblance some of that amount went to maintaining an efficient mass transport system. This has given rise to speculations most of that money went into the Liberal Party coffers to fund the presidential bid of LP standard bearer Mar Roxas. Vitangcol was also accused by Belgian Ambassador Josef Rychtar for an alleged $30 million extortion attempt on the Belgian firm Inekon which was bidding to supply 50 additional trains for the MRT Line 3.
While things are going the full karmic cycle of what goes around comes around, a lifestyle check on Noynoy Aquino’s brothers-in law—Manolo Abellada and Eldon Cruz—is perhaps in order. If Abellada and Cruz pass the lifestyle check, well and good as it would stop all speculations about them.
Meanwhile, the Metro Manila Development Authority came out with a study warning that the deadliest time for drivers in the city is between 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. This is the period when the streets are cleared of vehicular traffic. Why then should it be the deadliest time for driving or just being a passenger?
The reason is simple enough. This is the time when with the roads cleared that some drivers with delusions of being in a Formula One race track step on the gas and unleash all that pent-up frustration of being stuck in traffic during the daytime. The result of this bottled-up fury is a disaster waiting to happen. Then too, this is the time when the crazies are out on the road. These are the habitual drunk driver or someone who’s showing off to his date how fast his new sports car can go. The scary scenario is death to the driver and his girlfriend.
The MMDA also reported that Quezon City has the most number of motor vehicle crashes with 33, 717 cases record by the police and hospitals. Commonwealth Avenue is the most notorious of roads for vehicle collisions.