Privilege speech on 4 December 2013
Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen of the Senate:
Mastermind of Plunder
It comes rarely in the life of the nation that a people, under the travails of developing country status, aided by providence, find it in themselves to rise above the morass of political corruption, and to build the architecture for a fresh and shining territory where people live free of the forces of darkness.
Today, the time has come. At last we stand at the very heart of the epic pork barrel corruption in the Congress, specially the Senate. Why are the proportions of corruption so epic in scale? How did the criminals manage to steal some P10 billion pesos of the people’s money in just ten years? Who is the mastermind?
Guided by faith in a just God and in the rule of law, dozens of whistleblowers have testified in writing and provided supporting documents to prove that the very heart of darkness is the leadership of the Senate itself. Thorough NBI investigation has led the Department of Justice to file formal charges of plunder against the first batch of suspects, led by no less than the Senate President at that time, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile. The Ombudsman is conducting preliminary investigation, and has assured the public that justice will not be denied: the resolution will be issued by the end of this month.
Notably, the Ombudsman has admitted receiving a memorandum of over 200 pages pinpointingEnrile as the mastermind of plunder. That official memorandum validates the charge I aired in the latest hearing of the Blue Ribbon Committee, where I first made that very same accusation, based on the lawyer’s thought process of enlightened scepticism. If he smarted against the accusation, Enrile could have requested for an additional hearing where he could be personally present and interpellate Janet Napoles, who appears to be his BFF, or Best Friend Forever. But he chooses to stay away and keep silent, because he is immobilized by fear and humiliation.
Instead of presenting evidence to the public of his hypocritical protestations of innocence, Enrile once again chose to steer public attention to what he hopes will be a diversion: the lies and black propaganda hurled against me during the 1992 presidential campaign. This man, contrary to logic and common sense, hopes to evade criminal prosecution and public outrage over his plunder, by resurrecting campaign dirt against me which are over 21 years old! Dream on, old man, aka Tanda.
Enrile tried to portray me in the blackest terms. He pointedly ignored the fact that I am a laureate of the Asian Nobel Prize, the 1988 Magsaysay Award for government service. According to the official citation, the Award “recognizes her bold and moral leadership in cleaning up a graft-ridden government agency.” Media has noted that I am reportedly “the most awarded Filipino public official,” because I won such awards as TOYM, TOWNS, and U.P.’s most outstanding law alumnus. Enrile never reached these levels of professional recognition. Please feel free to compare my resume to his, since my biography appears in Wikipedia.
This was not only bringing parliamentary debate to the lowest level. It is a violation of every canon of civility and decency in public discourse. Parliamentary rules strictly forbid arguments ad hominem, but my attacker delivered an entire speech by appealing to personal prejudices rather than to reason; and by attacking my character rather than my assertion that he is the mastermind of the plunder. In fact, my attacker is guilty of violating the Senate Rules, Rule 34, Sec. 94: “No Senator, under any circumstances, shall use offensive or improper language against another Senator or against any public institution.” (Emphasis added). Under Rule 34, he has committed the offense of “unparliamentary acts and language,” and I shall charge him with disorderly behaviour with the Ethics or the Rules Committee, punishable by suspension for 60 days.