Plundering to the Max
…only in the Philippines
By Apolinario Villalobos
With the recent bomb that exploded, that of the ill-gotten wealth of the Binays that consist a sprawling hacienda in Rosario, Batangas, exposed by the whistle blower, former Vice-Mayor of Makati, Ernesto Mercado, the reputation of the country’s ailing political system which is best with exploitation and corruption is further pushed down the bog of shame. The Binays, as usual, shouted “politics…!”
The whistle blower has been spontaneous in delivering his statements, without a single stutter of apprehension or doubt, having worked in the hacienda in 1992 onward as a farm hand or “boy”, until he became the Vice-Mayor of Makati. It purportedly started with a five-hectare farm for an experimental 50-head piggery, purchased out of his attorney’s fee. The people of Makati City should be seething with anger and regret for having given their trust and confidence to the Binay family who made use of big projects as fronts for their plundering. The controversial hacienda with air-conditioned piggery, vast orchidarium, man-made lagoon, garden copied from the royal garden of London, fighting cock hatchery, and hi-tech features, is connected to the mega-plundering in Makati, being the source of the fund for expansion and operation, according to Mercado. The unwritten rule for a successful plunder is …bigger project, bigger commission.
Senator Allan Cayetano detailed how the Binays moving heaven and earth to waylay trackers o their ill-gotten wealth by using dummy corporations that went through a series of purchase and transfers. The same incorporators and offices have the same business address in Makati. Also, some are partners in the law firm of Congresswoman Binay. Some corporation doesn’t even have a contact number, just a website, perhaps for show of ownership, as is always the case. One corporate member has been found to be living in a government housing project putting the question to the fore, on his affordability.
The Binays are trying their best to come up with big projects supposedly to maximize the “benefis” to be enjoyed by their unsuspecting constituents. That is the image that the father, the mother and the son are trying to show to the people of Makati and ….hopefully to the rest of the Filipinos. They are too keen in manifesting that, what they have done and still doing to “uplift” the lot of Makati constituents can also be done for the whole country…a good move, indeed, for a family that dreams of living in Malacaῆan Palace. In so doing, they sort of made it clear that the people of Makati owe them a lot, for their “benevolent” act. And, they want such “benevolence” spread throughout the country, with hope against hope, if Jejomar Binay makes it as President in 2016. So God forbids, the country is again facing another threat of widespread familial corruption!
The 350-hectare Binay hacienda in Batangas could just be a tip of the iceberg of corruption that has been floating in the midst of the Filipinos after the toppling of Ferdinand Marcos, who was hated for his dictatorship. Investigations should also be made to the unremitting denuding of forests due to illegal logging which is purportedly controlled by an aging politician now facing a plunder case, and the incessant mining that hideously pockmarks beachfronts and once abundant rice fields in the northern region of the country, behind which are government officials including those in the local units. Acquisitions of the other officials, especially, those with vast tract of “acquired” land in Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Quezon, Batangas, and Cavite should also be made.
The shameless plundering to the max happens only in the Philippines. Plundering has become the ardent, albeit, covert desire of every ambitious Filipino to join the scramble in the filthy political arena. They are sure, that a return to their financial investment during campaigns that now shamelessly involves vote buying, will more than quadruple halfway through their term. Such heartless and hideous act has become a good business in the country. Gone is the noble intention of humble politicians who made it through the arduous election, to serve the country and the people, as promised in their oath, while the palm of their left hand solemnly rests on the Bible, and their right hand with open palm, is raised with equal soberness…as they highlight such promise with a sincere… “so help me God…”.
Corruption in the country comes singly, committed by a lone member of the family…conjugally, committed by the husband and wife…also, familially, committed by the whole family!