On the added value of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing of the pork barrel scam

What is the goal of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee in presiding over the hearing for the pork barrel scam? It’s unclear, at least to me. The whole thing looks like a train on the roll, without a destination. The questioning of people, Senators and private citizens alike, goes on and on and on without direction. What does the procedure aim to add to the legal one being handled (and due to be filed on September 16) by Ombudsman De Lima and the IAGCC? What can this questioning add to the 15 boxes of evidence secured by the NBI? The procedure ought to be toward sanctioning its members who it finds guilty through the hearing but how can it when no one among the accused is made part (i.e. compelled otherwise face contempt) of the group being questioned? A trial by proxy and hearsay? How can any decision made after such an investigation hold credence?

How much is the Senate, again, spending in tax money to conduct this hearing? The money spent daily for excellent coffee beans on their desks should translate into good outcomes at the end of the day if not at the end of the hearing. But the legal case, as Ombudsman De Lima said, will be filed on Monday so where does this Senate hearing fit in with all the rest? Will this Senate hearing, again, die off as suddenly as it was started? It behooves me how the good Senators are quite ignorant of the great irony staring at them on the face: their members accused of the multi-billion peso PDAF scam and here they are spending another round of tax money to question these members and they’re just going around in circles. Every day that they’re in there is tax money. And they’re huffing and puffing about tax money scam!

‘Blue Ribbon’ is “a symbol of something of high quality” but what’s being played out to the viewing public is disheartening. At best, it appears to merely buy time. What for and why is anybody’s wild guess. At a time when Filipinos are barely hanging on to their faith in the Senate and Congress, these institutions could’ve turn it around as an opportunity to redeem themselves by conducting a fair, intelligent, high quality investigation. But no it’s the same old.

Post-script:  How come the Senators are referring to the scam as “the Napoles scam”? This is PDAF, government’s money allocated in part to Senators and this allocation wouldn’t have left the Senators’ hands if they themselves didn’t allow it. Unless we’re saying Napoles aimed a gun to their heads and grabbed the amount from them. But that’s not what happened, was it? So please it’s not the “Napoles scam” (although Napoles would be as guilty as them).

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