Lawmakers bribed for BBL? PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 02 June 2015 09:31



LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… The wicked accept bribes in secret to pervert the course of justice…” (Proverbs 17:23, the Holy Bible).

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NOW IT’S OUT! LAWMAKERS BRIBED FOR BBL: Allegations that congressmen and other lawmakers drafting the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) have received or have been promised to be given millions of pesos in bribes for them to vote for the passage of the proposed law have, in the past, always been made in whispers.

But a June 01, 2015 report by veteran journalist Christine F. Herrera for The Standard changed all these. Now, the accusations that congressmen were paid handsomely in exchange for voting in favor of the BBL have been formally reduced to writing, in a major Manila newspaper yet.

In her article, Herrera was quoting a top official of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation, to the effect that the millions of money that was used to pay the congressmen actually came from a Chinese crime lord wanted internationally for many crimes, and named, coincidentally enough, Bo Wang (In Filipino, a corruption of this name, “buwang”, could mean a person with a crazed mind).

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NEWS STORY ON BBL CORRUPTION FILLED WITH DETAILS: Earlier stories told of tales where congressmen were bribed through funds coming from Malaysia, with the money allegedly having been coursed through a prominent businessman from Mindanao. But these stories were simply blind items, or mere “careless whispers”, to borrow a line from a famous song, to denote the low credibility which characterized them.

Herrera’s story however is different, in that the claim that congressmen have been bribed to vote “yes” for BBL is no longer just a mere blind item. Herrera’s story is filled with details of how a Chinese crime lord, Bo Wang, brought in the money after coming from Malaysia, and where and when it was delivered, corroborated even by official acts of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima and by officials of the Chinese Embassy in Manila.

In sum, the story of The Standard can no longer be simply swept under the rug by the Office of the President, whose current occupant is known to be trying his best, literally pulling the sky to come down and meet earth, just so the proposed law which, even now, is branded by many prominent legal personalities as unconstitutional, would be passed before July 2015.

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AQUINO’S OPTIONS: What can President Aquino do about the story? Well, as a first line of defense, he or his subalterns can once again deny Herrera’s accusations. Then, Aquino can also compel De Lima to refute allegations about her orders directing the BID not to carry out an order from its top commissioners releasing Bo Wang, even if he was a confirmed fugitive wanted by China.

Also, Aquino can compel Bo Wang to issue a statement denying that he gave money to Philippine government officials, particularly its lawmakers, who are in the thick of voting for or against the Mindanao measure. And then again, he can chose to remain silent, ignore Herrera’s (and The Standard’s) story, and pretend that it is not even worth commenting on.

But whatever option Aquino and his government may take on this issue, it is clear that the passage of the BBL in both Congress is now so tainted with tell tale signs of bigtime graft and corruption that, sad to say, no Filipino in his right mind will ever believe now that the ultimate approval of the bill came as an honest wok on the part of lawmakers.

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